Saturday, May 31, 2008

Quick video

(If you want to stop the music so that you can hear the video, you can do so on the right hand side of the blog belowe where it says "Blog Music")

As you can see, Colby wakes up a happy boy.
Nothing too new to report. We're heading up to our place in Maine today for a couple days. My grandparents had retired up ther and my dad and I have been going up there every year since I was a baby. So it's a neat thing for me to now bring my son to the same like where I have many memories from. It's a long ride....usually 5-6 hours without a I'm guessing 6-7 hours? Colby travels well. We'll just need to stop if he gets really fussy or hungry.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Follow up appt with the neurosurgeon and some good news

I'm posting this after a long day so please bear with me if it doesn't "flow" quite right. But I wanted to pass long some information and updates on our little boy.

Ever since Colby was born, our biggest concern was and continues to be his head. More specifically his brain. Brain bleeds are categorized by levels 1-4. One being mild and 4 being the most severe. You can have a brain bleed on one side and not the other, or different levels of brain bleeds on one side or the other. When Colby was first born, he was diagnosed with a level 1-2, meaning level one on one side and level 2 on the other. After about a month or so, we were told that his brain bleeds had worsened to a bilateral 3. Couple this with his hydrocephalus and we had some concerns about his mental health and any impairments he may be left with. The doctors and online research told us that level 3 brain bleeds can lead to something called PVL which means essentially dead spots within the brain......not good at all. Or there could be speech problems, eyesight issues or blindness, cerebral palsy, motor skill issues, mental retardation, .....the list went on and on to include just about anything that the brain might have an impact on.
Colby had a follow up with the neurosurgeon yesterday and they did an ultrasound to see how his shunt is allowing the excess fluid to drain from his brain. Tracey and I were anxious to see what these results may show. Although we hoped for the best, we understood the reality that it could show things aren't improving or worse yet, some areas of his brain weren't looking the way they should be. We were so pleased to find that hings looked very good! His ventricles (the pools of fluid that everyone has in the center of our brains) looked normal sized now. That's a huge difference from a couple months ago. Although they didn't really look at his brain matter much during this visit, they did look at it during some of the MRI's he had done earlier this year and there were no dead spots.
The biggest indicator of Colby's long term well being is how he develops. That's probably the hardest thing. We want to hear that we pass some milestone, get some test done with good results or in some way are free and clear of any long term issues. But there's no such guarantee in Colby's case. So we focus on how well Colby is doing thus far and how far he's come. Colby is doing what I think some might deem as "better than expected". Not like we had any expectations, but much of what we read and heard prepared us for the worse. And thus far he eats like a champ, is VERY alert and aware of his surroundings. He's extremely interactive and loves to play, be held and to laugh and smile.
A while ago....maybe two months or so, he was discovering he had a voice and would make all kinds of wacky sounds. Then he went quiet and stopped "talking" as much. Just within the last 2 days he's become more verbal than we've ever heard him. He'll just sit there and test his voice, making moaning sounds, screeching sounds and just about anything else he can make his little voice do. I don't know what's triggered it and I honestly don't care. It's just awesome to see our little boy growing and developing.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Congratulations Tracey!!!

A couple quick things.....
One of the things that attracted me to Tracey some....well....11 years ago now was her drive and determination. At the time I met her, she was a single mom, working nights and weekends while going to college to get her degree all while being an absolute wonderful mother to Evan who was about 3 at the time. Her passion for the things in life that she believes in continues. While were were going through everything to try to get pregnant and then after we found out we were pregnant with twins, she was going to school for massage therapy. And now even after working a full time job, taking care of a teenager and a baby, she recently got her certification for Prenatal Massage and is starting her own business. So congratulations to Tracey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not only is Tracey a certified prenatal massage therapist, she's also a great photographer. Here are some pictures she took while were were at a family day event Monday.

(Colby givin' daddy some lovin)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Colby's first 5k

(Colby and mommy last night ready to go for a walk)

(The running trio!)
(Daddy and Colby post race)
(Mommy and Colby post race)

Colby had his eye doctors appointment yesterday. It went very well. They said there aren't any lingering signs of his ROP that had developed while he was in the NICU. He is a bit far sighted, and his right eye tends to turn inward, but apart form that, his eyes seem to be doing very well. We were very pleased to get that report!

This morning Tracey, a couple friends and I did a 5k race here in town. It was a beautiful day out. We brought Colby along in the running stroller. He was the only baby on the course and seemed to enjoy his first 5k. Being he was the only baby I like to think that he won his division! LOL

Then we had a couple friends over after the race for burgers and all. A couple of them had children and it was nice to see Colby interacting with other babies. He's doing so well and working on sitting up on his own. He'll sit up for a minute and can correct himself a little if he starts to lean forward. But eve this is an improvement from weeks past when he was like a wet noodle when you tried to sit him up.

That's about it. Tracey and I are tired from getting some exercises this morning, being in the sun and then hosting for a bit this afternoon. I feel an early bedtime coming for us all!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Our big boy

( You can see that Colby's head is getting better. We try to lie him on different sides of his head when we lay him down. )

(He loves his changing table. No matter what kinds of mood he's in, just put him on his changing table and he's laughs, giggles, kicks his feet and throws his hands around.)

Sorry it's been a while...though that seems to be the typical opening in my postings lately. I guess my normal schedule will be about a post a week for now.

Things are very well. Our little boy continues to grow and amaze us each and every day. Nothing too much to report. He's doing so well with his head control and can react and turn his head towards any noise he hears. His hand and arm control is slowly moving in the right direction. He can almost roll over, but gets hung up on his arm. Still no teeth. We keep thinking he's going to start teething because he'll have drooling fits every now and then....but no teeth.

He's such a happy boy. It's very easy to make him smile or laugh. Though.....if he's in a new place or around people he doesn't know, he's more serious until he gets comfortable.

Tomorrow is one of my days to "work from home". In other words, I don't really work every other Friday. Colby has an eye doctor's appointment in the morning. It's his first one since he left the NICU so I'm anxious to see what they'll check and how he's doing.

I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Some time away

(My lovebug and I on our way to the black tie event)(Tracey in front of our hotel at sunset)

(Tracey and I in the airboat) (the driver of the airboat would go flying through these tunnels within the mangroves. It was awesome!)
(The crocodiles weren't afraid of coming up to the boats at all)(Nor were they shy about jumping out of the water for a treat!)
(This pelican landed on the front of our boat. So I figured he must have wanted his picture taken)

Tracey and I went to Naples, Florida for a couple days with my work. We knew about this trip since January and have been looking forward to it ever since we knew about it. Every year, if I bring in a certain amount of business, the company sends us on a trip. Last year it was Portugal. Tracey and I were looking forward to it but because she was pregnant with twins, she thought it best not to go. This year we originally planned to bring Colby and Avery with us. But as we know, things didn't turn out the way we planned and with Colby's issues, we didn't want to bring him. So my mom stayed at the house to watch Colby, Evan and Hamilton. It was simply wonderful for us to get away and enjoy ourselves. 4 days of nothing but relaxing and being pampered....not a bad deal at all.

As you can see, we went for an everglades tour on an airboat. It was our first time both on an airboat and in the everglades. I was surprised how many crocodiles there are. We had to have seen between 15 and 20 during our time there. The third day I went on a kayak tour in the mangroves and Tracey enjoyed a relaxing day at the spa. The trip wrapped up with a black tie event. The company brought in Bruce Hornsby for the dinner. A bit before my time but really neat to watch him play.

We got back yesterday and were very happy to see Colby and Evan.

Colby had another doctors appointment today. They've stopped his multivitamin and upped his pureed fruits. He's now over 13 pounds. I've noticed that his head is rounding out a bit more. He had a very flat spot from being in the NICU and being laid down so much. But we're working to put lay him down on his other side as often as possible and it's working....slowly but surely. We're putting him facing outward in his Bjorn (spelling?) a lot. He loves to be facing outward so he can look around. A lot of times if you hold him facing you so he can't look around, he'll fuss.

We bought a used running stroller today on Craigs List. Just $50. Not bad at all. Tracey used it tonight and loves it.

I guess that's the latest news.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

2:14 minutes of Colby

Here's a quick video of Colby. I didn't edit it but it's only a little over 2 minutes. He was very vocal tonight and as usual, very happy. Maybe he'll be a movie star one day.

I went onto Youtube tonight and looked for other preemies born at 25 weeks....there aren't too many. It was funny because I came across some older videos of Colby that I haven't watched in months. It's simply amazing to see how far he's come. You can see the other videos by looking at my youtube site:

I also looked up full term babies who are currently 5 months old. In some cases you can see that Colby is behind on certain things. But the way I see it, he's come through so much that to see him doing all that he's a wonderful thing!

A happy little boy

I did take a little video and promise to take more and post it soon along with some pictures. Colby is doing great. Nothing too much to report. He's such a happy little boy, smiling and cooing whenever you play with him. He still likes to stand up, though you need to support him under his arms or by holding his hand. He don't quite get to hold on to things so if you were to let him go he'd fall like a tree.
I've noticed in the past week or so he's really getting some great head control. In the past, when he'd hear a voice, his eyes would move and maybe his head. But now it's clear that he's moving his head in the direction of the sound or voice.
His doctors appointments have lessened and at this point, our big ones are an eye doctors appointment later this month to see how is eyes are doing after having ROP.
I can't believe that in a couple months, Colby will be 1!!
It's also incredible to think back and in just a couple months, it will have been one year since our journey began. In some ways it seems like such a long time ago, yet on some days it feels like it was just yesterday.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Way too long

(Mr Serious)

Sorry for not posting anything in what seems like a very long time. Things have been busy with work and now that it's warmer and lighter out, we find our days getting filled up pretty quickly.

Anyway, our Colby is doing AWESOME! He had his last visit at UCONN and they pretty much said he's doing great and doesn't need to go back to them. He can just go to his pediatrician now. His lungs are clear, his motor skills are moving along, he eats like a true champ, everything is progressing very well. We've been working on his head control and he's responded very well. He comes very close to rolling over but just gets stuck on his arm. I think before too long he'll be flopping around pretty good on the floor. He's able to hold his head up and track without bobbling around much at all. He grabs at things much better than he ever has. I just have nothing but good things to say.

Colby loves to stand up. He'll stay on his feet for about a minute at times. He does pretty well with holding on to my hands. Once his legs buckle, he's down. But it's a start.
He's smiles really easily now. Still not laughing outloud much.

I'll need to take some video and post it soon. Maybe this weekend.