I brought Brandon to the Memorial Day parade this afternoon. He loved it. He was dancing to the music from the bands and loved seeing everything that was in the parade...especially the firetrucks. Stu was driving one of the firetrucks in the parade so Brandon even got to see his daddy. Stu's parents were at the parade with us and also our friends Dina, Andy, and their kids, Abby and Tommy. After the parade we went back to the firehouse and Stu let Brandon go on one of the trucks with him.
Brandon cracks me up. This morning he was playing with an old beer bottle that we have been saving because we think it is a cool bottle (it is aluminum, not glass) and one of my water bottles. He was pretending to pour the beer into the water bottle. It cracks me up that he knows he should pour something into the water bottle.
I have been going out to dinner once a month since October with some other preemie moms whose babies were in the same NICU as Brandon. Brandon was discharged before any of their babies were born though. Today some of the babies finally met for the first time. One of the moms, Tara, was having a Memorial Day barbeque and invited us so Stu, Brandon, and I went. Tara's son, Brandon, was there, Dina and her daughter, Ava, were there and Beth, her husband, and their children, Avery and Hannah, were there. The other two moms and their families couldn't make it. Brandon had a great time at the barbeque. He enjoyed seeing the other children and especially enjoyed jumping in the bounce house that they had. We can't wait to get together with our new friends again.
Brian and Laura came to Point Pleasant yesterday for the weekend so Stu, Brandon, and I went to see them. Brandon had a really good time at my parents beach house and enjoyed seeing his Uncle Brian and Aunt Laura. He also enjoyed seeing their dog, Slider.
Brandon was dancing this morning to a song on Yo Gabba Gabba. Sorry for the sideways video. I can't figure out how to turn it when it is a video and keep forgetting to hold the camera so it isn't the long way when doing a video.
Two years ago today I gave birth to Brandon's twin sister at only 20 1/2 weeks. I can't believe it was already 2 years ago. It sometimes seems like it was so long ago and sometimes it seems I went through it all a few days ago. Two years ago I didn't know if Brandon would be born too early also or if he would continue to stay inside of me until at least 24 weeks gestation when he would be considered viable. He did manage to stay in until 26 weeks, 1 day. He is a remarkable little boy today. Doing so many things that we never knew if he would be able to. My pediatrician last week said he can't even tell by looking at Brandon that he was such an early preemie.
I still think about Brandon's twin sister. I wonder what she would look like, what she would be doing, how Brandon would be with her. Tonight before bedtime I am going to show Brandon her pictures. I want him to know that he did have a twin sister.
Today I am going to hug my little boy a few more times than I normally would and tell him how much I love him. And tell him how happy I am that he is here.
This has been a difficult week in the preemie community. A 20 month old named Justice (I am on the same preemie message board as his mom) passed away last week. Justice was born at 27 weeks and had respiratory issues as a result of being born early. It is so not fair what prematurity does to so many babies.
Brandon, Stu, my parents, and I went to the Point Pleasant Aquarium and boardwalk today. We were going to go to Storybook Land but the forecast wasn't good. Brandon loved the aquarium. It is the perfect size for him and he really enjoyed seeing all of the fish, seals, penguins, and other animals. He even touched a horseshoe crab, sea star, and sea urchin.
After the aquarium we walked on the boardwalk for a little while and then Brandon and I went on some rides. He really liked the flying elephants. He wouldn't sit on a horse on the merry go round. I had to hold him on my lap while we sat on the bench. He then didn't want to go on any other rides but I think a lot had to do with the fact that it was time for lunch and he was hungry and also that he hadn't had a nap except for the short time he fell asleep in the car on the way to the aquarium.
Brandon went to the pediatrician today for a weight check. He now weighs 22 pounds, 2 ounces. The pediatrician was happy with his weight. He has gained almost 2 pounds since March. From October-March he couldn't get past 20 pounds, 6 ounces. The pediatrician did think a lot of it had to do with the fact that he had started walking and was so active. He is still less than the 5th percentile for his real age but at least he is on the chart still. I am so happy he finally cleared the 22 pound mark.
While we were at the pediatrician he listened to Brandon's lungs and said he sounds good. We discussed starting him on singulair and he gave us some free samples of the chewable for Brandon to try. He said it should help with allergies and asthma. He also suggested using flovent and giving him puffs instead of pulmicort on the nebulizer. I am going to call the pulminologist tomorrow to see if that is okay with him. If it is we will do that. I think it will be much easier to give him 2 puffs then to do a 10-20 minute nebulizer treatment depending on which medicine he is doing with the nebulizer. Brandon HATES the nebulizer. He also said that by looking in Brandon's nose he thinks he has a cold but he is doing ok with the cold.
Yesterday afternoon we had Brandon's 6 month early intervention speech review with his case manager. He is caught up to where he should be in receptive language (understanding) now. When he first started early intervention he was 3 months behind his adjusted age. He is still delayed in expressive speech which is the only reason he qualified for early intervention again for the next 6 months. He will continue to have speech once a week and we will meet again in 6 months. The goal is for him to have 20-25 words by then. Of course more words is okay too.
I had to start Brandon on xopenex again on the nebulizer on Sunday night because he started coughing again. It is definitely his allergies this time. I called the pediatrician on Monday to see about getting a prescription for singulair. A few preemies from one of my message board are on it and doing well so I thought maybe he would do well on it too. The children's claritin is not strong enough for him. He is going to the pediatrician this afternoon for a weight check so the pediatrician switched it to a doctor's visit since they want to listen to his lungs first. She did tell me that singulair will probably be good for him because it is for allergies and asthma.
Stu, Brandon, and I went to Maureen, Greg, Danny, and Julia's house today. We ate lunch there and then we went out into their backyard for Brandon and Danny to play. Danny is a little over a month younger than Brandon. The two boys played so nicely together. Danny has a slide that Brandon must have gone on at least 30 times or more. He LOVED it. He did so good at climbing up and sliding down by himself. I got to see Julia for the first time today. Julia is almost 2 months old and such a cute baby.
Brandon has a new favorite food. Chocolate oreo ice cream. I was eating some tonight and Brandon came over to me on the couch and opened his mouth for some. At first he was surprised by the cold but I guess the taste of the ice cream outweighed the cold because he kept opening his mouth for more. He probably ate more than half of my ice cream. The funny thing is he let me feed it to him with a spoon. He usually will not let me feed him with a spoon anymore because he wants to try by himself.
Brandon went back to the babysitter on Monday and was very happy to be back. On Friday when I came to get him he didn't even want to leave. I had to carry him kicking and screaming out of the house to go to the car.
Brandon's new thing is laughing. He laughs all of the time and cracks up about everything. Not that he didn't laugh before but now he laughs constantly. We went to the supermarket yesterday and he was just cracking up at everything. It is really cute.
Brandon loves going on his firetruck ride on toy but for some reason he lifts the seat up and climbs in. He then either sits in the space where he should store things or stands in it. He is also obsessed with balls. He has all different sized balls and loves to play with them and carry them around.
I had a very nice Mother's Day yesterday. My day began at 5:45 when Brandon decided he was awake to start the day. I walked into his room and was greeted with a huge smile which was so nice. Most mornings Brandon wakes up crying. The huge smile made up for the early hour that we were awake.
Brandon wound up taking an early nap at 7:45, probably because he was up so early. He slept for a little over 3 hours so I knew he wouldn't go back down at 12 which is his usual nap time. It actually worked out well because we were able to go do something as a family. Stu, Brandon, and I went to Atlantic Farms. I posted below about our trip to the farm. It was really nice spending some time as a family.
Last night we went out to dinner with Stu's parents. Brandon was so good at dinner.
I am so blessed to be a mommy to such a wonderful little boy. Brandon has been through so much in his life but he is such a happy boy even after what he has been through. He almost always has a smile on his face and loves laughing. He really just enjoys life. He is such a sweet boy too. He loves giving me kisses and doing "aw" (hugs).
Brandon is finally feeling better. He only needs his pulmicort now and not the xopenex on the nebulizer and he is done with both his antibiotic and oral steroid. I am so happy that he is doing better.
At speech the other day he said the word apple twice. I wasn't with him at speech, my mom was so I hadn't heard it. Last night we were watching Kai Lan and her grandfather was holding apples so I said, "Look Brandon, there are some apples" and he said, "apple." I finally got to hear it.
Here are some pictures from the week that I didn't get a chance to post.
Brandon, Stu, and I went to Atlantic Farms today to see and feed the animals. Brandon really enjoyed petting the animals and feeding them carrots, especially the goats. Everytime he fed the goats he would sign more so he could have more carrots. He also enjoyed feeding the sheep but didn't like when they would baa. He fed the cows but didn't like the rough texture of their tongue. He didn't like the llama. I am not sure if it was because the llama took the carrot from his hand before he was ready to give it to him or if the llama's teeth got his hand a little. He cried and when I brought him back to see the llama again he turned his head.
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.