Thursday, December 24, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mr. Drooly

I love the look on his face!



Mr. Drooly had a doctor’s appointment last week and he weighed in at 13 pounds 8 ounces. I was thinking he was going to weigh closer to 15 pounds… he feels heavy to me. Anyway, Grey received his synagis shot and he really cried this time. I felt awful, especially since I am required to hold his hands since he is such a wiggle worm now. I prefer to play the rescuer role, which means I swoop in after the pain and rescue him from the bad nurse :)


Okay, there has to be a tooth brewing somewhere in Grey’s mouth. He is now known as Mr. Drooly and he rightfully earns that title. I check often but find nothing. I guess I’ll just keep looking. In the meantime, wear a raincoat when holding the precious one.

Apparently, I need this bib

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Seriously?

I don’t know if anyone watches the TV series “18 Kids and Counting” I know I have personally tuned in just to see a glimpse of this family’s chaotic yet extremely organized life. Anyway, I just read that baby Duggar “19” just came into this world very early on 12/10/09. Josie wasn’t expected until March. It is safe to say she was born around 25/26 weeks. She weighed 1 pound 6 ounces. I’ll pray for the health of Momma Duggar and little Josie. Obviously mom needs to be home & healthy to care for all the other little ones.

However, I must say that I was extremely annoyed with the article’s casual report of baby Josie.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34379874/ns/today-parenting_and_family

It was reported that baby was “resting” in the NICU and a family spokesman told People magazine that the infant was expected to be fine. Now, I realize I have personal insight to what this family is really going to experience. BUT, who dare reports that a 25 weeker is “fine and resting” The last thing baby Josie is doing is resting! She is battling for her life! Her little lungs are working harder than they will ever work. It is probably safe to say she isn’t breathing on her own. Reporting that any mircopreemie is “fine” is ridiculous and creates a great misperception of this baby’s true struggles. I guess it brings me back to a time when everyone was pretending that Grey would come home once he weighed 4 pounds or maybe it was 3 pounds that they were stating. Regardless, he wasn’t even breathing on his own! He was also being fed by an intravenous tube. However, many thought we would pack up our belongings and head home once the scale read a special number. I now understand why this happens… because 25 weekers are reported to be fine and resting.

Hopefully someone will accurately report this family’s fight. Maybe TLC can show the world what it is truly like to have a micropreemie. OR maybe they will continue on with the false perceptions of the world.

I guess I’ll step down off my soap box.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Checking In




I wanted to check in and let you all know I acknowledge that I have been lazy with my blogging lately. I started a new job and I’ve been battling a cold for over a week. My energy level is subpar to say the least.
Greyson is doing wonderfully. His personality is really starting to shine through. He’s fine with sassing when needed. Gigi isn’t allowed to leave the room during the day and he shouldn’t be ignored… he’ll let you know! I’ve been trying to confidently diagnose a fake cough. It just sounds so false. All the sudden Grey will let out an exaggerated cough and when you ask if he’s okay he’ll grin so big!! He’s starting to reach out for us, which melts my heart. Seriously, I have done some dental damage with the constant gritting of my teeth. I have to release the urge or I might squeeze him into mush. He is truly the light of mine and Matthew’s life. I don’t know what we would talk about if we didn’t have him. We went to dinner the other night and watched iphone videos of Grey during our date.



Here's a few family photos we recently had taken by shutterbelle photograpy :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Look Who's Sitting Up



Grey has been attempting to sit by himself for a few weeks now. Today I come home from work and he's sitting like he's been doing it for months!

video

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Surgery Update






Greyson is home and doing great! We left the children’s hospital around 9am this morning. Our night nurse swore that Grey was the best baby she ever cared for. He is such a trooper! I almost had a mini break down yesterday. We arrived 2 hours before surgery as instructed and the nurse was prepping Grey and asking all the questions. During these questions I mentioned putting a table spoon of cereal in his 5am bottle. Well, you would have thought that I said I fed him a turkey dinner with extra dessert! Cereal in the bottle is considered a solid food so the surgery had to be pushed back 2 hours. So the 2 hours quickly turned into 5 hours and here I am struggling to comfort a starving 8 month old. I felt horrible and Grey was being so good but definitely crying out a random moments and attempting to eat the bed linens. I was really blaming myself for this one; however it would have been nice if someone from peds surgery would have mentioned to me that cereal was not allowed. Now I totally understand the need for an empty stomach. This prevents vomiting that could cause a patient to choke to death or to aspirate stomach contents into the lungs and develop pneumonia. So I was fine with the extended wait but not the 5 hour extended wait! Poor Grey Grey.

Anyway- another lesson learned. As a mother, I learn something new everyday. Today- another lesson in gratitude. Thankful again that Grey continues to amaze us.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Long weekend

Cousin Taylor giving Grey a ride in her shopping cart





Well, we had a busy extended weekend. Matthew and I decided to venture out and battled the crowds on black Friday. It wasn’t as bad as I expected but then again we left our house around 9am and I’m thinking the pandemonium begins around 4am. Greyson got to spend time with grandma and grandpa Stokes during our shopping experience. He showed off his jumping skills in the jumperoo! He literally jumps nonstop for 30 minutes without a fuss.

Tomorrow will be a long day. Greyson has surgery scheduled at 11am. I am already fretting and thinking over the “what ifs”. I’m most concerned with the wait. Greyson can not have breast milk after 6am and I am so worried about him being hungry. From our experience in the NICU, the pediatric surgery department definitely works on their own schedule, which is understandable due to unexpected emergencies. I plan to stay the night with Grey but this depends on the type of room arrangements we are offered. However, I’m sure either way they can squeeze in some room for mom. I’ll crawl up into the hospital crib if needed :) Please pray that everything goes smoothly.

On a sad note, a couple that I went to school with lost their baby this week. Baby Luke was born at 24 weeks and fought to live a few days. I am so happy that mom and dad had the opportunity to spend some time with their precious son- what a fighter! Please pray for the Atkins family, peace and comfort is needed. My heart has been so heavy for this family.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Howdy

video

So we've been running around the house with Grey, our new cowboy! My Aunt Ellen and Grandma are visiting from IN so I was sure to introduce them to the cowboy this morning. I knew the hat would bring a few laughs but we actually ended up in tears. Honestly, we have these moments often. These are truly tears of happiness. How did we manage to get here? I cry not because what I fear might happen but I cry for the triumph of trusting again. I trust in myself that Greyson is going to be healthy. You know there were many times during our NICU stay when I thought the grief was going to suck the life out of me. At times the grief was so intense. You know, grief is mostly associated with loss, however, what I felt was definitely grief. Something so precious had been taken too soon. I read once that you should plan ahead for grief triggers. Well, I dropped off a gift to one of our very special nurses the other day and she was working in the Stahlman NICU. This is the NICU that Greyson was first taken to for several weeks after birth. I walked back through those doors and the memories were fresh. Smell has such a strong power to vividly bring back memories and I remembered the smell most. The NICU world still exist. I think that was the most disturbing. Monitors were chiming and nurses were busy buzzing around isolettes. Our nurse was anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new admission and chatted while aggressively watching the doors for their new baby. It felt good to see our nurse again but sadness had settled. Babies will continue to be born too soon. The tiniest are fighting right now to survive. I've been thinking a lot lately about our journey. November is prematurity awareness month like I mentioned in one of my latest post. We won't ever forgot our experience. However, I don't want to ever forget that more than a million preemies will die each year.

Jump jump

video

And the baby jumps!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Yum Yum!





Greyson is eating baby food! So far he has eaten bananas, peaches, sweet potatoes and green beans. He is a wonderful eater and appears to enjoy every bite. I am making all his baby food fresh right now with my baby cook. Tonight we pureed fresh bananas and I stopped to give him a couple bites, which he loved.

By the way, we went to the doctor on Monday and Grey weighs 13 pounds 5 ounces. He received his first H1N1 vaccine and has truly been a trooper- no fever or fussiness.

Oh and November is Prematurity Awareness Month so you all will probably be hearing more from me on this topic :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Little Biscuit

Today


2 months ago



Little Biscuit.

For some reason I have been calling Grey little biscuit all weekend. Maybe it’s because he too is warm and delicious.

I definitely noticed this morning that Greyson no longer fits in his NICU bath bucket. I haven’t used this tub in about 2 month and I was shocked to see his little limbs hanging over the sides. He is getting big. I say this like 100 times a week and then follow it with a long whiny sigh.

We’ve scheduled surgery to correct his inguinal hernia for the 30th of this month. I’ve been putting this off for some time now. I have such strong emotions surrounding this surgery. I do not want my baby staying another night in the hospital. I started to cry the other day on the phone when talking to the nurse. She tells me that he can’t have breast milk after 6am and I start crying. I wonder if that is the usual response from a parent.

Friday, October 30, 2009

7 months!



Greyson is 7 months old today… yikes! 7 months sounds big boy to me. We just got home from the doctor and Grey weighed in at 12 pounds 11 ounces. He received his synagis shot today to protect him from RSV. It seems like every appointment requires shots now. I’m pretty sure these shots hurt me more than Grey.

Okay- so I’ve collected my data from our preemie follow up appointment. Grey was given a development assessment and here are the scores.

6 months (3 months corrected)

Cognitive: 94 Chronological Age; 115 Corrected Age
Physical (motor skills): 82 Chronological Age; 104 Corrected Age
Communication: 91 Chronological Age; 106 Corrected Age

So what does all this mean? Greyson is doing just fine. Cognitive skills are equivalent to a 6 month old, Physical motor skills are equivalent to a 3 ½ month old, Communication is equivalent to a 4 month old. So right now we are on track. However, we certainly have a high risk for developmental delays secondary to prematurity in our future.

This is me desperately trying to make Grey happy after his shots. It takes me a moment to get the camera situated :)

video

Monday, October 19, 2009

It's Cold Outside





It’s cold outside and someone is grumpy! Matthew and I bundled Grey up on Saturday afternoon; he didn’t particularly love his new hat and scarf.

We are really hoping that TN didn't skip fall completely! One day the weather is beatuiful and the next day it is freezing.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

H1N1





Greyson attended his second festival this weekend! Matthew and I took him to the Belle Meade Fall Fest. We bought a beautiful frame for one of Greyson’s pictures. The weather was a little chilly so Grey stayed bundled up inside his stroller. We did take him out so he could see a llama… just like llama llama red pajama.

So I’ve really been debating the H1N1 vaccine this week. I am desperately trying to weigh the odds on this one. Is it riskier to receive the vaccine or not receive the vaccine? Our pediatrician recommended Grey get the vaccine. However, I’ve recently read many concerning articles related to this new vaccine.

Please comment your thoughts about the vaccine.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Country Ham



video

We made it out to the country ham festival today in Spring Hill. It was interesting. Matthew ate a fried Monte Cristo sandwich! Afterwards he mentioned eating salads for weeks to recover from the calorie overload. The weather was gorgeous! It was so nice to have Grey out in the open air. He really seemed to enjoy the sunshine.

I was extremely busy at work this week which caused a delay in reporting some good news. Grey had his neonatal follow-up appointment this week. This is a clinic at Vanderbilt that has been specializing in the development of preemies and extremely sick infants at birth. The nurse explained to me that the clinic has been open for 50 years and all visits are cost free to parents/insurance. They even reimburse for travel expenses. I’m excited that Greyson will contribute to their research. He will continue to see these specialists until 3 years of age.

Overall, they were pleased with Greyson’s development so far. He scored above average in all areas for his adjusted age (2 months 11 days). It appeared that they were evaluating basic skills such as talking, thinking and moving. We discussed all the scores for his actual age but somehow I did not leave the clinic with that paperwork. I am going to call this coming week and verify the information that I remember. However, I can tell you he did well. I’ll post that information later as well. I always try to remember to post specifics b/c I enjoy reading this kind of information on the blogs of other preemies.

I’ve included a short video clip. This was my attempt to get him to smile at Gigi this morning before we left for the festival. It is very difficult to capture his smiles and coos on video.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Working for the Weekend



So it’s a rainy weekend but I have no complaints about staying inside all day with Grey!
Greyson has developed a running nose these last two days and is sneezing often- so now I am on guard. Our pediatrician doesn’t think it is a big deal and he hasn’t had a fever or any other serious symptoms. However, he despises the little suction bulb and really screams! So we will all be keeping a close eye on Grey Grey.

I’m sitting here eating lucky charms and watching him sleep. Do all babies look this peaceful? You know I prayed and begged for Greyson to grow and get bigger and now I am whispering to him to slow down- don’t look so big each night when I get home from work. Stay little and so sweet. Grey isn’t even 6 months and I am already mourning the loss of time.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mr. Lovey



Well, I've made it through my first work week. Monday I was very proud of myself but Tuesday I definitely carried a little sadness in my heart. I’ve had to shake off a little bitterness as well.

Yesterday I learned that one of the babies in the NICU the same time as Grey has passed away. I was sent into a whirlwind of emotion. My heart is really aching for this particular mother. Her baby girl was in the NICU for a year and passed away on her one year birth date. The last I heard, mother and baby were scheduled to go home. I was up all last night fretting. My mind was racing with all the “what ifs” and I literally checked on Grey every hour. I wanted to pull him out of the crib and cry. Each day the memory of the NICU fads a little but when I learn about a preemie death the painful memories and emotions are back screaming in my face. Life in the NICU is so unfair and cruel.

I am so grateful for my lovey boo. I just wish I could protect all the preemies in the world.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Boys



Matthew, Greyson and Uncle Peter.

We’ve had the pleasure of having Uncle Pete around for a few weeks. Pete has been helping Matthew and me with a remodeling job on our rental property. I’ve been chasing Pete around the house demanding he hold Grey. He has adjusted very well to having a baby around and even fed him a bottle the other day.

On a sad note, I return to work tomorrow. I’ve been denying this day’s arrival for some time now. I miss my co-workers but leaving Grey is going to be heart wrenching. I spend the majority of my day kissing, holding and cuddling Grey. My need to protect Greyson is overpowering to say the least- I am the momma bear! However, I am handing him over to Gigi, who is next in line behind Matthew and me in the love department. She adores Greyson and he will receive wonderful care. I just wish I was the one loving him all day. It’s painful to be away from him for even an hour.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Mini Trip

Grey's suitcase bed- we forgot the pack-n-play



Kara- thank you for the photo idea



Mr. Greyson had his first vacation! We drove to Indiana for the long weekend to stay with my aunt and uncle on the lake. I have to say he did wonderfully in the car! Seriously, he didn’t cry once. I can’t say this enough… Grey is such a good baby. Lately, I’ve been thinking that he’s forgotten how to cry.

He enjoyed the boat ride and ALL the attention! I’m pretty sure he was held the entire stay. My Aunt was astounded by his growth. She flew down twice to visit Grey in the hospital and the last time she saw him he weighed about 3 pounds.

Our newest thing is sucking. Suck everything. Grey loves to suck his fingers, arms and blankets. Oh and we are also drooling- some days more than others. And, little man has enough strength to stand on his legs- so strong!

We will visit the preemie clinic this month to check Grey’s development. I am eager to see where we are. We are very fortunate to have all these wonderful resources.

By the way- my newest fear his H1N1 (swine flu). We took Greyson to his surgery consult the other day and saw lots of masked faces. When I realized these covered faces were do to swine flu I panicked. Gigi and I enclosed Grey in the stroller and got out of the hospital. I asked my pediatrician if the surgical masks were necessary and she said “no.” Good thing because I’d probably make Grey wear one 24/7. We just have to make it through this winter without getting sick.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mr. Cute Cute



I have to admit, we actually run around saying “Mr. Coote Coote!”

Gosh, I cannot even tell you all what a joy Greyson is to us. I love everything about him… every detail! I especially love that he lets me dress him up in silly hats and still maintains his pleasant disposition. I read a quote recently that said “a baby fills a void in your heart that you didn’t know what empty” Wow, isn’t that the truth!! Sometimes I fill like I may burst into a million love bits because my admiration for Grey is so overwhelming.

Just another day that I am seized with gratitude.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Laughs



Well, we’ve rounded the 5 month mark! Gigi and I just took Grey to the doctor last Friday and he weighed 10 pounds 7 ounces- with clothes and diaper on. I asked our pediatrician if I should still be fortifying my breast milk and she advised that I continue.
I simply want to be cautious and not wake-up one day and realize my baby is obese!

We also visited the surgeon on Friday and it’s official that Greyson will need another hernia repair surgery. Matthew and I are thinking that we will schedule the surgery sometime in October. This surgery will require an over night stay in the hospital but hopefully it will only be one night. I’m not too worried about the surgical repair part but having Grey undergo anesthesia again gets my “crazy thoughts” spinning. I love to obsess about all the “what-ifs.” During my stay in the hospital, I felt anesthesia always presented the worst case scenarios.

Anyway, on a happier note, Greyson is really starting to smile and laugh at us! His cuteness is really taking a toll on my teeth. I just know I am going to look in the mirror one day soon and notice that I have gritted all my teeth down to tiny bits. He is just so cute! And truly he is a wonderful baby and never fussy.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Roll


video

First, I'd like to thank everyone for the comments and emails about baby scooting :) It is obvious that Grey is not the only scooter around and it makes me feel much better.

Grey started rolling over on Monday- very exciting. I was able to capture a roll with my iphone yesterday. What a big boy! I also just noticed this week that he is growing out of all his newborn outfits. I guess I need to start getting out all the 0-3 months gear. I think he is going to continue growing like a weed! One of my co-workers called and asked if we were feeding him miracle grow! Sure feels like it.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Yikes


So my new concern is Grey’s crib scooting! Matthew and I only put Greyson in his crib once he has fallen asleep. However, that sleep is immediately stirred once he hits the sheet! He now starts his scooting routine. This scooting has the same result- his sweet little face planted in the bumper in the corner of his crib! The first time Matthew and I witnessed this we really laughed it up. Now it is no longer funny and I’m finding it rather concerning. We literally repositioned him 5 times last night and I finally gave up and put him in bed with us. While in bed, he found my armpit and nuzzled his face there! What the heck is going on?!? Even with the angel monitor working, I am not comfortable with his face squished into any fabric. I asked my siblings today about my niece and nephew (both 9mos) and they have pretty normal sleeping habits. I won’t mention that Tay hasn’t seen her crib :) Anyway, I have no idea if this scooting is normal and by normal I mean common among babies. I have to get some footage of this scooting- it is pretty entertaining watching Grey do the worm.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Photo Shoot Please






So I greeted Matthew today and demanded a photo shoot! He takes the best pictures of Grey. I know he is so tired of me saying “please get out the camera!” I am constantly worrying that we don’t have enough pictures of Grey and I feel like he is growing so fast. He is really starting to wiggle and move around now. I have no idea when he’ll be able to sit up or roll over but he sure scoots that little body up and down and around. I am also still waiting for a genuine smile. He randomly smiles but I’m ready for him to smile at mommy!

Anyway- here are a few of my favorite shots.

Grey's Shower


faith, stephanie, amber, mehgann, me, amy, tricia, stef, christina, selina, jarrett


camilla with her elephant purse





So I decided that it would be nice to post a few shower photos. I wanted to include the picture of my beautiful girlfriends. I was so excited to see them! Life has been so hectic that I just now had the opportunity to view these photos last night. My mother and sister threw this wonderful shower for me. And our designer, Robin, came up with the elephant theme and created the adorable elephant decor and invitations.

Greyson is doing great. He is eating like a machine! I am eager for a weight check soon. He slept in his crib last night for the first time! I usually put him in bed with Matthew and I around 3 or 4 am every morning. He is such a big boy.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Sunday Stroll





Just an update…

Greyson is doing well. We went on our Sunday stroll this evening. Matthew and I like to take Greyson on a stroller ride, usually on Sunday evenings, when the heat has died down a bit. I enjoy these simple outings. I rarely leave the house with Grey but I do think some fresh air is important. Besides check-up appointments, Grey and I are homebound. We’ve only been home for a month and it’s hard to make arrangements each time you need to leave the house. We are very thankful to have a wonderful Gigi and Poppi to help out!

Greyson has an appointment on the 28th and we will learn if he needs another hernia repair surgery. 3 days before leaving the NICU, Greyson had an inguinal hernia repair on his left side. Well, at our first check-up appointment, our pediatrician expressed immediately concern that the right side also needed repair. Needless to say, I am terribly disappointed that both were not corrected with the same surgery. I want Greyson to be as comfortable as possible but I also want to protect him from any pain and surgery is painful so I’m not looking forward to this appointment.

Even without a recent weigh-in, I can assure everyone Grey is growing right along. He loves his bottle! I am still feeding him on demand, which honestly might produced a little piglet but I’ll stop when the pediatrician states concern. I’m guessing he weighs close to 9 pounds.