Friday, June 29, 2012

Back to Work!

The time has arrived- I am headed back to work on Monday. Thankfully, I have an amazing work place that has been so supportive during all of that has been happening the past six or more months. I honestly consider them my extended family. I've been able to take vacation and personal/sick days since I didn't have maternity leave and it's lasted until about now. I was able to bring my entire work computer and phone home, so I've attempted to work a few hours from home each day (much easier said than done I realized!).

Monday I'll go back to work full-time in Omaha. Blaise is unable to go to daycare, as instructed by the cardiologist and surgeons for at least the first year. We are so grateful and blessed to have mom's (grandma's) who have agreed to help us out by watching Blaise. We appreciate the time, commitment and stress this causes them and are very thankful.

The plan is as follows- wish us luck!!!
Sunday night: Give Blaise his 7 p.m. shot in Oakland, then load him up and Mom and Blaise will do the hour and half drive to Treynor in time for his 9 p.m. feeding.
Monday: Mom will do 6 am feed, pump, record Blaise weight, and give Lovonox shot, Lasix and Vitamin D at 7 then leave for work while Grandma Donna babysits.
Monday night: Mom will leave work at 4:30 p.m., head to Treynor and give Blaise his 6 feeding a little early, do the hour and a half drive back to Oakland in time to do the 7 p.m. shot in Oakland.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: Mom will get up about 5 to get ready for work, then proceed with all of Blaise's requirements and drop off at Grandma Peg's and do the hour drive to work.
Friday: Mom will work from home.

Potential changes to the schedule will occur if Blaise has a doctors appointment or Dad knows he will be around to help and not on the road.

This first week will be a little different than the plan, since the 4th of July falls in the middle, Grandma Peg & Grandpa Stew are going on vacation, Dad is going to Montana and it's Mom's Birthday! Mom and Blaise will be in Treynor Monday and Tuesday, head back to Oakland Wednesday and Thursday and then go back to Treynor Friday- Tuesday.  I'm hoping we can keep all this organized!

Speaking of crazy schedules, we got a phone call on Wednesday from the surgeon's office informing us we missed Blaise's scheduled appointment on Tuesday!! We could NOT believe it! Somehow we didn't have this appointment written down anywhere! They decided to not have us make up the appointment since we go back for an ECHO on the 10th.

Blaise got his pictures taken yesterday by my friend Erin. Of course, he needed a new outfit to wear! So on Wednesday (yes, the hottest day of the year with heat warnings out) Blaise and I ran to Village Point and met my mom. I knew I could run in and out of Baby Gap in about 15 minutes and find something for him. She pushed him around in his stroller outside (since he is not supposed to go inside public areas). Luckily we went early around 10 am, she found a shaded area and there was a really good breeze. In fact, the weather was decent enough that we decided to grab a bite to each at Panchero's and sit outside with Blaise in the stroller. We were only there about 15 minutes, but this was Blaise's first experience shopping and eating at a restaurant!! (even though he technically didn't do either)

Mom did learn a very good lesson, which is to always pack two bottles and to make sure and have the bottle cooler bag upright. It was time to feed Blaise right before I headed back to Oakland and when I went to grab his bottle, it had leaked out and was totally empty!! Blaise was NOT happy about this, so I kicked it in high gear and sped the hour back to Oakland so I could feed him! He feel asleep after about five minutes and slept the whole way thankfuly!

Erin and I had a great time taking pictures with Blaise. She brought all her gear and we cleared out the living room to set up her backdrops. Blaise did great and I can't wait to show off the pictures!

 Who Me?!
 Chilling outside of Panchero's- my first dinning experience!

Getting all ready for pictures!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Picture Perfect!

 New trick- grabbing my toys and swinging them around like crazy!

Blaise got pretty spoiled on Father's Day- lots of cuddles! Here's a few pictures with some of the boys in his life!
 Great Grandpa Herb
 Uncle Adam
 Dad and Grandpa Stew
 Wearing my favorite shoes!
 Chilling in my crib while mom gets my room ready for my first night sleeping in it! My new obsession is my mobile!
 Practicing lifting my head! See- I can almost do it!
We have lots of pictures of the front of Blaise's head, but none of the back to see all his hair! It is so long, and very full down at the base of his neck!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Gripe Water- Made of Gold?

Blaise has had an active week. Blaise and I spent last Wednesday and Thursday night in Treynor, since dad was out of town working. This was Blaise's first overnight trip anywhere! He did great! Mom was able to take full advantage of Grandma Donna baby sitting, and went shopping!! This was the first time since before Blaise was born that I was able to go to Target and the mall. I have made it to Walmart, but that doesn't necessarily cut it! I loved being able to finally shop for Blaise, and he got a brand new pair of Sperry shoes to match his dads!

Blaise had his regularly scheduled appointment with Dr. DeMare, the doctor who works with home health care for the Dr Hammel the surgeon. We ended up spending three hours at this appointment, not to talk at all about his heart but instead about his fussiness and gas issues. Blaise had already been put on Zantac, but it did not seem to be working anymore. She prescribed Prilosec and Maalox. After starting Blaise on Priolosec, he started to spit up entire bottles after finishing. He also started to not eat entire bottles like had in the past.  Mike and I did not start him on the Maalox, and made the decision to take him off all of these medicines as they seemed to be messing with his feeding more than helping him.  We found an over the counter product called Gripe Water, and after being on it for three days, seems to be helping. Hopefully we aren't crossing our luck by celebrating early, but Mike and I are about ready to send the makers of Gripe Water our life savings as a thank you!!  Blaise is coming back around pretty slowly on eating what he needs to be again, but we are hoping this continues to improve. 

His appointment at the pediatrician also went well. He is still considered very tiny, but continues to make his own "curve" on the growth curve, so that's all we can ask. He is not allowed to get his two month shots until after his next surgery, so right now he is totally vaccine free. I suppose that is ok, as he has had to endure enough shots already!

Dad was able to celebrate his first Fathers Day! Blaise was the star attraction and got to show off for both grandpas, great grandpa Herb and uncle Adam! He loves to talk and coo and smile! It just melts all of our hearts!!! He is grabbing for his toys on his play mat too!

In very big news, Blaise has graduated to sleeping in his own big boy bed!! He moved out of room, and has been sleeping in his bedroom in his crib since Sunday. He has done awesome!! I really think he would sleep all night if we would let him!!

Thanks for your continued prayers for Blaise!!

PS- pictures to come!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Two Months Old!

WOW! I can't believe we have a two month old! Time sure does fly! I'm not sure if I"ll be ready to go back to week in two weeks! We are beyond in love with Blaise and sing praises to God for every second spent with his creation.

What is Blaise doing at two months?
- He takes 3 oz of milk every three hours.
- His SAT levels range around 82 every night.
- He is pushing the 10 pound mark. In fact, he probably would have gotten there today, but didn't want to finish his bottle this morning. He weighs 9 lbs. 14 ounces.
- He sleeps really well at night, and we almost always have to wake him up to eat when he is supposed to.
- He loves car rides and stroller rides and sleeps through both all the time.
- He still has his dark hair, and his eyes go back and forth between blue and hazel. I'm hoping for blue of course!
- He loves laying on the floor under his play mat and "playing"
- He smiles lots now, and will respond to you by smiling!
- He actually enjoys diaper changes now.
- He does tummy time a few times a day
- He can pull his head back when sitting up to burp, but we are still working on neck strength.

Blaise has been doing amazing!! We couldn't be happier with his size or his progress given that he spent the first almost three weeks of his life in the hospital, and underwent heart surgery. We are hoping to be given the go ahead to start elevating him past 30 degrees so that he is able to work more on neck strength. He is doing so great though! The other day I went to brush  my teeth quick and left him on the couch and when I came back to check on him, he had rolled over to his stomach!! Obviously this was the first time he had done this, which made mom quite nervous! That's the last time he'll be left for a moment on the couch!

 Sleepy after bath time
 Dad is playing with me on the floor!
 Photo time!
 Mom! No more pictures!

 Matching my mom in our blue stripes
Two months old picture! My tie says 2 months!

They were able to draw his blood on Monday at Children's. The same nurse came in to do it, and I of course was not at ease with this. Of course after lots of digging and prodding, the nurse who was supposed to be "holding" Blaise's arm was actually the one who successfully got the blood. His levels came back good, so we won't have to have them checked again for another month.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Thanks Dr. Danford!

Blaise's appointment at Children's went very good today! Our first stop when arriving was to the lab to get blood drawn to check his anti-factor levels, to make sure that the blood thinner he is on is at the correct level for him. He hasn't had this check since we left the hospital, so it was important to make sure that with his increased growth it was still at the right level so that the shunt in his heart does not clot. This ended up being the hardest part of the day for Blaise! They tried three times to draw blood and could never get it! It was also very hard for mom and grandma to watch. The needle they used is huge, and Blaise screamed the whole time. I thought giving him a shot myself was hard everyday- which is nothing compared to watching him through this morning! They decided to have him come back on Monday to try again.

From there he had his vitals taken, and the "official" readings were 9 lbs 2 ounces and 21 inches long. I had him at a bit more weight this morning on our scale, so who knows.

He then had an ECHO done on his heart, and he was such a super good boy during this. He just laid on the table while they put on all the gel and he kept trying to grab at the wand, as he thought it was his bottle. In fact, he even got to eat a little from his bottle during this!

Dr. Danford then reviewed the ECHO and came in to tell us, in his exact words, that the shunt looks "beautiful"! He said the blood is flowing through it beautifully and is doing exactly what it should be. He thought Blaise looked very good. I asked about his coronary arteries, and Dr. Danford said that they had not changed, and that blood flow to his heart muscles was good, and it was pumping strongly. He didn't give an indication to timeframe yet on the next surgery, so we will see what he says again next month when we go back.

All our praises to God for a great appoitment! Thanks for your prayers!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Checking In

Wow! I can't believe it's been a week since a blog update! Time sure is flying by, and no news is good news! We've been busy doing the same thing around here, and Blaise has been doing very good! A few things that have happened in the past week:
- Blaise surpassed the 9 pound mark! This is probably still small for most normal babies his age, but we think he is doing very good! He lost a few grams twice in the past week, so we are upping his cc's again to 3 oz to help with increasing his calorie intake. We are crossing our fingers that this works.
- Dad was gone a few overnights working. Grandma Peg spent the night on Thursday and mom flew solo for the first time Friday night. All went well!
- Saturday morning Mom and Blaise were up bright and early to head to Treynor for Aunt Jenna's bridal shower. This was an hour and a half drive, and also the furthest just the two of them had gone. Blaise slept the whole way! Grandpa Craig babysat while the girls were at the shower. Not surprising, we found the two of them sleeping on the floor when we returned! Grandpa must have done a good job!
- Saturday night, Mom and Dad headed to Sioux City to meet up with friends for dinner. Grandma and Grandpa Hartwell got the turn to babysit!

We are reminded how great God is, and how great Blaise is everyday. What an incredibly joy he brings us all. There is no doubt that we are enjoying every single minute and every single day.

On Tuesday, Blaise goes in to Children's for a follow up with Dr. Danford, his cardiologist. They will be doing an ECHO on his heart, the first he has had since we've left the hospital. This will be a pretty big deal, as we will see very informative pictures on how his heart is functioning and doing. Please add prayers for a great report at his doctors appointment to your daily prayers :) Blaise will also be having his antifactor blood levels checked, which tells us how the blood thinner is working. It's always so sad to watch him get blood drawn. It will be a really long day for Blaise, so Grandma Peg is coming along with Mom since dad is going to be gone in Montana from Monday- Thursday.

We will update with a report from the cardiologist, and maybe some new pictures as well!