Sunday, October 30, 2011

Family Photos!

This past spring while Bronson was still in the NICU (before we even knew that he would need a liver transplant) at Sick Kids  someone told us about an organization called The Tiny Light Foundation. They provide photography services to families with a child/ren who have gone through a life altering or changing illness/disability. You can check out their website here.

Once we applied to this foundation we were put in touch with Misty Dawson Photography & Design. Misty was absolutely wonderful with us and was able to capture some great photos of our family.

Tonight Misty posted a little bit of Bronson's story on her blog as well as some of the photos she took. So, take a few minutes and take a little peek at our photo session!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Photo Friday

I'm starting a new post every week called 'Photo Friday's'. So expect to see pictures every Friday. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Late post for 5 Months Old - Notice NO NG TUBE!

I can't believe that Bronson is already 5 months old! Well, technically he was 5 months old on October 9, 2011 but I forgot to take his pictures right on the date. So here's his 5 month update!
Bronson, 5 months old, sitting in his bumbo. Side note - If you have a girl first don't buy all pink/purple things because when you're second child is a boy he is stuck in a purple bumbo! (notice the blanket hiding the bumbo!)
At 5 months old he can:

  • Roll from his back onto his stomach (only from his right side so far)
  • Roll from his stomach onto his back (again, only from his right side... we're working on the left side)
  • He's starting to work on sitting up - he's very wobbily still because of his lack of abdominal muscles from surgery but he's getting better every day.
  • Lay on his stomach and hold his head up and look around
  • Making a lot of noise with his cooing (with all that time in the hospital I think he has lots of stories to tell!)
  • For the most part he is happy and smiling all the time
  • wearing size 2 Pampers
  • Weighs 11 lbs 8 oz
  • I've given him rice cereal twice so far and he's not a fan of it yet. 
Last week we had a VERY exciting thing happen - Bronson's NG tube came out for good! For a couple of weeks Bronson had begun pulling his NG tube out every night regardless of how much tape I used to secure it. Every morning I had to put the tube back in. I was starting to try some medications by mouth with a syringe but that wasn't going very well because he didn't seem to like the meds just being squirted into his mouth. 

Well, last Wednesday he had a lot of congestion from a cold and I felt so bad having to put his tube back in because I felt like it would have made his breathing that much more worse. I decided against putting the tube back in and mixed all of his meds with a little bit of his milk. Then I put the mixture in a nipple from a bottle and he drank it! He didn't even hesitate with the taste difference (most of his meds are crushed pills which probably don't taste too great)! It's now been 7 days without an NG tube and he's had no problems with his meds! You have no idea how excited this has made me! 

I had to add this picture because his expression as he's falling over is hilarious!
In the last two weeks Bronson's daily IV med and 3 daily oral meds all stopped and now his NG tube is gone. It used to take me at least 2.5 hours each morning to have myself and both kids ready for the day and now I can be out the door in an hour and twenty minutes! It's amazing how much easier my mornings are with only having to give four meds and four meds only!

This coming Monday I'm at Sick Kids for a clinic check up with Bronson and I'm kind of hoping his PICC line will be coming out soon. I know I mentioned before that I wanted the PICC to stay as long as possible because it made blood work easier, but he hasn't needed any extra blood work in 3 weeks. I'm so ready to say goodbye to the PICC line. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Book Review: "Heaven is for Real"

I've never done a book review on my blog before, but I found one that was definitely worth sharing! I've heard a lot of stories of people going into heaven and have always been a little bit hesitant about them. That is, until I read this book.

"Heaven is for Real", by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent, is a book about a four year old little boy, Colton, and his account of his visit to heaven. Colton had to have an emergency surgery and everything went as planned. But, a couple of months post surgery Colton began to talk about things that had occurred during his surgery, such as where and what his parents were doing during that time and that he watched the surgeon operate on him.

Throughout the next couple of years Colton would say different things that would catch his parents off guard. One night, out of the blue, he said to his mom, "I have a sister", and his mom replied that yes he did have a sister and she was sitting in the other room. Colton disagreed and went on to say that he was talking about his other sister who died in his mommy' tummy. Another sister he was never told about. A little baby they lost in a miscarriage. How could a little four year old boy know that?

On a different occasion Colton said that he met his grandpa who had died years before he was even born. His parents showed him pictures of his grandpa in his later years and to each picture Colton said that it wasn't him. Finally, he was shown a picture of his grandpa when he was in his 20's and almost immediately Colton said that was who he had met. Amazing is all I have to say.

I always thought "Ya, people are in heaven waiting for us", but I never gave it much more thought than that. This book gave me a different perspective of what heaven is like. This is an amazing book that I would definitely recommend to read. It's one of those books you can't put down, and trust me you won't regret reading it!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Small Boy with a Big Smile!

I'm getting excited for all these appointments and clinic checkups at SickKids to slow down! Since August I've been there at least every two weeks and occasionally 1-2 times a week. But, I guess in the scheme of things, having Bronson home and going up occasionally is better than going everyday and not being able to bring him home with me! 

Yesterday afternoon I received a call to confirm a Neonatal Follow Up appointment for today, which I had totally forgotten about it. So, I happily unfortunately rescheduled my day of house cleaning and got up at 5:30am to make it to Bronson's appointment for 9:30. The good news is that he is in the 25th-50th percentile for development. I, personally, think that's great! A lot of the things he's behind in (such as complete head/neck muscle control, sitting etc) are mostly related to weak abdominal muscles (caused from his liver transplant surgery). Plus, he has a giant head compared to the rest of his body - I think that would be task  for anyone to hold up! Well, I guess his head isn't THAT big, but his body weight is just below the 3rd percentile for his age and his head circumference is in the 10th percentile.

Also, I was glad to hear that the physiotherapist thought that Bronson's development delay was mostly from his surgery and hospital stay and not related to neurological problems. Bronson hasn't had any seizures since he's been home from the hospital but there is always the chance that neurological delays could show up. So, as of right now, no concerns. 

Yes, I said his weight is only around the 3rd percentile. This morning in a short span of 3 hours I had FOUR people ask me if he was 2 months old and each time I had to explain that he had some health issues when he was born and he's just small. But, he is gaining weight! Today at his appointment he was a whopping 11 lbs 8oz. Even though he was only 6 lbs 4oz at birth (very small compared to my daughter who was 8 lbs 10oz) I've been told that his small size is very normal after having liver failure, at least he's gaining weight and not losing any! 

In the beginning of September when my sister, Sarah Beth, went back to work after her surgery (for those of you that don't know the story she donated a lobe of her liver to Bronson and can read it here) she received an email from a man in Ottawa who had heard about Bronson's story. Well, he ended up sending us a gorgeous picture and frame for Bronson that he had made! I absolutely love it and want to say another thank you to the person who took the time to make it! (Sorry, I took the picture on my phone and it's a little pixely)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Baby Boy Babcock

I wrote a blog post in August called Planning For a Miracle. In case you don't remember it was about a lady, Cindy, I had met at Sick Kids who was pregnant with a little boy, and this little boy was going to need a liver transplant after birth. Well, Cindy's due date is coming up (Nov. 1 I believe I read) and they are currently searching for a live liver donor. In September they were able to find out that the baby's blood type is B (you can read her blog post here about that) which means that a live donor can be either type B or O blood types (the positive or negative doesn't matter).

Their baby has been diagnosed with OTC (ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency) and the only cure for the baby is to have a liver transplant. You can read about their treatment plan for the baby here.

They have started a Facebook group for the baby called Baby Boy Babcock - Liver Transplant Needed. If you are interested in more information, or would like to apply to be a live donor, there are forms posted on their Facebook page.

As the baby's due date gets closer please keep this family in your prayers and continue to pray that the delivery will go as planned, that they will find a live donor, and that once the baby is born he will remain stable until a liver transplant is done.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Our week in Review

Today I took Bronson to Sick Kids for a check up. In a nutshell he's doing great and there aren't really any concerns! We're going to start trying to do all his meds orally and (I'm hoping) in the next 2-3 weeks his NG tube will be gone!!!! I can't wait! Almost every night, no matter how much tape I use to secure it, he pulls it out and then I have to fight him in the morning to put it back in. I want that thing gone for good! Also, his daily IV med that I've been doing ends this week and in the next little bit (depending on how much blood work is needed) his PICC line will be gone as well! All the extra lines/tubes are finally going to be gone!

This past Thanksgiving weekend had gorgeous weather and it was nice to spend time with family. It was also nice to have a day at home to do absolutely nothing. We have a bar in our basement and I've been wanting to repaint it for a long time. I bought paint and sanded it all down last fall but I haven't got around to finishing it. Well, Monday I finally got around to completing my project! I took before pictures and I'll take after pictures and post them later on this week. We don't use the bar but it's built in so it would be more of a pain to remove it. It's in our playroom and I wanted to be able to make it functional, so I used black chalkboard paint on the front and side of it and then an oil based paint on the top of it. That way the kids can use it as a chalkboard but, when it's wiped clean it just looks like black paint. Perfect.

Here are a few pictures from our week...

Cutie Pie! 

Every morning I get Bronson dressed in his bed and Kallie always wants to get into his crib and lay beside him while I dress him. It also results in some cute pictures!

Kallie loves hugging Bronson... I didn't even tell her to hug him!


Kallie saw me raking the leaves and wanted to copy me. I might be biased, but she's so cute!

Where's Kallie?
(The sad part is that the majority of the big tree on our yard is still mostly there will be a LOT more leaves to rake...sigh...)

Bronson all wrapped up after his bath.

My happy little sockless boy!

4 days short of being a big 5 months old!!
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