Our little Miracle

Our little Miracle
"And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon him." ~Luke 2:40

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


AUSTIN IS 4 POUNDS!!!!!!!    He hit 4 lbs yesterday and moved up to 4lbs 1oz tonight!  His hands are starting to have some meat on them too, as his knuckles are dimples.  :O)    I always wanted a chubby baby.  Who would have thought it'd be my preemie?!

In other good news... he did his first window period of an hour with a nasal cannula today.  He was successful.  He required a little bit of an increase of flow (from 1 L to 1.5L *although CPap flows with 8L so 1.5 L increase is okay*and from 30% oxygen requirements to 35%).  That's okay, it was his first time.  They will do another session of only one hour tomorrow, as he had 3 dips in his HR (which is normal, he's just getting used to this change).  They will then do it twice a day for an hour each... and then 2 hours each... etc etc... until he is off the CPAP and on the cannula alone!  Here is my handsome man......

His hair is getting really light.  On top its blond in spots!!!  He was a little more awake and alert today.  That was fun!  I love him so.  I am so blessed for this experience!  GOSH, look at him.  He is GORGEOUS! 

Thank you again for all of your thoughts and prayers.  We will be welcoming a new family member tonight... my sister in law was induced today and will begin pushing any moment!  How exciting!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Cheer *photos*

Austin had a wonderful Christmas!  He was very peaceful!  They have made a few changes with Austin the past few days.  He is no longer on his caffeine doses.  He is at the gestational age (34 weeks today) at which he should not be having prematurity caused A's and B's, therefore, no longer requiring a little extra "juice" to keep things "running".  IF, perhaps, there are signs he still needs the caffeine, they can always re administer the caffeine.  Austin has also had his CPAP settings lowered to a peep of 5 (pressure blown into lungs), which is the lowest pressure setting!  As long as he does well on the peep of 5 for five to seven days (today is day five), they will then decided if he is ready for windowed nasal cannula time.  The nasal cannula is the tube that has prongs for his nose, that will blow oxygen... the exact type of tubing you see adults using while on oxygen.  He will start out doing this for 1-2 hours a day at 30 minute intervals.  They will slowly lengthen the time he is on the cannula and the amount of times a day he is on it, until he is off the CPAP and on just the nasal cannula!  This will be such a huge milestone!  I can not wait, but am okay if it takes sometime... Austin needs to be ready for this.  :o)   His FIO2's (required oxygen amounts) have been around 25%-28%... a little lower!!!  He'll go up to 30% here and there, and sometimes down to 23% - which is awesome, but he's most comfortable right around 26%-28%.  We'll take it!!!  (**reminder... 21% oxygen is open air oxygen--the air we breathe has FIO2 of 21%**)

Our sweet baby boy is GROWING like crazy, too!  He is more than double his birth weight.  As of this morning, Austin is 16 1/4 inches long and 3lbs 14oz!!!!  Can you believe it???  He is three inches longer than at birth AND two whole pounds bigger???!!!   OMGosh... Its amazing!  SO WONDERFUL!!!  1765 grams!  Up from 828 grams at birth!!!  SO COOL!!!  Oh boy, can you tell! 

My mom came to visit with Austin yesterday.  First time she's been here to hang out with little baby boy since he was first born.... she came to stay with us a little over a week after his birth.  She said that she could really tell how much bigger he is.  She was so glad that he looked so good. Good weight, color... he's filled out and grown into his skin!  She commented on his fingers.  :o)   Every aspect of him... he just looks so good!  AND his eyelashes are dark now!!! They've always been there, but were so blond for so long that the light would have to be "hitting" them just right to see them... but now they are just as dark as mine!

Sweet Grandma!!

Austin smiled at grandma and I so much yesterday.  She held him for about an hour and then passed him off to me for another 45 minutes or so.   While I had him in my arms, he kept on puckering up his lips.  I think he wanted Mommy to give him kisses!  I still am being cautious since my cold though, so no kisses yet.  :o/    He was sleeping so soundly the entire time we were there... He just would not open those eyes.  He's been so alert at night time lately  (uh oh- I might have a night owl on my hands).

Holding Grandma's hand. 

Austin's older brother picked him out a pink pig for Christmas and wrapped it up for him.  We brought the gift to the hospital along with his stocking stuffer from Santa Claus.  Austin was so sleepy, but seemed to just LOVE the gifts!

Austin and his pink pig from his big brother!!!!

Austin loves his rattle!! 

Christmas Day

Christmas Eve... (Austin is smiling for the camera)

His Christmas socks.....

The past few days Austin had seemed a little pale.  He had a hemarocrit done yesterday (counts the red blood cells).  His number was 28, which is borderline where they want him to be.  Before they would decide if he needed a blood transfusion (**reminder: if he is not symptomatic - a lot of a's and b's, or a continual rise in FIO2's- they usually like to wait to see if he starts to develop his own cells**), they also decide to do a reticulocyte count, which counts the immature blood cells.  Anything from 2 and up is good numbers.  Anything below would mean he isn't producing blood cells very well on his own.  His number was 6.3- which is phenomenal!!!  They will not do a transfusion since his immature cells are there and will be maturing into the red blood cells, bringing his numbers up.  This is excellent!  His body is doing what it needs to be doing, and on its own!  Fantastic!! 

I do not like to ask questions about the future.  I know that the future isn't always promised, nor in the ways in which we imagine.  HOWEVER, I do like to be prepared.  So I asked some "future" questions.  I asked, based on Austins patterns and recent progress, whether or not the doctor would predict him coming home on oxygen.  He immediately, with out thought, said "no, i don't think he'll leave here with the need of oxygen".  He said not only does he not have a severe case of CLD that would require at home, around the clock oxygen, but that the hospital works very hard and watches very closely to assure not to have to send babies home with oxygen, monitors, etc.  Obviously in some cases the babies are ready in all aspects, but just still need these things.  He said they would rather keep the babies there a few days-weeks longer and get them off of those "things", then send that stress home with the parents.  So that was nice to hear!  I also said my biggest fear is that when Austin comes home, that he will clamp down and I'll be doing CPR.  He said that they watch them so closely every day, and when its close to discharge time, they are on top of the babies "every move" to be sure that he is ready to go home and make that adjustment.  If for any reason he were to give them any sign that he were not ready, they are not going to discharge him.  He also assured me that Austin is not a baby that just has the episodes for no reason at all, that all of his episodes were "mechanical problems" on their part. 

Austins nurses and I were talking about "future" a little bit too.  They both agreed they predict him going home the last week of January.  So a little early!  As long as he is good and ready, that would be GREAT!  My husbands birthday is Jan. 29th.  That sure would be an awesome birthday present!!!!

I hope that all of you had a BLESSED and JOYOUS Christmas!  WE DEFINITELY DID!!!!  God is good... as always.  I am so happy with the life He has promised me.  I enjoy the lessons He has thrown my way.  I wouldn't change it for anything!  Thank you all for your care, concern, thoughts and prayers. 
Austin waves "BYE BYE"

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chubby Cheeks

Its been a few days since my last post.  I was sick (head cold) and trying my best to stay in beds and take extra vitamin C and Zinc.  I felt better today and made it out to see Austin, with a face mask on, of course.   The past few days my husband has gone to visit with Austin and really enjoyed his time with his baby boy.  He changed his diaper and his outfit yesterday 12/21, for the first time!  Yay daddy!!! (Now, no excuses when he comes home! haha)

With the Christmas season here and my life at the hospital, I am busy.  All of my days have run into one another... and if it weren't for the calendar hanging to the right of me, I would know neither the day of the week nor the date of the month.  :o)  As well as loosing track of the actual date, I have to now look at my "notes" on Austin to update these past few days!  I'll start at the 20th....  Austin was up 50 g = 1443 grams which is 3 lbs 3 oz.  His required oxygen level (FIO2's) are hanging out between 25%-28%.  He is doing well.  His feeds are at 28 mls.  He is doing well, but a bit fussy.  Daddy went to visit him and held him and sang lullaby's for a few hours!  Daddy's little champ!
December 21-  Austin had his first eye exam today.  His left eye is a stage 0 (no abnormalities) and his right eye is a stage 1 (minute abnormality- usually fixes itself as eye matures).  He will be checked again in two weeks to see if his right eye has improved or progressed.  He gained 85 grams = 1528 grams = 3 lbs 5 oz.  Daddy changed his diaper and clothes for the first time today.  Austin's such a teeny tiny little guy, his legs stretched out only go to the knee of his outfits! SO FUNNY!!!  While being suctioned and messed around with, Austin had a minor A+B episode, needed a little stimulation to come out of it.  Will keep his CPAP pressure at a peep of 6.

TODAY.....  December 22, 2011.... Austin gained 16g = 1544grams = 3lbs 6oz.  (almost double his birth weight--3lbs 10oz)  He has really chubby cheeks.  He is just the sweetest!   His feeds have been increased to 30 mls and he is doing well.  His caffeine has been increased, as well, to fit his new weight gain.  His FIO2's have consistently been between 28%-30%.  The doctors kept his peep at 6, due to another A+B episode this early morning.  His nurse said its while pushing down for a bowel and said it lasted 40 seconds and he came back up on his own.  As much as I am ready for them to ween Austin off the CPAP, its okay that they are being careful.  So, as long as he doesn't have another A+B in the next 24 hours, he will be weened to a peep of 5.  If he does well at 5, and his FIO2 doesn't rise, he will soon be windowed with a cannula.  :o)  Such a big boy!  Here is a picture of him today.... he is still on the CPAP, but this was taken while his nurse was doing care... she removed CPAP for a short rest for his nose and to apply some ointment.

Look at my full, chubby cheeks!!!!
(He loves when they take those prongs out of his nose!!)
(Hates when they put them back!)

Again.... thank you for your continued prayers, thoughts and kind words.  I hope to update before Sunday, but if I do not.... MERRY CHRISTMAS to each and every one of you.  May the presence of the Lord, Jesus Christ, reign in you!  May your Christmas be filled with love, joy and happiness!  Many Blessings to all!!! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

3 pounds + ... and Christmas Party and SUPRISE!!!!

Friday evening, December 16, 2011...  Our first family Christmas.  We celebrated Christmas at the NICU tonight!  It was a great time.  All of the siblings ran around in the "family room", while Santa Claus snuck into the NICU to see all of the sweet babies dressed clad in tuxedo's and tu-tu's.  It was adorable!  Santa Claus left a gift for each of the babies, as us parents snapped photos!  Next, Santa Claus went to see the brothers and sisters in the family room.  It was a great night.  Austin had gained 72 grams which put him at 3 lbs 1.5 oz.   BIG BOY!!! This was so very exciting!  I never thought he'd get there... LOL.   He is still at about 28%-30% oxygen  and loving the CPAP over the ventilator!  .....   Then, SATURDAY December 17th, my husband and I walked in for a great big surprise.... and early Christmas gift.....  My baby, at 1410grams... is in an open crib now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  
Merry Christmas mommy and daddy!!!!!

The weight he needed to get to was 1500 grams to get out of the isolette.  BUT he is doing so very well with maintaining his own body temperature and with steadily putting on weight.  I was so happy!!!  He's getting so big!!!!! 

Daddy with Austin.... Austin's feet only go to the knees of
his preemie outfit.  Awwe!!!!

Here are several pictures from the night of the Christmas party!  I loved it! So cute!!

Austin is ready for the Black Tie Affair!!!!!   LOL

Santa Claus is on his way!!!

Santa and Austin 2011

Christmas 2011

Austin's living quarters!

Drew talking with Santa Claus 2011

This will be one Christmas we will never forget!  Thank you all for your continued prayers and support!!!  Austin continues to do better every day!  Our main goal at this time is continual weight gain.  Next is to ween him off of the CPAP.  He is on a peep of 6....we will ween him to a peep of 5 and if he does well with that, he will have window times with the cannula... then move to the cannula and hopefully be off of that before he comes home!!!!  Once off of the CPAP... I get to begin to feed him!!!!  I love this little baby so much!  He is so AWESOME!


Friday, December 16, 2011

NICU Christmas Party

Today is the Christmas Party!  We are very excited to celebrate Christmas with Austin tonight!  His big brother Drew, myself and my husband will be attending. A family Christmas!  They are serving dinner and dessert, crafts for the siblings, massages for the parents, little presents for the preemies, Santa visits babies and siblings, and Bengals Michael Johnson is coming to visit tonight as well!  How fun!  I have The Christmas Story book to read to Austin (true story of Christmas).  Two of the nurses have made outfits for the babies.  Red and White Tu'Tu's for the girls, and vest w/ bow ties for the boys.   I cannot wait to see if little Austin (Mr. Feisty) behaves and allows them to put on his vest..... I need a lot of pictures of that!  HAHA.   Its going to be so very fun!  Drew picked out a present for his baby brother- a miniature (key chain) pillow pet identical to one he has.  Austin will get to open that gift tonight.  Although Drew does not get to see his brother tonight, he is still very excited for this NICU experience as a family!  I will be posting a lot of pictures from this event! 

Austin is really starting to up his weight!  He is 1338g=2lbs 15oz.....ONLY 23g away from 3 pounds!!!!!   YAY!!!!  He is still doing absolutely WONDERFUL!!!  Praise God!   This is going to be a GREAT Christmas!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pictures of Austin

FINALLY!!!!  Here are some more recent pictures of Austin.  Enjoy!


Close up.... the day I was singing my made up songs!

See how our eyes are locked together!
I love staring at him!!
This is my favorite!

One of my all time favorite pictures!
He looks so good!
Wide awake... he loves his mommy!

Cuddling up with Daddy!

Day of Baptism

And now, Drumroll........


YAY!!! Big boy!!!

Daddy helping with care!

And now a look back to see how much he's grown!!!!

5 days old

5 weeks old

Thank you all again.  I am so thankful for so much support! 
I hope these pictures make each of you smile.... bc they totally melt my heart!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Season

December 13, 2011....  Only twelve days until Christmas.  My oldest son keeps telling us, "don't get me anything for Christmas...just buy for Austin, I'll just take what Santa brings to me".  He's such a sweet boy.  I tell him, not to worry, he's getting gifts from us whether he likes it or not! 

Austin is doing so well on the CPAP.  I am so glad.  He's bringing so much joy to so many lives this Christmas Season.  How awesome is that?!  He looks like he's gained weight... 1252g = 2lbs 12 oz.  He's sats are always in the low to mid 90's and his FIO2's (oxygen requirement levels) are 25%... sometimes lower, sometimes (with care) higher.... but not over 30%.  YAY!   His doctor used the term CHAMP, again, when referring to Austin!  :O)

He did look a little pale to me last night, however the doctors aren't concerned since he had blood work done recently.  I am going to keep an eye on it though.  Although he did look a little better today, he still appeared pale to me... so if that doesn't change in a day or two, I'll have to insist on the blood work.  He may be anemic again and require a third transfusion.  We shall see. 

Austin has gone up on his feeds to 22ml's with an added 30 calories with fortification per day.  He needed to go up on volume, he was beginning to get hungry a little early, and as his nurse had said, "he gets furious when he's hungry... wild doesnt' even describe it!".   HAHAHAHA.... he is so feisty and strong.  Today he was trying to lift and turn his head and made it a little more than half way.  Austin enjoys having the ventilator tube out of his throat so much, that now he keeps pulling out the feeding tube as to say "hey, I finally was able to get the vent tube out and you put this thing in there... I think not!"   He is so funny!

I have been reading to him every day.  My nieces friend bought him a board book called The Christmas Story.  It is the true Christmas story about Jesus' birth, and we've been reading that book, along with the Christmas related books my son picks out.  We read The Biggest Christmas Tree Ever today.  Its about two mice looking for the biggest tree and decide to go looking together and share the tree with the entire community.  Its a good book too.  Drew loves to be involved with his little baby brother as much as possible.  Its very neat to witness! 

I have decorated a little bit for Christmas at the hospital, for Austin.  He received a couple gifts at the shower to bring Christmas cheer.  A Santa hat that says "baby's first Christmas", a reindeer, and a small stocking with an "A" on it for Austin.  My computer finally seems to be working well, so I will download some of my recent photos... I hope I've captured his decor.  If not, I'll take some pictures soon... Santa will be visiting the NICU this Friday at the Christmas party... So expect those too!

I hope you're all enjoying the Christmas season.  It always seems to warm my heart, and this year even a little more... Austin is feeling the LOVE of Jesus!  Its so awesome to watch!  I am so happy, I wish I could give each and everyone of you a HUG!  :O)
Please continue praying, as I know you will, and thank you for all of your support!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Exciting News!!!!

Yesterday, December 10, I had a baby shower out of town.  I was nervous to go up, considering the week we had.  But things were looking up, so I felt okay to leave for the day.  I went up to hang with my family for the evening.  So many wonderful friends and family showed up for the shower.  It was very nice (thanks mom and sisters + Amanda). 

As we were playing games, I received a text message from my husband.   It read... "they're taking him off respirator right now!!!  Hope he handles it "... followed with a text 15 minutes later that read "Extubated well, resting on CPAP!!!  Great day!!!".....   I was so overjoyed!  I interrupted the game and tearfully made the announcement as we all cheered and clapped and fought back tears!  This was an amazing day!!!!  The best gift ever!!!! 

I was so happy my husband was there.  He just showed up at the right time!  I guess the plan was to change his tube to a large tube since he's grown.  His nurse and RT talked to the doctor and basically said "hey... we're pulling the tube to put the larger in.  We know this baby well, lets give him a chance with CPAP.  If it doesn't go well, we'll be prepared and have everything set up to intubate immediately."  Doctors went with it!  It was a success!  SO happy he has primary nurses... they know him so very well!  It's heartwarming to know they care so much for him too!  I did ask about what it would take for him to go back to ventilator, as I know this is a possibility if he doesn't do well with the CPAP.  His doctor said even if he started to require higher oxygen levels, they'd rather have him on high levels and on a cpap than on a ventilator, BUT if he starts up with the A's and B's again (apnea and brady cardia), then they'd have to most likely intubate agian-- but he hasn't had any!  So he's hanging strong!  Nurse said today, "he is furious when he is hungry".  LOL   She was sweating when I get there trying to get him to cooperate with his care. LOL 

Austin has since been doing GREAT on the CPAP.  His peep is on the high end to ensure he handles it well (7).. and oxygen at around 30%.    They have upped his feeds to 22mls.  He still needs to start packing on the weight...  but he'll get there.  He is a trooper!  I love him so.  I told him so many times how proud of him we all are!  I tell him about all the prayers everyone is saying for him.  He is so loved!  What an inspiration this small little 2 lb 11 oz baby boy is to so many!!!  Awesome!!! 

**Pictures to come soon.  I have some good ones!  My computer is not cooperating with me for whatever reason, when it comes to downloading my pictures... hang tight... I'll post soon enough!**

Again, thank you all so very much for your love, support and prayers.  This journey is emotional... but its my life, and I love it.  I get scared from time to time... but the Lord eases those fears.  I am calm, confident and standing strong.  I have a new look at life and the things that I do and do not have control of.  I am now able to allow God do his work the way he wants, and be okay with that.  I have my selfish moments, but overall, I am letting God do what is best and what He has planned for Austin, my self, my husband and older son, Drew.  We are okay with this change in our lives.  Its actually a pretty awesome life.  I have so many things to be thankful for!  Two beautiful boys... and I get to see them both grow stronger each day.  I am actually pretty fortunate... most people don't get to see how a baby grows and develops while in utero.  I do... just with a twist...  :o)

Many blessings to all!!! 
Please pray for Austins NICU friend Adaya.  She is one week younger (to the day) than Austin.  She is getting over pneumonia and has been fighting a fever with a very high heart rate today.  She is an amazing little fighter with an amazing mother, whom I have grown close to.  She is so beautiful!  Her mother and I are glad to have one another, and have already talked wedding plans for our two babies.  LOL.    Thank you for prayers always!


Friday, December 9, 2011

A turn for the better!

Before I went to bed last night, and feeling so helpless and thinking a lot about the what ifs... I called to check in on Austin.  He was still at 43%, but hanging in there.  Okay, I can deal with that... at least he is standing still and not getting "worse".  I go to bed, pray and fall asleep.  I awake to pump at 1:30.  When I am finished, I called down and talk to his nurse.  She said "oh, I'm so glad you called... I was hoping you'd call.." (my heart kind of began to nervously race)..."Austin's oxygen is at 28%!!!!!!   WOW!!!!  I couldn't believe it.  I said "are you serious???  really?"  and began to cry.  I was really feeling terrible yesterday.  I had a lot of negative feelings.  I did not like how I felt yesterday... but I really felt as though he was just so over it all.  It was breaking my heart to see him not making any progress... but he did!  AND BIG PROGRESS!!!  43% to 28% in just a few hours!  AWESOME!  I called again at 5:30a and he was still at 28%, but his tube was coming loose and while they were re taping it, he did have to be bagged b/c his HR dropped and wasn't rising quick enough... but with in a half hour she was able to get him back down to 30%. 

When I walked in this morning, it was very noisy and alot of alarms going off.  Just busy.  Austin does not like the noise and does not like commotion.  He had a couple desats, but was always bringing himself back up.  She had him set at 33%.  I am okay with that!  He's moving in the right direction.  During rounds the doctors all agreed his progress is a good sign that the steroids are doing their job.  He gained over 40 grams and is now 1210g = 2lbs 10oz.   I held him for KC today.  We all watched as he was being moved over to me, water flush down his vent tube from condensation of his vent tube.  He dropped O2's and HR and kind of hung out low... so he was bagged again.  This time I was so calm....  I felt fine... I knew he was okay.  I love that little boy!   I made up some songs for just him and I and was singing them to him.  I brought a book, which he loves story time, and today's book was a silly story called Aliens Love Panta Claus...picked out by his older brother, of course!   He opens his eyes and loves to listen to me. 

I have a baby shower tomorrow back home, (about an hour and a half away) and until today, I was so nervous about leaving.  Thinking of 'what if' this or that...  but he helped me so much by making those small, but major, progressions!


Thank you all for your continued prayers!  They are working miracles for Austin!  I wish I could hug each and every one of you at this very moment I am so so so HAPPY he's making such a turn around! 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hanging on.

So Austin did have another scary episode in which he needed to be bagged again Tuesday night around 9:00pm.  His HR dropped to a very low 38.  He clamps down and needs some help to get things back up.  He recovered well, and went on to have an excellent night.  He had a great day yesterday.  I held him for KC and read him a book.  He was baptized and really looked well.  His oxygen is still between 40%-50%.... but he's hanging in there.  We should see some steroid affects in the next couple days, and if not (which we really need to see them start working) then his vent tube will be switched out to a larger sized tube which is a larger hole.  The airway should really open up in the next day or two, if the steroids work, and then he should be able to come off of the ventilator.  Yesterday he weighed 2 lbs 10oz, but lost a little over 20 g and is back to 2 lbs 9oz.  Still needing him to put on some weight, thus they continue to up his calories with fortification.

Today he is doing okay.  He's desatting here and there, but always able to bring himself up.  He has been set at a steady 43% oxygen all day.  I read him a book today and he liked it!  He listens and then as soon as I am done, he closes his eyes and falls asleep.  I love it!  I held him and talked to him and made up some Austin songs... it was nice.  He had a pretty good day.  I called to check on him at 6:15, he had another dip in oxygen and his HR dropped some too, but he just needed a little stimulation (brady cardia).  I love this little boy so much and hope and pray that I never have to face the reality of what this situation is capable to bring.  I feel confident he'll be home with me one day, but its been hard to shake the experience we had Tuesday afternoon.  My heart races and my nerves are a wreck each time I drive down to the hospital and walk through the NICU doors.  I don't want to see that again. 

Please continue to pray for him, as I know you all will.  Specifically - that the steroids work... that he's able to hang in there and not continue to have brady's and oxygen drops.  I love him so.  Thank you all! 

OH... and his hair is getting lighter and lighter!  He's going to be blond!  He looks a lot like Drew as a baby, and makes a lot of the same expressions.  So neat!!!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Emotional rollercoaster is an Understatement

I arrived to the hospital today with the book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  My first day to the start of my daily reading to Austin.  I was excited to see him and read to him.  My husband was already there.  My first question, as always-"how's Austin today?".  Everyone said how touchy he is acting.  Desatting a lot, and his oxygen requirements were over 50%.  They had just ordered and x-ray on his chest to check his tube placement.  He was needing secretions suctioned from his lungs every 10-15 minutes, a change from once an hour or longer.

 The x-ray is done, and as his nurse is laying him back to a comfortable position, he clamps down, holding his breath and not taking breaths.  Yes the vent is in there, but he is clamped down.  She calls for another nurse and his alarms are going off.  Scotty and I are standing in the hallway, and I see his numbers dropping (oxygen stats) 80, 72,53,38,27.......  He's not getting his oxygen.....  He is pale white.... pale pale pale white.   I said, "Scotty, I don't think he's breathing..."  His isolette is surrounded by about 6 nurses and RT's (respiratory therapists).  His heart rate drops 110. 105, 93, 86......  Then it comes up to 102 112, down to 98, up to 116... and keeps rising...... His oxygen stats are going up, 55, 68, 77 and slowly rise from there.  A nurse comes to us as we're crying, standing far enough to be out of the way but close enough to check on whats happening.  She said, "I'm sorry, but he's recovering.  He's a little pale still, but his color will pinken up here shortly."  We were crying.  He'd never had an episode like that.  It was so awful.  We immediately went to his bedside after he was okay, and nurses had cleared out... we both put our hands in there and talked to him.  He scared us more than we've ever been scared in our lives.  From here --there were blood tests and viral cultures ordered.  The x-ray looked normal, and although he isn't acting like a "sick baby" they're going to do the tests to rule these things out.  He started the steroids yesterday... things should be moving in the other direction.  

Ventilator setting adjustments were made.  His pressure time was changed and breathes given reduced.  So basically, instead of getting many, short breaths, he's receiving longer inhale and exhale periods.... opening lungs and airway more.  **make sense..?**  This really helped him out!  I started to see improvements in less than 2 hours.  He wasn't desatting.... his oxygen requirement went down a little bit... he needed less suctioning.  If that's what he needed and he knew it and wanted something done... he sure did get our attention... I just don't want him to EVER do that again.  It was so scary!

 His blood work came back great.  His blood gas was great.  So far, no signs of infection or sickness per his blood work.  Waiting on the results of the cultures.  I stayed all day (11-7).  I needed to stay until he made me feel better.  And he did!  I read to him and he looked at me and listened.  He had a couple desats, but came right up and wasn't dropping low at all.  He had more in the first few minutes I had arrived than in the 4 hours after the ordeal....  He took well to the vent adjustments. 

All in all... today was crummy.  BUT I choose to focus on his turn around.  He dug up the strength and made it through the absolute worse moment, thus far, of his NICU stay.  Then he took well to the adjustments made.  He's so strong.  I talked and stayed with him all afternoon.  He rested a lot.  He looked at me a lot.  He still squirmed as his usual self does.  And he smiled a lot this afternoon too!  I love my little Austin.

I hope that I can continue to have the strength I've had this long... but I am not sure I can have the strength to stand by and watch that again.  I don't want to find out if I would have the strength twice.  Never want to know.

(BTW... today Austin is gestationally 31 weeks....)

GOD IS GOOD.  Austin is getting baptized tomorrow at 1 pm. 

Many thanks for all of your love, support, and continual prayer.  May God continue to Bless each of you.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Walking on Sunshine

Although its been yucky and rainy all day... I'm walking on sunshine!!!  I have been enjoying my time with Austin so much!  Being his mother is amazing!!  Scotty and I both did kangaroo care with him yesterday!  his stats were pretty good yesterday... and after a long talk with the doctor, and a few days of my own thoughts and research on the subject... we have decided to go ahead and do steroids for Austin.  He needs to get off of the ventilator.  Something he doesn't "need".  Its only causing irritation to his airways, and so because of some minor swelling, he's requiring more oxygen, and the steroids should help him in reducing the swelling and getting extubated.

Today Austin is 1182 g = 2lbs 9oz.   He is 14 1/2 inches long!  He still needs to, on average, gain more weight per day, but has been resting more throughout the day, so hopefully that will enable him to hold onto his calories!!  His feedings are going very well, and they upped his caloric intake today.  Crossing fingers!  I held him (KC) today for a while, and then I gave Austin a bath!!!!!!  This was so amazing to do!  I felt so needed!  It was awesome!  I was so happy when his nurse asked me if I wanted to do it!  What a day!  (see ... walking on sunshine!)  I have been smiling ear to ear since!

I have some really good pictures to share.  I just need my computer to cooperate.  So hopefully soon I will get those posted here for you to see.  I'm gathering some Christmas books to take to the hospital to read to Austin this month.  I want him to hear all about the season.  I also talked to the Catholic Priest at the hospital today about baptising Austin while there now, and doing the ceremonial end of it once he is home and in the "safe zone" to be out and about many others.  So I am glad to have that set in stone and ready to go.  I have been wanting to do it, I just kept letting it slip my mind while there at the hospital. 

I have really been able to finally step back and relax.  This is my life and I love it.  Yeah, sure, it took a path I wasnt expecting... but I am okay with it.  I have a wonderful family.  I have finally been able to turn on the radio and enjoy it.  Until now, it had been too much "noise" for me and my mind.  I'm finding myself able to sit down and relax at home... i;m no longer constantly reading preemie books or looking on line for research.  I am just living life again.  It feels good. 

Happy Holiday Season to you all.  Remember to count your blessings and to always be thankful for what you have.  So many others are facing tough times in their lives.  Even if you feel yours is rough... someone somewhere is dealing with something worse.  God Bless you all, and continued prayer is all I ask of you!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

"i have two sons, a 7 yr old and a 1 month old"

Today Austin is now one month old.  I know, crazy, RIGHT?! 

Yesterday he was beginning to desat more and more.  :o/   He has so much secretion in his lungs from the ventilator, it seems they're constantly sucking out gunk from them.  Poor buddy.  He hates it, too.  His oxygen requirement is kind of staying the same because of this... 40%.  I did hold him swaddled in my arms yesterday so that I could look at him and talk with him... I have some fantastic pictures that I will be sharing as soon as I get them downloaded.  He weighed 2lbs 9oz!!!!

Today- Austin is 1 month old!!  30 wks gestational....  I love this little peanut!!!  He looked good today, however his desats are continuing and seemed to be lower than they have been lately.... His oxygen requirements are getting a little higher... 42% today.  I called tonight to check on him, and she moved him up to 50% because of increased desats.  She said she's going to give him about an hour or so with 50% and try to get him lower throughout the night.  She said his secretions are increasing, so it seems.  Scotty and I have agreed to get in there and talk to the doctors in more depth tomorrow.  I will keep you posted.  Overall, though, he is doing well.  He has been slowly gaining weight and is continuing to do great with his feeds.  He's kind of at a plateau for progress, but not getting worse, or moving backwards.  So I guess at least that's not happening.  I'd like to see his oxygen saturation get to where he needs to be and get him off the ventilator!  The sooner the better, but not before he's ready.  I just will feel like I can "breathe easier" once he's off of it. 

Again, Thank You for your continued support!!!!

***my life as I know it..... and I love it***

Thursday, December 1, 2011

4 weeks old

Austin is a big 4 week old baby today!  Can you believe it???  He has gone through so much, and is such a strong guy.  Four weeks... wow.  It doesn't feel like he's been here with us this long, yet it feels like forever ago since I was laying in the hospital!  One month on Saturday.... crazy.

Yesterday was a somber visit in the NICU.  One of Austin's pod mates had passed overnight. I had told you all about her, Miracle.  She was born at 24 wks and was 2 weeks old when she passed.  The day before she passed, while I was there visiting Austin, she was having a very rough day.  Alarming constantly.  Her heart had stopped.  Please take a moment, now if you will, and say a prayer for her family.  What wonderful people. 

Austin had a good past few days.  He is still desatting with 40%m but its due to secretions in his lungs from having the ventilator in.  His blood gas is still good.  His chest x-ray today still showed hazy, due to fluid, so since his electrolytes are good, he will begin a 3 day course on the diuretics to flush his fluids.  I called to check on him and he is doing well and has had a large urine out put (getting rid of the fluids) and his oxygen levels are going down already.  He was down just a little at 37%-but moving in the right direction!

I held Austin for about an hour and fifteen minutes today.  I told him about our new Christmas tree, and about his brother.  My husband has been home sick the past few days, so i reminded Austin of his love and that he would be back to visit soon.  Drew asked me to let him know to be strong and get better so that he can come home and be a new family member.  :o)     I told him all about life at home.  And then we napped together!!!  He is wonderful.   Austin was awake and alert today.  He still needs to gain weight... 1122g = 2obs 7oz... but he did go up on his calories today.  Keep praying for the maturing of his lungs, and please pray for him to gain weight.  Once he starts to gain weight, everything else should follow suit! 

One day at a time is such a pleasant way of living, if you're able to stick to it.  It really is not easy at times, but when I'm able to do so, it makes me feel so much better!

Thank you again for continued prayers!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

30 weeks gestation

Today Austins age is adjusted at 30 weeks gestation!  He had a rough day today.  Due to anemia, he had another blood transfusion, which went well.  He needed his oxygen levels up because of it, and was also given a diatetic to help him urinate out some excess fluids. 

He wasnt very comfortable while I was there.  Very squirmy and desatting often.  The vent causes his lungs to get "yuck" in them, and its hard to breathe well through it, so he needs to be suctioned... he hates it.  His ventilator tube was a little too far in, so they needed to pull back 1/2cm, and he hated that too.  Poor guy.  His belly xrays look good, but his chest xray showed to be a little hazey... something to watch.  Possible signs of CLD (chronic lung disease). 

It was very hard for me to leave him today.  He was wide awake, but still just looked so uncomfortable.  So "over it".  It broke my heart to see him like that.  I wanted to hold him so badly today, but with all else going on, they suggested I wait another day.  He held my finger for a long time while I told him about our family.

 Drew asked me to take this dog tag he received at a basketball camp with a cross on one side and it says "with God all things are possible" on the other side to Austin this evening.  He is so thoughtful.  He told me Austin could have his guardian angel coin too, but a nice lady at a restaurant gave me one already.  Drew also told my husband tonight not to buy him anything for Christmas this year... that he'll just take what Santa gives to him.  He told us to spend our money on Austin this year, that he doesnt need anything.  He said he understands we have to worry about a house, our dog, Austin at the hospital, and him, and that its a lot and he understands.  :o)    We told him we have plenty of money for all of that and him too, and that he is so sweet, but he needs not to worry about those things, we'll do the worrying!  He is an angel, too!!! 

I also feel like I'm not giving Drew enough of my undivided attention lately.  I know my mind is always running wild... but I am having a rough night myself.  This isnt a very nice roller coaster... but I'll make it through it all... one day at a time... with a true smile on-- because I am very happy.  I love my life just the way it is... although when Austin is out of the NICU and home, it'll be easier!  I am so BLESSED with two amazing little boys that are strong in so many ways, and with a supportive and loving husband who knows how it feels.  I am full of positivity and strength... just need a hot shower to let the tears run once in a while.

Please pray for Austin and the maturity of his lungs.  He needs a little extra help in that area right now.  I pray for healing of his lungs from the Lord.  And continued strength on his end... and on mine.  Continued knowledge and patience for the doctors and nurses. 

Thank you to all of you for your support, prayers and for caring about Austin!  He melts my heart!  I hope he's touched yours.....   he's amazing.

Monday, November 28, 2011

teeny tiny baby steps.... in the right direction

Today Austin is doing well.  He had a pretty good night.  His belly is distended again, but with a little rectal stimulation he had a large blowout bowel, and then his belly was down a little bit.  He is trapping gas in his belly.  The doctors would like to fortify with amino acids in my milk, because he needs to gain weight.  He needs to double his average daily weight gains.  Little guy!  He weighs 1089 g = 2lbs 6.5oz.  He is 14 inches long!  He looks really good.  His nose looks GREAT.   He has a new attending this week, Dr. Valentine.  I like her.  She had done a lot of research on kangaroo care.  She has a lot of really good information!  I'm totally fascinated with the kangaroo care.  As a mother, while holding baby, if baby's temperature needs to rise, our bodies warm up... if baby needs to cool down, our bodies drop temperature to cool down baby.  Oh, and so many more really neat things!

Austin will be on the ventilator, on very low settings, for about up to another week.  He needs to really start putting on the weight... that will help improve everything.  They are giving him 20 breathes per minute, and he's on average taking about 30+ breaths per minute on his own, and his oxygen is on about 36%-40%.  This is what needs to go down... the oxygen their giving him.  Once he "fattens up" a bit, his lung tissue will develop more and allow him to "hold on to" the oxygen better.

He's already much bigger from the "first time" I held him.

I did kangaroo care today for an hour and fifteen minutes.  I love him so much!  Its so awesome to hold him.  I am going to do it everyday!!!!  I'm glad he's back to himself enough that we are able to hold him again! 


Sunday, November 27, 2011

My little Austin (Saturday and Sunday updates)

Austin had a great day and night on Saturday.  The doctors are weening him off the ventilator, from 30 to 25 now to 20.  His feeds are going great, at 20mls.  His belly is still soft and measuring at 22cm.  They are continuing his ventilator through Sunday, and hopefully it will be out on Monday.  While I was visiting him on Saturday night, he was very attentive... his eyes were open a lot.  He doesn't like having the ventilator down his throat, I can tell. He does suck on it a little bit but, if he squirms at all, it is rubbing his lungs walls and he doesn't like that.  

Today the doctors this morning were suggesting to ween him down again to 15, and the did, but then his oxygen requirement went up to 38% from 30%.  So they put him back up to 20.

I called to check on him at 4:00 and he was having a few more desats than yesterday, so they are not positive of how he will do off the ventilator at this time.  So its a wait and see. 

Continual prayers, please.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving...time for UPDATES

I haven't had time to update the last few days... and they have been crazy. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Austin is doing okay today.  His blood counts came back normal today.  He is having trouble pushing his stools, due to gas.  His belly is distended more, about another 1/2cm.  He had a few A's and B's (3) and quite a few desats.  The nurses upped his oxygen to 35% to 40% and gave him a chin strap to keep his mouth closed.  This has been helping some with the desats.  My sweet angel!

Weds, November 23, 2011
As I was getting ready to drop my older son to a friends, and my husband had just left to go into work, the hospital called about their rounds.  The doctor said Austin didn't have a good night.  She wanted me to be prepared for some things when I arrived.  He stopped digesting his feeds (back on TPN's and lipids).  The neonatoligists believe it all could tie into the amount of gas his belly is holding, but are also worried it could be an intolerance to the "cows milk" they fortify my breast milk with, so they are stopping his feeds for 48 hours.  His blood work came back with no infection, no inflammations, x-rays look good, however his blood gas is high for carbon dioxide again, even higher than the last time.    His belly is filling with so much air that it is causing pressure on his lungs and diaphragm, not allowing him to fill his lungs to capacity, therefore not able to get all the oxygen he needs.  He needs to be off the CPAP to let his belly, bowels, etc rest, but still needs a "boost", so they are going to intubate him with a ventilator again.  :*(   They are going to put a large tube down into his belly with a slight suction on the end, to vent out the air.  His belly is still "soft" but very pressurized.  It is measuring 24cm.  The ventilator will be on very low settings since, Austin doesn't necessarily need a ventilator, but cannot have the CPAP at the time.  They hope to have him off of it Friday or Saturday.  As of now, they will just administer TPN's and lipids through an IV, and see how tests go to decide if he will need another PICC line.

I call my husband, distraught.  I am so upset.  Re-intubating him is so extremely invasive, and uncomfortable, and long term can cause a lot of damage to my sweet boys lungs.  I'm holding on to the fact that he hasn't stopped breathing to need the ventilator, they just need an alternative to fix the other problem... the gas trapped in his belly.

We head to the hospital and talk with the doctors through our tears.  Dr. L was very uplifting and positive about these steps.  We talk to Austin about being proud of him and about hanging in there and being strong.  We leave as they do the intubating of the ventilator.  We come back and see how everything is set up.  We have a clear view of his face with out the CPAP.  He is so sweet.  The ventilatior placement went well.  They had to pull out the first attempt because his HR dropped low, but had no problems the second go.  He was fighting them a bit, which is good.  He is resting, and hopefully things improve soon.  We sit and visit for about an hour and say our "i love you's" and head out.  I am exhausted and go home to sleep for a few hours.

Thursday, November 24, 2011
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!  We wake in the morning and head to the hospital to see how Austin has been doing.  The doctors do some xrays this morning.  He is doing a little better, not as many desats, no A's and B's.  His xrays show the gas is still hanging out around his stomach.  His lungs are still  not extended to full capacity, but his belly is softer.  He has been able to have his oxygen settings lowered just a bit. 

After thanksgiving festivities, we head back to see how Austin is doing.  He is doing AWESOME.  His afternoon xrays came back showing a lot of practice.  Dr. Heather showed us the two xrays.  His lungs are now fully open and his belly has a lot less gas.  His stomach looks so much smaller!  His blood gas levels are fantastic, where they need to be!!!!  He is doing well in just the few hours we were gone!  He is such a fighter.  He weighs 1080g = 2lbs 6oz today.  He did rip out his ventilator. So they have gloves on his hands and tucked them snugly beneath him.  The also has a strap and tape all the way around his head to hold the vent in place.  He's feisty!!!

Friday, November 25, 2011
After rounds this morning, Dr. Heather called to tell us how well Austin is.  His blood gas is perfect.  He did loose a little weight 2lbs 4oz today, but he will start feeds at 10mls again this evening at 6:00pm.  They have begun weening him off of the ventilator.  Hoping if his feeds go well tonight that he will be off vent tomorrow!!! Praying this goes well!

We will be heading down to see him soon.  I hope he keeps climbing up the wall of progress!  I love him so very much!!!!!

Continued prayer is getting me through my everyday.... so THANK YOU from every depth of our hearts!!!!  xoxoxoxo

Sweet little angel!!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Today Austin is doing well.  He went a little over 24 hours with out any A's and B's, but was still having desats with his feeds and with his "care" (vitals, etc).  He is still squirmy with getting the gas out of his belly, but he's getting some out.  His belly is still a little big, but just full of air.  (poor buddy)  I forgot to mention yesterday... I saw Austin's first tear from his eye yesterday!  Sweet baby boy.  And his cry is a little louder! 

Today Austin weighed in at 1024g = 2 lbs 4 oz.  However, he isn't gaining enough fatty weight, so I am now separating my breast milk.  There is fore milk (beginning of pumping) and there is hind milk (end of pumping).  The hind milk is full of fats and calories... So that's where we are with that.  We'll see how he does with it, and if we need to go a step further and add some protein powders, we will.  But for now we are keeping our fingers crossed that I carry enough fats for him! 

I notice that Austin is "changing" the way he looks a little.  I feel like he's growing into his skin... Its not as loose on him.  His cheeks look a little "pinchable".  Here is a couple of pictures from last night.

Holding Daddy's finger!

Not very happy to be messed with!

Peek-a-boo, I see you!

Last night we went to a seminar... met some other moms and dads.  I hope to stick by one another with a few of them.  This is a hard road, but having each other will help each of us out! 

God continues with his blessings!  Continue to pray for Austin and all the premature babies.  This is TOUGH for them...  their teeny tiny bodies. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Baby steps...

Yesterday I didn't have a chance to post.  I saw Austin in the morning and he was doing okay.  He had some A's and B's through out the night, with his feeds, so REFLUX.... but his belly was measuring larger as well.  It was still soft and not discolored.... and he showed no signs of pain.  He is getting so much air in his belly, and because his feeds are on a 2 hour pump, it doesn't leave much time to vent his feeding tube to allow air to escape.  He is also releasing a lot of air with his bowels.  Oxygen is up a little to 35% and they have put on a chin strap, which keeps his mouth closed so oxygen isn't going in his nose and escaping his mouth.... this has shown to work... he is desatting less.

This morning Austin is doing so well!  He had a total of 8 A's and B's... and a total of 8 feeds.  His spells are happening about 20 mins after his feeds.  His desat's are less, but still up and down.  He looked really good, feisty while doing his vitals, diaper change, etc.... and very relaxed and comfortable otherwise.  He did have a bradycardia (B) at 10:30a.m. while we were there, but he dropped to 93 and brought himself back up.  Austin has gained more weight.  He now weighs an even 1000g = 2 lbs 3oz.  When he hits 1200-1300g the doctors will see how he handles being without his CPap.  At 1500g, as long as Austin can regulate his own body temperature, he will be out of his isolette.  So 1000g sounds so good to me!!!!  I feel like he is beginning to "fill out" a bit too.  His skin doesn't seem so loose and saggy.  I think he's getting pinchable cheeks!!!!!   

This evening we went to a seminar where speaker OTR  Sue Ludwig spoke to us about preemies.  It was very interesting and I learned alot and was able to have my questions answered!  We of course went to see Austin after the seminar.  His nurse Felicia said he was doing very well.  His belly looked better, but was still measuring the same, just not getting bigger.  His feeds were put back to a 1 hour pump, rather than 2 hours to allow for more venting for his belly.  This seems to be helping him a little.  He hadn't had any A's and B's since his 10:30 a.m. spell, and he seemed to be able to release his gas easier.  He was doing well!  He looked good!!!  I love him so much!  I did get a couple of good pictures today, so I will post them tomorrow.  I am so tired and heading to bed.  I've turned into a milk machine and it's wiping me out!  I know if he were home it'd be the same... but I'd also be napping more if he were here.  When I have the time for a nap, I always take that time to head down to see Austin. 

OH!  The NICU has a Christmas party for us!  Santa comes to the NICU with some ELVES (Bengals players) and takes pictures.  Siblings are invited to the family room for craft time and to for autographs and photos.  SO cool for Austin and Drew!  A brother thing! So cool!

Continued blessings for Austin everyday!  I thank YOU Lord! 

We met a sweet baby girl today as well.  She is only a few days old.  She was born at 24 weeks.  She is so tiny... but so beautiful.  Her name is Miracle.  She has the teeny, tiniest, cute little nose!!!!  Pray for Miracle too!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sweet baby boy

Austin is doing well today.  He did well with the blood transfusion.  If his body would have any reaction, it would have had it in the first 15 minutes. The transfusion is pumped in so slowly, and even with such a small amount that Austin was receiving, its a process that takes hours.  He did very well, and his blood gas levels, and CBC came out very good today.  His anemia was improving. 

My baby boy did have a very rough night last night/early morning.  He had quite a few A's and B's, but most of them he was able to pull him self back up with the numbers, only requiring stimulation a few times.  However, he receives 19 ml feeds, and he did have a 5 ml bile come up not long after his feed.  His belly measured a little big (1cm bigger than normal) and so they ordered a belly scan (bile and enlarged belly raises much concern).  His scan came back normal, but showed a lot of air trapped.... Doctors are sure that is what caused the bile, as his belly was trying to push out the air.  I was also told that the transfusion can cause some temporary problems... that the intestines take time to absorb the new blood, and while trying to adjust to the new blood that they do not always digest things properly or immediately.  He has not had more of the bile come up after his feedings for the rest of today.  The doctors had his gc tube (feeding tube) changed and had him repositioned and angled and this seem to help as well... much less frequent A's and B's and seems to be more comfortable.

Austin did gain a tiny bit of weight.  This morning he was at 975g (2lbs 2.50 oz).  He's still getting two caffeine doses a day, and they are keeping him on antibiotics through today-to be safe (bile build-up).  When I called his nurse this evening (about 8:30p) he was doing very well. He hadn't had any concerning A's and B's for the day.  He had gained another 9g.= 984g.  :O)    He is doing well with his feeds (still on the pump).  He was a little "warm" so his nurse turned down his temperature of his "bed" (isolette).  Not a fever grade warm... so not a reason to worry.

All and all today is a good day for Austin.  Scotty went down to the hospital early afternoon and said he looks great.  He opened his eyes at his daddy a few times and seemed to be comfortable.  Scotty is sure to always tell him that his mommy and brother love him so much!  I am finally feeling back to myself... 100%... so I will be heading down early in the morning.  I miss him so much.... I wonder if he'll look bigger and tougher to me?!   ...  AND THEN ITS DREW and MOMMY DAY!!!  I miss my time with my older son.  I was on bed rest for 8 full weeks, and then these past two weeks I have not been "here" mentally.... and so tomorrow is a much needed day!  Movies and popcorn and candy and living like a kid again- no worries.  Its going to be a great time!!!!

We are continually blessed each and every day.  I thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers!
And I thank GOD for another day of progress for Austin.... b/c its one day closer for him to come home!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Support for Austin

My 7 yr old son and I wearing purple for AUSTIN ALLEN

It's the little things that make life worth living,
It's the little things that help us make it through.
I never knew how true those words were,
Until I first set my eyes on you.
I feared because it was too early;
I cried because it was too soon.
Yet I underestimated
The strength in one as small as you.
You were born a fighter, a warrior;
You would not quit nor move on.
You strove, you fought, you tried,
Until your battle was won.
When hope might have faded,
When the trial seemed too great,
A tiny child, despite the odds,
Fought what was thought fate.
And a little baby triumphed,
A baby thought too small to live,
A baby knew that life
Is the most precious thing to give

Sweet baby boy. 
Austin's cousin
Friends Alicia and daughter Izzy
Austin's second cousin
My aunt and uncle
Mommy's friend
NICU grad L.  She's a miracle baby too, and today she showed her support for all preemies including Austin!
Mommy's friend
My cousin
Abby.....  ;o)

Facebook Status' on 11/17/11
"Got my purple on today..thinking of you and baby Austin today!" ~ Brandy K.
"Wearin' my purple jammies tonight in honor of the tiny man! " ~Becky S.
"So I wore purple today!! Granted it was only my socks and undergarments, because my purple scrubs were dirty, but I found something purple to wear for little Austin!!" ~Heidi C.
"So tonight while saying our prayers which of course include baby Austin, Nate asked how long will he be in the hospital and i said i don't know but each day he gets stronger and stronger i guess maybe a couple of months and brady said "wow a couple of months then he will be as strong as a pro wrestler". Just wanted you to know we are praying for you all everyday." ~ Erin C. and her boys
"I'm wearing purple today just for him and had to mention that it's my favorite color too!" ~ Krystle B.
I worn my purple for Austin today!!!! I told everyone about him!!! Prayers always coming your way!!!!" ~ Debbie F.
"Purple is my least favorite color, but I am rockin it for my boy Austin" ~Jason R.
"It's World Prematurity Day...thinking of baby Austin Kimmey, son of Andrea Kimmey who was born 11.3.11 at barley 26 weeks, he is both a miracle and a little fighter! God bless these little ones, the dedicated parents, and the amazing Doctors and Nurses who take care of these tiny miracles!"  ~ Tanya N.
"all babies are blessings.
premature babies are miracles.
esp austin. ♥
wearing purple for you & your amazing mommy
Andrea Kimmey." ~ Natalie L.
"Today is World Prematurity Day! Wear purple in honor of all the little ones born premature! I'm wearing purple in honor of Austin Kimmey who was born on November 3, 2011 at 26wks 2days! He is doing great and has a very strong, loving family cheering him on and praying he continues to grow stronger each day! God is amazing and baby Austin is living proof! — with Andrea Kimmey." ~ Christi K.
"Today is world prematurity day! Wear purple in honor of all the premies! I am wearing purple today in honor of Austin Kimmey born 11/3/2011 at a whopping 26wks 2days! He is growing stronger everyday! We love you guys and will continue our prayers! — with Andrea Kimmey." ~ Beth K.
"Today is world prematurity day! Wear purple in honor of all the little peanuts!! ESP for Austin Kimmey!! :) — with Andrea Kimmey." ~ Katie S.
 "None of my girls were premie's. Just supporting a friend, Andrea and all the other families that have had premie's.. Stay strong and keep believing!!! Austin is a fighter and this is just a speed bump in life that he will over come.. Keep praying for ya little man" ~ Mike M.