Starting Friday I can start to bring Brandon out to places. I will have to be careful about not bringing him into large crowds since he might be overwhelmed in the beginning since he has not been out of the house except for doctors appointments, a few trips to my friend Becky's house, his grandparents houses, and for walks. It is also important that we still try to keep Brandon healthy.
Dr. Sembrano, Brandon's pulminologist, gave us some guidelines for "our new life" and we also have some rules. These are in place to assure that Brandon continues to stay healthy - which is our TOP priority. He is doing very well and he is healthy, but we must not forget that he was NOT a full term baby and he still does have a fragile immune system. And while his lungs have grown and begun to heal we want them to continue to do so, therefore, he does NOT need to get sick. His lungs are still smaller and a lot less developed than a baby born at term. Please know that we love each and everyone one of you and we can't wait to share Brandon with all of you, but these rules have to be followed. No ifs, ands, or buts.
1. If you or anybody in your household is sick, Brandon can not be around you. If you have been sick you must be symptom free for at least five days before visiting with Brandon. If there is a family function, please let us know of any illness, so that we can know not to attend.
2. Please do not touch Brandon's hands or face. His hands are constantly in his mouth and on his face.
3. It is still imperative that you wash/sanitize your hands thoroughly before touching Brandon or any of his toys. We will have hand sanitizer at all times if needed. Please do not hesitate to ask for it.
4. Do not smoke around or near Brandon If you have smoked please change clothes before visiting.
5. We are going to be very cautious about holding Brandon. We aren't just going to let him be passed from person to person. We will let you hold him, as long as you are healthy, and have sanitized your hands. But in large gatherings, we will limit how many times he gets passed around- it can be very overwhelming for him. And we agree that it is not a good idea for children to hold him at all right now. Unfortunately, children are full of germs and you never know what he can pick up.
Again, we aren't saying this to be mean or to keep Brandon hidden. We will be attending family and friend functions (as long as no one is sick) and we will be going for walks in the park, etc. But we need you to understand that Brandon is still a preemie and is still VERY small for his age. Although, the risk of RSV has fallen, any kind of sickness could land him in the hospital.I know that not everyone fully 'gets' what having a premature baby means and what their limits are- I know that both Stu and I had absolutely NO idea before Brandon was here. It has been a long educational journey for us and we continue to learn new things every day. So, we do understand that this is hard for all of you and you may think we are being silly, especially if you've never known a preemie. But Brandon's health is our #1 priority, and we will do everything to continue to keep him well.
I brought Brandon outside this afternoon into our backyard and let him feel the grass. It was the first time he has felt grass and he didn't seem to mind the texture of it at all. In fact, he tried to eat some of the grass that he picked with his hand.
Stu, Brandon, and I walked in the March of Dimes, March for Babies yesterday in Belmar. Our friends Chris and Rebecca and our parents joined us in the walk. It was a 6 mile walk and the weather was beautiful...in the mid-high 80s. Brandon did a great job at the walk. He slept for the first half, then woke up and was content for awhile sitting in his stroller. Once he had enough of the stoller I put him in the baby bjorn and carried him around in that. He liked hanging out in it and looking at everything. We exceeded our goal for donations to the March of Dimes. Thank you so much to everyone who donated to support us in our walk yesterday. If it weren't for the March of Dimes Brandon wouldn't be where he is today. This is a walk that we will continue to do with Brandon and anyone else who wants to join us every year. It was nice seeing how many people came out to do the walk yesterday.
Yesterday and today the weather here has been beautiful. It was almost 80 yesterday and today was over 80 degrees. It is supposed to continue to be this warm the next few days. I am so excited because I can finally dress Brandon in his short sleeve clothes.
Yesterday I went to the park to walk with one of my friends that I met on a preemie message board that I am part of and her twins. My friend Sommer and her daughter Sydney joined us.
Today I brought Brandon to my parents' beach house in Point Pleasant. We brought him to the boardwalk and he really seemed to enjoy looking around at everything. There were a ton of people on the boardwalk and on the beach.
Tonight we went to our friends Stefanie and Aaron's house for a barbeque. We brought Brandon with us since we were hanging out on their back deck.
Tomorrow we have the March of Dimes, March for Babies walk in Belmar. Thank you to everyone who donated money to support us in the walk.
Brandon hasn't quite figured out how to crawl yet although he really wants to. I am guessing it probably won't be too long until he does figure it out. He did however figure out how to get where he wants to go by rolling. He has been able to roll from his front to his back for awhile and from his back to his front for about a month but he just figured out how to put it together. Last night he rolled over from his back to his front in his crib in the middle of the night for the first time and then started to cry because he couldn't get back over. Hopefully now he will be able to get back over in his crib too. He also sits completely unsupported now.
In one week from today Stu, Brandon, and I will be walking in the March of Dimes March for Babies in Belmar. If you would like to donate money to our team please click on the March of Dimes picture to the left of this message. If you would like to walk with us please send me an email message or call me.
We enjoyed the first nice day after several days of rain today by taking a walk. It was 60 degrees out which was a nice change from the rainy, cold days we had the past few days. The next few days are supposed to be almost 70 and in thr 70's so we will be taking walks then too. Becky and Logan came on our walk with us today. Brandon can sit in his stroller without the being in the carseat now. He seems to enjoy looking at the things around him more than when he was in the carseat.
This morning I pulled out one of Brandon's first diapers (they were the size of my cell phone) and put it next to one of the diapers he is wearing now (size 2/3) and I was amazed at the difference in size. I also pulled out the first preemie sleeper he ever wore and put it next to one of his sleepers (size 9 month) from now to see the difference. He is really getting big. I also took a picture of him with his stuffed dog that I bought for him the day I got out of the hospital after having him. He was almost the same size at the dog when he was born. Look how big he is now compared to the dog. Yesterday I took a picture of him with his preemie doll that was the size that he was when he was born. I took a picture of him with it in January (picture with green overalls on) when I got it and he has grown so much since then even. Brandon continues to amaze me everyday with how far he has come.
Here are some pictures from the past few days that I took of Brandon. He is still continuing to sleep pretty well at night. He goes to sleep after his 7:00 bottle and sleeps anywhere from 6-9 hours, gets up for a bottle, and then goes right back to sleep until usually between 6 and 6:30, although this morning he was up at 5:05 and did not want to go back to sleep.
Brandon was dressed up in the sweater vest with the firetruck to go to Stu's parents house on Thursday and was dressed up in the green sweater vest to go to my parents' house last night.
Two nights ago Brandon slept from 7 pm- 4 am. It is the first time he has gone this long of a stretch. He woke up at 4 am for a bottle, then went right back to sleep until 6:15. Last night wasn't quite as long but he still slept pretty well. He slept from 7 pm- 2:20 am, then had a bottle, then went back to sleep until 3:50 am, then woke up and was wide awake. I had him settled and back asleep at 4:15 and he slept until 5:50. When he woke up he was talking to himself so I left him in his crib until 6:00 when I was ready to get up. Hopefully the past two nights are him starting to get closer to sleeping through the night. Until the past two nights he was waking up every 4 hours for a bottle. I think he had gotten in the habit of doing this. I don't mind giving him a bottle if he really needs one but the first bottle that he was waking up for he started drinking less and less of which made me realize he could probably go a longer stretch.
Brandon is getting really good at sitting up. He especially likes sitting up and watching Baby Einstein. Until a few weeks ago he wasn't interested in watching Baby Einstein videos. Now he enjoys watching them...especially if he is cranky. I swear they have some kind of subliminal messages in them.
My name is Karen and I have been married to my husband Stu for a little over 9 years. I was pregnant with twins and lost our baby girl at 20 1/2 weeks after I had premature rupture of membranes. I stayed pregnant with the other baby and our first child, Brandon Tyler, was born on July 5, 2008 at 26 weeks and 1 day. Our second child, Wesley Matthew, was born full term on June 29, 2011. This blog is documenting our children.