I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord
Psalm 27: 13-14

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Oh the new adventures of life!!

We introduced Evan to his Jolly Jumper! SOOOO funny!! He LOVES it!!!!
Dancing boy! Totally River Dance feet!! The arms stay at his side, but his feet and legs don't stop moving!!
Pausing for a pose!
Daddy is loving this!!! Evan's seat cover for fall/winter. Snug as a bug in a rug!
Well, this week we introduced Evan to his Jolly Jumper. He caught on instantly as to what he was supposed to do, and his little feet and legs didn't stop moving at all!!! So much so that he bounced so much he spat up all over the rug! Too funny!!
He has realized his independence in that thing, and my oh my is he ever proud of himself!!
Today I unpacked the zillion pieces to put together for his exersaucer, and as soon as I get that thing built I KNOW Evan is going to go crazy for that too!!!!! He is one active little guy! So it will be perfect.
We've also started going for our morning walks without him in his car seat bucket, but sitting up in the stroller like a big boy! He adores his walks, which is EXCELLENT for me!!! Lots of motivation! Plus the dogs have been doing so well with behaving themselves as we walk. They proudly walk beside Evan.
I've quickly learned that Evan does not do well when he misses a nap! The past couple days he missed his morning nap and oh my...the poor kid!! He made up on some serious sleep today!!
Last night we had family dinner at my parents. Brett had left early because he had hockey, and by 9pm Evan was DONE!! So I packed him up and we headed home. He was asleep before I even got him in to the car. When we got home I put him in his bassinet (yes yes, he is still in his pack n' play bassinet by my side of the bed! NOT ready to move him to his crib yet!!). I thought about heading to living room to watch some TV, but instead I called Tag and Bailey in to my room and let them climb in to bed with me. They haven't been able to do that since I was pregnant with Zac and Evan!! They were in heaven. And I was out cold!! How funny...before Evan I would have been watching TV or out and about and the late evening wouldn't phase me. Now I'm ready to crash by 9pm!!!
Anyhow, just wanted to share the jolly jumper pictures!

Friday, September 18, 2009

The week of appointments is done! PHEW!!

So, this was a busy week! On Monday Evan had his Alvin Buckwold appointment with his physiotherapist and occupational therapist. They are really really pleased with his development (again this goes by corrected age, not birth age)! He is doing everything he should be doing, and doing it well! Tuesday Evan had his 6mth (3 1/2 mth corrected) appointment with my doctor. He got the all clear and is weighing 13lb 13ou!! While my Doc was checking Evan he started giggling away! He is SUPER ticklish, but he was TOTALLY enthralled with my doctor (she's awesome by the way!) So he's good for another 3 months with her. THEN yesterday was the big one...this NICU followup with one of his neonatologists, Dr. Wonko. Evan's weight, height and head circumferance are all in excellent ranges. So we are thrilled about that. We got a good report from his doctor!! Those are HUGE for me, because they always tend to remind that with guys this little things can creap up over time...but I'm not going down that path!! We are good. I did drill him on his view of the H1N1 vaccine. He told me that he had a long talk with the head pediatric infectious disease doctor at RUH who said he has read the studies and is confident that the vaccine has not been rushed and has gone through the same testings as the flu vaccine. They are recommending the vaccine for our little guy (and preemies, children) and say the risk of affects from the vaccine are less than the risk of them contracting the swine flu. Ugh...just another thing to worry about. And poor Evan will be subjected to yet ANOTHER needle! I hate that! Evan actually goes for his 6mth vaccinations on Tuesday. UGH!! My heart is already breaking!! Evan's Doc solidified reading that I had done that because Evan and Zac were born at 28wks they are missing ALL the immune-fighting antibodies that a mother passes from her placenta to baby within the 3rd trimester. So this is why Evan is so at risk, especially this first year. He ISN'T a typical baby who has some of those immune fighting abilities, so it is up to me (and Brett of course) to be Evan's health advocates and to keep him protected this coming cold/flu/RSV season. I'd be lying if I said I'm not worried about RSV...I'm TERRIFIED of it!!!! Prem's who contract RSV (which by the way is VERY easy for them to contract from people) can become SERIOUSLY ill with deep lung infections and ultimately can end up on a ventilator. I do NOT want that to be Evan's case. He was sooooooooooooo lucky to only have been on a ventilator for 3 days after he was born and that was HUGE! He is our gem, and we will do whatever we have to to keep him safe and healthy. The best thing for Evan this season is taking that first easy step of a 15-30 second handwash before holding him. Always clean hands with this little guy!! Before we left with Dr. Wonko he once again asked how we were doing with having just Evan home with us. How are we doing without Zac. I never know how to answer that question. It always makes my heart skip a bit and knocks some wind out of me. But what can I say...we are finding the absolute joy with Evan. We are so very in love with our little guy, and yes, we miss Zac like crazy...but I have to be my all for Evan. Milestones still hurt like crazy, and I often wonder how the boys would have been together. I picture them rolling around together and giggling together. But that is not my reality. Those are my dreams. My reality is Zac took care of his brother the best he could, and for whatever purpose and reason God had for taking him...he was always God's from the beginning. Both our boys, ANY baby is God's from the beginning. In a perfect world Zac would be here with us. But our world is not perfect. It doesn't mean that tears don't still fall every day and there are moments where I can't breathe from my sadness...but my love for Evan is beyond the moon. He makes me laugh, he makes me proud, he fills me with joy. And I am forever grateful for him. ANYHOW...we also discussed Evan possibly starting rice cereal when he hits the 4mth corrected age...but it's not a rush. They actually recommend waiting until 6mths corrected age, but like Dr. Wonko said "what's the worst that could happen...he spits it out and you try again a few weeks later!" After we saw Dr. Wonko we also saw Evan's pediatric dietician. She was thrilled with Evan's weight gain and stats too!! She also said ideally to wait until 6mths before the rice cereal, but we could definitely try if we want. She said that after he has established the rice cereal we could start to introduce the meats first before the veggies or fruit. The reason being the Iron content in meat is more beneficial to them. So in the next bit I better pull out my Magic Bullet and get ready to make some baby food!! How fun!!!! I have to be sure to record those moments!!!!!!! THEN after the dietician Evan had his hearing test of which he got great results. All is good with his ears! The poor kid was just DONE by this time!!!! This was all going on during his nap time for the third day in a row. He just wanted to sleep! But we made a stop at the NICU to see some of the nurses. A couple of our favorites were there, so that was AWESOME!! The nurse that walked us through the time of Zac's passing was first to see Evan and hold him. Then one of my sweetest nurses was there which I was SO happy for!!! There was one nurse at the end that saw us and said hello and then oddly asked "where's the rest of the troup?" I was SOOOO caught off guard and winded that I didn't know how to react!! I just said "what?" She must have gotten me mixed up with someone else because she KNEW that Zac had passed away...so why she asked that question I can only attribute to silliness. But I felt so stumped and sickened for the rest of the day. By the time we got home, poor Evan was just DONE!! I fed him and he went right to sleep. I actually had to wake him up by 10pm so he could have his second supplemented bottle and last feed for the night. He goes around 9 or so hours now between feeds during the night!!! He likes his sleep! When he is awake he busy busy busy, but you definitely know when he is tired. He is actually napping right now, and I really SHOULD be doing my laundry and ironing and having a shower so I'm ready for the rest of the day...but I just had to update after all Evan's appointments. I should go though. Lots to get done today, and can't ever seem to get things done well when Evan is awake! We are always too busy playing!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Evan's Dedication

Evan with Pastor Shawn at dedication
From left to right. Mason (my younger brothers son), Finley (my older brothers son) and Evan all hanging out on Grandma's bed!
Brett and Evan with my younger brother Scott and his son Mason
Evan and Mason having a great old time pulling grandma's hair!! Everyone loves to tug the black hair!!
Evan with his cousin Mason hanging on grandma's bed.
So today was Evan's first official appearance at church for his dedication! While I was getting ready this morning I felt sick to my stomach. I thought it was strange. I was happy to be going to church finally after how long! BUT, I was so nervous about people touching Evan's hands. So to bypass some of that concern I found a pair of Evan's old scratch mitties and stuck those on his hands. Evan did really good. He loved the praise and worship part of the service. I always played music for the boys, right from the day I sat in the recliner after our IVF transfer when the boys got to come "home" to mommy's tummy! Every day I would put my ear phones on my tummy and play them praise and worship music.
ANYHOW, the service was right at Evan's morning nap time so I knew it was going to be a toss up as to how Evan would handle the new scenery and noise. But, as we sang he fell asleep in my arms.
Pastor Shawn called us up and as I passed Evan to Shawn he woke up to meet the congregation.
It was very special for us to have Shawn do this dedication. Pastor Shawn did Zac's funeral, so it was a full-circle moment for us all. Thank you, Shawn, for the way you incorporated Zac in this special day!! That meant the world to us as our hearts ached while we stood there so proud of Evan, yet missing our little Zac.
Today was a very special day. We got the dedication on our camcorder, but I've yet to figure out how to dowload to my computer. But I see there is an option to add a video on here, so as soon as I figure it out, I will upload to share with everyone.
We didn't get many actual pictures of the service, but the one I've included was Evan with Pastor Shawn meeting everyone.
Please continue to pray for Evan, and for Brett and I. Please pray for me as flu/cold/RSV season approaches. I find that my nerves are on edge because this is Evan's first season, and I'm TERRIFIED of him getting ill. RSV is a huge thing for preemies, and is something that is VERY easy to contract, so hand-washing around Evan is a must must must. I've seen enough of the inside of a hospital to last me 10 lifetimes. I really don't want Evan to end up there again. That is my worst fear this season! And because of Evan's compromised immune system, the trick is keeping him healthy! But I know I also need to take charge of my fears and not let them run me down and to the ground!
Evan has a busy next few days. Tomorrow he goes for his monthly assessment with his physiotherapist and occupational therapist. Those are always fun, especially hearing how well he is doing!! Then on Tuesday Evan has his 6 month (3 month corrected) check up with my Doctor. I always like seeing where he falls on the charts. So far when we use his birth age he doesn't even end up on the charts, but when we use his corrected age (which is how he is gauged) he is always in the normal ranges. THEN on Wednesday Evan has his NICU follow up with one of his neonatologist, plus sees his dietician and then has his hearing test. We'll head up to the NICU for our visit with the nurses too. I'm looking forward to seeing them!
OOOHHHH, here is a plug for a store in Saskatoon. My brother and his wife called me on Friday to tell me about a big sale at this store called Toon Trendz in Willowgrove. It's a lot of name brand clothes for kids, but AWESOME stuff. ANYWAY, of course I hear "big sale" and I'm all over it. I had wanted to find Evan a special, yet FUNKY outfit for his dedication. So off we went. Turns out that the lady who owns the store was one of Evan's NICU nurses!!!!!!!!!! We got a chance to have a visit with Michelle, so that was GREAT! Anyhow, if you are looking for really nice stuff, check out the store. It's just kitty-corner to the Liquor board store in Willowgrove, right beside Booster Juice.
Well, I suppose I should get going. Evan has been having his pre-nighttime sleep and will be getting ready for his 2nd supplemented feed of the day. He is still on 2 supplemented bottle feeds a day. As of Friday Evan was weighing 13lbs 7.3ounces!!!! He's getting heavy!! What a difference from 2lbs 9ounces!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Couple pictures and "announcement"

This was from this morning after Evan had "breakfast". He was covered in spit up...but LOVING being a big boy in his bumbo chair!! What GREAT inventions!!!! Thank you again to Evan's great auntie Mayreen!!
Evan LOVES this twisty toy!! Now that he has figured out he can grab and HOLD ON TO toys he is all over this one!!! It's chewy and he constantly has it in his mouth! It's hilarious because he has yet to figure out hand/arm control so the toy is often smacking in to his face!
Brett LOVES this onesie! Good call Auntie Kyra and Uncle Scott!! I can see that as he outgrows this one I will be having to buy the next size up!! Oh boy!!
Well, I just loved these pictures so I thought while Evan finishes up his morning sleep I'd take some time to upload.
I'm going to attempt for the first time to take my dogs with me and Evan on our morning walk. I haven't done that on my own yet as my dogs can sometimes become "distracted"...so I'm praying there will be no other dogs, or cats on our walk! hee hee hee. I'm sure it will be fine. OR it will be a short walk. I feel so bad for my dogs though because they watch through the front window as Evan and I head out. I don't want them to start getting resentful, so time to get them sorted out WITH me and Evan on our walks. PLUS I have to take advantage of what's left of the nice weather. My dogs are boxers...short hair dogs. They do not deal well with cold weather so they are usually house bound for the most part during the winter. They love their fleece jackets, but won't wear the booties to protect their paws.
OH, as for the "announcement" part of my title to this blog. We are having Evan dedicated this Sunday at our church (Elim Tabernacle on 8th Street) at the 9:30am service. It is really nerve-wracking for me to take him in to a large crowd of people. For our own peace of minds we are making Evan wear a pair of his old scratch-mitties as the first thing people want to do is touch his hands and cheeks. I'm SUPER paranoid about this and don't want to constantly be saying "oh, please don't touch his hands". I'll also be carrying his wipes and hand sanitizer with me.
It's tough because we have to be SOOOOOOOOOOOOO careful...and even though Evan looks completely healthy (and IS), he still has a compromised immune system and the trick is KEEPING him healthy! So I have to protect him any way I can. We chose to dedicate him this month before cold/flu season really hits full force because at that point we will not be going to large crowed areas. But we are looking forward to his dedication!
Anyhow...the boss has awoken, so time to get going!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Long weekend fun

Evan blowing bubbles on the car ride! Too funny!! He is SSOOOOO in to copying what I do. Not that I was blowing bubbles drooling!!
Serious pose!
Generations. Great grandma, grandma, grandpa and Evan
Evan was sticking his fingers down his throat and gagging...it was obviously hilarious!!!
OK, another STAGED picture!!! Grandma was holding on tight. Although Evan would LOVE to be walking and moving around on his own!
On Sunday I took Evan and we went up to my grandma's with my parents. It was fun to get away and my grandma was so happy to have me and Evan there. Evan loves my grandma!! And he had such a great time with grandma and grandpa too!! Evan was introduced to the "thriving" metropolis of Preeceville! hee hee hee hee. I always have fun going out to spend time with my grandma. Yummy perogies!!! mmmm mmmm mmmmm!!!!! My grandma makes the BEST perogies!!!!!
Evan did great on the trip up and back, and while we were there. He met my aunt, uncle and cousins. It was a quick get a way, but nice.

Friday, September 4, 2009

One year ago today...our miracles

This is the first ever picture of Evan and Zac!! This was the day of our transfer...September 4, 2008. One year ago today!! I love you both my boys!!! I miss you oh so much my little Zac!
Even though I already knew I was pregnant (after my blood test) I just HAD to take a pregancy test at the request of one of my friends. And it was so fun to see what one of these tests looked like showing a POSITIVE for once!!! After 8 years of seeing nothing but negatives...this one was a blast!!
This was me right after our IVF transfer, September 4, 2008. Holding our first ever picture of our precious miracle boys!!!!
Well, it was one year ago today when our precious little miracles were transfered back to my womb. We prayed that at least one of these little ones would grab hold of me and continue to grow. After the loss of our first twins, this was a very emotional day and time. Then a few weeks later at our first ultra sound...there they were. Both our little boys grabbed and and continued to grow grow grow.
I was driving this morning to get a coffee, and the rememberance of the day just brought me to tears. I feel so blessed and humbled to have had the opportunity to go through IVF a second time to try once more for our hearts desire. I feel honored that I got to carry the boys as long as I did...even though 28 weeks was just not long enough. Even though Zac is missing from our lives, I am feeling honored that we were given what time we had with him. Angry still that he is not with us...but honored that we had our time together.
Anyhow, just wanted to remember today and share some special pictures. IVF is a gift to those of us who are given no other answers. I'm grateful to God for giving these medical people the knowledge and care to help in such a special area. I know there is controversy with IVF with some people...but to those of us who have no other option...how can you argue what a gift it is! I remember in the heart of our aching for a child and the process of IVF and loss of our first babes, I bumped in to an old school mate at my work place. Upon my answer of "no we don't have any children" I was faced with a comment of "OH, you are one of THOSE!" Never in my life have I felt more devastated by the careless, hurtful comment. Just because people don't have children, it doesn't mean that they aren't going through their own personal hell because of it. Some of us would do anything for a child, and yet we struggle. Not everyone can just sneeze and become pregnant! Some of us have to fight, and some of us will always live with holes in our hearts. I wish there was more sensitivity to the topic, and that the question of children would be one that would be erased.
To my friends who continue to the ache in longing for a child...I ache with with.
To my friends going through the process of treatments for a child...I hope with you.
To my friends now blessed with pregnancy through the gift of treatments...I rejoice with you.
To my friends who have experienced loss of a pregnancy and their child/ren, or the loss of a child...I weep with you.
Blessings to you all.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bumbo boy and other pics

Evan's first attempt in his Bumbo chair from Great Aunty Mayreen!! LOVING IT!
Quite proud of himself in his big boy chair!!
Evan holding hands with his NICU sweetheart Marley. My oh my...how these little ones have grown!!
First time in the stroller without the car seat. He LOVED it!! Well...what he SAW of the world from under his ball cap!
In his Winnie the Pooh hoody from Grandma Johnson. LOVE the little ears!!! He is SOOO adorable in this!!
Well, today Evan gave me a full on laugh...and I started to cry. I LOVED it!!!! It was just the once as I think he shocked himself, but it was AWESOME!!!!!! It was the sweetest sound ever!!
He didn't have his usual afternoon sleep, so he has been asleep since 8:30 this evening after we took a short walk together after his feed. I love just carrying him bundled in my arms with his head resting on my chest taking in the fresh air. Now...I should be jumping in to bed too, but this is the only time I have to actually get stuff done!!
AAARRRGGGHHH...I hate my laptop some days!!!! I had typed a bunch of stuff and somehow deleted it!!!! GGGGGRRRRRRRRRRR.
On Aug 28th Evan turned 3mths (corrected) and on Sept 6th he will be 6mths old!! Our little guy is growing like a weed and getting long!! He has blown out of a bunch of his 0-3 month pj's and clothes and is in to his 3-6 month stuff. CRAZY!! But that's good! He is doing really well, and is my buddy for sure!!
He has been sleeping since 8:30pm as he didn't have his usual afternoon sleep. I SHOULD be jumping at the chance to go to bed too, but this is the only time I have to catch up on what I couldn't get done during the day. But this means he'll be up earlier to eat. Oh well...it's all good.
Anyhow, just wanted to share the pics. Enjoy!