A One Year Old Miracle

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(I know I won’t have time tomorrow)  What a difference a year makes!!!  I think I am probably in more shock than anyone that our little Austin Ryan is ONE!  A whole year!  Our little miracle is doing so many things, and has done so well considering how early he was born. 29 weeks, 6 days, with 10 weeks to go, and he was ready to come meet the world.  I Still scroll through pictures of his first few days of life, and honestly don’t even recognize that baby.

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WELCOME TO THE WORLD AUSTIN RYAN

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6 HOURS OLD

Seeing those pictures always splits me in two.  Part of me still can’t believe that he came so early, and that we were thrown such a curveball and had to do so many things to adjust our lives to meet all of his needs, as well as the needs of two VERY HORMONAL moms and 3 other children.  But we nailed it, and it made our little family unit stronger.  And the other part of me is so excited that Austin came and changed EVERYTHING just when it needed to change.  It changed my relationship with Callie.  It changed my relationship with my children.  It changed my relationship with MYSELF, and all of these things came because Austin did…not too late, not too early, just as he should have.  So I thank the Universe every day for all of my miracles, but I say an extra thank you for bringing us Austin.

Stats: you can read the last post, since it’s all there!

He is quite the character!  He tries to keep up with his brothers, and does a pretty good job of it.  I can always assume that if one of the boys is crying, Austin is tackling him, crawling over him, bullying them for their toys, crawling away at lightning speed with one of their sippy cups, but they sure do love their brother!  I often hear them walking through the house saying, “Papo? Are-shu?? Ah are-shu!?!?!” and when they find him, ” HA! ::giggle giggle:: Dere’s YOU (there’s you!!!)!!! and it melts my heart every damn time!

Our little miracle boy is a whole year old tomorrow.  And my heart, every day, reminds me how lucky we are that he is with us, because his life, OUR lives could have been very different.  I think of all of the things I will treasure the most about Austin’s first year of life is the breastfeeding relationship that we had.  Guys, like many other mamas who have struggled with breastfeeding and supply, I BUSTED it trying to make milk for my tiny little Austin.  I never pumped more than 5 ounces in once sitting EVER (and that only happened 3 times because I hadn’t pumped or nursed in 6 hours!).  I was taking domperidone, all types of herbs, drinking all types of teas, and nursing, pumping AND hand expressing (because pumping never fully emptied me) and I was STILL supplementing a little less than half of his bottles, but it was so beautiful, and I really loved having that time with him.  We only nursed for 7 months, but it was awesome!  And when Callie has baby #5 (yup, that’s happening in maybe another year or so!!!!!!!!! YASSSS!!!!) I will do everything I can, to re-lactate and nurse the newest Mendez as well, even if it IS just a little snack (what I used to say to Austin when I nursed him).

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THE MAGICAL 5OZ DAY

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THIS BOY LOVES TO NURSE

So, yeah….our Miracle is ONE…img_35261


I was scrolling through my phone looking for pictures and had completely forgotten that for Austin’s first week of life, I didn’t have my journal, so I kept small little notes in my phone.  I’ve added them here below just in case they ever get lost…

Austin Ryan
12/17/15 – Thursday
Born December 17th, 2015 @ 4:53pm.  He was 3lbs 9oz, and 15″ long, coming 10 weeks and 1 day early.  He was breathing well on his own from the get. They had him on 30 oxygen and within the first 24hrs was taken down to 22! This little guy is a fighter and he is so tough and feisty! He’s a beautiful boy with Levi’s face and Noah’s nose.  He has the cutest little cry

12/18/15 – Friday
Today is our second day in the hospital.  I’ve been feeling pretty good.  Everyone seems surprised that im doing so well.  The nurses can’t believe that I delivered my baby is 3 pushes! I didn’t take any meds today and everyone is pretty surprised.  I also started pumping and getting a few drops of colostrum.  I put it on q-tip swabs so they can give Austin Ryan some oral care with my breast milk.  He seems to like it.  He’s still breathing well on his own and they have turned off the oxygen but still have the CPAP in to keep his lungs expanded.  He’s had a couple of apnea episodes and a couple of Brady’s, but is still doing really well! My baby boy is gonna be just fine.  My heart knows it! (Jesy, Tia Jenny, Tio Roberto, Kika, and Katie came to visit)

12/19/15 – Saturday
Lobster dinner was delicious last night! It was nice to sit there with Callie and share a little moment and celebrate our beautiful boy!  Today’s nurse is really nice.  Her name is Sue and she kinda reminds me of Arizona from Greys Anatomy.  She let me feed Austin today.  It was just putting 3cc’s of breastmilk in the tube and holding it up so that he could get it into his belly, but it was beautiful.  His bilirubin levels went up so they have him under the UV lights to help bring down his levels.  He also swats at the nurse when she tries to fix the CPAP that he keeps pulling out! This little guy is gonna be trouble! He does things in his own time and his own way, and that seems like it’s gonna be a theme with him! I’m gettin ready!

12/20/15 – Sunday
I was discharged yesterday and leaving the hospital without our baby is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  I basically cried the whole day.  It was really really hard for me.  Those bonding hormones are no joke! AR is still doing great! Still off the oxygen, still on the lights, and tolerating the breastmilk really well.  I am so happy that I am able to produce milk for him because the doctor says it’s easier for him to digest it and to process it than formula.  Not much more progress than yesterday with the exception of taking out one of the lines from his umbilical cord and taking off the bilirubin lights.  Seems like his levels went down which is great!  They are supposed to be doing A PICC line tomorrow, and a head ultrasound either Monday or Tuesday to make sure he’s not hemorrhaging or that there isnt anything wrong with his little brain. Hopefully all goes well.

12/21/15 – Monday
Spent most of the afternoon in the hospital.  We got to hold Austin Ryan for the first time since the 5 minutes after he was born.  What an incredible feeling. I cried of course, and got to hold him and sing him my boys lullabies, “Beautiful Boy”, “Our House” and “Power of Two”.  Since I sing them to Levi and Noah all the time, i’m sure he heard them when in my belly.  I have to say, I really miss being pregnant. I feel like I got gyped out of enjoying my pregnancy.  It makes me sad, but if I dwell on it i start crying like an idiot! Today, he was back on the lights because his levels went back up again.

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