Tuesday, January 17, 2017

To Cloth or Not to Cloth

A few months into my pregnancy, I began asking friends and family for recommendations on their "must-have" items for new babies. One colleague told me to make sure to get a cloth diaper service - as if I was definitely going to cloth diaper (CD) and she just wanted to give me a tip on how to do it better. Well, it was this comment that sent me into a rabbit hole of websites, videos and YouTube tutorials for the next several weeks.

Once I resurfaced, I'd decided to take a crack at cloth diapering Mira. But don't think the decision came without some apprehension and resistance - mostly from others. The reasons I shouldn't CD ranged from "she'll get an infection from unclean diapers" to "Are you trying to single-handedly save the planet?" So here are five reasons people will try to talk you out of cloth diapering and why you should do it anyway. Only read this if you have time, it's a long (but fun) one. 

The Cost 
The main reason I made the decision to cloth diaper was the cost-savings. If you know me, you know I hate to overspend on anything but fast cars. Everything else, I need to find a deal. Here's the skinny on the cost of cloth vs. disposable:
  • Depending on the article you find, the average cost of cloth diapering through potty-training (around 24 - 30 months) can range from $600 to $1,200. On the flip side, disposable diapers can run anywhere from $1,200 to $2,200+ for the same time period. 
  • Lots of factors play into the cost of cloth diapering including how many diapers you choose to have in your stash, laundry detergent, water costs and other accessories.
  • A benefit of cloth diapering is that you can re-sell the diapers once you're done with them and recoup some of the cost (yes, people will buy your used diapers as long as they are clean, in good condition and stain free). I recently sold a few of Mira's diapers that I'd never used and wanted to trade out for a brand I liked better. I paid about $140 for the diapers and sold them for $100. Not bad huh?
  • To date, I've spent around $600 on my stash and I have about 45 diapers, a few necessary accessories, detergent and water costs. I have enough diapers of good quality to last me through the time Mira is potty-trained so my cost will likely only go up a few more bucks as I buy detergent and pay future water bills (I estimate that at an extra $200 over the next two years, if that).
  • Beware - if you're a shop-a-holic, cloth diapering can be addictive and NOT cost-effective. If you try to stick with what you have in your stash for two years and not go overboard on new diaper purchases, there's definitely a significant cost-savings. 
  • Another consideration is that your costs for cloth diapers is front-loaded - meaning, you'll come out-of-pocket a few hundred dollars up front but then won't (really) have to spend any more for the next two years if you play your cards right.
  • If you choose to use a diaper service, the cost to cloth diaper will likely be on par with disposable diapers. How the services work is they usually provide diapers, pick up the dirty and deliver clean ones. 
Right on Mira - Cloth IS Cool!

The Poop
Ok, let's keep it real. No matter how cute your baby is, poop stinks. Especially as they get older and either begin drinking formula or start eating solid foods. Managing the poop was, by far, the topic I researched the most when deciding whether to CD or not. Here are a few tips that I hope will make you a little less grossed out and a little more likely to take the leap: 
  • Breastmilk poop is completely water soluble and will wash out without much action from you - just toss it in the pail. Formula poop needs a rinse off before you put it in the pail.  
  • I use flushable liners to help manage the poop. These are sheets (similar to dryer sheets) that come on a roll of 50, 100 or 200 that you place inside the diaper to help catch the poop. While they're not always 100 percent, they certainly help lessen the damage.
  • There are tons of ways of "washing out the poop" before you place the diaper in the pail. I "dunk and swish" it in the toilet. This means, I plop whatever of the poop is solid into the toilet and then use clean toilet water to rinse off the rest and clean the diaper before putting it into the pail. When researching, this was the method I was most grossed out by. But it became the most natural way to go about it once I got into the trenches of cloth diapering.
  • No worries, you don't have to put your hands in the toilet. There are diaper sprayers, some people use spatulas and a few other ways you can get solid poop off diapers. 
  • As for blowouts, I've never had a blowout with a cloth diaper. And trust me, there should have been plenty! It all stays in the diaper, which means less clothes changes.

The Wash
Getting your wash routine right is the key to whether or not you'll be successful and want to stick with cloth diapering. If your diapers still stink after washing, it's likely that you'll say to hell with it and go back to disposables. Here are a few things to know about getting the wash right:
  • The general rule for washing diapers is cold rinse cycle, hot wash cycle, cold extra rinse to get out any detergent or extra residue. And then you either dry on low-heat or line dry. 
  • You can achieve this with most washing machines and dryers, no matter how old (my set is about 12 years old and it works just fine).
  • The general rule is that you should wash every 2 to 3 days. Right now, I average about every three days since that's about the time my diaper pail gets full.
  • You should definitely not go the wash alone. Meaning, do your research. It's definitely not worth ruining your diapers because you decide to just wash them like you wash everything else.
  • Also, don't feel you need to buy fancy detergents for your wash. Regular Tide works well. I use Tide Free & Gentle powder because I also use that on Mira's clothes so it keeps things simple. 
  • Wash your diapers as their own load vs. washing with lots of other things.
  • If you start to notice that your diapers are not smelling fresh after you wash, there are a million things you can do to get the smell out so don't let that deter you from continuing to CD. I won't go into them all here but I've used a couple products with success and it wasn't a hassle. 
We store dirty diapers in a regular 13-gallon trash can with flip top from Walmart with a pail liner inside.
An x-large load of diapers - there are about 30 diapers in this load.

The Types
There are lots of different types, brands and price points for diapers. Biggest piece of advice: try different types versus only having one style that makes up your entire stash. Initially, I made the mistake of having only one type and, luckily, had a friend who gave me her old stash. This allowed me to experience a few different types, so here is my feedback based on what's in my diaper collection: 
  • All-in-Ones: These are usually one-piece diapers and I think they are likely the best options for daycare as the staff will find them the least cumbersome. They usually include a snap-in insert or an already installed insert. I wasn't always keen on this type of diaper because I felt you couldn't really get it clean, but Nicki's Diapers sells one that is now my favorite diaper.
  • Pockets: These diapers have inserts that you stuff inside of a pocket in the diaper. Those inserts absorb liquids and generally keep the baby feeling dry. Restuffing these can be time consuming and do require patience.
  • Prefolds and Covers: These look like the old school cloth diapers, the kinds that are most often used as burp cloths. If you have a smaller baby, I recommend these. Pair them with really cute covers that either snap or have velcro closures and you're in business. If your baby hates feeling wet, they will certainly complain when wet with these because there's nothing to wick away the wetness as you see in some of the fancier types of diapers. 
  • All of these types come in one-size which means that there are snaps and settings that allow you to adjust the size to your baby. So the same diaper that will fit a 10-pound Mira will also fit a 30-pound Mira. Sounds unbelievable, but I actually tried one of the diapers on a friend's two-year old on the largest setting and it was actually loose on her.
  • Some of my favorite brands are Nicki's Diapers brand, Bum Genius and Kawaii Baby. Kawaii Baby is the most affordable, Nicki's is mid-range and Bum Genius is the most expensive of the bunch.
These are prefolds and diaper covers. These really worked for me when Mira was a newborn (up to about 8 pounds or so).

This is how the prefold and cover looks on the baby. (Sweet Pea cover, Imagine prefold)

This is an All-in-One diaper (Nicki's Diapers brand)

This is a pocket diaper - the difference is in the inside (Kawaii Baby brand)

The Health and Environmental Benefits 
I'm not the type to blast disposable diapers because they contain chemicals - to each his own. Mira wore disposables for the first three months of her life in the NICU with only one small issue (yeast infection). Here are a few health and environment reasons to cloth diaper: 
  • Diaper rashes and yeast infections are significantly reduced because it's just cloth. The caveat to this is that you have to properly clean the diapers. Three months of cloth diapering and not one issue at all. 
  • If your kid has sensitive skin or eczema or any of those issues, then you should definitely consider cloth diapers.
  • Disposable diapers take a long time to leave landfills. So, if you care, cloth diapers mean you don't clutter up the earth with dirty diapers that take a long time to disintegrate. 
Ok, apologies for the long article. But I hope I made the case for someone out there to consider giving cloth diapering a try. It doesn't matter if you have an older baby, it's never too late to make the change. A few sites I love are Nicki's Diapers, Fluff Love University and Kelly's Closet. A few of my favorite YouTube channels are We Are The Strange and Obbs and Lala

I really would love questions and conversations about it, so don't hesitate to reach out to me here in the comments section or at prkimmy@gmail.com. I will likely write another post soon with more insights. 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The New Normal

Mira has been home for a little over a month and here is what I've learned. Motherhood is more than just a two- or three-hour NICU visit where she eats on cue, burps on demand, falls asleep right after, smiles lovingly up at me while I read her stories, waits patiently for diaper changes and feedings, rarely cries, the poop stays in the diaper and our physical travel distance is a two-square-foot area. I am her doctor, nurse, oxygen monitor, thermometer, bottle maker, bather, swing, burp cloth and diaper.

Despite all of this, I've also learned that I'm graced for this. That Mira was made especially for me. That she's all mine and that I'd rather be here in this moment - being poop, pee and puke attacked by her - than anywhere else in the world.

But I have to be honest. The love I feel for her after this month together took me by surprise. When Mira was first born, the connection wasn't instant. The day I had her, I never heard her cry, I never held her, we didn't stare lovingly into each other's eyes or have that baby-on-the-chest photo moment. Now I always had the urge to care for her, to make sure she's ok and the responsibility to advocate for her. But the reality is, in the beginning, I felt more like a taskmaster than a mother. Pump for Mira. Check. Visit Mira everyday. Check. Prepare the house for Mira. Check. Talk to her doctors and nurses. Check. Research the things I didn't understand and ask all the right questions. Check. Arrange things with the insurance. Check. Take BP meds. Check. Make sure she had her necessities. Check. Keep my family and friends updated on her well-being. Check. Check. Check.

It took me a few weeks to fall in love with her. And that felt like the most beautiful feeling ever. But, as I've learned this past month, that was "puppy love" and this is the real thing. She's the most beautiful, precious and strong baby I've ever met. She looks at me with all the love in the world and looks for me when I'm not in her direct line of sight. I'm her person. And that she needs me as much as I need her. I love her with my whole heart and there's no turning back.

Before I go (she's starting to stir), here are a few things I'm proud of since Mira has been home:
  • She's almost 8 pounds and 19 inches long. That might not sound like a lot but she was born just under 2 pounds and around 14 inches. She's HUGE to me!
  • Most of the health problems she was born with and struggled with in the NICU are gone. She's doing amazingly well, it's almost like she was never in the NICU fighting for her life for three months.
  • I've kept her alive without the help of a team of nurses and host of machines.
  • I've stuck with cloth diapering through the thick and thin (pun intended). It is absolutely not as scary as I thought it would be and I'm glad I did it despite naysayers.
  • Always following my instincts - as you know everyone has advice and that can be daunting. But I don't know any human being in the world better than I know Mira. And my approach to being her mom is to make decisions based on what I know about her and what's comfortable for me.
Here are a few things I'm working on:
  • Mira's reflux is real. It's likely due to a combination of having a feeding tube down her throat for three months, being a preemie and just being a newborn. We take it feeding by feeding and have tried several formulas, feeding positions and a host of other things. So we continue to work on finding a place where she's as comfortable as possible.
  • Letting go - I'm hard on my husband because he doesn't care for her the way I would. But I have to be ok to let him parent in his own way knowing that his way isn't harming her. I'm trying ya'll!
Thanks for your support and prayers. I hope another month won't pass between the next post.

Good morning beautiful!

Talk about bliss.  

Somebody put on real clothes to go to the doctor, how cute is this little baby?

Somebody didn't get the memo that she's too young to hold her own bottle. 

3 a.m. mommy and baby shenanigans!

Cloth diaper booty!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

87 Days

"Ms. Wise, Mira is doing great. Let's talk about rooming in and getting her home." Those were the words I've been waiting to hear since July 8, yet I was immediately overcome with anxiety.

In the NICU world, "rooming in" is a one- (or two-) night stand that parents have with their babies before going home. You stay overnight at the hospital essentially parenting your baby with very little help from the nurses. When we thought Mira was going to need oxygen at home, our rooming in experience was going to include learning how to work the tank, get the oxygen levels right, monitoring her pulse and oxygen levels, etc. Thank God for my little trooper, we don't need oxygen.

But I digress. So I get the call on Saturday afternoon that we need to talk about a going home plan and that doctors want me to room in with Mira on Sunday night. If all goes well, she will be released on Monday. It all felt like too much too soon (one would think I should have been prepared since this is really all I've ever wanted). But before I tell you how it all went, I'll give you an update on Mira from "head to toe" as her doctor would say:

  • She was born at 1 lb, 14 oz, she left the NICU at 5 lbs, 10 oz - what a plumpster!
  • She came home about nine days before her original due date...she would have been born next Wednesday had she held on a little longer.
  • Remember that hole in her heart? Well, according to the last scan of her heart, that pesky hole is almost gone. I believe the words the doctor used were "so small they can't measure it." All the prayers from all over the place worked and I really appreciate it.
  • Mira got her groin hernias repaired which, oddly enough, helped her breath better.
  • She had a hemorrhage on her brain that dissolved and is no longer present 
  • She passed her hearing test with flying colors (she's going to need those ears with a mama like me)
  • She did well getting all of her immunizations (no major setbacks)
  • Lungs are doing well, still developing though
  • She's struggling with lots of reflux these days, but we hope it will resolve itself
Ok, now, about rooming in and coming home. I roomed in with Mira on Sunday night (she struggled with her reflux and finding a comfortable spot and I miraculously did not sleep through her 3 and 6 a.m. feedings). And on Monday, October 3 around 4:30 p.m. Mira was released from the NICU. After 87 days of ups and downs, uncertainty, tears, lots of love, resilience, perseverance, mothering on 10, loneliness and joy, my little baby sweetness came home to fill our house with the same love she's filled our hearts with. Her going away was so beautiful as several of her nurses gave her gifts and rallied around her (literally) when she was leaving. 

Now that the NICU experience is all over, I am relieved. But, admittedly, I'm also scared and anxious. I want to be the best mom to her I can. I want to make all the best decisions for her and I want her to thrive. I also feel victorious. I feel victory over my natural instinct to control and plan. I feel victory because I surrendered to God's plan and tapped into the grace he gave me to be Mira's mom. Victorious because my only job was to stand by her side and I nailed it.

For every single person who called, text, prayed, sent gifts, words of encouragement, told me their NICU stories, gave advice, read this blog, checked in and loved my baby, I want to say thank you. Thank you soooo much. I could not have gone through my life's biggest challenge and greatest joy without it.

I'll continue to blog here as I keep loving and raising Mira. Thanks for your support and prayers.

Ok, so YES this dress is a bit much! And I think Mira is embarassed that her mom made such a big deal of her ride home.

Proud parents of a little miracle...we made it home!

Monday, October 3, 2016


I've never held Mira without cords attached. And it's not something I focus on or need a pity party about. But when I was told that she might have to go home on oxygen, it gave me pause. We have tried to ween her off oxygen twice and it just didn't go well.

And all the cords have been necessary. It's what's kept us in the know about how things are working on the inside of her precious little body. So I am up for doing whatever she needs to have done but I couldn't help be a little selfish about not wanting that thing in particular.

As a mom, you probably lay your baby down, change diapers and clothes without making special concessions not to snap her heart monitor lead or oxygen cord inside her jumper. Or once you've changed that diaper, you pick the baby up and carry them to the kitchen in your arms while making their bottle. That's not been our reality thus far and, if we go home with oxygen, it won't likely be our reality for many months.

So I prayed. Not too hard and really only asked God once to not let that happen. To please make Mira strong enough to ween off oxygen before we discharge. Because, much like everything else with Mira, there's what I want and there's what God has already done. And my way to cope these days is just to go with the flow. If she needs oxygen, she needs oxygen, we can make that work.

Well, looks like I might have said that prayer within earshot of Mira. Last week, she had surgery to fix hernias in her groin area. One of the nurses causally mentioned that sometimes babies have trouble breathing when they have hernias because inhaling too deeply is painful. It felt like an epiphany but we would see the next day when they took her off the oxygen. They took off her oxygen and one hour without it turned into two turned into 12 turned into 48.

We are now four days out and she's still breathing on her own like a BOSS. If all continues to go well, it looks like I might be able to experience life with Mira untethered. For some, that might seem like a simple request. For me, it means everything. 

Thanks for your support and prayers (and so sorry for the delay with this post).

Mira is all smiles after she had her first meal post-surgery. She was realllll H-ANGRY before this picture.

Mira a few hours after they removed her oxygen...sleeping like an angel.

Friday, September 16, 2016

It's Not Your Fault

Mira came four days after my water broke prematurely (ironically, it was late night on July 4th, Independence Day). And, to date, we're still not sure why it broke or what caused it. There are a number of reasons that a mom goes into early labor - from infections to stress and overexertion. Heck, I was even told that something as random and abstract as changes in atmospheric pressure can lead to pre-term birth.

From the beginning, Mira has always been determined to be here. She somehow found her way into my uterus when I'd always been told that it would be difficult, if not impossible, for that to happen. And around my 18th week, I had surgery to "sew her in" (it's called a cerclage) because my cervix was too short to hold to term. By the time I had the surgery, she was damn near on her way out and after I was put on a light form of bed rest and told to take it easy (read: sit your ass down somewhere Kim!) All that coupled with the fact that on every sonogram, except one, Mira was always face down, head down toward the exit. Seems like she was always ready for her debut. I thank God that she waited until after 24 weeks when babies are typically considered viable.

But, all of this didn't stop me from racking my brain during the days leading up to her birth about what I could have done to cause her to come early. Did I not rest enough? Did I work too much? Not get enough sleep? Stress about home life too much? Should I not have taken that shopping trip to the San Marcos outlets? Was it too hot in my friend's house where I'd spent the 4th? Or did I let that infection go on too long before I called my doctor? It broke my heart to think I'd done something to put my baby in harm's way.

Fast forward to today. At the place where I take the puppies for their haircuts, there's a young man who cuts Coco's hair. He loves her, she loves him and he loves us both. He'd been asking the front desk ladies about me and the baby for the past few weeks. So I saw him today. He gave me a hug and the first words out of his mouth were "It's not your fault!" I was so stunned. He went on to tell me that he has a friend with three kids, two of which were preemies. And her doctors were so clear that there's nothing she did to cause her babies to come early. That sometimes, it just happens. And, in that moment, I was freed from something that I didn't even know I still held on to. It would have been nice to have those doctors and not the hot mess parade of characters at my hospital who, everyday, were trying to pin everything from diabetes to hypertension on me as an explanation for how I got there.

Truth is, no matter all the tests I'm sure I was charged for while in the hospital, we'll never know. And I'm actually ok with that. At this point, it's moot. She's here, however she got here, and I wouldn't have it any other way. To every mom out there who might be beating herself up about the "why's" and "what-ifs" of having a baby before time, it's not your fault. Everyone has a story and a start. And that's all ultimately determined by God. So embrace it and be present so you can tell your baby the awesome and unique story of how their lives began.

Thanks for your support and prayers.

Our first time doing "Kangaroo Care" - skin-to-skin interaction between parents and baby. I cried...DUH! I think here she was a little over 2 pounds. 

Mira shouting "Hallelujah" when she was finally able to get that CPAP off (see above picture for what the CPAP looks like).

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Choice to Parent

Today I was told by one of the nurses that I get an "A+ for attendance" and thumbs up for being so involved with Mira's care. I could pat myself on the back about what a great mom I am that I have seen Mira every single day since she's been born (minus three days when I went back in the hospital). And give parents who haven't an F. Or I could credit my smarts for my ability to engage with the doctors and nurses when it comes to decisions about my baby's health.

But then that would be giving myself all the credit and God none. And for taking my blessings for granted. I am blessed that at the beginning of the year God led me to quit my job to freelance - Mira unforeseen. And that's caused me to have a more flexible schedule than most people. Or that I have a car to get back and forth. Or gas money. Or I live 20 minutes away. Or a great support system who also visit Mira. Or that I don't have other small children at home. Or have been taught to ask questions until I understand. Or that I have no problem questioning authority. These might seem simple but are real issues. I got a reality check when I overheard a mom say that she would have to come back to visit her twins preemies in a couple weeks when she got money to ride the bus to the hospital. It broke my heart.

Pile all these things on and parenting a baby in the NICU can really be a challenge. Through this experience, I've learned that half the battle with parenting is just showing up. Being present. That it really is a choice. And not always an easy one. While I'm lucky enough to show up everyday, I also admire the mom who's baby is next to Mira who calls at least once every couple hours to check in on her baby during each of my visits. It seems like she's moving and generally has life happening caring for her other children. But her concern shows and she's making her presence known to the care team. Even if you have no clue what to say to the doctors, nurses or your baby, be present and proactive.

It's easy to feel disconnected from your baby when it's in an incubator and you feel like the nurses have a better handle on caring for them than you. It's also easy to assume your baby needs more from the medical staff than you. That couldn't be further from the truth. Just showing up, talking, touching, checking in, calling, caring can make a difference. And if there are times where you have to choose what's going on outside the NICU over parenting your preemie, don't let the guilt consume you.

I think I visit Mira so much because, the truth is, I don't want to miss anything. I want to be the one to tell the story of her when she gets old enough to want to hear it. I want her to know when she started wearing clothes or when she started drinking from a bottle or about her growth and some of the ups and downs she had at the beginning of her life. I want to paint a full picture for her, from the time she was conceived and how she came into this world. I want to be able to fill in all the gaps for her until she has memories of her own.

Each day I make it to see Mira is a day that I'm making a choice. And if there is a time that I am not able to see her, my call to check in or sending her love from wherever I am will be no worse a choice. But just as long as I'm present, then I'm doing my best. And I thank God for all the small obstacles he's cleared out of the way of me being able to parent Mira and develop a beautiful bond with her from the beginning.

Thanks for your prayers and support.

One of my favorite pictures. We both looked pretty smitten with each other. 

Caption this: "I was counting sheep on my fingers and accidentally dozed off!"

Mira is pretty much the most stylish baby in the NICU! #PreemieGoals

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Pressing the Reset Button

The last couple days have been a bit rollercoaster-y. From on the inside and the outside of the NICU. As you might recall, I asked God for some movement for Mira. And almost as soon as I hit publish on the blog, I called and was told that she had been moved to the "B" side. WOO HOO, right? Well...as soon as I thanked God for the movement, my mom-stincts told me that she's not ready yet. Earlier that day, I'd had a conversation with the doctor that the hole in Mira's heart is giving her some breathing and weight gain issues. The fluid in her lungs I'd discovered the other day is actually a by-product of the hole and has caused her little heart to enlarge because it's working too hard. That she might have to have surgery to fix the hole. She also has a very common hernia in her groin which will have to be remedied with a minor surgery before she leaves.

So, I walked away from the visit feeling a little deflated. Mostly because it feels like we had taken three steps forward then two steps back. So you can imagine that I was surprised at the fact that they'd moved her, with her heart and breathing issues, over to the side where babies need a little less attention. Immediately, I said "Be careful what you ask for Kim." When I visited her, I was having some trepidation because her oxygen levels were still not staying stable and she was breathing very quickly. Like all the other times, I asked God to handle it, spent time with her and went home.

Later that night, my mama visited Mira after work and just so happened to be there when the doctor came in around 4 a.m. to check on her. He had been reviewing her chart and x-rays and was concerned about her heart. He made some tweaks to her meds, ordered her to be moved back over the "A" side in the morning and vowed to talk to her care team to come up with a plan for moving forward. It all was the perfect lesson from God, a smack down if you will. I could hear his voice saying, "Do you want her to move or do you want her to move when she's ready?"

Since then, we've had constant conversations, millions of questions and daily check-ins with the doctors on her condition, their approach to treating her with the hope of avoiding surgery and the goal of resetting her back to where she was before this issue cropped up.

Meanwhile, outside of the NICU, I continue to struggle with constantly swelling ankles and blood pressure issues - both that developed after Mira's birth. Although I have a family history of blood pressure, I've never had it or taken medicine for it. So to accept an actual diagnosis and medicine has been hard for me. But after today's doctor's appointment, I just need to shut up, take the meds and get on with it. Plus, when you have a baby in the NICU, it's hard to actually let your body rest after having a baby because of the constant need to shuttle back and forth to the NICU from day one. So I'm trying to remember that my body is still recovering from giving birth.

Overall, it looks like both Mira and I are hitting the reset button. She's trying to get back to the point where she has dry lungs and can try bottle feeding and weening off oxygen again. And mommy is getting her head back in the game and (reluctantly) continuing on those blood press meds. With my need to advocate for Mira's care around this new issue, I got my steam back. There's nothing like needing to fight for your baby that puts the wind back in your sails. Perhaps I just needed a few minutes to regroup and prepare for the last leg of our time in the NICU. And I also understand that sometimes when we're going too fast and things are a little out of control, God pulls us back to square one in order for us to be able to move forward the right way.

Today, my little baby sweetness is 35 weeks and Friday she turns two months old (side note: I have no damn clue how to count her age. She turned eight weeks last Friday but was born on July 8 so September 8 seems to be officially when she turns two months. At this point, I'll just celebrate both since she deserves all the celebration she can get).

Thanks for your prayers and support.

The day that Mira was completely off her oxygen (she only has a feeding tube in her nose)

Oh happy day! Mira was thrilled to be off her oxygen. We are praying for her to get back here and go even further until she's home.