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

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What my son, Austin, has taught me

There are so many things that motherhood teaches you.  My oldest son, Drew, was born in 2004.  He is eight.  He has taught me so much... but I too, just as any parent, had lost some of those lessons over the years.  Like how folding laundry can wait a minute.  Or like how if he forgot to brush his teeth this morning its not the end of the world.  BUT Austin has brought back all the lessons learned and taught me even more..... his fragile beginning also gave me a new view on life and the world and on God.  And for that, I will be forever thankful for the journey of the NICU and his early arrival.  I am not saying that parents with healthy, full term babies don't receive these views or lessons..... but I am saying that its easier to forget these lessons, or not realize how special each and every moment is.  I guess I mean that its harder for them to look through a microscope at how infinitely special parenthood is... and that of a preemie, a micro preemie, ever so more!
So this is what Austin has taught me (*oh my I am tearing up.... what a *almost a* year this has been)!
Austin has taught me patience.  He has taught me that it is okay to fear, but to do so with unlimited HOPE.  He has taught me that there is nothing better to rely on than on God and love- and the love of God.  He has taught me that this moment, right now, this very second should be the most special in your life, along with the next second and the next and the next.  He has taught me that focusing on something that you can not change is not worth your energy.  He has taught me that "what ifs" are just that- what ifs... they are nothing because currently they do not exist, so only "worry" about them IF they present themselves.  He has taught me that you can not change what is, you can only learn to live and adjust to it, but you can grow from it and some times that growth brings change.  He has taught me that special needs isn't always what society believes it is, but that it is something that should be cherished, no matter what definition it holds.  He has taught me that angels don't always have wings, aren't always "behind the scenes", but are, at times, right in front of your face, sometimes saving your child's life.  He has taught me that tomorrow is not promised, but that when it comes to your health, its still wise to plan for tomorrow.  He has taught me that sometimes the smallest of all things is quite the opposite, but the biggest, the strongest, the most relevant.   He has taught me that statistics are not always in your favor, and the odds may be breathing down your neck against you- but that there is always the other side of the number- the ones who beat the odds, its possible, it happens, and it did.  Austin has taught me that everyone has their own problems, their own lives and that's okay- let them live the way they want to live, and worry about your own.  He has taught me that some people may never know what to say, how to react to some situations, so they stay away, and that's okay.  He has taught me that "normal" is what you define it as..... not what society tells you it is.    I have learned that silence is sometimes the loudest moment of your day.  He has taught me that weak moments pass, so let it out and cry, just remember to pick your head up and look to the Lord for guidance, and you can get through anything.  He has also taught me that 4 is a perfect number, and that my family is now complete!!!

I still hear "I do not know how you (did) do it.  You're so strong", and I thank people for that... but I also say, I am a mother, this is my child.  I will get through anything for them.  I handled it the way I did for two reasons, my faith and the help of God, and for my family, my two boys and my husband.  Those two reasons alone.  It made it easier to know that they were going through it too.  It made it easier to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and although the journey may have been long, there was always going to be an end..... we just had to get there and get there with Austin alive and healthy..... and we did!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Austin is 11 months old today

I cannot believe it!!!!  Austin will be turning one in just a month.... WOW - time flies by when you're having fun!  I can honestly say time really does heal, and there are certain things I thought I would never forget- but I'll admit, I have to go back and "look things up". 

Austin has been doing SO MUCH since our last update.  He is still saying all his 'da da', 'la la', 'ga ga', squeals, screams and more- still not a consistent 'ma ma'.  He has said it, but I think by accident! Oh he is such a JOY in our lives!  He and Drew are just so in love with each other.  No matter what Drew does, Austin is laughing his hardest watching his brother!  I am having a hard time getting the latest videos to pull up on my computer, but I hope to share them soon.  Austin is rolling all over the place!  I cant keep him still.... not for a diaper change or even a bottle!  He began to army crawl last week!  He is just doing so well!  He is eating finger foods and just banging things around, enjoying life.   In fact, he had the BEST high risk appointment last Thursday and is off his meds!  I still have him on reflux medicine, bc after a "trial period" of coming off the zantac, he just wasn't quite ready. His lungs sounded THE BEST YET and look GREAT on his xrays.  So they're healing well!!!!

Austin did have a short hospital stay Aug 11-13.  He contracted a bad cold and was having some increased work of breathing, so- luckily- I have the equipment still here at home and was able to hook him up to his pulse ox to get a reading of his O2 saturation's.   They weren't the greatest and so we went to urgent care.  They did a breathing treatment and sent us home with an inhaler... basically were treating him as though he was asthmatic, and reacting to his cold.  However, in the wee early hours the following morning, the inhaler wasn't making a difference and his sats were dropping into the mid to upper 80's.  Not where he should be.  I hooked him back up to his oxygen and figured I'd call doctor in the morning.  Well, even with a 1/4L flow, his sats were only as high as 92-93.... So i had the HIGH RISK neonatoligist paged and she suggested a trip to the ER.  After close evaluation, they wanted to keep him until his "stuffiness" was cleared enough to be able to be managed at home and NOT need oxygen.  Here is a picture of Austin executing his plan of escape from the hospital....

I was in the bathroom and I walked out to find him "eating" the bars!

Austin now has five teeth, with two more visible- just not quite through!  He is growing so quickly!  He now weighs 15 lbs 4 oz and is 25 1/4 inches.  He still wears 3-6 month clothing but is closer to getting into 6 month clothes... each day I feel like its a new 3-6 month outfit not fitting him!!!

Today was Austins developmental evaluation.  He was right where he needed to be (at his adjusted age) with most areas, and in a few, he was advanced!!!!!  This is such a good feeling!   We work A LOT on his developmental "exercises".  He is doing great! 

The dreaded RSV and FLU season is just around the corner..... BLAH!  We have already begun our "lockdown" period- we will not have visitors IN our home, and we will not be taking Austin to enclosed areas either.... others homes.  We still are enjoying the outdoors.  I have recently taken him to the park and finally (after a thorough wipe down with clorox wipes)- he has had his first SWING experience!  AND HE LOVED IT..... of course!

Last night was our very first FAMILY dinner outing!  We do not want to take him to dine indoors - as these days it seems restaurants tables seem to be closer and closer together, and it becomes harder to keep out 5+ feet distance!  SO- it was very nice outside and so we went to a mexican restaurant (IT WAS SO GOOD) and sat on the patio.  Austin seemed to enjoy himself, and his older brother was so happy to finally get out TOGETHER!   My oldest is playing flag football this fall.  Austin and I were able to make it to his game on saturday- it was beautiful outside!  So, yeah, we still get out and about before the "quarantine" of Nov- April hits.... but we're using much caution.... all because of his recent hospital stay.

Obviously so much has been going on in our lives and so many new things that Austin has been doing and Drew has been up to..... this post is really just a "run through" of what all I can think of.  Austin still is projectile vomiting from time to time, but not nearly as much as when we were pushing for higher caloric intake.  He is currently eating three solid meals a day and drinking about 27+ oz a day at 24 calories per ounce.  Ideally, the doctors and nutritionist would like to have him at 28 cals/oz, but his tummy just cant handle the richness of the milk. 

There are still so many milestones and "steps" to be met- but he's doing GREAT.  There are still many "things" that only time will tell... but so far, other than his increased work of breathing when playing and his small self, Austin shows minimal effects of his prematurity and long NICU journey.  God is good and I thank Him daily for all He blessed me with, and continues to Bless me with.  Oh, I did learn a new bit of information during his recent hospital stay .... I did not know this.... when Austin was born it was a resuscitation - I knew this.... they worked LONG and HARD to get bring this baby back to life... I knew this.... What I did not know was that they had to give him TWO epinephrine shots to get his heart started...... TWO.   So thankful he responded!!!!!!!

I know I have said this before.... but I do really intend on updating more.  I really truly do!  

Come back to look for the videos!!!!  Thank you again for all of your thoughts and prayers..... you will never know how much it means to me.....  xoxo