This is the amazing story of our micro preemie, John Craig. He was born on November 30, 2005 at 24 weeks and 5 days gestation. He weighed 1 pound 8 ounces and was 12 inches long. John is a true miracle and an inspiration to all that meet him!
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29.11

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

1st Halloween!


A dinosaur during the day and Superman at night!



Monday, October 30, 2006

One More Month....

The big day is almost here! John's chronological 1st birthday is exactly one month away. Wow, where did time go. I remember this time last year I was just beginning to show. I LOVED being pregnant and I was so excited to be having a little boy. Little did I know, a month later John would be here. Jamie would always say it would be cool if John were born on his 30th birthday which is February 16th. We always laughed and said, no way, that's way too early (36 weeks.) Anyway, I still can't believe a year has almost passed and what a year it's been.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Weekend Pictures



Chubby thighs:)



Cheeeeeeeeeeeeese!



Watching Washington St. score a
touchdown:( Luckily, we still won!



Chug, chug, chug, chug...
No, he is not drinking, just chewing. We had to balance the bottle in his hand......for the picture!



This only lasted half a second!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Tooth #2

Yes, John has another tooth coming in and he wasn't a happy camper yesterday:( His poor tongue is going to be raw.......he keeps rubbing it over his tooth/teeth.

Last night, the 3 of us went out to dinner for the first time ever. I was a little nervous but it actually felt wonderful. We sat outside.......the weather was perfect however, the couple next to us was smoking......Yuck! I sure hope they pass that no smoking law.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

John Tidbits!


John's on a roll in the weight department. He is now 17lbs 3oz. My arm actually gets tired when I am holding him.

Yesterday he took a 3 hour nap and he is going on 2 hours as we speak. Yeah!!!!

I rescheduled his Dentist apt. for next Wednesday. I didn't want him to miss PT today.

On another note, I check up on all our preemie friends daily and yesterday I heard the BEST news ever. Remember our friends we met in the NICU? They were the Christian couple from GA who had quads. Anyhow, I had mentioned before that their little girl Danielle had a severe brain bleed like John. Well, on Sunday she stood up all by herself!!!!! I get teary eyed just thinking about. It just goes to show how good God is and the incredible power of prayers. We are so happy for them!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I Couldn't Resist

Could he possibly be any cuter.........I doubt it!


The IFSP is at 1:00 today. I'll update later.

Update:
The IFSP went well. We went over John's likes and dislikes, reviewed old goals, and set some new goals. His new goals are:
1. Sit unassisted
2. Crawl/army crawl
3. Bring toes to his mouth
These are the goals we already set with PT last week. We will review them in 6 months and go from there. Please keep all of those goals in your prayers.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Mr. 17 Pounder

The title says it all. Our LITTLE micropreemie has come a long way. As stressful as our life may be, I can't imagine it any other way nor would I want it......Okay, I could live without the vomiting.

This week we have PT, Dentist, and his IFSP. Don't ask what an IFSP is because I really don't know. It is some sort of evaluation. However, I'll let you know how it goes:)



Friday, October 20, 2006

Johnny

I have been reading that John should be able to recognize his name now. The only problem is, we never call him by his name. He does however smile when he hears, Bubster, Bubsta J, Bitty Baby, Dudester, Duder, and Mr. Man. So, we are trying to call him by his name now.......Johnjohn, Johnny, John, and John Boy (Grandpa has always called him that.)

John loves his cow!

His leather feet are great to chew on:)

My sleepy boys.

Halloween's a coming!

I don't know why but, he loves sticking his tongue out........and it's such a cute tongue!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

PT is Pleased!

John has PT every Thursday at our house. His Physical Therapist is absolutely amazing. She is so positive and so good with him. Today, she said that she was very pleased with his progress. She also said that she sees improvement every week. Yeah.........keep up the prayers.

Not much else to report. PT was the only appointment we had this week.....Surprisingly. We LOVE these kind of weeks. Next week we'll see the Pediatric Dentist and the following week we'll see the eye doc. Hopefully we'll soon have a date for his eye surgery.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A New Day

A new day.......a new attitude! I am still pretty sad about John's tooth but we will get it fixed, whatever the cost. Nothings too expensive for our little boy:) I know I am going to eat my words when he 16 and wants a Mercedes!

It's 6:00am and the little guy is still sound asleep. I put him to bed later last night (7:00pm) because he napped until 6:00pm. I think that's the key. He didn't wake up at all until 5:00am this morning.......to puke and go back to sleep. Who would of thought that I would feel refreshed after 5 hours of sleep? This is Jill we are talking about it.......I can sleep 10 hrs at night and then take a 2 hour nap. Boy, have things changed!!!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Tooth

Unfortunately it looks like John's first tooth is a yucky brown color. While in the NICU, he was on TPN (for nutrition) for about a month following his battle with NEC because he wasn't able to digest my breast milk. He ended up with high direct bilirubin levels. High indirect bilirubin results in jaudice (which he also had) and can be taken care of with the bili-lights but, direct bilirubin is different and can only be decreased by digesting food. Anyway, the high levels can cause damage to the baby tooth buds and cause them to be discolored. This may be the only discolored tooth his has or he may have more. I am just so sad that this has happened to his 1st tooth. This is so minor in the grand scheme of things but, it is still heart breaking as a parent to see your child have ANOTHER obstacle to overcome. As a teacher, I keep thinking about how cruel kids can be and it makes me cry thinking John could be picked on. Oh how I wish I could make everything better for him. I made an appointment with a Pediatric Dentist for next week. I hope he can ease my mind and give us some goods news. Is there such a thing as baby veneers? I am all over it, if there is. Anyhow, the good news is that it's temporary and his adult teeth will be fine.

Please pray for his teeth to come in white, his neck and trunk muscles to get stronger so he is able to hold his head up and sit by himself, and for his brain bleeds to resolve themselves and not have any long term effects on him. Please pray that he is able to do ANYTHING he puts his mind to.

Update: On a brighter note, John took a 2.5 hour nap today for ME! I even had to wake him up so I could give him his Prilosec (reflux med) and put his PJ's on. It must be a growing day:)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A Day In The Life Of...

Hi, it's me, John Craig. You know, the handsome guy in all the pictures. I thought it was about time my parents let me have a say in all of this. So, here is a day in the life of..... ME!

Today was so much fun! I woke up pretty early....I just wanted extra time to play with Mommy and Daddy. After playing I had a light breakfast (2oz) and kept it ALL down. Mommy was soooooooo happy. I was really tired by this point so I took a short nap (45 minutes.) When I woke up, Mommy took me on a walk.


The weather was great and I had lots of fun. After our walk I finished my breakfast (2 more oz) but unfortunately it ALL came back up. I got to play a little bit more before I took another nap. My Grams got me this really neat wooden toy. It's so much fun to chew on....especially with my new tooth coming in.


This nap was VERY short......maybe like 10 minutes. You see, I was sleeping great but then I rolled onto my back and yep, it woke me right up. I bet if I could roll back over I'd be able to fall back asleep. I am going to keep trying. Mommy was so nice to let me play in my crib for awhile......between you and me, I think she really just needed a little break. The rest of the day was spent watching Daddy on ANOTHER house project.


I can't wait until I can help him. Daddy thinks it would be fun for us to buy another house and knock it down and then rebuild it. Moms says, "In your dreams!" I also played with Mommy some more and of course threw up on her. I didn't get a bath tonight because Daddy made a mess in my bathtub. Mommy gave me a sponge bath though. Then off to bed I went. What a GREAT day!!!

Our Man!

Fall has finally arrived in Arizona. Well, at least for the weekend. You would think it were snowing here the way I dressed John:)

Anyhow, he now weighs 16 pounds 11 ounces. He's growing up right before our eyes (literally).......and we're loving it! I am guessing he'll be 17 pounds for Halloween. Yea....we will have a mighty big Superman AND Dinosaur. We will be celebrating Halloween Eve and Halloween because John has two costumes:) Now, what kid wouldn't want to extend Halloween?

And, John has yet another girlfriend on the way (lucky guy!) One of my best friends will be having her second little girl on Tuesday. She claims that the two girls are going to fight over John...again, lucky guy! He told me that he's going to love them both the same:) We are so excited and can't wait to meet little Ruby. Good Luck Katie!!!!!





Friday, October 13, 2006

It's almost here...

John's first tooth is almost through. You can see a little slit on his gums and you can feel it when he chews on your finger. I am so excited!!!! I think I'll take him out for his first steak dinner once his tooth pops through. Don't worry, I'll post LOTS of pictures of his little tooth. Yea....he'll have a tooth for his first birthday. Speaking of birthday, I still can't believe a year has almost passed. Our little man is almost 1....WOW!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

John news!

Everything is great in the Birtch home........well, minus all the vomiting. The poor little guy still can't keep his food down. It's so sad, he'll scream and cry and then vomit and look up at you with a huge smile. He's such a trooper. He still isn't rolling from his back to his belly yet but he's getting close. When on his belly, he can push all the way up on his arms. He wants to crawl so badly. He tucks his legs under himself and pushes off but he can't figure out how to move his arms so his arms get stuck under his body. He's come a long way and we couldn't be more proud of our little man.


Who wouldn't be a morning person when you get this smiling face first thing every morning. Even Mondays are wonderful!


The teeth are coming......we think. He's chewing on everything and his PT looked in his mouth this morning and said it looks like he's going to get a bunch of teeth at once. John likes to do things a little different.....as if you didn't notice:)


Sleeping babies are the best......especially mine:):):)


Isn't he the most handsome boy ever?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Weekend Update

I am slacking on my posts lately.........sorry.

We had a semi eventful weekend....well, for us at least. Saturday, John and I went to my parents for lunch (Jamie was at home working on yet another house project-travertine baseboards) for my Grandma's 93 birthday. We went up their on Sunday also to escape the messy, noisy house project. At 7:30am I loaded John and ALL of his dirty laundry (felt like college again) in the car and off to Grandma and Grandpa's house we went. It was great, my mom took John for a walk, my dad started John's laundry, and I got to go workout:)

On another note, we may have a tooth coming in shortly. We'll keep you updated:)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Feeling Good

"We" survived the first fever/virus. John's fever broke late Tuesday evening and by Wednesday morning he was feeling good. Thanks for checking up on the little guy!



Monday, October 02, 2006

My Birthday Wish...

I got my birthday wish (a 16 pound baby)....and then some. Unfortunately, John came down with his first fever today (102.9.) My poor baby. So, my 30th birthday was spent at the pediatrician and then running over to the lab for blood work. I know, welcome to the world of Motherhood! Even with John being sick, I still had a wonderful day with my boys. Jamie went above and beyond and made my 30th birthday extra special. The Dr. is going to call us here pretty soon to let us know if anything shows up on his blood work. She did say that his throat was really red and she thinks it may be a virus. Who knows how he got it......we keep him VERY confined. I just keep telling myself.....all babies get sick. I'll update after the Dr. calls.

Update:
The Dr. called and said his white blood cell count was slightly elevated but nothing too alarming. She's pretty certain that it's not a bacterial infection and more on the line of a good ole virus. I still don't know how he got sick. It had to be when I took him to PCH last week to see the GI doc and get blood work (which came back great.) So, the Dr. said to give him Tylenol around the clock (no sleep for mom tonight) and to watch for troubled breathing, vomiting, and a rash. Hopefully he'll feel much better in the morning.