A Necessary Evil: Going Back to the NICU

So I'm just going to get straight to it.

We're heading back to the NICU late next week. Sadie Ann is going to have laser eye surgery. 

Sadie Ann saw her retina eye specialist yesterday for her weekly eye exam yesterday. The previous week her doctor mentioned that surgery could be a possibility; this week the possibility turned into a certainty.

Her eyes are continuing to do well following the Avastin injections she received back in February. There hasn't been any signs of the ROP returning - which is great! However, the concern is that the injections cause the vessels to grow significantly slower than what they should (which is expected) and at her particular gestational age (which is late 40's) those vessels should have grown into stage three of the eyes and hers are still in stage two.

The injections are a fairly new intervention, but what the retina specialists who give the injections across the south-east have seen is that those babies who are around 50-weeks gestation and whose blood vessels are still in stage two of the eye later redevelop the ROP when they get to 60, 70, or 80 weeks gestation. At that time, the ROP moves quickly. There's a risk of significant vision loss if not immediately identified and treated. And typically around that time babies are too big to perform surgery in the NICU and too small to be in an actual OR, so they have to go to a different facility in a different city. Doing the procedure now is more-so preventative - and permanent. It eleminates the fear of ROP coming back.

Following surgery, there will no longer be a need for weekly retina exams - which, honestly, will be a relief. Each week that passes gets harder and harder for her eye exams. She screams louder. She fights stronger. And this mama is in the corner of the tiny room trying to block out those harsh screams for help. It's tough. I don't like it. It will be worth it to not have to hear her scream in pain and fear on a weekly basis.

Laser eye surgery isn't typically a big deal for adults, but it is for babies. She'll be completely sedated for the procedure as well as intubated and back on the ventilator. Which breaks my heart to even say. Occasionally I look back at some of Sadie Ann's first videos. In the background is the haunting sounds of beeps and dings that elicit this indescribable, gut-wrenching feeling I hoped to never feel again. While this particular situation is quite different, any trip to the NICU that involves your baby on a breathing machine is frightening.

As with any surgery, there are benefits and risks. In this particular situation, the benefits out weigh the risks. We are praying for a successful surgery without any complications. We are also praying that she recovers quickly, comes off the ventilator quickly, and we are back home in just a few days. The doctor says we could be in the hospital anywhere from two to seven days - depending on how the procedure goes, if we run into any complications, and her recovery.

The thought of stepping foot in the NICU other than to just visit some of our favorite people makes my heart sink to depths I try to forget about. But this has to be done. Time to put on my strong mama hat again, take a deep breath, and start preparing myself to walk back into NICU.


Beach Weekend

Friday morning we packed up and headed three hours south to Destin, Florida. This was our first time getting out of town in almost a year. Yeah, a year! It was much needed to say the least. It was also Sadie Ann's first long car ride, first time in a different state, and first time to the beach. 

We spent the weekend with Chris's parents and grandparents at their family condo. Since there were plenty of hands that wanted to hold, love on, and take care of Sadie Ann, we were able to relax and have some time together. 

We spent Saturday morning and afternoon on the beach - drinking cold drinks and taking in some vitamin sea (and D). Since it was early June, the beaches weren't cluttered and were fairly quiet. It was so relaxing to just stare at the water, listen to music, and not have a care in the world. However, as most parents know, we spent quite a bit of time talking about our Sadie Ann. 

After a few hours on the beach, we headed in for an obligatory post-beach and pre-night out nap. Once the sun began to go down, we took Sadie Ann out to dip her toes in the water for the first time. We all assumed she would not (yet) be a fan of the water and sand, but much to our surprise, she seemed to enjoy sitting in the sand and having the waves run up around her. 

Her great grandaddy decided he wanted to take a dip as well! 

So after introducing Sadie Ann to the ocean, Chris and I headed out for date night. Before getting on the elevator I said, "Let's snap a picture." This was the result. He's pretty notorious for having his eyes closed during pictures, 

We ate dinner at Dewey Destin's and it was delicious. We had the perfect seat on the top deck that overlooked the water. After dinner we walked down the boardwalk. We listened to some live music, did some people watching, and drank frozen beverages. 

It was a quick, but wonderful beach weekend!


Happy Place

Jacket: JCP {J Crew version}
Clutch: GiGi NY
Wedges: similar

Now that Sadie Ann is home, I typically only leave the house for doctor appointments and occasionally on the weekends. So I'm trying to take advantage of those outings and wear something other than a tee and jeans (and maybe sometimes sweat pants - ok, mostly sweatpants).  So here I am, wearing a complete outfit and sharing it! Go me! 

Since I've already admitted my sweatpants problem, I'll go ahead and admit I was one of those women who went a little cray-cray for the Lilly for Target line. Honestly, I've been a fan of all theTarget collaborations, but most of them have been designers that aren't as well known as Lilly. So when I first heard about the collaboration, I thought two things: 1) Awesome! Affordable Lilly and 2) This is going to be bananas (Gwen Stefani bananas). And it was. I started following all the online hype and quickly realized if I wanted anything, I needed to stay up to order online and be at the store before it opens on Lilly Sunday. So I did and I was. 

It paid off - I was able to get a lot of items I wanted. This romper was high on my list and I love it! Actually, I ordered it online and right before I placed my order, the site crashed. When the site was back up, almost everything was sold out already and I was certain I didn't get it - but I did! A few days later I received an email that my items had shipped - and I was thinking, What items?? The order went through and now it's mine! I can't wait to wear this comfy beauty on long car rides and at the beach. So perfect! Did any of you go cray for Lilly?

Lots of lightly worn and new items on my Shopping blog:


Shop Dwelling and Telling

I recently did some spring cleaning and found I had a few nicer items I'd like to sale. All items are either new and never worn or lightly worn. There's a separate post for each items. Below pictures is price, size, and details. Please comment on post with PayPal email to purchase. 

Your purchases help support my Shoe Fund. While Sadie Ann was in the NICU, our dog, Katie, took it upon herself to let me know she didn't like my shoe collection. Especially my Jack Rogers, Tory Burch Revas, and leopard loafers - just to name a few. She also took a dive into Chris's closet. 


Sadie Ann: One Month {Corrected}

Exactly a month ago today, my girls were due. Although Sadie Ann is a few days away from being five months old #ICantEven, today she is one month corrected. I've been able to do the monthly stickers (see my Instagram for those), but I wanted to document additional information, so I decided to make these chalkboard signs. Preemies always have two ages - their actual age and their corrected (or adjusted) age. 

When Sadie Ann was truly one month old, her board would have said something like "I love Ativan and Morphine." Her milestones would have been staying alive and only having a Grade 2 hemorrhage. She's come so far and is truly a miracle. 

At her corrected one month she is almost seven pounds - which seems so big for her, but I know some babies are born at nine (or more!) pounds. As above, she loves being awake early in the morning - my little early bird. She also loves napping on her belly, being held (mommy loves that too), and nursing. She's also recently started sucking on her fist - mostly when she's hungry. It makes me giggle when she can't quite line up her fist to her mouth and she's almost chasing it back and forth. Silly girl. She loves hanging out in her spaceship (also known as a mamaroo) and being worn by mommy in one of her baby wraps. 

She's starting to be very awake and alert between feedings. She's getting better and better with tracking. Occasionally she will move her eyes towards me when I say her name. And she's makes the sweetest cooing sounds when she's falling asleep. She also has a particular sound she makes when she "wants to talk to me". 

I didn't put it above, but there are some things she really doesn't like. That includes diaper changes - the way she screams during a diaper change is really frightening. You'd think someone was really hurting her. It's a little excessive. She's also not crazy about baths yet. Through some of it she screams and other times I think she's really loving it, but doesn't want to let on that she is. 

This little girl is also getting very strong. As mentioned above, on her board, she's sometimes able to roll herself over from her belly to her back. If she doesn't roll over, she eventually does a 180 on her play mat with all that moving around and pushing. It's pretty impressive. 

She's still wearing preemie clothes, but I think by next month's update, she'll be in newborn clothing. It's bittersweet. For so long I prayed for her to grow, get bigger, and get stronger, so it's really a celebration to see her grow out of clothes that once swallowed her whole. On the other hand, I've only ever known her as a teeny, tiny baby and I already miss my little five pound baby that came home. 

Happy One Month, Sadie Ann!