Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Preemie Dad Updates

Just wanted to give you all some updates on a few of the dads who have been contributors to the group...

Joe Mata

Going on 2...WOW! 

On the 29th of this month, our little warrior will be celebrating his 2nd birthday.  I can't help, and it happens quite often, but think about the battles he has fought at such an early age.  I find comfort in the thought that our son will never remember the pain of IV after IV, all the needle sticks, the time alone in his islet, and on and on. But I also sit and think about how far he has come. From a 26 wk old micro preemie weighing 1 lb 14 ounces, with grades 3 and 4 brain damage, to now a 35 pound active bundle of a boy. He has been receiving physical and occupational therapy since he was 6 months old. He had speech therapy for a few months but quickly 
graduated.  

The therapy continues and he is progressing week after week, but every day is a blessing and we find something new to be thankful for.  He is not walking yet, but that does not stop him from going everywhere and getting into everything.  Isai is becoming very vocal and is quick to show his disapproval when he does not get his way.  He still has a long road ahead of him. As much as he is progressing, there are things he still struggles with.  He still has difficulty using his right hand and arm.  Things like reaching and grasping still present a challenge but he is determined to overcome. 

Though the road ahead is still long, I know that with God, nothing is impossible.  I know in my heart that our son will grow to be perfect, the way he was meant to be.  To the regular person, Isai is a normal, happy go lucky little guy.  To me, he is my hero.  



Rob Berry

Our daughter Hazel recently turned three. She is a former 24 weeker and has come so far. Hazel loves to read books, play outside on the trampoline and enjoys making all sorts of Playdoh creations. She knows the alphabet like nobodies business and can spell and read 10-15 words.

Hazel is heading to preschool in September where she will receive speech-language assistance. She is a happy, healthy, 'normal' three year old. The NICU was such a scary time in our lives but seeing our little girl thrive makes it all worth while.

Jordan Stowe

Adeline Marie Stowe was born at 3lbs 12oz, and is now a very healthy 19lb thirteen month toddler.  She is getting on track with her milestones.  It has been a very challenging year for us, and since the NICU.  She is definately finding new lessons to teach us each day.  Her pediatrician remains happy with her progress, as well.  

Addie is just full of life and loves to laugh at everything.  We have spent a small fortune on elaborate toys and stuffed animals, but her favorite toys remain my car keys and our smartphones.  This fathers day I'm looking forward to spending it with my wife and daughter, Shanna and Adeline.  

Last fathers day, Addie had just come home from the NICU and it was very interesting to say the least.  But, I was with my new formed family, and now, that's all that matters in this world. 

Joel Brens

It's so strange how your life changes as your child grows out of the "preemie" stage, with milestones and obstacles steadily changing. We have come a long way since Jayden was born seven weeks early. It's fair to say we all have learned and grown as a family; Gena and I as parents and Jayden as a growing toddler. 

I am so tickled by Jayden's progress, especially over the last six months. To think about where we are in regards to Jayden's speech as to where we are when we started Early Intervention services when he was two is mind-boggling. While he still has a way to go, it doesn't put the weight of the world in stress on it like it used to.

Jayden is making new friends at his preschool extended school year program, and he will be back with his same teachers when the regular school year comes around in August. We certainly feel blessed to work with amazing staff.

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