Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thomas Dean {4 Months + Contact Update}

I have a lot of exciting updates to cover today but first I need to mention something that's been really heavy on my heart. For those of you who have been reading along for the past year will remember the devastating SIDS incident we went through with Caroline in September 2014. If you're new, you can catch up here. To be completely honest, I have a lot of PTSD related to that night and reluctantly replay that nightmare often in my head and even let the what ifs creep in from time to time. I honestly cannot fathom what this past year would have been like without our little Caroline. The joy she's brought us is indescribable. She had just turned four months old a few days before the incident occurred and as Thomas approached his four month birthday (and the days that have followed) I have been a paranoid mess. So mamas, please, please tuck your babies into bed with a SIDS monitor during their first year. Nobody ever thinks this would happen to them. 
Okay, sorry to kick off this update on a depressing note. In happier news, Thomas is doing better than ever. Since my last update, Thomas quickly and completely healed from his second successful cataract removal surgery! (Side note: A crazy coincidence...during our stay at the hospital Thomas' doctor was the same doctor who took care of Caroline during her SIDS incident!!!) We also began the wild and crazy contacts journey. Each week we have to visit the ophthalmologist to try a new set of contacts until we get the best fit. This has been extremely frustrating because each new set takes about a week to arrive since they are custom made based off of the measurements the doctor takes. So we've been through many sets of contacts that didn't fit over his pupil and with each failed experiment we've been out of pocket for worthless contacts and worse, we've lost a week of opportunity to make progress on Thomas' vision. To add to the frustration, our insurance isn't covering any of our weekly doctors visits, contact fittings during each visit or the actual contacts which are several hundred dollars per contact.
Anyway, we finally had our appointment at Duke Medical Center that we've anxiously been waiting for and it was a huge blessing and worth every penny. First, we loved our doctor who actually specializes in...INFANT CONTACTS! Not only did she have several sets of contacts ready to try out, she showed us how to remove them in seconds and without touching his eye!!!! To give you a little history, for the past 5 weeks leading up to this appointment we've uncomfortably watched the "contact lady" at our ophthalmologists office remove his contacts by digging around with her long fingernails, trying to pinch it out while Thomas uncontrollably screams. Then, it takes her no less than an hour to put the new set in. These weekly doctor visits were taking hours each Friday morning. So you can imagine our surprise (and relief) at our Duke appointment when our doctor literally popped his contacts out. She also did an extensive eye test and was happy to report she had the exact size contact on hand for Thomas that he needed! Hooray! She showed us how to slide in each contact (in just a few seconds!!!) and afterwards Thomas was grinning from ear to ear. But wait, it gets better! She did a lot of exercises with Thomas to test his vision and said she was really happy with how he was responding. 

Since our Duke visit last week we've seen a tremendous improvement in Thomas' eye contact, he is actually grabbing for toys now, he's smiling more than ever, he's following us more when we're in the same room and Matt and I are removing, cleaning and replacing his contacts ourselves now! We know that he is gaining vision back and although it may not be perfect and we still have a long road ahead, we are truly thankful for the miracles the Lord has worked in Thomas so far. It's hard to believe that just two months ago we were told "your baby is blind and we don't know if he'll ever see" to where we are today. So grateful!
Other fun four month stuff...
Four Month Highlights:
  • 13 pounds (6%); Height is 25" (37%); 40.5 cm head (14%)
  • Has the cutest dimple in his right cheek.
  • Has transitioned into daycare super great. Didn't have any issues at all from the first day like his, ahem, sister.
  • Giggling when he's really worked up.
  • Started rolling from back to belly and is an unstoppable little thing! Once he is firmly on his belly he gives us the biggest and happiest smile and everyone, including Caroline claps and cheers. These are some of my most treasured moments!
  • Found his feet and loves to hold on to them and rock from side to side.
  • Eating 6 ounces of Earths Best Formula every 3 hours during the day. Taking last bottle at 8 pm and sleeping in pack & play in our room until about 4 am (a bit of a sleep regression this month).
  • Size 2 diapers.
  • Still has issues pooping so we're going to skip rice cereal and oatmeal since it's loaded with iron and move straight to purees in about a month or so.
  • Sleeping in our room still (our choice!) and loves being swaddled in the sleep sack.
  • We asked the doctor about the flat spot on the back of the head and he wasn't concerned and said it was normal for his age. Phew. 
  • Very drooly! 
  • Spent two weeks at Grandmom's house while I recovered from surgery.
  • Wearing contacts!    
Thomas & Caroline at four months old




  1. Sweet friend - close friends of ours lost their little girl to a heart defect yesterday and I am squeezing my girls so tight, I don't ever want to let them go. Life can be so unfair and cruel sometimes!

    I am so happy Thomas is making such great progress and such positive news about his new doctor. We continue to pray for your peace and strength and guidance through this all, you are incredible parents.

  2. Praise God for the amazing doctor you've found and for your beautiful healthy family!

  3. What an exciting update! Your new doctor at Duke sounds amazing - I hope you can continue to see her and skip out on the long fingernailed woman nearby. Hooray for little Thomas and Hooray for your family. It has to bring you so much joy to see him interacting with toys and tracking things. Thank you for the update. I will continue to pray for your sweet family!

  4. I've been thinking of you all. Glad to hear everything is going so well with Thomas. I hope you're feeling a lot better too. xoxo

  5. He is literally the cutest thing ever! Praises that everything is going great!

  6. Oh Christina, this news made my day!!! I've been praying for Thomas (& will continue to) & I am so thrilled to hear about his sweet smiles, tracking & grabbing for toys!! Praise God!!!

  7. What great news! I'm so glad you went to Duke and saw that doctor - what a blessing!

    And I don't think you're alone in Caroline's SIDS incident effecting you so much. It was traumatic and I totally get it. Just do what you can to pull through it. From reading your blog for so long, I know your family is a bunch of fighters and you'll be able to handle whatever gets thrown at you (but for your sake I hope it's smooth sailing from now on)!

  8. Great news, that contact lady with the long nails sounds horrible!! Thanks also for the SIDS monitor info. Will tell my pregnant niece to put one on her registry.

  9. SO glad that Thomas is doing so well and you were able to meet with that new doctor who seems SO wonderful!

  10. this is HUGE news mama!!!!!! BIG BIG BIG things for Thomas I just know it... happy 4 months my cutie!!

  11. Happy tears for you and your sweet family this morning! And continued prayers for all of your health and happiness!

  12. Love this update! So happy things are going so well for Thomas- continuing to pray for you and your amazing family! -Trish

  13. Oh my gosh he is perfect!! So glad to hear the new Doctor was such a huge help, what a relief! His and Caroline's 4 month photos look so much alike!! :)

  14. Love to hear how well he's doing! Happy 4 months precious boy!

  15. So wonderful to hear! I'm happy Duke was so fulfilling, thank goodness for doctors who know their craft.

  16. You are such a strong, brave, wonderful woman! Such an inspiration to others.

  17. That is wonderful, wonderful news regarding the contacts! The Lord is so, very good!

    And you sure have one handsome little boy on your hands!

  18. You are so amazing!!! I LOVE hearing about how well Thomas is doing! I hope you are healing well and your beautiful family only has blue skies on the horizon from here on out!! Sending lots of prayers!!

  19. This makes me so happy!!! It's just amazing what finding the right Dr. can do!

  20. I flipping love that gator (and that smiling Thomas)!! I want to hug that gator (and Thomas) so tightly!! I'm so glad you finally got into the Duke doctor and that it's going better... and excuse me, HOW IS INSURANCE NOT COVERING THIS? I will absolutely hate them for you.

  21. I am so happy to hear that Thomas is doing well! I remember that scary post like it was yesterday. It definitely left an impression on me and I have since vowed to educate myself and take preventative measures as much as possible when we have kids!


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