Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Six Month Retrospective

Tomorrow marks six months since M&M's birth, and we thought it might be interesting to take a look back at all their progress. I'm going to start from the most recent photos and work back in roughly two week increments. Just a heads-up: some of the early photos are a bit scary. Still, it's amazing to see how far they've come! For those of you NICU parents with micro-preemies, I hope this gives you some hope about just what is possible.

Milo - aka "Stiles 1" or "Baby A"

Taken yesterday, December 13, 2008. As of December 12, Milo was 10 lbs, 14 ozs -- roughly 9 pounds over his birth weight.

Milo came home October, 17. I took the shot above on the 23rd.

Less than a couple weeks before, he still used a gavage tube for feeding and (apparently) he wasn't very happy about it.

Milo was on a nasal cannula on August 15, when I took the above shot.

Above: July 28 - Milo is intubated to prepare for his PDA surgery.

Above: July 19 - Milo on Si-PAP.

Milo struggles his way into the world at 25 weeks, 2 days gestation. He weighed 2 lbs and was 13.5 inches long. The shot above was taken a day or two after his birth on June 15, 2008.

I won't list here all the complications and challenges that Milo faced (feel free to review the early blog entries), suffice to say the little boy pushed through an awful lot. To look at him now, you'd never know.

Maddy - aka "Stiles 2" or "Baby B"

Above: Taken December 13, 2008, shortly after our return from our (semi) daily walk. On December 12, Maddy weighed in at 11 lbs 14 ozs -- a full pound bigger than Milo! She has gained 10 lbs since birth.

Maddy proudly sports the tulip hat Aunt Heather gave her. Shot above taken on October 23.

Maddy rests during her first week at home. She was discharged from the NICU on October 4th. The above shot was taken a few days later.

Above: "Roar." Maddy does her best convincing dragon impression. Picture taken August 31 during Maddy's weigh-in.

Above: "What the heck is that thing?" Maddy notices something attached to her wrist. Picture taken July 29. Poor Maddy's nose was all smooshed from the Si-PAP (see just below); it's rebounded nicely since then.

Above: Maddy recovers from her PDA ligation. She was the very first baby at Alta Bates to receive the procedure at the bed side. Picture taken July 4th.

Scary small. Maddy fights her way into the world at 1 lb 14 ozs, and believe it or not that's pretty big for a 25 weeker. Many preemies born that early are around 1/3 to 1/2 a pound lighter than that. I took this shot just a day or two after her birth.

As with Milo, I'm not going to list all the challenges Maddy faced, but suffice to say, the little girl's got moxie. Little known fact: Moxie was very nearly Maddy's middle name but we chickened out. Could there be a name change coming?

Obviously the kids have made much progress in the last six months and much more to come. Stay tuned! Tomorrow (or the day after) we'll post their growth pictures with Mr. Bear.


Heather said...

Fantastic retrospective. It really documents their growth (visually) so nicely. What a long way they have come! It's so exciting (and rather amazing) to see them now!


anthea said...

oh, oh, oh, . . . dear stiles clan. you are amazing, all four of you! and such a six months it's been.

e & r, your love, dedication, hope, fear, patience, did i mention love? plus the amazing team at alta-bates (love you guys!) and those two special little beings, are truly inspiring.

all my love, hope, and shared joy,

Sarah V said...

I can't believe how well the babies are doing, and am so gratified to be able to view their progress and to know that you are onto a new (and hopefully more normal) stage with them. Although I know that concerns still remain, what a blessing it is to see how far they (and you) have come. Parenting is never easy, but looking back on what you have been through with Milo and Maddy just fills me with awe.

Love and best wishes to the Stiles family!

Mom said...

It is amazing to see the progress so clearly. Thank you so much for sharing this. It was great meeting you four in the NICU a few days ago. You kinda are celebrities over there! Almost asked for an autograph :-)

rstiles said...

Hi Kathalijn,

It was great to meet you in person! I hope everything went well with the first feedings. I hope you have great holidays and that you get Loki home soon. Please stay in touch and let us know how it all goes.


Donna said...

Moxie?...hmmm...quite honestly I think Janet, Donna, or Annette would be better It was really cool to see what a difference six months can make. Keep up the good work!

Love, Donna

Helen said...

Would you LOOK at those babies??! It is just incredible how well they are doing and they look just completely scrummy. As normal looking at the pictures made me want to get straight on a plane to SF but...yes, I have another cold. What the?? It's only the 856th since Monty was born. Oh yes, and speaking of him, could your M&M pop over here and teach my M how to sleep through? Thaaaanks.

Thank you for sharing the retrospective, I loved it. I still cannot believe how far they have come, and everything they have overcome, in just 6 months.

Helen xoxoxoxo

The Kachmarskys said...

Oh my goodness, you are so right, you'd never know what those kids have been through seeing them now! We keep them and you both in our prayers and thoughts each day! It is so heartwarming to see how their special strength that was so apparent from their earliest days is still with them, helping them to grow and do new amazing things!