I’m still here!

Hi Friends!

I’m still here, with nary a moment to write most days, but I try to read late at night before I pass out from chasing my growing beautiful boy.

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Jonathan is becoming a little boy.  He is in Swim on Mondays, Gymnastics on Thursdays and a Mom Pop Tot Class (learning through play) on Fridays!  I can barely keep up!  We are still getting some nice weather here in Chicago.

Certainly enough that Jonathan got to work on digging some dirt the other day and had so much fun with cousin Charlie!

Most recently, we had a visit from Lola (grandma in Tagalog-a Philippine dialect), and J really just loves her!  We’re wishing they still lived here in Chicago and they’re wishing we’d hurry up and move to Florida!

Can I get a “Go Cubs Go!” out of it?!?!  YES!!!! We’re going to the World Series!!!!!

Of note, J had to graduate to a Toddler Bed. He’s learned to swing his leg over a bar and spin in Gymnastics and decided to try that out on his crib!  Oh, the joys of toddler-hood!!!  I was hoping to keep the crib until he was 2, but what can I say?  My micropreemie is catching up to his actual age in gross motor skills and has other ideas!

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Good thing once he’s out, he’s OUT!  Blessings to you and yours!  I’ll try to do better at updating!

Why?

My heart is heavy.  I know I’ve been quiet for a while, but with so much happening in the past 2 weeks, I had to write.  So much tragedy this month makes me wonder, why?

June 12, 2016, a man…ONE man shot and killed 49 people at a night club in Miami and injured many, many more.  So much hate.  A man that has a past…  was on an FBI watch list.  How did we fail so many people?  What can we do to share more love and block out the hate?  I don’t have the answers, but I wonder and I know if we somehow we are able to do this, it’s what is needed…more love and less hate in our world.

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June 14, 2016, a little boy is dragged from a Disney lagoon by an alligator and his with his family watching and his father was unable to save his child.  Again, so many are blaming this poor family’s parents.  Really?!?!  They just lost their son!!!  Where is your heart?  Parents share photos of their children in this same spot where the child was taken.  There were no signs warning of the wildlife, just “no swimming”(this has since been rectified), which this child was not doing.  Now, many of us familiar with Florida know that where there is fresh water, there is a risk of encountering reptiles and alligators.  I would think these folks were not, or we confident that Disney would take measures to ensure the safety of their guests (not knowing, this can be impossible).  These people were on a vacation, enjoying family time.  Happy time.  Now, they’re living a nightmare and I’m sure, hoping to wake up to find something different.  Please, less judgement, less hate and more love.

June 19th, a 17 month old drowned in a nearby town on Sunday, Father’s Day.  His mother found him and was the one who started CPR.  This was the family pool.  Celebrating Father’s Day, attending other children…the 17 month old was lost track of.  Tragic.  Heart breaking.

Also on June 19th, a 4 year old girl at a Swim and Racquet club also drowned in another nearby town Sunday, Father’s Day.

So much tragedy all around us.  So many stones to throw and so much blame to hand out.  BUT, there’s so much suffering already.  Can we not just love?  I don’t know any parent who is perfect.  I know more than not have been right there when our little loves have fallen or gotten hurt…when you lose sight for 2 seconds and suddenly your breath is taken away.  Why do so many people have to suffer, have to hurt?

Then I saw this posted on Facebook the other day and the tears just came. 16. Why does a 16 year old girl have to fight ovarian cancer? But look… in this tragedy, there is hope…there is light…there is love…

Resiliance.

Thank you for hearing me.  Thank you for reading what’s on my heart.  More love.  Less hate.  More tolerance.  Less judgement.  Lets help each other more and ignore each other less.

God’s Peace to you.

 

 

 

Why I March…

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Many of you know that we gave birth to this beautiful baby boy at 27 weeks last February.  This precious boy was 1 pound, 15 ounces at birth.  This picture is the first time I was finally able to see my little boy.  I was too sick to see him for the first 2 days.  He is 3 days old here.  Prematurity is near and dear to our hearts.  After spending 3 months in the NICU, we witnessed so much.  We were certainly blessed to have not only survived such an early birth, but to have thrived.  Many babies are surviving such young gestation because of the work of March of Dimes.  But, there are many that don’t and babies who struggle even more than my beloved boy.

In honor of these babies, I am marching in the March of Dimes walk to help raise money for babies who struggle with prematurity, babies born with birth defects, and to raise funds, awareness and research for early infant mortality.

I walk to honor my son.

I walk in memory of Baby Jesse Amandus.

I walk in Thanks to Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and all of the hands who have played and continue to play a role in our journey.  They not only help us survive, but to thrive.  As always, a special shout out to CHN for all of the continued love and support.

If you or anyone you think may be interested in supporting our cause.  I invite you to visit our page (simply click on the link):

March for Babies

Thank You!!!

 

Too Good not to Share…

If you haven’t seen or read this article, it’s a great read.  This is my opinion.  I struggled when our pediatrician recommended “sleep training” via the Ferber Method.  In the end, I decided to trust my “gut,” mommy instincts and do what I had learned and already had been doing since our NICU stay.  After reading other articles and talking to others about it, I’m glad I did.  Enjoy!

Click on link to read article:
Avoid Stressful Sleep Training and Get The Sleep You Need

 

 

All I Want for Christmas is My Reimbursement

What all breastfeeding Moms should know….

Breastfeed Chicago

Breastfeeding is hard work. And sometimes we need help! Prior to joining Breastfeed Chicago I had no idea what a lactation consultant was, let alone an IBCLC – International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. So when my little week-old Ruby was leaving me cringing at every hour-long feeding (I’ll spare the gory details), and still not gaining any weight, I was so thankful to be a part of ‘the Facebook group‘. I had seen many moms post about using an IBCLC in their breastfeeding journey, and that insurance was required to cover the costs. Yes. This is what I needed!

Following my IBCLC visit, our nursing improved ten-fold. And my insurance headache increased ten-fold. The Affordable Care Act requires all insurance plans* to cover lactation counseling at 100% with no cost sharing (understand your benefits here). This means no out of pocket costs – like co-pay’s or deductibles…

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What do you say?

What do you say
when words aren’t enough
and the pain they feel
wont go away?

What can you do
when there isn’t a thing
that can bring a child
back to you?

How should we love
when a piece of their heart
has flown away
with the doves?

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It is with deep sadness that I share with you, that Jesse has gone to be with the Lord. He is no longer struggling or feeling pain.  Jesse died in the arms of his mother on December 26th, surrounded by love and comfort.  Please keep his moms in your prayers during this is a devastating time.

 

For my dear friends,
This is something I wrote and sang to myself over and over when I suffered my own loss.  My love to all of you…

Rock Me, Rock Me

Holy Spirit, God Divine
Come and hold this hand of mine.
Rock me, rock me in your peace,
Until my soul can find relief.

Holy Spirit, guide and friend,
With a love that never ends.
Rock me, rock me from above,
Until I feel your endless love.

Holy Spirit, Father God,
Welcomes children from earth’s sod.
Rock me, rock me in your might,
Until I feel you hold me tight.

Holy Spirit’s boundless love,
Fill my soul from up above.
Rock me, rock me in your grace,
Until my heart has found its faith.

We’re all Here

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Almighty God,
bless this dear child,
born before his time,
yet made in your image
and perfect in your sight
and Father, we ask that if it be
Thy will, that this beautiful
infant grow stronger and
healthier with each passing day.
Give us, O Lord, the strength
to entrust to your care,
this precious little one
so very much beloved,
and grant us the grace
to pray as Jesus taught us,
that “Thy will be done”.
by: ukok

Friends,
I’d like to introduce a very special baby. His name is Jesse.

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Jesse was born last Sunday, December 13, 2015 at 4:25am weighing 1lb, 15oz. He only 24 weeks and 6 days to grow and develop inside his Mommy.  Today, Jesse is 1 week old, with a corrected age of 27 weeks and 6 days.  He’s a miracle.  He’s a fighter.  He’s a survivor.  I invite you to continue to pray for this precious baby boy and for those giving him care.

Church of the Holy Nativity, also known as CHN, had a Prayer Vigil for Jesse on Tuesday and we tied prayer knots in this blanket for him.  It now covers his isolette.  Each candle also represents someone praying for this amazing boy.  We want his mommies to know we are lifting them up in prayer as well.  I will update you as I get information, but for now please lift him up in prayer.

My little man is 9 months (6 months corrected age)!!!

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I can’t believe how time has flown!  Jonathan is now 9 months old/6 months corrected age for prematurity.  He is 26 inches long (23%) and weighs in at 15lb 3oz (6%)!  Hooray!  The pediatrician was impressed with Jonathan’s growth!

Jonathan is still hitting all of his targets for development.  We don’t visit the NEST clinic (developmental clinic) until December.  Then he’ll have an updated evaluation from all of the different therapies.  He rolls over.  Loves to babble and has just learned to blow raspberries.  He has a sweet, sweet laugh that I get to hear everyday.

I still haven’t had a first day back to work.  I officially left my full time position, but the hospital kept me on a casual status (relief).  This is great for me to keep my foot in the door.  Right now, I just can’t fathom being away from the baby for 14 hours at a time minimum.  It feels strange not to work, but being at home with a baby is probably the hardest work I’ve ever done….but the most rewarding too.  I would hate to miss seeing my little miracle grow.  Something new seems to happen every day.  Hope all is well in your worlds!  I try to keep everyone updated more frequently!

Jonathan’s 8 Months!

Wow!  I can’t believe how time flies!  Jonathan is 8 months (5 months corrected age) already!  He’s even on the grid for his height and weight (corrected age), 25th percentile for both!  He amazes me every day!

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Jonathan rolls around, army crawls and scoots across the bed and floor, and is quite vocal these days.  He even, most recently, cut his first tooth!

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As soon as I get a better picture, I’ll post it, but this is what I have for now!  At 5 months corrected, that’s pretty great!  He tried peaches most recently and really enjoyed those!  I love our food processor and Vitamix.  Making baby food is so easy with them!  Let me know if any of you need tips or recipes out there.

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Baseball is in the playoffs and we’re rooting for the Cubs!  Here we are showing off our duds!

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People say he looks a lot like me, but he’s got quite a bit of Daddy too!  Most recently they started a Mommy group in our building, which is great.  It’s nice to have other Moms to relate to the life of motherhood!  Here we are at our first get-together in our Park.

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I think I might be the “oldest” one in the group, ha ha! That’s a new one for me! I still feel so young!  On that note, I hope everyone’s having a great fall and enjoying the changing colors, if you’re in such a climate!  More posts to come soon.  I felt the struggle with going back to work deserved it’s own post.  It’s a difficult choice for any parent to make, but hard for me because of me little preemie miracle.  Have a great day friends!

October