10 months, garden, and baptism! :)

 

I didn’t come back here to post for awhile. Life has been so full in a good way – Micah is growing so well and is quite big. When we meet people now they don’t believe he was preemie. He is learning new things all the time. He is quite a content, thoughtful and focused guy – he likes to observe and listen to everything. He likes to play games with us and likes getting attention from family and friends.

Some days are just Micah and I – playing and reading, him sleeping and eating. I love the time with him and he likes for me to play with him lots. He bangs his feet on the floor and I run in place in front of him and he giggles. We do it again and again. He loves songs and watches the hand movements closely. We practice rolling over, it has been hard for him but he is getting the hang of it. He loves bathtime, eating time, diaper time and pretty much any routine he soaks up the attention and familiarity and I think I do too.I like doing the same simple things everyday with such a tiny special person. The house and the dishes don’t get super clean on those days, oh well. He naps well twice a day so there is time but I tend to be loud and clumsy with housework so naptime would be shorter if I really went for it. I often draw or go outside and do the essentials that need to happen inside.

Most of the spring and summer during naps one or both of us have worked outside. We have tried for a bigger garden than we have ever had. We have learned a lot and loved the process. Sam and I love being out there together, or taking turns with different tasks. One of my favorite things in life is being an equal with Sam and being on a team together. He is an excellent teammate and a wonderful dad. Micah loves being carried around by Sam while Sam explains different plants. The days are best when all 3 of us are here, though time alone with Micah is undoubtedly a treasure. Recently we have visited with friends and Micah seems to really enjoy that too! He likes going to community group and being in the nursery at church.

Gardening is a very helpful way to recover from a c-section and difficult hospital stay. The fresh air, stretching, weeding, the dirt, and helping things grow have really helped. This is the first time we have really gardened as a verb. Some things don’t really work out like you want – like some of the tomato plants ( a perfect big red or heirloom multicolored tomato is difficult feat). The aphids, the big rains then lots of heat, working to get the soil richer, take so much work and you can’t control it all. But we are learning and will keep trying as the seasons turn.

 

 

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tried food!

Micah has been watching us eat recently. Today he grabbed a green bean off of Sam’s plate. Good thing we had already gotten him some food to try! He got sweet potatoes, and I think mostly liked them, also thought the experience was a little strange…lol

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April nesting

I am a little behind in sharing here. April has been calmer than March and we have enjoyed time at home together and also introducing Micah to church. Micah is now 7 months old (almost 5 months adjusted), and is doing well! He still has some follow up appointments but they will be lessening even more with time it looks like. We are working some with a PT to help him with gross motor flexibility. Oh by the way, he weighs almost 16 lbs and is over 2 feet tall now so if you have not met him or seen him in awhile – he’s pretty big lol. 🙂

This morning when we opened the front curtains right next to Micah’s mat we noticed the rosebush trellis had fallen over in the storm. I then looked at the nest (previously empty) that I knew was there and saw that the mama cardinal was sitting in it. When she flew away we got to see the eggs. We were so excited but also have been concerned about leaving the trellis down or raising it back up – we don’t know which is safer for the eggs.

This afternoon as I sat beside Micah playing on his mat, I watched the cardinal mom fly back to the nest in the rain and settle back in. I stared at her for a long while – glancing at the bird then back at Micah babbling next to me. A big rain drop fell on her and wicked off. I felt a chill deep inside me and in my mind I felt like I was sitting at the S11 parking lot at UNC waiting for the shuttle to take me to the hospital. There were a number of cool rainy days this past fall and early winter. If there was not a parking spot close enough to wait in my car I would wait under the covered bench for the shuttle which comes every 20 minutes (or longer sometimes). That was one of the hardest spots for me – there were a lot of small steps still to get to him after parking. I felt so far from Micah, felt I couldn’t keep him safe, couldn’t get to him as quickly as I wanted to. It was cool and wet and lonely – even under the shelter.

I think I stared at this bird often for about an hour. I wondered if she knew the trellis had fallen. Cardinals seek out the nesting spot with a lot of care so she had to have known it was lower than where she had built it. The wind seemed to blow the thin branches, I wondered if she was worried. There was nothing else she could do now to protect them – she couldn’t move the nest or the eggs.

Some mornings those days, I really got this:

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say to the Lord, My refuge and my fortress,

my God, in whom I trust.

-Psalm 91:1-2

other mornings, the rain would seem to seep into me and my head felt wet and mushy with my weariness and despair. I didn’t feel strong enough. As I watched the rain wick off the bird today I could tell she was made for that – for that particular kind of nurturing and care out in the elements. When your baby is born prematurely it’s hard not to feel guilty or like your body didn’t work how it was “supposed to”, though logically you know it’s not your fault. As I watched the bird today I realized I was right really – I wasn’t strong enough. But God was. and in Christ I am re-made exactly to be Micah’s mom. I guess the reality is we aren’t strong enough on our own any day. I pray the memory of standing under that shelter can remind our family where our real shelter lies.

tough cookie!!

 

Micah had a surgery this week for a hernia that was forming. They found it on Tuesday when we were at an appointment for something else. A recurrence of this is rare (he had a bilateral hernia in November for those who don’t know) but they found it early and had a surgery slot open for the next day. So back to UNC we went early yesterday morning. Micah was seemed curious and content on the drive in the dark to the hospital, even though we weren’t able to give him breakfast. He flirted with some of the staff. And the doctor said, “he was in the NICU? He looks too big and healthy to have been a preemie”. The surgery was brief and uneventful, the doctor was able to correct the problem. We stayed overnight so he could be monitored, he did great and we came back late this morning. Micah also got his 6 month immunizations so he is a little tired tonight! Thank you for your prayers for mighty Micah, the Lord has surely strengthened him!

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6 months!! and he has been home for longer than he was in the hospital!:)

On Wednesday the 15th we celebrated Micah’s 6 month birthday! Also, it marked the day he has been home for longer than he was in the hospital! It was a sweet time to reflect and enjoy his presence in our family and in our home. Micah is still an adorable caterpillar, definitely chunkier!:) His smile is the best thing ever in the morning no matter how early. New this month: grabbing some light weight toys, holding head up some, touching pictures in books, enough hair to comb!, and cooing and babbling noises:).

 

first trip to Asheville and first visit to the UNC special infant care clinic

Micah was busy Thursday-Sunday!

On Thursday he had his first visit to the UNC special infant care clinic. They follow him every few months after leaving the NICU to track his development. He is doing great! He weighed in at 13 lbs, 8 oz and 23 inches tall! Overall, Micah is doing very well:). He is doing everything a 3 month old (his adjusted age based on his due date) would be doing. He gets 2 years to “catch up” and be doing things as those born the same time (we won’t have to “adjust” the age anymore). The physical therapist gave us some stretches to do at home to build flexibility in his legs so he can begin rolling over by himself. She was pleased with his neck strength and how he was using his arms. We were happy with this because we have been working on that when we play with him and change his diaper. Some of these things can be hard for preemies because of the time spent lying flat as opposed to fluid movements in utero. We are also working on endurance for tummy time, still not his favorite:). He is eating well, sleeping well, and likes interacting with people – especially mom and dad.

After his appointment I (Sarah) went upstairs and brought down a nurse that took care of Micah often. She got to see Micah again and give him a hug. We also gave two drawings that I made to the NICU. The artwork in the lactation rooms and also in the halls when I was on the maternity floor were encouraging to me. I decided to share some with them that I made of us doing kangaroo care with Micah.

Micah also had the joy of interacting with his cousins,  Nell and Jack, this weekend. He thinks they are super great and loves their company:). He also was glad to see Aunt Cathy, Uncle Colin, Uncle Chris, Aunt Kim, and Granny, and Papa. Jack took videos of Micah with Nell and I. When I played the videos for Sam at home, Micah turned towards the sound of their voices and smiled :).

 

 

Last Stop on Market Street

Meet CJ, the main character in the book, Last Stop on Market Street. When I get to this page, Micah has started moving his hands around touching the page. He gets excited and stares at it intently for several minutes. He likes CJ, the artwork, and the words. 🙂. Thanks for getting it, Alan Hancock!

Micah loves listening to books and looking at the pictures!

I want to hear more about Samwise the brave…

 

February 4th was our 5th anniversary, we were grateful to celebrate with Micah as a part of our family.

On February the 15th, Micah turned 5 months old! We also acknowledge and celebrate what we call his secret month birthdays 10 days later on the 25th each month (he was due November 25th so this is what is used for his “adjusted” or “corrected” age). So he is mostly like a 3 month old – also in a great weight range for that age – the doctors were pleased! His last weight-in was February 8th and he weighed 11 lbs and 12 oz! He is about 22 inches tall as well. Last week he had his 4th (and final! yay!) eye appointment since leaving the hospital. The doctor said  the retinopathy continues to improve. He will see a pediactric opthalmologist for an overall eye check up in 4 months.

We love spending time with him everyday and watching him grow.  In awe of what God has done for him and our family, we have enjoyed slow winter days taking it all in. Though these strange February days in North Carolina also have meant plenty of Spring-like days, so he goes outside with us often and is starting to enjoy it. He likes the sound of the wind chimes, slow walks with Sam in the yard learning the names of plants, and being tucked in the wrap with me – watching me and listening to more sounds – trucks, dogs barking, and birds chirping. As we try to prepare a garden this year I look forward to him digging in the ground pulling out worms with me. For now, we love where he is and who he is.

He smiles back at us a lot, which is so fun :). He is also proud of his new skill of grabbing blankets, balls with holes, and soft toys.  Micah also likes showing off his boxing moves and his awesome chunky muscles. Some of his other favorites are songs with hand motions, listening to books, staring at random objects on the wall or ceiling, and kicking the poor turtle hanging above his playmat. Micah still has tummy troubles, so he’s not super happy right after eating sometimes. Much of the day he is very content, and at night he wants to be asleep which we think is pretty awesome.

This past weekend Micah went to Greensboro for the first time with Sarah. We got to see nana and meet several Hancocks :).

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