Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Beautiful Boy!

Today, for the first time since he was born, five months ago, we saw Samuel's face with no tape or tubes! We knew he was a good lookin' guy... today confirmed that he is absolutely a beautiful little boy!! It brought tears to my eyes... actually, that happened a lot today :)

The Bronchoscopy went really well - his airway looks great! There was absolutely nothing to fix. So, Samuel got the tracheostomy. It was a scary day... but a great day. He looks amazing :) And comfortable - all things considered of course :) Not gonna lie, it's a bit intimidating to look at the trache right now... but we have been assured that as it heals, it gets easier. Bottom line, no more things stuck to Samuel's face, up his nose, or in his mouth - YEA! Thank you so much for all of your thoughts and prayers!

Before, on CPap...

After, with trache...

On his way to the OR... such a brave little guy!

The best for last... above is before...

After! Our beautiful boy!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Tomorrow, we need your thoughts and prayers... for our new family... but especially for Samuel. It's a big day for our little guy! His is working so hard to breathe... but he's crashing again, his lungs aren't healthy, and tomorrow we will try something new.

With his therapy barbell :)

During a bronchoscopy, they will look at his airway. If there is any obstruction, they will fix it! That would be fantastic! But, we don't anticipate there will be an obstruction. More than likely, Samuel will get a tracheostomy. Basically, the tracheostomy is when they make a hole in Samuel's trachea, through the front of his neck, and then insert a breathing tube. This is a great website that I found that explains it...

If he gets it, the trache will be temporary - depending on his airway (they will check to see if it is "floppy") it sounds like we should expect a minimum of one year.

Why the trache?

- Samuel isn't getting better. He is working so hard, and we have tried so many things, but after a few weeks on each new treatment, he crashes. Right now they're doing everything they can to keep him off of the ventilator.

- The trache will help him to breathe easier! Samuel won't have to struggle so much! He's old enough now to know that he's uncomfortable and wants to be doing more than he's allowed to do with all of the breathing contraptions on his face.

- Right now, Samuel's CO2 levels in his blood are extremely high. This is very dangerous. With the trache, his body can get the oxygen that it needs AND these CO2 levels should come down.

- Neurologically, Samuel looks amazing!! He is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed! He loves to read, and look around, and interact with people! This is incredible, especially for a baby who not only started so small, but has spent his first five months in the hospital. To keep him going in the right direction, he needs to come home! He needs the interaction and stimulation that he will get from being with his family. Also, a lot of a baby's development comes from oral stimulation and with all of the stuff on his face he can't get that. With the trache, he can nurse and bottle-feed!

- He will be able to come HOME soon! Without the trache, it could be months and months... and he would probably still need it. With the trache, it could be a matter of weeks!

Why not to do the trache?

- I am terrified. It's pretty simple. I am so scared. I'm not sure why... the doctors, ENT folks, pulmonologist, respiratory therapists, and nurses are all on the same page... this is the best thing for Samuel. I know this is the right thing... and I'm excited for Samuel to feel better... and I can't wait to see my baby's face without any tubes... but that doesn't make it any easier. It's surgery.

A bit of good news! Even if he does get the trache, most likely Samuel's lungs will grow to be healthy and strong! In other words, will still be able to play sports besides golf, bowling, or bocce :) Or sing, like the contestant on American Idol :) If he's interested of course :)

So... tomorrow at 3:30 the doctors will do the bronchoscopy. At 4pm they will decide whether or not to do the trache. We're still hoping for an airway obstruction that can just be fixed, DB is convinced it's just the jellybean he gave Samuel last week, but preparing ourselves for him to come out of the procedure with the trache. We're excited there is a new option... but we're scared that our little boy might be having another surgery. I pray a lot for God to prepare Samuel for His purpose... and for the strength to keep praying that prayer.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fathers Day!

DB's first Father's Day! Well, first Father's Day with cards from someone besides his four-legged "children" :) It's been almost five months, but celebrating something like Father's Day still just feels surreal... we're parents! ha ha!

Not gonna lie... I'm proud of this photo :) Could they be any happier?!
For Father's Day, George decided to chill out a bit :)
I LOVE babies in collars!

DB spent the afternoon with his little guy - who has grown out of his preemie clothes! YEA!

The NNICU nurses "helped" Samuel make this for his dad... just about brought his mom to tears. Dad claims he had "something in his eye" :)

DB after the Father's Day scavenger hunt :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ten Pound Party!

That's right - we had a 10 pound party this week! (Thank you Kristen!) George hit ten pounds this week, and Olivia is actually eleven pounds! WOW! Samuel is not far behind at nearly eight pounds - he'll get his very own party soon :)

After the party, DB and I took a few minutes to look back at some old photos. This is when we realized just how amazing ten pounds really is!

Welcome to the gun show!

I know, I'm a looker :)

Party Time! Friends and pound cake - what more can you ask for?!

Even more amazing... scroll through these from the first week, and then go back to the ten pound photos. Nothing short of a miracle! God is good :)

Olivia and Dad kangarooing

Sweet girl sleeping - all 2lbs. 12 oz (O)

A handful of sunshine :) (O)

George all stretched out - all 2lbs. 10 oz

Hi Mom! (G)

Under the lights (G)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Hello June!

The babies are doing really well! It's mom and dad that have been through the whirlwind this time! What a crazy month it has already been...

The school year ended, so Dad is now Mr. Mom for the summer break. From carefree summers of surfing, home repair, yard work, and playing with the dogs - to preparing bottles, washing bottles, changing diapers, making up silly rhymes, and overseeing "tummy time". What a change! The funny thing is - he's amazing! I have my very own domestic goddess :)

I went back to work full-time for the months of June and July... come August it will be part time... but I'm blaming my lack of blog posts on going back to work :) The hardest part is leaving the house in the morning, but once I'm there it's go, go, go, so the day goes pretty quickly. Plus, I know DB is at home with G & O, so my mind is at ease.

George & Olivia attended their first birthday party - their favorite cousin is 13!

Samuel is doing so well! He did have one rough week, so our hopeful come-home-date has been pushed back just a bit to early August, but now everything is back on track :) Samuel had a potential blood infection, but everything turned out great! Doesn't sound so bad - a suspected infection - but in order to prove he didn't have it he had to have yet another work-up. We haven't had one in a while, so it broke my heart... a few sticks, an IV, and a lumbar puncture... ugh. But as I said - it's all good! Now he's back to working on his breathing :) He even had a few nasal cannula trials this week - yea!!! (He's still on CPap 80% of the time, but trying the cannual a few hours each day, and he LOVES it!) And get this - he's more than 7 pounds - no more preemie clothes!!! No smile yet, but he is SO close :)

Sweet boy fast asleep :) Just a little mark left on his hand from the IV... love those chunky arms!

Hi Mom! Check out how strong I'm getting!

Whatcha doin' up there? Check out my cuteness :)

George is growing just a little every day :) He gets a little fussy now and then, and shoots us some great smiles, but for the most part he is our serious guy - with the most expressive eyebrows I've ever seen! (Wonder where he get's those?! Dad!) He's eating a little better every day too... he's our puker... ugh. But, he is just under 10 pounds!

Laughing :)

Excuse me?

Oh geez!

Olivia is truckin' right along! She is a whopping 10 1/2 pounds! She has started laughing and loves to smile :) Such a girl! She loves to eat and socialize, and makes the cutest little girl noises you've ever heard. She has completely grown out of her newborn clothes!

Lookin' pretty :)

Oops - fell asleep mid-prayer :)

Dad! That's my ice cream! (YoungLife fundraiser - starting early :) )

DB and are I doing really well! I've also started coaching the school swim team again and DB has taken on home improvement projects at our house and at Omi's, so we are certainly busy. More than anything, we want Samuel to come home! The daily trips to Charleston are taxing, and we are beyond ready to have our family together. We miss our little boy.