Here are some photos we took for each day to celebrate your life so far. We can’t wait to have the whole 12 month collection.
Aunt Chelsea brought a huge surprise to our house after you were born. Mommy had shown her an example of a letter “A” to paint and put on the wall or door. I got the idea from a friend, Jessica who I used to work with. She made one for her daughter and I fell in love. Well, guess what? Aunt Chelsea showed up with all the supplies to make it and it turned out beautiful!
Here are a few photos to show the process and results. Mommy and Chelsea worked hard on this all night long and we are proud of it. It now hangs on your bedroom door.
It’s all written down in your baby book but mommy wanted to share some of the photos and visitors you have had from birth until now. You have a lot of love out there for you baby Arya. Those who can’t come see you have sent care packages, tons of goodies and called or texted about you almost daily. Those who can be here have done the same spoiling you with tons of goodies and love. Some people couldn’t get gifts and that was perfectly fine. Showing their love for you is enough!
Here is a collage of some of the photos mommy took of each visitor and gifts sent to you. Some photos couldn’t fit in it!! Yes, there are many more. 🙂 Please click on it to see it up close.
While mommy was in the hospital giving birth to you your daddy was there, your grandmother Kim and her boyfriend Randy as well were in the room waiting for you to come. Mommy’s family is all in MS and because you were early they couldn’t be here right away. Mommy wanted them to wait because we never knew what would happen, you could be born January 1 or any day after. There was no telling!
Following your arrival your daddys friend Eric stopped by to drop off a snack and drinks for mommy and daddy. That was sweet! Next Uncle Brad showed up to see you and so did mommy and daddy’s friends Marie and Duane. They brought their children Aiden, Carson and Jaidah with them but because you were a premature baby the children weren’t allowed to touch or be near you. This was so heartbreaking to all of us but we couldn’t change it. Your next visitor was daddy’s friend Robbie and by the time he came to visit you were in your own room. It was huge with everything we needed such as a sink, couch, chair, refrigerator, etc. The next visitors were your Aunt Chelsea and her boyfriend Jonny. Last but not least your last two visitors before coming home were daddy’s friend Banden from Canada and mommy’s co-worker and friend Christi from work at Maurices.
Once you came home you started receiving several packages, too many to track! Thanks to everyone who helped! You also began having more visitors now that you were home for good. Your first visitor once coming home that hadn’t already seen you was your Nanny Carol Nylander. She was so excited to finally hold you and look at your tiny little body. She was in heaven. She has spent so much money on you buying everything you need because she “just can’t help herself” as she said. Your next visitor was Jessica, mommy’s other coworker and friend from Maurices. She dropped off several gifts for you too! Too much love!
Your gami Theresa and papaw Tommy came to visit a few days after you came home. They had been ready from day one to drive here but it was better to wait until you came home. Being in the hospital all the time wasn’t going to be good for them so mommy and gami decided it was best to wait. Papaw has a bad back so he is better off being at home too, not in a hospital. When they got here to see you they were both so happy! They spent every moment with you and mommy and took several pictures. Gami loved on you so much!! They love you very much baby girl. They brought you goodies in a bag also and your favorite pillow, the boppy!
Another visitor came by after gami and papaw left who hadn’t seen you yet. Alianna, mommy’s coworker and another friend from Maurices stopped by with a goodie bag too. You have been blessed that’s for sure. Don’t let me forget all the people who have mailed you items! So many friends and family members have sent you gifts! We thank each and everyone of you for the love and care you give to Arya!
Your very first holiday after being born was Valentine’s Day! This is a very special one for you because it’s the first. Mommy and daddy got you some goodies and your grandma Kim got you even more! Here are a couple of photos mommy took the morning of Valentine’s day 2016.
These photos are what daddy took with his professional camera later in the evening on Valentine’s day. He loves to get great photos and the “perfect” shot so it took a while. After about 200 photos these are the best ones we came up with. You are just so adorable! Our little princess <3
January 28, 2016 when you were 27 days old we brought you home. This was another one of the best days of our lives. Mommy snapped a couple photos as soon as you came home and then got busy making your bottles and getting clothes ready for a bath. Daddy laid down with you and snuggled as close as he could. We were nervous you would feel strange in a new place but you did great!
We made sure to keep some things very similar for you so it wasn’t a huge change. We used the same blankets, kept the same passi, used the same beanie on your head and also made your bed just like the NICU did. This way we hoped you didn’t get scared or feel lost. We did great! Your transition to home was amazing!
Now that you’re home we can get on a normal routine of feeding you and getting used to your sleep schedule. From being in the NICU, you are very confused when it comes to day and night. You eat more and sleep more during the day and eat less and sleep less at night. 3-4 hours between feedings seems to be your normal routine, like most other babies as well. This isn’t a big deal at all. Mommy and daddy have come up with a plan and it worked! We enjoy every single feeding, diaper change and time when you’re awake spent with you. We love you so much!
Yessssss! Discharge day! The day finally came. All of a sudden in your last week of being in the NICU you went from eating 50ml of breast milk all by yourself to 70+! The doctor warned us this might happen and for that we are so happy and proud of you! We got the word they were going to stop using the feeding tube on January 24th, 2016. The restrictions were as long as you ate all by yourself and kept gaining weight you could come home and the tube would come out. Mommy was determined! Here is daddy holding you when your tube was taken out before going home.
We figured out why most of the time you didn’t take your full feeds alone. You fell asleep! ALL THE TIME! Mommy learned that in order to get you to drink more we had to wake you up however possible. Sometimes that meant taking off your clothes or changing your diaper again. Mommy did what had to be done and let the nurses know to do the same thing. Once this was clear with everyone you started drinking your full feeds. Mommy and daddy couldn’t have been happier!
In order to be discharged on January 27th you had to pass a car seat test. Mommy was so worried but of course you aced that test as well as all the other tests you took. We are amazed at your determination and will to be here and be doing so well. Your litle tiny body in that car seat is what scared mommy so much but to my surprise you were just fine.
Discharge day came along January 28, 2016 after passing the heart test and car seat test. Daddy and mommy had a ton of things to do before coming to get you. We made it to the hospital around noon thinking okay she will be out of here in no time. WRONG! They took forever!! They had to do another blood test and we ended up being there until around 4pm.
Finally, after all their extra duties we wheeled you out of there and put you in your car seat and drove home. We were so nervous. Daddy was extra careful driving and made sure not to harm our baby.
You slept the whole way! You took a huge poop too! Sitting up in that position helped your belly out a lot, LOL! 🙂 We were just glad to finally have you home where you belong. 28 days in the NICU is a long time for mommy and daddy not to have you home! At last, we could enjoy every moment with our sweet baby!
Your daddy loves photography and once had his own business in Saint Louis shooting photography. It lasted a short period of time but he learned a lot and is great at what he does know about it. He was so happy to have this opportunity to take some great photos of you while in the NICU, particularly on this evening because it just happened to be time to change your feeding tube. This meant he was right on time to get photos of you with the tube out of the way, taken completely out. Daddy was so excited! Here are the photos daddy took of you.
These are quotes found online that mean the world to us when it comes to how we feel about you.
My dearest daughter, just watching you smile makes me realize how beautiful my life is. I love you.
No matter where you go in life or who you grow up to be, I’ll always be right here, standing behind you… encouraging you to live your dreams. My daughter, I love you.
On the day my daughter was born I realized that the sparkle in her eyes was my guiding light and her smile, my life’s purpose. I love you.
You motivate me to be an awesome dad, with you around I am never sad. You are one of the reasons I want to be successful, and why my life is so beautiful. I love you.
My daughter… you are the answer to every time I looked up at the skies and asked for a miracle.
My dearest daughter… don’t let anyone take you for granted, always hold your head up high. Never stop believing in yourself, just go forth and aim for the skies. I love you.
A responsible and intelligent daughter like you is the most important contribution any parent can make to this world. I’m glad I was one of the lucky few to be able to do it.
Our dearest daughter, you are the wheel that keeps our lives spinning and you are the reason why we are always smiling. We love you.
Mommy and daddy have been taking so many photos of you since you were born. I have 350 already and you’ve only been born for 23 days as of today. I am printing them all off this week and framing them all over the house. So happy to have such a beautiful little girl in our lives.
We love and cherish every single moment spent with you and can’t help but to take photos all the time. Here is a nice collection of some of our favorite photos.
Day 1 & 2 – January 1st and 2nd of 2016
We first got to meet you in these photos. Daddy and mommy were so happy you were healthy and so amazed at how tiny you were with those long legs!! The photos of us holding you are from day two. We were so anxious to get your little tiny self into our arms. This made our entire lives!! They say you never know a love until you hold your first born child. They are correct times infinity. You had us at hello!
Day 3 – Mommy got to go home and get fixed up so she could take better pictures with you. Daddy and mommy went home fast and got ready and came back to see you. Here are a few of our favorite photos from this day.
You were born at 34 weeks old which meant you are a preemie baby. Your weight was only 3 lbs and 5 ounces so the NICU center is where you have to stay until you can come home. There are certain milestones you have to pass before they release you. Today makes 23 days that you have been in the NICU. That’s a long time to mommy and daddy. We are so anxious for you to come home we can’t stand it.
While we wait for your discharge we have been to see you every single day, sometimes all day long. The nurses encourage us to spend the days with you and nights at home and we do agree after seeing how uncomfortable the couch and chair are in your room. So we let you rest at night and spend our days with you. Daddy has to work so he’s there every morning and evening holding you and singing to you. 🙂
We can’t wait for you to come home! The last milestone to get you home is you eating your full feeds without needing a tube from your nose to your belly to fill you up with the rest of what you don’t eat on your own by bottle or breast. Right now you are at 43% of eating your full feeds so we’re so close we can taste it! Here are a few posts to facebook we made each day about your status. You will feel our excitement and love in each and every post!
January 1, 2016 Thanks everyone for the kind words and prayers! Mommy, daddy and baby we’re all champs! She’s doing everything on her own and with that should be able to come home soon. She’s healthy, 15.5 inches long and weighed 3.5 at birth. Mommy doesn’t want to leave her side!!! Daddy is gone to get uncle Brad Tipton and then come back to love on her. We will be able to hold her tomorrow! I’ve already gotten a wink and a smile so I’m happy to know she knows my voice. ~court
January 3, 2016 Mommy and daddy are home and already ready to go visit our baby girl. We will wait until tomorrow though because she is in good hands. Daddy let me watch a video of her so I didn’t miss her so bad. Time to clean clean clean and clean some more. Can’t wait to have her home!!! ~court
January 4, 2016 First night home was a huge success! Just wishing baby girl was here too. Mommy got up every 3 hours to pump milk and got up to 70 ml this morning. She will not go hungry that’s for sure! Now daddy has to go take it to her and then go to work. Mommy can’t drive so I’m going to miss her today. Daddy is going to take me to see her after work. Oh the anxiety is setting in. I want to be with her 24/7!!! ~court
January 5, 2016 Arya gained weight today & she never even lost a whole pound. She is back up to 3.07 pounds now. She got her own room so we can visit all day and night now. She had a dirty diaper today, second one so that’s a plus too! Mommy and daddy got to cuddle with her on our chests and she squeezes our fingers while she sleeps. Can’t wait to see what she gains tomorrow and get her to 5 pounds! Praying it happens fast. ~court
January 7, 2016 With baby girl and doc said she is full on ready for feeding, not just practice. She’s maturing very fast. Can’t wait to do this! She will come out of covered isolette by weekend and should be good to go soon after!!!! My heart is so happy! ~court
January 8, 2016 We just left from visiting baby girl today! So proud she did much better with practicing feeding today. She did not whine at all!! Now if I can just get her to not pass out sleeping on me we will be good. Tomorrow we will try again twice and see how she does. Nurses want mommy and daddy to rest more while we can. Hate leaving her though! ~court
January 9, 2016 I want to say thanks to all those who prayed for Arya, had someone pray over her pictures and those of you who sent your love. We are blessed she has no issues and we’re so scared but proud in the same moments. She is doing so well and we have faith she will continue to gain weight and be home soon. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers! ~Courtney
January 10, 2016 Another milestone has been completed by lil miss Arya! She is now over her birth weight!!! She did very well feeding today as well. So proud!
January 16, 2016 Sitting right beside Arya who is lying on daddy’s chest and they’re both sleeping so good in her room at the hospital. I’m monitoring every movement to make sure she’s ok. This is a beautiful sight to see 💞💝😍 ~court
January 18, 2016 We haven’t updated everyone in a few days. Arya is still doing great! We just have to get her to a full feed without needing to finish eating through her tube. She is averaging about 20ml and we need her to 35. She gets tired so fast and we do all we can to keep her awake. Please keep praying she gets there fast! Mommy needs bonding time before returning to work and daddy wants to love on his princess at home asap!! Thanks everyone for your continuous thoughts, prayers and blessings!!! ~court
January 19, 2016 Arya hit 4 pounds and one ounce in weight last night! So happy!! ~court
January 23, 2016 Our baby girl took two full feedings last night from a bottle!!! We’re getting closer to getting her home!!! 🙏👍😁💟💕 So proud of her!! ~court
All we can do is wait for your discharge and keep staying by your side. You have done so well and all the nurses and doctors are so proud of you. They brag on you and come to visit you all the time. Until you can come home, we must wait….and wait…..and wait.