November 30, 2009


After about 10 days at home with Charlie, we're settling into a routine. Sort of. Charlie eats every three hours which doesn't leave room for much else. Once we've paced him, burped him, changed him, calmed him down, convinced him to sleep and successfully put him down...we're already 5 minutes late for his next feeding.

But we're still having a good time. The dogs are still enamored with him and hang on his every move. He's had a little bit of a sniffle but I think that's starting to go away. And he gets a little bit of heartburn but he's taking Prevacid for that. He's very sweet and as you can see by the pictures below, he really likes to show off his sexy side.

Charlie is lost in thought.
Charlie's lost in thought, a pensive preemie.

Sexy Charlie!
Eat your heart out, ladies....Yeah, you wish.

Check out the GUNS
Step right up. Here's a free ticket to the GUN SHOW!!

No pictures please. I'm spent.
No more pictures please. I'm spent.

November 27, 2009

Our First Thanksgiving

Yesterday, we celebrated Charlie's first Thanksgiving. My parents came to the house and cooked an amazing dinner for all of us. We all took a walk around the block while the turkey was cooking, this was Charlie's first walk outside. While pushing him all bundled up around the block I began to daydream of all the fun outings we have planned; visiting Yellowstone and the Scanlons, meeting his Great Uncle Rod in the San Rafael Swell, eating handfuls of sand and tide pooling in Kennebunk, visiting Portsmouth with his cousins Jim and Brody and Nichole or simply walking on the back roads and talking to the cows behind our house. I look forward to experiencing the world with Joe and our son.

The first few days at home were very stressful, I was so afraid that Charlie would suddenly stop breathing. Since then my confidence as a parent has increased tenfold and I feel worthy of being this little man's mother. Joe and I are tackling the 3 hour feeding schedule while I finish out my maternity leave and Joe graciously works from home. I cannot imagine how anyone survives being a parent alone. I am extremely lucky to have a supportive husband to tackle the stressful first few weeks.

November 21, 2009

Home. Safe. Finally. First couple days alone.

Charlie-Man (AKA King Charlemagne) is finally home, discovering new challenges and new adventures. We brought Charlie home on Wednesday night and introduced him to his new world. He breathed fresh air for the first time; he rode in a car; he saw his house; he met his dogs... all for the first time. Then, as if on queue, the daunting reality set in that we’re alone with this little man. No monitors. No nurses. No safety net at all. That first night was intense. But we made it through, like all new parents do.

As expected, the dogs immediately fell in love with him. He’s like a human squeaky toy. Roxie has been predictably standoffish. She’s curious, but she’s gonna wait for him to approach her like everyone else. we’re not sure if she realizes how long that might take. Blü on the other hand is OBSESSED with him. She’s done nothing but follow Charlie around since the moment we came home, desperately hoping to catch a whiff, a touch or a lick of him. She holds a stalker-like vigil outside his bassinet and climbs the walls when he cries. When we take Charlie across the hall to feed and change him, Blü dances around outside the baby-gate we placed in the doorway. But I think it’s clear they will soon be best friends.

Sarah and I are adjusting to parental life. Coping with the constant worry and the lack of sleep is inherently taxing. Charlie eats every 3 hours (on the dot) and has no tolerance for excuses. But most of the time, he’ll accept a little cuddling, or story time, or tummy time afterwords. And these quiet moments are worth a lifetime of sleepless nights.

I’ve joked about my wife being in love with “another man”. The truth of the matter is that we both are. He’s quite an incredible little guy. He’s fairly easy to please and he adapts well. He tries not to cry too much and he graciously accepts our faults. We can’t wait to see what comes next.

Blü, this is Charlie... Charlie, this is Blü.
Love at first site... Blü hasn’t left Charlie’s side since he came home.

First bath at home
Charlie’s first bath at home.

Blü is OBSESSED with Charlie.
Blü wants to help so desperately.

Story time.
Story time! Charlie loves the sound of Mommy’s voice.

Tummy Time with Mommy
Tummy Time for Charlie.

Tummy Time with Mommy
Shhh... Just enjoy the quiet, little man.

Dreamy Premie.

Squishy face = squishy pants.
Squishy face = Squishy pants. might wanna check my tush.
WOAH, that was a big poop.

Ready for bed in a big way.


That’s right. Charlie was discharged on Wednesday from Saint Mark’s Hospital after 31 days in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit. We were nervous about taking him home as we had grown quite accustomed to the amazing care he received there. But we were also very excited about starting our lives together, a little stronger for the experience.

Charlie’s vital signs were good and he met all his benchmarks, leading his doctors to conclude it was time for his parole. So on Wednesday, we drove down to Saint Mark’s as visitors for the last time. We gave him his 5 o’clock feeding and went over his discharge forms with the doctor and nurses. And with that, they removed his monitor wires, and helped us to our car with our new package.

The drive home was nothing short of terrifying. I took the wheel, while Sarah stayed in the back with our precious cargo. The hectic driving experience we have become so accustomed to over the years suddenly seemed insane. Typical Utah drivers minding their own business, suddenly seemed like homicidal psychopaths. But at an a-typically slow speed, we made our way home, avoiding any major conflict. When we entered the house as a family, I turned off the outside light — the light that had remained on for Charlie — for the first time since October 18th.

Safely pulling into our driveway with my beautiful bride and perfect son was a sweet, sweet victory. I feel like the luckiest man alive to have them both in my life. I am grateful for family and friends who have stayed close throughout this time, and I’m overwhelmed with more joy than my heart can hold.

Hey Baby...
Dreamie Premie, ready to go home.

Got Your Nose!!

Mommy and Charlie
Sarah telling Charlie all the great things he has waiting for him at home.

Pensive Charlie
Pensive Premie.

Discharge day!

Removing wires
Charlie's having his monitor wires removed for good.

Charlie in his car seat with his prison stripes, breaking out of the hospital

Finally Home. Wednesday night, we turned off the front light for the first time since October 18th.

November 16, 2009

Week Five: Getting Closer...

Charlie-man is doing incredibly well these days. He has completed 4 full weeks in the NICU and is hitting all of his benchmarks. Now at 5 pounds 12 ounces (he was born at 4lb. 2oz), he’s breathing well, his temperature is great, and he’s now eating 100% by mouth. So the nurses have removed his feeding tube, which means you’ll soon be seeing pictures of him without tape or tubes on his face. He was also moved up to a less critical room in the Special Care wing of the main Nursery, which means that even the doctors are happy with his progress.

Charlie has also already passed his car seat test. This is a major hurdle for many preemies, and it must be completed before they can be discharged. He was required to sit in his car seat for two hours without any severe dips in his oxygen levels. So having passed that major milestone he’s that much closer to coming home. We’re cautiously optimistic, but we hope to have him home very soon.

Each day is a new adventure with this little man. He loves to blow our minds with his new tricks and his zen-like handle over his surroundings. He’s an amazing little guy. He refuses to get worked up over small details and he already shows an intense focus on his tasks. We’re so incredibly proud of him and can’t wait to have him all to ourselves.

During a diaper change, Charlie used his hands to distract us while he proceeded to pee all over the place.

Weee Are the Champions...
Weee Are the Champions...

Mama and Charlie, havin' some snuggle time.
Mama and Charlie, havin' some snuggle time.

Charlie and Daddy spend some quality time
Charlie and Daddy spend some quality time

November 11, 2009

New Kind of Love

I just got home from going down with Joe to feed Charlie his am feeding. When we entered the NICU we were delighted to see that Charlie was enjoying his new digs, that's right he is now in a bassinet. This also means that he is wearing clothing...we will see how long that lasts at home...and is swaddled up in blankets. He was moved last night after 8 pm and his temperature 12 hours later was 98.8 which means he managed to maintain his body temperature all night long. HIGH FIVE BUDDY!

For the first time I was able to just walk in and pick up my baby boy. You have no idea how amazing that felt. He was wide awake and ready to eat. He is just like a little bird and opens his mouth as if he is saying "OK, ready to eat mommy." This simple act made my day and I can't image what it will be like to have him home and have the opportunity to see all his little quirks and mannerisms.

I have never known a love like this before. I grew up with amazing parents that showered me with unconditional love. I have amazing friends who I know are always there for me. And I have an amazing husband who I love with all my heart and who I look forward to growing old with. But the way I feel about Charlie blows my mind. I would do anything for him and when he looks at me I am complete. He is the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me. I feel so at peace when I hold him.

Charlie in his new bassinet
Charlie in his new bassinet.

My wife is in love with another man.
"Confession: I'm in love with another man."

Charlie sucks ;)
Charlie sucks ;)

November 9, 2009

Week Four

Click to View Larger

Well, Charlie’s romance with the world grows stronger with every day. Yesterday we celebrated his three-week birthday. While our emotions continue to crest and trough with his daily battles, our sense of stability gains traction in light of his overall progress. We had an uplifting consultation with his doctors and nurses the other day, which gave us a great big picture perspective. The main takeaway was that his progress is solid, steady, and ahead of schedule. His weight is good. He’s now convincingly over 5 pounds and is developing a voracious appetite. While his energy level varies from one visit to the next, his strength and sucking reflexes are showing major improvement. Also improving is his ability to maintain a healthy oxygen saturation level while he eats. It may seem simple, but for premature babies the ability to suck, swallow and breath is a delicate balance that requires close and vigilant monitoring. And while I won’t say he’s a prodigy, Charlie is learning this important skill quickly. At his present rate, we anticipate that he may get to come home in as soon as two to three weeks.

I have to say, that given the circumstances we’re all doing quite well. We hear stories of children born earlier, smaller, or with greater challenges than Charlie. He’s making outstanding progress and he seems to enchant all who cross his path. His nurses constantly tell us how cute he is and delight in his easy-going, zen-like nature. Some have referred to him as their “boyfriend” which is at the same time cute and creepy, but oh well. He doesn’t seem to cry much. Instead, he greats the world every day with tranquil observance, a trend we all hope continues.

As of now, Sarah and I are making efforts to surface from these overwhelming events and to slowly re-acclimate into our personal and professional lives. While Charlie remains in the NICU, our hope to achieve a manageable, if temporary semblance of normalcy. Sarah’s handling the unusual transition beautifully and is being generously supported by her co-workers and boss. Of course, it will be difficult to bridge the timing gap between now and when Charlie comes home but we appreciate the flexibility and sensitivity they have shown. And as we make this hectic 90-mile round-trip commute to the hospital twice daily, we appreciate the patience and support of our friends and families.

Mommy and Charlie, snuggling up
Mommy and Charlie, snuggling up

Dr. and Mrs. Myers visiting from New Hampshire
Dr. and Mrs. Myers visiting from New Hampshire

Joe's dad holding Charlie
Joe's dad holding Charlie

Joe's Mom telling Charlie all about everything
Joe's Mom telling Charlie all about everything

Sarah having some fun with Charlie
Sarah having some fun with Charlie

All four grandparents in One NICU window
All four grandparents, neatly contained in one NICU window

Charlie likes to hold Daddy's finger
Charlie likes to hold Daddy's finger

Charlie, pondering life.
Charlie, pondering life.

November 3, 2009

Week Three

We officially started week three since Charlie's arrival. Joe's parents flew out for the weekend just in time to celebrate his two week birthday. It was wonderful for Joe, Charlie and I to celebrate the occasion surrounded by the loving support of all four grandparents.

The past two weeks have been trying both emotionally and physically. Last Wednesday, Charlie and I both had a rough day. I was re-admitted to the hospital and Charlie had a bit of a set-back as well. He had been moved to a bassinet and was unable to maintain his temperature and digest all of his food. The doctors moved him back to an isolette and backed off his feedings. Since moving back into the isolette, Charlie has begun to digest increased feedings and even eat a portion of his from a bottle. It is amazing how physically demanding it is for him to eat and digest.

Joe and I have spent the past few nights at our house in Heber. We have taken on a few projects that we began before Charlie's arrival. It feels great to be home and to finally be the energy to finish nesting. We are not sure when we will be able to bring him home so we just focus on each day as it comes.