Sunday, December 12, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
We just celebrated the marriage of Brian's brother to my wonderful sister-in-law Suzanne. B was at home but he got to hang with the family including his great grandpa over the course of the weekend (yes there are FOUR generations of Betts boys walking around).
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Braden is sitting up and rolling around all the time. He wants NOTHING to do with his tummy and always rolls to his back, even when he sleeps. As a result he is not crawling or even close to attempting. We even try to put objects in his way, sometimes even ourselves, to try to keep him on his tummy but he is just not having it!
It is so fun to watch the discovery process and how he is connecting things. For example when he hears the front door open he looks up for who the new person is that has entered the house. Seems like a small thing but it is huge to us as another step in his development.
His determination inspires us every day!
Sunday, September 19, 2010
These pics are good reminders of how far he has come. He is thriving... looking around more, recognizing people he loves, grabbing for toys, and in true boy fashion getting his first bonks and bumps.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
He is moving through the veggie group fast and furious. Some have been bigger hits than others. For example he LOVES sweet potatoes. As for peas, the jury is still out... see for yourself in the video. It is also quite the messy experience but so wonderful to watch him get better and better with each feed. Moving on to fruits this week!
Monday, July 12, 2010
Almost every day he does something that makes me realize he has such a strong will and sense of intent. He gets frustrated that his physical body is not quite ready to do what his mind is trying so hard to make happen.
For example if this kid could walk yesterday he would have. He continues to want to stand, bounce around in his jumparoo and push himself around on his walker. When eating his bottle he wants to help hold it so bad but little does he realize he is pushing it out of his mouth more than into his mouth. When we give him solids he raises his hands to help and puts them in his mouth, only to pull out about 90% of what I put in.
All these moments crack us up and every now and then we get a few giggles out of B. A special moment between Dad and Mr. B included in the video below.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
He wants nothing to do with laying around and all he wants to do is have us help him stand, stand, and stand! He facial expressions when he gets a different view of his world are priceless.
We are so fortunate he is sleeping 10 hrs a night and he continues to gain weight at 15 1/2 pounds. He is an absolute joy and we are so lucky to have a smiley baby loving life!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Braden continues to thrive and we attempted semi-solid food tonight by mixing rice cereal with milk. This is the first time B has taken food other than from the bottle and needless to say he did a great job!
B was rooting for the Ags and Longhorns but unfortunately he is left disappointed. In fact he usually barfed on his UT outfits :) However, he is rooting for the TCU Frogs in the College bball World Series!
He smiles, laughs and tells us all about everything on his mind. He love baths, the outdoors and he wants to do nothing but stand up when you hold him.
I also survived my first time with daddy out of town... We take our first trip on the road with him July 4 weekend, fingers crossed.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
He is 15 lbs and 6 oz! He is being taken off a few supplements to gain weight but is still on breast milk with some rice cereal to help with the reflux. We get to start to introduce solids this month which scares me to death!
He loves sucking his fingers (esp the inside ones so he makes a longhorn), continues to smile, laugh and discover the world around him. He is so vocal talking to us all the time about the latest dream he had, the happenings of the day, or just what is on his mind!
Look for a video soon as he is so amazing live and in person :)
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010
Braden continues to grow and is 13lbs and 10oz. He is in the 98th percentile for his head... which is definitely picked up from my side of the family. He has a funny hair cow lick which he definitely gets from his daddy. He is still scarce on hair which could be pointed at either side of the family :)
He is picking up on smiling at mom and dad and is starting to track us a little better. He had a professional photo shoot today and he cooperated this time versus the first attempt where he screamed his head off at the photographer. He has really strong legs and insists on practicing standing up all the time.
We have taken him out on walks quite a bit and I even got him a hat to protect his face. Unfortunately for Braden mommy did not exactly get the right size... see video below.
Monday, April 26, 2010
I have so much respect for moms that stay home and moms that go back to work. Because both are HARD jobs regardless!!
I look forward to the challenge of work and actually having adult conversations. However, I will miss the meaningless TV time with Mr. B and the moments where there is nothing in the world that matters but me, Mr. B, and the trees he loves to gaze at all afternoon.
Going back to work is one of the hardest decisions a woman has to make after having a baby and while I was always certain I would go...I had no idea how heart breaking it would feel.
Silver lining. My mother-in-law moved to Austin and she is going to be Braden's care taker for the next year! We are so blessed to have her as well as my wonderful mother (Gammy) coming to town all the time to watch Mr. B.
Speaking of B... he is a love. Truly a wonderful person and such a joy to be around. I hope you all get to meet him soon :)
Monday, April 19, 2010
When he grips my hands with intensity while taking a bottle.
When he gets a half smile, for no apparent reason, or due to gas.
How he sucks his pacifier while sleeping.
His constant talking/grunting about who knows what, but I wish I did!
His content during bath time, even when mom and dad are taking forever.
His looks of interest when his daddy reads him bedtime stories.
But one of my most favorite times is first thing in the morning when B wakes up and stretches as if to say, "Here I am world!".
He is doing great at about 12 1/2 lbs. He has completely grown out of new born clothing and even gives 0-3 month outfits a run for the money. He is sleeping better due to his special sling contraption you saw in the video. We had a 7 hour sleep the other night!!
We love how everyone continues to ask about our miracle boy and we read the blog posts to Braden so he can keep up with what all his friends and family say about him :).
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Braden is a total riot. If he is not taking on bouts with the play gym he is shadow boxing in mid air at who knows what, but it is adorable to see him work it out. He is also taking on daddy and the nurses. He peed on the nurse at his 4 month check up last week... but even funnier he peed on daddy when Brian had his back turned for a moment during the clean up of a huge stinky poop. It sounds cruel, but as a mom home all day, these moments make me smile just a little... well maybe a lot. Someone else has to feel the "experience" of Braden's bodily fluids :)
The video below is the latest of Mr. B and his sister Daisy. He continues to be a "vocal" child, but a dear all the same. We continue to feel so blessed and are doing our best to navigate through this adventure in parenting!
Monday, April 5, 2010
Friday, April 2, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
We go to the doc tomorrow but I am sure he is close to if not more than 10 lbs. I find my arm cramping as I hold him up for a bottle. He is still up a ton at night and we are trying everything to make him comfortable with the hope of getting 3-4 hours of sleep.
Our little man is trucking along and I am sure he has more tricks up his sleeves :)
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wait, did we mention he had not seen a doctor yet, nor did he... yup, our son was admitted to Dell via ambulance into their ER without even seeing a doctor. Once in the ambulance they took his vitals, the SAME vitals as the pediatric nurses, and he was just fine. They said they HAD to take him anyway but that we were likely victims of liability concerns in place of good medical practice.
We got to Dell and they were immediately more concerned with the fact we were there due to all the illness in the hospital versus any concern something was wrong with Braden.
We were evaluated and discharged within a few hours. We all immediately came home, exhaled, then looked for the nearest wine bottle ;)
We are totally exhausted and spent. But on a positive, Braden is born again tomorrow, his actual due date. Look for another post to come soon.
Monday, February 22, 2010
As many of you know, our "first child" is a 70 lb Doberman named Daisy. We brought Daisy home as a 6wk old puppy a little over 1.5 years ago. Several of you have asked how Daisy is doing with her new little brother being home. Well, as the saying goes, a picture speaks a thousand words....
Braden and Daisy both enjoyed our first walk as a family a few days ago. But, no, unfortunately that is not my motorcycle.
Friday, February 19, 2010
100+ days in the hospital
300+ trips to and from hospital
3 re admissions for mom
9 hospital rooms for mom
36 days of bed rest
73 days in the NICU
450 minutes scrubbing in per person
34 nurses and 5 doctors in the NICU taking care of Braden
19 nurses and 3 doctors taking care of mom
4 IV sticks... in one day for mom, not even sure on the total
While we are happy to leave these things in the past, we have made new friends for life with the Cook and Desormeaux family who have been in this experience with us from the early days in ante partum, in addition to meeting the Shoemakers in the NICU. All of our situations are much different but there is an unspoken understanding and support amongst all of us that just cannot be explained unless you have experienced it. Probably no coincidence we all have trouble-making boys.
We were also so blessed to have a wonderful family and friends come out and support us in and out of the hospital. I have had some beautiful showers and have no words or time to thank everyone for what they have done to support and prepare us for Braden. I have a countless list of thank you cards to write and am facing a reality that it might be some time, if ever, that I get around to them all! Usually the baby is not here yet when these things go on :)
Our faith has also been tested but strengthened throughout this process. We had a few talks with the big guy, some a little more colorful than others, but throughout the events thrown our way we were able to stay strong in our faith that God could and would get us through this.
Braden is home and spends his days eating, sleeping, grunting, practicing tummy time, more grunting, more eating and now and then some more sleeping.
I have been asked if I will keep up with the blog and I thought, well why not, the journey has just begun.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
We are currently settling in to our room outside the NICU and it is a surreal experience, but a welcome one. We gave Braden a bath this afternoon and put his outfit on without any wires and sensors. When you "room in" you are basically on your own with access to a nurse should you have any questions.
So here we are, no beeps, no alarms, no monitors, just us.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
Come to find out it was only a nurse there to do his hearing screen and he passed with flying colors. She said he completed the test faster than some full term babies :)
Now I know he is able to hear, but understand and comply is another step. If he could understand, he would hear me say, "please eat little man, please!". That is his biggest hurdle right now. He takes his feedings VERY VERY slowly and as a result does not always complete them. This is a must before we can even think about going home.
Going home. Seems so close, but still so far. It has been really tough these past few days as we try to stay patient through a situation completely out of our control. I find myself getting frustrated and then overwhelmed with guilt for feeling that way when this little man has come so far so fast. It is an emotional roller coaster but he is worth every moment.
Home might be a week or so away, it really depends on how he does these next few days. But all good things come to those who wait... and he is worth waiting for :)
Friday, February 5, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Well moving is not all it is cracked up to be...
Old bed: right next to nurse station
New bed: right next to .... well nothing, other than the doorway where every person coming in and out goes by
Old bed: cozy in a private corner with calming dim lighting
New bed: a cramped space with barely enough room for 2 chairs in a bunch of bright lighting, and oh the curtain does not close so I can put on a show when pumping or breast feeding (we put in a request for a new curtain or new location) :)
Old bed: nurses we know and love
New bed: full of unfamiliar faces
Old bed: next to our friends
New bed: full of new babies and parents
I know it seems silly to make such a deal about moving, but when you have become used to a place for almost 9 weeks, change is hard to deal with since there is constantly so much changing around you. The nurses say his move is because he is doing so well... but it just feels like an unnecessary change.
No major updates, just waiting. He is still taking feeds and actually took a full bottle for me this morning, almost 2 ounces! Hopefully they will try to take him off oxygen again this week. Keep the prayers coming, our little angel appreciates every one.
I also wanted to post an old photo that I just love. This is the night the Cook's went home with Kace. In this pic Kace is about 5 1/2 pounds and Braden was just under 3 pounds. You can noticeably see a difference between what Braden looked like then versus now!
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Braden actually spit up into his cannula today (maybe another way of him telling us to take it off!) and they tried to see how he would do without it again.... only to put it back in a few hours later. He is just not ready as he still breathes shallow and strains constantly, especially when sleeping.
We are turning into the veterans of the NICU and I have to admit it is starting to get hard to see people come and go so quickly as we just sit tight and wait for our turn to leave. Don't get me wrong, we are counting our blessings, but this situation ichallenges you at times and I am so ready for the chapter at home to begin.
We are having a few showers in the coming weeks and I am so excited as I feel like it will begin to make our soon to come reality, well real!
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Brian said when he got to the assessment Braden had pulled his cannula off his face and was using it as a chew piece in his mouth. Once again he was trying to show us he was a strong bot and as the doctor came over to evaluate they decided to give him a shot without oxygen support.
I drove to the hospital about an hour later ecstatic to walk in and see my little man off the cannula... until I saw his monitors beeping and alerting nurses that he was struggling. So as quick as he came off he went back on, but he gave it a shot! Of course I took out the video camera and captured Braden without all his gear on right before they reapplied a new cannula. They are going to watch him the next few days before determining if he has chronic lung disease at which time they would take additional measures to help him get stronger.
His feedings are going well and he passed the 5lbs marker!! He took 2 bottles in a row and almost completed his feeding each time. This is important because one criteria to leaving is he must be taking full feeds via bottle every 3 hours. So we have a ways to go, but headed in the right direction!
He also had a follow up eye exam and things seem to be the same as last week, which is a good thing.
So our little man is trying to break out of the NICU but that is to be expected, he is a little fighter and in the words of the nurses and doctors, he is an outright miracle.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
It was actually quite adorable, even if the chair swallows him. They are trying out some new positions to see if it improves his reflux.
Braden is making some progress on bottle feedings taking an ounce of milk from the bottle for mom! I also just talked to his nurse and he is 4lbs 15oz!! It is amazing to hold him against me and see and feel the noticeable difference in his size.
Only now that could be working against him as the doctors are keeping an eye on if he is gaining weight too fast... the kid can't win! Hopefully it is all protein and muscle versus water weight... we shall wait and see over the next day if there are additional steps to take.
He is trucking along, we just don't want him to become the size of an actual truck!
Sunday, January 17, 2010
He earned this step by regulating his temperature and meeting the weight requirements. A few days ago I mentioned he was flirting with 4lbs... well he is already up to 4lbs 10 ounces! It is amazing how different he looks with chubby cheeks and multiple chins :)
Another huge piece of good news came when they did another chest x-ray to see if the valve between his heart and lungs developed appropriately and it appears that is normalizing as well and they do not need to recheck it until he is 6 months old!
On a more entertaining note, Braden continues to be one of the favorites amongst the nurses, despite the fact he is known to be a little on the stinky side between the gas and gifts he leaves us in his diaper. Rumor has it that odor will get better once the supplements are removed from his milk... fingers crossed :)
Many people ask me when he is coming home and it is actually still 4-6 weeks away. We continue to try to feed him the bottle but he is far from consistent at this point so this is the biggest hurdle we are working on with him outside of him being weaned off oxygen, which should come with time.
Thank you again for the prayers and thoughts. We feel them all and it has strengthened our ability to get through this process.