Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Irises in our yard.

Here are pictues of Calla sleeping peacefully.

Calla is now awake and ready to eat.

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Fun Filled Weekend

We have had a fun filled weekend as a family and are truly enjoying being at home. On Thursday Calla weighed in at 5lbs, so she has gained 2 whole pounds since she was born. What a little piggie!! On Friday we drove to Eugene for her eye doctor appoitment, it went well and we have to go down one more time to make sure enerything continues to develop normally. Saturday was a beautiful day here in Corvallis. Our friend Marlies came down for a visit and we took our first tip in the Bob Stroller. Calla would like to thank all the nice people in Tucson, AZ for the wonderfuy gift, she had a great ride!! On Sunday we went to a picnic at Madison's house (parents Nick and Brandi). Madison was also born early and spent three weeks in the NICU. We all had fun hanging out and discussing the joys and cahllenges of our new beautiful babies.
Enjoy all the beautiful pictures!
Courtney, Scott, and Calla

My daddy loves me!!

Madison and I hanging out.

Brandi, Madison, Calla, and Courtney.

The first stroller ride, I loved the fresh air!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Busy Week

Hi Everyone - Well we are getting into a schedule at home and really enjoying being a family. Calla is sleeping 2 1/2 to 3 hrs at a time and is eating well on the breast and bottle. Dad has been doing one night feeding so I can get a little more sleep and then one other feeding during the day. You can see from the picture below that the feeding wears them both out. Calla had her first visit with her pediatrician yesterday and she looks good. She has gained some weight, but not as much as we would have thought so Calla and I are meeting with a lactation consultant on Thursday to make sure she continues to gain weight and get more tips on breastfeeding. On Friday we are headed back to Eugene for her eye exam, this will be a very big adventure.
Calla and I are also getting to see what life is like when daddy has to work and travel. Scott left for Denver today so we are on our own. There will be lots of naps between feedings and thank you to all of our friends who have dropped off food or offered to. The food and company will be much appreciated. So things are going well and I am loving being at home with my beautiful daughter. Take care,
Courtney and Calla

Enough pictures mom, I need my beauty sleep!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Yes, we are packing up and headed home.

Nothing like the first feeding in your own home and new nursery.

These socks seem a little big, what do you think?

That is right, we are home when Calla is still just gestationally 34 weeks or still 6 weeks early from her due date of June 22. What can we say, she is a superstar. Not too many babies this young get to be home this early. She has been feeding so well from the breast, they could not find any reason to keep us in the hospital any longer. So on Calla's one month birthday and after almost 5 weeks of living in Eugene between the hospital and The Children's Miracle Network Guest House, we are back at our house in Corvallis. They discharged us this morning and we shot out of there as fast as we could, almost as fast as Calla shot out.

We would like to thank the great nurses and doctors of Sacred Heart Hospital's NICU unit, they were all amazing and very helpful in getting our daughter healthy and stable enough to come home. We own them so much and look forward to staying in touch with several of the nurses who have become family to us after many days and nights sitting by Calla's bed side. They taught us so much that by the end we were doing their job, which is what their job is, to teach us how to care for our very little girl.

We would also like to thank our many friends and family who have helped us get though this amazing and challenging time in our lives. Whether it was a phone message we still have not returned, the meals and grocieries our friends from Corvallis brought us, the visits from friends that kept us sane, the cute outfits and blankets people sent us, and all the thought and prayers people sent out way, THANK YOU!

We will still be updating this site, because the fun is still not over, it is just begining. So come back and visit and get updates as Calla makes her Way through life.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Test Day

Lots of elbow and head room, comfy interior, cup holders, stylin', and my parents say it is safe. I think I will take it.

Yeah, no feeding tube. It feels soo good!

All these tests and eating makes it easy to nap with daddy!

Well sorry for not blogging the last couple of days but it has been busy around here. Calla has been finishing every meal over the last two days and got to have her nose tube for feeding taken out. She seems a little happier now without a plastic tube going through her nose and down into her stomach. All this eating has put a few ounces on her also, Calla is now at 4 lbs. and 9 oz. She has had a bunch of test done and passed them all with flying colors the past few days. She had her hearing test and car seat test done and she will have her eyes tested tomorrow morning. Do you think they want us out of here? Well maybe?

If Calla keeps up this feeding frenzy she has gotten into, we have been told that we will probably be home by this weekend. We will find out a lot more tomorrow. The average time a 10 week preemie baby goes home is around 36.5 gestinal weeks. Calla just reached the 34th gestational week today. So she is a little ahead of the curve. We are a little excited to say the least. She has spent the first month of her life in a hospital room with no fresh air, so we can not wait to take her outside in her own backyard.

We will let you know more tomorrow as soon as we get our dismisal orders, hopefully!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My First Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day Mom - I love you and I am so glad we can celebrate together!!!

To was an amazing day as I celebrated my first Mother's Day before I even expected to be a mother. The started off perfect with Scott and I arriving for the 6am feeding and there was a card waiting for me. Scott and Calla bought me a gift certificate for a massage and pedicure once we get back home. It will be very nice. Hospital rocking chairs and unfamiliar beds can lead to many sore muscles. Calla took 44cc's at breast during the 6am feeding and it was just wonderful. The rest of the day she was pretty tired and took some from breast and bottle, but did get some food at most of her feeding through her feeding tube. Scott and I need to be reminded sometimes that she is doing so amazing and that she will get home soon, we just need to be patient. Thank you to everyone that send warm wishes to me on this first mother's day. It was really nice to feel so loved. Today was emotional, I got overwhelmed towards the end of the day with feeling of being a mother and wanting bring my little girl home, NOW, but knowing that we need to be patient and we will get home when she is ready. I made it through today with the love and support of Scott and the joy of giving my daughter a bath and being able to breast feed her on Mother's Day. I know we will share many more Mother's Days in the warmth of our own home and for now I need to appreciate the love of my family, the health of my daughter, and the amazing nurses and doctors that care for her everyday. I hope you enjoy these photos that Scott took today of us celebrating our first Mother's Day as a family.

Celebrating Calla with Cherry blossoms.

Good night and Happy Mother's Day to all!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Look How Far I Have Come

Week One

Week Four

We have been down in Eugene for 4 weeks now. What an amazing and exhausting trip it has been. Calla is doing great and is up to 4 lbs. and 5 oz., she is geting some fat on those bones now. She has also gotten a little taller over the last few weeks. She came out at 15.75 inches and is now 17.5 inches. She is growing like a little weed now and we could not be happier.
She is eating really well now and is taking about 4 out of 8 feedings by the breast or the bottle. We just need to make it 8 out of 8 and we can head back home. Hope all is well with everyone and thanks for all your thoughts and prayers!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Feeding Update

Yesterday was Callas first full day of taking food orally and she did awesome!! Her 24 hour minimum for food is 320, she took 242 of that orally, either from the bottle or breast, that means she only received 78 through her feeding tube. What an amazing little girl!! We are so proud of her and can’t wait to see what today holds. She took 48 at breast at 6am, which is 8 over what she needs, that means if she only takes 32 at breast for her 9am feeding she won’t have to receive any through her tube because she is already ahead of her daily minimum. This is the new phase of our existence, making it to every feeding we can to help her get home as soon as possible. She is still having a few non feeding related episodes where she forgets to breath and we have to get past those before we go home. But overall we are making huge progress towards getting to go home.

Also you might start to notice a few less photos being posted, this is not because we think she is any less cute or that we are any less in awe of our daughter, but feeding orally takes a lot of time and we like to take a few short breaks during the day so photos have been put on the bottom of the list.

Lots of love,
Courtney, Scott, and Calla

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

And More Feedings

My first full bottle from my Dad! My parents dressed me in pink because I am eating like a little piggy
Last blog we said we were going to try breastfeeding every other feeding, but Calla did so well yesterday we tried every feeding yesterday and she rocked. She took 2 full feedings from the breast yeasterday and the majority of the other feedings from the breast also. If she did not finish, she would receive the rest through the feeding tube. So today we took it another step and tried to do an entire feeding with the bottle and she took every drop, from her dad! She is doing really well. The nurses and doctors are quite impressed with little Ms. Calla. So for now we are going to try mostly breast feedings with 2 or 3 feeding a day with a bottle to give her a little break. This way I can also do some feedings.
We thought are days were busy earlier, we were mistaken. Our days start now at 5:30 am and we walk over to the hospital for the 6 am feeding and then we go over every 3 hours until 9 pm. Each feeding takes at least 1 hour, and usually longer. We are missing the midnight and 3 am feedings because we have to sleep sometime and we want the nurses to have something to do. We are just glad we have the guest house just a few blocks away where we can recharge for 1.5 hours between feeding. But the more feeding we are at and doing ourselves, the sooner we go home!
That was hard work dad, can I throw up on your shoulder now?

Full tummy and new cloths means one thing, nap time!

Monday, May 5, 2008

All About Feeding!!!

Aha, nothing like a good workout!! Now time for a nap. Don't you like my Hippie Smurf outfit, I fit right in here in Eugene.

Calla had a great achievement today she took 24 ccs breastfeeding at the 3:00 feeding and 10ccs at the 9:00 feeding . This is a huge accomplishment and Scott and I are very excited for our little girl. Calla has shown a lot of interest in breastfeeding for the past week but she always seems to get frustrated a few minutes into the process. Today at the 3:00 feeding we used a nipple shield for the first time and it worked wonders. A nipple shield is a flexible plastic cover that goes over the nipple so that there is something with a little bit more structure for Calla to grab onto. This was all the assistance she needed. She did a great job and afterwards Scott and I were sharing high 5’s with all the nurses. Breastfeeding takes a lot of energy for such a little girl so Scott and I are going to try and breastfeed her every other feeding for the next few days and hopefully by the end of the week we will be able to do some bottles in between breastfeeding. Things are moving forward and we hope to be home by the end of the month.
Thanks as always for your continued love and support!
Courtney, Scott, and Calla

4 Pounds!

This is from the first week, but it is one of my favorites.

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone, Calla celebrated by reaching the 4 lbs. mark today. She is also starting to feed a little better. She tried her first bottle last night and sucked down 5 cc, then proceeded to spit up most of it an hour later. Overall she did good though. She is showing a lot of sucking cues and is waking up every 3 hours for her feedings, which are really good signs. So now Courtney and/or I have to be at every feeding so we can to help her become a better eater, so we can take her home as soon as possible.

This is where we can not wait to take Calla, besides her own house.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

My own crib

Isolette, I do not need no isolette!

That is right, my big surprise is I moved out of my isolette last night and moved into an open crib. I knew last night that I weighed 3 lbs. and 15 oz. so I am big enough now to better maintain my own body heat. I still have to be wrapped up burrito style in a few blankets, but that is better than living in a closed in box. I now have the same bed as all the other kids in my room.
My best friend and neighbor, Madison, was just told her parents can take her home today to Albany. I am excited for her, but I will miss her.

My new digs are so comfortable.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

I am all smiles tonight because I know something that no ones else knows. I might spill the beans tomorrow though.

So you are the one that has been carrying me around for 7 months, nice to meet you. What, I was suposed to stay in there for 10 more weeks? I must have missed that memo, sorry about that.

Check out my fleece jacket, it is so cool. I love this fleece stuff.

Friday, May 2, 2008

May 2, 2008

Safe holding mommy and daddy's hands!!

Hi All – It is time for another mother’s update. It is hard for me to believe how fast the days go by. I guess that is a good thing when we are living away from our home and counting the days until our little girl can go home. This has been a busy week for Scott, I and Calla. Grandma and Grandpa Shaff left on Tuesday and I drove to Salem for the day and visited with my co-workers. I had the opportunity to share pictures of Calla with everyone and left with a huge basket of food and some beautiful preemie baby cloths. Calla is now the best dressed baby in the NICU. Soon she will be giving out fashion advice to the other babies.

Our friends Nicole and Kevin from Corvallis came down on Tuesday night, Thursday night, complements of Grandma and Grandpa Shaff, Scott and I went to see Mama Mia here in Eugene. It was a great evening and we really appreciated the night out. Friday our friend Christine drove down from Portland to meet Calla and she also brought us lunch.

I want to tell you a little about the wonderful people that are caring for Calla while Scott and I out and about enjoying Eugene, taking naps, and missing our daughter. The nurses here are amazing people and we are begining to care for them like family. It is so hard to go about each day going to and from the hospital without Calla. But we do know that she is being cared for by people that really care about here while we are not there. Last night while we were out at the play instead of at the 9pm feeding like usual Calla’s nurse Molly held her during her feeding and cuddled with her. Katy, Calla’s usual daytime nurse always dresses Calla in cute outfits before we arrive in the morning. These women, and the many other men and women that care for our daughter make us feel truly blessed. We can’t yet be her primary caregivers so we are so happy that the people that care for her while we are not there are so wonderful.

I will finish tonight with a poem that my aunt Ginger sent me. It is beautiful and made me cry.

For the First Time Mother
Relax, my dear, your little elf
Is just an amateur herself.
So if your hands, so newly filled
With tasks, seem somewhat less than skilled
Relax, I say. This little pinkling
Doesn't have the slightest inkling
That you are new to baby lore--
She never had a Mom before!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Hi all. We have had several people tells us that they are having problems leaving comments, so I will try and explain how to do it.
First - Just click on where is say " 0 comments" at the end of each blog. The number will vary depending on how many comments have been left, so it could say "4 Comments". The little envelope next to that is for emailing someone that days blog.
Second - At the bottom of the comments window that opened up, there is a space to type in your comments, so type away.
Third - Below where you typed in the comment you have several options. If you have a gmail account, sign in. But if you do not have an account, select the Name/URL button. It will then give you the option to type in your name, the URL is optional.
Fourth/Final - Click on the "Publish Your Comments" button at the very bottom.
We love hearing from the people that are reading this so please leave us comments if you like. It is also something we will save, so Calla can read someday.

So a blog would not be complete without a Calla update and a few photos.

This morning Calla weighed in at 3 lbs. 11 oz. and she is just over 17 inches long/tall now.
We got a little more information about her heart condition. She has a couple of openings in the lining between the two lower chambers of the heart. One of these is in the muscle section, which will fill in as the muscles get bigger. There is another one that is in the non-muscular portion, which we will have to monitor. They are both very small opening. We will meet with a pediatrics heart specialist from Portland in the middle of June.

So all is well and we are enjoying our new digs. It was nice and quite last night, so I brought in my mandolin and played some tunes for Calla. I am now learning all the childrens tunes, I have London Bridges, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, and Row, Row, Row your Boat down now. I should have my Grandpa Nelson's Mandolin back from the shop this week, so I can start playing that for her. My Aunt Sandy gave it to me last month when I saw her in Ohio for Courtney's baby shower, I was blown away. It is a 1912 Washburn Bowback Mandolin that he played and now I get to play, pretty cool. Maybe Calla will play it also when she gets older!

We got some better pictures last night with the lilly. Is that what you had in mind Charlotte?

How do I look in my little stawberry shortcake outfit?