Sunday, August 24, 2008

How to distract yourself while your baby takes care of some unfinished business...


Tip #1- make sure you have your premature baby during the Olympics. Boy did we time that one just right! It's amazing how much quicker those 12 minute pumping sessions go when you're catching up on the latest from Beijing. In fact...I think that Steph medaled in the 2x 12 min freestyle pumping event- way to make your country proud and keep your daughter full!! I'm not going to make any big political comment on anything that happened during the games or recap any of the great athletic achievements... there are plenty of blogs out there taking care of that for me. For some...the Olympics have been the crowning achievement of a lifetime of hard work- for us, it's been the perfect mind candy during the most singular time in our lives! We are sitting here watching the closing ceremonies, musing that the next time we watch the Olympics, we'll have a little 4 year old running around... now that will be a medal-worthy achievement....

Tip #2- Keep yourself busy with projects and new hobbies. As mentioned before, Stephanie has taken on pumping. (I could make all sorts of fun jokes and comments... but I forget that not everyone is as knee-deep in this fun as we are, and we still live in a slightly puritan society, where even some mothers are uncomfortable with this topic. Some life events blow normal taboos out of the water :) )Every sport has it's gear, and we've geared Steph up with a Medela Pump-in-Style hospital grade pump (we ain't messin' around...), which comes with a stylish Metro Bag... smart purchase all across the board.

I have taken on a complimentary hobby: bottle-washing. The other day I calculated that I have washed those bottles about 150 times...give or take. I do have to say, with no small bit of pride, I do have quite the technique figured out. Smartest gear purchase on my end: a functional drying rack for the bottles, with a bottle scrubber. I've really maximized my efficiency, and minimized washing time, while ensuring a higher level of cleanliness... nothing but the best for our girl!

We have also teamed up to get some serious picture taking and scrapbooking done. I think that the nurses have finally just gotten used to the fact that Avery is going to have a full-blown photo-shoot every time we come to visit. Everyone's favorite comment: Yeah, we did that too for our first baby...you'll see, each child gets fewer and fewer pictures taken. My response in my head each time: Speak for yourselves, rookies! Anyone who has been on vacation with me knows that it's gonna take more than a few more kids and years to keep me from taking picutres. Steph has taken it upon herself to get some serious scrapbooking done. She just got a few pages done of us for our anniversary and will get going on Avery's scrapbook soon. We have also had some awesome NICU nurses help us out with some great scrapbook memories to get us started!Together...we will immortalize the moments of our lives...

Tip #3: take up an impossible sleep schedule. When you don't sleep much... you end up sleeping a lot! Crazy as that sounds... you either understand what that means or you haven't lived it yet. Chances are, we will all have a time in our lives when that will be true. Somehow, we are living in a time warp, where minutes seem like days, days are measured in ounces gained or lost, time is passed by savoring the moment and hastening each second by... and whatever is left in between is spent napping :) Time flies when you're half-awake!

Tip #4: Pretend like the bun is still in the oven, and do the "normal" things. Everyone keeps asking us well-meaning questions like "Have you chosen a pediatrician?" or "Where are you registered"... We just politely smile and realize that WE are the sane ones...and you all have gone crazy :) Just kidding of course! We didn't exactly expect the baby to come until October, so we're kinda playing catch-up on all that fun stuff. Steph and I went to Babies R Us this week and registered... We got most of the basics registered for, but ended up in frustration, not knowing which brands or sizes or whatever. We're hoping for a lot of good suggestions, lots of gift cards and diapers... and my secret plan is to simply bribe one of our NICU nurses to come home with us and I think that will pretty much cover those bases!

We went home for the first time in what seemed like forever, and our big accomplishment- besides doing the laundry- was getting Avery's crib set up. It did my male ego some good to get that set up... and it made us laugh as we placed a doll the size of Avery in the corner of the crib. We might as well have saved the money and just let her sleep in my sock drawer! Some things we do for our babies... some things are for us silly parents!

Tip #5: Surround yourself with amazing people. I don't want to name names...but I have learned that you never go through anything alone...ever. There are people who have accomodated us physically, so unselfishly and lovingly. There are people who traveled long distances to make sure we were loved and supported through our tough times. We have made friends who have gone through similar circumstances and have shared emails and stories with us that give us hope. We share loads with friends going through their own times of trial. Some listen to our cares and worries... some are our hands and hearts caring for our angel... some help us see in ourselves what we don't when we see our weary reflections in the mirror. A few give of their time... a few of their creative talents... not one small effort goes unnoticed. We could never do it without you. We've made it this far hand in hand...carried in His hand... we can make it because we're not alone...

14 comments:

mandy h. said...

very funny! i love it. i'm so glad stephanie has a medela pump...it's the best! also, avery's crib is the exact same one haylee has...good choice :) oh, we love the little video below...so sweet!!

Brady and Taryn said...

Nice! well, if you need extra things to do, Ill have some homework to send up to ya pretty soon... let me know! ;)
that was a great video of Avery and it was great to see her eyes open when we went to see her today too. such a cutie!

Garrett-Ashley & our Peanuts said...

Steph-
I just wanted to know if you know of a girl named cortney who is currently up there with preemie twin Addie and Aiden? She works with my mom and has been up there for over a month. Keep posting your cute thoughts they are incredible and we look forward to every milestone your little one takes.

Jen said...

i'll probably get in some sort of trouble for saying this but got to love the parents that tell you how you're going to be with your other kids. I say raising the rest of your kids however you darn please and don't forget what the "norm" is. gets under my skin personally. You are great at capturing the moment so I agree that nothing will slow you down! Way to be. We miss you guys A TON already! thank goodness for blogs and text messaging! :)

Allie, Jared, and Zack said...

Good words of wisdom as always... I will just say "ditto" to what you have said again and leave it at that!! :>

KaWheelers said...

Hey guys! Found your blog from a comment on Mary Anne's blog...

Congrats on the newest addition! It sounds like she is doing so well!! I have a nephew who was premature by a few months too. It's a scary time at some moments but everyone pulled through. It looks like you guys are well on your way too!! :) Very exciting!

Anyways, love your blog! You guys are such a cute family :)

Lauren said...

I saw your blog (and heard about you) through the Wheelers. I went through this about a year ago when my little boy came 12 weeks early. It sounds like you both are very involved, and believe me--it will make a difference with Avery. She knows you are there helping her. Things will get better and easier and the day WILL come when you get to take her home. Good luck! You'll be in our prayers.

Dane and Jessica said...

Holy Cow you guys your blog is addicting! I'm glad that you found our blog! I'm also glad that you guys have created a blog...we heard that she came early and it's nice to be able to keep tabs on you guys!

The Gardners said...

Wow! Thanks again for chatting with us last night. Your story fills me with tears, but mostly with faith. You guys are so strong. Avery is one blessed little girl to have you as parents. We'll be anxiously watching her progress. Alles und gute gehen nicht immer zusammen. Wo es Licht gibt, gibt's auch viel Schatten.
Love you guys.
Justin and Maggie

Natalie said...

Hi- I'm Mandy's sister. I had a preemie, too, at 33 weeks. I had a love affair with my industrial grade pump while my daughter was in the NICU. She's nine now, and I can hardly believe it! I have to giggle at how you clean the bottles...we did the same thing, always being so, so careful to keep everything clean for her. Just wait though...your thinking will begin to change when she puts things like bird poop and stray Swedish Fish from the mall floor in her mouth when you're not looking. You will just roll your eyes and hope for the best!

grahamkrackers said...

Hey guys-
Emily told us about your early surprise. She is absolutely beautiful! How precious. Best of luck with everything. We are so glad that mom and baby are doing so well. Our prayers are with you.
The Grahams

Jordan said...

Ryan, you are such a great writer. I had no idea. I was laughing and crying. I can imagine how crazy and scary this all must be--i have seen it in many parents eyes before. One of the best parts of my job was working with the parents-easing their stress, letting them help me provide care, celebrating small successes. I loved that part of it. I really wish I could have been there to be more of a support to you guys. It turns out Florida isn't really close by. Hang in there. You guys are in our prayers. Steph-good work on the pumping, that's the very best thing you could be doing-i loved the moms who pumped! Some days are going to be good and other days not so much, but just remember that you are not alone. If you ever need me or Jon, call us and we will be there! I look forward to reading about more of Avery's small successes.

Amanda Green Englund said...

What's with the crib? So fancy! High rollers... I want my own bed to look like that. That thing is big enough for you two to jump in there with her! Don't get any crazy ideas though...

CarlyleWorkman said...

Hahah! we have that same crib in your picture, just a different color. It was rather fun putting together, it took 4 episodes of My Name is Earl to do, and a little cursing but it worked out. Love the blog!