What the Phrase ‘Million-Dollar Baby’ Means to Me

When I went into labor 17 weeks early, there was no time for us to consider our “options.”When the nurse handed me the consent form, I had no idea what I was signing. I had no idea the life of my unborn baby was literally in my hands. At that moment, I didn't know that babies born too soon are babies who are born sick. I didn't know they spend days, months and even years in intensive care units....more

Is One Child Enough? Thoughts on Pregnancy After a Traumatic Birth

Most days, when I look into Jax's bright blue eyes, I feel like our family is complete. Some days, when I watch him gaze out the window searching for new friends, I'm sad that he doesn't have a little brother or sister to keep him company. Jax is thinking: But I want to go sledding with a sibling, not my mom and dad! ...more
SydnyeAllen It's a very difficult decision! I hope you can find some clarity. I don't think it's ...more

A Glimpse Into Life with Chronic Lung Disease

Jax has Chronic Lung Disease (CLD), which is also called bronchopulmonary dysplasia or BPD. "CLD results from lung injury to newborns who must use a mechanical ventilator and extra oxygen for breathing." Jax was on a ventilator for 34 days, SiPap and CPAP for 16 days, high-flow oxygen for 13 days, and low-flow oxygen for 71 days. (Jax came home on oxygen.) For being born at only 23 weeks, that's pretty good!...more

A Winter Get-Away to Chicago for People Who Like to Eat and Drink

Since Jax was born 17 1/2 months ago, my husband and I have not been away from home for longer than 24 hours. This time we took an airplane!I was excited to explore one of my favorite cities with my hubbie! It's no secret we like to eat and drink - this vacation was a glutton's paradise!For all you "foodies" out there - here's our eating and drinking itinerary for our winter trip to Chicago....more

Dear Extended Family, Isolation Isn't About You

One of the most frequent questions I get asked is "How do you get your family to understand why isolation is important?" I also see variations of this question almost everyday in online preemie support communities.Preemie parents struggle to find balance. When our baby comes home from the NICU, we want to celebrate! We want to have everyone over to ohh and ahh over the tiny being. We want so badly to have a "normal" experience with our baby. But, we are also painfully aware of the risks involved....more

Nothing Left To Do But Eat: Sausage, Potato, Kale, and White Bean Soup

The high here today is -17°. (Yes, there is a negative sign before that number.) The wind chill is going to be -35° to -65°. It's going to be the coldest day in decades. The meteorologists are telling everyone to hunker down and bundle up for the arctic blast. Awesome. People are freaking out about it, too. Shelves at the grocery store are bare, there are lines at the gas pumps. Sounds like there's nothing left to do but eat! I'm making soup....more

A New Year, A New Beginning

Happy New Year, gang! Can you believe the year we just did?...more

Making Blueberry Sour Cream Bread In Jax's Sensory Kitchen

You all know how much I don't like having to be on lockdown to protect Jax from germs. To be perfectly honest, I've been a bit depressed about it this year and I've had zero motivation to make it better. The Minnesota winter isn't helping. With temps as low as 30° below zero, there are literally no options for outdoor play. And since Jax can't be by crowds of people, the gym, malls, and museums are out of the question....more

Hope During the Holidays (Jax Takes His First Steps)

Truthfully, the holidays aren't as bright as they used to be.I used to look forward to this time of year. For many years, the only time I could catch a flight home was during the holidays - I looked forward to that time for months. The anticipation and excitement of seeing family and friends put a bounce in my step and cheer in my heart....more
Denise Now he's non-stop! It's so amazing and fun!more

The Would-Have-Been Birthday

Jaxson's due date was November 20. And by the time that rolled around, he was already 4 months old....more