Friday, July 17, 2015

Lorelai is THREE months old

Ok Seriously where has the time gone? How is She THREE months old!!??? I just can't believe it. It feels like just yesterday that they were rushing me back to take my precious little miracles.

First Cinco De Mayo?
But here we are...3 months...and of course the BIGgest, i mean HUGEst, BESTest news this month is that our beautiful little girl is HOME...H.O.M.E.!!!!!! saying the words out loud bring me so much emotion. I'm sitting here writing this and am fighting back tears. Every little milestone I took for granted with the boys means so much when you have a preemie and bringing your baby home when they are term is a huge thing...bringing your preterm baby home is MONUMENTAL!

So lets start from the beginning. Lorelai had a huge month. She started off the month in the NCC. I also went back to work. Being in the NCC with me working meant that I got to sneak in to see her a few times a night. It also meant that I left and hour early and stayed an hour or so after work to spend time with her. --so this mama was even more exhausted than normal but I'd do it again for my girl.

Lorelei's biggest and really only hurdle this month was feedings. She needed to take a minimum amount of oral feeds to take her NG tube out. Then she needed to continue to take a certain amount to come home.

I'm not sure if what we experienced with her oral feedings is normal, but it was FRUSTRATING! She took her first several bottles great and then it was like she realized this was hard work and didn't want to do it anymore. It felt like a huge struggle. But we eventually got there.

We spent my first mother's Day as a mom of 4 separated. It was really hard to not have my 3 surviving kiddos together. So I decided that we weren't going to celebrate until Lorelai came home. The day was so emotional for me. One of the hardest things for me is that all 4 of my children were never together. All 6 of us will never be together on this earth. And yes we know Laynie is in heaven and all that but hopefully it will be a long time until all of us are together in Heaven and mother's day was just a reminder to me of what I'm missing. Missing having my girl home, and will always be missing Laynie
Mothers Day
Mothers Day
One of my Favorite nurses made this priceless card for me
I cried when I opened this. It was so incredibly thoughtful

Enjoying some snuggle time
The Dr. that released her also happened to be the Dr. that will always hold a special place in my heart.  He was the one who tried so darn hard to save our Laynie. It really felt fitting that he was the one to discharge her. He had told me on a wednesday that he was going to trial her without her NG tube. and if all went well then she would be coming home saturday. Well then he tells me Thursday that since it had been 48 hours without any tube feedings (she was taking her bottles so well before they dc'd the NG) that she could actually come home the next day (FRIDAY).

car seat study time! one step closer to home!
Let me just say this...HOLY COW...IT JUST GOT REAL! When you have a baby in the NICU, especially one that is born 12.5 weeks early you know that NICU time is essential. You develop this routine to get you through the most challenging time of your life balancing your home, work and new baby life. Then those 5 little words are spoken...She gets to come home...and let me tell you the emotion that comes with those words. Holy COW! She is finally all ours, finally ours 24/7. then reality hits...Crap I had so much to get together and get before she came home. Diapers, bottles, bottle brushes, formula, sheets cleaned, clothes cleaned, the house cleaned, swing together, rock n play cleaned. It felt so good yet so overwhelming. We'd waited so long for this and it felt like it was just sprung on us, but in a good way.

We had oodles of teaching done, mainly on how to feed her. She requires to be fed by a bottle due to her bones needing preemie formula and her just being a preemie means she needs extra calories to grow, so we fortify my breastmilk with formula to give her what she needs. We follow a recipe to do this. She also had some testing done to ensure she was ready to go home. A hearing screen which she passed, and Oxygen test that checks to make sure her heart is pumping blood throughout her body and a car seat study to make sure she can be strapped into a carseat and not brady or desat. of which she passed :) once she passed all this we were just waiting on her NG to come out!! :)

I decided to do a little something for all those nurses who helped us along the way. I baked 8 dozen cupcakes. I gave 4 to the NICU nurses, 2 to the High Risk nurses and 2 to my unit. All of these nurses touched us and helped us get to this point so we felt we needed to celebrate with them. I also wanted to get some small gifts of appreciation for her primary nurses. I felt like I was running around at mach 2 with my hair on fire. And then it occurred to me to surprise my parents, sister and Adams family that she was home...let the scheming begin.

I was scheduled to work that friday so I of course had to call in... but i pretended to go to work like always so my dad wouldn't suspect anything. Then after I brought her home adam and I headed to my parents to pick up the boys (adam had worked late and my dad took boys back to his house) and surpised them all when I walked in the door not only just me, but with our girl in tow. It was glorious and I'm so happy I decided to surprise them.

Her NCC Home

Her NCC Home
I will not miss this monitor!!

Just had to take a picture of her Chart

Getting all cute to go HOME!
In her Car Seat Ready to GOOOOO

In the Car Ready to go!

after Loading her up in the car, we headed to my parents house to go pick up the boys and finally have all of us together!! What a beautiful day!! She came home on 5/15!!

Proud Biggest Brother!!

The fact that Lincoln's Face is blurry tells you how excited he was

Finally a picture of the 5 of us!!

Ive waited 10.5 weeks for this!
Having her brothers finally get to love on her was one of the greatest gifts I've ever received. Lincoln just adores her, and Landon is well a little in different and I think a little unsure about her. But i'm sure he will come around.
Morning after she came home. Lincoln was in Awe of her

Landon's face says it all. Not too sure yet. 

5/18/15 First pediatrician vist
Once she was home the real fun began. We have to set timers to feed her. Once again (THANK YOU LORD) we were blessed with an excellent sleeper. So good in fact that she doesn't wake up to eat. I have alarms set to wake up to feed her. Sometimes this is easy but most of the time it can really be a challenge to get her to take the volume she needs. But all the frustrations are worth it to have her home.

This month she has also started to have a little bit of reflux, which means she has PROJECTILE vomit a few times a day. But nothing we can't handle and it doesn't seem to affect her weight gain just yet. but if it does then we will be putting her on reflux medication.

So far Lorelai also has to go weekly to her pediatrician. He wants to make sure she is gaining the appropriate amount of weight.

Lorelai also had her first few outings outside the NICU and the house. Being that she had her normal two month vaccines already I was and am more comfortable taking her out into the world because she is luckily pretty healthy. My sister came down to surprise me and stayed with me for a few days and we took the kids to the childrens museum and to the monon center to swim. The boys really enjoyed themselves and I even dipped Lorelai's feet in the pool!!
First Outing to Lowes! 
at the Monon Center
Relaxing in her Carseat. It was hot so I took her sleeper off, I didn't want her to overheat
I just Had to

We also made it to her due date which was one of the hardest days for me. It was so full of what ifs. What if we would have made it to our due date, what if we could have gotten Laynie to the weight she needed for surgery. It was so emotional. But I spent the day snuggling all 3 of my surviving kiddos and trying to count my blessings, instead of what I didn't have.

On her Due Date
This month had just truly been a huge blessing to finally get her home. I'm so happy she's here and couldn't be more proud of my strong girl
First holiday at day
We also were able to do her "newborn" pictures with our photographer! Here are just a few of my favorites! 

And the 3 month Photos....

she was less than thrilled to be doing these, so I tried a pacifier

Lorelai I just love you more than you will ever know. I'm so proud of your fighting nature and how hard you worked to get home. You're a beautiful little spirit that I cherish ever second with. You have made me the happiest mommy in the world and I'd be lost without you.

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