Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Catching Up!

Three weeks ago we celebrated our coming home from the N.I.C.U. one year ago by going on a family vacation! That was so needed, and we made so many wonderful memories. I can't believe how much Michael has grown in that time! He has been through so much, and continues to teach me so much! Life outside of the N.I.C.U. can at times be so much more complicated, I am glad we have graduated, and still so happy to be home. Being home though has a whole new set of challenges, and it can be harder to find all the answers. At times I struggle with finding the right set of words to explain to others what we are facing. I know its because I am learning so much as I go, which has never been an easy thing for me, I have always liked having a plan of action. I am learning though that so much of parenting is "oh that isn't working, time to try this". I think that the milestones are tough on all first time mommies. I understand why they exist, but sometimes I think we make to much out of them. Sometimes it feels so hard to leave the house, because I feel like I am entering a battle field almost every time I step outside the doors. I know that people mean well, and family I excuse because they worry like I do from love. I am so blessed to have the family support that I have and I am thankful everyday for any advice and opinions they give. I am not directing this article at anyone in particular. I am just putting the feelings I feel out there, so that others know they are not alone to feel those feelings or for other micro preemie parents who may still be N.I.C.U. to realize the challenges out there. I remember being so worried about coming home with oxygen and all the would entail, and I want to laugh at how little an inconvenience that was. Maybe I will look back at all these things with the same smile. :) Everywhere you go it is amazing how everyone wants to know how old your baby is, it is the universal question, but one that I don't like to answer to strangers because of the path of conversation it takes us down every time. People get taken a back by Michael's age not because of his size, but because of the development delays, and I really feel the hurt there. We work so hard to "catch up" at home, that phrase brings such a mingled mesh of emotions to me. These little guys who fight so hard to live, now have to fight so hard to "catch up" to what other babies are doing, and that can be a struggle let me tell you, and one that we will probably be facing for the next two years!  But it also brings a hurt to me, because it was a complication with me physically that brought him into this world earlier and brought so much struggles for my little guy to have to face. That is a lie that goes through me, and I have to remind myself of the truth. God has a plan bigger than all I can see!  Then it hits me the last conversation we had with the doctors and nurses when they were releasing us from the N.I.C.U.
Every morning at rounds they would go through what I called the "day of life" lecture. A nurse would read what age he was born, what happened  on days of life, and what day of life he was currently at, and what there next plan of action for the day or week was for him. On the 83 day, the day we got to go home, his room was filled with nurses as they read his chart, and there wasn't a dry eye in that room as we got to that day, at all the miracles God was able to accomplish through his life in those 83 days! It was then the doctor put his hands on my shoulders and told me "Mommy I truly believe this baby is meant to accomplish something great!" "He has been such a rock star, and God must have big plans for this boy." ! That conversation I don't think I will ever forget. But sometimes I just have to stop all the worries and daily battles, I struggle with, and remind myself that he is right. I don't know what God's purpose is for my baby, but I know that He has one, and that He is using all these things to mold me and my little man for that purpose. My hands are so busy, and my schedule is so full with everything we have to do to catch up. But my hands are full of good things!! They are filled with the blessings of God, for choosing us to be here facing these things. AND we are RIGHT ON TIME, in His hands as he is developing us!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happy First Birthday!



It is hard to believe that a year ago our, Miracle ‘Mikro’, Michael Lee Wilson, III entered this world!! He was born weighing 1 pound 15 ounces, today he is 19 1/2 pounds! He was carried in the arms of so many wonderful prayers said by so many friends and family. He was tiny, but he was also mighty! Some of his greatest accomplishments in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) were, 1) He was off the baby venulator within a few hours after birth and never had to go back on it! 2) He had no bleeding on the brain! 3) He never had to receive a blood transfusion! 4) His eyes were perfect, His ears were perfect, and He was just perfect!In the first month he did get an infection on his intestines, but we were able to medically treat that with no surgery! Some of his first outfits were from build- a- bear and they were to large!


After 83 days in the NICU we were able to go home together as a family for the first time!


Today Michael still continues to amaze us! He has the brightest smile, which just lights a room with happiness, and brings so much hope for all on what God was able to accomplish through him and his life in just one year!

As I look back and reflect over this year I can’t help but be thankful beyond thankful for all the great people in my life who stood by us, while we were in the hospital. Who visited, who called, who prayed! We wouldn’t be were we are today without all those caring things!



I owe Mike Lee’s nurses some of the greatest thanks! They held me up, so that I could hold my baby. They educated me on terms and conditions, so that I could be the mother I needed to be. They were amazing and I am deeply thankful for them! I am also thankful for the Ronald McDonald House for giving me a place near my son, I could call home, they have so many volunteers, and I am forever grateful for them!

I am thankful that Mike Lee has so many wonderful people in his life, and I am mostly thankful that God chose to answer my prayers, and not only let my son live but thrive!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Our First Zoo Trip

We took our first zoo trip today as a family, and it was a day I will never forget.  I am having a hard time going to sleep thinking of all the fun and sweet things my little guy did today! The last time Michael and I went to the Nashville Zoo, was last May 2010. Michael Lee was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit then. We went for a few hours with Michael's family and a walk for cystic fibrosis. I was reflecting on that moment, I had such a sadness in me that day. Michael Lee was doing well, but we didn't know when the next down would hit or how low it could go, praise God it didn't hit, but there was that fear. I looked at the animals and wondered if we would ever all three be there together, would Michael Lee ever get to experience a zoo? Today we were there just the three of us almost a year later and it was fabulous! I know he is a little young to fully experience the zoo, so we plan to go back probably plenty of times in the next few years! But it was amazing how much he did experience and see, and he really enjoyed a lot of it too! It felt so good to just enjoy my family and the sunshine. To watch my little guy take notice of a monkey and look at me and smile. Or to watch father and son taking in the fish and bats and grin at each other. Michael just really looks at his daddy with such admiration and I love seeing him smile at his daddy with all the love. He is such a good example to his son, as a father and a husband and I just feel such pride toward both my boys. I always loved the zoo, but nothing could have prepared me for the wonderful moments I felt today with the amazing family God has blessed me with! Our first zoo trip has been the best zoo trip!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

You make me smile....

There is just nothing in this world like watching you child grow and start to really explore life. I am just enjoying this phase so much! Everyday he does a million things that just make me smile. Having a baby born early gives so many people such worries, and you have them too as a Mama. When you were in the NICU you expected them, it was honestly easier to deal with. Now that you made it home there are still worries, and things to explain, why your baby isn't sitting, all the developmental things that you know your kid is a little delayed at. You can get preoccupied with all the woes and worries, and start to feel stressed out a little. But then my baby does something that makes me smile, something little that reminds me of the precious miracle I have been blessed with. And then I feel comforted I am getting to worry and discuss milestones with other mothers! That means my sweet baby has no BIG worries, we are no longer worried by monitors going off, or if are babies lungs are strong, or if he will need a blood transfusion!! Oh how silly mothers can be!! I want to just enjoy my Micheal every minute of every day! I want him to know that I love spending as much of my day as I can just watching and playing with him. I know I may be bias but there is no greater feeling watching your baby turn pages of a book and know he is the smartest baby in the world. Watching him make the funniest noises and know he is such a comedian. Watching him grip your finger super tight, kick a toy really hard, and put his feet to his mouth and you see the strongest most athletic boy in the world!! And then he smiles at you and you just melt, you see such joy in that little face, he doesn't worry about what he is doing or not doing, he just wants to enjoy making mom and dad laugh, mimicking your noises and facial expressions!! So I am deciding to not worry any more either, about all the developments and marks, I am going to hug my baby and just smile!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Almost a year ago....

It is so crazy to me that almost a year ago I gave birth to a Micro Preemie! What a year it has been! As we get closer and closer to his First birthday, I can't help but do some reflecting, shed some tears, and just praise God for all the ways he has blessed me, especially this year!! With all the reflecting I have been doing lately, I thought maybe  I could try a blog and that would just be another way to raise awareness. Awareness not only of Micro Preemies, but of what a great and wonderful God we have and serve!!

So what is a Micro Preemie? Many people have never heard the term, and to be honest I had never heard it until my water broke early, and more than likely I would be having one!! Any way a Micro Preemie is a baby born before 28 weeks and under 2 Ibs. But raising awareness for me is not just about getting the facts and terms out there. Its more like raising understanding about what your baby has gone through and still goes through after leaving the NICU, because your baby although born early your journey is NOT the journey of a preemie.

Our Journey

Discovering I was pregnant was the most wonderful feeling in the world! Michael and I were so excited, and we were scared at the same time! I had a previous early miscarriage, and that is such a dreadful experience! So we were holding are breath especially in the beginning as the weeks went by and I was getting larger and hearing a healthy heartbeat we started feeling more and more at peace and just pure excitement at being pregnant.  At 20 weeks we discovered we were having a boy, and that was one of the best nights of our life! We had a baby reveal party and it was just so incredible. I am glad for that moment, because not long after that at 24 weeks my water broke!! And that was the most scared I have ever been, finding out in the hospital that your water broke, it was horrifying!! Fortunately I hadn't dilated very far so I was able to make it 2 weeks on bed rest. Those are the 2 weeks I am most thankful for in my life! They were two weeks of turmoil, accepting the fact I was about to start a different journey and learning as much about early birth as I could soak in. Yet finding peace because the little one still inside you needs to feel your calmness to grow as strong as possible. I told myself I wouldn't allow myself to feel the worry until everything was fine. I still almost a year later at night and in the quiet struggle with those feelings. It was there on bed rest I heard the term Micro Preemie for the first time. I remember typing those words in a laptop in the middle of the night in the hospital bed and the first thing that appeared was funeral clothing! Saying a prayer to God to let my journey and my baby be different. There were so many minutes of peace  and turmoil in those prayers!!
Then I started showing signs of the infection, and feeling labor pains. We knew then it was just a matter of time. And I would be lying if I didn't say as the contractions got closer and closer together I found it harder and harder to not worry. Then the doctor's announced they would be performing a c-section on me withing the hour! I was so afraid while they were prepping me for surgery. I had always dreamed of having a baby naturally, and I was just scared about having a baby so early!! Finally they let Michael come into the room with me, and having him there really calmed me down! Now I feel so bad for him, because he could hear, and UNDERSTAND all the numbers the doctors were saying about our baby and He got to see Michael Lee as they wheeled him into the NICU!

It was many hours later before I was able to see my baby. Most of our family was able to view him before I was. I hope that doesn't sound like a complaint because for me in these set of circumstances trust me its not! Our journey ended up being a really great journey compare to most Micro's and fairly smooth even though it was long! Michael Lee Wilson,III was born weighing 1 Ibs. 15 ounces! Today he is almost 11 months and 18 Ibs.  Our journey is not yet over, and we still have struggles because of his early birth, but there isn't a night that goes by that I can't be thankful for all the struggles because I have such a bundle of joy. I see my baby smile, I even hear a loud cry and feel thankful, because he sounds like a BIG baby with healthy lungs!!