Pics October 2010 - March 2011

Thursday, April 30, 2009

April 30, 2009

I want to begin with a testimony of God's amazing love and comfort. Today was a really tough day, but the Lord gave us what we needed to get through each hour as he has done since March 26th when I was rushed to Montgomery. Sam is doing pretty good for what he has been through today. As you have read, they were feeding him every 3 hours. At each feeding time, they measure his tummy to make sure that it isn't getting too big too fast. A sudden increase in the measurements could mean many things like infection, gas, or intestinal problems (to name a few because I can't remember all of the things they told me). Sam's belly measurements had increased a good bit when his nurse checked him around 5 am (his belly was swollen). The NICU's protocol for changes like this is to immediately stop all feedings, start fluids through an IV, take xrays of the abdomen, get blood for labs, begin antibiotics, and put a tube down the throat into the tummy to suction any gases or other stuff in there. So, that is what happened this morning. When the nurse called me she couldn't really tell me anything because the doctor had not looked at the xrays. When I got there this morning it was very difficult because Sam looked pitiful with no clothes on and a tube back down his throat and the IV in his hand, not to mention all of the little taped gauze where they had to stick him to draw blood. He was very hungry and unhappy. I felt helpless because I couldn't hold him to try to console or even kiss his little head.

It wasn't very long until the doctor called me over to talk about what was going on with Sam. He pulled up the xray and tried to explain what they were looking at in his stomach. All of the things that they began early this morning (antibiotics, suctioning, fluids, etc.) were precautionary measures to prevent NEC. NEC is necrotizing enterocolitis which is a very serious disease. NEC is an inflammation that damages the lining of the intestine. He told me that babies die from NEC so they would first work hard to rule that out using the xrays and lab work over the next couple of days. The doctor thinks that this happened to Sam because he stopped tolerating his food because his intestines are still premature. As a preemie, all of Sam is premature and some things just aren't ready to do what the doctors are wanting to do. They did another xray at 3pm today and it did look better than the one at 5am. They will do another xray in the morning to compare. He did have several dirty diapers once they moved him back to the other side and hooked him up to everything. They said that these were good signs and that his vitals were still strong. The nurses told me that he wasn't "acting sick" and that was also a good sign. He was very hungry and sucking on his pacifier. Now we are just waiting on more test results. Sam will probably be on this side a little while as we start over with every thing. He will start back in an isolette with his IV and a feeding tube at some point. His feedings will begin at 2ccs when they decide to begin feedings again. It could be several days. My heart just broke when I saw him rooting around for something to eat and I couldn't help him, but I know that all of this is in his best interest and is helping to keep more serious things from happening. I can't wait until they let me hold him again.

Although it has been a really long day for Sam and me, I was reminded of many things today in the midst of the worry. Since we are back over where Sam began his journey on March 31st I looked around and saw babies smaller than his 3 lbs 9 oz body hooked up to all sorts of machines. There is a baby across the room that weighs around 1 lb. God really got my attention and I began to recall how far He has brought us in 4 weeks. We have SO much to be grateful for even though we have a minor set back. We have a beautiful baby boy that I've had the chance to nurse several times and feed bottles to for several days. We've been able to hold him and love on him for several weeks and listen to his sweet little sounds and see his little smiles. I remember just wanting to see his eyes and hear him make a sound. It's overwhelming to think about how concerned God is for his children and how He hears us when we cry out to Him. To see His hand moving in our lives is an humbling thing. I know that this did not catch God by surprise and that He is still in control even though I felt like I was caught in a raging storm this morning. He is so good! Please continue to lift Sam up in your prayers. I'm praying that the test results show that he doesn't have NEC and that he will recover quickly from this little set back.

These pictures show how far we've come and the blessings that have been poured out on us.

April 30, 2009

Please be in prayer for Sam. I got a call from the NICU at 6:30 am telling me that his belly was measuring larger and was hard. They did an x-ray and got some lab work. They have moved him back to the more critical side of the NICU. At this time they can't tell me what's going on until the doctor gets there and sees him. He has an IV again and some sort of tube in his belly to drain things out of it. I'll update the blog when I know more.

April 29, 2009

Sam has done a great job on his bottle feedings. In fact, sometimes he over works himself sucking a little to hard and we have to slow him down. He has his feeding tube out!! His little face is precious. Sam's feedings are going to be increased 1cc every 12 hours with his max being 33ccs. Right now he is at 26ccs. They are gradually weaning him off the isolette. The isolette is the "box bed" he is currently in, which is heated to help him keep his temperature up. He is beginning to regulate his temperature better, so they are turning down the heat in the bed a little at a time. I'm thinking that this is a step closer to getting an open bed (without a top and doors). It was another eventful day for Sam. He had all bottle feedings and the eye doctor visited to check his eyes. He does not like that doctor. The nurses said he threw a little fit. Even with all of the things that happened today, Sam gained weight again. He now weighs 3lbs 9.7oz!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

April 28, 2009

3 lbs 8.8 oz is the new weight for Sam today!! The Dr. also decided to try Sam on bottle feedings for every feeding for a couple of days to see how he does. We were told that this is just a trial, like a lot of things with preemies, we are going to try it - no promises. So, we are praying that Sam takes his bottles with his heartrate & oxygen numbers staying stable and that he doesn't wear himself out drinking. He has to master the sucking, breathing, and swallowing that has to take place to drink from a bottle. As Sam is getting bigger and stronger, he is being given more tasks to prove his strength. We are proud of our little boy.

Monday, April 27, 2009

April 27, 2009

Sam was a whopping 3 lbs 7.5 oz tonight. He didn't gain a whole lot, but he did gain after two "big blow-outs"! His residuals are getting better with each feeding. He is still getting the 25ccs at each feeding. I pray that these daily reports will continue to tell about how Sam is growing bigger and stronger each day. He is a special little guy.

April 26, 2009

Wow, Sam is 3 lbs 7.4 oz! He is working hard to drink his milk and gain weight. We are looking forward to 4 lbs because he will get a big boy bed (an open bed). He is doing good on his bottle feedings. As you can see in the picture, Sam is beginning to wake up and tell us when it is feeding time. We are still at 25ccs per feeding. We are praising God for the progress we see with Sam each day. :)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

April 25, 2009

Sam has gone to a bottle feeding every other feeding. So in a 24 hour period he will be fed by bottle 4 times and by his feeding tube 4 times. He weighed 3 lbs 6.3 oz tonight, so he gained an ounce from last night's weighing. I can't believe how fast he is putting on weight now. Hopefully he will continue to gain. Our God is so amazing!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

April 24, 2009

Sam had another good day. He is now taking a bottle every 9 hours and the other feedings are through his tube. He gained again and weighs 3 lbs 5.3 oz. Yay Sam! He was really happy to see his Daddy tonight. He and his daddy just smiled and smiled at each other. He is the sweetest little thing.

Friday, April 24, 2009

April 23, 2009

Sam gets 24ccs per feeding now and will begin getting a bottle 2 feedings per day. That is exciting for us because he does so good with his little bottle. He gained again and is up to 3 lbs 4 oz. He is getting to be pretty strong for such a little guy. Today he was on his stomach pushing straight up with his legs and his rearend way up in the air. It was the cutest little thing. I will be getting up to go and feed him first morning bottle. We'll see how this goes, it could be interesting.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

April 22, 2009

Sam took another bottle tonight and even gave us some burps! I think he likes those little bottles. He weighs 3 lbs 2 oz now, he gained 40 grams today. He also had 2 dirty diapers all on his own. He is getting to be big boy. :) As I sat here in awe of what God is doing, I went back to the beginning of the blog posts and read everything and looked at pictures. It is unbelieveable what a faithful and caring God we have. He has brought us so far in the past month and blessed us with more than I would have ever imagined. I look at a little miracle each day I look at my precious Sam. God has already used Sam to change my life, I can't wait to see what God has in store for Sam. He is already a special little guy that I love a whole lot. :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April 21, 2009 3 weeks old today!

What a big day for Sam! He is 3 weeks old and he had his first "bottle feeding" today. He is getting 26ccs per feeding now and he was able to take 23ccs in the bottle before he was worn out. He did so good. The nurses told me not to expect a lot for his first attempt, but they said he did great. He hasn't gotten the burp part yet, but we'll get there. They will only do one bottle feeding a day. The rest of the feedings will still be through the feeding tube. Sam gained 10 grams today, which means that he has gained 2 days in a row. He still weighs 3 lbs 1 oz. There are 28 grams in an ounce, I believe, so gaining 10 grams is almost half an ounce. Sam also had 3 dirty diapers today. The third one he had while I was there at the 11 pm feeding and I had the pleasure of changing that one. :) It was a BIG one for a 3 lb little boy.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April 20, 2009

We gained some weight!! Sam weighed 3 lbs 1 oz when they weighed him at 11pm (4/20/09). They said that it was ok that he gained that much at once because he had lost 20 grams yesterday. Hopefully he will be able to stay above 3 lbs now. :) They did have to give him something to try and help him have a dirty diaper. They like for them to have at least one dirty diaper every 24 hrs. Sam hasn't quite gotten the hang of that yet. He's learning though, his feedings are getting better and he is having less residuals with larger feedings. We are in Dothan tonight so I can't wait to get up there tomorrow and tell him how proud I am of his weight gain. :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sam is up to 20ccs a feeding now. We were able to stay a while tonight and help bathe him. It was a lot of fun helping clean him up. He didn't pull out the feeding tube tonight, yay! He had lost 20 grams when they weighed him tonight. That put him back down to 2 lbs 14.8 oz. We are still praying that Sam will begin to gain weight and grow stronger. We know that it is a day to day process. We can't wait until he begins putting on some ounces. :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Today was a fun day with Sam. We were able to do some new things and spend more time holding him. They have changed his max feeding amount to 24ccs and he is currently at 16ccs per feeding every 3 hours. 15ccs is half an ounce so he is getting a little more than half an ounce. The nurses will increase his feeding amounts every 9 hours by one cc until we reach 24. That was good news.

Sorry I didn't post yesterday - he had lost several grams at yesterday's weigh in, but tonight he had gained 13 grams. That put him at 2 lbs 15.5 oz. We are gradually crawling toward the 3 lbs. The Dr. decided to add fortifier in with his milk to help him put on weight. Maybe this will make a difference. Last night was entertaining because Jeff and I were able to watch him get a bath. He really liked being under the faucet and getting his hair washed out. :)

When we got there we took his temp and Jeff changed his diaper. We were able to get Sam out of his bed twice today. :) He was really awake for his feeding tonight. He was looking around and following our voices with his eyes. It was precious! I can't wait to go and see him tomorrow.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

We gained an ounce!! Now we are back to 3 lbs. Yay! They gave Sam 13ccs at his last feeding and are hoping that he will make it to 15ccs by tomorrow night. (which would be Friday night) Maybe he will continue to gain a little weight each day. It is so awesome to see the Lord answer our prayers right before my eyes. He is such a loving God.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sam had another good day. They are increasing his feedings by 1cc every 12 hours. They are still feeding every 3 hours, so at each 11 o'clock feeding they will go up 1cc. If they continue at this rate then he will reach is max goal of 15ccs per feeding by Thursday night at 11. He pulled his feeding tube out of his mouth tonight, so the nurse put it in his nose when she put it back. Maybe he will like it better in his nose so he can begin to learn how to suck on his pacifier when he is getting his milk. He had one of his own outfits on tonight. It was just a little preemie onesie that was still a bit large on him but fit much better than the previous two onesies he had on. Now we need to begin gaining weight. :) He is still at 2 lbs and 15 oz. We are praying that he will begin putting on some ounces now that his feedings are increasing.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I couldn't wait to get back and see Sam today. He had a really good day! They have started increasing his milk at each feeding. He got 9ccs at his 8 pm feeding and he will be getting 10ccs at his 11pm feeding. Hopefully he will be getting 15ccs soon and that is "half an ounce". He lost back down to 2lbs 15oz after they stopped his IV fluids but they are expecting him to start gaining more rapidly with the increased milk. He was absolutely precious tonight. He is opening his eyes a little more. He even showed his cute dimples a couple of times. He had a new outfit on that didn't have pink on it, so we were happy about that.

We are so grateful to Bro. Rick and Melanie Evans for opening their home to us until Sam is ready to go home. We feel so at home and they are such a "blessing" to us. The Lord knew what was in store for us well before these events ever occurred.

April 14th

When we got to the NICU yesterday (4/13/09) Sam had been moved around the wall a little ways. I know that it sounds funny but it is a good thing. The babies "graduate" around the NICU. He was moved off the wall where they keep the sickest babies. :) He's still in the NICU and has a long way to go, but it's a step. His bed and all of that stuff is still the same. They did take the line out of his leg, which means that he's no longer on IV fluids. Sam is still being fed 8ccs every 3 hours. The nurse said that they will probably increase that amount once his weight levels out. He has gained and lost and gained. This is one reason they stopped the IV fluids. The other really exciting thing that we saw when we got there was that Sam had on clothes!!! They had a little yellow t-shirt onesie on him. We didn't know that it was time for clothes, so that was a nice little surprise. Although it had some ruffles and a pink giraffe on the front, we were excited about the clothes. I'll be taking some of his preemie clothes with me today so that he won't have to wear pink. :)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

It was nice to be able to attend church today. I missed my Selma family, but thankful I was able to go to a worship service. I was thinking about Easter and what it means to us as christians. It is magnificent to think about the God that we serve being ALIVE. I also thought about John 3:16, a verse that most people can say backwards and forwards, but do we really think about the words? That God gave His only son to die for me, a sinner that is unworthy. Then today we can celebrated His resurrection and that He walks with us each day. Although lately I'm sure He's been carrying me. :) I guess having a son of my own puts a little more meaning in things. Today, I want to thank my living God for His faithfulness and love for me and that He has met me where I needed Him so many times even though I don't deserve any of it, and I'm so grateful.

His hand has been on Sam and it has been very evident. Today, Sam had 8ccs of milk and is weighing 3 lbs again. :) He is a growing, eating boy. He smiled a lot today when we were holding him. It makes Jeff and me feel so good to see him smile. He did try to open his eyes more today. He would raise his eyebrows really high and open his eyes just a little and then close them again. They put some lotion on him today and he smelled so good. Please continue to pray for our little baby boy, that he would just continue to grow stronger and be able to take the milk in larger amounts. It has been wonderful to see his progress each day. :)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sam is eating! Today Sam's feeding amount went from 2ccs every 3 hours to 3ccs and at 8:00 tonight he got 4ccs of milk! We are so proud of him. He is trying really hard to open his little eyes. He peeked out a couple of times tonight while we were holding him. He is the cutest little boy ever! :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

It is so amazing to see Sam getting stronger each day. Today when we got to the NICU, the nurse had taken him off of all the oxygen! He is breathing on his own. They have taken the IV out of his hand and he looks so sweet. They are trying to feed him every 3 hours now. He is still having a problem eating all of his milk by the next 3 hour feeding, but he will eventually get there. When we went back tonight, he had his little pacifier in front of his mouth and he was moving it a little with is mouth. Hopefully the feeding tube will be moved from his mouth to his nose very soon. He is getting tired of that tube in his mouth. Someone made the statement that Sam is sooo tiny but our God is so big! They were so right and it is awesome to see God working miracles in our lives daily. WOW, it is a wonderful feeling to be loved so much by our heavenly Father. We are praising Him for what He is doing each moment of each day.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

What an amazing day!!! Sam made a lot of progress today. They took the CPAP off and he's on oxygen in the nose and they also took the umbilical catheter out. He is now turned over on his belly. He is soooooo precious. Jeff came back to Montgomery tonight and we were able to HOLD SAM FOR THE FIRST TIME! It was an awesome feeling. He was so light and little. He smiled a couple of times, so we think. :) We just love him so much.

Well, I was able to hear my little boy fuss a little last night. It was a sweet little sound that I hadn't heard since he was first born. I called Jeff and he was able to hear it over the phone. It's funny to think about wanting to hear your child make some kind of noise. He has had so many things in his mouth and down his throat, in addition to quite a bit of sedation, that we haven't heard anything out of him. What a refreshing sound!

He is still getting some milk every 6 hours. What they do is give him 2ccs, which I think is around a teaspoon, if I'm not mistaken. Then 6 hours after that feeding they check his belly to see if there is any residual (left over milk). Depending on how much they either feed him again or pump this stomach and start over giving him another 2ccs. This morning at his 8 am feeding he had hardly any residual left, yay, this is a first for him since they've been feeding every 6 hours. I was so proud of him. Maybe he's getting ready to really begin eating. :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It was so good to see little Sam off of the ventilator. He had a really good day and night. He is now eating some. They try to feed every 3 hours but his belly isn't ready just yet for feedings that often. They are going to try every 6 hours and see if he can handle that for now. He weighed a whopping 3 lbs last night!! The doctor had not rounded when I called for an update this morning, so we are waiting to see if he has more fluid or if he's really liking the milk. :) Hopefully they will be weaning him off of the CPAP over the next day or so and he will just have O2 through his nose. They had turned the light off of him yesterday, but he still had his little sunglasses on. I can't wait to see his little eyes. They try to give him a pacifer when they feed so that he will begin relating the sucking motion with eating. His pacifier is so tiny. I was just thinking this morning how he is growing a little everyday, just like me, growing everyday in Christ. I have so much to praise HIM for.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

April 7, 2009 Update - Sam is one week old today!

Jeff and I would like to thank everyone for all of the prayers and support that we have felt over the past 12 days. It has been a very trying time yet filled with so many blessings. God has been so good to us. We have a beautiful baby boy that we can't wait to bring home. We know that some days are going to be harder than others, but we rest assured in knowing that God will provide us with the strength we need to make it through each day.

As you can see in the pictures, Sam has several things hooked to his tiny body. I will try to explain some of the things that are happening with him. When he was first born he was on a CPAP machine, but because he was overworking himself trying to breathe on his own they placed him on a ventilator to keep him from working so hard. He also has an IV in his hand, a feeding tube in his mouth, heart monitoring, a light over him that acts as sunlight for him because of a little jaundice (this is why his eyes are covered), and a couple of other things that I'm not sure how to explain or what they are called except for PIC line and arterial line. Sam has an umbilical catheter. An umbilical artery catheter (UAC) allows blood to be taken from an infant at different times, without repeated needle sticks. It is mostly used to continuously monitor his blood gases. They tried to feed him some milk (one teaspoon) Sunday night. He did good for the first feeding, but after the second and third feedings tests showed that his little belly wasn't quite ready. They told us that they would try feeding him again in a couple of days. The doctor told us his stomach was the size of a "pea" where a full term baby's stomach is the size of a grape.

With all of that said, we have had several really good days. The nurses and doctors worked very aggressively to get Sam off of the ventilator yesterday (04/06/09). They had to get good enough readings from the blood gases to adjust the times per minute the ventilator was breathing for him. Last night they were able to take him off the ventilator!!! He will now be back on the CPAP machine.

Jeff had the opportunity to change Sam's diaper and take his temperature yesterday (04/06/09). It was a wonderful feeling to be able to actually do something for him. Jeff did so good! I was proud of him. We are looking forward to the day that we actually get to hold our little boy. Please continue to remember us in your prayers. He does "hear" us when we cry out to Him.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


After Dr. Phillips met with Lindsey and Jeff, he diagnosed Lindsey with preeclampsia. Her blood pressure, swelling, and protein levels were all very severe. They realized very quickly that Lindsey's condition was nothing less than serious. She was given medicine to help her blood pressure drop and keep her from having seizures or a stroke. Lindsey then realized how sick she really was. Lindsey and Jeff began to focus very quickly on the health of their precious Sam. Lindsey was given steroid shots to help strengthen Sam's lungs. The doctor assured them that they would do everything they could to keep both Lindsey and Sam safe.

Although there were many scary moments within the next five days, the doctors did as they promised. Lindsey made it long enough for the steroid shot to do its work on Sam! The doctors watched very closely for the time when they believed Lindsey should deliver. On Tuesday, March 31st, they induced labor. Although Lindsey's body was responding to the medicine, the doctors saw it in her best interest to perform an emergency c-section. Samuel Baine Hicks entered this world as a 2 lb 12oz baby boy!! His cry was heard over all of the nurses and doctors. Jeff and Lindsey rejoiced in hearing the best sound they had ever heard!! Samuel was breathing on his own at 30 weeks!!! ONLY God can accomplish such an amazing miracle! "I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb." Jeremiah 1:5

Friday, April 3, 2009

God Goes Before Us

On Thursday, March 26th, Lindsey went to her doctor to get her blood pressure checked. She had been in the Tuesday before with high blood pressure and swelling. The doctor wanted her to check her blood pressure regularly and then return on Thursday. After receiving the high reading, the doctor knew that he needed to act quickly. He also understood that her condition was above his expertise and decided to transfer her to Baptist East Hospital in Montgomery. They gave Lindsey medicine to make her blood pressure drop quickly, causing intense chest pain. The ambulance came and transported her to Montgomery. On the way, her blood pressure was unstable. Finally, she arrived at Baptist East and was anxious to know what was lying ahead for her and her sweet baby, Sam. Dr. Phillips was waiting in the ER for Lindsey's arrival. He walked beside her up the elevator and into her room. The VERY first thing he wanted to do for Lindsey and Jeff was pray. Right there in the hospital room, Dr. Phillips, Lindsey, and Jeff gave their situation, their future, and their fears to the Father in order for Him to accomplish HIS will in their lives. 'The LORD your God who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf..." Deuteronomy 1:30