Sunday, August 4, 2013


Why is it that ever summer, as an educator, once the calendar flips over to August, it seems like the hands on the clock move twice as fast? I guess it can be attributed to being in the building, preparing for the upcoming year. Working on rosters, supplies, rearranging the room for the fifth time, etc... Whatever the reason, we have hit that point. We still have two weeks before the first "official" day back, but it's here. This is good and bad.....I have been at school quite a bit over the past week and although I have missed Hayden and thought about him every single moment, it is also a good practice run to prepare being away from him.

As I'm sure you have noticed, it has been 2.5 weeks since my last post. I wish I had more time to update every day, but there isn't. Unfortunately, with school starting, I have a feeling this will become the norm and I will be lucky if I can get a new post every 2.5 weeks.

Kelsea and I have entered our new normal, once again! This normal is one that most of you have experienced at one point or another. We feel like we finally only concern ourselves with worries that any new parent worries about.......
  • He's making sounds in his crib; do we pick him up or let him be?
  • What time does he need to go to bed?
  • How long and when should he nap?
  • Do we take him to the Cardinal game or not?
  • Is it too early to strap a saddle to Tucker and let him "babysit" Hayden for a few hours?
My point is that our concerns are everyday concerns and not ones that nobody has an answer to. We aren't worried about the pressure on his lungs, stomach, intestines. We aren't worried about him putting on weight and we aren't worried about the amount he's eating. Ok, I just lied. The last two things are still right up on a daily basis, but he is doing excellent! 12lbs, 13 oz. as of 6:30 a.m.! That's 1.8 pounds in 27 days!

His incision is looking awesome and it hasn't bothered him one single time! Hayden has also found his outside voice! I don't think I have ever smiled and laughed as much as I have in the past two weeks. Every time he experiments with a new sound or screams, it is the cutest thing! I'm sure it won't be so cute in two years when he's throwing a tantrum and screaming in his bed at night! Hayden also loves playing with, staring at, and reaching for the animals. As you can see in the two videos, the cats don't mind Hayden being around at all!


We also finally got Hayden his high chair this past week. He really enjoys being able to sit at the table with us for dinner instead of lying on the ground! With this, Kelsea was also able to introduce his first "solid." Oatmeal! I still have no idea why it's called solids when it is the farthest thing from it! It is basically breast milk with the tiniest flecks of oatmeal powder!! Whatever it is, Hayden likes it! Why wouldn't he though....anything and everything is going in his mouth! Too bad that the first night we had the high chair, he took a two hour nap and slept right through dinner!

A week and a half ago, I was able to make it down to St. Louis for a Cardinal game. It was a great game; unfortunately, it was the last game they won for I believe 7 straight games. Ugh! It was also a great feeling driving past the Kingshighway exit because it had been a long time since I had done that. The next morning, we travelled back to St. Louis for Hayden's surgery follow-up appointment. We were very excited to see Dr. Warner and anybody else that we crossed paths with. We also were planning on meeting up with the DiFranco's (Baby Frankie's Journey), but unfortunately we left about an hour after we had planned and we told them the wrong Babie's R' Us we were going to! So, since we were on the opposite ends of St. Louis, and it was raining pretty hard, we decided to postpone our lunch until the next trip. I felt bad, but know that we will meet up next time. We were so excited to get to see Frankie again and take some pictures! Oh well, wasn't in His plan. Hopefully next time we will have a different outcome.

Kelsea's MFM (OB-GYN Specialist) who delivered Hayden knew we were coming back down for an appointment and wanted to get a photo with his "team" from beginning to end. They said they would have a photographer and wanted to round up as many people as possible and would take some pictures after his appointment. The appointment went great. Dr. Warner and the fellows were all very happy to see him and his progression. They couldn't believe that he had zero vomits since his surgery. Dr. Warner had warned us that they would probably increase due to the pressure of his closure. I'm ok with him being wrong on that accord and won't count it against him!!! He also cleared us for 6 months, so we hopefully won't be making any trips to St. Louis until after the New Year!

The photograph session turned out to be a little more than what we had planned. The photographer was actually from Outlook, which is Washington University's School of Medicine's magazine that is published six times a year. They wanted to do a story on Hayden and his doctors. It was great and Hayden did fantastic, as he always does. I just hope they share some of the pictures with us because there were some fantastic ones. I was able to get a few myself from behind the photographer. I wish a few of his nurses could've been there because they played such a big role in Hayden's success, but it is a little more difficult to pull the NICU nurses away from the patients. There is a photo with everybody in it, but since I was in the photo, I obviously couldn't take one myself. Hopefully the photographer will e-mail us a copy of that!

This is Shannon (L) and Chris (R) our two nurse coordinators who were there for us at the very beginning. They are two wonderful people who help make the Fetal Care Center click. They took care of all of our needs before Hayden arrived and ensured that things went smoothly.

Dr. Knipstein, who was one of Hayden's NICU Fellows, is his favorite doctor because she loves to snuggle with Hayden every time he comes to St. Louis. We feel very blessed and fortunate that she was one of his doctors.

"Look at that Mom!" He may have
found another calling!
Dr. Cahill (MFM) on the left and Dr. Warner (Surgeon) on the right. These two will always hold a special place in our hearts because she was the one who brought him in to this world (she was the one who said "Hi Hayden" from the original Fox video if your remember that) and he was the one who gave us so much by performing Hayden's closure surgery.

As we continue to evolve and move from "crisis" mode into normalcy, we would like to thank everybody for their continued prayers, thoughts, well wishes, and support that you have wrapped us in for the past 11 months. We know that God has been at work in our lives, and yours (whether you know it or not), and we feel beyond blessed that He has led all of us down this path. From the very beginning of this journey, friends, family, colleagues, and complete strangers have helped to encourage and lift us up, on good days and not so good days. It has been a very humbling journey, but one in which we have both grown immensely in our faith, our love, and our awareness of those around us. What you have done for us in the past, and continue to do on a daily basis, has instilled a desire to show the generosity and love, that God has instilled in all of you, to many more people. We don’t know what shape or form this will take, but we know God wants us to “pay it forward” so to speak so that many more people will see the power of His love and His plan.

Since the posts may get fewer and farther in between due to school starting, you might like to be updated by an e-mail whenever I add a new post. If this is the case, you can add your e-mail address in the form below and then click subscribe. You will get an e-mail asking for verification. After you verify your e-mail address, you will get an e-mail that alerts you I have added a new post.


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