Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I mentioned in a post about Cooper's delays and how he had only turned from back to tummy once...well, on Tuesday a light bulb went off and he is flipping over everytime I turn around! God love him though because he rolls to his tummy then gets mad because he wants to be on his back again so we have quite a game going on now! He rolls to his tummy, gets mad, mommy rolls him back to his back, he rolls to his get the picture but I will do this all day long because it's progress!

Also, I wanted to add that he did a phenomenal job at therapy yesterday and his PT commented on Cooper using muscles in his trunk that he wasn't using last week...God is great!

I caught a quick video this morning with my new Flip recorder that my hubby gave me yesterday! The sweetie said that he wanted to give me a surprise for being such a good mommy...I love that man!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Rainbow Babies

Every Sunday, our preacher shows a different pic that he has taken on his various travels and today he showed us a picture of a Rainbow Eucalyptus tree (note: this is not his actual pic but a image that I googled to show all of you). The word "rainbow" means so much to me now, much more than before I had my sweet, Cooper...I hear "rainbow" now and I immediately think of a rainbow baby...
To those that aren't a member of the babyloss community (Thank God, if you aren't because this club sucks), a rainbow baby is a baby born after a pregnancy loss or infant death. A rainbow is a symbol of the good things to come after a storm.
I thought of the rainbow babies that I've *seen* born over the last two years. I've watched entire pregnancies unfold before me with women that I've never met in real-life. I've done my happy dance at pregnancy announcements and I've waited with baited breath as I stalked blogs for birth announcements. I've read weekly pregnancy updates and I've prayed when there have been pregnancy concerns. I honestly think of and pray for each and everyone of you as you go through your rainbow baby pregnancies...I adore each rainbow baby in their own unique way and celebrate and oogle over baby photos...
I said a special prayer in church today for those of you that are longing for a rainbow baby, currently pregnant with a rainbow baby, and for those that have been blessed to meet your rainbow baby already. We will always miss our precious ones that were taken home way before we were ready for them to go...and, always wonder why we couldn't have them both (our angel baby and our rainbow baby)...We will always see parts of our angel baby in their brother or sister...I honestly look down at Cooper sometimes and he looks just like Lily...and, at those times, I feel the grace of God because he allows me to see parts of her everyday...
For me, my rainbow baby has given my heart new hope and new love. My heart misses and loves my Lily but I know that I will see her again....which is a promise that I cling to everyday...
Give your rainbow babies a kiss and a hug from me today :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

8 AM blood draw

I had to take Cooper to do his blood draw this morning and my thinking was the earlier the better to get it over with and on with our day...and, MAYBE we would both still be in the mood for our weekly playdate...

Ugh, not so much...I took him to a lab in a local children's hospital thinking that they would be more baby friendly and was delighted when the recepitionist asked me if I would like for Coop to have some numbing cream, I couldn't get "YES" out quick enough. So, they put the numbing cream on both arms and kept the cream in place by two huge stickers. The numbing cream took 30 minutes to be effective so we went back to the waiting room to watch cartoons (me not him ;)) and wait our turn. We finally go back to the room and the tech (I don't actually think she was a nurse) proceeds to RIP off the, I know, with some things that it's better to be quick which actually makes it less painful..but, sister did it so ruthlessly that it was all I could do to not RIP her hair out. Cooper proceeded to flip out! He screamed the whole time and I think the numbing cream was an afterthought because the poor baby's arms were bright red from having the stickers ripped off! She didn't even use his other arm (thank goodness) but it took forever for the redness to go away...She drew 7 viles of blood and he screamed the entire time! Again, from the stickers not the actual sticking!

So, needless to say, we are skipping our weekly playgroup today...we came home and I fed him and he is currently in the second hour of a morning nap...poor thing was EXHAUSTED from the screaming which was difficult for me and I was so happy that my hubby came with me because he's good at keeping me in check when my momma bear tendencies creep out!

Now, the official waiting game begins...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Neuro Update

We went to the neurology appointment yesterday and he agrees with the hypotonia diagnosis. So, the next step is getting blood work done (which I have to take him to the hospital for that tomorrow) to rule out any genetic stuff. My hubby is actually adopted so we have no family history on him which would be really helpful right now (oh, how different adoption laws are now!). A MRI will be done in 7 weeks after he gets all of the bloodwork results in and he has time to analyze them because evidentally different genetic tests take longer than others to be completed.

The bright side was that the neuro was very impressed with Cooper's fine motor skills and his cognitive and social skills. His biggest concerns (as are the PT and ped's) is his no trunk balance and his inability to bear weight on his legs. I LOVED this neuro though and so did Coop! This neuro would play him with him like Coop was his grandchild! He's such an awesome doctor!

I'm trying to remain positive and thank you to those that left personal stories of babies that you've known with hypotonia! Each story brought a little more hope to my heart.

Monday, June 21, 2010


I expected some delays with Cooper being born 9 weeks early and I've gotten used to figuring out his adjusted age milestones. I read my weekly milestone article delivered in my inbox with anticipation and trepidation. It only turned into trepidation over the last couple of months or so I read what he should be doing by his adjusted age and my heart would drop at the realization that he was doing NONE of what babies his (adjusted) age should be doing...

Cooper has a bestfriend that was born on January 5, 2010 so 3 days after Cooper's due date. I was using this friend as kind of a guide as to where Cooper should be...I know kids reach their milestones at different rates but my heart would break as each week I would watch this baby doing cartwheels around Coop. I would tell myself that Coop would just get there eventually...Now, looking back if being honest with myself, Coop has only rolled from tummy to back a handful of times, only rolled from back to tummy once, he is no where in the proximity of sitting up, he bears NO weight on his legs, he doesn't transfer toys from one hand to another...the list goes on and on of our developmental delays...I have a joke that I tell myself "well, there isn't a question on a college application that asks when you starting walking..."

Coop has been going to a physical therapist once a week for a little over a month now. She expressed some concerns to me last week about Cooper being hypotonic which means he has low muscle tone so I immediately made an appointment with his ped being the neurotic, I mean proactive mother that I am...and, he agreed with her diagnosis. He was mostly alarmed at the fact that Cooper won't bear any weight on his legs with his actually comment being "even newborns put up resistance when their feet are placed on the floor...." but Coop just buckles to his knees.

We go to the neurologist this Wednesday to figure out what is causing the hypotonia as the actual diagnosis could mean a variety of things. I've actually stopped looking at the diagnosises for now because I'm going to start having a panic attack...Mostly from what I've read is that hypotonia is normally lumped into two different diagnosises: either Cerebral Palsy if they think the disconnect lies in the brain or Muscular Dystrophy if they think the disconnect lies in the muscles. Again, because the diagnosis of hypotonia just means low muscle tone it could be something small or something big. I'm praying wholeheartedly for the something small as any parent would I imagine...

I do know one thing for certain as a mother with a child that (most likely just waiting on severity) has a disability is that my dreams for him and his life remain the same. I joke with family and friends that I want him to play football for UGA but in all seriousness, I just want him to be happy. It will be my dying goal to achieve that happy for him and teach him to be happy just for the simple fact of being alive.

If you could just pray for the something small diagnosis or better yet (because God can do all things!) that Cooper's body be cured of whatever this is...

So, I want to end this with a picture of my love...of the smile that warms my heart everytime no matter what is going on....

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Cooper's first *real* professional pics!

I say *real* because he has been to Se.ars but these were done by a photographer friend of ours about 3 weeks ago. We had so much fun! It was a little rough because Coop only had about a 30 minute nap prior to the photo session (which is why you see some pics where he looks a little peeved!) but overall was a trooper through all of the outfit changes (or lack thereof because some of the pics he went shirtless) and daddy's great idea to make it look like he's mountain climbing on our fireplace!

Sorry, if I've been a little MIA lately we have some things going on right now that have been occupying my mind and I'll write a post up in the next couple of days and elaborate. If you could just keep Coop in your prayers I would be grateful...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Just some pics of Cooper and his antics :)

Cooper's week in review...

Cooper aka "Super Cooper" taking a stroll with mommy

Cooper modeling his new hat from the zoo

Seriously, this kid goes straight to the bottle in the mornings...what a lush ;)

This one is from our monthly photo shoot (he's way more into the props than he used to be)

Cooper playing on the slide, well, actually he's just laying on it but mommy can't miss a photo op!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


I've been having a hard time lately dealing with my hysterectomy. I miss having a weird is that? But, what is even more difficult wrapping my mind around (I'm slow!) is that I will never have another baby grow inside my body...when I start feeling sad it quickly turns to feeling selfish. Some women have never been pregnant and I was blessed with two beautiful opportunities although only one of my babies lives with me on Earth. I've had 2 beautiful babies come from my body...and for that I am eternally grateful. I feel like a brat because I WAS dreading my friends getting pregnant again just because of my lack of ability to do unfair and stupid is that???? I need to focus more on the opportunities that I've been given rather than focus on what won't come again...

Also, I've been complaining a lot to friends (especially on facebook) about how bad Cooper is about taking naps...seriously, I have two friends on facebook that have bigger worries than a baby who won't take naps (one lost her 3 month old baby to SIDS and the other has a baby with hydrocephaly and her baby is going through so much), add in a sense of insensitivity...

I have so much to be thankful for but have been attempting to give myself pity parties...sometimes, I can be a real self-centered a** and I'm sorry if I've ever said anything insensitive whether in my spoken or written words or through my actions. I'm working on it, really...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Bellycast :)

We did a bellycast when I was 30 weeks pregnant with Cooper...a week later he was born! I finally got around to painting it last weekend...geez, it took me 7 months to paint a simple cast! Anyhow, I thought I would share it :) I've always been a busty girl you could say but pregnancy makes them ENORMOUS!

The bird looks a little silly but it's taking a flower to Lily in Heaven...

I had a lot of fun painting it but couldn't have done it without daddy doing Cooper duty :) Team work!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

7 Months!

Dear Coopie~
You are 7 months old! I can't believe how fast time is flying by and I wish that time would just slow down! I laugh when we meet new people and they ask how old you are and the look on their faces when I tell them that you were born 9 weeks early! No one would be able to tell that you were just a tiny little peanut 7 months ago :)
You amaze me everyday with your sweet spirit and your makes for a funny combination! I have so much fun with you and I love being your mommy!
My love forever, sweet one~

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Stop the judgement~

I have been pondering how and when to write this post and I figured NOW is as good a time as any...and, I should put a disclaimer to this post... This post comes in PEACE and is a public service announcement on being non-judgemental...

This is not a pro-formula post. I'm a 100% pro-breastfeeding momma. Breast is best...BUT, my baby is being fed with formula! This post is about the JUDGEMENT that I have felt regarding how I feed MY child. When I say YOU through out this post I am talking to those mothers that judge other mothers for not being able to breastfeed their baby. Not all breastfeeding moms act this way but I have come across an air of superiority that I feel like acknowledging in a public forum.

First, let me explain some of our situation for those of you that may be new to reading my blog. Cooper was born at 31 weeks which is WAY before a baby knows how to suck, swallow and breath all at the same time. So, for the first 3 weeks of Cooper's life he received all of his breastmilk meals through a feeding tube down his nose. We started breastfeeding when Cooper turned 34 weeks for one meal a day, then you move up to 2 meals, then 2-4 meals and so on and so forth until he was finally eating 8 meals by mouth a day. Let me explain breastfeeding my preemie baby to you...some days he was able to latch with a nipple shield and some days he couldn't latch at all. Some days he would breastfeed for 20 minutes and actually LOSE weight. He would expend so much extra energy breastfeeding that his feeding was null and void.

Now, let me tell you a little about myself...I planned on breastfeeding for a year (or more depending on how the weaning process was going with Cooper.) I read books and I talked to nurses during 8 weeks of bedrest in the hospital about breastfeeding. There was nothing I wanted more than to feed my baby with my breasts and actually use my breasts for what they are intended for...I felt so passionately about this for so many reasons but I also had one huge emotional reason for wanting to breastfeed my child...The year before I had lost a baby at 23 weeks...guess what, my milk still came in...I got engorged and leaked every body knew that it didn't have a baby anymore and wanted to feed it but there was no baby to feed. My heart broke even more as I slipped a nursing pad into my bra everyday for weeks. So, when Cooper was born I pumped every 2-3 hours at home and in the nicu. Everyday, I would bring in my bottles of breastmilk for them to prepare for his tube feedings. I pumped every 2-3 hours every day (even while recovering from a c-section and hysterectomy)...then, when he was about 3 weeks old I had some sinus drainage and took Ben.a.dryl because I was terrified that if they heard me sniffle that I wouldn't be allowed into the nicu. I knew that I wasn't sick and I didn't want to take the chance of them not letting me see my son. My supply was nearly cut in half after 3 days on the ben.a.dryl although I was still pumping and drinking tons of fluids. The ben.a.dryl incident probably just coincided with the fact that my pregnancy hormones were dropping AND I wasn't able to put my child to my breast to stimulate more milk. Those factors including the stress of having a preemie in the nicu and no longer being able to trick my breasts with a pump pretty much zapped my supply. I tried over the counter herbal supplements and I even took Reglan (which did help but then I did research on the side effects and it didn't seem worth it). I've cried buckets of tears but then Cooper's ped told me to basically get over it because sometimes breastfeeding just doesn't work and Cooper needs a healthy mommy...

I tell you all of this to say...YOU don't know people's circumstances and what their baby and the mother has been through. I'm not lazy and it's not that I didn't try hard enough and YOU are not a better mother than I am just because breastfeeding worked out for you! I've heard formula being compared to fast food and to rat poison. I've read blogs where other mothers have said that they feel sorry for babies when they see them being bottlefed. Please, don't feel sorry or pity my baby. He is the most loved and well-taken care of baby. He is doted on every moment that he is awake. He probably gets more attention than the average baby. He's thriving and social.

Imagine if I went around asking other mothers if they took their baby to daycare...and, if they said "yes" than I found it completely acceptable to tell them how sorry I felt for their children and insuiated that they were less of a mother. I don't feel that way for the record but could you imagine if I wrote a post about how you were less of a nurturing mother because you had to work outside of the home...and, how I pitied your child when I saw you pull up to your daycare center. What??? Some mothers can't help that they have to work!?! Well, then maybe, you should just assume that mothers who formula feed did everything they could to breastfeed when she pulls out that bottle. Did you ever stop to wonder if that baby that is receiving a bottle was adopted? Did you ever stop to wonder if that mother has a health condition or on some medications that won't allow her to breastfeed??? Why don't you stop worrying about how other people are feeding their kids and ONLY concentrate on how you're feeding your own baby.

Why can't mothers just support other mothers??? Are we really that insecure with ourselves that we find it okay to judge and belittle each other because of how our babies are fed? I know how wonderful breastfeeding is and wish everyday that it could've worked out for me and my son. To hear it from the mouths of some mothers about how their baby will never receive formula and then compare it to rat poison (which would kill a baby and although I don't know this for fact, I would dare to say that no baby has ever died from receiving formula) is an agressive remark on that other mother's inability to breastfeed her baby. Some moms may chose just not to breastfeed because they don't want to and you know what, it still isn't any of your business.

I say as moms that we should just stop the judgements. Please, come to me when you see my child jumping out in the road or about to put their hand on a hot stove because this would cause them actual pain and harm. My child is in neither situation as he was a preemie and has thrived on his formula. He started out at 4 pounds and is now at 17+ pounds and is ruled to be in great health by his pediatrician.

Some will comment I'm sure about me getting donated breastmilk. Well, my response to that is that I would rather leave that supply for preemies or other sick babies. They need it more than my son at this point. I was able to give my son almost 2 months of breastmilk exclusively when he needed it the most and for that I am proud.

To those of you that are exclusively breastfeeding mommas~ kudos and high-fives! You will always get my respect and admiration for your hardwork. You are giving your baby the very best!

Just please stop looking down on me for my that I was forced into but one that I have to live with none the less...

Feel free to comment but please notice that not once did I make a disparaging remark about breastfeeding mothers and have nothing but positive things to say about breastfeeding. I'm not advocating formula. I'm an advocate for the stop of judgement.

Love, Jen