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

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Happy 1st Birthday!


November 30, 2005
1 pound 8 ounces (680 grams)
12 inches


November 30, 2006
18 pounds 8 ounces
28 inches

Monday, November 27, 2006

John Tidbits!

John is recovering wonderfully. You can see a huge difference in his eyes now. If you look at pictures from this weekend compared to pictures prior to surgery you can really tell how much better they look.

A glance at John's busy week.........Feeding Therapy (I figured I should start calling it feeding therapy opposed to speech therapy because I am constantly getting funny looks or remarks when I say my baby is in Speech Therapy.....NO, he is not learning his alphabet) x2, follow up eye appointment, physical therapy, second round of synagis, and A BIG BIRTHDAY TO CELEBRATE!!!!!!

On Thursday (his b-day) we are going to take John to visit his primary nurse, Jessica and his Neonatologists at Phoenix Children's Hospital.....located in Good Samaritan Hospital. We wish we could see his night primary nurse too (Chris.) However, John is fast asleep before her shift even begins. That's OK though, she comes and visits us at our house and we will see her at John's b-day party this weekend. If it weren't for the two of them I don't know how we would have made it through the NICU roller coaster ride. They loved John like he was their own and they will FOREVER be apart of our life.

I can't wait to show the little man off and give some encouragement to new families.


Aunt Jessica!


Aunt Chris!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

John's shiner!

Here are some better pictures of John's shiner. He must be getting another tooth because he has the tongue thing going on again......too cute!




Thursday, November 23, 2006

Fun 1st Thanksgiving!




Thanksgiving

Today is John's first Thanksgiving..........outside of my belly! And, his first taste of mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie! I'll let you know how that goes.

We are so extremely thankful today (and everyday) to have our little boy with us and to have such amazing friends and family. Your love and support through this journey has been so appreciated. Just knowing all of you are out there praying for us is incredibly comforting.

I hope everyone feels as blessed as we do today and may all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.


Happy Turkey Day! Look at his poor eyes:(


"Look at me!" He can only balance for a few seconds and then he takes a nose dive. He never gives up though....that's my boy!


John's first shiner.....and yet he's still smiling! AMAZING!!!


My poor baby.......just a few hours after surgery.


John's first Firetruck adventure! However, he really can't wait to play in Daddy's Police Car!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Surgery

We survived yet another surgery. The surgery was performed an hour later than scheduled because the nurse at the doctors office told us (and a handful of other families that were there) that our kids had to stop eating 4 hours prior to surgery. Well, she was wrong........it was 6 hours prior. They had to bump everyone's surgeries back so that the kiddos belly's would be empty. Not a big deal.....John just napped! Anyhow, the surgery was fairly quick. We will not know for another month if he will need a second surgery. Please pray that he won't. He has been very uncomfortable. He cried from 4:00-6:30 and then finally fell asleep. He still hasn't opened his eyes. His left eye is bleeding a lot......we were warned about that. It's just so hard to see your baby in pain. Hopefully tomorrow he'll be feeling much better.

Thank you all for your kind words regarding yesterdays post. I feel so blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family in my life. I honestly don't know how I would survive without all of you.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Not a happy post

I think of myself as a fairly strong and positive person but on days like today, it's hard to be that person. Just when you think things can't get any worse........they do!

We went to Phoenix Children's Hospital for our eval. and neurological checkup today. The evaluation was first. John was a little sleepy (he missed his nap) but he still performed well:) He is 32 weeks adjusted and scored between 22-28 weeks on everything. Not bad in my opinion considering he was born at 24 weeks and had a severe brain bleed. The PT doing the eval. didn't seem too concerned. She noticed a little stiffness in his legs and shoulders and commented on his head and hand tremors. Nothing new to us. She wants us to work on sitting and reaching for toys. She thinks he'll be sitting by Christmas. What a great present that will be!

After the eval. we met up with our good friends from the NICU and their son (also a 24 weeker.) It was great to see them!

Now, here comes the venting......

As soon as the neurologist walks into the room she says, John is REALLY falling behind. Jamie and I look at each other.........what?????? Where in the world she got that info. from beats me. I told her he scored between 22-28 weeks and she said, oh I guess that's not too bad. Anyhow, John had fallen asleep so she really couldn't do too much with him so she decides to pull up the MRI from March and proceeds to tell us he should get tested for a genetic disorder and if he has one then we probably shouldn't have more kids. WHAT???????????? This came out of no where. She read this same MRI 4 months ago when we were there and no where did she ever mention a genetic disorder. She went on to tell us that his small cerebellum will effect his motor skills. I felt like we were re-living that HORRIBLE day in March when they read the MRI to us for the first time and told us John wouldn't be able to do this and that and so forth.

All of my hopes and dreams of a normal pregnancy and delivery were shattered when I delivered John at 24 weeks into my pregnancy. My hopes and dreams for my child were destroyed when the Dr.'s told us he had a Grade III brain bleed and would have long term disabilities. I have come to grips with the fact that John may have special needs and I am okay with that. He is my child and in my eyes and God's, he's perfect. I was chosen to be his mommy for a reason and I am thankful for that. But, now I feel like my hopes and dreams of having a "normal" pregnancy, carrying a baby to term, bringing my baby home with me, breast feeding, etc., have been crushed too. I know life is rough but I never imagined it could be this hard.

Sorry, for such a depressing post. It's just one of those days.

On another note, please pray for his surgery tomorrow. Pray that it is performed carefully and that the recovery is quick.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

It's a bird, it's a plane.....

It's Super John! John decided to skip crawling and walking and go straight to flying. Our little over achiever!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Rolling, rolling, rolling......

John is FINALLY rolling......both ways. I knew he could do it.....it was just a matter of time. Unfortunately, I was in the other room but, proud Daddy got to see. He's been a rolling machine all day. Only problem is, he now gets tangled in his feeding tube. He has his neurological eval. on Monday and I prayed that he would be rolling both ways. God is good!

This week has been pretty mellow. Our only appointments were PT and ST. Next week however, it going to be a whirl wind. Monday he has an eval. from 10:00-11:00 and then we meet with the neurologist at 11:15. Tuesday, we check into PCH at 12:00 and his surgery is at 1:30. I am not sure how long his surgery is. Thankfully it is outpatient though. The rest of the week will be spent recovering.......and eating lots of turkey:)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

John news!

John is doing absolutely amazing! On Thursday when he was working with his PT, she said kids with CP can't do the things he's doing!!!!! Again, time will tell and we will love him unconditionally. He is also starting to prop sit........just for a few seconds though! He amazes us every day. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful son!!!




Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

More Therapy!

Cigna will now pay for Speech (feeding) Therapy twice a week. John will have ST on Tuesdays and Fridays and PT on Thursdays with a second day starting pretty soon. We decided to drop our EI (play therapist) and receive PT twice a week instead......much more beneficial. John's a busy boy!

I found a new dentist that comes highly recommended. We will probably go see her in the spring as there is no reason to take him to ANOTHER doctors office during RSV season.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Friday, November 03, 2006

Eyes & Teeth

We had our eye appointment and dentist appointment this week and here is where things stand......

EYES: The surgery is scheduled for Tuesday November 21st at Phoenix Children's Hospital. It is an outpatient surgery so thankfully we won't have to spend the night. We were told that John would be under the weather for a few days but should be feeling better by the weekend......what a way to spend your first Thanksgiving. We are supposed to put medicine in his eyes for 2 weeks:( Dad, any suggestions on that one?????

TEETH: So, the dentist quickly looks at his teeth and then at me and says, well, there is nothing I can do. Not the answer I was looking for. He said all of his baby teeth and permanent teeth may be this yucky brown color. I then looked at him and said, I am not sending my child to school with brown teeth so there's got to be something we can do. So......it looks like we will be capping baby teeth and possibly permanent ones too. When this is all said and done, he'll definitely have the best looking mouth in town. A million dollar mouth for my million dollar baby!!!

MISC. STUFF: John finally got his first dose of Synagis (shot to help prevent RSV.) He'll be getting one (I mean 2 because he is so big) every 28 days through April and then again hopefully next RSV season. Go figure, his next shot falls on his birthday. We of course had to change it. What parent would make their child get a shot on their birthday. He will also be getting his flu shot next week and then his 12 month shots at the end of the month. Poor little man!

All in all, things are great in the Birtch home. A little lonely at times.......since we are now officially on house arrest but it's all relative.