Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A blurb from Kai...
video

Growing Perspective

I've wanted to do this for a long time and thought now seems good for some reason. I wanted to give a "growing perspective" on how much Kai has grown (physically)
This is me holding Kai at 5 weeks old (or 31 weeks gestation) and this is him today. Much larger head at 3 1/2 months adjusted age.

His first outfit here at 4 weeks. I bought this from an online preemie clothes store. Could be a slim fit tee today!

Currently Kai weighs 14 pounds exactly at 6 months 3 weeks ( 3 1/2 months adjusted). He is doing SO well still. He had an Occupational Therapy session today (which we're doing every other week--different from his Cranial Sacral sessions with a PT). His OT was very impressed with him today. She sees a lot more strength and a lot less tightness. I had noticed this flying type of move he does when he does tummy time and  she observed it as well and told me its a milestone! The Superman! He extends arms and legs in an upward motion as if he looks like he's flying then pushes himself back up onto elbows. Overall he is tracking very well for his adjusted age. 
He still has slight Torticolis on his left side between his shoulder and neck. The PT & OT have both been working on him with this and today the OT suggested its more of a weakness of his sternocleidomastoid muscle in his neck more than it is a tightness because he is not stuck in this position. He freely moves his neck and rotates his head perfectly. So to adjust this slight Torticolis I will keep stretching and "correcting" his head each time I notice it. 

He is also still going strong sleeping in his crib and not waking up at night. He will sleep from about 9:30pm to about 6:00am! He is so content and independent! 


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tucked Into His Own Bed

Kai slept in his own room last night (all night) for the first time! Adam and I decided to take the same parenting approach to Kai as we did Kirra, since we are happy with how we've raised her so far. He did great last night and slept fine as he did in our room as well. I of course had a monitor on in our room all night just in case I couldn't hear him since he's down stairs and I keep the kids' doors shut so the dogs will not chew their belongings. So we'll go for it again tonight and so on. I truly think its harder on the parent to make this transition than it is for the child. I stayed up late last night doing chores to help the late hours go by so i could check on him before I was completely asleep.

In the NICU I met with a therapist twice a week for a study I signed up for and we discussed parenting your preemie and how to deal with underlying emotions with various issues such as making a transition such as the one we have just made. I remember the therapist asking me a lot of questions about how I would treat Kai since he was an ex preemie and she would have me play out my reactions to certain scenarios. I remember thinking and telling her that I would not have a problem with how I parent him because I would simply treat him and raise him as we did Kirra. I remember being so sure and so confident in my answers to her that I never saw this aspect as a problem. Now that I am here and having to face this what should be easy transition, I am finding myself feeling sad that he's not laying right next to us and he's out of my sight. I feel guilty in some respects too. I feel like its not fair to him to be left alone because he was left alone (meaning without his family) all those nights in the NICU. So what I am doing now with these feelings is looking back at those therapy sessions and what the therapist said to me and realizing that I can't change the past and that I want to do the right thing and give Kai exactly what we gave Kirra. Kai is an extremely strong boy and I know he can handle anything that comes his way, hopefully I can gain some of that strength and from him to ultimately help him as well as Kirra.




Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Simply Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving!

We will be having our very first Thanksgiving as a new family at our house. Usually we go to our parents house and hang out all day, but for the sake of Kai's health it will be just us having turkey pot pies!

To say that I am thankful for Kai's health is an understatement. From day one he has given me so much to be thankful for. I always wanted a little boy and I am extremely thankful he chose us as his family. Although he came into our lives with an unexpected arrival there is not one thing I would change about his journey so far. Its all the little things, all the ups and downs, all the support, all the strength and courage, all the milestones that makes me realize how lucky and thankful I am that Kai is who he is. I know he is the strongest little man I have ever known and I pray he never changes because he is perfect.

I cannot imagine life without Kai or Kirra--they are both miracles in my life.


Thank you Kai and thank you Kirra for making me grow up a little faster, get a little stronger, and taking me on a journey with you in your lives for us to share.

Thank you Adam for your unconditional love and continuous support. I couldn't be the mom I am today without my best friend by my side. 

Happy Thanksgiving! I love you my little family! 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Flashback Friday


Look at all that hair! This is Kai at 5 weeks old in the NICU holding on tight to my pinky.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy Days


Kai had another heart echo and EKG today at the Cardiologist. His PDA has gotten smaller! That's really good news! The 'hole' is less than 1mm in diameter and everything else in his heart looks good. The doctor said hopefully it will keep getting smaller so surgery isn't needed! His health has been impeccable and I cross my fingers that it stays this way. I never realized how precious and valuable being in good health is. I think everyone should be thankful when blessed with good health and should never take it for granted. Sometimes I feel like I took Kirra's health for granted since she has always been healthy (and its paid off) because now that I see Kai overcoming health issues I am so grateful that he doesn't have it worse. I cannot fully express how happy and thankful I am that Kai and Kirra are doing SO well. Things can always be worse and I'm just so glad they're not!

Also in case anyone is wondering Kai is 13 pounds now and 24 inches! Here are a few pictures of him and his big sister Kirra...




Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Half Way

Happy 6 Months Kai!
I cannot believe six months ago today Kai was born. It brings back a lot of emotion to think about that night that changed our lives. He is so special to us and we are so grateful he chose us as his family. We love you Kai, you are our miracle boy!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

RSV season

November is here and so is RSV season. Kai will be getting his first of five shots tomorrow to prevent this disease. There are a few reasons why he needs this series of shots. First and for most he was born premature, he had low birth weight, chronic lung disease, history of respiratory distress syndrome, and of course lives with a school aged child a.k.a Kirra :)
So needless to say he more than qualifies for these shots as well as all of the precautions that go along with preventing the disease.

Here is an article from About.com that gives a summary of RSV and Preemies...


RSV can be a serious illness in preemies.


Image courtesy of CDC/Dr. Craig Lyerla
Understanding and preventing RSV in premature babies is as important part of bringing a preemie home. NICU1 discharge is a joyous occasion--no longer do parents have to follow the routines of the hospital's special care nursery or neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or be separated from their baby. Most importantly, going home means that baby has made it through all of the immediate health problems caused by being born early.
Once parents bring baby home, keeping him healthy becomes the major goal. During the fall and winter months, preventing respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a preemie parent’s biggest challenge.


What is RSV?


RSV2 is a common virus in the fall and winter months. In fact, it is the most common cause of upper respiratory infections in infants and children. The majority of children have their first RSV infection by age two. Most children who have RSV recover on their own. But 125,000 children per year are hospitalized with RSV infection, and 1% to 2% of those children die.
In preemies, RSV is a major health concern. It is the number-one cause of sickness and re-hospitalization for preemies, and prematurity is the greatest risk factor for severe RSV infection.


Symptoms


In most children, RSV looks like the common cold. Infants and children with RSV may have a stuffy nose, cough, fever, and malaise.
Symptoms of severe RSV infection requiring immediate medical attention include:


Rapid breathing
Difficulty breathing
Cyanosis (bluish discoloration of the skin)
Apnea (periods of non-breathing)
If your baby shows any signs of these symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention.


Preventing RSV


Hand washing is the best way to prevent RSV infection from spreading. The virus can live on hands and clothing for up to 30 minutes. It is spread through the air when people with the virus cough or sneeze, or through contact with items that have the virus on them.
In addition to hand washing, eliminating risk factors helps to prevent RSV infection. Risk factors other than prematurity include:


Daycare
Caregivers who smoke
Crowded living conditions
Low birth weight
Multiple birth
School-aged siblings
Chronic lung disease
Congenital heart disease
Exposure to environmental pollutants
Neuromuscular disease
Family history of asthma


Some of these risk factors can’t be changed, so parents should focus on the ones that can. In the first year of life, especially during the fall and winter, try to keep your preemie out of daycare environments. Make school-aged children wash hands and change clothes when they come home, avoid crowds, and don’t smoke. If you do smoke, smoke only outside and wear a jacket that’s used only for smoking and is removed when you come inside since smoke particles stay on clothing.


RSV Vaccination


For infants considered to be at the highest risk for RSV, a vaccine is recommended. Palivizumab, or Synagis, the RSV vaccine, is given as a monthly shot during the peak RSV season. Not every preemie needs Synagis, but talk to your doctor if:
Your baby was born at 28 weeks or less, and will be 12 months or younger at the start of RSV season.
Your baby was born between 29 and 32 weeks, and will be 6 months or younger at the start of RSV season.
Your baby was born between 32 and 35 weeks, will be 6 months or younger at the start of RSV season, and has 2 or more other risk factors.
Synagis can prevent up to 55% of preemie hospitalizations due to RSV. It reaches its peak effectiveness by the second dose, so talk with your doctor early in the fall to find out when RSV season is anticipated in your area.

Additionally, Kai's weekly appointments with the occupational therapist have been cut to every other week! She sees his improvement and wants to rely on his home care and "therapy" I do with him. That basically includes tummy time, practice holding toys and bringing them to his mouth, rolling, and eventually sitting. Whenever I have a window of opportunity to put Kai on the floor to practice all of these we go for it, but if he gets fussy we stop since he's basically not learning when he's fussy.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy 1st Halloween



Kai had a fun yet somewhat uneventful Halloween. Since we are quarantined for RSV season, we couldn't go trick-or-treating, but I took Kirra out and she scored tons of candy!


His costume was Dino the dinosaur dog from the Flinstones, but I could only get a blury shot of all us since Kai could hardly stand his costume!