Wednesday, January 25, 2012

CHD Awareness Week

Did you know that congenital heart defects are the #1 birth defect?! I didn't! I did not know much about CHD at all until we were blessed with our heart baby, Aaron. We would not change ONE thing about him. Not even his precious heart. Aaron was born on 7/8/11. They said he was small for his age and called him a "wimpy white boy" which is common in small white males born under the expected weight or early. Aaron was sent to the NICU because his oxygen levels were good but he was working too hard to keep them there. We stayed in the NICU for two weeks before they did an echo to look for other causes of his breathing difficulty. That is when they found his CHD, coarctation of his aorta. Aaron was immediately airlifted to Batson Children's Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi. We were rushed into the NICU where he had another echo. We were told the diagnosis at that time and that surgery would be needed. They said the heart team would meet and decide when. They wanted to balance giving Aaron time to put on more weight with not letting him get too sick. We got a call early the next morning to say they were doing surgery THAT day! He had surgery on 7/21/11. We were sent to PICU for several days and then to the cardiac floor. We FINALLY took him home on 7/30/11 at only 4 lb 3 oz.

Once we were home the name of the game was weight gaining for Aaron. We switched to formula September 1 and he took off! Still small on the growth chart but he is doing so well! We went for checkups to the cardiologist every few weeks. On one visit we were told they were not happy with Aaron's aorta. They thought he may need a heart catherization to make the aorta wider. It was not growing with his body like they thought it would. It was still too small to provide proper circulation. We were devastated. We thought we were done with hosptials. The worst was that we were sent home to wait not knowing if the procedure would be in a week or 10 weeks from that day. We had to constantly watch him for any signs of poor circulation. It was exhausting and so nerve racking. Finally, the heart team decided to schedule the heart cath of November 1. We went in that morning and had to walk Aaron into the procedure room. Then I had to hold him down as they started his IV. The procedure was a success!! They were able to triple the size of his aorta! We were release the next day and took Aaron home. He took off from that day! He started eating much more! He really started progressing as far as his physical milestones.

Snuggling with dad after his heart cath:
We still go to the cardiologist for regular echos and check ups. By the way, any advice on getting a 6 month old to be still for an echo?! We still travel to Jackson for those appointments. We hope after a few more good visits, we can transfer to a doctor closer to home. But right now, Im just not ready to not use Dr. A. He knows us and know Aaron inside and out.

I read a quote on Pinterest recently that said "You don't know how brave you are until you have to be." That pretty much describes our last 6 months. I asked my mom the other day, "How did we do that?" It blows my mind that we lived through that experience. Our journey has not been what we expected but we would not change anything about it. We love our baby boy and are so happy that he is healthy now. I know that blogs of other heart mommies really helped me at time. Hope that this pinterest link up can help others find some comfort as they start their CHD journeys and remind them that they are not alone.

To see other blog post from CHD mommies click here:

A Trip to Holland

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Six Month Photo Shoot

Before we moved we had Aaron's six month photos taken a little early. Amber did a GREAT job! I want to order them ALL!!!! Here are some she leaked on facebook last night. Enjoy!

Happy Half Birthday!!

Yes, we are that kind of family that celebrates half birthdays. We celebrated Aaron's Sunday. I cannot believe he is six months old!!

SIX Months!!

Stats: We have not been weighed since December, but I sat him on the bathroom scale this weekend and it was 15.0 lb. No idea how long he is. He is longer because his pants are getting shorter and shorter.

Eating: He's eating anything we will give him. He is still taking 5 bottles a day with 5-6 oz. He has cereal in bottles twice a day. Then solids usually 3 times a day. His favorite is fresh banana but like I said he will pretty much eat anything and lots of it. He had table food for the fist time Christmas Eve. He had a few small bites of mashed potatoes.

Clothes: He is still in a few 3-6 month clothes but only in the brands that run large. He is wearing alot of 6 month clothes and even a few 6-12 month items. We received a ton of hand me downs from some friends once we arrived in Shreveport. This is one of our favorite outfits that he got. He has worn it several times.

Diapers: Still in size 2 but growing quickly so not sure how long we will stay in this size. Got some Huggies from Sams but have not been happy with them so we will be going back to Luvs soon as we use these up.

Sleeping: He actually slept through the night several times this month. He has only done it once since the move which was last night. His nap and sleep schedule was completely messed up the last couple of weeks but I think we are getting him back on track. We have moved out of the nap nanny!! Yea!! It was rough but he is now just sleeping in his crib using a Halo sleep sack. He even rolls onto his side and sleeps most of the time.

Toys you love: A plastic cup or spoon will keep him happy for awhile. His favorite toy from Christmas was the turtle with balls from Chase. He is also loving Goodnight Moon. He will just sit and watch you turn the pages over and over again.

Milestones this month: SITTING UP!! He is sitting up most of the time now. He will not lay on his back to play anymore. He is talking/babbling more and more. Taking less naps and sleeping more at night. He is now reaching out for us to be held. He is also pushing up full on both arms when on his tummy. He wants to crawl so badly but just cannot figure it out. He will get frustrated trying, roll onto his back and scoot on his back. No idea why but that is how he has figured out how to move around. He moves all over his crib like this. He is also now sucking on his toes. If you put him down to change his diaper, he immediately grabs his feet and tries to eat his toes. He never gets tired of doing this.

Activities: Talking, eating, skyping with Nonna and Pops, getting to know Cap and T, belly laughing at Auntie Mo, reading, playing with his toes, going for walks in the neighborhood

Medical: Nothing to report here. Doing well from what we can tell. He goes to pediatrician Feb 2 and cardiologist Feb 9. Trying to decide if and when we will change to a cardiologist here. I just do not think we are ready. Its worth the drive to see Dr. A for a few more times.

Holidays: We spent New Years in our new home just unpacking. We had neighbors on all sides that were shooting fireworks so we took Aaron outside to watch. They did not scare him at all. He loved them!

Watching fire works with Daddy:
New Years family picture:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


A couple of weeks ago we moved to Louisiana. It was a crazy few weeks, packing and loading up and then unpacking. Throw in Stephen finishing a job, holidays, and starting new jobs. Needless to say we are tired. But the house is almost completely unpacked. Here are some pictures from the week we moved to document that week in our lives.

Stephen picked up the rental truck the day before we left. He was so excited to show Aaron the big truck! As soon as Aaron woke up from his nap, he took him out to give him the grand tour.

Walking around in the back where ALL of our belongings were crammed a few hours later. It was a 26 foot truck and my dad said they filled up 25 ft and 11 inches of it.

Saying goodbye to our house:

Will miss this house. It was Aaron's first home:

Took this late at night right after we drove across the state line. We had officially been residents for about 5 minutes.
Aaron did GREAT on the drive over which I am so grateful for since I was driving and had him with me with no other help. He slept 80% of the way. However, once we pulled into town EXHAUSTED, he was wide awake and stayed up until after 1:00 am! He slept from 1:00-5:00 then got back up. We lived off caffeine to unload the truck and start unpacking.

Christmas In West Point

After Nonna and Pops, we headed to West Point, MS to be with the May side of the family. Aaron napped on the way and was ready to charm the room once we arrived. He ate almost an entire banana while we were there and had a couple bottles. Guess he thought he should over eat since we all were.

Mim gave Aaron a laughing teddy bear:

And a "1st Christmas" hat. It was a little small for his big Pourciau head:

After all the presents were opened he laid in the floor and played with the left over paper:

Paper is fun!

After we got home we put him in his pjs and let him play for a minute before going to bed:

Aaron- "Whatcha mean Santa isn't coming tomorrow too?"

Im not sure what I had expected for this day. I knew I wanted it to go as smoothly as possible considering Aaron would be out and about and missing naps. As far as Aaron goes, he did really well. Minimal fussing and he was able to catch some naps here and there. It was a good day of visiting and just enjoying each other's company. I think its exactly the memory I wanted of his first Christmas. I was so grateful that we got to share this Christmas with him and that he was healthy and able to enjoy the day. Excited for next year when he will get to start learning the true meaning of the day.

Christmas at Nonna and Pops

After we had breakfast at our house, we loaded up and headed to Nonna and Pops. Aaron got to open lots of good presents. Once he figured out we all gave him attention and cheered when he ripped the paper, he was a fan. Especially once the paper was off and he could play with it instead of the gifts.

Helping pull the paper off of his gifts:

Aaron- "Why does my mom think this is funny?"

Turtle from Uncle Chase which has been his favorite gift by far!

Giving the turtle kisses

Clifford DVD! He just wanted to lick it over and over:

Church clothes for the spring when he gets to go to church finally!

His big gift from Nonna and Pops was a little truck/rider toy that will transition with him through many stages.

Family picture attempt again:

Aaron- "Rooney, did you some presents? I did"

Boy loves his Daddy