Saturday, February 28
The March for Babies will be held April 25th @ 9am at the SC State Fairgrounds. We'd love for everyone to come out and support us. You can find out more information by going to my personal page with March of Dimes: http://www.marchforbabies.org/lhwicker You can sign up to walk from there, donate/sponsor the team, and recruit others. I will post more information about the t-shirts as soon as I have it. All profit from the t-shirts will be donated as well. This is an important cause to us. March of Dimes research allowed for certain medications to be given to Austin and because of that he is still with us. To read our personal story written for March of Dimes please see the blog below. Austin is 38 weeks gestation today and will be 14 weeks old tomorrow. He weighs 5lbs now and is 17 inches long! He still has to some more growing to catch up. He has had rough week, but things are looking better now. Austin had a UTI this past week and his first rounds of vaccines. Both of these things really threw him off and caused him to have more Apnea spells (or at least everyone is hoping that is what it was) and to not do so well with his bottles. Austin has been on full feeds by mouth (bottle) for a week now. He no longer has a feeding tube in his nose or mouth. He took a step backwards as far as his oxygen; that has always been a tough thing for him anyway. Before this week it seemed like he'd be home soon, and now we aren't sure when he'll be home. However, we must praise God that Austin just had a little "bump" in the road and nothing major. They are going to do a renal ultrasound to make sure everything is ok with his kidneys and bladder, but we aren't expecting anything to show up this late in the game. Plus, a speech therapist has been working with him and wants a swallow study done to see what is going on while he eats. He has a good many desats and some drops in his heart rate while he is eating. It seems to some of us that he is just very hungry at first, but regardless he has to feed properly in order to come home. They have also stopped his Zantac for reflux and changed him to Nexium. We saw great results with Prevacid, which works the same as Nexium, with Bradley. So, we're praying that this will help tremendously as reflux can cause desats and brady's (drop in heart rate) too. Austin is really enjoying being held more and more. He was a little fussy today, so Chris held him for awhile. Well, he calmed down and went right to sleep. I've been holding him a lot on my shoulder, and he just snuggles right up to my chest. He sleeps pretty hard when we hold him these days. He is in an open crib and is doing well with it. They put a mobile on his crib today, and we took a bouncy seat up there. So, we'll see how he likes that. All in all, we still have so much to be thankful for. Bradley is hanging in there. He seems to be growing impatient with us leaving him everyday, but we pray this won't last much longer. Bradley will turn 3 next Saturday, March 7th. He had his 3 year well checkup already. He is doing everything and more than he should be at this point. That is always comforting to parents. Bradley is still big for his age and is measuring right in the 75th percentiles for his weight and height. Dr. Baggett was pleased with that, because he has always been big. We continue to watch in amazement at how fast Bradley is growing up. I can't put into words how blessed we have been to have Bradley during the past year. God knew what he was doing when he gave Bradley to us first; that child has allowed us to continue to smile when we'd rather lie down and let the world pass us by. I'm feeling hopeful as this days comes to an end. That is a good feeling, after this past week. It was a tough week . . . but God continues to show us that he is here each step of the way- lending his grace and strength to get us by. I have to share a story. Last night, we went to Olive Garden to eat (we're trying to enjoy our favorite restaurants before Austin comes home bc he won't be allowed out and about for awhile). We were finishing our meal and noticed a mom and daughter across from us. The wait staff come out, brought a cake, and sang "Happy Birthday" to the little girl. We smiled and continued our conversation. A few minutes later the mom asked if Bradley could have a piece of cake. It's out of character for us to say yes to a stranger, but it looked safe enough and we accepted. Well, she brought it over and as she walked away she said, "Hard to believe this child is 7 today (she appeared a little big for her age- just a healthy looking girl) and was born at only 2lbs- she was 2 1/2 months early. " I wish I had said something to the mom, but I was holding back tears. We thanked her and they left. That little girl was probably around 30 weeks and that makes a big difference in preemies, but we truly felt God was saying it's going to be ok- Austin will be ok! God is so good. How awesome is our Lord?
Friday, February 27
We've been asked to be the ambassadors for the March of Dimes March for Babies walk with Palmetto Health Richland Women's and Neonatal Services. Our story and picutres of Austin will be posted on their website. Then, the walk t-shirt will have Austin's, Chris' and my handprints. I got a little emotional when they asked us to do this, because they told us that we could honor Brayden and Lexi's memory. That means a lot to us, because we will never forget our sweet babies in Heaven. So, I've written the story and wanted to share it. I had a lot of trouble keeping it short, so I did the best I could. Here is the link. . . www.march4babies.blogspot.com