Life at Home with Russell

Wow it seems like forever since my last update but then again that could be a lack of sleep making me feel like that. HA HA HA. Russell is actually a really good baby and he sleeps really well. Often sleeping for 4-5 hours at a time so he's great. Then again I am far from used to getting up multiple times in the night for feedings and diaper changes. I can only imagine if I were still breastfeeding how many more times I'd be up feeding him.

Tummy time! And don't worry we are always right next to him when he's on his tummy.

So speaking of feeding here's an update on what's been going on. Russell has seen his Gastroenterologist and a Speech Therapist to follow up on his swallowing issues. Right now he is on formula thickened with rice cereal which is what they prescribed for him so he could go home from the NICU. He has been gaining a lot of weight from it but he's still as cute as ever. We are hoping as he gets older whatever was causing him to aspirate thin liquids will resolve itself so we can go back to breast milk but I've learned you just can't tell what's going to happen in the future. So for now we are getting an appointment for a follow up swallow study to evaluate what consistency liquid will work for him. For now as long as he's eating and not choking on his food it's all good.

At the Gastroenterologist. He was such a good patient waiting for the Dr.
Also new for Russell is bath time. We've been learning how to give him a bath at home. YAY! Russell loves his baths and Joe and I are getting better at giving him a bath without traumatizing him. HA HA HA! Neither of us is confident in giving Russell a bath alone yet but I'm sure one of these days when he has a little more head control we'll figure it out.

Russell's first bath at home. No he's not being eaten by a frog. It's a towel to keep him warm. :)
We've also visited the neurologist since Russell came home. He did well with the reflex tests and there are only a few things the neurologist wanted to follow up on. His next visit will include an EEG and some blood work to see if anything has changed regarding the seizures he had when he was first born. Hopefully things will look good and he can lower the dose or get off his medications. We don't know if he'll have to be on medications for life or if he'll be able to get off them at some point. Either way we want whatever is best for him.

Waiting for the doctor at the neurologists office with daddy.
So far having Russell at home has been wonderful. It's a learning experience every day and sometimes I am still amazed by the fact that he's mine. It's funny the things I've found most useful (changing table, bottle sanitizer, formula containers, baby monitor and so much more) and the things that have turned out to be something that could be done without. It's been great to watch Russell grow each day. It seems like he's constantly changing and doing something new. Seeing him smile and make his cute noises is the best thing in the world.

Chillin' with the Panda.
I have learned that it's true, you know what's best for your baby. It doesn't matter what the "experts" say you should be doing or how you should raise your child. You make the decisions for what you think is best and that's what you do. You might not always be right or things might not go as you expect but in the end you are the one who will be most interested in your child's well being. Don't be afraid to ask questions or get a second opinion if you're not comfortable.

Rockin' out in his Pooh bouncy seat wearing his cute dino outfit.
I have also learned that it's best to treasure every moment you have. Every dirty diaper, every spit up, every late night without sleep. Each moment is a blessing. I know people who have suffered heartbreaking loss that I can't even imagine going through. It's true a parent should never have to bury their child and I feel so blessed that I have the opportunity to be Russell's mommy. I know that his birth was quite a traumatic experience both for him and for me and things could have turned out so different. I wouldn't trade it for anything because in the end we have our little Russell and that's all that matters. He's a sweet blessing and we're glad to have him as part of our family. Thank you to everyone who prayed for him and our family. We continue to pray he will grow up healthy and happy and that we'll be good parents to him.

Yoga baby! Actually it's a reflex that prevents babies from rolling over until they're ready to. I think it's cute.


  1. So fun to read about Russell! I love hearing everything you guys are doing and learning with him. I'm so jealous! Can't wait until its our turn to have a little one. By then you should be an expert and be able to help me along the way! Getting excited to see him when you guys come for a visit! Yay!

  2. Heather, I follow every post! I might not have commented as much as I should with my one handed typing skills :) I just want you to know how happy I am that Russell is home and doing so much better! I cannot tell you how much I admire you and Joe for your strength and love~ I know everything you have been going through has been so difficult~ But you always have a smile on your face and hope in your heart and it shows! I am so inspired by the 3 of you!! Thank you for sharing your journey!

  3. OMG Kim I can't wait until you and Andy have your own little one. It will be amazing!!! You'll totally love it. It will be great that you'll be done with school because all you'll want to do is hang out with your sweet little baby. :)

    Tiffany I TOTALLY understand you not commenting that often. I've been following your ordeal with your hand and believe me I wouldn't blame you if you didn't comment for quite a while. Thank you so much for your comment though. It makes me feel great and really at times it seems like all you can do is hope and enjoy what you have right now. It's been an amazing journey and I can't believe how wonderful it's been. I hope things go well with your hand. HUGS!

  4. you guys have been through a lot for this little guy. but its all worth it! he is precious!

  5. Yeah it's definitely been an adventure but it's all been worth it. He's a sweet and wonderful baby. I feel lucky because he's so great.


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