Sunday, October 16, 2011

Technical Difficulties

This is more of a test to see if I am now able to publish posts. I was having some issues before and hope to have the blog back up and running now!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Welcome Home Ava!

Surprise!!! Ava is HOME!! I am sorry for keeping everyone in the dark, but eventually the constant let down got the best of me and I decided this time that I was not going to tell anyone she was coming home until she was ACTUALLY coming home. As in, in the car, on the way! Believe it or not, we almost did not come home today. I literally had her dressed in her pretty dress and ready to go when the doctor walked in with a regretful look on his face. He told me that he was SO sorry but that he had forgotten to have an MRI done on Ava's brain and we needed to do that before she could leave. I was CRUSHED, to put it lightly. I asked if there was any way we could do it at a later time. He left the room to think it over and talk with a couple other docs and came back and told us we could leave! Hallelujah praise the Lord!!
It all started yesterday when she got to re-take her carseat test. My anxiety was in full drive and I was waiting on pins and needles to find out if she passed. It was incredible news to hear that she had done it! The next step was to room in. We got to the hospital at about 5pm last night and got a room. The idea behind rooming in is so that the parent(s) can see what it will take to care for their baby on their own with the nurses standing by. Everything went great. Ava ate all night long it felt like! She is such a little piggie!
At about 11:30, we finally got to leave the hospital with our baby girl for the first time after 79 very long, grueling days in the NICU. Ava will be 38 gestational weeks tomorrow, and she weighs 5lbs 4oz! Exactly 2lbs smaller than Travis was when he left the NICU. We brought her home on an apnea/brady monitor and caffeine, and...thats IT. She is so much more like a typical newborn than Travis was. Eating on demand, as much as she wants! She breastfeeds and bottle feeds. She poops, she pees, she sleeps, she grunts, she squeaks, but she rarely cries. She is such a sweet girl and we are all SO excited to have her here. Travis is absolutely in LOVE wit his sissy as you can see in the pictures.
Thank you to everyone for following this journey. It's definitely not over. As I have learned with Travis, the preemie journey does not end after the NICU. In fact, I am not sure WHEN or if it ends at all. These babies are so very special and I truly hope that they can appreciate what they have been through later in life. So now the plan is to enjoy our new baby, keep our family healthy and love life!

Saturday, October 1, 2011


I apologize for the lack of posting lately. The last several days have been such an emotional roller coaster that I have not had the energy to update. Things always change so quickly in the NICU. This will be a short update but I just wanted to let those of you following Ava's journey to know where we are at right now.

We have *almost* brought Ava home 3 times now. Each time, something has happened to delay that and each time I have been completely crushed and heartbroken. The cumulation of all of that heartbreak has put me in a pretty dark place. I am struggling to cope with the let down of not having my baby home. The reality is that she has not been in the NICU that long. That is, if you compare her to her brother. But the other reality is that between the two of them, I have spent 216 days in the NICU. That is approximately 60% of one year. As you can probably imagine, I am pretty over this by now. I am over calling the NICU several times a day to ask someone ELSE how my baby is doing. Over driving 25 minutes one way and paying for parking just to see my own daugther. Over getting my hopes up just to be let down. Over the constant anxiety and fear of something going wrong that will delay her even more. Over staring at monitors with numbers telling me if my baby is breathing well enough. Over being away from Travis at bedtime and feeling torn between him and Ava. Over never seeing my husband or having ANY time with him at all because as soon as he gets home I leave for the hospital. I am just over it all. I am tired and worn down, and not in the physical sense of the words. I am emotionally exhausted.

I may never understand why having children is so easy for some people and for others, it is such a challenge. For some, not even possible. I feel blessed that I DO have my babies. But a little bit frustrated with God right now for putting them and me through this journey. As much as I want to give up sometimes, especially right now, I know that I can't. And maybe thats part of the problem. Everyone says how strong I am, but really, what other choice do I have? Is crying all day for days on end really strong? This IS my life. This is the hand I was dealt. Right now, I am not strong, and I am ok with that. I am fervently praying to God that He can renew my strength and help me get through these days that follow, how ever many there will be.

Enough about me. I know this blog is about Ava and I am sorry for getting a little off track. In general, she is doing well. She is growing and eating and being a big girl. One of the reasons she did not come home was because she failed her carseat test. The carseat test entails sitting in the carseat for an hour with no issues. With only 10 minutes remaining on the test, she became apenic and dropped her heartrate and oxygen saturations. She was supposed to re-do the test yesterday but she ended up having two apenic episodes that were unrelated to feeding so the doctor has decided that she needs a few more days. She has to go 5 days free of any episodes before she can come home. So the soonest we are looking at now is Wednesday, granted she has no more episodes and passes her carseat test between now and then. She weighs 4lbs 13oz and is eating like a champ! When she does come home she will be on an apnea/brady monitor since she has a tendency to drop her heartrate during feeds.