Friday, July 25, 2014

3 Months Old Today!

Sunday was a good day for Walker, although Mommy and Daddy were sad they couldn't go to church, we were still excited to be home with our little guy.  The pediatrician really stressed keeping the same visiting rules as the hospital which means we can't take Walker any where there are big crowds, or children under 12.  On Sunday afternoon Uncle David came to see Walker and was making the little guy grin all over the place.  Later Uncle Jordan and Aunt Tori came to see Walker and they were amazed at how much he had grown since the last time they saw him when he was only three days old, what a drastic change!  It was a quiet day at home for us, and we truly enjoy getting to spend this time with our little guy!

Monday was Mommy's birthday and she had the best present in her arms all day.  Deneen from Capturing Hopes also made a video and told Mommy about an article in The Buzz that featured Capturing Hopes and Walker, check out the article!  What another great gift for Mommy to get on her birthday.  Monday night we had a cookout for Mommy's birthday and had Walker's grandparents and great grandparents, plus Uncle David, Aunt Jeanette, and Uncle Justin.  It was a great time to be together and everyone really enjoyed seeing how big Walker has gotten and getting to spend time with the little guy who was on his best behavior.

On Tuesday Daddy had to go back to work which was sad and Mommy and Walker missed him all day long.  Mommy and Granny had to take lil man to the doctor for his weekly appointment and weight check.  Walker was up to 5lbs. 1.5 ozs, what a big lil boy he is getting to be!  Now in the 5lb club, and he is starting to get to big for his preemie clothes and we are able to put him into newborn outfits now!  Tuesday afternoon was a quiet afternoon for Walker, he was tired because he was up a lot Monday night with a belly ache, poor guy.  Walker did well with his eating, he is taking about 2oz. each time, which is great for a little guy!  Tuesday night, he did much better with his sleeping, and Mommy and Daddy got some much needed rest between his every three hour feedings.

Wednesday, Mommy and Granny had a few errands to run in town so they took turns hanging out in the car with Walker because he still hasn't been cleared by the pediatrician to be around lots of people.  They were able to get the errands done and get back around lunch time.  After Walker ate, Mommy and granny put him on his activity mat and the little guy did really great.  He laid on his belly for a little while, but his little arms are still a little too short to reach the toys.  Then Walker had some tummy time and he was moving all over the place, he is able to turn his head over, back and forth, and will even turn towards the sound of Mommy's voice!  He is such a smart lil boy, and he isn't even supposed to be here yet!

Thursday was a quiet day at home, and Walker got another bath.  He loves bath time, and is so comfortable in the water and seems so relaxed.  We are hoping we have a water baby on our hands!  Daddy was so excited to get off work and get home to see his little guy, they sat on the porch and watched the clouds roll in, Walker is really taking in all his surroundings and everything around him!  It is so much easier on Daddy now that Mommy and Walker are at home, and it is such a good feeling to have our family all together!

Friday was another good day with Walker, and he got interviewed by the Martinsville Bulletin, there should be a story in the Sunday paper about our little miracle!  Mommy made sure she is posting on time this week, it can be very hard at times to pull ourselves away from Walker because he is such a good snuggler!  Friday afternoon, Walker got a little more outside time, he loves looking at the chickens and checking out the cows across the road.  Walker also got more tummy time on his activity mat, which is really helping him strengthen his neck, we are hoping when he takes his car seat test the first week in August he will be able to pass this time.

We know we have said it before, but we feel like we can't say it enough, we are so truly thankful to everyone that has helped us in any way during this time.  There are truly too many people and things to list, but just know that no act of kindness and generosity has gone unnoticed.  We have yet to have to cook a single supper since we have been home, everyone has been wonderful to bring us meals and we are able to enjoy every single second with our little guy.  We are so blessed to have such wonderful family and friends, and to live in such a wonderful community, we feel truly thankful to everyone!

Check out the video that Deneen from Capturing Hopes created to show Walker's journey through the NICU, we think it is really amazing to watch him grow!

Thank you so much Capturing Hopes

Loving his bath time!

All clean and ready to snuggle!

Aunt Tori and Uncle Jordan came for a visit.

Walker's Great grandpa and Great Aunt Jeanette

Uncle David, two handsome men!

Four of Walker's great grandparents, what a lucky little boy!

Great grandma, Nanny holding Walker.

Great grandpa, Poppie taking his turn!
All of Walker's grandparents.

On Tuesday, welcome home Daddy we missed you!

Activity mat time!

Trying to reach up, he really enjoyed his mat, and even had tummy time too!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

12 Weeks Old

Sorry for the late post, Mommy and Daddy are just enjoying every minute of finally being at home with their little man!

Sunday night, our first night at home went really well.  Walker is great at his three hour schedule, the doctors say we have to keep waking him up to eat every three hours so he can keep gaining weight. He got a visit from Mimi and Bart and also Mamaw and Papaw Pruett they were all excited to see the little guy at home!  Walker did great with his eating and Mommy and Daddy were able to get a little sleep, but still worried about the little guy during the night.

Monday went well too, it is such a comfortable and wonderful feeling to have Walker home with us, and we feel like after 80 long days our family is right where we should be.  We got to give Walker his first good and proper scrub in the tub and he really didn't seem to mind it, he is pretty laid back like his Daddy!  Throughout the day Walker did great taking bottles and eating really well each time, this boy will be fat in no time!  Mommy got to cook a good lunch of fresh things out of the garden, she has really missed cooking and Daddy has missed eating it!  Daddy got to let the chickens free range and work out in the coop, working outside around the house is something he has really missed too.  Walker got to sit outside on the porch and take it all in, the chickens and dogs in the yard, the cows across the road, the sun and the breeze!  Overall it was a perfect first day together, home as a family!

Tuesday, Walker continued to do well with his eating this boy has always known how to eat! During the day it was pretty quiet, Walker was just eating and growing.  This afternoon we had Walker's, first of many, doctors appointment at his pediatricians in Roanoke.  We were excited to see how much the boy has gained since we left the hospital, he was up to 4lbs 11.5ozs.  That means he has gained about 3oz since we left the hospital which is really good!  The pediatrician was able to answer all of Mommy and Daddy's questions, and said that Walker looked really good and was doing well.  She also suggested that we give him the rota virus vaccine, to ensure that this winter he doesn't end up with that horrible stomach bug which could do a number on him.  It was a liquid vaccine and Walker sucked it right down like it was candy.  Tuesday night he had another good night and got rested up for his appointments on Wednesday.

He had two appointments at Baptist today one at 8 with a special optometrist and one at 2:30 with a surgical doctor about his hernia.  In between those appointments we also met with Deneen from Capturing Hopes who did a photo shoot with Walker, we have been so blessed to have her capturing Walker's journey from the beginning with her amazing photos!  His eye appointment went well the doctor said his eyes look stable, and he will continue to see us every two weeks to make sure he continues to look good.  At his surgical appointment the doctors said they wanted to wait to fix his hernia until January when we was about 60 weeks old because that significantly lowers the risks once babies are passed that age.  His photo shoot with Deneen also went well, and she got some amazing photos of Walker and Mommy and Daddy, and we are so thankful to her.  If you are thinking of donating to an organization we highly recommend Capturing Hopes because the service they provide for the families in the NICU is invaluable, just click on that link to give to them!  By the time all the appointments were over, we were all ready to get back home and settle in for a quiet night after a long day.  Walker was tuckered out and slept and ate well through the night.

Thursday Walker is 38 weeks old, hard to believe it is still two more weeks until his due date and we already have him home with us!  We were ready for a day around the house after all the traveling the last few days and that is exactly what we got.  Walker ate well taking around 60cc each time which is about 2oz, he is eating so well since we came home from the hospital we are really proud of him.  Mommy was able to get some laundry and cleaning caught up with the help of Granny, and Daddy was working around the yard on his tractor something he has missed in the last couple of months, and Mommy has even missed the laundry and cleaning too!  This afternoon Mommy gave Walker a bath, he really seems to love the water, and then Papa helped get the little guy lotioned down and dressed.  He is so laid back he just takes it all in and doesn't get ill unless he is hungry and ready to eat and you aren't moving fast enough for him!  Thursday evening after a quiet day at home, everyone went up to Snow creek elementary school, and luckily no one was there so we were able to take Walker for a stroll around the track there his first one!  He seemed to enjoy the ride and slept most of the time!

Friday is Walker's 12 weeks birthday, we can't believe the roller coaster we have been on over the last 12 weeks and that we have finally gotten to the point we are at now is truly a blessing from God.  Twelve weeks ago at 12:15 Walker was being born at only 1lb. 3ozs and fighting for his life, he has come such a long way and been through so much in those 12 weeks and we know that God has had his hands on this lil guy because of all the prayers!  Today was another quiet day around the house just being together and feeding our little guy.  We love all the cute little faces and noises he makes and we could sit and stare at him all day long.  He recognizes our voices and he will look at us when we talk, and follow us with his eyes when we move around, what a smart lil boy!  We have truly enjoyed every minute of getting to take care of Walker from bath time to 3am feedings, he has brought such joy into our home and we can't imagine life before he was here!  Thanks to everyone that has continued to follow Walker's progress and read the blog, and especially the prayers for him!

We are looking forward to the next week ahead with him, and we will try to be on time with our weekly Friday post next week!

First bath time at home!

He is going to kill us for this later, but too cute to handle!

Daddy drying lil man off after his bath!

Papa talking to Walker!

Daddy and Papa on diaper duty!

Granny getting some snuggle time!

Tough dude in his camo!

Daddy and Walker matching, too cute!
Uncle David, so sweet!

Milk drunk

Cool guy in his shades!

First time going for a walk.

Hanging out with Papa

Getting some time with Papaw, fussy little boy.

"Mommy loves me", no truer words!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Day 80

Day 80, we can hardly believe that we have been down here for 80 days, almost 12 weeks.  The day we have finally waited for is here and we get to take lil Walker who is now up to 4lbs. 8.6ozs home.  We can't wait for the little guy to see the sun and feel the wind and breathe the fresh air for the first time in his whole life!  We are excited to show him his room, and his house, and all the land that one day he will be running and playing on.  We are also nervous and anxious about how bringing him home will go, and what the future will hold, can you say mixed emotions!

This morning after a last wonderful service at Admore Baptist, we are so thankful for all the people of this church, we headed to the hospital.  The nurses had a lot of information and things to go over with Mommy and Daddy.  One of the first things they went over was about how to help keep Walker from getting exposed to germs, the nurses said visitors should be limited to immediate family, and that Mommy and Daddy should keep Walker at home and away from big crowds like Wal-mart or church until the pediatrician clears him.  Mommy and Daddy are so ready to show our amazing little boy off, but we have to do what's best for him to make sure he doesn't get sick after such a long stay in the hospital.

Around 1:30 this afternoon and after long goodbyes with some of our favorite nurses and nurse practitioners we packed up all the rest of Walker's outfits and things and Daddy and Papa pulled the car up around front.  It was an amazing feeling getting to walk around and hold Walker with no wires attached!  We got to take his first elevator ride in Mommy's arms, and got to see the sun for the first time.  He did well with his first car ride and slept and smiled most of the ride!

When we got to the house, Walker got to meet Jake who was very calm and interested in seeing what was going on.  Walker did great with his first bottle at home and took the whole thing, he even did a "big job" for Daddy, he is very relaxed at his house!  We got to show Walker his room, he was really looking all around and checking out all his tractors.  We even let him lay in his bed for a few minutes and boy did he look small in that big ole bed!  Walker had a good rest of his night, he ate well and rested some, although he was awake a lot and checking everything at his house out!  He also had a visit from Mimi and Bart, and Mamaw and Papaw who were excited to see how little Walker was doing adjusting to being at home.

Walker ate well at his 6:00 and 9:00 feedings, and we are still checking his temperature every three hours like they did at the hospital to make sure he is able to maintain it.  We are hoping Walker has a good night and even though it might be hard for Mommy and Daddy we are going to try to get some rest in between feeding him every three hours.  Luckily we will have Granny and Papa here to help, we want to make sure we keep a very close eye on the little guy.

We want to say thank you again to everyone that has been so giving and thoughtful to us during this experience.  We have had so many calls, texts, posts, gifts, and thoughtful gestures and we can never say it enough how much it means to us!  Walker definitely one loved and prayed for little guy, his blog has had over 65,000 views so there are a LOT of people keeping up with this little guy.  Now that we are home and taking care of Walker around the clock, we aren't going to have as much time to work on the blog.  We do want to keep everyone that has prayed so hard for our little guy up to date though, so we are going to try to keep doing one post a week, hopefully on Fridays, with lots of pictures so keep on the lookout for those!  Please keep praying for us as we take care of Walker and enjoy having him home with us, we love y'all!

What a difference 80 days has made, he has grown so much!

With "Uncle David and Aunt Gina", two of our favorite nurse practitioners!
Mommy holding him for the first time with no wires!

First elevator ride!

First real sunlight!

All strapped into his car seat bed.

Finally at home in the country!

Love our little family!

First bottle at home!

Showing Walker his room for the first time!

Love this shirt "Strollers are for city babies, I prefer a tractor"!
Walker in his John Deere bed, with his tractor shirt!

Mommy watching him breathing!

Daddy snuggling him after he ate!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Day 79

Last night, Mommy and Daddy got to stay in the parenting room. Walker did well for most of the night and he ate like a champ all night. He also slept ok, unlike Mommy and Daddy who hardly slept a wink. The monitor in the parenting room had trouble reading the leads that measure his heart rate and breathing and randomly throughout the night, Walker's monitor would beep waking up Mommy and Daddy.  

Another reason Mommy and Daddy didn't get much sleep was after his 3am feeding, Walker seemed to not be feeling well. We could hear his little tummy rolling, something we hadn't been able to hear with all of the background noises of the NICU.  Walker had a belly ache and was crying on and off between his 3:00 and 6:00 feeding.  Finally, Daddy had to hold the little guy to try to help him feel better until it was time for his 6:00 feeding.  At his next feeding the little guy had a "big job" and seemed to be feeling much better.

Even though we didn't get much sleep, and we probably won't anytime soon because we have to wake Walker up every 3 hours to eat no matter what, we really enjoyed getting to spend the night with our little guy.  Mommy and Daddy can't wait to get the little guy home, where we will be more comfortable and not have all the noises and sounds to keep everyone up.

Walker had a pretty quiet day, filled with eating, sleeping, and saying goodbye to some of our favorite nurses.  While we are ready to get home, we are truly going to miss the amazing people we have met who made our son such a priority in their lives!  Granny and Papa got to hang out with Walker today too and help feed the little guy, we are very thankful for this extra help especially on a day where we were tired!

Please pray that tonight (hopefully Walker's last night in the NICU ever) goes well and Walker is able to behave and get rest for his big trip home tomorrow afternoon.  Please also pray that God would watch over us as we travel and make this transition with him!

Walker sleeping, notice Daddy sleeping in the background.

Good morning Mommy!

Papa burping the little guy!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Day 78

It was a busy day for both Walker, who is now 11 weeks old, and Mommy there were several things that had to be done to get the little guy ready to go home.  He has to have several follow up appointments with special doctors to keep a check on his eyes, his hernia, and his development.  Walker also had to have a hearing test, and a neurological assessment.  He also got a visit from Betty Wright who is a family friend that lives in Winston and has been checking up on Walker regularly!  What a busy morning for a little guy!

The hearing test involved the tech putting strange looking headphones on him, along with electrodes to measure his response to the sounds.  Walker passed with his right ear, but is going to have to be re screened for his left ear.  The nurse said this is very normal, sometimes babies can have fluid on their ear which can cause them not to pass.  They schedule him for an appointment for a re screen in a few weeks, so we are praying that will come back normal.

Walker also had a neurological exam this afternoon to check his responses to different stimulus.  The physical therapist said he did excellent and his responses were more like those of a term baby!  That means that he is right where he needs to be, because his due date isn't for another 19 days!  This was a big relief to Mommy and Daddy and we are very proud of our little guy!

This evening Mommy and Granny got to go to a Rainbow Sparkle party to support Walker, we still can't get over how amazing and giving everyone has been throughout this whole experience and we are beyond thankful.  A big thank you especially to Jackie and Leslie for everything they did to get tonight organized!  While Mommy and Granny were gone, Daddy, Papa, and Uncle David got to babysit.  Uncle David got to hold Walker for the first time and feed him a bottle, what a proud Uncle!

Walker was up to 4lbs 6.8ozs tonight which is great, maybe tomorrow he can be at 4 1/2lbs before we take him home!  Tonight was also the big night that Mommy and Daddy get to stay in the parenting room and take care of Walker all night long for the first time.  It is something that most parents get to do a couple of days after their child is born, but we have had to wait 11 weeks to get to spend a whole night with him.  We know we won't get much, if any, sleep but we are still excited about this night, and the many more to come.

Please pray with us these next few days especially that God will continue to watch over Walker as we bring him home and get adjusted to life at home!

Betty Wright holding Walker.

Headphones and electrodes for his hearing test.

Uncle David

Uncle David feeding Walker

Love that sweet face!

Mommy and Walker eating in the parenting room!