Monday, December 30, 2013

Photo Sneak Peek

Sneak peek from a family photo shoot we had this weekend... Thank you to my big sis for taking some amazing pictures of our family! 
These two are the best big bro and big sis to our baby CJ!  
 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Happy 6th Birthday Clayton!

Today, my oldest son turned.... 


He decided that he wanted a Spider-Man themed birthday party. 


Due to his brother being at such a high risk for RSV, we could not have a party, but it didn't stop me from decorating like we were having one! 

Spiders  and webs everywhere...just how he wanted them! Tonight, he gets to go to a WWE match. I don't know who is more excited...him or his Daddy! 

Today is a day full of celebrating him...
...and how much he has grown! 


Dear Clayton, 

      You are 6 years old. You have blessed me with 6 years of your smiles, your hugs, your laughter, and at times...your tears. I am so proud of the boy you have become and continue to change into. You are loving Kindergarten and are making so many friends! This summer and fall our family got turned upside with CJ, but through it all you stayed strong. I know that Mommy couldn't be with you like we had planned and talked about, but while I wasn't there with you physically, please know that my heart and spirit has never left you. Thank you for loving me so freely and innocently. Thank you for still wanting my snuggles and my hugs. Thank you for being you. 

I love you! 
    Mommy



Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas

I remember laying in my hospital bed and having a vision. That's when my goal for our family was created. My goal was to have CJ home for Christmas and have my family all together. I had this image of my 3 babies sitting together under the Christmas tree. That image in my head got me through the 5 weeks spent in the hospital away from my husband and 2 older children. It got me through the 87 sleepless night spent away from my miracle baby while he was in the NICU.  It was this image that I held on to for dear life when I felt myself slipping down a dark path...this image was the light that helped me keeping going. 

    That image is now my reality. 

  
  Merry Christmas and God Bless! 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Sunday, December 15, 2013

How We Roll

Guess there will be no spontaneous "get up and go" for us for awhile...


When we roll...we roll with a mobile oxygen tank, apnea monitor, diaper bag with everything imaginable CJ may need, blankets, car seat, stroller to carry it all....


Oh...and the baby....can't forget the baby...

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"Hey, CJ..."


"How do you like being home?"


Enough said. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Lesson From Big Sis

I love watching Clayton and Lacey bond  with their little brother and being snowed in with just our little family of 5 has been wonderful for that! Today, Lacey wanted to hold CJ. As soon as he was comfortable, he turned his head to stare straight at her. She started talking to him a mile a minute. I couldn't even tell you what she said...I just stared at them and could see their bond strengthening. 


   Their conversation was over too quickly for me. Lacey said, "I love you baby brother," then gave him a kiss. 


  I will forever cherish moments like this. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Together at Last


Our 3 babes have finally met.

It took all of 1 second for them to fall in love with each other. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Home.

After 86 days in the NICU and that many night without his Mommy and Daddy...


CJ came home. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Elf in the NICU

CJ got a new visitor today in the NICU...can you find him? 
That's right! CJ has one if Santa's elves watching over him. Clayton and Lacey saw a picture of this new friend keeping watch over their baby brother. 

They decided to name his little elf Cena...after John Cena of course. 
Cena will watch over our little miracle until he comes home...which we are still in track for this week! Can you believe our 2.14 pound micro-preemie is now 7.11 pounds!?! 




Saturday, November 30, 2013

Happy Due Date Day!

Today is CJ's original date of when he was to be born. He decided to arrive early to his part...by 12 weeks! 


Today, he weighs 7.8 pounds. He is almost 21 inches long. Most importantly, he is healthy. 

This week, he will hopefully be discharged from the NICU and be able to go home. 


Home. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Lacey's Letter to Santa


Wish granted baby girl, wish granted. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Discussion

Today I had "The Discussion" with CJ's NICU team. We discussed taking our little miracle home...
Home. He is 79 days old...4 days away from his due date...and he has never been home.  CJ has never met his brother or sister. Curt and I have never went to bed and woke up with our baby. 

 Bringing him home feels like a dream. He wasn't supposed to make it, to live. But he did, and he is. 
We will finally be bringing our miracle baby home. 

I am excited, relieved, and terrified. 


  He will be coming home on oxygen (after a trial run without O2, he began to desat and it was replaced) and with a feeding tube. He'll be hooked up to a monitor to alert us if his heart gets too high or too low or if he stops breathing. Curt and I must receive training on how to take care of all of his equipment and placing/replacing his feeding tube in the event he pulls it out...which he sometimes tends to do. 

My miracle is coming home. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

CJ is 2 Months

CJ turned 2 months old on the 9th. 

 
My 37 weeker was 2 months old.
      He is currently 6.14 pounds...yes, he has tripled his body weight! His oxygen has been switched to what they call "going home" oxygen. He is on a 1/4 of a liter flow and 100%oxygen.  (I realize this will probably make no sense to most of you, but I am recording this for our memories.) He was switched over to this on the 12th but as of today he is 9 days free of having any alarms. He will most likely go home on this oxygen which is just fine by me because he would be coming home! 
   What is still keeping him in the NICU? Feeding. He still requires his feeding tube for some of his feeding. He is slowly working up to not needing the feeding tube. Yesterday he took 63% of his feedings from either breast or bottle feeds. 
   

  We are so close to getting his little miracle home...but still are not sure when that will happen. As the time gets closer, I find myself more anxious and getting rather impatient. 
    My baby is 73 days old. He has never met his amazing big brother or sister. He has never been home.  
Hopefully, this won't be the case for too much longer. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Friday, November 8, 2013

At The Hospital Much?

So...you know you're at the hospital a lot when you....a non-employee... gets a parking violation for not parking in a non-employee area and not having an employee decal on your car! 

This is definitely one for CJ's baby book!!! 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Baby's First Bottle

CJ did so well over the weekend breast feeding that he has graduated once again to a new milestone! Every 3 hours, he gets to breast feed...if I'm there... or bottle feed if I'm not there. Today, I got to give him a bottle for the first time....EVER!!

He wasn't too sure about it  and was a little tired after breast feeding. 


For most almost 2 month old babies, this is old habit. Babies are usually born doing being able to eat from a bottle or breast feed. To be able to breast feed or bottle feed our 36.2 weeker...our almost 2 month old baby....is such an amazing blessing!! 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

NICU Guardian Angels

   Every morning, when I first walk into the NICU and see CJ I am always in awe of him and struck again by what a miracle he is and what a big blessing that God has given us. I am so thankful that he has continued to be such a fighter. 

He is such a laid back, peaceful baby. He rarely gets upset. The nurses continue to fight over him, some even go to the extent of planning their work schedule around one another so they all get to have their "CJ" time.  We couldn't be more blessed than to have CJ's guardian angle NICU Nurses. Have you heard that quote on the TV commercial...."Care is not what we give, it's what we do?" Well, these nurses are the epitome of that. They do care, not only about CJ, but about our whole family. Every day they ask how Clayton and Lacey are doing as well...they love our Lacey stories and cheer on Clayton in all is his success in school and for his first basketball game. It truly is going to be bittersweet when CJ comes home and I won't spend at least 5-6 hours a day with them. BUT I do want my baby home...I guess we can always visit! 
   Our snuggle time continues to be my favorite part of the day. CJ's favorite has sinced switched to when I get to breast feed him. He has been doing so well with breast feeding! He will nurse about half of his feeding and then get the rest from his feeding tube. Today, since he has been doing so well, I get to breast feed him three times a day instead of one. The fact that I am breast feeding my 36 week old baby is amazing to me! 


He definitely is enjoying it and growing by leaps and bounds! He is already 5.7 pounds!! His premie clothes are starting to look like muscle shirts on him. 


Oh, and don't get me started in his double chins...


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween 2013

Happy Halloween from my biggest....

...to my littlest....
   Pumpkins! 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Shhhh...

My FIVE POUND baby is sleeping!!!
This Mama is doing a crazy silent cheer! (Yes, he hates the prongs in his nose and does pull them out every chance he gets. As long as he keeps his O2 saturation up, I don't put them back in... But don't tell his doctors...the nurses told me that they are OK with this!)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

35.1 Weeks

He makes getting up very early on super cold mornings worth it!
 I can't wait to get this little 35 weeker (4.15 pounds) robot home!

Friday, October 25, 2013

This is What Happens...

When Daddy buys the kids clothes! 
  Oh yes, even little CJ has a WWE shirt too..but for now...
        
             He wears his snuggly. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Party at CJ's CRIB!

CJ has done so well at being able to regulate his body temperature...not to mention that he is a whooping 4.11 pounds!...that he graduated from an isolate incubator bed...


to an open air crib! 


  It takes all of my will power to not climb in the crib with him, especially since the sides slide down. 
 Clayton and Lacey drew him a couple of pictures that his nurses taped to his bed so he has something to look at for stimulation.  Not only has CJ graduated to a crib, but he and I have been working on getting him to breast feed. 
Thank you all so much for your continued prayers and support!