Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Come on over, y'all!

We made it to South Carolina!

We even have oxygen for her here. We're now using liquid oxygen. It's great! It doesn't generate any heat, and is basically silent. I think Millie misses the noise.

Last night Millie met her cousin Nora! Since then, Grandpa LaMar and G-Viv have been spending lots of time with them.

We are so happy to see Aunt Lani and Nora (and all the rest of our family).

Do you think Nora has red hair? She definitely has more than Millie :)

Ready to meet these girls? Here is your chance:

We will be blessing Millie this Saturday at 1:00 PM and would love for you to join us! This is a religious event that is brief and will be taking place at the LDS Stake Center on Carmel Road in Charlotte. After the blessing we will have some time to mingle and enjoy some yummy food. And of course Millie will be available for autographs...or maybe just some darling pictures.

We would love for you to join us! We're ready to show off this sweet baby finally.

See you Saturday!

P.S. Millie flew on both airplanes without oxygen, and we feel really blessed it worked out so well. She is an wonderful baby, and we didn't have any problems. I didn't realize how much I missed South Carolina. For the first time in my life I got to watch a thunderstorm from a few miles away on an airplane. It melted my heart. Is there anything better than summer rain storms? Thanks for the wet (yet warm) welcome home, Carolina.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


We love spending all day, every day with this sweetie. Our first week home together has been bliss.

Millie had her first doctors appointment. I managed to haul Millie and all of her equipment to the office all by myself. The appointment went well, and we go in for another one on Tuesday. By the way, we love our Pediatrician, Dr. Later. He really goes out of his way for this girl.

She is so good! This is her catching a little cat nap. Can't keep those hands away from her face!

Thanks to her massive oxygen concentrator, our apartment stays a cool 81 degrees! Sometimes I feel too bad swaddling her with PJ's on, so I let her run around naked.

(always manages to wiggle her hands and feet out!)

She was loving sitting up when I held her, so I thought we'd try to bumbo for a second. She was deeply confused! She's too small for it right now, but I imagine it will be our best friend in a few months.

What's New:

  1. Not to brag, but Millie sleeps through the night! Since we brought her home, she's only woken up once to eat in the middle of the night. It's been so nice. As long as she's gaining an appropriate amount of weight (we'll find out Tuesday) then we can keep it this way. If not, we'll have to start waking her up to eat. Been there, done that. Not interested.
  2. Millie will be FIVE months old on the 24th! Hard to believe, huh? I'm dying to take her out in public so strangers will ask me how old she is. She's still pretty small and wearing newborn clothes. I accidentally forgot to stock up on 0-3months so she'll be squeezing into newborn sizes for a while. Oh well, she's got lots of cute things!
  3. She is eating like a champ! At the hospital her normal feedings were between 50-60 ml, but her first feeding once we walked into our apartment was 90! She's taken off since then and now eats anywhere from 70-140 consistently. I hope that means she likes living with us! Of course now she only eats 5-6 times/day instead of 8. This girl is loving her freedom. She loves sleeping and eating when she wants.
  4. Right as we were taking her home from the hospital we found out Millie has Pulmonary Hypertension. Google it if you want to know what it is. I'm still not 100% sure myself because we never got to talk to the cardiologist. This is why Millie is back on oxygen. She has been cleared to fly without oxygen if the cabin pressure is about 5,000 feet. From my research it looks like planes go from 5-8,000 so we might have to get her on oxygen for her trip to South Carolina. You'd think since it's a disability airlines would fall all over themselves to accommodate you, but actually it's the opposite. If we have to get her special "air travel friendly" equipment we will personally have to shell out about $600. More than our plane tickets! We will learn more at her doctors appointment on Tuesday.

Don't let that last point fool you. It sounded kind of depressing...sorry! We are still so happy to have her home. I love every second of it. I love waking up (at the decent hour of 7AM!) to her sweet little grunts. I love to see her eyes open for the first time in hours. I love to pick her up and put her between Buck and I in our bed so we can all cuddle. I love knowing that her favorite way to fall asleep is to the (fake) sound of the ocean. Now we all fall asleep best Millie's way. I love taking her on walks and seeing her reaction to a quick breeze. I love teaching Millie all about this amazing world around her. I can't wait to introduce her to some of her biggest fans.

Thanks for keeping up with our little family.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

135 Days Later

Millie is HOME!
(for a video of our escape click here)
We will miss the NICU, but we are happy to be on our way.
(After 4 1/2 months of being there, we had accumulated a lot of stuff!)

Now that she's home, she sleeps and eats wonderfully.

She finally gets to enjoy her toys.
(Thank you Grammy and Gramps for the swing)

We love just laying around with this cutie!
This was her "Welcome home Dad" outfit.

The Story:

We've been waiting for Millie to eat 75% of her expected feeding amount consistently and gain weight. She started doing that on Tuesday last week, but our Pediatrician wasn't comfortable sending her home just yet. Truth be told, I wasn't comfortable yet either for some reason, so I'm thankful he was brave enough to say it. We spend the night with her (meaning she left her hospital room and stayed in a hotel type room with us) on Wednesday night. It was dreamy taking care of her all by ourselves! She even stepped up her eating quite a bit that night.

After a few visits from her Pediatrician on Thursday, and a little coaxing from me we got clearance to take her home that night! It happened very suddenly, but we are grateful we were able to take her home then. Buck went out of town for the weekend. If she was all ready to come home when he was gone I would have had to bring her home by myself and he would have missed what we've been looking forward to for 135 days!

We ended up leaving after it was dark, so that is why we don't have very many pictures. Leaving during the night shift in the NICU was great! We were loaded down with diapers, bottles, stickers for her oxygen, and anything else we could think of. We also had a little parade for Millie. We walked through the NICU saying goodbye to each of the nurses! Trust me, I've never seen that happen. Oh I love the night shift. I wish we could have said goodbye to every person that worked with us, but oh well. We were ready to break free!

We love having her home. Sometimes if feels like she's always been her with us, and sometimes it feels like I'm just babysitting. It's hard to explain.

So yes, Buck was out of town all weekend at an accounting competition in Arizona. That means I had a Mommy/Daughter weekend with Millie. I needed some time with just Millie to myself. It was wonderful! I would have gladly welcomed Buck on our weekend though :)

Millie is a wonderful baby. She cries, but it is still very soft. She sleeps most of the time. She slept through the night both Friday and Saturday night. I was so frazzled when I woke up to her crying on Saturday morning that I thought she was actually in the bed with me! I also couldn't figure out why the sun was shining! I was prepared to be up at 3 AM, so you can imagine my confusion. My first thought was, "Wow, I must have missed her crying all night. I'm glad she survived!"

Since Millie is on oxygen still we have a nice collection of oxygen tanks in our living room, an apnea monitor I have to tote all around the apartment, and an oxygen concentrator that makes noise equivalent to our dishwasher 24/7. Millie loves the noise. I never imagined it would be such an ordeal to pick her up and take her from the living room to our bedroom. Never mind taking her on a walk! Going for a walk definitely requires two people.

One last little story: We got home Thursday night around 9PM. Since we weren't planning on coming home that early, we hadn't ordered her oxygen for the house. This meant all we had were our tiny travel tanks that would get us through the night but needed to be changed every few hours. I was so worried about changing those and feeding her that it didn't dawn on me to change her diaper until 6:30 AM! Bless her heart! Don't worry, she survived just fine and now I make sure I change her diaper at least at every feeding.

Ahhh Motherhood. I love it. I'm not great at it, but I'm learning. Thankfully Millie doesn't seem to mind just yet.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

We Had a GREAT Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday was a BIG day for Millie.

Thanks to one amazing nurse (Amber) we got to go on a walk in the hospital!
She looks so much smaller in that giant car seat

To see a video of the action click here
(why Buck didn't have me fix my hair before shooting this footage I will never know)

Millie met her cousin Garrett!

Southern gentlemen.

Us and our sweet little baby.

She only allowed the bonnet because she was too sleepy to protest.

She gets this strange "sleep with one eye open" from her Dad.

There I was, innocently burping her when all of the sudden...

She's had some messy diapers, but this one tops 'em all!

We still love her.  Probably now more than ever.

I loaded a few more videos on our YouTube channel of Millie being her wild and crazy self.
Check it out here!

Tonight we are spending the night at the hospital so we can feed her around the clock.  After her weigh in we will know how soon we can run her out of here.

Wish us luck!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lovely Eyes (and a surprise)

See these baby blues?

They are safe from more laser surgery.

That's right, Millie's eye doctor came for her final exam and says everything looks great!

She can hardly believe it! Thanks everyone for fasting and praying for her sweet little eyes.

Millie is more alert these days. She spends about 3 hours a day just looking around.

And then of course she is all worn out.

What's new with the babe:

  1. Millie has a new cousin! Nora Dunnam was born on Friday. She beats Millie in size (not by a whole lot just yet) coming in at 7lbs 15 oz, 19 inches. We can't wait for these girls to meet each other.
  2. Our girl weighs a massive 7 lbs 12 oz, and is 18 inches long. She's doing fine with her weight, but she is running a little on the short side. Have you seen Buck and I? She doesn't have much hope :)
  3. She is now 42.5 weeks gestation! This means a lot more crying for no reason at all...a big change for us! This girl has been so well behaved that it breaks my heart to hear her cry. On the plus side, crying is good exercise for her paralyzed vocal cord.
  4. She is still on oxygen, but just barely. We are working (first thing tomorrow) with arranging for her to go home on oxygen. That's not so bad, but arranging for her to fly on an airplane with oxygen is going to be a huge ordeal!
  5. Yep, you read that right. We're talking about going home! Millie is eating much better these days, so at best we could come home this week! We have tried feeding her whenever/however much she wants in a 12 hour period for the past 4 days. Yesterday and today she "passed" meaning she ate enough to gain weight. Tomorrow (hopefully) we will try feeding her for 24 hours straight! Then she does that another whole day and then we run out of the hospital. That's all of course if she passes. A lot of babies need rest days from being worn out. We want her to enjoy eating and do it at her own pace so we are following her lead.

I hate to count my chickens before they hatch, but I sure hope we are leaving soon!