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Monday, September 26, 2011
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Saturday, September 24, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
We were on the elevator with a baby who was also born at 28 weeks weighing 2 pounds 4 ounces. What're the odds of that?!
Also, HK raised her arms up to me when I asked if she wanted me to pick her up from bed. Not once but TWICE!! Whoo hoo!!! I was so proud!
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011
A family member recently contacted me on Facebook asking what would be good to go in a care package for a NICU family. Of course I needed their address because those babies need hats! As I was writing a letter to the parents, I decided to post it here on the blog. If there is one thing I have learned through our experience, it's that our difficulties are an opportunity for us to help others. And, lots of people read our blog-not just people we know (okay, that's two things!) Anyhow, here are the things we learned and want to convey to other preemie parents or parents of NICU babies. If you know of someone in this situation, please message me because I would love to pray for them and send them a card!
*I do not know why the type is giant....but it will not let me fix it. Sadness.
We know the road you are traveling well and wanted to offer some encouragement and prayers!
Our daughters were born at 28 weeks, 1 day (that extra day is important!). We knew from around 12 weeks that two of our babies would not survive and that we were going to have a difficult pregnancy. God provided us with lots of peace, a strong Christian family, and an opportunity to strengthen our faith.
Our precious Hannah Kate weighed 1040 grams (around 2 pounds 4 ounces) and is an incredible gift from God! We were extremely blessed by her great health. She had several of the normal preemie issues (lots of “spells” where she stopped breathing, a few scares with her belly, anemia, and the slowly developing retinas and scary eye exams), but she didn’t have any “major” problems. Today, she is a very healthy, chubby!, smiley, 7 month old!
We know what it’s like to spend day after day in the NICU watching your tiny baby hooked up to a jumble of wires. The best advice we were given was from my OB the day after I delivered. She said it’s very easy to fall into an hour by hour mindset—step back and watch the whole picture. There are definitely good days and bad days. Rejoice in the advances and breathe deeply during the setbacks.
Hannah Kate was in the NICU for 61 days. She went home 3 weeks before her due date, which was a huge accomplishment in our eyes! It may sound crazy, but there were many fun times for us in the NICU. We developed a great relationship with some of our nurses and still communicate with them today (some on a daily basis). I think that having a preemie is an incredible opportunity to see what wonderful things God does daily—seeing how babies grow and develop outside of the womb, when most people do not have that opportunity. He truly is amazing!
We will continue to pray for your babies as well as you both. This is a great opportunity for you to grow spiritually and as a couple!
PLEASE feel free to contact us if you ever want to talk, have questions, or need anything!
Wesley, Denise, and Hannah Kate
(my email address)
www.arrowsinourhand.blogspot.com (our family blog-with lots of stories and pictures from our time in the NICU) Be sure you take LOTS of pictures! It is amazing how you forget just how small your babies were! A nurse suggested taking pictures of Hannah Kate with Wesley’s wedding ring one day, and I’m so glad we did. I have done this every month and it’s pretty amazing to see the transformation!
PS Here are a couple of websites that you might enjoy:
http://www.perfectlypreemie.com/catalog/ (Someone got Hannah Kate some clothes from here that were perfect for the NICU)
http://www.itsapreemiething.com (We didn’t know about this until Hannah Kate was already chubby! I love the onesie that says, “Do I look fat in this yet?”)
Thursday, September 15, 2011
I can't upload pictures now, but I have taken them and I will upload later!
Diaper Size: 3
Weight: heavy! (I don't know!)
Clothing Size: 3-6 months-I'm still trying to get "one more" wear out of some of my favorite 0-3 things, but it's not happening!
-HK started eating rice cereal last week (9-6-11). We were bad parents and made it too thick the first time. She did NOT love it! BUT, we've gotten better at making it thinner and she's doing better!
-She moved to the Pack N Play for sleeping this week. She has woken up several times both nights that she has slept there. This is totally unlike her....and I hope it ends soon! She needs a crib and her daddy needs a full time woodworking assistant to help get all of these projects finished!
-She is learning the meaning of the word "no."
-Once a day (usually around noon), she gets violent hiccups. It's very sad. Sometimes she screams after each one!
-"talking"-LOTS of babbling and noise making going on these days. In the morning, I usually wake up to hearing her babble and talk to herself. Fun Fun Fun Times! Mrs. Diana was VERY impressed with her vocalizations and gross motor skills in Early Intervention yesterday. She said normally, babies aren't progressing that well in both areas at the same time.
-ROLLING OVER! She rolled from belly to back on Monday! She has done it a few times since then. Today during a terrible not napping nap session, she ended up on her back twice and that made everything worse! During early intervention yesterday, Mrs. Diana said she's very "strong-willed" and that she thought the only reason Hannah Kate completely turned over was because she was so mad and didn't want to be on her belly at the time. I said that's what we've been told since the first night!
-Going to sleep when I put her down for a nap. This is a huge and wonderful accomplishment. She still cries/fights sleep, but it's much quicker if I just lay her down.
-Pulling down on her bottle while she eats--this is both annoying and makes it difficult to feed her! A friend suggested moving to a faster flow nipple and that worked wonderfully last night and this morning....this afternoon she was back at it (after I order faster flow nipples, of course!).
-Rubbing her eyes when she's sleepy-she started this right after we got back from PTP
Things Hannah Kate does not Love:
-going to sleep (during the day)
-thinking she's about to have to go to sleep (during the day)
Things Hannah Kate LOVES:
-Jumping-anywhere, but especially in the jumperoo
-Us "getting her belly" :) (Lots of belly laughs there!)
-Her sign language DVD (Signing Time)......she seriously smiles, coos, laughs through the whole thing. The other day she was squealing so loudly that she was choking herself!
-She's still really into putting anything and everything in her mouth. I bought her a couple of teething objects at Target last week and ordered her the Sophie the Giraffe teether from Amazon yesterday. Anytime she is in the high chair, I try to give her a spoon to play with. She's been doing this for about a month and it always goes straight in her mouth. Last night, she was in her high chair while we ate supper and she was pulling herself up to her tray-then, while still holding onto the tray, she was bending down and opening her mouth to try to get the spoon in it. It was pretty funny.
-She still loves her Bible song CDs. We have added a new one (Each Little Dewdrop) and we love it too. Today when "Father Abraham" came on, she started laughing-she still loves it!
-Going to Bible class! Her favorite song is "Mama Cat Has a Baby Kitten."
*Started 9/15/11, finished 9/16/11
Monday, September 12, 2011
I (of course) have more pictures, but we've now gone over our Internet limit :( so this is all I can share until after the 22nd. I wish we could get cable Internet here!
Oh well-enjoy these for now!!
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Oh, Pinterest......I love it and I spend way too much time on it! If you haven't checked out Pinterest, you are missing out but probably not wasting a lot of time. It's a wonderful place to get ideas on all sorts of different things as well as save ideas you have found online. I have "boards" for homeschool, hk, hk's 1st birthday, Bible time, recipe ideas, picture ideas, and one entitled "neat" because I thought I had too many boards and that can just be a catch all for everything else! A friend "pinned" a Deep Dish Cookie Pie recipe and I thought it looked pretty amazing. The trouble is, I pin all kinds of things but the only things I have made so far have been headbands for Hannah Kate that are too small for her fat head! This weekend, I made the Deep Dish Cookie Pies....the easy way....because I ran out of time from making baby food and didn't have time to make my own cookie dough. That's okay though because Nestle Tollhouse does a great job! The other thing is, I didn't have an ramekins (those tiny cooking dishes that someone tonight said look like ketchup containers), so I used what I did have......my 16 oz Pyrex bowls. Please note that the ramekins are either 4 or 7 oz containers. Now, I didn't fill them completely with cookie dough, but I just called them the Super Size Cooke Pies. And they were pretty amazing. You can find the recipe here (and know that really, all you have to do is mash some cookie dough in a small dish and cook it....but leave it a little doughy.....then add ice cream...YUM!). Someone this morning suggested putting chocolate syrup in the center of the cookie dough before you cook it....Yeah, I'll be trying that next time!
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I am also excited about the super cute labels I spent way too much time making to go on the bags (because writing it in Sharpie just isn't cute enough).
~Hannah Kate for sleeping 2 whole hours so I could make baby food
~Jennifer and Kellee for answering my questions
~Wesley for getting the food unstuck from ice cube trays
~the lady at the farmers' market for being so nice to answer my questions (such as, "What is that? Oh, butternut squash, good! that's what I needed!") and select the best potatoes and squash!
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Saturday, September 10, 2011
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Here we are with her Wednesday night Bible class teachers-Aunt Jana and Mrs. Cindy.