Monday, May 30, 2011

Big Boy Bed

Happy Memorial Day!

Thank you to all of our brave soldiers who have fought for our country and have given us the freedoms we take for granted!

Caleb spent the first night in his own room in his crib last night. He did great and slept until about 5:30am then woke up for a paci fix and slept for another hour. Just wanted to share the happy news with all of you!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sleep Study


This week has been busy with my mom visiting and us preparing for Caleb's sleep study. He has not had any apnea since he's been home, but the sleep study was recommended by his Pulmonologist to have some documentation in his file that he has not had any problems while he was sleeping. We made our way to the hospital, one that wasn't as clean as I would expect, but there wasn't anything that we could do about that. I just prayed that God would protect Caleb fom all the unseen germs that are lurking in those places. We fed Caleb and got him ready for bed and then all the fun started. The Tech lathered... and I mean lathered Caleb 's head with his Vaseline like goo and then put probes all over it. The did the same with his legs and then put two bands around his mid section. They finally finished preparing him for sleep by inserting prongs up his nose to measure his breathing. They put all these probes on him to measure his sleeping patterns which include his heart rate, oxygen saturations, deepness of sleep patterns and a few other things. The read out looks like a polygraph test and was just as colorful to look at. The tech said that Caleb did well and everything fine, but the doctor will analyze the patterns and get back to us and then hopefully discontinue us using his monitor.
The monitor itself was given to us just as a precaution because Caleb had some later episodes of apnea while in the hospital. The apnea is a common in preemies and newborns, and is given when having a micro preemie. It just took Caleb a little longer than thought. We wanted to show you a few pictures of our little cable guy last night. Caleb has gotten so big that we are so very excited as we approach the summertime and hopefully will be able to spend more time with family and friends. He's is now around 14 pounds or so and is already in 6 moth almost 9 month clothing. He has been doing well with therapy and we are hoping that we will get the GI's okay to start with some solids next week. Until then ...thanks for reading and following our blog.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sunday Thought

I'm sorry I have not been a very good blogger, but My mom has come in to town and so we have been getting acquainted with our little miracle. There has been so many moments when the reality if what our family has gone through the last year and yesterday at church was one of them. Our pastor said the God uses those people who have been "hit" the hardest.... Through our great trial I do hope that God will use us to help others. We recently found out about a family who was going throughout a very difficult and devastating time. They not only found out about a an unknown cancer taking over a young mother's body, but struggled through decision on how to help keep the 22 week old baby inside of her safe. As our family was praying for them over and over we later found out that God chose to bring the baby home after a couple of days here. Again my heart hurt for them on an unrealistic level. There are so many people that I have come to find out that have experienced pre-term labor and there seems to be so much guilt connected to it. I know what that feels like as I had to felt that for a brief moment. But.... as I remembered yesterday that God is more amazing and faithful than I will ever think and he loves His children.

As I mentioned before Caleb has ROP and as I watch him overcome so many obstacles that the docs ad said we would encounter I can;t help but KNOW it's because of God's favor on him. He has been in physical therapy for 2 weeks and is doing so great. Just the other day he was holding himself up more that I have ever seen him do on his belly, so of course i take a picture. I was so excited..but I missed it. I tok his picture and sent it to his g-ma and while i was typing in her name that is when it happened. I looked back at him and there he was smiling at me on his back . He ROLLED OVER! He has since then not chose to do it again, but he has been close. He is also so close to sitting alone. I can't wait for more of those moments.

If you would like to listen to the message I heard at church yesterday, Please go here

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Seeing More Clearly

The other day I forgot to mention that Caleb had another eye exam and the doctor really said something that encouraged us. She said "It looks like they are better!" Woo hoo... that was so exciting for us to hear. We will probably need a few more visits, but we knew that from the beginning. Caleb's eye sight is great we see him observing and taking in the world each moment of each day. We have been praying for his hearing to improve, which it has. He will go and see the ear doctor again in June and hopefully the suspected fluid that was in his ear will be gone. Caleb has also been having physical therapy twice a week to be sure that he meets his developmental milestones. The therapist is fabulous and so sweet. She has been teaching us to work on some things with Caleb and I can already see an improvement. I am so thankful that our little guys is making such improvements with God's hand upon him.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Then and Now

A few pictures to show how far he has come...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Our Birth Story...The Final Part

October 4th...Day 4

The night was not good. The sleeping pill was not very effective and even through I tried getting through the contractions alone sometimes I just couldn't. They seemed to just be so piercing. Once again I had oatmeal and prune juice and hoped that it would be effective. We met a new doctor today, Dr. H. She was young, very friendly and pregnant too. She examined me and had said that you were still in a good position and that it could be any moment. She also had said not to try to push when I felt I had to go to the restroom. I had many visitors that Monday, but the pain was just so consistent that I know I was not very pleasant. I hadn't wanted to be touched or cared for. I prayed through each contraction and hoped that I could relax enough not to strain our baby. I remembered the message that Warren Wiersbe had given and concentrated on that. I knew that God was in control. My husband's mom had sent us some encouraging words that her dad use to say. She was on her porch when she thought of them...


Since the contractions were more frequent the doctors had taken away my eat privileges. I started to feel very uncomfortable... as if I thought it could have gotten worse. My mom had a feeling that tonight might be the night so she stayed until about 10:30p, but had decided to leave as I was very sleepy. I went to bed and then..... I awoke with more contractions back to back. I was tired and couldn't breath, I was afraid that I wasn't going to be able to keep the baby safe, I was panicing and that is when my husband shared some of the words that I will never forget. He has said that God wanted Him to share them with me. From Revelations 2:10.. he said, " 'Do not be afraid for what you are about to suffer...' God is in control and He will decide when Caleb will come to be born, not you. So don't be afraid'" Those most unusual words..."about to suffer" brought so much comfort to me. I knew that I din't have to try to keep the baby in, I just needed to be the vessel He wanted me to be. After a few more contractions i noticed that the pressure have changed and the pain was different. The nurse came and called the doctor. Dr. H said, "it time".
My husband was called mom and telling me to remember that God was in control and that there was nothing we could do, but BELIEVE this was how He had written our story. Dr. H asked about the baby's name and we told her Caleb George. She said "hey my son's name will be Lucas Caleb!" How about that. I couldn't see anything because I didn't have my glasses or contact.... so as I began to push I couldn't see anything. After 3 pushes our son was born inside his sack. Dr. H had to cut him out and there was a small squeak of a cry. They allowed my husband to cut the umbilical cord and them right there they worked on stabilizing our son. I remember the doctor saying that she knew I was uncomfortable and that she was going to try to help me... I wasn't sure what that meant until there was pain again and then she said . "WoW there is a lot in there... you can go to the restroom now" Before they took our son away to what would be his home for the next 4 months they brought him to me to see. At that moment I was so overcome by feelings I cannot describe even today....

On October 5th 2010....Our life had changed forever and we would begin a new journey as a FAMILY with a baby boy that weighed 1 pound 10 ounces and was 12.5 inches long!

Our Birth Story...Part3

Day 2... October 2rd 2010

The night was very restless full of contractions and the doctors had continued to come in and check me fearful that they wouldn't be able to get the second dose of steroids in, but in the morning they were happy to see we were still there. They again asked If i wanted an epidural and like before I declined. My husband shared a very encouraging email that he received that morning. It was a message from Warren Wiersbe called : Remembering the Giver... It basically spoke about how we as Christians we cannot become to comfortable in our circumstances and not depend on God anymore and when we do .... God can change them in a hurry, But we can remember that He will always care for His children in the most dark circumstances. He is always with us. You can read the full message here. This was the day that my mom arrived from California. It was a great comfort to see her and know she was here to be with us. I had seen the fear in her eyes and knew that she was scared. The new obstetrician came in and introduced herself, Dr. J and said that she would be around in case we needed her. I asked her about using the restroom because I still had to go, but she had said.... "NO". I was very uncomfortable and couldn't understand why, but she had explained that it was simply because the muscles were too close together and I could rupture the membranes that held our baby safe. The nurse came in and asked if I wanted a painkiller or ice for the steroid shot that she was about to give me. I had told her "no" that I hadn't even felt the other one and I would be fine. SOOOOO I should have! The shot hurt so bad and then I throbbed... I asked for some ice and had said that it must have been the adrenaline that kept me unaware of the 1st shots affects. I tried to rest most of the day but it was difficult, having my mom there my hubby was able to go home and get a few items to help make our stay in the hospital a little more comfortable. The doctors had said that I would not be going home pregnant anymore however long that would be. The day was filled with many visitors who I knew were praying for us and I certainly felt the peace and power of God. That night proved to be difficult. The contractions were very strong and frequent. I began to spot again and the nurses checked me frequently through the night.

Day 3..... Sunday, October 3rd, 2010 couldn't come fast enough. We listened to our church's sermon on the local radio station, but it was very difficult for me to focus. The contractions hurt and were what seemed to be constant. I was exhausted! I kept telling myself with each contraction that it would be passing soon and I could relax. My mom and husband asked if they could paint my nails, play a game, read a book, brush my hair or anything that they were just trying to help me stay occupied. I knew my hubby was tired too. He was up all night with me writing and keeping track of our contractions and their intensity. The nurses changed the medication to another muscle relaxer in hopes that maybe they could stop the contractions. We watched movies and tried to pass the time, but it was so slow. I was so hungry and finally the doctor said that I could eat something in the evening at 6pm. I had not been able to eat or drink anything since they were sure I would deliver at any moment. I chose prune juice and oatmeal in hopes that It would help me pass whatever was still stuck in me. The nurse had given me multiple stool softeners, but they had not helped. The day had finally come to an end and we were so very very thankful for one more day that our baby had stayed put. The neonatologist had come by to see us and had said that everyday in the womb is 1 week out of the NICU. Each day had presented itself as a precious gift and we hoped for 2 more weeks at least. I was looking forward to trying to sleep with the aid of a sleeping pill that the nurse had suggested. As we got ready for bed we prayed with each other again and asked God to get us through another night of waiting.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Our Birth Story...Part2

ok.....I drove myself to the hospital and the reality of what was happening didn't seem very urgent. I knew a lot of people who had some bleeding and it all worked out fine. I was more anxious about all the red lights I was hitting. I parked about as far as I could form the triage unit because it seemed like everyone was at the hospital that day. The unit was checking in 3 other people and as we stand there in the line I felt more and more uncomfortable. My tummy began to cramp every now and then and I told my hubby that I was a little worried and I had to go to the bathroom. He is and will always be my hero! He walked up to the counter and politely explained what was happening with me and explained how early I was in our pregnancy. They took us behind the curtain to a bed and said that they would get to us in a second. As we are waiting there my tummy is getting cramps a little more frequent which was so uncomfortable, but not painful. We joke that If I couldn't handle these cramps how would I handle contractions when he came in January... It was then that I looked at my hubby and told him " do not compare this situation to laboring that was scary" and about 20 minutes later the nurse said that they are still trying to put us into the system. She was really nice and asked if I felt anything and we explained about the cramps. She decided to put me on the monitor to be sure that the baby was okay. We could hear his heart beating strong and loud. A few minutes later she returned and looked at the print out. I remembered her saying, "well it looks like you are contacting a bit I'll go let the doctor know". I looked up at my husband and felt immediate comfort from his eyes. I asked him could a baby survive this early and he said he didn't think so. I felt a rush of uncertainty and started to pray.
Then doctor, Dr. A came in said that she wanted to check me and see what was going on and in the meantime she wanted an IV started..... Ummmm for those of you who know me you know that I do not do needles well and those words sent the fear right up to the surface. I mentioned to my hubby that I didn't want one, but he gave me this look which told me I didn't have a choice. Dr. A came back and started her pelvic exam........

I am sitting here writing this entry and am feeling very overwhelmed by the reality and severity of what our son has gone through. .... Okay back to the exam.......

Dr. A shot up from under the cover and told the nurse something so quick that I missed it, but I could see her fear stricken face very clearly. I heart began to race because I knew It wasn't the best situation. I will never forget the words when she said," You are 100% effaced and fully dilated. You need to be prepared because you will have this baby in the next couple of hours. I need to get an ultrasound to see what position the baby is in." I remembered laying there not fully comprehending what she just said. I look at my hubby an realize this was certainly not what we had planned and apparently those were contractions! Dr. A came back and did the ultrasound. She explained that the baby was measuring on schedule and he was in position ...head down and ready. She explained that there wasn't anything holding him back except my water had not broke. She also said that they needed to give me 2 does of steroids to help the baby's lungs. . They explained that it would help the baby's lungs develop and if they were lucky they asked all sorts of questions, did we do this? and did it do that? All I could think about was everything was going so well. The nurse gave me the 1st shot which I didn't even feel and then they took me through the hospital's secret passages down to an Labor and Delivery room. It was then that Ryan and I decided that we should probably call our parents and tell them what was going on.

The contractions were very close 1 to 2 minutes apart and came all of a sudden. The room filled with nurses and different doctors of different expertise. Dr. A started me on "MAG" to stop the contractions. I focused on the only thing that reminded me how much God loved me...the "plus" button for the TV. It was a cross and it spoke to me... it reminded me that not only did God love me, but that He created me to have this baby that He knit in my womb. My whole body was seized and I couldn't breathe...then it was over and that is where we met Dr. S. He would be that doctor would care for our son when he was born later that day he told us. He explained that our baby would have an 80% survival rate, a 50% that he would have some mental defect, and a 20% that it would be severe. He told us that when he came they would do all they needed to to help him live and then he would find a new home in the NICU. Both Dr. A and Dr. S said they would see me later and they would be near by when the time came. The contractions continued to come as we prayed that God would rapidly grow this child within me and keep him in as long as He had planned. The nurse came in tipped my bed backwards so my head was toward the ground and my feet were up and said that I needed to get comfortable and stay put. Under no circumstances was I allowed to leave the bed. All we did was pray and wait....

Monday, May 2, 2011

Our Birth Story...Part1

As I said before I want this blog to be an encouragement to other families who have walked the same path we did in 2010 and 2011 with the birth of our son. I feel we have had such an exceptional experience and I know that it's been our faith in God that has made the difference. Although our story began in 2010, many people still don't know the full extent of how it all began. So, I figured that this would be a good place to tell our story for anyone who may come across our blog by intent or by chance. It will be detailed.....I want to share a little back story because it just goes to show how God plans everything out so perfectly and for good.

On May 26th 2010 I announced to my hubby that he will be a daddy. It was also the anniversary of the day that he asked me to be his wife in 2003. We had just started to pray for a baby if that is what God had planed for us. The first week of June we had an ultrasound done and everything looked wonderful and sounded strong. We decided to buy these picture frames that said "MIRACLE" on them for our parents to announce that we are expecting...ironic how that will be the perfect word to describe Caleb. So I had been feeling wonderful the whole time, no morning sickness or vomiting, just a lot of saliva and shortness of breath. We were so excited and started praying for our baby. We were praying that God would allow us to properly care for the child he has loaned us. Everything is going super all the tests had come back great and there is no indication of any problem. One day my hubby and I listen to the same Bible message on the radio about parenting and both (unbeknownst to each other) feel that me staying home is the best choice for our family. We start praying that God will help work it out for us to be able to do that. So, with that in mind we decide that we would find out the gender of our baby to prepare accordingly. That ultrasound is scheduled for mid August and we find out we are having a baby boy! We had tossed around several names that we both liked and decided to choose Caleb because we wanted a biblical name and one that had a strong meaning and story (you can read the story of Caleb here).
So the last weekend of August I had to work and I bumped into a friend at the church that I was working at. We talked about the plans that my hubby and I have made and she decided to share a little bit about what she knew about pre-term labor and babies. It was a very interesting conversation which really stuck with my heart and I walked away amazed how some women are so strong. I see the doctor on September 22nd and had a list of questions that I wanted to ask. I started out asking if pre-term labor is hereditary. And she says "no". I ask her if I could fly to California on Oct. 16 for an amazing baby shower that my mom had planned and she said that wouldn't be a problem because everything has been perfect. I also let the doctor know that I was planning on doing the HypnoBirthing method and asked if anyone has had any experience with that and she said "no". I really wanted to do a natural child birth, just because I wanted to. I guess I really wanted to have the full experience of feeling what God had intended my body to do. I was going to buy the hypnosis tapes next week or so. There had been a lot of issues going on at the company I worked for and my boss and I were praying that God would change hearts of people who made decisions for our company. We are praying for very specific things, such as the company giving me the opportunity keep my job & insurance to have our baby in January. With all my heart I knew He would answer those prayers.

So that brings us to sometime the week of September 27th 2010 my lower tummy is a little tender to the touch. Nothing painful but just sore feeling my skin had stretch too tight... which it had. Duh I'm pregnant! I really didn't think anything about it but I did tell my hubby. I told him that I wanted him to know just in case anything crazy happens because "you never know"! I tend to tell him random things with that same explanation. So the tenderness persists through the week not getting any worse. I am 23 weeks and 4 days along on Thursday when a co worker asks me to take an online test at the office so in the afternoon I go in and do the test online. During which time I feel like I had a little accident so I went to the bathroom and noticed a little dampness and something else. This had never happened before so I call the doctor's office a described what happened and the nurse said that since everything was clear looking there really wasn't anything to be concerned about. She also said that it was normal for that to happen during pregnancy. I said "okay" and go about the rest of the day. I get home and cook then relax with my hubby. A friend of our sent us an email that night and told us that her husband was in the hospital and wasn't doing very well. It was such a shock to get this email and I hope that the news will get better soon and I looked forward to seeing her at the baby shower in California in a couple of weeks. I told my hubby that I would walk with him in the morning if I felt better. I woke up on the morning of October 1st and I was very thankful that it had rained and that I was not in the mood to walk that day. I got up, showered and put on a pair of jeans, boots and a top for work. I got to work that morning and started made some calls and confirmed my visits for that day. I really couldn't get my friend and work issues off my mind and so about 9:30am I decided to send an email out to some very special friends of mine asking them to pray for my job and for my friend in the hospital. As soon as I sent the email I felt the urge to go to the restroom...if you know what I mean. So I walked into my restroom see the RED spot . I stood up and decided that I should call the doctor's office again. I am 23 weeks and 5 days...basically 6 months and shouldn't have been bleeding that far along. The same nurse I spoke to the day before answered and I explained what I saw. She is calm and said "not to worry" and said I can come in later in the afternoon when a doctor is there or I could go to Triage at the hospital. I called my hubby and asked him what he thought and in the end we decided that we would meet at the hospital ....just to be safe.