My little Leo’s journey in life continues today with his surgery and he didamazing. We checked into CHOC and registered and shortly after they led us to Leo’s pre-op room. It’s a good thing we fed Leo at 1am since his surgery ended up starting at 11am, but he did not fuss, and was in happy spirits with big smiles. It’s pretty cute how they had all these little toys all laid out for him to play with and they had Baby Einstein’s Lullaby on the big screen in his room too, which really captivated Leo and almost soothed him to sleep. Several nurses came in to check Leo’s vitals and measure his weight, height, saturation and blood pressure, and the anesthesiologist and Dr. Khoury came in to give us information about his procedure and answer any questions that we may have. Then they gave us a little baby hospital gown to put Leo in and then they wheeled him off into surgery.
After waiting for 2 agonizing hours, Dr Khoury finally came out to tell us how Leo is such a champ. The procedure was done laparoscopically and went smoothly. The nurse walked us into the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) and saw our precious little boy peacefully sleeping. He has a few incisions and all the stitches will dissolve on it’s own so we don’t have to come back to remove anything. They stuck an IV originally in his foot but for some reason it didn’t work so they moved it to his little hand, but at least they did it after they put him under through the tiny baby gas mask so he didn’t feel a thing. Leo loves to sleep so it took awhile for him to wake up, so we sort of had to wake him up ourselves. He was a little drowsy when he woke up and seemed a little confused and dazed, but he was very relaxed and calm and so good. He drank 60cc of pedialyte and kept it down no problem and then went right back to dreamland. So after an hour in recovery, he was free to go home!
Leo rested very comfortably and peacefully at home and recovery will take a few days. He can’t use a jumper for about 3 weeks and he will have a couple follow ups. He drank his milk just fine and was still very mellow but overall he just slept and rested. It was pretty stressful and worrisome having to be strong for my little man, and a few times I had to fight back the tears when I saw him get wheeled away and seeing all the wires connected to him. Just seeing the little hospital crib and monitors instantly brought me back to the days where he was in the NICU. When he was finally resting at home, I was just watching him sleep and I just felt so relieved and just let out all my emotions. The doctors, nurses, and staff at CHOC are super wonderful and amazing, even while waiting during Leo’s surgery, I felt very taken care of; they even offered us juices and snacks, so fancy! Leo was in great hands and I cannot be more thankful to them. You never stop worrying when you’re a parent, but I feel so lucky that Leo is such a little fighter and is so brave and did so well. Leo’s been through so much already and he’s only a little over 7 months old. If he can get through these little battles, I just know he will be destined to do great things in his life. Leo, you are so amazing and such an inspiration. When you look at me with your precious innocent eyes, and smile at me with your bright loving smile, you just warm my heart and show me that anything is possible.
I love you so much my little prince! 💙😍✨
On January 9, 2016, we lost our precious doggie Luna. She wasn’t just a dog to us, she was our first addition to our family. She was one of us, and buried herself deep into our hearts. Luna’s been losing a lot of weight for the past month or so and we didn’t know why, but she was still her happy peppy self. Earlier this week I noticed she didn’t seem to be as happy, and would have moments where she would just throw up and sleep a lot. She would have periods where she’s very energetic but something seemed off, and I felt like she wasn’t ok. On Friday, I noticed her having trouble walking and she wouldn’t eat her food so Khoa took her to the Cottage Pet Hospital right down the street where they kept her overnight with an iv and they did blood work. Saturday morning, they told us that she had kidney failure and it’s been slowly degenerating. The vet said that we couldn’t really have known unless we did constant lab work to monitor her levels, but we wouldn’t have known to do that anyways so they said it’s just unfortunate. They think it’s probably hereditary. Her outlook didn’t look hopeful and she would maybe have about 1 wk left at best…
Luna couldn’t even walk anymore and wouldn’t eat anymore too. She was crashing fast and so we had to make a very hard decision. There was the option of a kidney transplant but the chances of even get a kidney and having it even work and keep her healthy long term was very low. We didn’t want her to suffer anymore and so we painfully decided to let her go peacefully and painlessly. We got to be with Luna for a bit to have our last moments with her, it was very bitter sweet. Lily didn’t quite understand what was going on so she wasn’t really sad. I don’t think she understood that this was a permanent goodbye. She didn pet Luna and took a picture for the last time with Luna and gave her a kiss. She’s really sweet though and sees me crying and being sad, so she would come over and just give me kisses, doesn’t even say anything, but just gives me kisses to make me feel better. It sometimes hurt more though when she does try to help by telling me “Don’t worry mommy, Luna will get better and be like woof woof woof!” So that’s how I know she doesn’t understand that Luna’s not coming back, but it’s very sweet that Lily tries to comfort me. Leo got to give Luna one last hug as well. Khoa and I had our moments with Luna and then Khoa took the kids to the car. I stayed with Luna and held her paw, and she looked at me with her innocent eyes while I happened. It was so heartbreaking to watch, but I didn’t look away from her eyes. I wanted her to know that I’m with her all the way to the end, and wanted her to take me with her into her dreams. I couldn’t fight back the tears though, I’ll never forget the scene. Just like that, in a couple minutes, she was gone, to a much better place where she can be free and happy. I imagine doggie heaven is the same heaven that people would go to, so I know Luna is now with my angels, and together they will take good care of each other.
Luna was only a little over 8 years old, she only lived half the potential life span of a Maltese. I knew we would have to say goodbye one day, but I didn’t know it would have been this soon. It was so sudden and shocking, it just happened so fast and came out of nowhere. She was taken too soon from us, but I hope that the time she did have with us, was filled with everything she could ever want. She was our first “baby”, our furbaby, and we loved her dearly even though she was somewhat neglected once lily and Leo came, she was still loved and will be missed greatly. You truly don’t know how much you loved something until it’s gone, because man does it hurt, I really really love her. She was very spunky and quirky, always so happy and in your face with all her love. She was an automatic vacuum whenever food fell to the ground (safe food that is) and I’ll miss her weird taste for cucumbers. I’ll miss her annoying barking every time someone’s at the door or walks by the house, it’s so painful now when the doorbell rings and it’s just silence, I can’t help but break down into tears each time. We adapted our lifestyle to accommodate her, like closing doors to bathrooms so that she can’t get into the trash, and now… That’s not necessary anymore. I walk into the house and there’s no cute little white fur all to say hello to and greet me first thing when I open the door. My couch cuddle buddy is no longer hear to warm up my feet or my side, or be used as a pillow. She can be “special” at times but she was always so cute. I’ll miss all the wet puddles she makes on the floor from her dunking her whole face into her water bowl to drink water, and I’ll miss hearing the jingle of her name tag in her collar as she shakes her body and moves about, and I’ll miss tripping over her cause she’s always precariously walking right behind me. I’ll miss hearing the loud crunch of her chewing of her food and I’ll miss her hearing her let out a big sigh when she’s sleeping and dreaming. I’ll miss her big goofy smile with her tongue hanging out the side of her mouth, her enthusiastic tail wag when I compliment her and give her treats. She was a pretty fast learning at tricks too, my favorite is shaking her hand, her cute little paw. She loves being petted and would push her head under your hand so that you’d pet her. She’ll lay her sweet head on your lap and soak in all your love. She was a big trooper for all the silly Halloween costumes I would get for her, and she was spiked by all the raincoats and sweaters and scarves that I got for her as well.
She was a very sweet and loving doggie, and even when she misbehaves and we get mad at her, we can’t stay mad for long because how can you stay mad at such a cute loving pup. She loved us all unconditionally, and she was so loyal and truly is my furry best friend. She would follow me everywhere, even to the bathroom and would lay right by the shower everyday while I shower. She would comfort me at good times and bad and she was always there whenever I needed a hug. She touched everyone’s heart, not just mine, and I know she will be greatly missed by all. I’m terribly devastated and sad, the heartache is way more painful than I expected. I suppose that’s good because that just shows how much she was truly loved. We love her so much. She’s in a better place now, so for that we are happy. If anyone would like to share their pictures with Luna, feel free to add it to our album HERE (click on “edit”, then “add to album”).
You don’t ever really think about this day when wanting and deciding to get a pet, even though we all knew that we will face this day one day, but now that this day has come, the heartache and pain from this loss makes me want to never have a dog again. That being said, I don’t regret my decision of having a pet, because Luna enriched my life more than I knew. She taught me how to care for another living being, to have responsibility and selflessness. She was always there for me and comforted me and kept me company whenever I needed her. She loved us and gave us the gift of countless fond memories. She was mine since 2 months old. I’m blessed to have her in my life for as long as we could, and I will cherish the memories. Everyone should all give their furry friends a giant hug and kiss every moment they get, because you never know if that moment will be the last. I miss you so much Luna. One day we will all be together again, until then, my angels will take good care of you. I love you Luna, so so much.
Rest in peace my precious Luna
September 20, 2007 – January 9, 2016
Happy 7 months old my precious Leo! Leo weighs in at 16.15 pounds (11 percentile) and stretches about 26.5 inches long (20 percentile)! Leo is still wearing size 2 diapers but will soon move on up to size 3 probably in a couple weeks, and he has also been upgraded to the size 3 nipple flow! Leo is babbling a lot more these days too, he likes to say “aba baba aaaaaa ummm” haha. He’s very social and likes interacting with us and if you walk away and he’s not done playing with you yet, he’ll say “AHHHH!!” and pout and tell you don’t go and to come back!” How can you leave that cute little face? He also has 2 cute little baby teeth growing on the bottom and he’s starting to drool more due to teething. He’s also sucking on his thumb a lot too because of it, and he makes it look so tasty! Leo still love the floor gym and he recently started playing in the jumper as well. He seems to like it and doesn’t mind staying in it for a long period of time, which is great for his neck strength and seeing the world in an upright position. We plan to start Leo on solids now so stay tune for that update!
Leo’s old teacher from Sunny Days got a new job opportunity somewhere else, so we are sad to see her go, but we got a new teacher Megan! Leo is doing really well with his therapy but will also be getting some extra help with a physical therapist to help with some gross motor skills soon. Leo is really good at rolling over without getting stuck, and he can roll back onto his side too. It looks like he wants to start crawling soon too cause he’ll kick his feet and reach for toys in front of him, it’s really cute! Leo is getting pretty solid at sitting up and can last for a few mins now before tipping over! He is also holding onto his toys a little longer too and shakes his toys a little bit! It’s very amazing to watch him grow and progress. I’m always amazed by him and by my Lily pad, they never stop surprising me!
Merry Christmas! Leo got to celebrate his first Christmas and he was spoiled with lots of love and gifts! It wasn’t Lily’s first Christmas but I do feel like she enjoyed this Christmas the most, which makes sense since she knows a lot more now and what to expect. One of Lily’s favorite presents this year was the power wheel that I got her, you can see her driving it in the video below like a pro! She’s such a fast learner, I’m so proud of her skills! Leo didn’t know how to open presents yet but he love watching all the festivities and was adored by everyone! I can’t help but get emotional that we got to celebrate the holidays with Leo this year because just a year ago, we were told that this would be impossible. I’m so grateful for my amazing Leo and I feel so blessed and lucky to be able to celebrate all these big and small occasions with my prince Leo (and my princess Lily). You can see more pictures from our Christmas festivities HERE!
Happy New Year 2016!
Happy 6 Month my petite prince Leo! Leo weighs 14lbs 8 ounces, stretches 26 inches long, and has a 16 inch head circumference. He is now 5 percentile in weight but about 60% in height! What a tall boy!! He totally just stretched out this last month! Leo also was a champ when he took an oral immunization and 3 shots to his thighs. He only cried for a few seconds and then stopped quickly after. He didn’t get a fever and was very chill, mellow and happy for the rest of the day, and slept a lot. Leo’s neck is getting stronger and more stable each day, and he’s able to sit unsupported for a few seconds too, maybe a minute long at most before he starts to tip over haha. He likes to roll over a lot now, back to belly, and doesn’t get stuck anymore, and he likes to kick his feet a lot like he’s trying to crawl!! Leo has also been off his medication for a few weeks now, and maybe threw up a couple time since. Leo has an appointment next week to meet with a urologist and he will then have an ultrasound to check out the progress of his southern areas, and if there still isn’t much progress, he will most likely have to do surgery. I don’t know anything really about the details of the surgery, but I know he will get through it like a champ.
His teacher from Sunny Days feels like he’s still a little bit “behind” in terms of his gross motor skills, so she recommended a physical therapist who would be more specialized and help Leo with certain things that he needs help with. His neck strength is improving but not fast enough, so that’s mostly what he needs to work on. Overall though, I feel like due to his diagnosis, we are just more aware and have the advantage of having all these resources and aids for Leo, so this allows us to give him the best care and attention he can possibly have. Many without this diagnosis could be behind in certain develop and be perfectly “normal”, every child develops at their own rate, it’s not a contest, so I don’t view these “delays” that Leo has as any fault of Leos or make him in any way “behind” in development. Leo is simply developing at his own pace, and we are providing him with all the resources we can to give him the best possible chance of success. =)
Leo likes to coo a lot and he observes my mouth a lot and it looks like he tries to copy my mouth and repeat the sounds I make. His focus is very good and he loves to smile and laugh too. He is such a happy mellow baby, we are super blessed to have two mellow easy going kids! Leo sleeps on average 12-14 hours through the night, eats 4 times a day 155cc each time, and usually puts himself to sleep when he’s tired too. He loves music and is a social butterfly. So if you quietly approach him and let him take you in, you’ll give you a sweet warm smile! He is so amazing and I still count my lucky stars at how incredible he is. I’m so proud of you my little prince Leo, happy 6 months son, keep reaching for the stars!
Check out this cute video of Leo!
Lily is also now 3.5 years old!! Lily is constantly growing in her vocabulary and her growth and maturity in her cognitive skills and mannerisms always surpris and impress me. She definitely says the darndest things but she’s also super sweet and thoughtful at the same time. I cut my finger once and she told me a few days later while I was chopping and cooking dinner again, for me to be careful because she didn’t want my to cut my finger again. She’s so sweet! She is also very clever and sometimes too smart for her own good haha. She’s constantly paying attention whether it looks like it or not, but she’s always alert. The other day Khoa asked me if I wanted to go to the mall after we had lunch, and I said it depends on if Lily is sleepy and falls asleep on the ride home, and I looked behind me to check if Lily was sleeping and she lit up all wide eyed and said “Mommy I’m awake, I want to go shopping!” haha. She is also still an amazing big sister to Leo and constantly wants to be around him and smother him with kisses. She is very good at eating new foods and is eating everything we eat now. It’s so convenient to not have to make her separate food that is “safe” knowing she’ll eat it, but instead, I don’t have to take that extra time to make her special food because now she will eat whatever we are eating! It’s awesome!
Lily is super spunky and fun and always soooo happy. She loves to sing and dance and do arts and crafts. Starting in January, she will be continuing her soccer classes in her after school program, but she will also be starting Spanish! She already picked up the word “adios” so I figured, lets expose her to Spanish and see how she does! I hope she enjoys it! She’s still doing some signing and I try to refresh her memory on some old signs in hopes that she would retain it and eventually communicate with Leo once he starts to pick up signing as well! That’ll be exciting to see them communicate with each other soon! Lily is also a very big little helper around the house. She likes to dust and clean and whatever I’m doing, she wants to do too. Lily is very into the girly things like wearing dresses, headbands and jewelry, but she also loves “boy toys” like cars and dinosaurs and light sabers! We introduced her to Star Wars this past weekend and watched episode IV and V and she loves it and is also a huge fan of Yoda! haha! She currently is a huge candiholic yet loves carrots and apples and cuties as well..so I guess it balances out? Overall she’s still such a very good kid and although she’ll have her moments, she’s still very good and well behaved and I feel so lucky everyday to have such an amazing little girl. It’s never a dull moment with my precious Lily pad. Her smile just lights up my heart, I love you Lily!!!!
I will never forget my angels and no matter how much time passes by, the pain does not hurt any less. I am able to function and go about my days okay, but on specials like this, I can’t help but feel sad and feel the pain like it was just yesterday. However, I am very grateful for days like this, October 15, because it’s not a day to grieve, but a day to honor my angels, and all the other angels that left us too soon. This day is for them, because they are special, they are loved, and they will always be remembered.
Now that Lily is older, it’s harder to go about these things without trying to explain to her the purpose of our actions. When she saw the candles, she immediately asked if it’s her birthday. Not wanted to distort reality for her, I said no and that the candles are for mommy’s angels. She didn’t understand and just kept asking if it’s for her birthday. So I just ended up saying that we can sing happy birthday to her if she wants and she can blow out the candles, but the candles are still for our angels. She still didn’t understand who these angels were, but one day she will. Until then, she participated and I let her hold my hand while I lit the candles. Once they were lit, she asked if we can sing Happy Birthday, so we did. Unexpectedly though, during the song, I got overcome with emotion, and couldn’t sing the song without breaking down in tears. My angels never even got to celebrate a birthday, let alone a birth day. I was immediately filled with sadness and the pain flooded my heart like a broken dam. Lily saw me cry and tried to distract me by asking for candy, asking to eat a snack, asking to go somewhere else and do something so that I’m not just sitting there in my sadness. She is very intuitive, but sometimes, I just need those moments to just let it out, grieve, and then breathe again.
Earlier this year and end of last year, for a good while, I thought I’d have to light 3 candles this year for PILR day. I’m so grateful and overjoyed that it’s not the case, and that my precious Leo is truly a dream come true. Just like Lily, he is very special, but my experience with my pregnancy with him, and my journey to get here, makes me feel like he is proof that life is beautiful, and truly amazing. We learn to rise up from our sufferings, and become stronger, and better people. Life is too short, make the most of it and live. I choose to not let my hardships swallow me and pull me into the darkness. Although at times, the darkness does seem safe and comfortable, but it’s not living, it’s just being. I choose to be alive, and shine in the light, and make my angels proud of their mommy, and be the best person I can be for all my children. I dedicate my life to them, but also, to myself. I deserve to be happy, to be loved, and I will do so by loving my loved ones, and being kind and generous every chance I get. This world is not a vicious, cruel and evil place, it’s just filled with many obstacles, and we just need to fight through them and stay in the light.
I am truly grateful, and appreciative, for all the love and support I’ve received on this day. Just a simple act of lighting a candle, for the Wave of Light, can mean so much to a person in grief. This topic of loss is so taboo, and I wish it wasn’t so hush hush all the time. It makes the grieving process that much more painful, to feel so alone and lost. I’m happy that there’s a day like today to bring awareness to such a tragic life experience, but we are stronger together, than a part. It feels nice to belong and to be a part of a community. It’s sad that the commonality is such a heartbreaking event, but it brings comfort to me knowing that all our angels are in heaven, playing with one another. I can’t wait to meet them one day. I miss them terribly, but I will continue to strive, for them. I love you my angels.
Happy 4 Months to me sweet little prince Leo! Leo weighs in at 11.25 pounds, stretches 23.5 inches, and head measures at 15.25 inches. He is still under 0 percentile but he is growing on his own curve and that’s the important thing. He is 5% in height so I’d say compare to his weight, he’s a tall boy! hehe. Leo has been having some dry skin and it’s too even all around to be excema so his pediatrician feels it’s probably related to his tet18p, so he recommended putting Aquafor on it. It really helped a lot and I think in a couple days his skin will go back to it’s super soft baby skin that everyone is so jealous over! Leo also had his hearing diagnostics again last week and I am happy to report that his hearing is now normal! He can now hear the low tones just fine and there’s just some remaining fluids in his ears. They suggested him see an Ear Nose Throat doctor but his pediatrician says he’s still pretty small so lets just wait it out a little longer and see if it’ll drain naturally.
Leo has been doing well in his therapy sessions, he’s had 3 so far. He is working on his motor skills and working on his reaching and grabbing skills. He is also working on tummy time to strengthen his neck as well. His therapist, Amy, said that development wise he is almost at the 4 month mark. We just need to continue working with him with, but overall he is doing great! He is cooing a lot more now compared to just a couple weeks ago! His voice is super cute!! Leo is very happy and calm and loves to play. Amy said he is a very social baby and loves people, especially his mommy! She said that I am his motivator and that he will always try to find me and see where I am, so I will be his toy and try to get him to look up at me during tummy time, and encourage him to push himself up to find me. He has been doing really well in terms of movement though, he almost rolled over from back to tummy all by himself! He is very good at rolling onto his side though. He likes to sleep on his side since we put him on his side to help him digest and in case he throws up, so I think he prefers that now. His feeding is improving a lot now too, he takes the bottle a lot quicker now and can finish it in about 20-30 mins now! Once in awhile it’ll still take him almost an hour, but he’s doing so much better. He occasionally throws up but now it’s down to maybe once a day instead of twice a day with some small spit ups in between. I’m so happy that he’s overcoming so many obstacles that are put in front of him. Leo is so amazing and strong, he is my inspiration! I’m so proud of him!!
Lily has been such an amazing and wonderful loving sister as well. She always gives Leo kisses and has been doing really well with him being her new roomie too!! Lily is so silly and has such a big beautiful personality, I just love her to pieces!! Her current favorite shows on netflix and youtube are Octonauts, Masha and the Bear, Dragon Tales, and Peppa Pig. She also recently discovered Handy Manny and My Little Pony too. She loves strawberry and watermelon ice cream (aka frozen yogurt haha). She has a ginormous sweet tooth, I think that’s mommy’s fault…hehe…, and she is so sweet, helpful, and loving. She pretty much talks like a normal little person, it’s so amazing how big her vocabulary is. Sometimes she articulates certain spots in words that makes her sound like she has an accent, it’s super cute! Lily loves to cut and glue paper, paint, do lots of drawing and arts and crafts. She loves playing with bubbles, balls, and tools. She also likes books and reading stories out loud too. She loves to wearing dresses (particularly the “beautiful one with all the colors” that I made for her, and head bands as well. She is so bright and cheerful, her happiness just explodes from her little body. I love you so much Lily, you’re my amazing little Lily pad!
Enjoy some videos of the kiddos below!!
It’s been 2 years since my heart and world was shattered, and here we are, 2 years later, and my heart is still in pieces. The past couple weeks, I just keep thinking about what was going on 2 years, where my mind was, recollecting all the events leading up to this day… I don’t do it to relive the pain, I do it because I wanted to remember. Some people may think that’s crazy but I know I’m not crazy, I’m just being a loving mommy. I wanted to remember how much hope I had, even after the doctors told me that there was not chance and that I need to schedule a procedure, but I just kept hoping so hard, wishing and praying with all my might, that maybe some how, if I loved my babies so incredibly much, that they will come back to me and live again. Even though I lost them in the end, it was a good feeling to have hope. The hope of still possibly having a future with them, having an amazing life and sharing adventures and memories with them, naively kept me happy until the very end. I think that’s probably what made the 2nd loss more painful, because I knew there wouldn’t be much hope once I found out, and the pain was just so unbearable because I knew that hope this time would not lead to a miracle. The pain was immeasurable, and it will always remain, but I must remember, hope brings courage. I can’t let fear of failure, loss, disappointment, or heartache, prevent me from pursuing my hopes and dreams in life. That courage led me to my amazing prince Leo. Leo is my sweet wonderful rainbow baby. He does not replace my angels, or fill in the broken gaps of my heart from the losses, he brought my new life, and gave me a new heart that is stronger and better than before. My broken heart remains for my angels, not to remind me of my sadness for them but to have them close, and in my heart even if it’s broken. That makes me happy because they will always be a part of me.
As the years go by, it does get easier to live my life as normal as possible, but around these significant dates, I can’t help but feel the pain, just like it was yesterday. It just comes back at random moments, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing. It makes me feel close to them, and although I’m sad, I’m ok. I think it’s natural to feel that way. They taught me a lot about life, they gave me a new perspective and showed me what really matters. I will try my best to live that life for them, and make them proud.
I designed this ring, as a keepsake I guess, of all my children. The two center stones are Lily and Leo’s birthstones, alexandrite, and their names are engraved on the sides. The two outer diamonds are for my two angels. Lily and Leo’s birth stone is really cool because in certain lighting, it will have a certain color to it. In most light settings the stones will look purple-ish red and then under very iridescent lighting, it’ll look more red, and in natural sunlight it’ll have more of a blueish teal color. I love that it changes colors like that because I feel like my kids will constantly be growing and changing into amazing human beings and it just reminds me how nothing lasts forever, so cherish each moment. However, they do say “diamonds are forever” and so they represent my angels the best. This ring means so much to me, and is possibly my most valued piece of jewelry I own, because I feel like I’ll always have something beautiful to carry with me, that represents my darling loves. I’m so happy that I got this made, and that I can look at it every day, and smile, and think of my kids. This ring is unique, one of kind, and beautiful, just like all four of my children.
October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, please join me in the Wave of Light and light a candle for my angels, and any other angels you may hold dear to your hearts. I am very glad there is a day that is especially designated for them.
Happy 100 Days Leo! Leo turned 100 days old last week on the 15th and now he is 15 weeks and a day old. He weighs about 10.6 pounds. He’s only gained 0.6 lbs in the past two weeks, very slow progress but I suppose that’s better than nothing. He has also been having trouble keeping in his food and would throw up a couple times a day, but he’s really sweet and would just give you a smile to let you know he’s ok afterwards. As long as he doesn’t go under 10 pounds, then he is fine. Also, he’s been really constipated lately too due to the high calorie formula, so his doctor said 30ml of pedialyte a day should help! We upped his food a couple days ago so now he should be taking in 105cc at each feeds, that’s about 3.5 ounces. He smiles so much now, especially when I’m talking to him and playing with him. He loves any kind of mobiles and would be entertained forever by a spinning or stationary mobile! He’s very curious and alert and loves to observe everything and just take it all in. He also started sleeping through the night last week, about 10-13 hours straight, and is doing great as Lily’s new roomie! She was very excited when I asked her if it’s ok for Leo so sleep in her room and she said Yes and always gives him a kiss goodnight before she goes to bed! She’s the sweetest big sister ever! I’m so proud of her.
Leo had his first Early Start therapy session today and he did really great! His therapist, Amy, start to do some tummy time with him and he did the best tummy time so far! His head was all the way up and help it for a few seconds several times! She showed me a couple strategies to help support him and encourage him with tummy time so I’m excited to work with him more on that. Also, she did some play time with some songs and tested his tracking as well. She said he tends to tense up his toes and fingers, so she suggest we play with him and do some stretching and certain play activities that she showed me, to help him relax and loosen him up. I feel like Leo will be in great hands with Amy and I can’t wait to work with her and Leo and watch him grow and develop into an amazing man. He’s already doing so great, I’m so proud of him!
Overall, it was a great first session. It seems like he is pretty well on track for the most part. He’s not cooeing as much as but his tummy time is getting there! It was a little emotional personally for me to have the therapist work with Leo, not because Leo was delayed or anything like that, I just got emotional inside because life is just so crazy. Even thought I’ve been through the first 3 years of motherhood with Lily, it’s like starting from scratch again with Leo. I do feel more prepared in certain things but the session today just made me realize how much more I can do, there will always be more that I can do for both of them. Sometimes I just feel helpless and lost and not knowing what else I can do to help Leo or not knowing that there are all these other things that I can do for him in general. So having her expose me to all these little activities and exercises definitely gives me hope and so much more of an appreciation for her and the resources available to us. Parenting will always be hard work, and I’m more than willing to put all my love and effort into giving them the best chance at a wonderful life. I’m very excited to do whatever I can. I think that’s the important thing, not just to have the desire but to have the motivation and drive to be a great parent. The smile on my kids’ faces tells me I’m doing a wonderful job, and keeps me going.
Also, can’t forget about my sweet beautiful baby girl! We took her to Billy Beez at the Anaheim Garden Walk this past weekend and she loved it!! She was so excited before we even got there. We played for about an hour and a half and there were still tons of things she didn’t get to play with yet. She even passed by an area that had steering wheels and she goes “oh, I didn’t see that yet” haha, so cute! She’s the joy of my life. I love her to pieces!
Happy 3 Months my little prince Leo! Leo weighs 10.05 pounds now (still under 0 percentile but he’s growing so that’s all that matters) and stretches 22.5 inches long (3 percentile)! He is growing bigger and stronger each day and he developing into such a bright and happy boy! Leo is starting to smile more now and is very alert and likes to look at his surroundings and just take it all in. We are letting him sleep for a 5 hour stretch at night but we will start to let him sleep longer now that he’s gaining a decent amount of weight! He feeds about every 4 hours, and takes about 95cc per feeding. He still throws up now and then, especially when we increase his intake, and he takes about an hour to finish his bottle, but lately he’s starting to take maybe 45 mins! Leo had his hearing diagnostics a couple weeks ago and for both ears, his high and mid tones are normal but he has trouble picking up the low tones. He has more trouble in his left ear than in the right. The doctor thinks it could be due to fluids in his ears that prevents the ear drums from moving properly but they need to check to make sure it’s not nerve damage, and they couldn’t test him at the time since it needs to be super quiet for the test to take place and by the time it came to that portion of the test, he was already awake and feeding (to keep him from shaking the equipment off his head and ears) and the sucking of the bottle was too loud for the test. So we will come back end of September to see if it’s due to nerve damage or if it’s just fluids. If it is just fluids then eventually he will be able to hear low tone sounds but the fluids can come back. If it’s nerve damage then it will be permanent and the low tone sounds will be very soft and hard for him to hear, but it’s not serious enough for him to need a hearing aid. I think that’s pretty good outcomes!
Check out these video clips of Leo during his tummy time, making silly faces, and some bonding time with his Ông Ngoại (grandpa)!
Overall, Leo is doing so great and it makes me super happy! Sometimes he does a vigorous head shake that’ll be on and off for 10-15 minutes, and after doing some research on the trusty internet (haha), I concluded that it could be due to blockage inside his ears and so it’s probably bothering him and he’s trying to get rid of the annoyance. I would massage his ears when this happens and he actually calms down so I feel like that could be it. He is so calm and mellow and happy, it just warms me heart to be with him. I’ve also met with a case worker from the Regional Center of Orange County and she is setting Leo up with an in-home infant program for babies with special chromosomal needs. A therapist will be coming once a week for an hour to work with Leo and make sure he’s developing on track. If he is showing any signs of delays or needs help reaching his development goals, the therapist will work with him to get him to where he needs to be. Also, if the therapist feels that Leo needs extra help from an occupational or physical therapist, then she will make that recommendation and get that set up for him as well. This will be great for Leo regardless of delays or not because this will only help Leo become a healthy strong and smart individual! Leo also went on his first family vacation to San Diego and got to go to the beach and watch his first sunset and he loved it!
Also, Lily is such an amazing big sister to him. So far, she hasn’t shown any signs of jealousy! I try to be very conscious about how I treat her when Leo is around and even when other people are interacting with Leo, I try to make sure to give Lily attention too so that she doesn’t feel like everyone is so focused on Leo that we forgot about her. Whenever she comes home from school, she always asks where her baby Leo is or if she sees him she goes up to him and gives him a kiss! She’s so super sweet! She likes to hold him and always asks to feed him and say he’s hungry and needs his milk haha. She likes to watch us change his diaper and would sit and watch him get a bath too! She amazes me so much and I cannot be more proud of my precious Lily pad.
Lily also started the new school year at LePort a couple weeks ago. She is really cute and wants to bring her baby Leo to school with her too, so I thought it would be cute to take this picture with Leo inside her backpack haha. Lily also made a new friend at school, a new student named Zoey and her teacher Ms. April says they’re inseparable! That’s really cute that she can make friends so easily. She’s still such a happy and spunky little toddler. She talks so much now and speaks in complete sentences, it’s like she’s a tiny person! You can read some of the super cute and clever things she says HERE. She understands everything I say and hears everything too. She’s always paying attention so its harder to get things past her, she’s definitely a smart cookie! She loves to draw, paint, color, and do all sorts of arts and crafts. I feel like she’s definitely my mini me! Haha! She also likes to paint her nails, wear hair accessories, dresses (no pants!), and is very into sandals now since she sees us wearing them all the time. She also still loves minions, she likes to play in her kitchen and make me a “special lunch”, play with play doh and now legos! She also likes to play with her toy cars and guns as well! So well rounded! Her favorite shows are the moment are Masha and the Bear, Octonauts, Dragon Tales, How to Train a Dragon, Cinderella, Wreck it Ralph, and the Minions Movie! She has moments where she’ll be very good at eating but then other moments where she hardly eats. She’s so easily distracted at home but when we do go out, she tends to be better at eating, probably because there’s no toys to play with haha. I love you my Lily pad, you are so wonderful and amazing, you light up my life! Happy 3 months Leo, you are such an amazing little fighter, I love you so much!
Here’s a couple videos of Lily being a wonderful big sister burping her baby brother and then another video of her at Target, and then one of our fun at the pool together!
Happy 2 Months to my sweet little prince Leo! Leo is now 8.5 pounds and stretches 21 inches long! He is still under 0 percentile in weight but is about average in height. He’s doing a good job growing so it the percentage doesn’t really matter. Last week has been having a hard time keeping down his food and has been throwing up and spitting up a lot so we took him in to see the doctor. He said since Leo is growing, we need to up his medication dosage from 0.8ml to 1.0ml to keep up with his weight. His stomach is also small and doesn’t stretch as easily so he can’t absorb his food fast enough to keep the high volumes of food. This gives him little room for all the milk he needs to drink so he ends up spitting it up or pooping it out. So instead of increasing his formula by 5cc’s every 5 days, we will just play it by ear and see how much he can handle without throwing it all up or pooping it right out. The doctor did notice that his actions are more like a 1 month old rather than a 2 month old and so he thinks his development is related to his size. I’m not quite sure what that means in the long run, but the important thing is that he’s growing stronger each day! He is still super chill and easy going, he hardly ever cries and isn’t fussy at all. He likes to sleep all day and night and usually we have to wake him up to feed him. He sometimes does like to stay awake for a little bit after feedings, and when he is awake, he is super alert and is attracted to light. He also likes to follow my voice too! He is such a sweet little baby!
Last week, Kimberly from the Regional Center of Orange County, an Early Start Service Coordinator, came to assess Leo and to tell me about their infant program for kids with specials and developmental disabilities. Normally she would have to check for eligibility but due to Leo’s diagnosis of Tetrasomy 18p, he automatically qualifies for the program and it’s all covered by the state too. She told me about how the program would work and gave me some more resources and support group pamplets as well. So in a couple weeks, Victoria, Leo’s new case manager, will be doing the in-home infant program with Leo, for an hour once a week. She will meet with me and Leo and go over his Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) and put therapy services in place for Leo. This is mainly to work with Leo to keep his developments on track and if he needs extra therapy then they will provide the help he needs. So overall, I’m grateful that they have these programs and it will only help my little Leo to succeed!
These past 2 months have been a crazy emotional roller coaster but it makes me so proud and happy to see my little prince grow bigger and stronger each day. I just have to mentally prepare myself that set backs happen and that they are only natural. I just have to keep on having faith in my little man and cheer him on every step of the way. He makes me so happy and I love him to pieces! It also makes me super proud that his big sister Lily loves him so much. Everyday she comes from and always asks where her “baby Leo” is and loves to watch and help whenever she can. They are my world, they melt my heart. Happy 2 months be littlest love! Mommy loves you so much!
May your life be blessed with love and joy
May angels guide you from above
May your heart be kind your spirit strong to see the good and right some wrong
May the world be a better place because you came and shared some space.
Congratulations to my precious Leo on his Baptism this past weekend on July 25, 2015! There was a time when we thought we’d had to learn how to baptize you at the hospital right after birth because we were told that it would be too late to wait for a priest to come and do it. There was a time when we didn’t even think you’d make it past a few hours of life, let alone make it to birth. Fast forward to the present, at almost 7 weeks old, we are now able to have a proper and private baptism, and celebrate your Ngày Đầy Tháng and Homecoming celebration. Thinking about the journey you’ve been through, how much you’re endured and overcome, makes me very emotional and overwhelmed with appreciation and gratefulness. Thank you so much to Father Kiet for coming back to St. Norbert Catholic Church to baptize our baby Leo! The baptism was bilingual (mostly Vietnamese) but also very intimate. I am happy that we got to have a special private baptism just for our baby Leo.
We then had a celebration at home for Leo’s Ngày Đầy Tháng and Homecoming! Before the Baptism, our family came over to celebrate with us, and our friends came over afterwards. Since we didn’t have a big fancy baby shower for Leo, I decided to go all out for his celebration. I made all the decorations myself, and bought flowers from our local flower shop at Visser’s Florist. I also made all the desserts myself minus the cake which we got from our usual bakery, Givral. I decorated the cake though, and made panna cotta with fresh strawberries, kiwi and blueberries, mini chocolate cupcakes with swiss meringue frosting, vanilla macarons, orange blossom macarons, matcha green tea macarons, and strawberries filled with whipped cream cheese frosting. I also had Leo’s announcements printed out for everyone to take during the party! Special thanks to the wonderful Mieng for photographing the amazing photos of my precious Leo!!
Special thanks to our cousin Steve for being Leo’s Godfather! We know Leo will be in great hands and that Steve will do a wonderful job loving our Leo and guiding him through his journey with God. Thank you so much for being there for our son and for all that you will do for him in the future! Thank you to all of our friends and family who came to love and support our baby Leo as well. Leo is so lucky to have all of you in his life. We love you all!
My little prince Leo, I am so in love with you and so proud of you. You are so amazing in your strength and you are such an inspiration to watch. You’re such an incredible baby and I can’t wait to watch you grow even stronger, smarter, more brave, and healthier! I know you will grow up to be an amazing man, but until then, I will enjoy you being my precious little baby. I love you so much my wonderful baby Leo, congratulations on your baptism and everything you’ve accomplished so far!
Thank you Leilani and Kenny for taking pictures for me! See more pictures from the festivities HERE.
Happy 1 Month Leo! Leo had his follow with his pediatrician yesterday, and it also happens to be right around his 1 month as well. Leo currently weighs 6.65lbs, stretches 20 inches long and has a head circumference of 13.5 inches. He is below zero percentile in weight, 2 percent in height and average in head size. Due to his underlying chromosome disorder, the important things here is for Leo to continue to eat and gain weight and ignore the percentiles for now. So Leo will have a follow up in 1 week to make sure that he is gaining weight. Leo is currently on Similac NeoSure 24 Cal formula and feeds about every 3-3.5 hours and drinks about 30-50cc per feeding. Dr. Wang also said that so far Leo shows no signs of delays and that he has really good motor and muscle skills!! Go Leo!!
He is also a very calm and easy going baby, just like his sister Lily when she was a baby! He just eats, sometimes falls asleep halfway through feeding so that gets tough, and then burps and catches his second wind during feeding, and then goes right back to sleep when he’s all done. Sometimes he will be alert and stay awake for a little bit after feeding otherwise you can just put him in his crib and he’ll put himself to sleep! What a good boy Leo! He tends to smile the most after a feeding too, maybe because he’s full and happy from milk coma.
Since leaving the NICU, Leo has been doing pretty well with his feeds for the most part. Lately he would slow down on some of his feeds and get sleepy and not finish, so I just let him sleep a half hour longer to give him a little extra rest so he can finish more of his feeds next time around. He has to go for his hearing check up in a couple weeks, and do his kidney ultrasound follow up once he reached 10 pounds, so that will probably be in a couple months. Other than that, Leo is adjusting to life at home very well! I am super happy to have my precious Leo home and I can’t wait to celebrate many more milestones with him and watch him grow before my very own eyes! Keep growing strong baby boy, you are doing so great! We all love you to pieces!!
Enjoy this video I made of Leo’s journey during his first month of life!! He is so brave and such a strong fighter, I cannot be more proud of my baby boy. I love you so much Leo, you warm all our hearts with your presence. You are my littlest love, my hope, my rainbow at the end of a storm.