Thursday, November 1, 2012

November 1, 2012- Long awaited update

I can't believe that it's been 6 weeks since I last updated this blog.  There are so many days that I go to my computer to write a little something, but I end up distracted and I forget.  Can you imagine a new mom, a full time nurse and wife to be distracted?  I'm sure I'm the first one!  Ha ha!

During the last 6 weeks, Will has been diagnosed with reflux and we are finally settled with it now that we are on Prevacid.  It's an expensive medication, but, for Will, it works so much better than Zantac.  The last time Will was at the doctor, he weighed about 10lbs 6oz, so I'm sure he is 11lbs now.  He is changing everyday.  He seems to learn a new trick all the time.  For example, this morning, he woke up with a huge smile on this face, like he does every morning, and then he decided to carry on a full babbling conversation.  This is new.  He was talking up a storm while he was sitting on Brandon's lap.  It was almost as if he was telling us all about his dreams last night.  He's so funny.  Other than his huge and never ending smile, my favorite trick is when he sleeps for 8 hours a night.  This is new as of about a week.  He eats around midnight or one, and then he sleeps until 8 or 8:30.  I couldn't ask for more!  He seems hungrier during the day, eating about 3.5 ounces every 2-3 hours, but he's sleeping at night.  I can take more frequent feedings during the day.  Not too shabby!  Stay tuned for more Will updates because I think he might roll over sometime soon!  He's throwing his legs to the side all the time on his play mat.  I can't wait!

I get asked a lot about how Brandon and I are coping since we've been home from the NICU.  At first, I thought that was a silly question.  How are we doing?  We're great!  We have our healthy baby at home and we have truly been so lucky throughout our entire journey.  That should be the complete answer, right?  The more I think about it, the more I think that being home has been harder on us than on Will.  Brandon is great.  He is such a rock for us and is such a good dad.  I think he is amazed at all the things I worry about and when I tell him, he's right in saying that Will is fine and that we are doing just fine, but I still worry.

For me, being at home has been absolutely wonderful, but it is also stressful.  I am so grateful that we came home as quickly as we did and without complications, but I worry all the time.  I worry that he is too hot, too cold, not eating enough, not growing fast enough, not sleeping enough, not napping, his reflux, the chance at getting RSV and ending back up in the hospital, etc.  I mean seriously, it's ridiculous!  I have a very healthy baby and I should enjoy every second of every day, and I do for the most part, but I also worry a ton!  I feel guilty for my worrying, I feel guilty that my milk has dried up and I feel guilty that I work as much as  I do.  One thing I have to realize that I don't work as much as some mothers have to, but I still feel bad.  One thing that relieves my worry is my phenomenal husband.  We are so lucky that Will doesn't have to go to daycare right now.  I think once he's older, he will go to daycare, but for right now, we are lucky that our little preemie can stay home with me, my husband, and the dogs.

Although, I worry a lot about Will and what might happen, I wouldn't trade the hand that we were dealt for anything in the world.  I think our experience has made me a better person and I hope, a better mom.  Even though, I worry all the time, I feel like I appreciate all the little things.  It was hard getting up in the middle of the night for Will's feedings, but I was happy to do it, and have that time alone with him.  I am happy for poopy diapers, especially because they don't happy everyday, so I am happy when they come.  But most of all, I am happy that I have this amazing baby!  I am so blessed and so lucky that I have this little miracle and all we've been through is worth his sweet toothless grin.  He makes me smile and see the world through a new set of eyes.  How wonderful is that!?!  How wonderful is it that I get a new chance to look at life through my son's eyes and that I get to live life all over again with my son?!?

I know that the worrying won't go away, but at some point, I hope it will subside.  At least I can say that my worrying doesn't interfere, too much, with my parenting and enjoying my son's progress. 

October 31, 2012- Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

September 12, 2012- "Got Preemie?" Fundraiser

My wonderful husband has the biggest heart and while we were in the NICU with Will, he had the grand idea to head up a fundraiser to raise money for the Common Bonds parent group in the NICU.  Below is a link to the news piece that aired tonight about Common Bonds and the fundraiser.  

I know I don't always say it, but I am so proud of my husband!  It's been a crazy two months since we've been home from the NICU and with this fundraiser and I haven't made it easy on Brandon, but I am so proud to be married to the man with a huge heart.  I hope the fundraiser raises a lot of money for Common Bonds so parents in the NICU will be well cared for, just like us!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

September 5, 2012- Brandon's Birthday!

                                                    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BRANDON!!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September 4, 2012- 3 Months Old Today!

Today, Will is 3 months old!  Where has the time gone?  I can't believe that I have a 3 month old baby and he has changed so so much.  Brandon and I took Will to the zoo yesterday, and we had a great time!  Will is so much more awake now, and he really seemed to enjoy the fresh air at the zoo.  We took him out of his stroller to show him the animals and while I know he didn't know what he was looking at, he really seemed to be happy just hanging out with us outside.  
When we were driving home yesterday, I looked over at Will and he was smiling a huge smile and I was wondering what he was smiling at.  That's when I realized that he was smiling at himself in the mirror that is hanging on the back of the seat in front of him.  He seemed so happy sitting and smiling at himself.  It was so cute!
Brandon and I have been talking about our adventure over the past 3 months.  We could never have prepared ourselves for our wild ride, but we would never change it.  I really think that this experience has made us better parents and it has brought our marriage closer as well. I don't think a couple can make it through the NICU without each other.  Brandon was my rock while we were in the NICU and he still is my rock.  Will and I are so lucky to have him and Brandon and I are so lucky to have Will.  Will is our little miracle and he makes my life complete.  He is the best baby and we love watching him grow everyday and reach new milestones.  I can't wait to see him grow up, but in the same breath, I don't want him to grow up too fast.  I want him to be my sweet little preemie forever!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

September 1, 2012- Itty Bitty update

Will is almost 13 weeks and he is one month adjusted today!  I can't believe how big Will is getting!  He is 7lbs 11oz and 19 11/16in and off all his meds except his vitamin!  He is starting to really focus on me and on Brandon.  He looks right at our faces and sometimes he will smile at us.  It is truly the best feeling to see him smile.  Will is also really really active!  He loves to kick his legs and move his arms.  He lays on his play mat and his blanket and just kicks up a storm.  He loves to move.  This should not come as a surprise to me since he was so active in my belly!  I love watching all of Will's changes.  He is such an amazing baby and I am so in love with him that there aren't words to describe it.  I look down at my sweet baby and I still can't believe that I am his mom!

I've been back to work for two weeks now which is one reason I haven't been as good about updating the blog.  The first week was hard, but leaving him with my awesome husband made it easier.  Brandon knows how to feed Will, how to give him his meds (although he is off all but the vitamin) and he even gets him dressed everyday I am gone.  I try and work my 12 hour days on Sunday day and Thursday night.  My other days are half days and I work around Brandon's schedule.  As my days away how added up, I am starting to have the mom guilt associated with a working mom.  Although, I know that Will is well cared for, it's not me doing the work and I feel completely guilty for being gone.  At first I thought it would be easier to leave because I was used to leaving him since he was in the NICU, but it is really really hard to be away.  As I said, I feel so guilty that I have to work.  I feel like Will won't remember be when I am gone for 12 hours and that he will only be comforted by Brandon and not by me.  I know that I have a lot of guilt because I had him early and now my working mom guilt is piling on.  Brandon keeps telling me that it wasn't my fault that Will came early and that Will is doing okay while I'm gone.  But still, the mommy guilt is there.  Hopefully, one day I can move past the guilt, but I think it will be a while.

On a happier note, Will has enjoyed his first college football weekend.  Brandon has requested that Will have one favorite college team and one favorite NFL team.  I am from Tennessee so Will is a Tennessee fan and Brandon is a HUGE Buffalo Bills fan and he would like Will to be a Bills fan for the NFL.  As you can imagine, I am agreeable to the the Tennessee part of the deal, but I am having a hard time letting Will be a Bills fan and not a Redskins fan ( I was actually born in Maryland and have been a Redskins fan since birth).  I guess marriage is all about compromise, and I will compromise on this, but maybe just maybe Will will end up in a Redskins shirt sometime this season!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August 7, 2012- Being a Mom

Today was Will's 2 month checkup and he did great!  He has more than doubled his birth weight.  He was 3lbs 1oz when he was born and now he is 6lbs 6oz!  Brandon and I were just talking about how he is filling out.  His face is definitely getting fuller and his belly finally has some meat on it.  We can't see his ribs anymore!  I can't believe that Will has been here for 2 months!  Brandon and I can't help but laugh thinking that I could still be pregnant had Will been somewhat on time.  My due dates ranged from August 4-7, so naturally I liked the 4th!  
Although the past couple of months have been the hardest months of my life, I don't think I would change anything about it.  I am very blessed that I have a healthy son who just came a little early and is a little small although he is getting bigger everyday!  One thing that makes me sad about Will coming early is that I'm not pregnant anymore.  I know that sounds so weird and I never thought I would say it, but I miss being pregnant and I feel a little cheated that I didn't get to experience a full pregnancy.  What do I miss about being pregnant?  I miss Will moving around in my belly and watching my belly move.  There is something so special about being pregnant and knowing that you are growing a tiny human and protecting your child.  Now I am protecting him in a completely different way.  

It's really really funny, I used to think that I had the coolest job in the world being a Pediatric Nurse and I still think I have a great and fun job, but I have come to realize that being a mom is the coolest and hardest job!  I always thought that I would know how to be a mom because I take care of kids at work, but was I wrong!  Nothing can prepare you to be a parent!  I know that I will make mistakes being Will's mom, but I hope that he knows that I am trying my best and that he can appreciate the things that Brandon and I do for him.