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One Year From Now

Michele

Life with a preemie #25

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This afternoon I walked in the doors of Community Regional Medical Center, carrying Timothy in my sling. As I took in the too familiar sounds and smells, watching people who were waiting for other people, I looked at Timothy and covered his head with my hand, almost to protect him from that place. As I covered his head I prayed, praising God for giving me this beautiful, healthy baby boy. We waited for the elevator to take us to the fourth floor and I had to intentionally steady my breathing so I wouldn't hyperventilate. Tears filled my eyes as I was overwhelmed by the emotions I was feeling. I was taking Timothy back to the place where he spent the first 86 days of his life.

I have been wanting to bring Timothy in so I could show the staff of the NICU the result of their hard work. Our little boy is one of the success stories. The staff deserve to see him because they will forever be part of his life. He might never know their faces or their names but they were the people used by God to care for him when we weren't able to.
 

Life with a preemie #24

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Life as a parent requires one to think of the future. If we want our children to be able to play the piano like a concert pianist when they are 20 then we better be getting them some lessons when they're 8! If we want them to know how to work hard when they are 16, we need to be teaching them to work hard when they're 3.

When Jeremy and I have talked about what we want our kids to look like when they're young adults the one thing we consistently mention is we want them to LOVE GOD and LOVE PEOPLE. Specifically, Love the Lord their God will all their hearts, souls, minds and strength and love their neighbors as themselves. Yes, we want them to be able to fix a nutritious meal, balance a checkbook, read good literature and a myriad of other things. But when it comes down to it the most important thing is to Love God.
 

Life with a preemie #23

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Life at the White House is currently very peach-y. Anyone that has been keeping up to date on my FB posts the last 36 hours or so knows that we brought home close to 100 pounds of peaches yesterday, all FREE. (Side note: Jeremy was eating a peach last night and I asked him what he thought. He said "FREE tastes very good.") So last night and this afternoon I've been busy processing peaches - peeling, slicing, and freezing, as well as canning peaches and making some peach jam. Knowing there was no way I could handle that many peaches all by myself,  I gave away a big box worth to another family that does a lot of canning and preserving. I'm going to be handling these peaches for several days, I'm sure.

Although it's neat to talk about free peaches, I'd really like to talk about the back story which makes the free peaches so much more amazing. It all started on Thursday...

I was evaluating where we were financially, looking at bills and such to see what August would look like. It wasn't looking very happy. Being laid off for a while depleted our savings and having medical bills for Timothy and Emily has made things a little less roomy in the money department than we would prefer. Being self-employed has taught me something - cash flow is very important! Anyway, as I looked at the numbers I realized that in order to make things work we were going to have significantly less to spend on groceries than normal. No problem - I have lots of meals in the freezer and supplies in the pantry so I knew we'd be fine. But I was a tad concerned about how I would make sure the kids get the nutrition they need from fruit and vegetables. Fruit is expensive, you know. My kids can eat 2 pounds of peaches in a day if I let them. I called up my friend, who used to be a Home Ec teacher, and asked how I should prioritize my spending in order to get maximum nutrition for the children. Fresh? Frozen? Canned? She was very encouraging and told me to focus on broccoli ($3.99 for a big bag at Costco) and bananas ($1.40/4lbs at Costco) and a few other things. After talking with her I knew what to do and was excited about the challenge.

 

 

Life with a preemie #22

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Tonight I cried. In a hospital lobby. For the first time in nearly six months I entered the lobby of Fresno Community Hospital. The last time I had gone through the front doors was December 21, 2010, the day that we took Timothy home from the hospital. Tonight, as I approached the hospital entrance, I thought I was going to be okay. I was psyched up for it. The second I walked through the doors and took a breath of hospital air, the smell immediately triggered my memories and I started tearing up. The pain, the loss, all the emotions that I experienced while Timothy and I were in the hospital came roaring back and I couldn't handle it.

But I was there for a reason and it wasn't about me. I had the privilege of talking with another pregnant mom who is on bedrest for the foreseeable future. She was admitted at 25 weeks, the same gestation when Timothy was born, for premature labor. She had heard our story when Jeremy and I shared back in February at New Life Community Church, where our friends are pastors. She remembered our story, of the miracle of Timothy's life, when she was admitted to the hospital and it gave her hope. I went tonight with my friend Shari to meet her and talk with her. She laughed and chatted and she had some questions and we talked and I shared a bit of how I felt when I was in her place. We stayed for a short time and before I left I said that I hoped she'd still be there in a couple more weeks and I'd come see her again.
I walked out of the room, remembering so well the three weeks that I was there and all the turmoil I experienced. Many times I would lay in my bed, pleading for God to make it all go away. But also praying, sobbing, that if I must experience this then please use it for HIS purposes. Don't let this be for nothing.
 

Life with a preemie #21

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When reality hits...

Apparently I have been living in a bit of denial since bringing Timothy home. Well, at least since February when he was no longer on oxygen and an apnea monitor. It's so easy to forget that he was a preemie when you look at him. He weighs nearly 14 pounds, eats well, sleeps well. He's just a regular baby, if you forget that he's actually nearly 8 months old instead of 4 months corrected age. When I look at him and watch him I see him doing normal baby things. Or so I thought.

Today Timothy had a big evaluation at the High Risk Infant Unit of Children's Hospital of Central California. It's designed to monitor babies that are at risk, such as a preemie like Timothy. He was evaluated by a developmental specialist, as well as pediatric nurse practitioner. I wasn't concerned about his overall health, I was more interested in his development. It turns out that his development is not as normal as I had thought. He was evaluated as a four month old but wasn't able to achieve all the milestones of a four month old. I won't go into all the specifics but because of the way they score it he is considered borderline delayed in gross and fine motor development and cognitive development. It has been recommended that we get him into an early intervention program so that he can be monitored more closely and we can be taught specific exercises to use with him that will help him develop in the areas that he is currently deficient.

 

 
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