Archive for April, 2013


A Little Cloudy, A Little Wet, A Lot of Fun!

What a great day of fun with family and friends! And how inspiring and healing!

I really wish I had made the time to attend the family team poster event sponsored by our NICU. That display of posters for angel babies and other NICU grad families was probably the single most powerful thing I have witnessed since last February. Such beautiful loving tributes.

Amazing to see so many preemie, NICU, and birth defect affected families coming together for a cause they feel so strongly about.

Plus, I got to stand next to a NFL player!

The best part was of course the great snapshots of our son getting to enjoy a large event for the first time.

Family Team Photo

Family Team Photo

Waiting For Start

Waiting For Start

Ominous Clouds, 4 miles to go

Ominous Clouds, 4 miles to go

Check Point NKY, halfway

Check Point NKY, halfway

Crossing Bridge from NKY back to Cincinnati

Crossing Bridge from NKY back to Cincinnati

Crossing the finish line!

Crossing the finish line!

Good Sam was our NICU hospital

Good Sam was our NICU hospital

# of Premature births in Ohio

# of Premature births in Ohio

Why We Fight

Why We Fight

It was a celebration, and I needed it. We exceeded our team goal by $200!



March for Babies

Tomorrow we walk. Maybe in the rain, maybe in the sun.

Jodi of Peek-a-Boo ICU says it best, I think, “We fight because babies shouldn’t have to.”

Team Drake-growing baby dragons is going to walk for

Our amazing former 30 weeker, Drake.

For Margaret Elmer, an angel too soon.

For Jaron, born at 32 weeks and Mallory and Annabel born at 33 weeks.

For Baby Branch, born at 29 weeks far from home.

For all our Nicu friends in DAND.

For all congenital birth defect warriors, fighting to get their hearts, feet, or other challenges conquered.

For the preemies and NICU families we know only through their stories Owen, Jack, JP and others.

This walk’s for you!

Much love,
Team Drake




Age is Just A Number

19 minutes ago, my son reached 12 months adjusted age.

Today, we used our Zoo membership we received at Christmas for the first time. It was a gorgeous 65 degree day, and Drake just loved being outside and riding in the stroller.

He especially loved the ducks. He makes a sound we are pretty sure is a quack at them. He also was fascinated by the cows. We just did a 2 hour jaunt. Since we have an annual pass, there’s no reason to try to make him do a whole day and everything at once.

I was a nervous wreck reminding the other adults to wash hands and not let him touch surfaces. All I could think about was the fact that we did our job and kept him isolated that first year, but now what will happen.

And I hate it. I just want to enjoy family outings and milestones. I want to let the fear and horror go. It’s time to try to move on somewhat. I know that it is.

A family member was with us. She pointed out a very, very pregnant lady to me and said, “Look at her. Doesn’t she look miserable and ready to pop? Aren’t you glad you never had to go through that?”


I just said, “No, I would much rather have walked around miserable than go through the NICU and not bringing my baby home right away.”

What I wanted to do was slap her.

I have no way of knowing how uncomfortable the 31st through 40th weeks of pregnancy are. I only made it to 6 months, 2.5 weeks.

But I know what it’s like to lie alone in a hospital bed sobbing because you haven’t touched your child that has a tube down his throat helping him breathe as you listen to babies crying in all the rooms next to yours while you try to pump out trickles of milk that just won’t come.

I can’t be philosophical today. I can’t be thankful that my journey wasn’t as hard as it could have been.

All I can do is cry over the fact that I should be celebrating a 1st birthday, and instead I’m worried about my 17lb 14 month old who is refusing to eat again suddenly.

I could keep ranting, but it definitely won’t make me feel better, and it will make me look like the crazy person some people think I am these days.

After the zoo, we went to the grocery store. The awesomeness of doing this mundane errand as a family was ruined for me by the cashier’s oh he’s cute how old?

14 months..

Really? He seems small.


I changed my mind. Can we be on isolation until he’s 18?






Having it All

I’ll admit it. I always laugh when I see articles about women and “having it all”. I used to be that career driven woman working until 7 or 8 or 9pm, and going in on Saturday for a few hours.

I climbed the corporate ladder steadily, and I was miserable.

Now I work part time, and I look at ways to avoid going into the office and to meet my deadlines without disrupting my son’s routine. There were many times over the past year when I considered quitting. But my income does help us whittle down the medical bills from my complicated pregnancy, my hospital stay, and D’s NICU stay and subsequent follow ups.

Since we got the warning from our pediatrician as well as the NICU team to avoid daycare until age 2, my current job is an almost perfect fit.

I still have the occasional need for a late night if a pressing deadline pops up and has to be covered. I dread these moments. My former workaholic self gets torn between doing my work well and making sure we don’t lose any ground with Drake’s eating and weight gaining routines.

The past few days have been pretty hectic and awful with my husband out of town on business and my need to work extra hours the first part of the week. Drake’s now almost completely skipped 3 days of his high calorie formula because he’s refusing most of it and he’s just putting food in his mouth and spitting it back out. These are issues I hadn’t seen for 2 months.

I seriously just want to cry.

Tomorrow will be a long day of phone calls for advice and possible appointments.





I love, love, love how these portraits turned out. They aren’t the April outdoor newborn pictures I dreamed of in my early pregnancy, but they definitely showcase the 14 month old little dragon I’m blessed to be the mother of.


baby blues b&w 1 beach1 drake ball 1


This child does not like to smile for the camera. Maybe next time we can capture his new teeth.

I did bring his own toys for the props, and I had to resist wiping the backdrops off with sanitizing wipes.


Learning to “Mom”

Yesterday, I received a coupon for a portrait studio at our town center shopping area. Due to RSV restrictions, money matters and my germophobe preemie mama feelings, we hadn’t gotten any professional shots taken.

I realized Drake would be 14 months actual on Saturday and his 1 year old due date is fast approaching. I decided to treat myself early for Mother’s Day and get his portrait done. I picked out two outfits. His unable to be worn to church Easter outfit and a cute dino romper set Nana sent for his birthday.

I put all thoughts (mostly) out of my mind about the germs that are probably lurking where so many other sticky hands have roamed. I did make his appointment for the first slot of the morning, though. It has to be the cleanest, right? I would have loved to hire an independent photographer, but that’s the kind of luxury we’ve given up while I’m working part time to keep him out of daycare.

While we were waiting, another mom came in with a set of newborn twins. She managed her two infant carriers much, much more efficiently than I was managing my wanting to crawl on the floor 14 month old and diaper bag. I didn’t hear what the photographer asked precisely, but I heard 3.3 pounds and 5 pounds and then 5 weeks early. I really wanted to strike up a conversation with her, but I didn’t. I was exhausted, and insanely jealous of her 5 day NICU stay. Crazy, right?

It did make me wonder if other moms feel the same way about my 34 day stay, though. Really except for the separation and the weight gain issues and some pesky A&B’s, our NICU stay was fairly uneventful. Most of our medical episodes have been since we left the NICU behind.

I think I’d probably be  a little more on the sane side if I hadn’t had to take a ride in an ambulance with a bluish son due to reflux. My 30+ years of  RN nursing and mommy experience mother going white with fear and telling me to call 911 plays in my head all the time as we approach that day.

I wish that lady all the best. I wish I’d had the courage or inclination to strike up a conversation. Next Saturday, is our old due date. How would things have been if we’d gotten this close? Or just 5 weeks closer? What if? The bane of all preemie mamas regardless of course.

In two weeks, we have the birthday party of the little boy who was born to a friend of our family. She was due three days after me, and had her son two days before his due date. They get compared all the time, and it is sometimes such work for me to look away and not worry.

He has come so far, and he does SO SO much. I feel guilty for not just living in OUR moment.

The pictures did turn out fairly good. I spent about twice what I planned on after all. Happy early Mom’s Day to me.

Oh yeah, my mom lesson today was never, ever take a large bag of “props” to a photo shoot for a 1 year old. No clothes that wrinkle or have collars either. Do take another adult and cheerios. I think I can make D do almost anything for a handful of cheerios. Still so much to learn! 🙂


These “Boots” are Made for Walking

This week, we are dog sitting for Gammy while she is out of town for a wedding. We really wanted to go, too, but it’s in Florida and they have a LONG RSV season there apparently. In the end, we decided a 1 year old at someone’s wedding wasn’t the best idea ever even if they are family. Rusty is a five year old toy poodle. He loves kids, but isn’t sure he loves my grabbing hold one year old that has supplanted his place in his mama’s heart, yet.

It was a balmy 77 after lunch, so I decided I could handle a stroller and a toy poodle on a leash. Unfortunately, Rusty is not leash trained well so we only made it to the top of the street before the poor thing was panting his head off. I decided to turn around because Drake was also not tolerating his sun hat well. I’m trying to get him used to it in small jaunts before the zoo days and summer outings ahead. He has a hatred of all things hat, hood, or wrap around sunglasses. As I’m sure I would after what felt like an eternity of jaundice light glasses and CPAP. Unfortunately for him fair skinned red headed people really need hats, and we live in an area where winter hats are a necessity if you want to keep your ears and health.

Fussy baby, and panting dog in tow. We made it about two houses from our front door as I was pointing out the (FINALLY) blooming trees and flowers. All of the sudden a black streak shot past and tackled poor Rusty to the ground. It was our neighbor’s chihuahua. She was doing her best big, mean dog impersonation while Rusty cowered before her. trembling. I picked him up, put the breaks on the stroller and got in front of Drake in case she decided she didn’t like the looks of him either.

Her hapless owner eventually got her to jump up into the car and we got back to our house unscathed.


Drake’s 3rd Birthday

February 20th, 2015

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