Why we walk…

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Right now, babies need all the help they can get. Premature birth affects approximately 380,000 babies in the United States. Many of you know, my own life has been affected by the birth of our son, Jonathan, at 27 weeks.  He is a survivor and a miracle.  He is our Jonathan; our “Gift from God.”

Unfortunately, there are also many others who don’t survive.  Also, many who survive, are in need of constant care and support as their babies grow and hopefully, thrive.

In a week, we will be joining the March for Babies here in the Chicago suburbs and walking alongside those who cared for our precious son, The AMITA NICU Warriors.

I walk for my own son, but I also walk for those who don’t survive prematurity and/or the birth defects they are born with.  We need more research to help babies survive and thrive.  Already, more babies are surviving and thriving that wouldn’t have 10 years ago.  Jonathan is the perfect example of this, and there is much more to learn.  If you’d like to help, please make a secure donation or walk with us!  Together, we can help March of Dimes, so more babies can get the strongest start possible.

We honor Jonathan with this walk.  Look at this guy and his NICU team!

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We walk in memory of Jesse Amandus, who fought an amazing fight at 24 weeks, but could only be with us for 13 days. IMG_6413

We walk in thanks for the care received in the NICU at AMITA Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, and all of the hands that have helped and continue to help us walk through this journey.

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Please click here if you’d like to make a DONATION.  Thank You for all of your support, love and prayers!

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I’m “1” AGAIN!

Well actually, Jonathan is 15 months old, but he is 12 months corrected/adjusted for prematurity now!  Woot!  Woot!

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We just had his check up and he is 30″ long and 20lbs 6oz!!!  That is the 15th Percentile **not adjusted for prematurity**!!!!  He is on the grid for his actual age!  It is great news, and it means he is catching up nicely!

At Jonathan’s last NEST clinic (developmental clinic) appointment they were concerned about his gross motor skills being behind.  So we got another visit from Early Intervention, and they did an in-home assessment.  Of course, he’s just started to crawl, but he is compensating for some muscle strength he doesn’t have yet.  He is doing fine with development of care, speech and occupational therapy.  He is going to start some physical therapy do make sure he doesn’t get any further behind with his gross motor skills.  A therapist will come to the house to play with him once a week.  This is great news as he will get help in his own environment and I will be able to learn more how to help him from the Physical Therapist.

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This is on Mother’s Day.

Most recently, we also walked in the March for Babies event.  Here are some pictures of the event.  Thank You so much to all the people that supported us on our walk!  It meant so much to us and many others!

This past weekend was one of many celebrations!  Jonathan turned 1 corrected age, we had our 5th Wedding Anniversary and Mother’s Day all in one weekend!  We are  blessed!!!  Thank you so much for continuing to follow our story and Jonathan’s progress!

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ONE Year

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A year ago today, February 8, 2015 at 10:38am, Jonathan (Meaning “Gift of God”) made his early arrival.  Our lives are forever changed.  He is truly is a very special gift.  Oh, how far we’ve come.

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Mommy sees Jonathan for the fist time 2 days later, February 10, 2015 in the afternoon.

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I finally get to hear Mommy’s heartbeat again.  The first time Mommy actually got to hold me out of the isolette, 5 days later, February 13, 2015.  Thank you Nurse Lauren for making it feel safe and easy.

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One month later, Jonathan is having his very first bath.  He loved being in the water.  Thank you, Nurse Sherry, for talking Mommy through it!

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Exactly 2 months old, and Jonathan already shows his personality!

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The day Jonathan went home.

As you all know, our journey has continued with countless blessings and milestones met.  Today, though Jonathan is still only 9 months corrected age, we celebrate that he has been with us for a year and we have ALL survived.  Here is what we’re up to these days…

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He loves music (shocking, I know…).

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Jonathan brought treat’s to share with our friends at CHN (Church of the Holy Nativity) this Sunday.   We couldn’t have survived this year without all of you.  Thank You all so much for your unwavering love and support.

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Jonathan, you’re only young for a little while, so Mommy is still enjoying that you just want to be with her sometimes.  Yes, he still loves to hear Mommy’s heartbeat.

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Mondays Jonathan goes swimming, so today was no different!  Here he is with his swim instructor…eating his ribbon for swimming on his birthday!  He still loves being in the water.

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Jonathan is holding a picture of the day he was born.  His backdrop, the blanket Mommy made to cover his isolette in the NICU.  What a difference a year makes.

The **5 Month** Update

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Can you believe it? It’s been 5 months since Jonathan was born!  Really, it was 5 months on July 8th, so I’m 5 days late in celebrating with you all, but what a milestone to hit!  Now remember, corrected he’s only 9 weeks, 5 days today (just over 2 months), but none the less he has been with us in this world for 5 months and is thriving.  Thank God and all the prayers constantly coming our way.

I’ll be honest and say I have no idea how much this little guy weighs, but I’d guess somewhere around 10 pounds.  I don’t have an infant scale, so I’m not sure of the exact weight.  I do know, he’s getting heavier by the minute.  It used to take 10 minutes for my arm to tire holding him, not it takes about 2!  Either he’s growing or I’m deconditioning.  He’s really beginning to look at his surroundings and just loves being outside.  I wear him a lot to take Freddie (our dog) for walks.  I must say the Ergo Baby carrier is getting A LOT of use!  I have the original with the infant insert and Jonathan is super cozy in there.  A new things this week is he’s beginning to talk a lot…well, heaven talk anyway…who knows what he is saying, but he sure does…

Do you ever wonder exactly what they’re trying to say?  He has such an expressive face!

He still eats all the time, and his favorite thing is still Mommy’s milk.  I stopped fortifying his bottles with the pediatrician’s blessing when she found out he often prefers to nurse and fortifying was causing me to waste a lot of milk and was getting in the way of nursing.  She was somewhat surprised that he was successfully nursing and said…”by all means, if he wants to nurse, nurse!  If you can sneak in some extra calories here and there because he is still small, do it however it works best for you guys.”  So, he takes approximately 2 preemie formula bottles a day and the rest is breastmilk.  It works much better that way, and he is not losing weight!  Yippee!  That was a serious load off of my shoulders.  All the fortifying and wasting was wearing me out and stressing me out.  He nurses all night long and we are both getting much more sleep because we are co-sleeping.  I feel him looking for the boob, hand it over and he eats and we’re both back to sleep.  Yay!  Daddy was very relieved when we figured this out because he was worried about my lack of sleep being unsustainable.

He still sleeps a fair amount, but is up for longer periods.  We do tummy time during those periods.  It’s not his favorite, but he is less and less mad about it these days.  Thanks for all the love and support!  We’ll keep this blog going with updates!

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This shirt was made by Jonathan’s great grandmother for his grandfather!

Let the Little Children Come

Jonathan has had an amazing welcome weekend, both into our community and to Christ’s church.

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I don’t know if you can see it, but even his bib says “A Gift from God.”

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My very special Godfather, Uncle Mike.

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My very special Godmother, Auntie Lexie.

We can not thank God, our friends and family enough for their unwavering show of love and support.  This is truly our miracle and a symbol of hope to the community and our world of God’s blessings.

Jonathan (at last check) is now 8lb, 4oz.  He is eating like a champ!  His favorite food is still Mommy’s milk.  He is now 19 weeks/4.5 months (actual) or 6 weeks (corrected gestational age).  He’s only 2% for his corrected gestational age, but he’s catching up quick!  Yay!

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Loving the attention from Mimi & Grandpa.

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The proud parents!

We will continue to keep you updated here on this blog throughout the year!  Feel free to check in!  Thanks again for the outpouring of love and support!

A Welcome and a Baptism…

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My first Sunday at church on May 24th, Pentecost.

Sorry for the lateness in updating! I’m sure you’re all very aware that this little man requires a lot of love and attention!  We are doing well.  Jonathan has passed 7 pounds and has outgrown his preemie clothes!  I will post an official weight after he sees his pediatrician and gets on a “real” scale.  He is now wearing all of those beautiful newborn outfits you all have sent us!  Thank You!  He’s eating well and at the moment still on breast milk for his diet, though his appetite is beginning to scare me!  (ha ha ha)  He is also beginning to roll over.  We’ve caught he doing it a few times during tummy time.  I thought that was supposed to happen a little later, but OK!  He wants to show us “I can!”

There are a few upcoming things I wanted to share will all of you who have given us so much support in these past few months…

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There will be a Welcome Home celebration (since we never had a shower) at
Church of the Holy Nativity
Saturday, June 20th
12 Noon – 4PM
All are welcome to attend.

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Jonathan’s baptism and christening will be the following day
Sunday, June 21st
At the 9:30AM service
Church of the Holy Nativity
275 S Richmond Ave
Clarendon Hills, IL

We hope to see you as you are able!  Please continue to lift us up in prayer as we continue helping this baby boy grow!

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I’m Officially a Newborn!!!

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Not only am I a newborn, but I’m skipping this joint! Adventist Hinsdale Hospital it’s been great, but I can’t wait to check out my new room (exhausted Mommy & Daddy above)!  We can’t thank everyone in the NICU enough, but we might have to save that for it’s own blog!

Sorry for the delay in updating the blog, but it’s been an eventful few days! Jonathan came home on Friday, May 1st. He already had his first pediatrician appointment on Monday (May4)and there are a plethora of other appointments already scheduled for follow up.

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Freddie has officially been introduced and they are best buddies.  Freddie is on constant guard and Jonathan seems to not even notice him, even when Freddie hands out kisses.

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Freddie thinks Jonathan’s lounger is for him too! Ha Ha Ha

Apparently it’s not too early for tummy time!  It’s not his favorite, but he does a pretty good job of it!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you moms out there!

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