Monday, January 30, 2012


I keep telling myself that I'm going to be more diligent in posting and one of these days I will be!
I just want to get this out. I have so much happiness & joy in my heart. When I first started this blog, it was a way to cope with loss & infertility. Throughout my journey, I met other women just like me. We all spilled our hearts out in our respective blogs & looked to each other for encouragement & support. I found so much comfort in you ladies. For the first time, I had hope. For the first time, I didn't feel alone. You will never know how grateful I am for that. ;)
Things are different now. My dream finally came true. I have the most beautiful, wonderful, amazing son in the whole world. I live & breathe for him. He is my world; my heart. And as I read all my "usual" blogs, I see that same happiness for a lot of my IF sisters out there. It brings me to tears when I see their posts about getting close to delivery, photos of baby showers & newborns, troubles with breast feeding & all the new mom growing pains. I am over the moon for you all.

It's funny; most of us have never met in person or even talked on the phone, but we all are so connected. We have quite the little community.

I am looking forward to continuing to read about all the new little humans that we have worked so hard to bring into this world. These babies will definitely know how loved they are. They truly are little miracles.

Hugs & lots of luck,

Courtney Anna & Sullivan James

P.S. On a sad note, I return to work on Wednesday & will need lots of prayers & positivity. :(

Saturday, January 14, 2012

He just keeps knocking 'em outta the park

Evening all,

How is everyone doing on this January evening? Things are splendid in Sully World.
Sullivan is two months old today. I'm still recovering from the whiplash I have from how quickly these past two months went by. He is growing & changing everyday. He's gaining more strength daily & not being so much of a bobble head. :) He is smiling, discovering his tongue & laughing at his toots.
I had to put on my brave mom pants for his two month appointment with the pediatrician that we had on Wednesday. I knew he was getting shots & I didn't want to bawl my eyes out during them. We are obviously pros to the whole medical game, but it's never fun. Sully is actually a pro at shots too. Because he is a cardiac kid, Sully has gotten monthly shots called Synagis & it helps protect against RSV. Synagis is given once a month, every month, during RSV season. The RSV season is usually November to April.
He got the first dose of Synagis in December & I cried like a loser. Thankfully his home nurse had given to so I was able to weep in the privacy of my living room.

Robert wasn't able to come to the appointment with me so I was even more anxious because I was flying solo.
I love his pediatrician & I was thrilled to show off how much he'd grown since his last visit.
Sully J weighed in at 10lbs 2oz & was almost 22 inches long. Dr. P said he looked amazing &  was still astounded by his recovery. After the usual chatter, it was time for the shots. My palms were so sweaty. At the two month check up, babies get four vaccinations: DtaP, Hib & Hep B. Those are injections. They also get a Rotavirus vaccination but that is a oral solution.
They try & do the shots quickly. As they started, Sully did start to cry,  but it only lasted less than a minute. Whatta tough guy! I suppose after having open heart surgery, a few little pokes are nothing.

We meet with the cardiologist on the 24th & Sully will have an echo to look at the shunt. We're seeing Dr. V on that day & he worked very close with us at Children's so it will be exciting to see him.

Well, I am starting to hear my little man stir & toot, so I betted skeedaddle.
Have a great weekend!

Courtney & Sullivan

Monday, January 9, 2012

Heartbreak for M

Last week, a friend of mine had a giant loss.
When we were in Children's for Sully's surgery, I received a call from an old friend of mine, M. I hadn't spoken to her in a while & we were so busy that I didn't have time to chat. I sent her a quick message & told her I would talk to her soon.
She & her husband have two boys, ages 5 & 2, & she was currently pregnant. M learned that she was carrying her long awaited girl.
When I sent M the message, I learned the devastating reason for her phone call.
During a routine ultrasound, her doctors discovered that the baby had Tricuspid Atresia. Unlike Pulmonary Atresia, which Sully has, and just affects the pulmonary valve, Tricuspid Atresia is where the entire right side of the heart fails to develop. Her daughter would now need to see cardiologists & have similar surgeries like Sully.
As sad as this news was, I told her that now it was time to find all her strength & solider on. God doesn't give cardiac babies to just anyone.
M seemed to take the diagnosis with stride & grace. She & her husband started planning for a delivery at a specialized hospital & researching the defect.
Two weeks ago, her doctor found fluid in the babies abdominal cavity & lungs. This is called Hydrops.
She was then told she would have to travel to Minneapolis to meet with the fetal cardiologist & quite possibly have to deliver. She was 26 weeks.
Last Monday, she & her husband traveled to Minneapolis. Tuesday morning they met with the fetal cardiologists. She then learned that the Hydrops was not caused by the defect, but by a separate issue, & could not be treated.
M was sent to the operating room for a C-Section. Baby Abrielle was born shortly after 11am. She lived for one hour & five minutes. M shared a picture of her, & she was beautiful.
When I learned of Abrielle's passing, I was feeding Sully. I held him so tightly as I quietly cried. I remembered how lucky I am that Sully is doing so well. He's my miracle.
M is being very strong right now & we pray for her & her family evey day.

I felt very strongly about telling baby Abrielle's story. Her parents are strong people & it is a blessing that they were at least able to hold her before she went home to the Heavenly Father. What I want you to take away from this is gratitude. Gratitude for your life & the people in it. Be grateful for what you have. Hug your friends & family extra tight. Pray. Love. Enjoy your life everyday. You never know when life will throw you a curveball. A giant, earth shattering curveball.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Here I sit

Don't judge, but I am posting during my one quiet time; pumping. I'm sure some of you are laughing at how odd that is, but it really is the only quiet minute I have had lately.
My pump and I are basically joined at the hip. I would have preferred a different best friend, but looks like I'm stuck with Ms. Medela.
I had looked forward to breast feeding Sully. I dreamt of those glorious mother and baby moments where we would sit together, snuggle & nurse. Obviously, nothing with his birth or motherboard has really gone according to plan.
Because of his oxygen saturation levels right away at birth, and then the discovery of his heart defect, Sully didn't eat for the first five days he was alive. He received calories through an IV. When he was 2 days post op, the doctors said we could try bottling him. I asked about breast feeding. They said we could do that as well but their main concern was teaching Sully to eat. See, the main reason that it takes some babies forever to be released from the hospital is that they don't know how to eat regularly. The hospital won't release them without strong eating habits.
At that point, all I wanted to do was to take Sully home & if bottling was the ticket, I was all for it.
Lucky for us, Sully the Amazing took to the bottle the very first time we tried & we went home 6 days post op.
I pumped while at the hospital & they helped me get a hospital grade pump through my insurance. Sully drinks what's called 24 calorie breast milk. Normal breast milk has 20 calories an ounce, but, cardiac babies sometimes have trouble gaining weight & they need the breast milk fortified with formula. Again, not the ideal, but I will do anything for my little man. So, I take eight ounces of breast milk & mix on three teaspoons of formula & that makes the breast milk 24 calories an ounce. I don't think Sully has trouble gaining weight, though. :) Today my son is seven weeks old & weighs 9lbs 7oz. He has gained almost three pounds since birth. I must have wicked boob juice.
So, here I sit. Attached to my pump. Watching early morning tv & listening to both of the men in my life sleep. Smiling.

Happy New Year ladies. 2011 was an amazing year for me. I know 2012 will be awesome & some wonderful babies will be born this year & I can't wait to read all about them. :)