Friday, September 30, 2016

Letter to Baby Girl on her 2nd Birthday

Dear Sadie,

Today you are turning TWO. Time has flown by this year. This year has all been about recovery, acceptance and adaptability. Each day we are noticing your improvements. Minor things that normally people don’t catch. Don’t think we don’t notice Miss feisty pants. There is not enough adjectives to describe how amazing you are and how much fun it is to see you blossom. Your giggle is addictive and infectious and I try everything I can to make you laugh on purpose. You are always trying to get into the fridge and when you see an opening you RUN in your walker as fast as your feet will let you. You have learned escape tactics like opening the gate or how to get on the dogs good side by offering them your vegetables. You love to bug your sister during bath time. As soon as you hear the water running in the bath tub you have to be right there at that very second. You love to knock all of your sister’s toys off the tub ledge. I always hear “Sadie NO!” followed by giggles.

However, unfortunately you have some limitations. You are working on this of course and as you get older you will learn to control your body moments. You struggle with coordination and balance. Two things that are not easy to master. At the beginning of the year you started getting really frustrated with PT/OT. You seemed to exhaust yourself and then refuse to move. Per insistence of your OT and PT therapists they requested we do an internal scope (Upper and lower EGD) look at your belly and your throat. PT/OT didn’t want to hurt you when they pushed you further with your therapy. This required you to be under general anesthesia. Which is always scary when you are small. So April 2016 we had it scheduled. The good news is your GERD was healing nicely. You had very little damage and your belly was cleared. However, they discovered you had Laryngomalacia. Fortunately they decided to do the surgery to repair at the same time.

You recovered from surgery nicely. It has been considered that 75% of your issues are directly related to the Laryngomalacia. They think that is why you had the silent reflux and had so much trouble gaining weight. But also the reason why you had speech delays and will continue to struggle. Your once loud stridor is no more. You no longer sound like Darth Vader. (At least you were a cute Darth Vader.) Your food intake has increased and you seem to tolerate your PT/OT sessions better. Since April you have been showing so many signs of improvements.

So where are we now? They are setting you up with a fancy Gait Trainer so that you can learn to walk better. They are having use a compression vest which feels like a big hug. Also sometimes they are putting arm braces so that you won’t turn your arms.  As for meds you are on a very small amount of Nexium but we are likely going to keep lowering this once we get the GI’s permission. We are slowly switching you to whole milk from your pricey organic toddler formula. After we are done with these cans no more formula! You eat EVERYTHING you can get your hands on. Some of your favorites include pancakes, Baka’s apple pita, salmon, black beans, cookies, eggs, oatmeal, and mac and cheese…etc. etc. You LOVE it all.

One of the frustrating questions, and thank god it has been much less frequently, is when people ask me what is WRONG with you? I simply say there is nothing wrong with Sadie. She is healthy, happy, learning at her own pace. She has the most amazing support team. 2 PT therapists, 1 OT therapists, and 1 Speech therapists. She has the most amazing loving caretaker her Baka. She is spoiled with love and kisses all day and pampered like a princess. You are amazing and people should know that. Daddy and I brag on your accomplishments whenever we are given the opportunity. We want you to know how much we love you and how proud we are of your progress. We love watching you flourish. Keep it up my love.

With love on your Birthday,


Pictures in review for 2015-2016 notice the posture improvements over the last year. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Letter to Baby Girl on her 1st Birthday

Dear Sadie,

Let me just lay out there for you little girl. A year ago I thought I was losing you. I have memories from those days in the NICU. It’s funny how your brain remembers things. Things that are so insignificant now but details that you can’t let go of. Like the smell of the soap that I used to sanitize my hands and how I had to scrub my hands very well before I entered the NICU. I also remember the chair slept in to be next to you and how I begged your daddy to let me stay the longest possible time next to you. I didn’t want to leave your side. I just wanted to hold you and be there in case you called out for me. You slept all day and all night for at least 4 days. So exhausted from the extensive jaundice and seizure treatment they had you on. I wanted to hear you cry just so I could know you where thriving and was still there. I also remember the lemon meringue pie. I was offered the mothers breastfeeding meal once a day while I stayed there with you. One the nurses highly recommend this pie. I ordered it every day as it was the only positive thing I had to look forward to.

I remember the nurses coming in once an hour to check on you. Even in the middle of the night. Every single one of them was so kind. They were always much more optimistic than the doctors. Your predication Dr. Stokes came to visit you every day as well. She hugged me like mama bear when I told her the updates I was receiving based on the tests. Your Baka and Dado came and also you’re Nana. Everyone held you and loved on you. The doctors, while well meaning, would come and tell us that you would have some brain damage to what extent they did not know. They told us to read to you and often and to start ECI therapy as soon as possible. It took you a while to want to eat from the bottle or to breastfeed since you had a feeding tube in your nose. But once you figured it out you ripped the tube out of your nose. They did not put it back in.

This last year has had its challenges. Two months after your stay at the NICU you had hernia. You were steady gaining weight but the hernia surgery was a must to be sure it did not bust into your gut. This just seemed to add more time on to your recovery.  Then by 4-6 months you did not seem to want to gain weight. You resisted eating and it was thought that maybe that was related to the damage you had from the jaundice. They wanted to give you a feeding tube. But it turned out that you had silent reflux. It’s the kind where you don’t spit up at all. It just burns you from the inside without any type of indication. We put you on reflux meds and you started gaining.

Of course all of these issues your development was slowed. We had to take you out of daycare and your Baka started taking care of you full time. Feeding you all day long as well as making sure you were eating healthy protein and fat filled food. You gained about 8 pounds 6 months and starting to look healthier every day. You are getting physical therapy three times a week from Miss Nicole. You seemed to warm up to her which we could not be more thrilled with. She tells us that you have made already improvement of what would take 3 months in only one month of therapy. You go baby girl!

Your daddy and I talk about your recovery often. We wonder what roadblocks and issues we will have in the future. We are scared of course but we also think we have what it takes to give you the best possible care. You absolutely love water and pool time. You love to hear songs and try to sing along. You really are trying to interact with us. You can’t sit up yet completely unassisted but this improving every day. Your personality is one of kind and we loving your spitfire tantrums. You seem to know exactly what you want and when you want it. I hope this means you are beating the odds. You are bouncing back on your own slow schedule. We just need to be patient and let you lead us. You amaze us baby girl and we love to watch you meet your milestones. Thanks for completing our family.

With love on your Birthday,


Friday, December 19, 2014

So now for the scary part of the birth story (part 2)

I will start with a timeline as this gets complicated quickly.

  • Gave birth on Tuesday AM at 2:13 am. Had Sandro call to schedule an appointment with the pediatrician as soon they opened. They misunderstood that it was a birth center baby and scheduled us for Friday midday.
  • Went back to the Midwife on Wednesday midday for follow-up appointment. Sadie looked a little yellow so they did a jaundice test. They also gave me my Rhogam shot since I am type O Negative. All looked good otherwise. I also got my whopping cough vax. They told me to hang out in the sun and open up the window and let the sun stay on the baby for the jaundice.
  • Thursday afternoon late I get a call from the midwife that the jaundice test had a reading of 15 which was elevated and needed to be look at by the pediatrician. It just so happened we had an appointment the next day for them anyways. They told me it was not an EMERGENCY yet. 
  • Friday Morning we go to the pediatrician and she is so angry with the birthing center because she said that we should have gotten an appointment right away with her since the birthing center doesn't really do much for the baby. She was also super worried about the color of Sadie as the yellow was nearly neon by this point. She had us rush to Baylor Medical for an emergency jaundice test.
  • At Baylor they do the test and it was at a 28. This is critically bad at this point. So her pediatrician called around to the different hospitals in the area to get her admitted to the NICU for an emergency exchange transfusion. None in the area would take her since she was a birth center baby. She was finally able to get her admitted to Children's Medical in Dallas. 
  • The ER nurses literally ripped the baby out of my arms and was working on getting an IV in her. They also made her eat a ton of formula so that it would get her to poop more and start getting the jaundice out faster. She was crying and I was crying and the world seemed to stop.
  • Took ambulance during 5 o'clock traffic on a Friday to Children's medical. I had the kindest ambulance driver who let me ride in the front with him. He lived in The Colony like me and was so nice and reassuring to me as he knew I was freaking out by this point. 
  • Arrive to 3 doctors & 4 NICU nurses prepping her room and the neonatal head doctor was there and she kept integrating me asking why I chose to give birth in a birthing center. She was also like you do understand the seriousness of this. Maybe it was the fact that I was crying for hours before we arrived and I had a deer in headlights look on my face but of course I knew it was serious. WTF. 
  • They they tested the jaundice again and put her under lights and gave her fluids. They tested every hour and slowly her levels where coming down. They did not have to do the exchange transfusion. They did prep blood for it but because it could it was dangerous for a baby of this size and the levels where dropping without it they decided against it.
  • During all of this Sadie was crying and whimpering and I was not able to hold her. She would not sleep but for maybe 5-10 mins at a time. By Saturday her level was 17. So she was improving steadily. They put a feeding tube in because I couldn't bf and she was not taking the bottle well.
  • Sunday morning she took the turn for the worst. Her levels where stabilizing but because she was so exhausted and fluid was pumped into system her sodium levels dropped and an electrolyte imbalance caused her to have seizures. So they put her on seizure meds. The meds relaxed the brain so much she forgot to breath. So they had her on oxygen and was very close to putting her on a breathing machine. I did not see coming and I thought we where losing her. 
  • She had about a billion tests run. MRI, EKG, Eco on her heart, and a Spinal Tap. They could not figure out what caused the seizures and they where worried that she had a brain disorder. Cerebral Palsy was mentioned numerous times by the doctors. She also showed a lot of stiffness in her legs and arms and they thought she could be hypotonic.
  • God love the doctors and nurses but NICU doctors like to give you the worst possible outcome. They thought because she was not able to take a bottle and was not nursing well that she would have to leave the hospital with a feeding tube. The baby was exhausted and the meds made her super sleepy. It took about a week to her her somewhat normal again. They spoke of brain damage so many times because of the jaundice level and they did not know where on the spectrum Sadie will be. 
  • She was in the NICU for about 10 days but now 9 weeks later she is showing no signs of damage. She is highly monitored with her blood levels since her hemoglobin is low. The pediatrician lays out the red carpet for her every time she goes in for a check. 
So you are probably wondering what caused all of this. They speculate that due to her prematurely the placenta did not get enough time to work its magic. So my blood cells could have attacked her blood cells and since I am RH negative and she is B positive that we had a incompatibility issue.  Thereby allowing the jaundice levels to take over and weaken her immune system. Some jaundice is normal but her levels where not. I am extremely appreciative for her pediatrician quick action as I could imagine that things could have turned out much worse. In the coming months she will be highly monitored and if she has delays we will deal with them as they come. For now she is doing great. Lets just hope it stays that way. 

Wednesday after midwife appointment 
Admitted to NICU Friday

At 9 weeks

Sadie Erika's Birth Story (Part 1)

So to begin the last months I was in a lot of pelvic pain. So much that turning in bed at night I would scream out in agony in my sleep (according to Sandro) so the morning before Sadie arrived, Monday September 29th, I could not take it anymore. I could barely walk or stand up so I tried my last resort...seeing a chiropractor. I have always been skeptical of trying this but apparently I have lived in the dark about their awesome-ness. So I called and made an appointment for that afternoon. During the entire day I was feeling a lot of pressure to pee. So I would go to the restroom and nothing would happen. I did not consider these contractions but maybe it was a sign for what was to come.

The appointment was quick. They watched me walk and told me I was off aligned. They adjusted me but told me I needed to come in a few days in a row to have a full effect. I immediately felt some relief. I slept better than ever till midnight. I woke up and ran to the restroom. I felt a gush and my mucus plug and a tiny bit of blood was in the toilet. I started screaming for Sandro and balling because I was worried I was too early (37 weeks) and I thought that my earlier appointment may have messed me up or something. Then the contractions started. Holy crap I forgotten this part. I was having trouble breathing through some of them I told Sandro to call the midwife. The midwife told me to start tracking them but if they got less than 5 minutes apart to head to the birthing center. Well they where coming 2-3 mins apart and increasing in intensity. Sandro was literally running around getting stuff ready. We had NOTHING ready for this. No car seat, no pack in play and no clothes. Also we had Sophia and we had planned to drop her off at the in laws house. 

There we all are packed in the car and the contractions are even more intense and coming back to back. There is NO time to drop off Sophia so she had to go to the birthing center with us. Thank God for smart phones and Netflix and it kept her distracted nearly the entire time. In the car I was crying out in pain. I felt terrible for frightening Sophia. But the contractions where unreal I was begging Sandro to tell me if how far it was away. It was all the way in McKinney so I knew it would take some time. I also remember him putting on a 80's radio station with soft rock hoping to calm me down. It makes me smile just thinking about how calm and collected he was. He told me later he was like going 100  mph and that he managed to get there in 15 mins. 

We arrive and and literally I felt like I was ready to push/poop this baby out. We arrived at 2:06 and I gave birth to Sadie by 2:13 on September 30th after only two pushes. The only thing I was peeved about was not getting in the water. Apparently there was no time to draw a bath. When the baby first came out I was told to look at the sex and I swore I thought I saw a penis but later on the other midwife arrives and she was like this isn't a boy it's a girl. I was obviously losing my mind or something and laughed when she told me. I was so happy it was a girl. I wanted another girl so much. She scored a 10 on the Apgar test and was 8 pounds on the dot. She also latched like a champ. No stitches and they gave me a double dose of ibuprofen. I took a mineral bath afterwards and about 4 am we were allowed to go home. Overall the birth center experience was exceptional.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Weekly Update: 26 Weeks...Rolling Rolling Rolling

How many weeks am I? 26 weeks 2 days
Total weight gain/loss: Blah. Roly Poly checking in.
Maternity clothes? For bottoms most definitely. Tops and dresses I can pull off XL and 1XL
Stretch marks? OMG yes.
Sleep: Honestly sleep has been good. I only have to pee a few times a night. I do have issues getting comfortable at times. Especially if I am just trying to relax. My heartburn has been unbearable.
Best moment this week: Sophia grabbing my belly and wanting to kiss it over. She is currently
obsessed with the belly.
Movement: I am nearly at the ALL THE TIME stage. Mornings are quiet. But during the day it kicks all the time. Sometimes it feels good and others I am like wait a second there madam (yep I refer to her as a girl) soccer player..take it easy.
Food cravings: Frito Pie - Though I recently got this fufilled.
Labor Signs: Not at all.
What I miss: Not feeling exhausted to just get out of bed. I am getting in the rolling out of bed phase and not wanting to bend over phase. I just leave stuff on the floor nowadays.
What I am looking forward to: I am looking forward to my next u/s. Oddly enough I am more excited about this one. I am hoping that the CPP moves out of the way. 3 more weeks.
Weekly Wisdom: Train your kid to pick stuff up off the ground. Offer stickers or whatever for good behavior. :)
Milestones: 26 Weeks - Viability baby! Of course that doesn't mean I want her to come now. Stay in there another 3 ish months baby!

We have been busy little bees at the Juric household. Currently working on Sophia's bedroom. She is getting a big girl room. She wanted to have a pink/purple room with rainbow-ish butterflies. We plan to do it when she is visiting her Nana in a few weeks and do a big reveal upon her return. We also decided not to do anything for the nursery but make a few repairs. Maybe invest in a good glider so baby can be rocked in this room. Since we are going gender neutral the nursery should work for this. (Green and Yellow)

Here is a few work in progress pictures:
Mauve Magic
Sophia working hard.

Coat #1
After the 2nd coat.

 Inspiration Pictures: 

Friday, June 27, 2014

23 Weeks - Weekly Update

How many weeks am I? 23 weeks 4 days
Total weight gain/loss: A lot. Size of Texas coming soon. :)
Maternity clothes? I have pretty much wear whatever makes me look less big. Maternity seems to swallow me a little but sometimes regular clothes make me appear bigger.
Stretch marks? OMG yes.
Sleep: Some nights are good but lately the baby likes to wake me with a few punches right before the alarm goes off.
Best moment this week: Seeing the kicks from the outside. I tried to get it on video but of course baby liked to tease me with it and then stops as soon as try to record it.
Movement: See above. Lots of movement some days. Some a little quieter.
Food cravings: White Powdered Donuts. Can't stop thinking about it.
Labor Signs: Lets hope not!
What I miss: Working out/being active. Sometimes the laziness is hard for me. Also it leads to boredom.
What I am looking forward to: I am looking forward to starting on Sophia room and working on baby room. We are almost in the 3 month stretch. :)
Weekly Wisdom: It's good to try something new. It can be a great distraction.
Milestones: I am nearly 24 weeks. They say that baby can survive outside of the body at 26 weeks. Of course they need to cook as long as possible.

I have been super busy with work lately. I transitioned to my new role as a VMS recruiter. It's not so bad but I still have a lot to learn. I definitely been a lot less emotional being I am less in the spotlight at work. I also get to be part of team and see people on a daily basis. I think this makes me feel a little more part of the company.

Other than than things have been moving along. Sophia starts her private pre K in mid August. She is currently going to private swim lessons as well. So she is going awesome. We are working on a few things like independence. I want her to be able to dress her self and take care of her room on her own. The reward chart seems to curve her tantrums and whining. She has to earn so many stickers to get a toy of her choice or a app for iPad. So she seems into it.