Monday, September 30, 2013

"Home" Sweet Hotel

That's right, friends. I apologize for the delay in updates, but it's for good reason. We have had a little less time on our hands, because we were promoted to a family care unit in the hospital on Saturday and spent the night there. This is basically the same unit where we would've stayed with him right after he was born if he wasn't in the NICU. We were discharged yesterday and had our first night with him in the hotel last night. Today, we just received word that we are free to leave the state with our baby boy! We had already reserved our hotel through this Thursday which will be his two week birthday. Some airlines won't let you fly with a baby less than two weeks old and we figured a few extra days wouldn't hurt for us to get used to his schedule before we jump on a plane. If all continues as planned, we will be home on Thursday! Here are some pics from the last couple days...

This was how he felt about his carseat test- which he passed along with his hearing test. Both of these tests are required for him to leave the NICU.

We got in our family care room at the hospital around half time of the Clemson game- go Tigers!

Our first morning with the little man in the hospital.

Here is Finn wearing daddy's outfit he wore when he left the hospital 30 years ago. Daddy was also a preemie and our little guy fits perfectly in it- all 5.15 lbs of him!

Our first car ride "home"- aka the hotel.

Leaving the hospital!

Our view for most of the day

Finally, this might be my favorite pic. This is his face after I told him we were able to leave. I think he is realizing that he is stuck with us : )

post signature

Thursday, September 26, 2013

One Week Birthday!

We celebrated Finn's one week birthday today! He has also done so well over the past 48 hours! He stayed on cpap most of Monday and all of Tuesday and they took him off Wednesday, because he was progressing so well! Little man has also had quite a few firsts over the last couple days. Last night, his sweet nurse Lori gave him his first bath after she took his IV out. This morning, he took his first bottle and ate most of it! She only had to push the last little bit through his feeding tube. I was able to give him his second, third and fourth bottles and he seems to be getting the hang of it! Most importantly, daddy changed his first diaper ever! It may have taken him 10 minutes and I had to re-tighten the tabs but he's learning : ) We should be moving to the step down unit soon and then hopefully discharged. Once he's discharged, we will still stay in the hotel for a few nights so that we're not jumping right on a plane straight from the hospital. Here are some pictures from the last couple days!

Nonna and Pop came all the way to Kansas to meet Finn!

He is very happy to have that cpap off his sweet little face!

Cannot get enough of these sweet little bear feet!

Once that IV came out, we were able to see his mohawk : )

First bottle from mommy!

I think he likes us : )

post signature

Monday, September 23, 2013

Vent Free!

Today was a great day for our little dude! He was taken off the vent this morning and put on cpap (similar to a cpap mask that adults with sleep apnea wear). It is basically a way for him to breathe higher pressure air that is easier on him, but he is doing all of the breathing on his own. Pray that his breathing would continue to be steady and strong on his own and we could be on our way to a step-down room soon. After we got to be at the hospital for that transition, we drove about 45 minutes to Butler County where we went before the judge. This is where he signed the official petition for adoption that will be used for finalization on November 22. Luckily, this will allow us to finalize in Georgia. This afternoon, I was able to sit and hold our sweet baby boy for 3 hours while he slept. He's hardly been held since he was born on Thursday, so he LOVED it and so did his mommy : ) Again, all of these pics are from my phone. I don't want to bring my big camera in the NICU so stay tuned for some better pics!

He is happiest when he's dressed and bundled up. Even if it's about 4 sizes too big!

I've been taking his temp and changing his diaper when we're there. Little man has managed to pee on me twice and I'm sure there will be many more times to come.

Well hello there bright eyes. I think he's still trying to figure us out...

post signature

Sunday, September 22, 2013


First of all. Thank you everyone for all of your kind words and messages. We fall more in love with our sweet boy every time we see him! Finn is doing well overall, but still has a ways to go. He was born at just over 36 weeks, but his lungs were only about 34 weeks. The first thing we noticed when we saw him this morning was how much better his breathing looked. His chest wasn't compressing as much and it didn't look nearly as labored as it had before. His bilirubin level spiked from 6 to 10 to 13 over the first two days, so they started him on phototherapy a.k.a baby sunbathing. Jaundice in newborns is pretty typical- especially when they're early. The good news is that it seems to be working, because his level was already dropping after 12 hours under the lights. They'll most likely keep him under there for the next couple days. The neonatologist gave us a great report this morning saying that he was happy with how his breathing was progressing and his cardiac report came back good. Our little guy is quite the fighter and very strong. It is so sad to watch him fight his tube and scream without making a sound, but his doctor wants to be cautious with taking him off the ventilator as they really wouldn't want to have to put him back on after taking him off again. He is breathing room air (21% O2) and not requiring any additional oxygen and the vent is set to only 15 breaths per minute- meaning he is mostly breathing on his own. Our prayer is that he would have an easy transition off and that there wouldn't be any complications that arise.

We still don't really have a date in sight yet on when the little man will be discharged. If he were to come off the vent tomorrow, he'd most likely stay in the NICU for a couple more days and then move to a step-down unit. Once he's discharged, we don't want to take him straight on a plane, so that would mean a couple more nights in a hotel. It could be anywhere from 1-2 more weeks that we call Kansas home. We are so very thankful for some donated Marriott points courtesy of the Herschend family that are allowing us to stay in a nice extended stay hotel that resembles more of a small apartment. We love our little man to pieces and can't wait to show you just how cute he is without being hooked up to so many monitors. Our doctor suggested we read him some books in addition to just talking to him, so that is just what we did. Here is a picture of Dustin reading him his first book.

post signature

Saturday, September 21, 2013

We have a son

We are so completely in love with our boy! His name is Finn Declan Oprea. "Finn" was our choice and "Declan" was actually chosen by his biological family. Throughout the duration of the pregnancy, his biological sister who is eleven has called him Declan as it is the Irish saint of goodness. We chose to keep that as his middle name in honor of their family. They will always hold a special place in our hearts as they've chosen to give us this most precious gift. There really are not enough words to describe how much we admire and respect his birth mother for choosing life and choosing us.

We got to Kansas on Wed night and it has been quite the roller coaster since we got here. He was born Thursday morning at 11:46 AM weighing in at 5lbs 15oz and 18 in. His birth mother allowed me to be in the OR with her during the c-section, for which I am so incredibly grateful. It was also during this time that I got my first mother's worst fear moments. Shortly after they took him out, he started turning blue. The neonatal team rushed in, because he was in respiratory distress due to his lungs not being all the way developed. They intibated him and I was able to walk (jog) down the hall with them as they took him to the NICU. A chest X-Ray confirmed he had some fluid in his lungs and his body wasn't producing enough surfactant (the stuff that allows your lungs to fully expand). After a shot of medicinal surfactant and hooking him up to the ventilator, he stabilized and has been stable ever since. They took him off the vent Friday morning because he was fighting it and he stayed off for about 6 hours. Since his breathing was still pretty labored, they hooked him up to a cpap (a step down from the vent) to give him a little more help. After two hours on the c-pap, they decided it would be best to put him back on the ventilator as it would allow his little body to rest while his lungs got stronger. All of his other vitals look good, we just need his respiratory rate to slow down a bit and become more steady. The super sweet respiratory therapist told us that it will with time. It is all due to him being early and his lungs just need to catch up to the rest of his body. He is a strong little guy and quite the fighter so we have no doubt that it will happen with rest and time. They also have him on a feeding tube since he can't take a bottle yet. We've been at the hospital with him most of the day and were even able to hold him this morning while he was off the vent. The biggest thing that happened today was that the papers were signed that make him legally ours! We are so in love with our little man! Here are some pictures that I've taken with my phone over the past day and a half.

This was right before the c-section

About 3 hours after he was born on the vent

Our first picture as a family of three!

Already looking for that thumb!

This morning when we were able to hold him when he was off the vent.

We fall more in love with this sweet little man every time we see him. He has a full head of dark brown hair and right now his eyes are a dark blue (just like most newborns). While this is not what we anticipated our time in Kansas being like, we are so thankful that God chose him to be a part of our family.
post signature

Monday, September 16, 2013

It's a Boy

I think I've written this post over 100 times in my head and now I can't quite articulate the words to describe how incredibly blessed and excited we feel. If you're a new reader, you can catch up by reading this post and clicking on our story above. So here are the details...

The Thursday before Labor Day, we got a call that there is a baby boy in Kansas that is due in the beginning of October. They were looking to match the birth mother quickly- would we be interested? After reading through her packet and talking with the caseworker, our answer was- absolutely yes. There are so many things about this situation that are answered prayers, it's as if God had personally checked every item off our list. I look forward to sharing more about this in a future post. We sent our profile book for her to review and anxiously went into the holiday weekend waiting on a response. We got a call the following Tuesday that she liked us and the agency wanted to set up a conference call. We had the conference call the next day and found out we were selected that night. It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks, but we could not be more thrilled! She is having a scheduled c-section this Thursday, so we will be flying out to Kansas on Wednesday!

Yes, this has all happened so quickly and yes, I have done about 6 months worth of baby prep in a week... but in many ways it feels such a long time coming. I often tell people that I feel like I've been pregnant for two and a half years since we found out I was pregnant for the first time in April 2011. So while this is happening fast, we have been "expecting" for quite some time now.

Please pray for the health of the birth mother and the baby boy that will join our family. Pray for our travels and that the logistics side of the adoption would go smoothly. We could be in Kansas for up to two weeks waiting for all paperwork to be filed, so pray for our time as we adjust to being a family of three away from home.

I could write all day about the many ways that God's fingerprints have been all over this situation, but I am going to save that for another time.Thank you all for your prayers, kind messages and support. I hope to update you soon with pictures of our baby boy.
post signature

Monday, September 9, 2013

Lake Life

Last weekend we were able to get away and spend some time with husband's family at the lake for Labor Day weekend and Clemson's first home game (how about those tigers!?) To me, this is the official start of my absolute favorite time of year- FALL. Stay tuned for posts about pumpkins, pretty leaves and fall fashions. More importantly, I have made some significant progress on the nursery. I hope to post some pictures of it later this week!

We got there on Friday, had lunch downtown and soaked up every minute of walking around campus. ESPN's College Gameday was broadcasting from there Sat AM, so we had to check it out.

We met up with Dustin's sister, brother-in-law and five of our favorite littles to watch the First Friday parade. 

The husband and his friends re-living the glory days...
We spent some quality playground time with these pretty girls. I cannot believe how fast they are growing up!

Some sweet uncle-nephew time...

Dustin's cousin and his wife came for a day and this is their precious little boy, Parker.

And this is why Uncle Dustin is their favorite...

And this is why he was sore for 3 days afterwards...

 With three little girls, you can always count on a show with costumes.

We got to celebrate Haley turning 8!

 And we got to meet our newest nephew Colton- only 4 weeks old!

Already cheering on his tigers!

Love this face!

Everyone got to spend some time on the lake!

post signature