Friday, April 22, 2011

April moments & videos

A very happy first birthday wish to Timmy! Timmy's birthday was on Thursday. Lochlan and Mister Timmy are 2 weeks apart and share similar, yet different experiences with being born so very premature. God Bless our lil miracles Wendy!

I also want to send a prayer out to Jenn and her family who are missing their sweet angel who was born one year ago. Thinking of you and praying for peace.


Happy Easter everyone!

It has been a pretty busy April. Lochlan has been practicing his skills and is able to travel pretty good by pivoting and rolling. He is also now able to sit up on his own. Well let me rephrase that - he's able to sit if you put him in the seated position without being wobbly and falling over. Sometimes he'll fall, but it's rare these days. But we still put cushions around him just in case. But lately we've have to adjust them as he now likes to turn himself and then he's not protected much anymore. He can also go from a sitting position to on his tummy now. He's figured that out so now we just have to work on getting him to go from laying down to sitting up!
Here he is playing with the fridge magnet toys! The first time I put him down in front of the fridge he had the biggest smile!! Loves it!

He's also been practicing his crawling skills! Getting much closer to one day motoring like crazy! Perhaps he'll reach this milestone before his first birthday! We'll see! Hopefully not too soon as we need to get the baby gates set up! And they will be a bit tricky in our house since there are a few awkward spaces. Rob says he's on it!

Lately our morning routine consists of Abby reading Lochlan a story before his nap and then saying a prayer. So very cute! Here is one of those super sweet moments.

And I managed to capture one of the prayers halfway through. And for whatever reason that day she decided she'd bless Cole, Uncle Shane, and Auntie Noni!

Lochlan has been sleeping so much better these days too! (THANK YOU!!!) He's been averaging at least 8 hours straight...somethings getting up just once in the night. Most of the time it's not until after 4am...the odd time before then. I'm much happier these days. But I still need to get myself to bed earlier to enjoy it!!

He's finally over his colds. Whew! That wasn't much fun. He had back to back colds and it really sucked. I gave him a puff of ventolin before bed while he had it just to be sure and I had to suction his nose out constantly! So I'm happy to report we have moved past that!

It's been a good month overall and I'm looking forward to celebrating his very first birthday in less than 2 weeks. I plan to take him back to the NICU for a visit and am really hoping that our favourite nurses and doctors are there to see how great he is doing. We haven't been there for quite a few months. I think September or October actually. So it will be nice to see everyone.

Lochlan has an eye appointment coming up on May 3rd. Praying they don't have to knock him out to check out his eyes. Other than that there really aren't any appointments coming up in the near future. Well - except for his next checkup with Dr. Moore mid May. He'll be getting his first year shots! Ouch!

Loch still isn't a big fan of textured foods so it's been tough moving forward with the introduction of new foods. But he is eating fruits and veggies and beans and yogurt, and he's tried cottage cheese, and egg yolk but those last two he's just not ready for yet. Too thick! So we'll see. Time is what he needs. And he's pretty picky with the temperature too. Not too hot and not too cold! Even the yogurt needs to be warmed up! My lil diva!

Anyway, I must be off to finish cleaning up and to get ready to go to a family dinner.
Happy Easter everyone!


P.S. I'll try to post some latest pics soon too!

Oh and check out the sight that was in our backyard this past week!

Friday, April 8, 2011

One year ago...

One year ago today, I was lying in a hospital bed, scared like I'd never experienced before. Unfortunately it was a feeling that would stick with me for a very very long time.

I remember waking up that Thursday like any other day. I went with my class of School to Community kids to see "How to Train a Dragon." On the way back around lunch time I wasn't feeling well at all. I felt very sick to my stomach and just off. I ended up leaving work early and headed straight to bed. I wasn't home long before I started throwing up....and throwing up...and throwing up. Morning sickness had nothing on this. I was extremely ill. I could not stop being sick.

I called my midwife to ask about anything I should be aware of with concerns to the baby and she told me I could take Gravol and drink some Gatorade but not to worry.

I called Rob and asked him to bring me home some. So did not help! Rob wasn't home long before he was to leave for a meeting of some sort. I think it was soccer registration or something. And Abby was going to stay at my mom's for the night.

He was just about to leave before I said we needed to go to the hospital. I had started to bleed.

We called Jane (my midwife) back and she was going to meet us at the hospital. I was trying my best not to throw up on the way and trying not to completely freak out.

They give you these handouts about when to page your midwife or to go to the emergency room but you don't ever actually think that will be you!

We arrived and I was whisked to a room and put on a gown and you know, the majority of it is a blur. I know they put the travel ultrasound thing if you will (sorry doctors and nurses for making you cringe for the lingo) and there was still a heartbeat. I remember it being very dark but I didn't know any better.

We waited.

We waited some more. Another doctor came in and took a look again. Then he sat back, looked at us and said that there was no fluid around my baby. My membranes had ruptured and it was what they referred to as pProm. Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes. I never had the big gush of my water breaking. It had been a slow leak. I was 21 weeks and a few days into my pregnancy. Still half of my pregnancy to go through. This could not be happening! We were told that more than likely I would deliver within a few days, perhaps a week which is when most pProm mom's deliver. If that were the case there was nothing they could do. If we got to 24 weeks, the baby would be considered "viable" and they could intervene if it were to be born. I could also receive steroid shots to help develop the lungs. (Around the 24th week is when babies are developing their lungs and if they are born and the lungs weren't ready yet they could come out, go to take a breath, and then not be able to because they had nothing to breathe with.) So that was the magic week to pray for. To please get to at least the 24th week so I could get the steroid shots.

They started me on antibiotics right away because the risk of infection is very high. If I developed an infection, the baby would have to be delivered.

I remember them giving us all of the statistics: chances of making it to 24 weeks of viability, risks if the baby did survive and the long term complications...cerebral palsy, developmental delays, lung issues, ROP, blindness, deafness...the list goes on and on. Not to mention too that once the baby was born they would take into consideration the quality of life and make medical decisions based on that.

We were told we could terminate the pregnancy and that would be totally understandable and acceptable.

Obviously for us that wasn't an option. The thing that bugged us is that they kept bringing it up. I felt like, okay, we get it...we understand....let's move on. We made our decision, please don't bring it up again.

On a side note, taken from the internet: Preterm PROM before 24 weeks has the worst odds for a good outcome. The odds of survival for the baby are much lower...When doctors can delay the birth until at least 23 or 24 weeks, the baby can survive in some cases but with high odds of long-term developmental problems due to the premature birth.

...Thank you to so many people that prayed for our family and for those of you that don't pray, thank you for your positive thoughts and well wishes. I am so eternally grateful to you. I believe in the power of positive thoughts and prayers so much. We are witnesses to a miracle.

I remember logging on to facebook and asking for prayers and the many people that responded is overwhelming. So amazing! It's a very personal thing to put out there, but I'm glad I did. I needed all the support I could get.

Thank you to Inverary Church for the prayer quilt and to Amy's mom's church too for a prayer quilt. I put them over my belly the entire time I was in the hospital and at night too when I was sent home. Thank you to Auntie Janet (Godmother) for the St. Gerard necklace and the oil. I wore that necklace long after Lochlan was born. And the oil was used twice a day too.

Thank you to my parents and Rob's parents for all their love and support and helping out with Abby.

Thank you sisters (mine and Rob's) and best friend!!! Don't know how I could have managed without you.

I could go through a very very very very long list of thank yous. But I know I would still feel like I didn't thank everyone. But I do need to thank one more person before moving on with this memory.

Thank you to Rob, my incredible husband. You were so strong throughout this process and even though you had so much going on at school and in the community, you managed to keep it altogether. I love you.

Okay...back to it...
I met Dr. Smith the day after this crazy journey began. What a wonderful doctor. He was amazing and so caring ...and I can't say enough good things about the man. I know he was trying to remain positive for me but I think he was surprised by how much I wasn't ready to give up hope.

I know his intern or resident or whatever the doctor was that was working with him perhaps learned something from our case. She was the one that Danielle (my best friend) overheard saying "oh I'm so sorry for her loss" in the hallway. Never say never and never give up hope!

Anyway, this is very long. But it's more for me to relive and remember how far I've come personally and how so very far Lochlan has come. So bear with me.

After I was sent home, I was considered an outpatient. I had to go to the hospital about 3 times a week to get monitored and get blood taken. I wasn't able to go back to work and it was very sad for me. I was really enjoying my job. I was working with the School to Community kids at Bayridge Secondary School. Those kids are amazing. I really really loved my job. I was very disappointed that I couldn't even say goodbye to them.

While at home, I found a group on facebook for pProm mom's and found great support. When you google pProm, you wish you hadn't. It was nice to have a group of ladies that understood. I was very fortunate to strike up a friendship with one mom in particular, Wendy and have been able to follow along on her journey. Our sons were born only a few weeks apart - different gestational weeks but very similar experiences. Amazing woman she is and an amazing lil miracle she has with Timmy. It was then that I decided to start this blog, a way to get out my thoughts and a place friends and family could come to find out how I and the baby were doing.

Dr. Smith told me I didn't have to stay on bed rest. That there was no proof that staying in bed would help or hinder things and to carry on as normally as possible. Well, that's difficult to do when I did feel pretty normal but then I'd just get this gush of fluid and be reminded over and over again on a daily basis that everything wasn't normal. Needless to say, I tried to sit down or lay down as much as possible. Very hard when I was chasing after a not quite 2 year old. I couldn't even pick her up and that was extremely hard both for her and for me.

Okay, well...I will save the rest of the story/memories for when Lochlan's actual birthday comes. At least we all know the outcome is positive!

Thank you if you did read to the end. I know it's pretty long winded. But as I mentioned earlier it's mainly for me and Lochlan.

Lochlan, if you are reading this years down the road, I never gave up hope. I always knew in my heart that everything would be okay. Was I completely and utterly scared? Absolutely! Did I believe? You bet!

Thank you for fighting this fight. You are an inspiration. You are a true warrior.
I love you.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Hi- Five! 11 months old!

This video was taken Friday. April 1st! (No fooling!!)

Lochlan had a great week last week other than the fact he's been fighting a cold. Poor monkey. He's been pretty stuffed up. I've had to suction his nose out quite a bit. At first he fights it but after it's been cleared, he's like..."oh okay...that's much better, thanks!" and is all smiles and happy faces.

We saw Dr. Moore on Thursday. Loch decided that he would nurse a few times overnight and and first thing in the morning and then he wasn't interested for 7 hours!!!! So he was weighed on an empty tummy and was 11 pounds, 12 1/2 ounces. At least he gained 2 ounces in a week and didn't lose any!!! He seems to be back to wanting to eat again so that's good. Also means he must be on the mend! Although as I update this blog since I started a few days ago, he decided to have a nursing strike again for a about 5 hours again today. (Monday) Sheesh! Don't stress me out like that kid!!!

Dr. Moore said to increase his lactulose to help him poop. She said if it takes 40mls a day, then it takes 40mls! Right now I'm giving him 10-20mls and it's not really helping all that much. She said that once we stop fortifying everything and feeding him so much cereal that he shouldn't require any lactulose. Here's hoping!

**side note** I'm giving him 10mls in the morning, and 10mls in the evening both times mixed with his cereal and that seems to be doing the trick. I still need to put him on the potty to have a really great one which in itself is rather comical. He's hilarious to see sitting on the potty seat. He looks around and smiles and coos before he gets down to business. Funny seeing an 11 month old on the potty! I wouldn't do it if it was necessary. But hey --- maybe he'll be easier to potty train!! I wouldn't mind not having to go through what we are with Abby. (she pees on the potty but asks for a diaper/pullup to go #2 where she then crosses her legs. So not fun! We've tried many tactics to get her to uncross her legs or to sit on the potty and it's a very rare occasion when she'll actually try) I figure every day is one step closer to it actually happening for her. And I'm trying super hard not to stress about it. I just hate seeing her put herself through that. But she's had constipation issues and figured out it was easier in her mind to withhold. Anyway, enough about poop!!!

Back to Lochlan...

We can start giving him dairy - full fat yogurt (and Dr. Moore even recommended mini-go!!) and cottage cheese.

And I don't have to wait the 3 days to introduce a new food. She said he's pretty adjusted to solids so to "go nuts!"

This morning I gave him blueberries. It was a great success! Almost looks like he's wearing lipstick!

Then he had avocado mixed with sweet potatoes and this was the result! Believe it or not, he actually ate most of it even though it may not seem that way!

Dr. Moore said that he should be able to go for at least 6 hours overnight without nursing so to not feed him if he does wake up -- well try to get him back to sleep without resorting to nursing. Crossing my fingers this works! The past month or so he's been up about 3 times on average overnight to nurse. Yay me! She also said that he needs to not nurse so that he's tummy gets a break from digesting.

Suits me fine! I'm really looking forward to getting a full 6 hours of sleep at one point! Who am I kidding. I'm aiming for 8 hours!! Thursday night, he actually did sleep fully from 12:30-6:30...of course that was the night that Abby was up twice between those hours. Thanks Ab! Thankfully that's not a usual habit.

We can also leave him on his tummy if he happens to flip himself over in the night. She said that could help him sleep longer too! I was worried and would always flip him back over onto his back. Glad I asked.

Since I ran out of breastmilk that was stored up from when he was in the hospital, I had been making his cereal with formula. Dr. Moore actually adjusted the ratio so he's getting more calories. No wonder the kid is having poop issues! She did say (I know I'm back on that topic!) that once we stop having to fortify everything and push extra calories that everything should sort itself out!

Oh, I forgot to mention that when Loch was measured for length I was like, oh he lost 3/4 of an inch!! He was 24.5 inches long. Just goes to show you how inaccurate it really is. It's hard to get their heads to stay against the board and then keep their leg straight...yeah so that's too bad.

He's growing that's the important thing!

We will be heading back to get his final RSV shot this Wednesday. Perhaps he'll hit the 12 pound mark!!! And he will be back next month to get his 1 year shots!!! Whoah! So strange to think that he's going to be a year old in a month.

Anyway, must get to bed. Cheerio,

A few pics to enjoy!

He's trying to desperately to crawl! Darn face keeps getting in the way!