Hope

The Little Things

Being the mother of a preemie causes you to celebrate and appreciate each and every accomplishment. Because of Jaxson's life I have learned to cherish the little things. There are so many things in this life that many people take for granted. Begin able to suck, swallow and breathe without complications or have consistent bowel movements without issues. Our little fighters have worked hard to do these things and overtime it becomes the norm and you begin focusing on tackling the next milestone. 

Its well known that a premature child can face delays in different areas. Thankfully, Jaxson has pretty much stayed on track with his development. He has excelled in the area of gross motor skills and is getting better with fine motor skills. For weeks we have been working with him to perfect (so to speak) these skills. Using his pincer grasp (index finger and thumb) to eat and grab things, point, show 1 finger as in, "I am 1", etc. He knows how to clap and wave and you can see his little mind trying to figure out how to separate his little fingers and mimic what I am doing. Its pretty amazing to see! He really responds well to things, if we say "kick" he will kick! "Clap", he claps! "Say Cheese", he will give the most gorgeous smile!

Well, last night after he ate his dinner he was a bit fussy as if he wanted something else. I decided to give him some baby puffs in hopes that he would not only eat it, but maybe take them from me and transfer to his mouth. I took about a handful and held my hand out to him. He looked at my hand and reached to grab a puff. He took one at a time using his index finger AND thumb, and ate them! I ran to get my phone so that I could document this moment. Until last night he had NEVER done that! I was so so excited and began cheering him on. As his mother, it is my number one job to be his greatest supporter, his number one fan, his teacher! I take that responsibility seriously! To some, this may not be a big deal but for my husband and I, hitting these small yet meaningful milestones is AH-MAZING! Jaxson was given a 20% chance and we were told that he would have developmental delays. We didn't know what THAT would look like and thankfully it hasn't been as scary as we thought it COULD be. He doesn't seem delayed honestly and that's a blessing.

He is 15 months (actually) and 11 months (corrected) and no he isn't fully walking yet, or fully eating solids like other kids his age but gosh he is still beyond amazing and happy to just be alive. What more could I ask for? I stopped comparing my baby to others a long time ago. Comparison is the thief of joy and I didn't want to discredit Jaxson from his great strides by looking to my left or right at what another child his age was doing. I'm thankful that his brain is developing and that he is learning everyday. I don't take the little things for granted. Our story could've been completely different considering all of the cold hard facts-But God! He saw fit to bless Jaxson in such a way that brings hope to others. Everyday is a miracle, and we will NEVER stop celebrating each little thing. 

I dare you to try it. When you are feeing down and out, just take a moment to breathe in fresh air. For there is someone somewhere fighting for the chance to just breathe. Take a moment to appreciate the fact that you CAN eat orally without a feeding tube or digestive issues. Look around and I'm sure you will find beauty and gratification in the little things.

These are the days...

These are the days, the ones we prayed for and l was hopeful would come. The days where we could pack our bags, hop in the car and go make family memories! These are the days I dreamt up in mind while my baby boy fought so hard in the NICU. I pause to breathe in the moments, I try to absorb the feeling of newness. This season of life is one that I've never known but one that I am appreciating. This time last Summer I was pregnant and just getting a handle on being so sick with hyperemesis graviderium. And then not too soon after, I went into pre-term labor,  delivered at 22 weeks, 6 days, had to recover from an emergency c-section and made back and forth trips to the NICU for 119 days. With ALL of those things going on, there wasn't a huge opportunity to do many family fun things. We didn't have the opportunity to blissfully enjoy the beautiful weather. Now that Summer is here we aren't holding back on getting out in the sun and making beautiful family memories that we've waited so long for.

Spirit lead me, where my trust is without borders......

Spirit lead me, where my trust is without borders......

Over the last few weeks there have a been few trips to our favorite park, the pier, trips to get fro-yo and even managed to go to a private beach. Its such a great feeling to see my baby boy exploring all of the sights, sounds and different sensations. This weekend he experienced sand and the ocean! I must admit, I had a little trepidation about the ocean- my worse nightmare is that I will get swept away in the large mass of water and although I can swim somehow the waves would overtake me. Despite this, I pressed past my anxiety and refuse to be bound by fear. I don't want my fears to control my son either. So we packed our bags and drove up the coast to Shaw's Cove which is tucked away in Laguna Beach. Marc and I were so excited to experience this as a family of 3, we weren't sure how Jaxson would respond to the water and the sand but figured we would expose him to it and see what happens. 

It turns out that we indeed have a water baby on our hands! Jaxson LOVED feeling the sand on his feet and the cool water brushing through his toes. It's one of the greatest feelings in the world as a parent to watch your child grow and learn. Having a joyful baby despite his early struggles is one of the greatest blessings. We had so much fun and decided that we would definitely take the trip at least once more before Summers end.

So I encourage you, no matter what season of life you are currently in, take some time to create memories. It doesn't always require a lot of money- creating memories is something so priceless. Make it a point to try new things- or plan a couple of activities that have been on your to-do list. The moments you celebrate today are bound to become amazing memories that are sure to last a lifetime! And God is so faithful, He will allow you to have the desires of your heart. He will restore everything you've lost. For us NICU moms, we have lost time. But God will restore everything you lost and He will have compassion on you! He will give you a good life and make your days even more plentiful. Just rest in Him and trust Him. (Deuteronomy 30:3)

Oh the places you will go...

Oh the places you will go...

 

 

Fight

Fight

You may be going through a fight of your own, be it a health challenge, relationship or marital issue, dysfunction on the job- I want to encourage you to dig deep within yourself and pull out the fight that's within you. You have courage and the power to fight through whatever hardship you may be faced with. Sometimes when life hits us hard, we just want to pull the covers over our heads and hope the issue resolves itself. Even when I wanted to do that, I knew I couldn't stay in that place.