Sunday, June 28, 2009


Well, it's been a heckuva few days in Robbie's world.

Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, Robbie was really restless, up several times during the night and just generally grumpy. I couldn't figure out what was wrong until 9am Wednesday morning when Robbie started coughing.

We've been EXTREMELY fortunate that Robbie has shown no signs of chronic lung disease so far. But being a preemie, even a healthy one, his lungs are less developed than another baby his size. If a full-term baby's lungs are straws, Robbie's are coffee stirrers. So it doesn't take much to gum up the works. So I called the doctor right away.

That afternoon, Dr. P declared his lungs & ears clear. Just a chest cold. I was relieved until she added "but I will say, he does sound like a kid who's going to start wheezing tomorrow. If he does- bring him back." Ominous.

Thursday was pretty much the same as Wednesday until late in the evening. But just before bedtime, he seemed to be breathing very heavily. I wasn't quite sure what qualified as wheezing but wanted to err on the side of caution, so I called the answering service. A nurse from Children's Hospital called back and went over his symptoms. In the end, we decided that he wasn't wheezing, but he was working harder to breathe than we'd really like, so to keep an eye on him.

After he went to bed, he seemed fine. Slept pretty well and sounded okay. But by morning, he didn't sound so great. It was the same deeper breathing as before, but just at the end of it, it

So I decided, once again, to call the doctor. They had us come right in.

I truly expected to be told I was over-reacting and to just let him get over. Dr. P isn't in the office on Fridays so we saw the covering doctor.

I swear, while we were in the exam room waiting to be seen, he went from not-quite-right to very-very-wrong. There was no question it was a wheeze. The nurse came in and had a look at him. She asked if we had a nebulizer. I told her no and she replied, "I bet you get one today."

The doctor came in a minute later and declared to Robbie, "You sound awful!"

They did a pulse ox and his oxygen saturation was 94%. It should be 95-100. Not scary bad, but not good.

So they did a nebulizer treatment with some Albuterol to open up his lungs. Checked his oxygen again- 95%. Better, but still not great and he still sounded horrible. So he got a 2nd treatment. Still 95%, still wheezing.

That was when I heard the words I don't ever want to hear again. "I think he's going to need to be admitted." DARN DARN DARN!

We discussed hospital options (deciding to go with our "usual hospital" (How sad that we HAVE a "usual hospital.") because it has private rooms.) and the doctor went off to set up the admittance.

The doctor came back and said that the hospital didn't want to do a direct admit, but preferred that we come to the ER for a complete work up before admittance.

So off to the ER we went.

At the ER, they did another Albuterol treatment (no change) and a chest X-ray to check for pneumonia.

No one thought he had pneumonia because he didn't have a fever and frankly, wasn't "acting sick." Yes, his breathing sounded like crap, but other than being cranky about the coughing, he was really pretty happy and playful. I certainly knew he was grumpier than usual, but it's not like he was whining, crying, clinging or lethargic.

But then the chest X-ray came back with a hazy spot on one lung. Pneumonia was suddenly a possibility.

That earned Robbie some blood work. Needles. Poor Robbie.

In the meantime, they decided to give Robbie a round of steroids and another breathing treatment.

This time, it was like night and day. Suddenly he was breathing normally and quietly. And the grumpiness was gone. He was a happy kid.

Then the blood work came back great. No elevated white blood cells (no sign of infection) and a marker for inflammation was zero. YAY!

The theory about his lung haziness is that because he pukes so much, he probably occasionally aspirates some of it. He lung probably always looks cruddy but he's able to compensate for it. It's not ideal, but manageable.

The doctor asked what I thought. I said he seemed SO much better. He agreed and said we could go home. They set us up with a nebulizer for home and gave us scripts for steroids and Albuterol. They called our doctor's office to let them know the outcome and the doctor asked that we bring Robbie in on Saturday for a follow up. As luck would have it, Dr. P was working Saturday.

The night went pretty well. Robbie seemed so much clearer and happier. He woke up Saturday morning sounding pretty good.
We called the office and they had us come straight in.

As we arrived at the office, he started wheezing again. He was overdue for a breathing treatment, but he sounded SO bad, I was honestly afraid they were going to send us to the hospital again.

We got in there and they checked his oxygen saturation again and they were at 96%. Big relief! They gave him another treatment while we were there and he cleared up again.

The only bad news was that he was starting to get an ear infection. So we got some antibiotics added to our regimen.

Overall, Robbie's doing okay. This morning he was pretty crusty again, but after his steroids and the breathing treatments he was much clearer again.

As luck would have it Robbie has a well-baby check on Tuesday (which yes, will make his 4th trip to the doctor in a week) and I'm hoping by then things have drastically improved.

Keep us in your prayers!

And for a few pictures-

Grumpy Robbie at the zoo.

We met our friend DaRonda and rode the train!

It was REALLY hot that day, so mommy kept me soaked with water to keep me cool.

I'm still fascinated by my birthday balloons.

Since they don't float any more, they're down on my level.

I really love my birthday Moose, too! That's his leg in my arms.

I love sleeping in my own crib these days.

I can even hold myself up on the side.

Though sometimes it's tricky to hang on!

Mommy? Can I eat the camera now?


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Robbie Giggles

A short, dark, but totally worth it video. Turn your sound on!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Then and Now

The day that Robbie was born was not the typical excitement filled event that most people think of when they think of the birth of a child.

My morning had started with symptoms leading the doctors to believe that I was nearing both organ failure and a stroke. We had about an hour between being told the time had come and actually making it to the OR for the C-section.

David and I were both terrified. No one could even guarantee that Robbie would survive birth and what would come after was greatly unknown.

Once we got into the operating room, things were mostly quiet. We didn't know if we were having a boy or girl, though I was convinced he was a girl, (and called him "she" for the 6 months I was pregnant- sorry, Robbie.) so there was even more unknown.

I was completely drugged up both from meds for the surgery and meds to keep me from seizing or stroking, and was pretty out of it. David was just quiet. Neither of us spoke much.

When they pulled Robbie from my belly, I heard one doctor quietly say "He's out." Before I could process the pronoun "he", the same doctor said, in a more excited tone, "Oh yeah! It's a boy."

My first thought was surprise. I'd been so sure he was a girl. I thought "really? A boy? I'll be darned."

But David.... David leaned down and whispered in my ear "It's a boy." I wasn't sure if he wanted to make sure I'd heard or if he was telling himself. But I knew he was proud. You could hear the emotion in his voice. More emotion than I'd ever heard from him.

Before I could even respond, he followed it with "I wish my dad was here to see this." Then he bowed his head and sobbed. Joy for his son and sorrow for his dad.

Watching him be a dad and knowing he learned from an amazing one has been incredible.

Here's to fathers everywhere.

Father's Day 2008

Father's Day 2009


Saturday, June 20, 2009

June pictures

Robbie is now 15 1/2 lbs.
He has 2 teeth.
He's sitting up unassisted. (Though you still have to help him get that way.)
He's learning to stand up by holding onto furniture and hands.
He has lots of cooing and babbling sounds including ba, boo, ma, yah, dah, ah and gah. No real words yet, though he seems to say "ah-ha!" and "ah-gah" as a happy greeting to people or pets.

Here are some recent photos.

Out to lunch with mommy & her friends.

My pictures are tasty!

Someday my comb-over with rival The Donald's.

Chillin' out with Daddy.

There are teeth in there!

Grandpa's trying to teach me bad tricks.

Baby in a do-rag.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Catching Up

It really has been such a crazy few weeks in Robbie's world.

The week before his birthday, he finally cut his first tooth. I'd begun to doubt they were ever coming, really. We'd had several rounds of drooly-chewy-whiny-gum-swelling and still nothing.

But about 10 days before he turned one, we were playing and I found myself covered in drool. I asked him if he was ever going to get those teeth and tried to take a peek. He wouldn't have it, but finally let me stick my finger in his mouth and have a feel. And...hey! that's sharp.. there was something poking me.

So we wrestled a bit more and I had a peek, and sure enough, there was a little corner of a tooth in there. And much to my surprise, I could see another one right next to it just under the surface of his gums. Sure enough, the next day, his second tooth and broken through. Two in two days!

Thankfully, he took it very well. The 4th day, he was a bit crabby and seemed more bothered by his mouth than normal, so I gave him 2 doses of Tylenol during the day, but other than that and some restless sleeping for a few days, he was pretty unaffected.

He's also been gaining weight pretty well. He had a really awful reflux flare up the weekend of his birthday (yeah, happy b-day to him. ugh.) and was on a light diet for a few days, but outside of that, he's gaining an average of an ounce a day. As of tonight, he was 14 lb 13oz.

He's still sleeping in the bassinet next to our bed. The trouble is that is has a 15 lb weight limit, so in the next day days, he's going to be transitioning to his crib. (Yes, I know, you're all gasping that he's 1 and still in our room. But it worked for us. Let's move on.)

He's obviously getting stronger and stronger as well. He sits up quite well and only falls over occasionally, usually when reaching especially far for something or twisting around backward to watch something (usually one of the pets or his dad.)

In a very tiny thing that made me very happy, he managed to feed himself a puff the other day. The solid food is still very intermittent. He'll eat an ounce or two of baby food, but lately he's been puking it back up very quickly as well. And anything with chunks at all, and he gags and chokes.

He has gummed a few puffs and some yogurt whips, but usually if they make it to the back of his throat without being completely dissolved, he freaks out and I end up having to sweep it out of his mouth or he'll gag himself to the pukes.

The puff he fed himself, he actually picked it up and put it in his own mouth and CHEWED it. It was amazing. Then he swallowed it! Of course, 2 seconds later, he gagged until he threw up some milk, but hey, baby steps, right?

He's also been able to visit with more people and do more things. On Saturday he went to a birthday party for his NICU buddy, Gavin. Overall it went well. Gavin's a preemie superstar and had a good time. He's crawling very well and kept coming over to Robbie and another preemie friend, Lexi, and trying to push them over. I don't think he quite gets the concept of "play" yet, but at least they interacted a bit.

Robbie, on the other hand, is a completely sensitive soul. Every time one of the other kids would cry, Robbie would well up with tears, look at the crying child with great concern and start to whine. I hope he keeps his sensitivity as he ages.

We also had a big outing this last week. We visited the daycare that Robbie will be going to when I go back to work.

I was extremely, extremely nervous about it. I dread going back to work as it is. I wish I could stay home permanently, but it just isn't in the cards. Thinking of having to leave Robbie with someone else is daunting anyway, but then you add in all of his feeding difficulties, and I was really concerned they would say they couldn't handle it.

We ended up spending about 2 1/2 hours there. I did a complete G tube feeding for them so they could see what was involved. They seemed relieved that it was as easy as it was. (It's really quite simple.) My biggest concern, though, was the writhing and crying that comes with a feeding. Robbie didn't puke, so they didn't get the full experience, but he did whine and cry a bit. They got to see that it's not the pleasurable experience that eating is for most people. And they were okay with it.

We talked a lot about everything, went over all of my questions and all of theirs. In the end, I came out feeling MUCH better about everything.

I still wish we could hit the lotto before August so I could just stay home, but barring that, I at least feel like he'll be well cared for in my absence.

Overall, it's been an amazing few weeks. We still have a long way to go until "caught up" but it's nice to see some strides in the right direction.

We could still use some prayers in the stomach department. I know his feeding issues will take a long time to be resolved, but if we could just get him to outgrow this God forsaken reflux, it'd be a HUGE leap in the right direction.

And without further ado- pictures!

See my teefers?

My two favorite toys in the whole wide world- a tube of Aquaphor & a travel pack of Q-tips.

Can I have the camera, mommy?

Mmm, tasty fingers.

It's a Robbie-In-A-Box!

How cute am I?

Standing at the couch.

At Gavin's birthday party.

Giggly boy


Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Just a couple of short Robbie videos to brighten your day.

This one started as an attempt to get Robbie smiling, but ended up with a little more doggy lovin' that I think Robbie bargained for.

And this is just Robbie's latest "trick." All he wants to do these days is pull up on my hands.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Birthday Party

The party was a big success. We had about 25 people total.

There was a brief hiccup in the morning when the lawn mower wouldn't start. But David borrowed a neighbor's mower and did the front and we moved the party up there, so it was okay. There's more shade there anyway.

Robbie did well. He loved the other kids and paid mostly no attention to the other adults.

He didn't really eat any cake, but he did mash his hands in it a bit and got frosting everywhere.

After a fiasco trying to order a fish cake from a local bakery, my friend Lisa swooped in and saved the day and made an amazing one for us and even brought a smash cupcake for Robbie. She totally rules.

Robbie was tuckered out after the party and even took a 2 hour nap. (Which is unheard of for him.)

He got lots of great toys and a ton of books, and a few outfits. We didn't get ANY duplicates and Robbie loves his stuff.

Without further ado- Pictures!

I am one today.

Family photo.

Robbie visiting with Clare & Thomas

Catching up with his NICU buddy, Gavin.

Clare has pretty hair!

Robbie doesn't need cake. He has a bib.

The amazing cake!

Smash cake.

Hmm, this feels different.

No, I DON'T want to eat any, mommy!

The aftermath.

Great-grandma, grandpa, Robbie & Mommy.

What'd I get, Mommy?

I'm the best present ever!

Chillin' in my new sunglasses.

Hi Grandpa!

Are all these people here to see ME?

Relaxin' after the party.


Monday, June 1, 2009

A whole lotta Robbie

This is very long, but it's what I played during Robbie's birthday party yesterday.

Hope you enjoy!