Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Our Monday was full of excitement! Every year around the 4th of July, all of the attorneys, courthouse staff and Sheriff's Department get together for a cookout. This year was the first year it was held inside, and we were so glad, because we were able to take Fitz and show him off to all of the people I work with! I didn't take any pictures, but Fitz had a great time being oohed and ahhed over by everyone! He mostly slept through it, but that's ok. I'm sure he'll get to meet everyone again when he's a little more alert.
Monday afternoon, my friend Amanda came by to see Fitz. She works at DHR and we have several cases together and have developed a friendship because of it. She cracks me up because she just says whatever she's thinking most of the time...come to think of it, that's what people say about me, too! Since Amanda found out I was pregnant, she's been telling me that when Fitz made his arrival, and once we were settled in at home, she wanted to have about 30 minutes of just her and Fitz, with no other visitors. She got her wish yesterday! He was a little fussy when she got here because it was time to eat, but after I fed him, he cuddled right up to her and went to sleep while we talked.
Later yesterday evening, my Aunt Nedo and my cousins Tessa and Olivia came to visit from Mississippi! They have been keeping up with us here on the blog, but were so excited to finally get to meet Fitz in person. The top picture is my cousin Tessa holding Fitz. It's kinda crazy to me that I was about the age she is now when she was born, and now she's holding my baby.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
This is what we did on Saturday! We relaxed by ourselves all day while Daddy was at work, and we tried out the swing for the first time. My friend Tracey gave me this swing since her cute little boy Colton is too big for it. We tried it out yesterday and Fitz loved it!
Today I'm taking Fitz to church for the first time and I'm so excited about it!
Saturday, June 25, 2011
but being a mommy to sweet little Fitz Garrett is proving to keep me even busier! We have had an appointment of some sort every day this week! Thursday, Tootsie and I took Fitz to his first appointment at the Cleft Clinic at Children's Hospital. We had no idea what to expect, although I had been told you have to wait a while sometimes when you go. I packed enough bottles for 2 feedings (he eats every 3 hours), and off we went. When we got to the "clinic" area of Children's, we were shocked at the number of people waiting in each clinic. It's one huge waiting area separated into separate "clinics". There were people everywhere!
I signed in and we found two seats together, which was a miracle. We got there at 10:25 for our 10:30 appointment, and started waiting. We waited, and waited, and waited. Finally at about 11:30, they called me up and got my insurance card and had me sign some forms. Then around 12:00 they called us back and weighed Fitz and took his measurements. (He weighed 8.9 and was 20 inches long) I fed him his bottle and changed his diaper and he went right back to sleep. Thank God he is a good baby or it would have been miserable.
Then we waited some more. And some more. At 2:00, I went up and asked how many people were ahead of us and there were only 2 more charts ahead of us. So we waited again. They finally called us back at about 2:45. The ear doctor came in first and checked Fitz's ears. He said he had some fluid behind each ear, so they are going to go ahead and put tubes in when he has his lip surgery. No problem. Next, the feeding specialist came in and we talked about how well our little man eats. Then the plastic surgeon came in and explained in great detail how Fitz's surgeries will go. We got the first surgery, on his lip, scheduled for September 28, and only have to go back to the cleft clinic once for a pre-op visit before his surgery. Next, we saw the Nurse Practitioner that we had met while he was still in the NICU. She showed us how to apply some tape and orthodontic rubberbands to help teach Fitz's lip muscles to go down where they should be, before the surgery. That way, the muscles won't be so hard to move around to the right position during surgery. The pic above shows his tape, which he doesn't seem to mind at all.
We left Children's at about 4:00 and we were all starving! Well, not Fitz, he ate again while we were in the office talking to the doctor. But, Tootsie and I were starving! We went to dinner, where Fitz again slept through everything, then finally, went home. I left our house at about 8:30 for our 10:30 appointment, and got home at about 6:30 p.m.!
Today we plan to lay around and relax a little! We have no appointments at all! However, Fitz's girlfriend, Mary Eloise, was born last night so we may make a trip to the hospital later today to see her...depending on how many visitors her mommy and daddy have today. I'm sure we'll have pics to post when we get to see her! We hope everyone has a great weekend!
Monday, June 20, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
how we're doing at home? Sorry I don't have any cute pics with this post, but I wanted to let you all know that we are all LOVING being in our own home! When I got in bed Friday night after not having slept in my own bed in two weeks, it was like sleeping on a cloud...heavenly! I wasn't sure I would be able to get up for the feedings because I was just so comfortable.
Friday night, for the first time, Fitz woke up and let us know when it was feeding time. That is a major improvement from the hospital where we would have to wake him up every three hours to eat. He's actually hungry and wanting his bottle when it's time to eat! He has also been taking the goal amount at almost every feeding, and took 64 cc's one time yesterday, which is over his goal of 60 cc's every three hours.
The hospital sent us home with a bottle of formula mixed for Fitz (with the higher calories), enough to last 24 hours. So, last night we mixed him another large bottle on our own. We used powder, which I do not think they use at the hospital. I think his little digestive system is trying to process the change, but he has still been taking his whole bottle, so he's doing well with that, too!
We did his first bath at home last night, and he did not enjoy it one bit. If I had not been so harried about getting it done, I would have taken a picture of his scrunched up, red, angry face! He was so mad! We figured out a different way to do it tonight, and John thinks he will enjoy it much more.
We are staying home and enjoying John's first Father's Day today! I am so proud of him because he is already an amazing father to Fitz. It makes me love him even more than I already did when I see how sweet he is with our son. Thank you God for providing me with such a wonderful husband and father for my son! We are truly blessed by Fitz and can not wait to see what the future brings for him. We know God has HUGE plans for Fitz.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Take a look at Fitz's sweet face with no tape and no tubes!! During rounds today, the Doctor said that since he is doing so well with his feedings, it was time for the feeding tube to come out! I was so excited!!
The doctor went on to say that there was no need for any further labwork on Fitz, so hopefully they stuck his little veins for the last time today as well!
Yesterday afternoon the Audiologist came by to do a hearing test on Fitz. Tootsie and I were very interested to see how he was going to do a hearing test on an infant. The man was very nice, and patient, as he came during a feeding and very politely agreed to wait until we were finished before doing the test. First, he attached sensors to Fitz's forehead, chest and the back of his neck, and put connectors on them. Fitz kept rolling his eyes over to see what the man was doing.
Which apparently, made Fitz mad!
I think he was just tired of sitting up like that, so we laid him back on the bed and he was fine. We are assuming the sensors sent some type of vibration and that's how the hearing was tested. Fitz did not seem to mind whatever was happening but was very wide-eyed, so he knew something was going on. His left ear passed the test, but his right ear had some fluid behind the ear drum. This does not indicate hearing loss at all, just fluid. There is an audiologist on the cleft team here at Children's, so they will follow up on that right ear when we go for our next appointment there. The audiologist said most cleft children have to have tubes in their ears fairly early, so that will take care of that fluid.
We got to try the new formula at the 6:30 feeding and guess what our little genius did?? He took the whole 60 cc's by bottle and did not have to have any by his tube! I was so excited that I had to post it on Facebook, so some of you may have already seen it! At the next feeding, he took 40 by bottle, then at the next, he took 60 again! This morning he took 47 cc's by bottle, so he is still doing great!
The OT mentioned yesterday that sometimes the higher calorie formula can upset the baby's stomach, but Fitz has not seemed to have any problems from it at all. Please pray that he continues to improve on his numbers and tolerate the new formula. We're thinking home before Father's Day would be a great first Father's Day gift to our sweet daddy, but of course, we want God's timing and plan over our own.
Thank you for praying, and we hope all of you have a wonderful day!
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
When the doctor and NP came by on rounds today, they decided to increase Fitz's calorie intake and reduce the amount of formula he takes at each feeding. This means our daily goal of bottle feeding is decreased a bit from what it was, which may make it easier for Fitz to get all of his formula through his bottle! The formula he takes now is 20 calories per ounce and his new formula will be 24 calories per ounce. Instead of our goal being 75 cc's every three hours, it will now be 60 cc's every three hours, or 75 cc's every four hours. His daily goal was 600 cc's and it is now 460 cc's. Yesterday, Fitz took 331 cc's for the day, so he's not that far from his goal. I think this will give us a little more freedom in how Fitz wants to eat as well, so maybe if we wait longer than 3 hours between feedings, he may want a bit more formula at each feeding.
See? I was getting frustrated this morning and God has answered my prayers yet again. The doctor changed up the routine a bit which I think will put us even closer to going home. Thank you Lord for answering prayers!
Please continue to pray for God's timing, and for Fitz to do well with feeding. We appreciate all of the prayers!
I've been meaning to take some pictures of our room here at Children's, and this morning I actually remembered to do it! This is a view of our whole room from just past the bathroom at the entrance. It's really a good size compared to some of the other rooms I've seen when I walk down the halls.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
When the doctor and NP came to the room on rounds yesterday, they were impressed with his increase in total cc's by bottle each day. He improved his number from Sunday to Monday by over 40 cc's! Genius, I'm telling you. The doctor took him off the Prevacid he was taking because he says he does not need it, and decreased the medicine he's taking for the acid/kidney issue. He said by the time we get to go home, he does not even think Fitz will need that medicine.
|Snuggled up and ready for bed!|
We continue to pray for the time to go home to come quickly, but also that it's in God's time, and not ours. It is hard sometimes to accept that God's timing is so much better than ours, but we know it's true. Fitz is making progress each and every day and we hope to maybe be home by the weekend, if he continues to do so. We have faith that he will! And we know that God will answer our prayers and that His will will be done. Thank you again for all of the prayers, we appreciate it more than you know!
Monday, June 13, 2011
I don't have a lot to report for Sunday, except that Fitz continues to improve on his eating! His total number of cc's by bottle has increased everyday since we got into our room on Friday. We will see the doctor again this morning, and I should have more to report tomorrow.
Since we don't have much to report, I thought I would share how we got to this point, as a little background for those of you who do not know us IRL (in real life). The first step in our journey to have a child was for me to have surgery to place a cerclage in my cervix. My OB/GYN has been my doctor since I was 16 and performed a surgery on my when I was about 20. He told me then that I may have a problem when I wanted to get pregnant due to the size of my cervix, which was almost non-existent. When I told him we were ready to try to get pregnant, he decided to put a cerclage (basically a band) in my cervix. Most women do not know they have an "incompetent cervix" until they miscarry at about 20 weeks, and then they will have one placed vaginally during their next pregnancy at about 10-13 weeks. My doctor did not believe I could even support a pregnancy until that point because of my cervix, so he did a laproscopic abdominal cerclage prior to conception.
Our next step was to make sure I was ovulating. I have never had regular periods, and have symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), so my doctor let us try on our own from August 2009, after my surgery, until about January 2010. He said normally he makes people wait longer before trying something else, but he knows my body and he did not want us to waste time if my body was not cooperating. I called my doctor in January 2010 after using ovulation test strips and never having one say I was ovulating, and went in to see him. He started me on Clomid, which is a follicle stimulating oral medicine, and is generally the first step in fertility treatments. I took Clomid in February, March and April, and only had one egg follicle each month. Many people on Clomid have several eggs each month, but I still only had one.
After the April cycle of Clomid did not work well for us, my doctor sent us to a fertility clinic. I was really nervous about it because I did not want it to be like we were trying to help God give us a baby. I wanted it to be according to His plan, and not because of medication. I prayed about it for a long time and prayed that we would still only get pregnant in God's time, no matter what type of medication or procedures we tried. Although we went to the fertility clinic in May 2010, we did not start any medication until June with my next cycle. The fertility doctors start you out full force, which was a little surprising to me! I took an oral medication similar to Clomid for a few days, then had to give myself injections of follicle stimulating medication for the next several days. It was a really small needle and the shot went into my stomach...it was a little scary at first, but it did not hurt at all. I went to the clinic often to check blood levels and whether I had any egg follicles. That month I had three follicles! We did IUI (intrauterine insemination) that month as well. And then we got the call....I was pregnant!
We were so excited, and told everyone we knew! Our parents were excited and we started planning for our baby! At the fertility clinic, they see pregnant patients every week, and do an ultrasound each week. We went to every appointment, saw our baby's heart beating and continued to be so excited! On the day of our 9 week appointment, John was unable to come, so I went by myself. That day I had a different room than I had been in before and a new Nurse Practitioner. When she started the Ultrasound, she said, "I'll be right back, I'm not seeing what I need to see." The song, "It is well with my soul" started playing in my head, even though I wasn't sure why at the time. The head NP came in and looked and our baby no longer had a heart beat. I was totally devastated, and was there by myself. I thought, "Well, do something! Get it going again!" When I asked what would be next, they told me they would schedule a D&C. They took me into an office and I called John, who was at work. I told him to just meet me at home. They took tons of blood to run tests, and I went home. It was awful, but in my heart, I knew that was not our only chance to have a baby. I had a D&C on August 20, 2010.
That was around the first time I read my Jesus Calling book and scripture about being thankful in all circumstances. I thought, how can I be thankful for losing my baby? My baby died, and I'm supposed to thank God for that?!? I did it anyway, just trying to be obedient, even though I did not understand. I knew it was all a part of God's plan for us, because we had prayed for His plan to be accomplished.
The fertility clinic doctor told me I should start my cycle again within 4 weeks and if not, I should call them. I did not start, which was not surprising to me, so I went in and they gave me a shot to make me start. They said I should start within 14 days and if not, to call them back. Well, of course I did not start again. I was not upset or worried, I just kept praying for God's timing. They had me come back in, so I did and they did an ultrasound and prescribed some more medication to make me start. I left the doctor and went to the dentist for a teeth cleaning. After my cleaning, I was checking my phone for e-mails and messages, and my phone rang. It was the head NP at the fertility clinic. She said, "Ali, we have figured out why you haven't started." I said, "Ok, why?" She said, "YOU'RE PREGNANT!" I was totally stunned and thankful for this miracle! After all those fertility shots and medication and doctor's appointments, we were pregnant with only God's help! Our prayers were answered, we were having a baby in God's timing, according to His plan.
You pretty much know our story after that, we now have Fitz and are so thankful for our miracle baby who was sent to us straight from God! We are also thankful that God has a plan for us, and even when we don't know what it is, or why things are happening, we know He is in control and He knows exactly what is happening and why. Thank you, Father!
Sunday, June 12, 2011
We had a really busy, but great, Saturday! We had visitors all day long, and Fitz doesn't mind who's holding him, he just settles in to whichever arms are holding him at that time. He hardly ever gets upset, usually only when you wake him up by changing his diaper, or when they check his vitals. He especially hates getting his temperature taken. Something about them sticking that probe under his arm annoys him to no end!
We started the morning out visiting with my cousin Glenn and his wife Brianne. They were on their way to Gatlinburg and made a surprise stop to see Fitz! Next, John's parents (Grandmama and Papa) came to visit, along with Fitz's Great Grandmother, and 2 of John's aunts. Tootsie came up next, and then my friends from law school, Tommy and Holly both came to visit. Fitz had a feeding while most of those people were here visiting, and didn't mind have an audience one little bit. He ate his bottle right on up with everyone watching.
Fitz did pretty well eating consistently yesterday. He took between 28-35 cc's of formula by bottle at each feeding during the day yesterday. When the NP came to visit, she said all of his levels were looking really good, and there was no need to continue his daily lab work! She said he may be eating better since the same person is doing his feeding everytime instead of whichever nurse happened to be on duty in the NICU. She said it probably also helps that it's his mama doing the feeding...which warmed my heart right up!