Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Great resources/My advice for preemie parents

Not that you are asking for advice, but, in light of the last day of prematurity awareness month, here are some things we found helpful.

One of the best things I found that helped us learn about preemies and how to raise one was the book called  "The Essential Guide for Parents of Premature Babies" by Dana Wechsler Linden, Emma Trenti Paroli, and Mia Wechsler Doron, MD.  It is a great source of information that deals with preventing premature births, getting ready for a premature delivery, seeing your preemie for the first time and what to expect, questions you should be asking your doctors and nurses, how to settle down at the hospital, taking your preemie home, your preemie's first year, the loss of a baby, special needs children, and much more.  I referenced this book so many times those first few months.  It is written by 3 mothers of preemies so they know what we all are going through or have been through.  I highly recommend this book to any new preemie parent!

If you are more inclined to look online, the March of Dimes website is also a great source of information. 

I also really recommend new preemie parents to invest in a good notebook or journal to take to the hospital with you every day to write things down that happen or that the doctor tells you about your baby.  Trust me, even if you try to remember all of it, you just can't.  We would write down everything the doctors would say at rounds each day, questions we had, Claire's vitals and weight, who her nurse and doctor were each shift, the plan, any events that happened that day, who came to visit, etc.  I would also write down what the nurse said every time I would call in at night or when I was not there.  We have 2 large volumes of notes.  It's also a great thing to have where you can write notes to your child while sitting there for hours on end.  It was so nice to have that book so when I would get home from a long day at the hospital, I could update the blog from the book.  If I couldn't remember what they said they were going to do the next day, I could look back and read it.  If I couldn't quite remember when they fed Claire last or when she had her last bath, I could look back and figure it out.  I could keep track of the sizes of the liver cysts, the dates that they did the ultrasounds of it, and when they drained it and how much they drained.  It was vital for us to keep these records for ourselves.  It also gave me some sense of "control" in a situation where you feel so totally out of control the whole time. 

For parents/families/friends of preemies in a NICU, you will quickly learn that you wash your hands non stop and you use antibacterial hand sanitizer or foam almost more than you blink your eyes.  Your skin will dry out and feel like it's going to fall off.  You will wonder why you never considered buying stock in Purell hand sanitizer before.  I encourage you to invest in some really good hand lotion.  The best I found was Gold Bond Ultimate Softening Skin Therapy Cream with Shea Butter.  You don't really use it while in the NICU, but when you get out or are not there, you will want something like this to put on your hands.  I promise.

You won't realize it then, but you will look back in a few months after you bring your preemie home and notice that all of the pictures you have of you and your baby for the first few months of life involves an ugly hospital gown.  ALL of the pictures.  You get so accustomed to wearing it every day while you are caught up in the adventure, you don't notice it.  But once you look back, you wonder why the hospital either doesn't invest in some "pretty" gowns or something!  I know it's all for the protection of your little one, so I am not complaining one bit.  I would wear those gowns again in a skinny minute knowing it protected Claire and all of the other babies from any germs I may be carrying on my clothes.  Just warning you! 

You will probably want to buy your preemie some clothes of his/her own.  Well, I wish you good luck if you are in the Eastern NC area!  They are few and far between.  But since I have been noticing, Walmart in New Bern has the most variety lately.  Anyways, the best kind of sleepers to get are the ones that button down and not the zipper ones.  The buttons allow all of the wires and IV tubes to come out of the clothing and still let you button that outfit up and keep your baby warm.  You can't zip up wires and tubes. 

Reach out to others who have been through this experience.  I don't know what I would have done without Super Dude's mom.  Even though he was not a preemie, he was in the NICU for longer than Claire was.  And she guided me through, offered me advice, told me the ins and outs, told me who to go to for certain things, and just gave us support and comfort knowing we were not alone.  Just knowing someone else who has been through an experience like that can go a long way.

Also reach out to other parents who have babies in the NICU at the same time as you.  They know exactly how you feel.  Every day is different and you will get used to asking how their baby is "today".  Connect with them.  You can make lasting friendships.  Your babies will have automatic BFFs.  To be honest, when you are in those small rooms during rounds you basically hear everything that is going on with each other's child.  So sometimes you are already empathizing with them before you can even ask how things are going.  Sometimes you will be asked to leave the room while the doctors or nurses perform a procedure on your child.  If you have a friend still in the room with their child, they can text you updates!  ;)  This was done a time or two.....

Ask the hard questions.  Stay on top of things.  You know your child best, so make sure you let your concerns be heard.  It's exhausting to say the least.  Make sure you have someone there with you sometimes just to sit with you and listen in your place.   Take time for yourself as hard as it may seem.  This doesn't mean go take a vacation while your child is in the NICU.   It can just mean going out of the hospital for an hour to eat.  Or going for a walk outside.  It can make a world of difference.

Trust and respect your nurses.  They care for your child just like he or she is their own child.  Build a relationship with them. Your nurses are your allies and your go-between when you have concerns.  They are there with your baby at night when you cannot be there.  They may shove you out of the room and secretly hope you don't come back for a while so they can hold and snuggle with your baby while you are gone.  Don't get me wrong - I am SURE there are a many a time the nurse rolled her eyes and sighed when she heard the front desk call back and say, "Nurse for Baby Scott?  You have a call on line 5555 from the mom" and thinking, "oh geez, didn't she just call an hour ago for an update?!?!  Do I have to tell her every single detail again?!?!"  But they do it graciously and with concern.  Yeah, you're going to get a nurse now and then that you worry about leaving at night.  But they are all trained and there are usually 2 or more nurses to a room.  So your baby will be ok.

Pray.  Pray without ceasing.  And when you just don't feel like you have the energy to pray, ask people to pray for you.  They will be happy to.

Keep a camera handy and take lots of pictures.  And videos if you think about it!  We took a bunch of pictures, but only one video the entire 99 days.  Do not ask me why.  I wish we had taken more videos.  Even though your baby is in a hospital, these are important days of their lives!  If they were home, you would be taking lots of pictures.  So do it just like you were at home.  This is YOUR baby we are talking about!  Sometimes you will feel like it's not your baby (as you are out of control of your baby most of the time), but he/she is.  So treat her that way.  Just stock up on picture albums!

Some other things to take with you to the hospital (or if you are like me, to get someone to buy you since you didn't have time to pack a bag or buy baby stuff) would be a boppy pillow to help you hold your baby hopefully for hours and a tank top to help with kangaroo care.  A water bottle is also good because they keep the air so dry in the NICU to ward off germs that you will feel so parched all the time (also helpful if you are nursing to keep hydrated). 

Hope this may help someone out there!!

Love,
The Scott Family

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Salvation Army Christmas Angel

I thought it would be nice if we started a new Christmas tradition with Claire this year.  I want Claire to understand the importance of helping other in their times of need.  So many people have helped us and continue to help us that we want to pay it forward all the time.

So we made the trek to the mall this weekend so Claire could pick out a Christmas Angel off the Salvation Army Christmas tree.  She picked Angel #726-B and her name is K'ya.  She is a one year old little girl so that helps when I am trying to figure out what kinds of things she would like. 

We have started buying presents for our Christmas angel already.  I know Claire does not really understand the concept yet, but I wanted to go ahead and start so it would be something we did every year.  Here are a few pictures of us picking our angel! 





I am so excited to start so many new traditions with Claire!  I can't wait to have Elf on the Shelf and to hide a pickle ornament on the tree! 

Love,
The Scott Family

Monday, November 28, 2011

Big Boss Lady

Well, I guess she's more of a "little" boss lady, but you get the point.  We have been joking this weekend that Claire is the boss lady.  Basically she dictates when we do things, how we do things, and what we do.  I carried her out to watch Trent pick beans this weekend and we pretended that she was in charge.  She just loved it.  I mean absolutely LOVED it.  Claire loves it outside and also loves watching her daddy drive a tractor.  She would ride with him all day I believe.  She didn't ride this time, but she sure enjoyed watching! 


Claire and Daddy on the combine

Picking beans

beautiful sky with combine in the foreground

soybeans in the field

I shelled some soybeans to see what they looked like.

"YAY!!!!!"  Way too excited

Boss lady supervising the job

"This is fun Mom!"

Sweet girl

"I think I will help Daddy and pick these beans by hand..."

We just love this nice fall weather.  It's making it so we can be outside a lot.  And I am so happy Claire loves to sit outside and watch Trent farm.  It's one of my favorite passtimes too. 

PS - Baby Parker is doing well!  The echo did show a few small heart defects but they hope he will be able to grow out of them.  He is feeding well.  Parker did have to go on the bili light, but his mom said last night she thought his bilirubin was decreasing.  Carrie has been discharged home so she starts the journey of travelling every day to the hospital to see her son.  And the daunting task of leaving the hospital every night without her son.  Please keep Parker and his family in your prayers!  Also please keep Melanie Mills in your prayers as she is undergoing a week of cancer treatments at Duke this week.  She is also part of Parker's family. 

Love,
The Scott Family

Friday, November 25, 2011

Baby Parker 11/25/11 updates

12:53 pm 11/25/11:  Talked to Parker's mom via text and she said he's doing great!  She said the doctors heard a murmur so they will be doing an echo later today.  Please pray that it's something simple like his PDA valve hasn't closed yet and that it's nothing serious.  I know all of you heart moms, just like me, freak out with the word murmur as we know all what it can mean.  Parker's mom does echos on adults so she should have pretty good knowledge of the heart and what she's looking at when they do the test.  Thank you for praying for this sweet miracle baby (one that the doctors said would never make it to this point in his life) and his family.  I know how much each and every prayer meant to us, and they still do.  If I can help by spreading the word and asking for prayers for this family, then that's what I will do! 

Love,
The Scott Family

Claire's first Thanksgiving at home

We had a great 1st Thanksgiving at home yesterday.  It's weird - although it was really Claire's 2nd Thanskgiving, we feel like they are all her firsts since she was still in the hospital last year.  We are so thankful for so many things! 

Claire tried some new "big girl" foods yesterday and today for the first time.  She ate sweet potato casserole, cooked peas and carrots, a few butterbeans, some turkey crumbs, carrot cake, and apple pie.  She also had some rice and biscuits, but she's already had those before.  She seemed to like all of it and didn't have any trouble with the textures.  This morning, my mom cooked breakfast and she ate a few scrambled eggs, some grits, and some grape jelly.  The jelly was her favorite of course. 

Here are a few pictures from Thanksgiving.  Claire wouldn't look at the camera, so you get a side view.  Her cute turkey outfit was borrowed from Maddie and it was perfect!  Then at lunch Daddy decided Claire needed to wear his orange hunting hat.  Too cute!




Also, Baby Parker is doing great!  His mom sent me this picture last night.  He is off the cpap and they hope to start him on feeds today.  He is resting well and breathing well!  Thank you for all of your prayers.  Please continue them for Parker and his family!


Love,
The Scott Family

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Claire's hand turkey!

Happy Thanksgiving 2011!  It is so nice to actually all be HOME this Thanksgiving as a family.  Last Thanksgiving, Claire was still at Duke.  We have had a debate over where everyone else was last year on Thanksgiving.  Thanks to the journal that we kept each day for Claire, we have determined just where everyone was and ended the debate!  :) 

It's funny.  Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on your life, the past year, or whatever is going on in your life to give thanks.  Thanks to God and thanks to family and friends.  Honestly, I thank God every day (at least once) for Claire, for our family, and for all of the many blessings God bestows upon us.  How can I not?  We have so much to be thankful for every day.  Sometimes I wonder as parents of a preemie with heart and liver issues, are we more thankful than parents of healthy babies?  Do we obsess over being thankful because we know how, in just a second, life can change?  I don't know.  All I know is that I want God to know just how thankful I really am.  All the time. 

Thankful doesn't even really begin to describe how I feel on a daily basis.   I am thankful for everything.  I try not to complain much, but I know that I do.  I'm only human, right?  So even though Thanksgiving is a time that everyone should be thankful, I think we should try to practice it more than just one week a year.  Try to be thankful each and every day.  Thank someone for being who they are, for taking the time to just listen to you, or for brightening your day.  Thank God for your children - healthy or unhealthy - as He made them in His image. 

Thank a farmer for the food you and your family eat each and every day.  They work hard to produce safe and healthy food for you.  Thank your Walmart greeter for giving you a smile, welcoming you to the store, and giving your children a yellow smiley face sticker as he could be your 85 year old grandfather still working to help his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.  Thank your parents for all that they do and all the sacrifices they make to create a better life for you.  Thank your BCBS of NC account manager for sending you a $20 Food Lion gift card for Thanksgiving just because when we probably should have sent her one for managing our million dollar claims.   You get the point.  Just be thankful!

We hope you enjoy this Thanksgiving with your family and friends!  I can't wait to see what Thanksgiving food Claire will want to try! 

Love,
The Scott Family

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Baby Parker 11/23/11 updates

12:08 pm 11/23/11:  Baby Parker's mom just texted me that she was headed to labor and delivery to be monitored.  Parker did good on the BPP testing (umbilical cord pressure test) but after the amniocentesis they did a non-stress test and she was having contractions every 3 minutes.  Parker's heart rate also dropped.  She has not heard back from the amnio on Parker's lung capacity and strength.  Please pray for the Mills family and especially that Parker is born perfectly healthy and on God's perfect timing.  I will keep updating here if I hear anything!

1:37 pm 11/23/11:  Carrie texted that she was going in for a c-section now.  So please, please pray for this family.  Pray for a perfectly healthy and strong baby.  Pray that he's a fighter and can fight through the struggles of growing bigger and stronger.  Pray for a safe surgery and for comfort for this family as their journey is just beginning. 

3:08 pm 11/23/11:  Received a text from Carrie that Parker was born at 2:03 pm weighing 3 lbs 4 oz, measuring 15" long, with blonde hair!  He is on cpap which will help his lungs and to help him breathe.  Praise the Lord!  As Super Dude's mom told me when Claire was born - Welcome to the Miracle Club, Parker!  Please continue to pray for all of them!


Love,
The Scott Family

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

11 months old adjusted age

Claire's adjusted age today is 11 months old!  You will remember that preemies are looked at by their adjusted age instead of their real age by doctors when figuring out if they are developmentally on track.  So even though Claire is really almost 14 months old, she should only be 11 months old based on her due date. 

So what is Claire doing at 11 months adjusted age?  She is babbling a lot!  She loves to say "da da" and "daddy", is starting to try to say "cat", "ball", and lots of other sounds like "bree", "be", "oooohhh", etc. 

Claire is pulling up on everything!  She usually just holds on with one hand now and has also started walking down the table or the couch as she holds on. 

She is still eating mostly baby foods.  Claire loves spaghetti, oranges, baby puffs, rice, pudding, and bread too.  She hasn't figured out the sippy cup but we continue to work with it. 

Claire is not consistent on sleeping or napping at all.  One night she will sleep the whole night, and then the next she is up for 1-2 hours in the middle of the night.  Napping is the same way.  Some days she will sleep 1-2 hours in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon while other days she only sleeps 20-30 minutes the entire day. 

Claire loves Elmo, music, her piano, biting her stuffed dogs nose, your cell phone, laptop, or tv changer.  She also loves watching Sprout TV on Saturday mornings and loves to watch the news and weather at night.  Claire is noticing the Christmas commercials on tv and will stop mid-stride when she hears the Christmas music and just smile at the tv. 

I am not sure exactly how much she weighs but I am thinking probably 20.5 pounds.  She is wearing 12 month clothes and can still fit into some 6-9 month things.  She has finally graduated to a size 3 shoe! 

Claire's hair can be very curly on humid days.  The back of her hair has always had a different texture than the top of her head.  That's where more of the curls are.  It's so cute!  She still only has 7 teeth - 4 on top and 3 on the bottom, but those things are sharp as she likes to bite me!

Claire and her daddy have a language all to themselves and they "talk" back and forth to each other.  When I ask what they are talking about, Trent says it's a secret. 

Claire loves lights, to be outside, animals, wind chimes, and being at home. 

I think she sounds like a typical 11 month old?!?!  We love her so very much and wouldn't change anything about her for the world!

Love,
The Scott Family

Monday, November 21, 2011

Baby Parker 11/21/11 updates

10:15 am 11/21/11:  Please keep Baby Parker and his family in your prayers especially today. His mom is at the doctor right now and they may be scheduling a c-section today (or at least this week).  Parker's mom says that he did not pass his tests this morning, wasn't moving good on the ultrasound, and did not do well with breathing.  And that his umbilical blood flow was increased which is not good.  But she said he is moving on his non-stress test, so that is good.  Please pray that the best decision is made for everyone, especially Parker.  He will be born weighing approximately what Claire weighed or less.  I will try to update the blog as I get news!

11:10 am 11/21/11:  Baby Parker passed his non-stress test!  His heart rate went up like it should with movement and he moved around during the test! 

11:21 am 11/21/11:  Parker's mom will go back on Wednesday for an amnio (I am sure to check his lungs).  If everything goes well between now and then, Parker will be a Thanksgiving baby!   Please continue your prayers!
Love,
The Scott Family

Preemie Dictionary

In bringing awareness to preemies...........

When having a preemie in the NICU, there are lots of new words you will hear and unfortunately learn over the course of your childs stay.  Here are a few words and their definitions of things that affected Claire while she was a new preemie in the NICU (info taken from "The Essential Guide for Parents of Premature Babies" by Dana Wechsler Linden, Emma Trenti Paroli, and Mia Wechsler Doron, MD.  This book was a lifesaver for us while Claire was in the NICU and this past year at home.  I highly recommend it!).



  • Aterial line:  similar to an intravenous, or IV line, an arterial line goes into an artery instead of a vein.  A tiny catheter in an artery can be used to measure blood pressure, draw blood, or give fluids.
  • Bilirubin:  a yellow substance that the body makes all the time, as red blood cells are broken down.  When bilirubin builds up in the body, it turns the skin a yellowish tinge, called jaundice.
  • Bradycardia (or "brady"):  a slower than normal heart rate, in preemies it most often results from apnea (an overly long pause in breathing).
  • Central line:  a long-term intravenous catheter placed in a large, deep blood vessel close to the heart.
  • Cyanosis:  a bluish or grayish discoloration of the skin caused by insufficient oxygen.
  • Gavage feeding:  feeding a baby by way of a soft tube inserted in his/her mouth or nose, going down into the stomach.
  • Guaiac:  this is a test performed on a sample of a baby's stool, to see whether there is any blood in it that isn't visible to the naked eye.
  • Isolette:  a transparent plastic box, equipped with a heating system, to keep premature babies warm.  Isolettes used to be known as incubators.
  • Jaundice:  a yellowish discoloration of the skin caused by a buildup of bilirubin in the body.
  • Kangaroo care:  a way to hold your naked baby skin-to-skin, against your bare chest, inside your shirt or covered by a blanket, like a baby kangaroo in his mother's pouch.
  • Nasal cannula:  a set of plastic prongs and tubing that can deliver extra oxygen into a baby's nose.
  • NEC (necrotizing enterocolitis):  an intestinal disease, most common in young preemies, in which portions of the bowel are damaged or destroyed because of poor blood flow, inflammation, or infection.
  • Neonatologist:  a pediatrician with specialized training in newborn intensive care.
  • NG (naso-gastric) tube:  a soft tube that goes through a baby's nose down into his/her stomach.  It can be used for feeding or to empty the stomach of gas.
  • NICU:  short for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  An NICU is a hospital ward where preemies who require complex medical care are taken care of, along with other critically ill or medically unstable newborns.
  • Parenteral nutrition:  nutrition that is giving intravenously, rather than through the stomach and the intestines.
  • PDA (patent ductus arteriosus):  an open blood vessel near the heart and lungs which is a necessary part of a fetus's circulation, a PDA should normally close a few days after birth.  If it lingers, as it often does in preemie babies, it can cause breathing difficulties and some heart failure. 
  • Periodic breathing:  an irregular breathing pattern.  Because of immaturity, it's normal for a preemie to take some deep breaths, and then pause for five to ten seconds before taking the next one.
  • Peripheral IVs:  intravenous lines that to into "peripheral" veins, meaning small blood vessels near the skin's surface, usually in the baby's extremities or scalp.
  • Radiant warmer:  an open bed with an overhead heater, on which a premature infant who needs frequent medical attention can be kept warm.
  • ROP (retinopathy of prematurity):  an eye disease of premature babies, in which new, abnormal blood vessels grown near the retina, and temporarily or permanently damage it.
  • Surfactant:  a natural substance in the lungs that helps keep the air sacs expanded, it is deficient in premature babies who suffer from RDS.  Replacement surfactant can be given to babies who don't produce enough of their own.
  • TPN (total parenteral nutrition):  a nourishing solution - containing protein, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients - that is given to a baby intravenously.
Of course, this just scratches the surface of the different medical terminology that we learned that affects preemies. 

Love,
The Scott Family

Friday, November 18, 2011

Knock Knock Joke

Knock, Knock!

Who's there?

Orange!

Orange who?





Orange you glad it's FRIDAY?!?!  :)

Love,
The Scott Family

Thursday, November 17, 2011

World Prematurity Awareness Day - The Blog Event

Today is World Prematurity Awareness Day!  Never in a million years did I realize that I would be bringing awareness to premature births from my own experiences.  But here we are.  And I hope by hosting this blog event today that we will create a place that parents of preemies or people just wanting to know more will be able to find lots of good resources to go to to read about other real life preemie experiences.  I know how much it has helped us by talking to others who have been through something similar.  It gives you reassurance that you are not on this journey alone, although everyone's journey with premature birth is a little different.  When you go through something scary and traumatic like a premature birth, sometimes you just need to know that someone else has dealt with it and has made it through. 

Hopefully we will get a lot of links below that you can go to and read stories of preemie journeys. 

Here is how this works:

Click on the the "add your link" next to the frog below:

1) Add your blog URL (Go to your blog, Facebook page, care page or caringbridge site. Click on the title of your update. Copy the entire URL in your browser. Then paste it in the "Blog post URL http://" box.)

2) Add your name, child's name, or page name (This is what will be displayed for everyone to see as the title of your link.)

3) Click Next Step to finish! You should then see your link appear.







I will leave this open until the end of November to give everyone a chance to add their page! If you have any questions, leave a comment or email me. Pass the word along to anyone you know who may want to add their link. Thanks for participating!

Love,
The Scott Family

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Quack {and prayer requests and blog event reminder}

Claire can now say "quack" and she's proud of herself when she says it!  It's too cute!

video



As far as prayer requests go, we have a few:

  • Please pray for Claire Elizabeth.  Her parents had to take her back to the hospital last night after she had lots of seizures and was not feeling well yesterday.  Please pray for healing for Claire. 
  • Please pray for Barbara Crawford, a friend of Granny Mary. She has been battling leukemia for several months.   After a bone marrow transplant, the leukemia has come back.  They are trying an experimental drug and it seems to be working. 
  • Please pray for Terri Pridgen, a friend of Grandma Neat Neat.  She is also battling leukemia and is having a very hard time with the chemo treatments. 
  • Please pray for Charlotte Ritchie's family.  She is the one we collected books for "Books for Charley" a few months ago.  Her parents sure miss her terribly and I cannot imagine the hurt and sadness they feel every day, and especially as the holidays approach. 
Please pray for comfort, healing, and understanding for all of them.

On another note, tomorrow is the first ever World Prematurity Awareness Day.  I am going to attempt to host the blog event tomorrow!  Please stop in, add your link to your blog, Caring Bridge site, Facebook page, or whatever you use to tell about your preemie story to help bring awareness and also create a place for others to come and read about your journey. 

Love,
The Scott Family

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

World Famous Preemies {for Prematurity Awareness Month}

As part of Prematurity Awareness Month, I thought it would be fun to blog about some world famous preemies.  People that have made a large mark here on Earth but started out their life as a very small preemie (all info below taken from Baby and Bump website http://www.babyandbump.com/).

Albert Einstein:  Albert Einstein, famous for his great contributions to math and science, was born premature in Germany in March 1879.  He was once quoted as saying, "There are two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as if everything is."  This rang true for Einstein, who experienced small beginnings in a time where neonatology was virtually non-existent, and when on to make outstanding achievements.

Mark Twain:  Accomplished American writer Mark Twain is also on the roster of famous preemies.  He went on to also experience a premature death, when his obituary was accidentally published in a newspaper long before his actual passing.

Napoleon Bonaparte:  Perhaps his premature birth was responsible for his infamously small stature.  Either way, Napoleon went on to achieve great military success and is regarded today as a genius leader by many.

Stevie Wonder:  Famous American singer Stevie Wonder became blind as an infant do to a condition known as Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP). This is a common condition of preemies and takes place when the blood vessels in the back of the eyes are not fully developed and detach from the retinas.  While it would be a challenge for anyone to be blind from birth, Wonder has thrived and his dark sunglasses have become a signature part of his look as a professional musician.

Sir Winston Churchill:  The celebrated former prime minister of England was born 2 months premature.  However even with his difficult start, he was born into great accommodations - a bedroom inside of an Oxfordshire palace.

Victor Hugo:  The great French novelist, most famous for creating the wildy successful Les Miserables, was a preemie of 1802, again beating the odds in a time where medical technology was not in favor of early infants.

Charles Wesley:  A leader of the Methodist church and noted writer of many hymns, Wesley was born 2 months early in England.  Rumor has it he was wrapped tightly in wool until his original due date, preserving his life.

Anna Pavlova:  Small and strong, Anna grew up to be come one of the world's most famous ballerinas, and her influence on the craft continues to be taught to dance students today.

And last but not least......   ;)

Claire Rose Scott:  Claire was born almost 3 months early.  Her blog, Baby Claire's Blog, along with the miracles that God has worked through her, have made her "world famous".  Many people all around the globe read Claire's blog to find out what miracles have happened lately and how God has used Claire to strengthen faith and trust in Him.  Claire's blog has been viewed in countries including US, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, Slovenia, Netherlands, Iran, Ukraine, and South Korea. 


My bib says it all!


Hope you have enjoyed this preemie history lesson! 

Love,
The Scott Family

Monday, November 14, 2011

World Prematurity Awareness Day Blog Event

This Thursday, November 17th, is the very first World Prematurity Awareness Day.  To help raise awareness, I have been blogging here and there about prematurity facts and our experiences with Claire's prematurity.  A heart mom that I met through her blog hosts an annual heart blog event called "Every Heart Has A Story" where other heart bloggers can link their heart story to her blog.  Then they are all located in one place where other heart bloggers can find blogs to read about other childrens' heart experiences.  It's been extremely helpful to us. 

Anyways, I know it's kind of late, but as part of the World Prematurity Awareness Day, I wanted to try to host one of these blog link events.  So on Thursday, I will attempt to do just that!  You will hopefully be able to find the instructions our blog that day of how to link up your preemie story to Claire's blog.  It was pretty simple when I linked her heart story to Stephenie's blog.  So all you preemie parent bloggers (or preemie bloggers) get your preemie story ready to link up on Thursday!!!  Even if you don't want to write a separate preemie story from your blog, at least link up your blog address so others can find it and read about your experiences.  If you have a Caring Bridge site or a Facebook page, you can link those too!

Pass the word along to any bloggers that you know who may want to participate.  I will probably leave the event open until the end of November to give everyone a chance to post their links. 

So on Thursday, I will ATTEMPT to make this happen!  If it doesn't work this time, I will try again next time!  Check back Thursday and hopefully you will be able to share your story with others about your miracle baby! 

Thanks in advance!!!!

Love,
The Scott Family

I'm just a country girl, country girl at heart!

You know the old Ricky Skaggs song, right?  (We listen to a lot of old classic country and bluegrass). Well I changed the words "country boy" to "country girl" for Claire.  This weekend, her country girl personality came through shining!

Trent entered into a hunting tournament this weekend and ended up finishing 3rd overall!  We are so proud of him!  He killed his first buck on Friday that weighed 144 lbs after being field dressed (that's a big deer for around here).  It was a 6 pointer.  Unfortunately, I was at work and couldn't get there to share in the excitement!  But I called my mom and she carried Claire over to see Trent and his big buck.  I was thinking she could be scared of it or cry, but nope.  Not scared at all!  Guess the 7 deer heads on our wall have her used to the things (actually the deer heads were the first thing she noticed the night we brought her home from Duke). 

Anyways, I didn't realize she was touching the deer's horns until later on that day from the picture!  But she was so proud of her Daddy! 


Saturday morning, Trent went hunting again and killed another 6 pointer.  He didn't weigh as much (114 lbs field dressed), but his horns were a lot bigger and wider than the one from Friday. 


 
We brought Claire up to see this buck too and she was pretty impressed!



She reached out and wanted to touch his horns too.  Then she reached down and petted the deer on the head!  Too cute!  I believe if she could ever get over the fear of the gun shot noise she will be putting her lifetime hunting license to good use hunting with Trent!


The weather was so nice Saturday that we went on a stroller ride around the farm and Claire took a nap.  She loves it outside!


Once she woke up, she was ready to play outside in the grass.  This country girl is not scared of dirt or getting dirty.  We even picked a boll of cotton on our stroller ride and she threw it around some. 


We also had a Teddy Graham snack picnic in the yard. 


Sunday was a nice family day at church, out to eat with Granny and Big Daddy, visiting Grandma Neat Neat, and just hanging around the house.  Claire decided she wanted to wear her John Deere pajamas last night.  Aren't they the cutest things?  The tractor is made up of hearts!  How appropriate for Claire!  She was practicing her "Whistlin' Dixie" in this picture. 


Claire, quite literally, is a country girl at heart.  Not only is it in her blood, you will remember, she has a piece of cow skin in her heart that patches the large hole between her ventricles.  How "country" is that?  Nothing says farm girl like having part of a cow in your heart! 

Love,
The Scott Family

PS - Grandma Neat Neat said she heard Claire say "Elmo" a few times this weekend.  I tried and tried to get her to say it for me with no success.  I will keep trying!   She did say Da Da and Ma Ma a lot this weekend.  She is also saying "wee" and "bree" too.

PSS - Today Claire is exactly 1 year, 1 month, 1 week, and 1 day old!  Thought that was neat!  ;)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Littlest Heroes Project

As you may remember, Claire qualified for a free photo shoot from the Littlest Heroes Project.  When we found our perfect photographer for the shoot, Erin McCoy, she offered to come and document Claire's first birthday party as her Littlest Heroes photo shoot.  Here are some of the awesome shots she got at the party!!
















All of the pictures turned out great!  I am so glad she was there that day to capture the special moments and the celebration!  Thank you Erin for giving us these great memories to keep forever!

Love,
The Scott Family

PS - the picture of Trent lighting the birthday candle so brings back memories of our wedding and "the unity candle incident"!  Those of you who were there will remember it well!  ;)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Claire's One Year Portraits

I had been looking forward to this photography moment for a long time!  I had planned to have my maternity pictures done by my friend Beth on the day Claire was born.  We had planned it a few weeks ahead of that date not knowing what that day would actually bring.  So my "maternity picture" was taken in the hospital with a hospital gown on!  Ugh!  Then I thought after the maternity pictures, that we would have Claire's newborn pictures done by Laura Yates.   And, you get the picture.  They weren't able to be done.  So, when it came to Claire's first birthday, I knew we were going to do portraits with Laura!!!!

Laura squeezed us in pretty quickly after I emailed her.  I think it was like a Monday or Tuesday and we did the pictures that Saturday.  Unfortunately, Trent had already rented a piece of equipment for that day so he was unable to go with us for pictures.  He was probably thinking that was fortunate for him b/c he HATES pictures of himself with a passion.  ;)

Anyways, I knew Laura's work was awesome as I had seen lots of her work for friends and also her website.  So I knew we would get great pictures.  But I had no idea they would be THIS great!  I loved all of them!  I am thinking I will just order all of the pictures and rotate them out as wallpaper.........  Just kidding!   But I am ordering all of them. 

Before I get to the pictures, PLEASE read this.  All images are copyright of Laura Yates Photography. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, or altered in any way without the express written consent of Laura Yates Photography.  Please respect this and do not copy and reprint any of Claire's pictures.  Laura was nice enough to allow me to post them on her blog for everyone to enjoy.  If you want a copy of a picture, let me know and we can order one for you!  I am ordering the CD of all of them so I will be able to print whatever ones your heart desires!

Some of you have probably already seen the album on Facebook, but for those of you who have not, here are a few of my absolute favorites! 









I won't post the Chirstmas one because that one will probably be your Christmas cards this year! 

To check out Laura's work, you can find her on Facebook under Laura Yates Photography or you can go to her website http://www.laurayatesphotography.com/.  If you are looking for someone local to take pictures for you, I HIGHLY recommend Laura!  She does them either in her home, outside, or at a location of your choosing.  She makes the session very laid back and enjoyable.  Tell her Claire sent you!!!

Love,
The Scott Family