Friday, March 30, 2012

happy 1/2 year.

Whoa! Where did the last 6 months go? Seriously! It seems so weird to say that I have a 6 month old baby. We forgot to do her 5 month pop can pictures but remembered to get her 6 month ones taken today. I'm so glad the nurse in the NICU suggested doing this because honestly it is so amazing to see how much she has changed.
Avery had therapy today and while she is doing SUPER awesome in some areas we are still struggling in others.  Since she is now 3 months adjusted age she should be able to hold her head up. So far she isn't able to do this. We have been working on exercises to help her develop the muscles to do it and will just keep working. She also doesn't show many signs of looking like she wants to roll over, so we have to work on that as well. Other than that, she pretty much a super genius baby. :)
We also had a follow up appointment on Wednesday with the Pediatric Surgeon.It was a long wait for a quick visit for him to tell us he is not going to operate. Woohoo! He said we don't even need to continue following it at this point. So another thing we can check off our list.
Next week Avery has her 6 month check up at the pediatrician's office which means shots. :( She has had so many shots at this point she handles them well for the most part but still it isn't much fun or anything.
Ok I'm off to pick out tshirt colors for our March for Babies team shirts! My sister designed a fantastic logo, so now we just need the perfect shirt to put it on.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

two small feet, making giant footprints.

Today's Taking it Back Tuesday serves two purposes. A little flashback in time and a reminder of things to come.
These are Avery's very first footprints taken just after she was born:

They may look small but compared to her skinny little legs, I remember thinking her feet were giant. Well I am in the process of working on a special project and needed her updated footprints:

They really are giant now; well comparatively speaking of course. 
So why the need for the footprints. Well the March for Babies is a month away and with the help of my sister we are making a Team Avery shirt for everyone who walks with our team.  And I think her feet are truly a representation of just how big her strides have been. She is a micropreemie baby making footprints bigger than her size truly represents.  I know I will be SO proud to walk with her supporting such an important cause and am so excited that our team already has 10 members (not including the kiddos) and as a team we've raised over $800 already! Which is fantastic, but we still have time. 
Many of you may not know that Avery is not the only preemie in my life. My husband was born 10 weeks early and weighed in just over 2 lbs. That was 31 years ago. Without organizations like March of Dimes and the wonderful things they do, it is possible that I would never have the 2 most important people in my life. I am so blessed that I do. They are both strong, tough, super adorable individuals. :) 
If you have even a spare dollar or two we would so appreciate your support of our team.  People have been SO generous so far and I would love to just kill it with the donations our very first year. Set the bar really high. Or better yet sign up to join us. Don't forget I am getting everyone who signs up a team shirt. Who couldn't use another tshirt. The walk is April 28th and is about 3 miles.  
You can go to my page to donate or join our team. If you are going to walk register soon so I know how many tshirts to get!
If you have already made a donation and are reading this-THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for your generosity.  

Friday, March 23, 2012

the results are in.

We got the results of Avery's MRI today and it is a mostly good news kind of situation. It turns out that the sacral dimple is NOT attached to any part of the spinal column or cord! WootWoot!
Unfortunately it is connected to the the coaxial bone. Although there is usually no complications associated with this, there is a chance of infection. So we are meeting with the Pediatric Surgeon next week to discuss whether or not they think it is necessary to remove it.
So I guess we can breath a sign of relief knowing it isn't tethered with her spinal cord and hopefully by next week we'll have more answers on how we'll move forward from here.
Oooh, that's good news.

Monday, March 19, 2012

double digits

Well she made it. Today at Avery's MRI they weighed her and she weighed in at 10 lbs. 1 oz. (with her onesie on, but I still think she'd be at least 10 lbs even w/out it). The last time she weighed double digits she was 14 ounces. To say she has come a long way is an understatement. She continues to amaze everyone she meets.
Not only is she 10 lbs, but she is 10 solid pounds of super trooper. Avery had her spinal MRI today and since they had to put her under general anesthesia to keep her still long enough, we had to stop her feeds 4 hours before her check in at 11:30. That meant I had to wake her up at 5:30 to eat-she reluctantly chowed down 2 ounces. Then I woke her again at 7:30 for a last meal and she dream ate 1 ounce. So by the time we got to the hospital at 11:30 she was ready and raring to eat. :( They were quick to check her in and get her IV started but once we got back to the radiology holding area and were consulting with the doctor the nurse informed us her MRI bed needed to be used by someone else. And that ended up being a 2 hour delay. I expressed my concern for her going that long on only 3 ounces of food for the day, so the doctor ordered a glucose drip. I was a wreck by the time they actually came to get her. HOW could they keep making my baby wait. My baby who hasn't eaten ALL day! And she still had an hour scan to go through and recovery before they'd let her eat again. Avery however, took it all with a grain of salt. She was smiley and funny. She tried eating her IV hand several times. And even when she was still out of it in recovery she had a big smile on her face. Her attitude made me think that she will always be one of the those people that sees the good in everything and approaches each day with a smile on her face. We all know one of those people. I could use a little of one of those people in my life sometimes, so how lucky am I that it may be my daughter. I have a feeling that if I have only begun to learn a lot from her and have a long ways to go.
This is the smile she started her day out with. 
Dancing (p.s. maybe they should make smaller gowns?)
Is this thing edible?
And this picture is just because she has been working SOOOOO hard on figuring out how to suck her thumb that this was a huge accomplishment. She was very proud of herself!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

reverse nesting

Maybe you were expecting a St. Paddy's day post. I wish, but Avery puked on her cute outfit before I even got a chance to see her in it. So no pictures :( Maybe next year.
So since I never really had a chance to officially "nest" I think I'm making up for it now as I prepare to return to work. Suddenly I've realized the long list of things I wanted to get done didn't even have a dent in it because I've spent all my time with Avery. Oh well, silly list can wait. Until the past week. I decided I best get going on some things. So far I have gone through years of old papers, purged a ton of junk and set up my very own girl space-a craft room! With cable tv! Seriously?! Does it get any more awesome than that. Well yes it does because Avery is totally content hanging out with me down there.
And today I finally got my hair done. Finally as in I haven't had it done for 13 months. I was sorting starting to rock a natural version on an ombre look on my head.
So 2 things on my list is a start. My mom is coming this week so I need to finish a few other things that are currently taking up occupancy in our guestroom. And then next Wednesday I go back to work (insert sad music here). Avery is sad about it too. So we just don't talk about it.
But before that happens we have a busy early start to our week. Lots of prayers for Avery as she has to be sedated for her MRI on Monday. I can hardly even talk about it. I was in tears the last time it happened and expect no less this time. And the fact she can't eat for 4 hours before check in and won't eat again until she is cleared in recovery. Poor girl. She loves to eat. It is going to be a long Monday at the hospital, but hopefully the MRI will rule out any complications with her spine!
Ok, back to our O'Eller family St. Patrick's Day celebration. When you have a baby and no babysitter, you improvise. And since Bill and I met on St. Paddy's day a celebration of some sorts is a must. (Last year we were honeymooning in Hawaii--that didn't suck at all). This year we ate pizza and drank green beer @ home--not so bad either :)
I love my new Kickin' Coaster chair, but I'm a little short to use it yet. 

Mad dogging. She wanted out of her car seat and was letting me know it. NOW. 

Apparently when you have girls you don't have a lot of green options. This was outfit number 3 of 4 on St. Paddy's Day. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

that moment

Today we are taking it back to day one. The picture below was the first time I met Avery after she was born. It was probably 3 hours or so after she was born and after I was let out of recovery.  It was nothing like I imagined the first time seeing my baby would be. I wish I could say I fully remember what I was thinking and feeling at that moment. I have a smile on my face but somehow I don't think that fits how I was really feeling-complete fear.  But at the same I was so relieved that she was alive and here. I can't believe this day was nearly 5.5 months ago!

Monday, March 12, 2012

what have we been up to?

Well lets see. Last week we had a few nice days so we took advantage and went on a stroll to one of my favorite stores The Trellis.  While we were there I found these super cute Baby Legs in size 0-3 months. Avery has several pairs of Baby Legs that I was beginning to think that she would NEVER fit in, so when we saw these we decided she must have them.
So cute, right?

Last week Avery had the week off from any doctor's appointments, but she did tag along with me on mine. Turns out I've had a sinus infection for the last YEAR. Yep, year. I thought I was just allergic to being pregnant and then after I wasn't pregnant anymore I just didn't make time for me to go and get things checked out. I'm on an aggressive combination of medications to hopefully get rid of it and then maybe I can smell again and not sneeze a million times a day. Did you know the only thing worse that sneezing right after putting on mascara is sneezing while you're curling your eyelashes. 

This week is another busy week of appointments for Avery. Today she had her 2nd to last Synagis shot (to help prevent RSV). They weighed her and she is up to 9lbs 14 oz. Over the short period of her life she has put on a total of 9 lbs exactly. Tomorrow she gets pokes again to get blood drawn to test her alch phos levels to make sure she can definitely stay OFF the sodium and calcium (let's hope, it has been so nice not torturing her w/ that) and on Friday she has OT.  We've been working on head control and while I'd like to say it is getting better it doesn't appear so. Hopefully her therapist will have more suggestions on Friday. 

Recently Avery has realized she has a tongue and spends a lot of time sticking it out. If I stick mine out she sticks her back out too and thinks it is SO funny. So we spend a lot of time entertaining each other doing that. (Remember we are more or less quarantine most of the time, so we do what we can for a giggle). 

Oh my gosh my tongue is funny!
We also found out that all the milk I had been freezing over the past 5.5 months does not agree with Avery's tummy. Usually in a deep freezer it is good for up to a year but it appears as though we aren't so lucky.  There are a few things I can try to see if we can still use it but it is hard to keep trying because it upsets her so bad. But on the flip side it is also hard to think about throwing out months worth of milk.

Frozen milk makes me sad
Daddy thinks this face is funny so he takes pictures of me. 
Not so funny anymore. 
Other that that Avery and I are spending lots of quality time. Today marks the first day of my last full week off of work. I go back for our Staff Training next Wednesday and Thursday. That's all I am going to say about that now because it makes me too sad to think about. :( Until then we'll just keep hanging out. 
Out on a walk. 
Play hard, nap hard. 
Trying on my cousin Lia's giant and very pink tutu my mommy made. 
I'm a happy baby. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

so cute

Not much to say but a super cute picture to share. Avery had a bath tonight and I usually try and put a hat on her until her hair dries since there is still a chill in the air. Well her head has outgrown all the hats we have to we've had to move up to the bigger knit ones. And this is what happens:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

then to now

So for today's edition of 'Taking it Back Tuesday' we are going to do a little then to now comparison. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.  
Micro-preemie to preemie to newborn to size 1

Special preemie outfit to preemie to newborn to 0-3 mths. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

all because two people fell in love

There is one hour left of Bill and my first wedding anniversary. I can't believe that one year (+1 extra day) ago we exchanged vows and celebrated the day with our family and friends. I loved that day. Not just because I loved my dress, loved the ladies standing up with me, loved having all my favorite people together in one spot. I loved that day because when it was all said and done I was married to my perfect partner.
It is hard to believe all we have been through in the last year. But we made it, together, side by side. I'm pretty sure if we found it in us to overcome all the stress we went through this past year, that we will be able to face anything that comes our way.
In just a few days it will be one year since we honeymooned in Hawaii and it was the LONG trip home, in the airport in Denver that we made the decision that we wouldn't try not to get pregnant (thinking it would take awhile). Well the rest is history and here we are today, one year under our belt and many more years to come.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


I'm not exactly a musical person. I mean I took piano lessons growing up. And played the trombone until I went to high school. But other than that music doesn't play a huge role in my life like it does for some people.  But one thing that I do love about music is its ability to throw you back in time. I hear songs that remind me of riding around with my girlfriends in high school. Songs that remind me of hanging out at Downtown Disney during my internship @ Walt Disney World. Songs that remind me of sitting in my room in college with my roommates, doing anything but studying.
And now I have a song that will always remind me of Avery and her time in the NICU. I first heard this song towards the middle-end of Avery's stay and right after the 1st time hearing it I looked it up on you tube because I felt like the song couldn't have been more appropriate for the situation we were in. Even though there were times it felt like we were moving backwards in time, I always reminded myself that really we were 'one step closer.'  I heard the song today on the radio and by the end of it I was in tears. I think this song will always have that effect on me.
Through all the good and the bad I am glad there is a song that will take me back to those days because those days will always be a part of my life just as high school, college, etc. And that is what I love about music.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

are you a medical professional?

Oh boy. What a busy, busy day of appointments. Well really we only had 2 but they were pretty much back to back with just enough time for a quick stop at home for a feeding. And then the 2nd appointment lasted far longer than I imagined it would.
We started our morning off at a weight check with the pedicitrician's office.  I was nervous because even though I think it looks like she is growing with Avery's puking and recent decision to forgo a nighttime feeding for sleeping through the night, I was worried she wouldn't have gained "enough." Well she weighed in at a whooping 9lbs 7 ounces! And for the first time since she was born she is on the growth chart for her adjusted age. Before she always fell below the 5th percentile and today when I calculated it she is in the 5-10%. She is no where near being on the charts for her actual age, but they have told us it could take up to 3 years for her to catch up.  And this means I won't have to wake her up to take an extra feed at night--bonus for both of us.
After her weight check Avery had an appointment with a pediatric nephrologist for her kidney stones.  He asked a TON of questions and about 10 questions in he asks me "are you a medical professional? A doctor, nurse or something?" Before I could answer his nurse informed him that "no, she's just a mommy who had a baby in the NICU for a long time."  I have become very knowledgeable in all things preemie not because I have to but because I want to make sure I know what is going on as much as possible. 
So back to the nephrologist, his plan is to monitor the stones to make sure they don't grow and become a reoccuring thing. He said often times doctors treat the stones and not the baby, and it should be the other way around. That being said treating the baby means labs, analysis, and ultrasound follow ups. So we are currently in the process of doing a urine sample collection. We, as in, me. And Avery. Have you ever tried to collect urine from an infant? It is about as easy as it sounds.  They have these bag things that you put in her diaper but our first attempt just leaked out and that was the one the nurse installed. This could be interesting.
She also had to give a blood sample.  After being pricked and proded in both arms they finally just did a heel prick to get the blood sample. Turns out when Avery is stuck with a needle she cries, and when she cries her veins shrink and blood flow decreases. Add on top of this scar tissue from previous IV lines, trying to get blood out of her tiny veins is virtually impossible. It is so hard to watch.
So now we are home and both just woke up from a nap, ate dinner and are settling in to watch the American Idol results show.  This is the life...

Life is good.