Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2 months.

Happy 2 month birthday sweet girl! Oh how you've changed in the past few months. From 1 lb 2 ozs to 4 lbs 6 ozs. From being on the ventilator to barely needing any oxygen support. From nutrients through an IV to nursing with mom. You make me so proud!

One day.

One month.

2 months.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


So apparently my instinct to 'nest' has set in. Hopefully my instincts are right in telling me I need to get stuff done cause she'll be home soon cause I'm SO ready to have her home. Now that she is over the 4 pound mark; 4 lbs 2 ounces to be exact and getting longer; 16 inches, I feel more and more like we are on the home strectch of our journey.  She is on round 2 of trying full time cannula support and so far so good. She really just needs minimal assistance but it is nice to have her off the cpap. The good thing about this is the Developmental Therapist will now start working with us on feedings!
Back to the nesting. I know that when she first comes home she won't really use her room much, but for me having it finished by the time she comes home is important.  I've been working on it slowly but since I decided to take on a lot of DIY projects with, um, zero extra time on my hands, things are slowly but surely coming together.
Today I conquered the bed skirt and changing pad cover. They turned out super cute. I decided to make the bedding because I couldn't find exactly what I wanted for a price I wanted to pay. So I hit up an awesome sale at Hancock fabric and 2 of the fabrics I got are actually done by Dwell Studio who does a baby line. The fabric is from their outdoor fabric collection, but it is nice and durable and I'm not using it to make a sheet (I went with a softer cotton for that). 
I haven't made the sheet yet because I ran out of what time I had, but I also don't have a mattress to put it on anyways. 
Speaking of nests, Avery got a new one today. She officially graduated from the isolet to a crib style bed.  The isolet was making her too hot and she needs to be able to regulate her own temperature before she can go home, so this is a huge step! I cried when I walked in and saw her in her new bed.  She looked like such a little lady and nothing like the micro preemie I remember. I am so proud of her!

So a little side note/request. I was hoping for anyone who reads this that you add Avery's roommate to your prayers. I don't know the rules on giving out names or anything so I won't, but I'm sure God will know which direction to send his attention :) The little guy has had some struggles lately and today I witnessed a scary moment. I feel so much for him and his parents and the emotions they must go through everytime the  phone rings or they come in and hear more bad news.  I have no doubt that prayers have helped Avery get to where she is today so if you can just add her roomie in I'd appreciate it!

New big girl bed.

Changing pad cover by me.

Crib skirt.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

8 weeks and 1 day.

That is how long it took me to see my baby girl without any lines, tape, hoses, masks, monitors, etc.
It only lasted the length of her bath, but it was fun to get a glimpse of things to come.

And then this picture just because I think it is cute. All snugly with her daddy.

Friday, November 25, 2011

mile marker: 4 pounds.

Big night. Literally. Avery hit the 4 pound mark.  She put on 90 grams in one day. That explains why she was so sleepy today. There is a chance that after tomorrow she'll drop below 4 pounds because she didn't have any big poos today, but in the meantime our little girl is getting so big! 

Better proof. Look how proper she is laying with her hands folded nicely in her lap.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


This year I truly have a full list of things to be thankful for.

My husband
Sometimes I think it is easy to forget that Bill and I are still sort of newlyweds. I got pregnant just a few weeks after we got married and it wasn't long after that our lives sort of went in a whirlwind.  But I must say that this year I have had TWO best days of my life and the day I married Bill was one of them.  I still remember that day so clearly. It was everything I have ever imagined it would be. There was a lot of love that day and I knew I had made the best decision of my life.
Bill is the most supportive and wonderful husband for me. Having him by my side makes the most difficult days easier to get through. He makes me laugh when humor seems to not exist.  And he happens to be the most wonderful, proud, loving daddy ever.

Avery Ruth
Clearly Avery's entrance in to our lives did not go according to our 'plan.' I use that term lightly because I never really had a chance to put a 'plan' together, but I can say without hesitation that the way things went would not have been part of it. But alas that is behind us and we are moving forward and creating a new plan.
At 1 pounds 2 ounces it is impossible to think how much love you could have for such a micro being. I was instantly in love. She was perfect to me and I knew our lives would never be the same.
Leading up to Avery's birth we weren't given a whole lot of hope medically speaking. But we had other plans and so did she and boy has she proven every doctor wrong. She has found more strength than I could ever imagine someone her size having. She has progressed without any of the major micro preemie devestations that you are prepared for. I am thankful we have been so lucky to have had the experience we have had over the past 56 days since Avery came in to the world, a little early but with a lot of fight. I am thankful when I watch other parents' experience mirror the one we expected to have that we have not had to have those struggles. I am forever thankful that our beautiful daughter has found it somewhere inside her and from the strength of others to grow into a perfect 3 pound 13 ounce chubster.
That love I felt the day she was born has multiplied indefinitely. I am SO thankful for Avery.

Avery's 1st Thanksgiving.

I love my family. They have always been there for me when I needed them the most. My sisters are some of my best friends ever and I know that I can always call on them for anything. My parents are amazing examples of what I want both as a mother to Avery and in my relationship with Bill.  I miss my family SO much everyday, but especially around the holidays.  I am so thankful to be blessed with the family I have.

I've always thought I had the best group of friends. I have friends from different times in my life. They live near and far. Some I see more often than others. Some I don't talk to often but when we do it is like we saw each other yesterday.
One great thing about getting married this year was the chance to bring all those friend groups together to celebrate such an important day in your life. It wouldn't have been the same without them there. Some of my favorite memories from that day include my girls.
And I must say that my friends have given me strength this year that I didn't even know I had. When my going got tough my girls got going. They were so supportive with their visits, calls, gifts, texts, cards and love.
I wish we all lived in the same town but knowing I have friends near and far that will always have my back is amazing. I'm so thankful for ALL my friends. (The pictures below are not inclusive of ALL the people I am talking about. Just a disclaimer so there are no hurt feelings)

Deaconess Medical Staff
Without the staff at Deaconess we would not be where we are today. The doctor I absolutely hated and despised the day he broke the news to us about Avery in such a cold way, I now hold very dear in my heart. When I randomly see him around the hospital, I get very emotional. He ended up being one of the biggest supporters on Team Avery. He would high five me when days were good, and would strategize when they got bad.  He let me feel like I had some say in my treatment and when I felt like we had pushed things far enough, he listened and agreed.  He still goes in to check on Avery and see how she is doing. I hope he knows that he played a big roll in that.
The nurses at Deaconess are amazing. When I was admitted they helped get me through the days those long 3 weeks. They gave me backrubs when I didn't even ask. They listened and supported me when I came back from ultrasounds in tears with bad news and had no one else around. They encouraged me and reminded me that doctors aren't in the business to give hope.
And now the NICU nurses are Avery's pseudo moms-away from-mom.  They are so good with her and care for her. They have played a direct hand in getting her to where she is today. They are smart and calm. They continuously check in with us and help us feel like we know what we are doing and that we play a big roll in Avery's care there too. They help break down the big medical talk in to words we understand.
It is not just the nurses in the NICU. The whole staff is amazing.Somedays I feel like the staff at Deaconess belongs under my friend/family category.  I see them more than I do than anyone else besides Bill. I am SO thankful we ended up at Deaconess. They will always be an important part of our lives.

I know I've said it before and I'll say it again. I am so blessed to work for such a wonderful organization for the past 3.5 years.  I have been lucky to work closely with more than one unit.  I have become close friends with coworkers. Not only do we do work that makes me feel good at the end of the day, but we have fun doing it. 

I have truly been blessed in my life, especially this past year.  I have found strength in myself that I never would have guessed I had but am glad I know exists. I hope the next years bring me as much joy as this year has. Thank you to everyone who has played a roll in this past year!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Saturday evening Avery had her first bath. Yes, if you did the math that means she went 7 weeks before getting her first bath, but keep in mind she is/was a fragile little thing and a bath can be very stressful. But let me tell you, she needed it! The nurse set up the bath in her bed and we made it quick.  She fussed a little bit but for the most part she did FANTASTIC. When it was all said and done she just laid in her bed, all relaxed, like it was the best thing that has ever happened to her.

Let's get this started!

Ooh, that's warm.

Proud mommy...she did so good.

Laying on a warm towel

Big girl...3 pounds 9 ounces.

Today when we arrived we noticed that Avery's feed tube in no longer in her mouth. She is getting her first chot at it going through her nose. It is a little less invasive and less likely that she will pull it out (or slobber it out which was more likely).  She is up to splitting her time 50/50 between the cannula and cpap so we will see this evening if they are able to get a good seal with the cpap and the OG tube in her nose. If they can, then it will stay.  The nice thing about having it in her nose too is we can start working with her on nippling as soon as she is ready to do so! That'll be one step closer to her coming home!

Today was also the first time that the doctor has ever referred to our little girl and "monsterous." That's right. He called her a big girl! Comparatively speaking she is still tiny. But comparatively speaking to her 7 weeks ago, she is a monsterous baby! :)

I survived my first week back to work. Barely. But I survived. I was exhausted by Tuesday afternoon. So by Friday at 5, I was barely functioning. I was able to catch up on some sleep this week and it was amazing. This next week is a short week due to Thanksgiving and much of it will be consumed with moving in to our new space in the valley office.

Avery also received her first knitted hat as a gift from one of my co worker--Linda White. We love it and it fit her perfectly!! Thank you Linda!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

happy world prematurity day

Today is the first ever World Prematurity Day. Pretty cool day in my opinion.  They are even lighting the Empire State Building in purple and white in honor of the day. I have read several people's stories on the facebook page and it is so amazing knowing that there are so many families that go through prematurity from all spectrums of severity.  We feel very blessed to have the experience we have had so far, but it is really easy to remember those very scary, very intense beginnings. Don't get me wrong every once in awhile we still get reminders of those very scary times (see below), but for the most part Avery is doing fine.

Yesterday Avery officially tripled her birth weight. Most babies triple their birth weight by their first birthday. Avery did it in the first 46 days of her life. Granted her circumstances were a little different that other babies. :) She has so many little rolls on her body that are ridiculously adorable. 

So as I mentioned above, while for the most part we are out of the scary danger zone, that doesn't mean everything is free and clear. Yesterday Avery had a scary episode of trayicardia that lasted an hour.  That means her heart was beating faster than normal and in this case it was beating 240 bpm.  They prefer her rate to be closer to like 150ish.  They ran various test and xrays and didn't see anything that would necessarily be causing it.  She did have excessive air in her bowel so they gave her something to help get things moving and sure enough she had her first major blowout.  The nurse said it could have been that she needed to poo so bad that the stress of it was making her heartbeat faster.  She hasn't had any problems since, but it was definitely a swift reminder that she can still have problems.

Other than that I am almost done with my first week back. I honestly am not sure how I am going to make it through tomorrow. I'm not used to working Fridays since I used to work a 4 tens, M-Th schedule. But I am anticipating a busy day of packing the office for the big move on Monday.

Check out my rolls.

I heart my new diaper bag!! It was worth the splurge.

So adorable.

Shout out to our kitty boys, who have been so sweet and good and a little neglected lately.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I survived my first day back to work. Just when I thought my coworkers couldn't be any more awesome than I already thought they were I arrived to this:
 Of course my natural reaction was to burst in to tears. I honestly thought that everyone's support and the work they did in absence was a gift enough, but to come back to a cubicle full of diapers and gifts was just above and beyond.
I spent most of my day catching up on 11 weeks of emails. I even checked my work email pretty regularly during my absence just to purge stuff I knew I wouldn't need when I got back and yet there were still a ton of emails.
I was able to use my lunch to go see Avery and even though I didn't hold her, it is going to be so worth the crazy schedule to go and see her during the day.
She is doing great and adjusted nicely to me going back to work :) She is still 100% back on the CPAP for now. The doctor today said he is sure she is ready to go back to the cannula, but wants to wait a bit longer. She needs very little oxygen and for the most part hoovers down in the low 20s.  The only downfall from my point of view w/ her being on the CPAP is I don't get to see as much of her face and we do when she is on the cannula. Obviously though that would be a silly reason for me to request them moving forward w/ her going back to cannula.
They also moved her feeds up again to every 90 minutes. At tonight's care she had fully digested her entire feed in the 90 minutes she had off, which is awesome. So again we are making forward progress and her weight gain accounts for of tonight she is up to 3 pounds 3 ounces!
Well I am exhausted. I have been up for 15.5 hours now and have only been home for 1.5 hours since leaving for work this morning. So I'm going to wrap up my multitasking pump/blog session and head to bed.

A little break from CPAP

Driving with a trunk like this really makes me feel like a mom.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

big day

Three very exciting things happened today.
1) This morning the nurse suggested while I was holding Avery that we introduce her to the nipple. Since I had just pumped and had a "dry breast" Avery was able to root around. The nurse put a little of my breast milk on the nipple so she got to get a taste of the goods. She did a great job. She stayed awake the entire time and showed lots of interest. She still doesn't have the complete sucking concept down, but she was trying. It was an incredible bonding moment that goes far beyond words!
2) She hit the 3 pound mark tonight. Exactly 3 pounds. She has almost tripled her birth weight. And more than tripled her cuteness of course :) (see proof of said cuteness in pics below)
3) I registered at Babys R Us today today. I have felt weird about having a baby shower since Avery is already born, but my lovely friends have offered to throw me one so I figure I should probably register and let me tell you....that might be the hardest part of this whole pregnancy. There are just so many options and so many things that maybe we'll need. I basically ended up just roaming about the store and scanning things I thought looked good. We'll probably end up with a lot of stuff we don't need and need to get a lot of stuff I managed to leave off. :) Oh well. At the end of the day have Avery at home and healthy is all I really need/want so everything else is just icing on the cake. Although now that I think of it, diapers would be nice...
Snug as a bug

Pretty in pink polka dots

All smiles.

They only recommend letting your baby sleep like this when they are hooked up to oxygen and monitors