Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy new year 2012! This year has a lot of new adventures in store and we are excited that Riley will be part of them. He is growing and changing and we love the time we spend with him getting to know him and seeing his personality and how much spirit he has in him! We took a ton of pictures in the last few days on my phone (some are clearer than others) and here are a few I uploaded.

It was great seeing Riley a few nights ago because we got to hold him and took our first family picture! He is doing well, and is now weighing 2 lbs 4 oz! Since taking these pictures he has plumped up a little more (I can tell in his arms).
They did start giving him a protein supplement to help with his weight gain but took him off it today because he wasn't having a very good reaction to it so they will see how he gains without it, and if he needs something extra they will try something else.

We try to go see Riley during the hours when they do his cares because he is awake and it is fun to see him with his eyes open! Although, if he is sleeping he will sometimes wake up if we start talking to him (or laughing at his cute facial expressions he makes while he sleeps!) He has given us more smiles in the last couple days, if they are jst gas bubbles don't tell me, I will still say its because he is happy to see us!

Here are some pictures! It is interesting, because when I take pictures of Riley in his incubator it is hard to compare his size to anything (they don't let us put anything in his incubator to compare) but in the pictures holding him you can see a little more his size (mostly head size because he is all swaddled up!).

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Just a quick little update! We went to see Riley tonight and he was up to some tricks...he decided he didn't like the oxygen tube that goes in his nose (although who would like that?) and he learned how to pull it out! He has done it various times throughout the day and even did it once while we were there with him. He was sneaky about it though ;) He moved one hand up to his face and he likes to sleep with his hands near his face so we didn't notice at first, but he pulled out the oxygen tube and was content breathing on his own! They are keeping him on low flow oxygen which is letting him breathe on his own but opening his lungs up a little more so he doesn't have to put in as much effort breathing. So that was funny to hear about, the good part is that when he does pull it out they are alerted so they can put it back in for him even though I'm sure he doesn't want them to!

Monday, December 26, 2011

One of the best parts of Christmas was us going to visit Riley...I can't believe how he is changing little by little. I see him every day so sometimes I can't tell until I am looking at his pictures. Rocky wasn't able to go visit for a couple days and he felt like Riley looked a little different. Either way, he is just so cute! :) We are both so glad he is healthy and he is growing! He is gaining weight and is now 2lbs 2oz! He is doing well on his feedings. He has some reflux and sometimes he tries to keep it down and that affects his breathing. His doctors say he should grow out of it as he grows and his system matures.

We took a bunch of pictures on Christmas but I am trying to send them to my gmail from my phone and it hasn't finished syncing up so hopefully later tonight or tomorrow I will have more pictures ready!

Speaking of Christmas, Riley got spoiled this year from family and friends who were so thoughtful to think of him. Thank you! I told Riley all about his gifts and all of you who are thinking about him and praying for him.

Today Riley was feeling nice and feisty and wan't happy to get his diaper changed! (This isn't anything new though!) He made quite a fuss but it is just so cute because he is so little but moves around so much and his face scrunches up and I can't help but laugh a little as I try to calm him down. He just fusses for a little bit and then decides to chill and watch everything going on around him.

Friday, December 23, 2011

the best birthday gift

I got early! Last night I went to see Riley and he was doing his thing...sleeping but opening his eyes every now and then to check if I was still there (when I stopped talking to him to let him sleep)and kicking and stretching. He does those things every time we are there but it is still the cutest thing!

I was talking with the nurse (I usually have a few questions) and asked when she thought we'd be able to hold him and she said, much to my surprise, "well he is doing really well and is stable so I think you could probably hold him today if you want." If I want?! She didn't have to ask twice!

You know that nervous excited feeling you sometimes get when something big is about to happen? I felt all that. And surprisingly calm at the same time.

I stayed to do his cares as well and then after that I got to hold him. They don't like to disturb the little ones more than they have to so right after cares is the ideal time. When the nurse lifted him out of the incubator I realized just how small he is! I don't know why, but seeing him in the incubator he looks bigger. She brought him over to me and laid him on my chest and he snuggled up, nice and comfy! Even though he was out of the incubator he had my body heat plus being covered so he wouldn't get chilly. He was still being monitored as well just in case because sometimes being held can cause stress, but he was loving it! The nurse said its good for them to have the skin to skin contact, plus he was near my heart and the sound of the mothers heartbeat soothes them because that is such a familiar sound to them. When it was time for him to go back, he was sleepy and calm and happy...I felt the same way. Although not as sleepy probably. I still had to drive home. But happy and calm and a million other emotions!

The time went by slow and fast at the same time. I wanted to take in every second of our time together. I couldn't believe I was actually holding my baby for the first time! It is one of those moments and feelings that will be ingrained in me forever. There are not even sufficient words to describe what I felt. It's probably what every mom feels the first time she holds her new baby and to me it meant so much since I had to wait to hold him. I can't wait for Rocky to be able to hold him too. :)

So that was my best early birthday present! It was unexpected but came at the perfect time!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

out with the old, in with the new

I had a surprise when I went to see Riley today! They had taken out his feeding tube that goes in through his mouth and had replaced it with a smaller one that goes in through his nose, which is actually more comfortable. He didn't seem to like the mouth one very much (it can irritate the throat more) and seemed more at ease tonight. Plus, I loved seeing his little mouth with no tubes going in. He is soo cute! Pictures don't do him justice, seriously!
When I got to the nicu and to the area where Riley is, I opened the main doors and I heard a baby crying and I knew it was Riley...and it was! They were changing his bedding and setting up his feeding and he was not liking it! He was fussing but then settled down. His nurse says that he will sometimes make a big fuss but not for very long. Plus, I started talking to him so I like to think that settled him down as well ;). He was smiling today some...a few little smile that came and went before I could whip the camera out. In the meantime he are a few others!
Also, he is weighing 1 lb 15 oz, which is the same from yesterday.

This is the mouth feeding tube vs the one the goes in through his nose (which is really thin and I could hardly see it next to his oxygen).

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

our little monkey boy

Rocky calls Riley our little monkey boy because of the hair he has on his shoulders and back. He doesn't know where it came from but the nurses say it will fall out in the coming weeks. He had blonde hair on his body at first and a lot of that has fallen is so interesting to see how he is changing and growing. When I see him kicking and moving his arms around its like I can see in front of me how he was when he was moving when he was in my belly. He loves loves to stretch out his legs!
Today was great spending time with him because Rocky got to spend some extra one on one time with him and they were both loving it! They have a connection (like I always knew they would) and Riley is so content having contact with his daddy and when his daddy talks to him. I loved seeing them together!
Riley has graduated to bigger diapers. I will have to bring home one of the original sized diapers he was wearing and hold it up to a regular newborn diaper to show the comparison. The little umbilical cord stump (I'm not sure what it is really called!) fell out today and so his little belly button is showing now. So cute! Well, basically everything about him is cute ;)
I bought our Christmas stockings yesterday (better late than never! I never found ours from last year) and am excited to fill them, including one for Riley! Mostly so he can look back and photos when he is bigger and know he had a Christmas stocking. I found the cutest monkey for Riley's stocking because he is our little monkey boy! Stockings are more tradition from my family, Rocky didn't have them growing up but I love how they are filled with random fun gifts and growing up they held us over until it was time to open presents...good times! I can't believe it is almost Christmas...time is flying and before we know it Riley will be coming home with us!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Weekend

Saturday was great because I got to drive up and see Riley...I had to wait to drive for a while but I was itching to be able to spend more time with him so I dropped Rocky off at the restaurant after running some errands together and headed up the mountain!
I love that Riley was awake and alert for quite a while while I was there. I was able to have some contact with him, just gently placing my hands over his arms and legs, which is called "containment", which he really likes (especially from his mama!). He gets really wiggly and likes to kick around and move his arms a lot but settles down when he has contact. I love it when his eyes are open! I stayed for quite a while...I could stay all day, I love being with him and just watching him, even if he is sleeping.
He has gained a little weight and yesterday his practitioner says that if he keeps eating well then they will wean him off his IV that is giving him supplemental nutrition and he will just be on breastmilk and they will try adding a calorie booster to make sure he is getting enough calories, especially because he is an active little guy and the more he moves the more calories he burns. Which leads me to a little story the nurse told me about Riley yesterday...
We were visiting Riley at the time when they do his cares, which include changing his diaper, taking his temperature, etc. I love being there to help with that and after changing his diaper the nurse went to shift him to his side (he has time on his side and tummy to help with his digestion but he loves being on his back the best!) and she said she was going to secure his diaper a little more because the other day she had changed him and then a little later when she went to check on him, he had squirmed out of his diaper! He must of been pretty happy about it because even though he doesnt like to be moved a whole lot he was content and just looking at the nurse while she changed all his bedding (he had a little accident!) and put his diaper back on! We will have our hands full with this little guy when he gets to come home and it's something we are eagerly looking forward to.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Riley has been doing great! He "graduated" to a different room, meaning he is progressing! Yesterday we went to see him but it was right during shift change, which i had forgotten about, so rocky had to go back to work and i stayed at the hospital. When I was able to go in and see him he was wide awake with his eyes open! I hadn't seen him yet with his little eyes open and it was so precious! I changed his diaper and got to have some contact with him. The nurse says that depending on his oxygen levels and weight gain, we may be able to hold him next week! That would be great because we would be able to have skin time with him. We don't want to get our hopes up too high, but he is a fighter and a feisty little guy (even the nurses say so!) and we are so thrilled with the progress he is making...we know the prayers of everyone who is praying for him make all the difference! They help us as well.

Rocky got to the hospital a little later on and although Riley was resting/sleeping, when his Daddy got there and started talking to him, he opened his eyes let his Daddy know that he knew he was there! It was so great because Rocky got to see him awake and another side of cuteness!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

1 week old!

Riley is one week old today! These pictures are from his first week. The last one should be the first one because that is when he was on his first oxygen machine and the tubes went right into his lungs. In the other two he has the oxygen flowing in through his nose, which is a lot easier on him! I like that in the first one you can see a little bit of his hair and more of the shape of his face.

We went and saw him last night and he was off the light for the bilirubin, but is back on today. The nurse said it's normal for him to go on and off. His oxygen levels are really low, at 22-24%, which means he is breathing a bigger percentage on his own! I love that I can call in and get updates on him anytime.

Yesterday he was sleeping a lot so we just stayed a while and watched him and talked to him...I think he knows when we are there because we were on one side of his incubator and his head was turned more to the other side and we couldn't get to the other side because there was a bunch of stuff going on with the baby next to him. He started to cry and fuss and the nurse turned him towards us and he calmed right down. Of course he wanted to see his mama and daddy! :) Two of his aunts also stopped by to visit him in the evening when we were there.

We are so thankful for how well he is doing and how he is improving day by day. He is a feisty little guy and we love him more every day!

Monday, December 12, 2011

6 days old

We have decided to start this blog about Riley, who is our first baby boy, born Dec 6th, 2011, at just 26 weeks old. This blog is to document all his milestones and the little details about what happened and will happen and how we feel, and also for family and friends who are curious on how he is doing! I am calling his blog "A Surprise & A Miracle" because it really was a surprise that he was born so early and a miracle that he is doing so well and that he is here with us.

Just a little background... My water had broken a couple days before I gave birth (unknown to me as it just came out a little at a time over the course of two days) and when I finally realized that the pains I was having could be contractions and we got to the hospital, i was 9 cm and things went pretty fast after that and Riley was delivered emergancy c-section since he wasn't positioned for a good vaginal delivery. I just wanted whatever would be best for him and get him here safely. It all seemed so unreal and I remembered thinking, "It's too early" and "I can't have him yet!" because 26 weeks IS really early and I know that the longer a baby is in the womb the better it is for his development, all those kinds of things. I was like, "is there any way to keep him in there for a while longer?" Also, I had had a good pregnancy up till this point with no cause for concern and even when I started having back pains I was told it was normal to start having more pain at around 26 weeks because the baby was going to have a growth spurt...things like that...there are so many little details, things I was thinking, how I was feeling, its one of those things that you never forget...I think in general women don't forget the details of when they have their kids, I mean, it is something like nothing else.

After delivering, Riley was moved to the NBICU and they have been great taking care of him. The good thing about being in the hospital a few days was being able to go and see him a lot. We don't live too far away but at the moment I am recovering from the c-section and not driving so I am a little more limited but hopefully that will change soon and I can see him more times a day. My schedule for work is flexible and so I would be able to go and work it to where I can help with his "cares" more, which are his diaper changes, taking his temperature, and basically having more skin-to-skin contact since right now he can only have the least amount of contact because he was born so young and they really want to keep him undisturbed so he can rest and grow. It breaks my heart not being with him every moment and not being able to do a lot with him that normally would happen after birth, but we take comfort in the fact that is improving every day and that as time goes on we will be able to have more contact with him. We are so grateful for all those who are taking care of him!
Oh, and his cares are scheduled so I will schedule my schedule to at least be there for one of them (they do two that are higher contact) and more as he gets bigger.

We love seeing how he is changing. They tell me it was a rough delivery and Riley had a lot of bruises to prove it and every day his skin has gotten better as the bruises go away.
~He is under a special light for bilirubin.
~He started out with an iv going into his lungs but after a few days they were able to remove it and put him on a much less invasive pump since he is breathing more on his own. The new one just goes into his nose and he doesnt really like it but it is a ton better than the first one!
~A few days after he was born they decided to start giving him some breastmilk and he responded really well to it and they have since upped his feedings from every six hours to every three and today they are upping the amount they are feeding him from 2ml to a little more.

So, who does he look like?? His hair is curly/wavy, which comes from Rocky, who had curly hair when he was younger and some of his siblings have super curly hair. It is not super dark though so we aren't sure if it will get lighter or stay that color. He does have blonde hair all over his arms and legs! He has rocky's nose and lips and he has my face shape. He also has Rocky's broad shoulders. He has really big hands and feet (which dont come from either of us!) and he is really long, and Rocky says if he is tall that comes from my side of the family since none of his family are super tall. We havent seen him open his eyes yet but I'm guessing he'll have Rocky's eyes, although as babies that young grow and fill out, that could change.