Sunday, June 28, 2009

3 Months Already!!

Well, believe it or not, Dylan is already a quarter of a year old! I know I say this every post, but I really can't believe how quickly time has flown by. Dylan continues to change so quickly. He is coo'ing up a storm now. And will even have conversations with us. He smiles all of the time and has even laughed a few times. He continues to roll over from his stomach to back (going both left and right). He'll roll from his back to his side but hasn't gotten all the way to his stomach yet. I'm back at work now which has definitely been a transition. But luckily, all of my friends at Applebee's have continued to be so supportive of me. They even decorated my cube with pictures of Dylan, so I wouldn't miss him too badly. (which was so nice, b/c as I walked into the office the first day, I thought to myself, I really should have brought in some pictures to have up!). And, Aunt Nicole is down here for the summer which is AWESOME! She's so super helpful to me and she and Dylan are very much enjoying bonding. Although, not the standard internship for a Northwestern MBA student, I have assured Nicki that she's learning some pretty important life lessons :) And she is definitely a professional already!
Yea, Nicki is here full time for the summer!!

Dylan apparently likes the drama (some say he takes after his aunt(s), you can choose which one!). He has something called an inguinal hernia. It's actually pretty common with infants (it's the number one most common surgery for babies). Basically, a small bit of his intestines is pushed into his scrotum. (I know, sounds super painful, but doesn't really bother him at all.) They can get more serious and painful, which is why they like to operate on them fairly quickly after finding them. So Dylan is having surgery on July 13th to fix that hernia. And, since we're hooked up with one of the best surgeons in the world, we're not too concerned about it. It's a fairly simple procedure, and is done as an outpatient surgery. The hardest part will be not being able to feed him for the few hours leading up to it (apparently it's not easy to reason with a 3 month old about why he can't eat.) Luckily, we managed to get him on as the first surgery of the day, so hopefully it won't be too hard. I promise to make sure to get an update as soon as he gets out of surgery.

So, since I've been such a slacker about updating the blog, I'm keeping this relatively short (for me at least), and am going to do most of the story telling through pictures/captions.

Sleeping on mommy's lap while she udpates the blog :)

My Aunt Carolyn and cousin Mikaela came to visit!

Feeding Dylan at the Cheesecake Factory! Nobody even had a clue what was going on :)

Annie O. came to visit Dylan, Liz O. and me! We had a great time and it was so nice getting to hang out with both of them!!

We celebrated Andrea and Beth's birthday with a fun party complete with life size drinking Jenga...Nicki and I are convinced that there is a market out there if we can figure out a way to mass produce it! (Thanks to Tom O. for making this version and Liz for letting us borrow it!)

Carrie Mac came to visit and we took Dylan to his first Royals game! They even pitched a complete game shut out for a rare Royals victory. Dylan was great throughout the whole game! And especially liked meeting Slugger!

Great Grandpa Lee and Great Grandma Rose came to visit! I think they instantly fell in love with the little guy!

Sarah and JoAnne came to visit! We had a great time, and I got addicted to some new games on Jo's iphone.
Grandma Toni came back to celebrate her birthday with us! We got her a digital picture frame so she can see pictures of Dylan all the time!

Dylan and me on my first day of work!

Already joining in on the famous sunglass pictures with Grandpa!

Ella continues to be infatuted with her cousin. She likes to swing him while he's in the swing!

I'm SO cute!!!

Dylan's impression of a tootsie roll :)

Reading Dr. Seuss with grandpa...I do so like green eggs and ham!!

He slept with his hand up for a good 30 minutes!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Angels Here on Earth

This post is definitely long overdue. I've put off writing it, not because of a lack of importance but because I've had a hard time trying to put into words how I feel. Every time I've sat down to write it, or mentally started writing it, I've worried that I won't be able to adequately express my feelings and I often end up in tears, but here goes nothing.

I can't say thank you enough to everybody at Children's Mercy Hospital for everything that they did for us while Dylan was there (and continue to do for us today). Obviously, for many reasons the birth of Dylan was bittersweet for me. And on top of everything, he had to have surgery and "live" in a hospital for the first 3 1/2 weeks of his life. It was super stressful not to be able to have him at home and to not be able to spend the nights with him right away. However, I will be eternally grateful for the family that watched over him while he was at Children's. Not once did I have to doubt how much affection he was being shown, or the care he was receiving whether I was there or not. Everybody we encountered at Children's, from the people at the front desk to the nurses to the doctors were amazing. Everybody knows that Children's is one of the best hospitals around, so I certainly always had the utmost confidence in the care Dylan would receive. However, what I didn't anticipate was the level of care that everybody would give to me and the rest of our family as well. From the doctors to the nurses, people weren't only concerned with how Dylan was handling everything, but how I was doing as well. And, we definitely formed a family in our brief stay. So tight knit that my dad and I definitely went into some withdrawal when we got to go home.

I'd also like to say a special thanks to all of the nurses that helped take care of Dylan. While everybody at the hospital is important, anybody that has ever spent any time in a hospital knows how vitally important the nurses are. Going through one of the toughest times I've ever had in my life, I leaned on the nursing staff not only to take care of Dylan but to be a support system for me as well. And every single one of them, whether I had a previous relationship with them or not, stepped in without hesitation. They were a shoulder to cry on when I needed it. But probably more importantly were people to laugh with. And we had ourselves some good times (although, I still say it would've have been slightly better if they had given me a role in the mock code). I'm a pretty tough "patient" and was extremely "high maintenance" when it came to the care of Dylan. Every single nurse we had gave Dylan incredible care and I never had to question how good of hands he was in. All of them showed extreme patience, even when I tangled the cords in intricate knots every time I got Dylan in and out of his crib. They spent time helping teach me how to feed Dylan (I think Ann spent a record number of hours with us!) and preparing us for life at home. It might sound cliche, but I honestly couldn't have gotten through this time without them. It was so nice to be able to go home at night and get some much needed rest. And I would never have been able to do it, if I wasn't 100% confident in the care that he was getting at all times. So, for that I will be forever grateful!

Finally, I can't say thank you enough to the love and support Kristen has shown us. From the time we first found out about the omphalocele and she spent 3 hours on the phone with Zach and me explaining to us what it meant, the concerns, the potential issues, she's been through all of this with us. She would spend hours talking to us before and after every ultrasound appointment, giving questions for me to ask the doctors in addition to my own (the perinatolgists always thought it was very amusing when Zach and I asked questions that we clearly didn't know what they meant). She helped Zach and I get comfortable with Dylan needing a surgery after birth. And when we had questions that came up in between appointments she would call on the Children's staff to get answers for us. Most importantly, she knew how important it was for me to have somebody I know taking care of Dylan the day he checked into Children's and the day of his surgery. She called me often with updates since I was still in the other hospital and came and spent hours in the hospital with me after she was done taking care of Dylan. She also knew how important it was for me to be able to hold Dylan. So, she convinced the surgeons to let me hold him even while he was still on the ventilator (something they really try to avoid). And without Kris, we wouldn't have the Easter basket pictures. Easter will probably remain one of my favorite days of all times! She has been my on-call nurse for the past 10 weeks and hopefully realizes that's a job she gets for life :) They say that some people are brought into our lives for a reason. Kris and I have always had a pretty special connection from that first day we met at the sorority house. I thought that having her in my life as a friend was special enough. But now, after all of this I know that God put her in my life because he knew I couldn't get through the past 4 months of my life without her. All of us (Dylan, my family, and me) will forever be indebted to her for everything she has done for us. She's made me laugh when I needed to laugh, let me cry when I needed to cry and been there for everything. She's taken amazing care of Dylan, but never forgot that I needed taken care of as well...even if it meant kidnapping me and taking me out to lunch so I would actually see the light of day instead of just the hospital. She is living breathing proof that there are indeed angels here on earth.

Dylan with Kristen!! Already mesmerized by her!

Here are a few more pictures of some of Dylan's nurses and doctors!!

Dylan with Sunny!
Dylan with Holly!
Dylan with Dr. Lombard who delivered me! She was the first to get to meet the little guy!
Dylan with Dr. Cordova (aka Dr. Champ)!
Dylan with his favorite PICU nurse, Beth!
Dylan with Meghan!
Dylan with Kristen Moon!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Time Flies When You're Having Fun!!

Each new day brings about an exciting adventure! Dylan has changed so much in his two months of life. I can barely even remember him being in the hospital anymore. We had a good week, even though we missed my dad and brother a ton. Luckily, Vegas was good to both of them, so that is exciting!

We had a good time with Nicole as usual...and in exciting news, I'm no longer the only one that Dylan has pooped on. Nicki was holding Dylan on her legs in one of his favorite positions. All of a sudden, she looked over at me with a very weird look on her face. Dylan had pooped and somehow it had gone out the side of his diaper. So, I threw her a burp cloth and immediately told my mom to get the camera. As you can see, we captured the moment quite nicely! Needless to say, we were a bit late over to Andrea and Morris' for their barbecue because of the impromptu bath we gave Dylan.

Since my dad was out of town, Andrea and Ella came and stayed with us. They were SUPER helpful and we're very appreciative. Ella and Dylan are getting so cute around each other. Andrea even had them both in Dylan's crib at one point. Ella is SO good with him, although every once in a while gets upset when Andrea and I are paying attention to him instead of her. As you can see, I tried to solve this problem by holding them both! Ella will also be pumped when Dylan can play with her. For now, she's usually content waving her toys in his face.

Dylan had his 2 month check up last Tuesday. It was actually a few days early at 8 weeks. His pediatrician (Dr. Kate) wanted him to come in early to get weighed and said they could just do the appointment then as well. His last home weigh in (with a nurse from Children's), he hadn't gained as much as they wanted. Well, in great form, Dylan gained 7 ounces in 4 days (they want him to gain at least 1/2 an ounce a day and would prefer him to be closer to 1 ounce a day). I was a little wary of the progress because it was a different scale and there could be some variation. But Dr. Kate assured me how great he looked! He also got his 2 month shots which was pretty awful. He was lying on his back, holding my hand looking at me when the nurse gave him the shot. He turned bright red and started crying. Then he had to get two more shots! It only took about thirty seconds to calm him down afterwards, so I'm pretty sure it was more traumatic for me than it was for him.

I also gave Dylan a taste of the working world this past week. On Wednesday, we went out to Old Chicago with my work team. Dylan was quite the charmer and was really good throughout lunch and even had quite a few smiles!
Looking awfully comfortable in Felicia's arms!

On Thursday, we went to Zach's school to meet the teachers. They have a breakfast on their last day of school, so we made a guest appearance. We will be forever grateful for all of the support Zach's school has shown us. I knew quite a few of the teachers already, but the support all have given us through these times has been amazing. From fundraising to just being there to support us, I don't think I can say thank you enough.
Smiling at Zach's mentor teacher and great friend, Mindy!

This past weekend, Erin came to visit us from Chicago. Already in love with Dylan from the pictures, she had a great visit. Dylan loved gazing at the new face and cooing and smiling at her! Friday, we celebrated Kristen's birthday a week late. Saturday, we got some culture at the Prairie Village art fair. Saturday night, we had dinner at my brother's house and played a little rock band! Dylan was a champ and loved having Matt hold him on his lap!
Sleeping like a baby in Erin's arms!

Matt is definitely a natural!

On Sunday, Dylan was 2 months old. And as you can see, he's already quite the Cubs fan! As Aunt Nicole said, it seems like just yesterday we were taking his 1 month picture. We took Dylan in to weigh him again this afternoon (to make sure he was still tracking the right direction). He weighed in at 8 pounds 14 ounces. For those of you keeping track, that's a 10 ounce increase in 7 days. So, he's doing GREAT!! I was so excited when I saw the nurse sliding the scale up.


In some other exciting news, the spider man (obviously, this is my name for him, but hey he has his PHD in spiders!) came to the house this morning to look to see if we have brown recluses or if my attack was just an isolated incident. Former and future houseguests rejoice...there is no sign of any brown recluses in or around the house and no signs they have ever been here! So, I will sleep a little better tonight! This weekend my aunt and cousin are coming to visit, so we're looking forward to that! And each new day brings more and more amazing changes in Dylan!

Have you ever seen a cuter face?!?

Enjoying some time on the Morris deck!

Enjoying some time on Liz O's lap!