Monday, November 29, 2010

Cooper...the sitter!

Yes, it only took us a whole year (thanks, hypotonia!) but Cooper is finally able to sit up on his own. I should add a disclaimer that he's still not strong enough to put himself into a sitting position and he's only able to sit-up for about 5 minutes at a time BUT this is a huge milestone for us, none-the-less!
I'm happy for him and I know that he's proud of himself, too!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


My friend, Aubry, took these pics for us and they're just too great to keep to myself :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Some funny videos~

I'm terrible about letting videos just sit on my flip camera...anyone else procrastinate in this way? I found a video from Cooper's first birthday on there and thought I would share with all of you :) This was us coming into his room on his birthday morning...he doesn't exactly know what to think! He loves saying "no" these days as evidenced by the second video! (Don't forget to turn off the music player...I would hate for you to miss my wonderful singing!)

Happy birthday to Super Cooper! (Sorry, about it being so dark!)

Cooper's no-no dance!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has had a great Thanksgiving with their family and friends today! I've truly enjoyed the day and had to stop to pinch myself when I thought of how blessed we've been this year. I can't help but think back to last Thanksgiving and how different our lives were...Cooper was still in the nicu receiving all of his meals through his feeding tube and we ate a Thanksgiving meal with strangers that the nicu provided for the families. Now, my preemie is a year old and ate a huge meal today of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, deviled eggs and cranberry sauce! He really enjoyed today, too!
Thanksgiving 2009
Thanksgiving 2010...Someone really loves deviled eggs!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Christmas card 2009 vs Christmas card 2010

I thought it would be funny to compare a Christmas card pic from last year versus one of the pics that we took today for this year's card. Wow, what a difference a year makes!
2009, still hanging out in the nicu with a feeding tube down his nose...
2010, chilling like a villian with Lilybear!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A shout out to my awesome hubby!

I had breast reduction surgery last Monday and the recovery process has been a little more indepth then I had anticipated! Heck, I figure nothing can be worse than a. having 2 c-sections within 15 months and b. the last c-section resulting in a 8 inch incision from my belly button to my pubic bone. I guess I think I'm super woman!

My hubby took last week off to help because I was just completely useless! My hubby has a very demanding job and most nights isn't home until close to 5:30 PM and then Cooper is in bed by 7 PM so they really spend most of their time together on the weekends. But, my hubby was in charge of the little man for 24 hours a day for about a week and did a spenldid job! He did all of his meals, played with him, took him to a neurology appointment, dressed him in matching clothes (amazing, right!), bathed him...He literally did everything! He rocks this daddy business and I am so blessed!

This week he is working from home because I still can't lift anything over 10 pounds so he's here only to move him from one spot to another! Both Cooper and I are going to have a hard time when he goes back to work next Monday because the extra time together as a family has been nice. Last week, our time together was a little percocet fueled but this week has been awesome. Waking up together and having breakfast together is such a rare treat...that's a shame, too. I guess, I just need to win the lottery so we can have him here all the time :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Front page announcement

I've learned that private blogs don't come up on readers so I'm stealing an idea from one of my great blogging friends that also has a private blog for her family. What I'm going to do is have a front page for Cooper's blog which will be public but will have a link to new posts on Cooper's blog.

So, all you would have to do is become a follower on this which will then have a link to Cooper's new blog posting. Only invited readers will be able to open the link! I know it's an extra step but it will allow all of you to know when there is a new post on his blog.

Thanks to those of you that still keep up with my little man and leave such awesome comments!

Prematurity Awareness Day

Today is the 8th annual Prematurity Awareness Day that is held by the March of Dimes. The MOD released their annual report card on premature births today in honor of Prematurity Awareness day and the US scored a D but I was even more horrified to see that my state of Georgia scored an F. The goal for premature births is 7.6% or less but the US has a percentage of 12.3%. But, there is reason to be optimistic as the rate of premature births have gone down over the last few years. The MOD has a lot of great information pertaining to prematurity if you would like more information and ways that you can help to fight prematurity.
I knew that I had a huge chance of having a preemie when I found out that I was pregnant with Cooper. Most women that go on to have a baby following a uterine rupture do delivery at 37 weeks since the baby is considered full-term and the docs don't want to push the uterus more than they have to. I was totally comfortable with the 37 week delivery then the placenta increta was discovered so my delivery was pushed to 34 weeks which was still good according to my high-risk ob-gyn and my perinatologist. Many of you know that I was admitted into the hospital at 24 weeks due to the placenta increta (which would've killed us both if anything happened outside of the hospital) with every intention of being there for 10 weeks. I woke up on the morning of November 1, 2010 with pain in my back (I had no idea that labor could start there!) and Cooper not moving. I expressed concern to my nurse that Cooper wasn't moving (I didn't care about the back pain that I was experiencing but more for the welfare of my baby but I guess having a stillborn baby will do that to you) and they hooked me up to the NST machine. My nurse came back within 7 minutes and said "we're having a baby today! You're in preterm labor..." Now, some will wonder why they wouldn't just stop the preterm labor especially since I was only 31 weeks BUT you can't with a uterus that has experienced a rupture. You deliver as soon as the uterus begins to show distress. I was rolled into the operating room and met the nicu team who would be taking care of my baby. I was put to sleep but the last words whispered into my ears were "you're going to have a beautiful baby boy when you wake up..."

My hubby was in the hallway waiting for Cooper to be rolled to the nicu with his camera ready to take the first pic of our son. We were so lucky because I had received steroid shots for his lungs just 48 hours before he was born! He had to intubated twice to give his lungs surfactant which helps his lungs to not stick together but other than that he only wore a c-pap and cannula to help him breath. He weighed 4 pounds and was 16.5 inches long. He came into the world with a headful of red hair which made my Irish (-German) heart happy!

He spent almost 38 days in the nicu for normal preemie stuff like learning to breath without any assistance, Apnea, and that whole learning how to suck/swallow/breath thing that all of us take for granted! His lingering preemie problems are the severe reflux and his heart murmur. Surprisingly, his hypotonia has nothing to do with his premature birth.

I realize how blessed we are every day to have him home with us in overall great health. Not all preemie parents do and many preemie babies will never see their first birthday. I don't take that fact lightly. I can count on one hand the times that I've whined about lack of sleep, poopie diapers or any of the usual baby/new parent issues. I've NEVER complained about any of the many appointments to neurologists, cardiologists, urologists, his weekly PT/OT/ST because I would do everything a million times over to have my perfect and dearly loved son.

In a perfect world, every mom gets the chance to go into labor (full-term) and have a delivery with a screaming baby that needs no medical intervention. I've often daydreamed about how that must feel! To meet your baby within seconds or minutes of their entrance into the world and not 12 hours later. How it must feel to hold your baby and kiss them shortly after birth and not 2 days later. How it must feel to be able to breastfeed your infant within minutes after birth and not weeks later. This wasn't in the cards for us but I'm so grateful for the medical advances that gave my baby every chance to succeed!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

One year stats

So, I'm a week late doing this but better late than never, right???

We went to Cooper's 12 month wellness check up on his birthday because nothing says "happy birthday" like 2 vaccinations and a flu shot (well, the first part of it)!

Weight: 22 lbs even (38%)
Height: 33.5 in (93%)
Head circumference: 49 cm (97%) Some of this is due to the extra fluid on his brain...

He is still on Prev.acid for his reflux but the 15 mg is now longer working and the poor thing has gotten eczema flair ups. I didn't know that eczema was the body's natural defense against the acid coming back up! Hmmm, maybe, I'm the only one that didn't know and I felt terrible! So, he's now taking 15 mg twice a day. He's also off his formula and on cow's milk now. I was worried about the transition but it's been seamless! He's doing 3 solid meals, one snack, 16 ounces of milk and normally about 10 ounces of water a day.

We also went to the cardiologist for his annual appointment regarding his pda (which is a heart murmur that normally only affects preemies). He also has a very small hole in his heart called a pfo that was discovered during his echo in February. Long story short, they're both still there but they're not worried about them at this point. Some pda's will make one side of the heart bigger than the other but that's not the case right now so they're going to re-check him at 2 years old.

His speech therapist has upgraded his diet to soft table foods which has been a blast! We try all kinds of foods now! He loves peach fruit cups and any sort of pasta :)

The most exciting news of all is that he's sitting up unsupported for about a minute or so! He's also trying to crawl! He's uncoordinated still though, like he pushes himself up but then his legs give him problems or vice versa. The point is though is that his body is starting to click into movement! Every week, it's like his body is starting to wake up. He's such a fighter and makes me so proud!

Okay, well, this was a long post, wasn't it?

I leave you with a pic from this morning. This poor mat is totally demolished by the end of the day! The best part of this pic is his smile because doesn't he look proud of himself?

Monday, November 1, 2010

My rainbow baby is one today!

Dear Cooper,
You are one year old today! Can you believe it????
You are a miracle today just as you were when I first found out about you on April 23, 2010. You made it through a pregnancy that doctors that was crazy! You came into the world vigorously (the docs words!) at 11:01 AM which is in about 2 minutes! You came into the world breathing on your own and spent only 38 days in the hospital. You've had so much going on in the last year and you've shown such spunk despite everything. You make me proud everyday to be your mommy.
I love you more than I love myself and I would do anything to make your life as wonderful has humanly possible. You gave my heart hope when you were born and gave me the greatest role of my life, your mommy.
My love forever without condition,