Home             About             Sponsor             Contact Me            

June 24, 2014

#MillieMonday {40 Gestational Weeks, 11 Weeks Old}

I cannot believe Millie's due date was this week. It seems hard to believe that she has been here 11 weeks today. In fact, I think we are truly starting to realize just how seriously early she was.

Millie is doing great. She had no trouble with the few immunizations we decided to give her (which was a huge concern of mine based on my experiences) and she is off her heart rate/apnea monitor. This is a big milestone as she is completely cordless! Also, she went for her final NICU follow up appointment and they took her off the fortifier she was getting by bottle three times a day in addition to me breast feeding. We added 2 packets of human breast milk fortifier powder to the milk I pumped in a bottle three times a day and that was for the extra calories to help her gain weight. When we went to her follow up appointment, she had such a great looking growth chart, they decided to try her off it for a while. In fact, she has been off for about 10 days and her home health nurse came today and she went from 6 pounds 13 ounces 10 days ago to 7 pounds 6 ounces! Holy growth spurt! She has always been a big eater. Thank goodness because that allowed us to avoid many hurdles.

Millie continues to have acid reflux and gas pains, however, it is much more manageable than it was a month ago. The next step we are going to look into now that her medicine has taken full effect is to visit a chiropractor. We pray that this will provide complete healing.

This will be my last #MillieMonday update. Now that she is completely full term and healthy, there will not be much to report on other than usual baby antics. I will continue to talk about Millie and her growth and development in this blog and will continue to post pictures of or sweet girl if you would like to follow along. Tyler and I have been so overwhelmed with the amount of people that have followed her story and prayed for strength, growth and overall health for our baby. People from across the world have found this blog and sent such sweet comments in various outlets. Our family, friends and acquaintances have been a huge support system for us as well. Just knowing that so many people were rooting for her brought us so much HOPE. Imagine the scariest thing in your entire life happening, and then imagine having to go through it alone. We are so thankful that was not the case for us. So, thank you all so much. Seriously, from the bottom of our hearts. We couldn't have done this without you.

Now, as if this post hasn't been sappy enough, we've put together a video of the past 11 weeks that have captured the beautiful moments of Millie's life thus far. We hope you enjoy. Love you all so much.

Tyler, Taylor and Millie

June 12, 2014

#MillieMonday {38 Gestational Weeks, 9 Weeks Old}

How is my baby already 9 weeks old? We have a home health nurse that comes every couple of days to check her vitals, see how she is eating, assess her and weigh her. Every time before she leaves, she says, "Let's hope she weighs more next time" or "We need her to continue gaining." While I agree with her, I am somewhat embarrassed to say that deep down I don't want her to weigh more next time. I want my baby to stay small for a little longer.  I can't help but try and hold on to that 2 pound 14 ounce baby they first laid on my chest. She was weightless and was lighter than Tyler's parent's toy poodle. Millie now weighs 6 pounds 8 ounces and is the same weight if not more than one of my good friend's newborn baby. This is insane to me. Don't grow up, Millie. Stay little forever. It's a good thing we have video and pictures to remind us of how far she has come. Have you ever seen a 2 pound 14 ounces baby with the hiccups? It's seriously the cutest thing ever. See below. (Ignore my husband's hairy chest. He will kill me for posting this but like I have said before, this is her online baby book. Also, to watch these videos, I think you have to be on an actual computer.)

Last week was pretty rough. Many of you probably saw my Facebook post. Millie suffers from terrible acid reflux, colic and gas. I think Tyler and I went for 7 days without sleep before we finally figured out what was actually going on and decided to call the pediatrician. We are still learning, obviously. It is hard to bring a newborn home but it is REALLY hard to bring a preemie home. There are so many additional challenges that come with a preemie because their little digestive tracks just aren't fully developed. She is so fragile. Our pediatrician is absolutely incredible. His name is Dr. Holleman and he is at Pediatric Associates over by St. Luke's Hospital off the Plaza. If you are looking for a pediatrician in Kansas City, I would highly recommend him or anyone in his group for that matter. He started her on an antihistamine called Axid Syrup that has seemed to provide A LOT of relief for Millie. We also started using gas drops as needed and just seeing her comfortable has really brought us some peace. It was really hard watching her wince in pain every 3 seconds and not knowing what to do about it. She is now able to rest which is so important for preemies. All of their growth and development happens when they are able to get that REM sleep.

My mother has been a saint. She came last weekend and took Millie for 2 nights in a row so Tyler and I could catch up on sleep. My head would hit the pillow and I would literally die until it was time to get up and pump half way through the night. I think that is some of the best sleep I have ever gotten in my entire life. Any new parent knows the kind of sleep I am talking about. It's the kind of sleep where you wake up and feel like your body weighs 200 pounds, your pillow is soaked from drool and you feel like you just closed your eyes 10 minutes prior.

Millie has started to giggle in her sleep. It is really, really sweet. When she was still in the NICU, it was 10:30pm one evening and one of the neonatologists walked in just to say hi. I think he could tell we were having one of those nights where it was extra hard to leave her until the next day. He told us that when she smiles in her sleep, she is dreaming about us because that is really all she knows. The comfort that brought me at the time brings me to tears as I type this. Knowing that Tyler and I are the most important things in her life right now and that we bring her happiness and peace makes me feel complete. So, every time I hear that giggle, I smile and wonder if she is dreaming about the little jingles Tyler and I make up and sing to her before bath time to calm her down.

Going forward, we are praying for a few things. Millie has her 2 month pediatrician appointment on Friday which includes a few vaccinations. We have decided to forego the Hepatitis B vaccine due to a terrible reaction I had to it when I was 15. (I literally almost died from it but that's a whole different blog post.) The fear is that Millie might have the same hereditary complications I did and we would rather not even go there if it is not needed. She also has her Neonatal follow-up appointment Friday where we find out if she can come off the heart rate and apnea monitor. We hope she can because the belt that straps around her chest had completely rubbed her skin raw at one point which we were not happy about. Finally, we pray for comfort for her. Her whole life she has been poked and prodded on and adding acid relax and gas problems to the mix was not acceptable. We just want to keep her comfortable and happy.

Thanks for continuing to read updates about our sweet girl and for praying for all of us. We are so HAPPY she is finally home and we can love on her whenever we want. I look at her so much I'm surprised I haven't stared a hole through her head. :P

Tyler and I were talking the other day about how much we miss the nurses that took care of Millie for so long. I didn't get to take a picture of her with everyone because it slipped my mind but here are a few of our favorites. Next time we go visit the NICU, I will be sure to snap a few with some of the nurses we missed. (Ahem…Kim!)

 This is Heather. This was actually my antepartum nurse. This is the nurse that saved Millie's life by internally holding her up off the cord for that crazy rush down the hallway to the operating room. She continued to hold her up off the cord until emergency surgery was complete and Millie was delivered. This girl is a hero especially because she had never been put in a situation like that. She took the circumstances, stepped in and was so brave. And what a happy ending.

This is Miss Allie, one of Millie's night nurses. We love Allie and continue to see her every week. I really enjoy the fact that we have made lifelong friends from Millie's stay at the NICU. She will always be in Millie's life.

This is Millie's primary nurse, Kyla, who took care of her from day 1. Again, another lifelong friend we have made. We are so thankful for her and miss her so much.

June 2, 2014

#MillieMonday {37 Gestational Weeks, 8 Weeks Old}

Hello everyone! This blog is going to be super short as we are just enjoying spending every minute with Millie that we can now that she is home with us. Last Monday and the days that have followed have been wonderful and we feel so blessed that she came home happy and healthy. We know how incredibly lucky we are. We also took a ton of pictures and video of her homecoming and will be putting together a short "film" (if you want to call it that) of her entire NICU stay from start to finish. We got a lot of video and pictures during her stay there and want to look back on that time and remember the lovely staff, nurses and doctors that were such a huge part of our lives for 7 weeks. It will also be nice as a family to look back on the many milestones that we met in that hospital. The first time we held her, changed her diaper, weighed her, bathed her, moved her to her first crib, swaddled her, etc. Those things may not sound big but we will never take them for granted as they were huge victories for our baby and for us as parents.

I also plan to do a little nursery reveal blog. We are finishing a couple things but as soon as it is done, I will post pictures. We have put a lot of love into this special room for her and hope that she feels calm and safe whenever she is in there.

Millie came home on a monitor that alerts us if she has Bradycardia's (low heart rate) or Apnea. We are happy to report that the only time her monitor goes of is when it reads "lose leads". No alerts for this little monkey and we are so happy.

Some things we have discovered about Millie…she hates to be changed, she is not a fan of her sleep sack swaddle anymore, she is awesome at tummy time (girlfriend has a stronger neck than I do), she loves her Wubbanub giraffe pacifier, loves walks and even car rides! Oh, and that MamaRoo…thank goodness for that spaceship! She loves it!

Sorry about the lighting. Phone shot, obviously.

Millie is almost 6 pounds. Seriously, we are so close! A home health nurse comes out and weighs her and does an assessment twice a week. We captured this adorable shot of her naked on the scale. 5 pounds 14 ounces. You are almost there baby girl!

Lastly, Tyler had the opportunity to preach the Sunday before we brought Millie home. I wanted to include it in this blog as it really goes in depth about Millie's story and the many blessings we take away from it. Life doesn't always go as planned and this sermon is an excellent testimony to counting your milestones as blessings and finding a way to be thankful even in the darkest of situations. If you have 26 minutes, tune in. We hope it blesses you today.

As always, thank you all for your many thoughts and prayers that you have bestowed on us these past 8 weeks. We are so incredibly blessed and consider our community of friends, family and complete strangers such a milestone in our lives. We are so thankful for you.

Sermon: Tyler Jenkins "Marking God's Faithfulness"