Thursday, February 26, 2009

Growth Chart Progress!

Today we had a visit from Erin from Early Start. She comes about once a week and helps us with any questions/concerns we may have. She also tracks Travis' growth on a special Preemie Growth Chart. He is doing great! His weight now puts him in the 75th Percentile!!! And his length has finally reached the 25th Percentile! His head circumfrance is in the 50th Percentile which makes me so happy! He is certainly moving up on the growth chart which is very exicting to see!

I am almost afraid to say this, for fear of jinxing myself, but we are also making incredible progress when it comes to his feedings. For about the past week, he has taken at least 3 out of his 4 bottles without issue in less than 30 minutes! That, my friends, is a small miracle! We have had such a hard time with his feedings and this progress is just amazing. Prior to this, a bottle could take over an hour and most times he still would not take the whole thing and we would have to use the feeding tube. He still has his occasional bad bottle, but we are definitely moving in the right direction finally! YAY!! I am so proud of the little man for all that he has done! He is such a trooper and shows us every day how amazing he really is!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Early Intervention Visit

We had our weekly visit from Early Intervention. Travis impressed Lisa (his physical therapist) with his endurance and his interest in play! She could tell a big difference in just two weeks when she saw him last. She said it seemed also that he was much more animated and he is tracking objects really well. That is pretty amazing for a baby as premature as he was. Lisa noted that she sees him making big changes! That is so exciting for us to hear. I am so proud of my little man and I hope and pray that he continues to thrive and show us how incredibly amazing he is every single day!

On a side note, Travis had his very first outing to someone else' house last night. We went to visit Auntie Jen in San Ramon. We got cupcakes and milk and just hung out. Travis did really well in the car on the way there and back, which I was concerned about. But we didnt get home till almost 1 am so we were both very ready for bed!

It's looking like a nice day out so we may just go for a stroll. Travis loves getting out in the fresh air! Happy Tuesday to everyone!

Monday, February 23, 2009

"WELL BABY" Check up

Today we had our first ever "WELL BABY" check up! What an idea! Travis weighed in at 12lbs 12.5oz! YAHOO! He is also 22-1/4 inches long now, so he is finally getting a little longer, ha ha. His doctor examined him and said that everything looked great. We have to make an appointment with the Kidney Specialist due to his kidney reflux, and also with GI (Gastro Intestinal) for issues related to feeding and such. Sill waiting to hear about his hernia surgery date, so we will probably give them a call to remind them about us! Otherwise, everything is looking good and we are going to start talking to the dieticians about when to start solids. That is so exciting! Travis will be 7 months old on the 29th. Thats hard to believe!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Our Story

I wish I would have started this sooner, but here we go....!

This is Travis' Story in a nutshell:

In August of 2007, Joseph deployed to Iraq. I came home from Germany where we were stationed to be with family for the duration of the deployment. When Joseph came home on R&R in Febrary 08 we decided to try for a baby. Thinking our chances were pretty slim with only 18 days, we were completely overjoyed and suprised when I took a pregnancy test 2 weeks after he left and got a POSITIVE!

My pregnancy was complicated and after bleeding for 3 weeks from week 6 to week 9, we were relieved to have a few weeks of calm...before the storm. On July 5th, 2008, I woke up and suddenly my water broke. I was only 19 weeks 6 days along. It was a nightmare. My mom rushed me to the ER where my worst fear was confirmed. I had lost all of my amniotic fluid and was told there was no way my baby would survive. I was encouraged to terminate the pregnancy if I did not go into labor within 24-48 hours as the risk of infection is high. I refused and went home on bedrest and waited. I was put on antibiotics prophylactically. I didn't move for 24 days. I layed there and prayed to God for a miracle.

Joseph came home on Emergency Leave and we met with a Neonatologist. It was a bit overwhelming. We were told about all of the possible outcomes if we were to in fact make it to 24 weeks. If we did not make it that far, I was told that I would have the baby vaginally and would be allowed to hold him/her until he/she passed. Eventually Joe went back to Iraq and I just kept praying.

On July 28th, at 23 weeks 1 day, I went into labor. Early the next morning around 4 am, we went to the hospital. I tried to wish labor away but I knew it was real. After a failed attempt to stop my labor, this baby was coming, there was no stopping him. I begged them to make all attempts to save him despite him not making the cut off of 24 weeks. I couldn't live with myself knowing we didn't give him a chance.

At 11:21 am on July 29, 2008, Travis Alex made his grand entrance into this big scary world! He was quickly resusitated and wisked off to the NICU. This is where his long hard journey began. He sailed for 7 days, doing wonderful and surprising everyone! On the 8th day, things got back. His only hope was a fairly new drug called Nitric Oxide. He had to be transported to a Children's Hospital 4 hours away. The transport was traumatic to say the least. But we made it! He started to make a turn around but would face many hard days ahead. At 5 weeks old, we thought we were loosing him. The doctors explained to us that babies don't get any sicker than he was. He was diagnosed with a staph infection as well as pneumonia. His lungs were already sick so this only made them worse. Miraculously he made it through.

After 2 months on 3 different types of ventilators, and two rounds of steroids, Travis was finally extubated on September 26th!! It was a day to celebrate. After a week of being off the ventilator, the steriods began to wear off and he was almost put back on. Praise God we were able to stabalize him and get him strong enough to stay off for good!

The NICU roller coaster was one I never want to relive. We had many setbacks while there and at times it felt like we would never bring our baby home. I have never prayed so hard in my life. In November Travis had laser eye surgery to correct his ROP which was advancing very quickly. Thankfully his surgery was a great success and his vision seems great now!

December 18th, 2008 was the best day of my life. After 142 long days in the NICU, I FINALLY brought my precious baby home! This was a feeling I cannot even put into words. I had waited so long for this day, and it was finally here...just ONE WEEK before Christmas. I could not have asked for anything more for Christmas. He was all I needed.

Travis came home on oxygen, a feeding tube, and a monitor. Since being home, he has seen many specialists, including Pulmonary (for his Chronic Lung Disease), Opthamology (for eyes), Early Intervention, Dieticians, etc, etc. He was recently diagnosed with Kidney Reflux and will begin to see a kidney specialist for that. He also is waiting on surgery to repair bilateral inguinal hernias. Our biggest issue at the moment is feedings. He is still tube fed quite a bit and is on a pump overnight that feeds him continuously. He is now over 12 lbs and is growing and thriving in many areas! He just started rolling over and is playing with his toys. He follows his Daddy when he walks through the room and his auntie just taught him to stick his tongue out. All of these may seem like small feats, but for our boy, it is HUGE! We are soooo blessed to have such an amazing little boy and I thank God for him every day!!

I will try to keep this blog updated as much as possible. Thanks for coming and reading our story!

Here are a couple pictures of then and now: