Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A good day...

Even after a night in a hospital bed, 3 feedings, and just 2 hours of sleep, today was a good day! Today was a VERY good day! Owen was discharged today around noonish. He's weighing in at a hefty 3# 13 1/2 oz and 15 3/4 inches long. He has done great since getting home and we are all so glad to be home as a family again-for good, I pray!

We were held up a bit at discharge because Owen's hearing had to be retested. Apparently, the report given to me that he passed, was wrong:-( His left ear has failed twice, so off to another specialist we'll go. I'm hoping it is just due to some fluid or because his ear canals are sooo small.

He also has an eye infection that he is getting antibiotic ointment for-not a big deal, but still a concern.

Nonetheless, we are home! We are mostly settled in and Owen survived the afternoon and evening with two crazy brothers being quite rambuncious. It wasn't 10 minutes of being home when Tim and I were talking and bringing things in when we heard Jacob say "Owen is hiding"...we looked over to his car seat where he was safely resting and all we see is teddy bear. Oh well, that's what the monitor is for, right?

Lord willing life will be pretty uneventful for the next couple of weeks as we acclimate to, well, doing nothing:-) Then we'll have bunches of appointments to keep a close eye on Owey. By the way, I know that looks like owie as in the boo-boo, but work with me here, it's O-E:-)

It's time to eat (again) and then off to bed for a nap:-) I look forward to updating more about Owen and our family in the coming weeks. I will post pictures soon (too lazy tonight;-)

God Bless You All!!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


I don't even have the energy to post a Bible verse this pathetic. I'm down because Owen hasn't been discharged for no good reason. Tim and I took monitor training today and infant CPR-no, it didn't matter that I resuscitate babies during deliveries or that I am certified in both health care CPR and Neonatal resuscitation...are you detecting bitterness here?

Anyway, now I have to head into the hospital tonight when Tim gets home. I have to stay overnight and "prove" that I can feed Owen every three hours-I have to bring an alarm-can I just say "ughhhhhhh" again. Please don't get me wrong-I am ecstatic to have him but who in their right mind would be looking forward to every three hour feedings (that take almost an hour of painstaking effort) around the clock? Not to mention the fact that we'll be homebound thru the winter...I know, I know-be grateful that I have a baby to hold and whine about.

I am. REALLY...I AM! I'm just tired and stressed. This has been a long 4 months and it's going to be an even longer 18 years:-)

Owen is doing well. He's up to 3 pounds 12 oz. He passed his hearing and eye exams. He is going home on a very obnoxious apnea monitor. May I paint the picture for you? It's a box that looks a bit like a small DVD player but it is to be carried in a pouch 3 times it's size with a gazzillion extra supplies. It's about 3 times heavier than Owen too. He'll be connected with leads to the machine and it will monitor his breathing and heart rate. If the leads or connections get disturbed, it sounds in a constant horrific beep, much like a smoke alarm. Seriously.

It's made so you can hear it anywhere in the house. I want to make mention that the neighbors will also know when it alarms. Worst thing? If he does have a true "alarm" it won't stop the insane beeping until the alarm reason is corrected-as in his breathing gets regular again or his heart rate levels rises if it's low or hmmm.... decreases if it was high? I'm thinking the annoying beeping will raise my heart rate so why will his get back to normal? Worse yet? You can't even unplug it-it has a battery back-up...there's no escape.

Ok, so maybe you're taking my rantings as complaining and the like...yea-it may be a little but I tried to mix sarcasm and humor in too.

I am truly very thankful to have a baby who needs a monitor or 45 minute feedings to complain about. Entering into the world of no sleep for the next who knows how many months just wears on a person. I am quite stressed and emotional still...they say that should end about 2 weeks after the delivery. I have 2 questions. Define "end" and who is 'they'?

Owen is still extremely small and susceptible to- well, everything. Please pray for his continued growth, health, and improvement. Also please pray for grace for his crazy mother and for the rest of the family as they deal with his crazy mother. Next time I'm sure the tone will change yet again as the hormones turn;-)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving Blessings!

Psalm 92:1

It is a good thing to give Thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High.

I have some wonderful news to be thankful about! But first, I hope you all are having a wonderful blessed Thanksgiving amongst friends and family enjoying their company, a bountiful meal, and making great memories! I know this is a day that makes me slightly weepy at the thought of ALL I have to be thankful for~reflecting on all I have, which I do not deserve just astonishes me...God is so GOOD!!!
Happy Thanksgiving to each of you!

Here are some things Owey (our loving nickname pronounced O-E) is up to nowadays...we are so pleased with his progress-he's really filling out. He looks like a different baby than I delivered 3 weeks ago. He weighed 3 pounds 7.2 ounces last night. We are in full-force heading home preparations too! Slated possibly for this weekend!!!!!!! He's passed his car seat test (on the first try) which is a huge blessing because we won't have to purchase a different seat. He's also taking the bottles that we have at home, so that means all we have to do is buy new nipples and not all new bottles. He had his circumcision and it's healing well and he hasn't missed a beat from it. He's also off all medication except a vitamin in his morning bottle which he dislikes:-p. He has an eye exam and hearing test coming up so please pray that he passes those with flying colors. He is also in an open air crib now, maintaining his own temperature and is so cute in his little preemie clothes and blankies. Of course he swims in his clothes but before I know it, he'll outgrow them just as he did his first diaper size-he's now into the regular preemie size diapers.

He's such a sweet content baby (please Lord, let him stay this way;-) and all the nurses love him. I'll post an update soon with his coming home info and pictures.

God Bless! ~Owen's Mommy

Friday, November 17, 2006

Owen's growin'! He's 2 weeks old today!

Hi! TJ and Jake here...we had fun today celebrating Owen's turning 2 weeks old! We decorated the tree today and it was fun-who knew one branch could hold 95% of the ornaments?...

Isn't Owen just the cutest little bundle? We love being his big brothers and can't wait for him to come home. Please pray he keeps doing well and gains weight quickly, as that will get him home real fast! He busted thru the 3 pound mark yesterday and today he weighs a whoppin' 3 pounds 2 oz...

He's very expressive...this expression is like he's thinking "MOM, are you going to take 25 pictures of the same thing over and over and put them all on the blog when they look don't look much different?" would say "yes, I am-scowl or no scowl;-)"

Ok, well it looks like this update has worn Owen out...I guess we'll head for bed & so will Owen-he's gotta grow now:-)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Lots of pictures...I'm 1 week old!

I'm a big boy! I have gained weight over the past week and am back up to my birth weight of 2 pounds 13 ounces (I was 2 pounds 9 ounces at my lowest).

This is my 7 year old BIG brother TJ-he loves me!!! He rubbed my cheek and kissed my head...shhhh-don't tell the nurses though!

This is my very proud mommy...she just can't get enough of me! She says she could sit and cuddle me and watch me grow for hours!

I'm so little when compared to my daddy's big, strong hand! I really like to hold things-but my parents fingers are the best!

Excuse me...I burped.

This is my sweet brother Jacob-he's 3. He loves me so much!

I'm so cozy, comfy when mom is here!

Daddy's first time giving me my bottle. I'm up to my max feeding amount of 20 cc every 3 hours with full strength formula and I love it!

One of my favorite past-times!

So much fun to visit!

Here's lookin' at you kid!

TJ's kisses are soooo sweet!

All this visiting has made me tired!

I'm such a happy boy. I got my umbilical line out last night and my nurse did my footprints. I have such cute, tiny feet!

Gotta grow now...I love you this much!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Sweet baby!

Betrayed vs. Blessed

James 5:16

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

I want to share my heart with you.

I woke up one week ago with blurred vision and increasingly high blood pressure. I woke up one week ago speculating that 3 long months of bedrest would soon be ending-2 weeks or less I thought to myself. I woke up not scared, not worried, not thinking that my long journey of difficult and unknown times would be ending in days, not weeks.

I would like to say that the next week that unraveled was a time of great strength and godliness for me. I wish I could say that I worked hard through each moment to glorify God and be a great witness for His kingdom...

I wasn't though. None of us wake up each morning thinking today may be our last. That would be a glum world and life to live. Even I did not realize a week ago that the days to come could be my last. I did not see the events as "serious" or "life-threatening". Thank GOD that in our weakness He is strong. Thank GOD for friends, family, and church family that prayed over me and BELIEVED that GOD can do anything-even when I called on Him not.

I am able to say that I was borderline incoherent-so I'm not really feeling so hard on myself (as it may sound). I am glad for what I remember and for what I don't (I think:-). I went into Friday evening (the proposed time for delivering Owen via c-section~my first c-section) thinking on the verse above-knowing only the part about the prayer of the righteous man is powerful and effective. I was able to find out the reference and think on this verse throughout the afternoon-while I waited to meet Owen. While I hoped for the best but still waited for the worst.

It is incredible to think back on all the thoughts and emotions I spent thinking on his life. Wondering what would be....

I went into Friday evening, with surgery imminent, thinking I was about to have a baby-very small and sickly, with a possibly fatal condition. Very likely unable to breathe on his own (preterm or not) and afflicted with a skeletal condition causing dwarfism. I had months of test results from multiple doctors and ultrasound locations and technicians "prooving" these things. I was thankful to be prepared even as little as I knew. I was hoping for the best but thinking realistically that the worst may happen.

Preparing for surgery I was prayed for and over multiple times-even as the surgery was nearing and the days to come unfolded-the prayers of others grew as my focus on God weakened and I distanced myself from reality.

The events after the afternoon of Friday the 3rd go blurry as I was highly medicated and increasingly ill. When 6:46pm rolled around-I hardly can tell you that I knew Owen was here. Everyone around me though, knew that not only was he here, but that God had performed what seems to be a miracle.

Owen was born breathing, crying, small. He peed alot too, so I hear. I was not processing, nor believing what was being told to me. I couldn't quite grasp that 3 months of medical results from specialists upon specialists was -well, wrong. Owen was perfect. I still couldn't see it-I waited for the worst. I couldn't (and still can't) understand. No one can explain it.

The next couple days were also a blur as my condition did not improve. I was hardly able to lift my arms or legs (I could hardly press the button on my nurse call light to ask for help).

How could this happen? Have I been betrayed?...

The results that have come from my 3 months of bedrest weren't betrayal at all. I am finally starting to accept that I have a newborn now weighing in at a puny 2 pounds 9 ounces fighting for his life. He's been a fighter from the start-even when his own mother wasn't accepting that he might just be "ok".

None of us know what is to come. We don't know our own futures, nor that of our children or family. We aren't promised a great future of health or strength. But I am blessed. I have so many things in my life and hopefully future that all define blessed. I was blessed even in my darkest hour-when I was far from God-in our weakness, He is strong!

I focused so much on what would be the outcome of Owen's arrival that I lost sight somewhere along the journey...of course I don't know what is to come. All of life is unknown. It is a great mystery. It is a wonder and blessing that we get to discover and see what develops along the way. It is our honor to grow in our walk with the Lord and bring glory to Him! We have the responsibility to be prepared and to plan to our best ability, but none of us know what is to come. We can only pray that God be glorified through our journey.

I find myself, as I finally start to accept Owen's arrival, realizing I am concerned for his future since we do not know what his health will be. I am finally finding great comfort though, in realizing that none of us know what our future health entails. I will be given the grace to accept and work through what God has in store for me.

I am being redundant on this point-I know, but it is so powerful and vivid to me right now.

The 3 months I've spent growing Owen will now fade as a distant memory as each day reveals new things for our lives with him. I now pray for his future-whereas before, I prayed that he would have a future. Actually, I covet your prayers for his future~he has a long way to "grow".

I hope this story of my heart makes sense. I know it's kinda out there-we all know we shouldn't share things in emotional moments when we can't sleep. It has been a long, emotional journey-and it's not over, but just beginning. I'm thinking that spanish rice can't compare to the tears and emotion that have (and continue to) poured out of me over the past week.

I can hardly believe a week has passed. But, it also doesn't seem like 7 years have passed since my title as a mother began-November 9th, 1999 when TJ arrived into this world 5 days overdue weighing in at 8 pounds 3 ounces. What growth I've experienced since his blessed arrival. Now I can boast of 3 miracles, at least until they wake up and start tearing up the house, getting fingerprints everywhere and causing what seems to be unending piles of laundry.

It's funny-does God think to Himself when we, His children go to bed, "Ahhh...they are finally asleep".

I'd have it no other way-isn't that the key to the heart of a mother? We'd have it no other way.

I have so much more I could share...I am humbled to be able to share these ramblings with you-thank you for your interest and for sharing in the journey with me. God has been so good-I pray I continue to think on the blessings in my life as I work through more trying times as Owen (and all my family) grows and as more bumps in the road occur.

I plan to keep updating this blog with his progress and pictures. I hope you'll check back and continue to keep us in your prayers.

I am blessed to say I believe in miracles~I have proof that they exist. Mine came in a 2 pound, 13 ounce body-see picture below-Thank you Jesus!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Announcing Owen!

Psalm 139:13 & 14

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Hi! My name is Owen Elijah Valiant. I was born Friday November 3rd at 6:46pm. I weighed 2 pounds 13 ounces and was 14 1/4 inches long. I'm told I am a miracle baby. My mom and dad are praising God for me...the doctors say that I'm small but mighty! I am 5 days old now. Mom hasn't been able to write since she was so sick in the hospital. They made mommy have an emergency c-section to deliver me and she says she doesn't really remember all the details and is very emotional over my arrival. Mommy came home last night (Tuesday) and has been very tired from the "whole thing". I have to stay in the hospital for a while since I'm so little and need some help from the doctors and nurses to get big and strong. Mommy says she is still in shock over my miraculous arrival. Doctors had told her and daddy (even shown them proof) that I would be sick and have some things wrong with me-even not be able to breathe on my own. Now that I'm here, my doctors are saying I am going to be fine...mommy was just more sick than they thought and it affected my growth but I was a fighter and protected myself by allowing my head to grow more than the rest of me. I'm already catching the rest of me up with my cute head and I don't need any help breathing at all right now! I just lie in my cozy isolette and grow and look forward to visits from my family. I love my pacifiers too! Mommy is going to be ok too...she went through some difficult times but is getting better and is trying to rest and get her strength back so she can visit me more and take care of my brothers TJ and Jake again. Her doctor is still watching her closely but thinks everything will be just fine. Isn't God good! He really loves His children!

Mommy will be updating with pictures, progress, and thoughts soon so check back so you can watch me grow and learn more about cute lil' me!