Friday, August 10, 2012

Finding a pediatrician for your preemie

Bringing your preemie can be an anxious and stressful time.  However, it is very important to find a pediatrician that you are comfortable with and feel good about.  Here are a few tips:

*Ask your NICU doctor or nurses for recommendations.  Our NICU doctor was able to suggest someone that was currently taking new preemie patients.
* Your OB/GYN may be able to recommend someone as well. 
* Visit several pediatrician offices in your area and check them out.  Be sure to ask questions!
-Do they have separate waiting areas for sick patients and well patients?  If they do, it may help keep your preemie from getting ill when visiting the office since their immune system is under developed. 
-Will your child see the same doctor at each visit?  If the office has more than one professional that sees patients, you may be able to request that your child only seen by one doctor.  ( I did this with my child!  That way I had one person that was familiar with her and your needs.)
- Do they have after hours on call or answering services?  How long will it take to get a response from the office in case of an after hour problem or emergency? 
-Does the office provide referrals for early intervention programs or specialist when needed?

You must feel comfortable with the pediatrician office you select.  Be sure that you feel comfortable asking questions and comfortable that your concerns will be listened to.  You are the one that will see your child day in and day out.  You are your child's best advocate! 

I didn't forget you...

I know that it has been ages since I posted last.  Things have just been very hectic around the shop and I have not had time to get on our blog and catch up.  I do apologize!  But ...hopefully, I will be able to start posting again regularly.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mason - this week's feature baby!

Here is Mason's story...

Mason was born at 29 weeks due to HELLP (H -- hemolysis EL -- elevated liver enzymes LP --low platelet count)

Mason was born September 3, 2010 weighing 1 lb 15 oz and 13 ½ inches long.  He spent 64 days in the NICU.

The doctors told me, Mason was breathing on his own when he was born and that they were amazed on how well he was doing. After 2 days the doctors put him on a ventilator because he was shaving quite a bit of trouble breathing. He was on that for 2 days.

Mason was on and off high flow oxygen his entire stay and had a PICC (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter) for a week or so.

I am truly blessed that Mason didn’t have any major complications and no surgeries. 

Mason came home on an apnea monitor because when the doctors looked at the pneumogram results, they were very abnormal, so he was put on caffeine. He was on the monitor for 3 months.

The hardest part about having a preemie for me was having other people I was close to being pregnant at the same time and not being able to take my little baby home.

Having to spend time in the NICU I look back a year and a half later realizing how lucky and truly blessed I was/am . Besides having a great and amazing outcome from this (Mason being healthy and growing rapidly) I also met some people there who I never would have met otherwise and they will be lifelong friends.

There are days that I look back and still get very teary eyed on how scary everything was during that time, I am friends with one of Mason’s nurses and she and I joke about me being a crazy mom. I called all the time and I had emotional break downs and got mad at the nurses and doctors. I blamed myself for my precious little one being premature, but the best advice the nurse ever gave me was to take a deep breath and to look at the miracle God gave me. To know that Mason is here to do something special and I know anything he sets his mind to he will conquer and succeed.

Trust me when I say it is okay to cry and be emotional.

I understand the NICU is probably one of the hardest things parents of preemies will go through, but remember you aren’t alone and to cherish the small milestones.

Mason is now 18 months old and he weighs a little over 21 lbs. He is walking all over the place and he is a little monkey. He can say about ten words and if learning more each day!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

This Week's Featured Baby Was Josephine!

If you missed Josephine's story on our website, here is a chance to read about her amazing journey.

My daughter Josephine Amelia was born on November 26, 2011.  Her original due date was February 16, 2012.  But her story starts way before the day she was born, and her miracle goes way beyond the day she was conceived.
My husband and I were married on January 17, 2004.  There are 20 years between us and so when we got married, I became a mom to a high schooler and a college student.  I had made my husband get their approval before we got married because there was such an age difference, and my boys accepted me into their family. 
My husband and I had decided early on that we were not going to get worked up over having kids, if it happened… great.  I was never good at taking pills and in the first month of our marriage I had filled birth control, but was constantly catching up on taking my pills so I stopped taking it.  There was no sense in spending the money on birth control if I wasn’t going to take it like I should. 
Several years went by and no pregnancy came.  I was fine with it until I was having some health issues and found out that I had a cyst.  I had dealt with endometriosis since the beginning of my menstrual cycle.  My mom had a history of endometriosis so I wasn’t surprised.  But the cyst was something else altogether.  I was having a great deal of pain and pretty constant bleeding.  The cyst was discovered in 2007.  My OBGYN was constantly changing.  My first one retired.  He had done a laparoscopy in 2003 to remove some scarring.  The next one left the group and the one that I was talking to in 2007 gave me some devastating news that I had not been given when my laparoscopy was done in 2003.  It seems that when they had done the laparoscopy they had deemed that I would probably not be able to have kids.
Not getting pregnant is so much different then never being able to get pregnant.  I had a procedure done to remove the cyst, and slowly came around to the realization that having kids was not going to be something that would ever happen for me.  After they removed the cyst, they said that there were some tests that could be done to verify whether or not I was infertile.  I never scheduled these appointments.  I didn’t have any reason to question the doctors findings since we had never once gotten pregnant and had not used birth control in our entire marriage.
I was fine being a step mom.  And by 2011 our oldest son had twins, a boy and a girl.  And our youngest had a son and a daughter on the way.  So I was a grandma before I would ever be a mom.  I had a conversation with my youngest one day after the baby shower for his oldest.  He had said to me that he was thankful that I always made his mom feel included.  I had to remind him that I was the outsider and that since I would never have kids of  my own, they were all I had.  His wife, our daughter-in-law was adopted and family was something that was very important to them.  Regardless of the age difference and the fact that I was not old enough to be a grandma, I was and they afforded me every right of grandma.  Something that I was so thankful for.  Even though our boys were grown when we got married, I still call them my own.
In March 2011 I started seeing a chiropractor for some corrective care.  I was in the office three days a week for a few months doing physical therapy and adjustments. 
In July 2011 I started feeling odd.  My breast’s where so tender that taking a shower was painful and I would tease my husband that he couldn’t even look at them cause I would feel it.  At this point my husband and I have been married 7 years, have never used birth control , and had never gotten pregnant.  I still had not ever been tested for infertility, but after 7 years, I had no reason to question the doctors findings and was not going to spend the money on tests that I really felt that we all knew the answer to.  My symptoms started progressing and I was nauseated all the time.  I was talking to one of my girlfirends at work and she kept telling me I was pregnant.  I kept telling her it wasn’t possible.  She asked when I my last period was and by this time it had been at least a month.  I had never missed a cycle before, but really didn’t think anything of it.  I just figured it was due to stress as I had been working a lot of hours at work.
Despite my denials, my friend convinced me to get a home pregnancy test.  Despite the fact that I had all the classic symptoms, I still refused to believe that I could possibly be pregnant.  The last thing I wanted was to get my hopes up.  I had really just come to terms with the fact that I would only be a step mom, but never a “real” mom.  Don’t get me wrong, there are real mom skills that are needed as a step mom and it is one of the hardest jobs that a woman will ever choose.  But there is something to be said about raising your own child.  My husband and I had determined that if we could not have kids, if the need ever because so great for me to need to be a mom that we would adopt.  For me it was more in the raising a child then birthing one.  I couldn’t see spending money on the fertility treatments for a “maybe” chance.  And I had no way of knowing if I would be able to carry a child.  I did not know how badly my body was broken. 
My friend Bonnie and I went to Walgreens by our office and I purchase a two test pack.  I took one at lunch.  NOTHING.  See, I told you I was pregnant I thought to myself.  But I took the other test the next morning.  Still NOTHING.  So, now, not only was I not pregnant, but there was something SERIOUSLY wrong with me.
I had made an appointment with my OBGYN, but just couldn’t wait.  And since the home tests both said that I was not pregnant, then I decided that I needed to go see my family doctor instead.  So the next Saturday I was sitting in my doctor’s office explaining all my symptoms and telling her that there was something really wrong with me.  I was telling her about all the issues I had and what the doctor said. While we were talking, the nurse knocked on the door.  The test from the urine sample I had left came back.  Apparently I don’t know how to pee on a stick because to my shock, I was in fact pregnant. 
The following Monday I went and had an ultrasound.  The sound of her heartbeat was the most amazing sound I had ever heard in my entire life.  This was it, I was pregnant.  I was going to have a baby. 
I immediately started eating better.  Doing whatever I could to make sure that my baby had a healthy start.  Other than being uncomfortable, I had no issues in my pregnancy. 
In November my aunt and uncle came to visit for thanksgiving.  It was my first Thanksgiving dinner that I was ever responsible for preparing.  And we had a lot of fun.  The Saturday after Thanksgiving we had planned on going to a craft fair.  We were all getting ready and I just wasn’t feeling that great.  I had been in and out of the bathroom thinking that I had to poop.  I finally called the doctor and was told to drink water and rest.  A little while later I found blood.  I quickly started getting ready and told my husband that we were going to the hospital.  He asked me if he could take a shower.  He had just gotten up.  I told him no, he had to come home and take one.
Since I was only 28 weeks along, we had not had a chance to go to the hospital orientation.  I did not know that there was a special check in for maternity, so I went to the ER.  By the time we were on our way to the hospital, I was certain that I was having contractions, but didn’t want to believe it.  We arrived at the hospital about 1:24 pm.  Since she was born just 12 minutes after getting to the hospital, it was a good thing I didn’t let my husband take that shower.
From the ER they rushed me over to maternity triage.  The nurse came in to take a look at me.  She put on a glove and reached down to check me.  She looked at my husband and asked him to hand her another glove because she was unable to move her hand.  All the way up to labor and delivery they kept telling me to stop pushing.  Once we got into labor and delivery, they assisted me through the next few contractions so that I could at least make it till the doctor got in the room.  Once he arrived, one push and Josephine was born.  It was 1:36 pm.  She weighed 3 pounds and was 16 inches long.  And once she was delivered, I felt fine.  I now realize that I had been pushing all day. 
Despite being born 2.5 months early, Jospehine did amazing.  The Neonatoloigist called her a Rock Star and the nurses fought over her.  She was a boring preemie which we are fine with.  She was breathing room air from the minute she was born.  She came home two weeks before her original due date and is now 8 pounds. 
Her personality shines through and she is so much her mother’s child.  She is impatient and headstrong.  We joke that she said, “I am tired of it in here, I got this mom.”  My husband calls her an overachiever.  I am ok with that too.  I couldn’t ask for a better baby.  She amazes me EVERY DAY.

Monday, March 5, 2012

This Week's Feature Baby! QUENTIN


For several days leading up to Quentin's birth, I had been having horrible abdominal pain which the doctors told me was the muscles stretching to accommodate for my growing little man. On July 4th, the pain just got to be too much so my husband and I went to the hospital. I was admitted to L&D where I was put on a monitor. The pain was not muscle stretching after all, it was preterm contractions.

I never actually went into labor. The doctors did a test to determine my likelihood of going into labor in the next two weeks and it came back positive so at that time the decision was made to transfer me to another hospital that had a NICU just in case, All the while I was being told that they would get the contractions stopped and would send me home the next day on strict bed rest. I was fine with the transfer because I would be going to a hospital where the staff knew me because I had received all of my prenatal care there. Before the transfer, I was given Procardia to stop the contractions. This ultimately is what led to Quentin's premature birth.

The Procardia caused Quentin's heart rate to plummet multiple times. When the doctors figured out what was going on the Procardia was immediately stopped. Unfortunately, it was already too late because the medicine had already gotten into Quentin's system. Shortly before 8a on July 5th, Quentin's heart rate plummeted for a fourth time and stayed down for 6 minutes. The decision was made at that time to do an emergency c-section. Quentin was better off out than in. I had already been given one steroid shot but unfortunately, Quentin came 8 hours too soon to get the second one. Due to previous surgeries, the doctors told me that I was not a candidate for an epidural. This upset me greatly because it meant I had to be put totally under. This meant two things, one I could not witness my son's birth and neither could his daddy. I was so scared to wake up to find out that my son did not survive. Thankfully, someone was looking down on us and Quentin came through the birth. He had a very rough start. He had to be given CPR to get him going. This was because he was exposed to the anasthesia. And so begins our seven week NICU stay.

After bugging the nurses for four hours, I finally got to see my son for the first time. He was the most beautiful site I had ever seen. It was instant love. The doctors told us to expect Quentin to be in the hospital until at least his due date, if not longer. Quentin proved EVERYONE wrong!

He came off the vent at 12 hours old. He did have to go back on for about a week because he just grew too tired. At about a month old, he was totally off all oxygen support. At this time, they let us start trying to breastfeed. I cried the first time I was able to feed my son. He tuckered out after five minutes but it was five minutes that I will forever cherish. He caught on very quickly to breastfeeding.

At just shy of 6 weeks old, Quentin was deemed a feeder/grower, he no longer needed medical support. He just needed to gain weight. He was about 3.5lbs by now. We ended up transferring to a hospital closer to home. We stayed there for 12 more days. Six days into our 7 day "no brady" countdown, Quentin had a pretty nasty brady episode after being given his iron supplement. I was devastated because we only needed one more day and then we would have been going home the day after that. The seven days had to start back over, or so I thought.

The doctor came in to talk to us the next morning and saw the documented brady and asked what had happened. We explained that he bradied because of choking on the iron. The doctor gave him a free pass because it wasn't a true brady! We would be going home the next day as long as Quentin gained some weight. For a few days, he had been bouncing between 4lbs. 3oz and 4lbs. 4oz. At weight check that night Quentin weighed 4lbs. 4.5oz. He had gained enough weight to go home! After 50 long days Quentin came home on August 25th, 2010. Almost a MONTH before his actual due date!

He continues to do very well. He is now 20 months. He weighs about 21 pounds and is somewhere around 31.5 to 32 inches. He's struggling with walking and standing but PT has really helped. He has made a lot of progress since starting.

Note to mommies and daddies still going through the journey:

It may not seem like it now but it does get better. On the tough days, just think of the positives. Your little one has passed a great milestone in just being here.

One major thing I learned from my son's journey is that I am my son's voice. It was up to me to advocate for him. If something didn't feel right to me, I spoke up. I asked so many questions, there were days I worried the medical staff was sick of me. But I had to learn that they were there for me and my son. Asking questions is extremely important.

Steffany, mom

Monday, February 27, 2012


We are on Facebook! 
Be sure to look us up.  We can be located here:

Come visit with us and share your preemie story.  Help inspire others and be a part of a wonderful support group.

Monday, February 20, 2012

This Week's Featured Baby - Bryan!

Come meet Bryan...

Why was Bryan born at just 25 weeks along in his mother's pregnancy? Like many premature births, the reason is not known. Mom's water broke and Bryan came a short time afterwards.

This is his story as told by his mom, Sabrina...

Bryan was 1.11lbs at birth and he was 12 inches long. Bryan spent almost 6 months in the NICU.

He had a bowel perforation at 8 days old that required surgery where he lost 2 inches of his small intestines. He had an ostamy bag for almost 3 months.

In July he had a PDA ligation done. He also had a brain cyst and PVL but no Brain bleeds.

August 13th he had his ostamy reversed. 11 days later he developed NEC and he needed immediate emergency surgery where he lost 46 cm of small intestines. All together he lost 48 cm.
Sept 29th he got a second case of NEC that was treated medically. No surgery was required.
He came home in Oct.
Bryan has Cerebral Palsey and he also has a Dandy Walker Malformation. He is currently 35 inches long and he weighs 23 lbs. He will be 2 in May. He just recently started sitting on his own and is pushing himself up into 4 point and trying to crawl. He recently received his AFO's and loves standing. We are waiting for his gaint trainer.

The NICU is a scary time but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We were told many times that there were slim chances that he would survive. When he was 8 days old and his bowel perforated he became septic and his kidneys shut down. We were told if he didn’t urinate by morning that we should consider letting him go. With lots of prayers and tears he urinated out of his diaper early that morning.

These little babies no matter how early they are, they are very strong and brave. They will smile at you and look you into the eyes even though they are going through what they are.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Describing Preemies!

I posted this on our Facebook page this morning and thought it would be fun to post on our Preemie Proud blog as well.

Lets start Monday with something fun!

       M - marvelous
         O - outstanding
N - noble
    D - dynamic
      A - awesome
                                         Y - "YOURS" that is the best part....

Wow! What a blur!

Well, we made it through Christmas and New Years!  January has been just a blue so far.  I can't believe this month has just about come and gone already.   

Please be sure to check out our micro preemie Valentine clothing on our website.  There you will find red micro preemie gowns, embroidered micro preemie Valentine hats, Valentine receiving blankets and more.  Also, we have preemie Valentine clothes for your premature baby weighing 4-7lbs.  Don't forget to check out those 2012 Preemie Valentine t-shirts.

Please order fast, Valentine micro preemie and preemie Valentine items are going quickly.