Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Cooper: Weeks 1-4

Cooper turned 4 weeks old on Friday, reached 32 weeks gestation on Sunday (had he stayed in the womb), and as of two days ago we have a ONE MONTH OLD.

I can't believe how far we've come already on our NICU journey. I tell people that I have my good days and I have my fragile days. Not a day goes by that I don't long for Cooper to be home with us. But some days, the reality of our situation is just heavy. Yet even in the fragile, our God is invincible. We are still very much in day-to-day mode taking each one as it comes. It's hard to find a rhythm when each day can be and feel so different. It's a wonky yet tender season we're embracing and engaging in whole-heartedly. Things have slowed down significantly around here for the Dickerson fam.

There are still so many unknowns.
We have no way of knowing just yet when Cooper will be able to come home. We're holding loosely the idea of getting to bring him home before the end of the year. But most likely, he'll come home sometime within the first few weeks of 2018. It totally depends on him and his progress.

A few things we do know:
Our God is always good and He only ever does what is right and perfect. Our baby is a fighter. Our toddler is a trooper and has grown so much (in all of the ways) over the past few months. My husband is my absolute hero, and I'm overwhelmingly grateful that we're in this together. Our family and friends are the best and have been nothing short of gracious, giving, supportive, and steadfast throughout this entire journey. We have our close-knit family and village loving on us on the regular, not to mention the hundreds of people who have joined them in praying for our family.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you all.

Kevin or I (or both) get to see Cooper every single day. We have access to him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Unfortunately, kids 18 years and under aren't allowed in the NICU because it is flu season. Nolan won't get to meet his baby brother until he actually gets to come home. But we show him lots of pictures and videos. Nolan cannot WAIT to meet Cooper and "touch his tiny fingers."

Each week brings new milestones and small (but BIG) feats to celebrate. We're learning that it is absolutely the seemingly littlest things that mean the most in the NICU.

born October 27, 2017 at 7:08pm
2 lb. 11 oz., 13 3/4 in.
got comfy cozy in his Giraffe isolette bed
my milk came in and I am able to provide breastmilk by pumping
first kangaroo care with Mommy
(cue all the tears on getting to hold our baby for the first time three days after he was born)
taken off invasive ventilation and has prongs in his nostrils instead
diagnosed with jaundice, so under the blue light
first bath
first Halloween
PICC line put in
tummy tolerated first feedings through feeding tube
met Nana

first kangaroo care with Daddy
increased calories and amount of breastmilk
decreased amount of nutrients needed through PICC line
X-ray revealed no brain bleeds
met Gamma and Papa Dave
bilirubin levels down, blue light removed
PICC line removed
began receiving momma's milk only for nutrients and calories through feeding tube
excellent pooper
met Aunt Meg, Uncle Craig, and Ernie
finally exceeding birth weight at 2 lb, 12 oz!

weighed 2 lb, 14 oz
began to show signs of not feeling well with more frequent drops in heart rate, oxygen saturation, and lethargy
X-rays revealed early signs of NEC
(this was super scary for us, but we're so thankful they caught it early)
stopped feeds and began receiving antibiotics to treat NEC
holiday party for NICU families

World Prematurity Day
met Uncle Nate and Aunt Paige
began feeling better this week, vitals stable, finished antibiotics
back on breastmilk feedings
met Uncle Chris, Aunt Jess, Uncle Carey, Aunt Anna, Aunt Krista, Ninnie, and Papa
weighs 3 lbs!!! (3 lb, 4 oz by the end of the week)
eye exam revealed that eyes are developing normally
received a blood transfusion because of low red blood cell count
first Thanksgiving
no more NEC!

Thanksgiving Day 

And I'll praise you God, for all you are
And all I am, for you are my portion
Forever, for all that was,
For all that is now,
And all that is to come

And hear me say, "yes and amen"
Tomorrow you'll be faithful again

(All That Is To Come, by Christy Nockels)


  1. Saying so many prayers for your sweet family Meagan.

  2. Meagan! I am weeping and praying and praising God for sweet Cooper. The world is a better place because he is in it! Continuing to pray for his growth and development, miraculous improvements, and grace grace grace. All my love to you. xx

  3. I’m in tears reading of what your family has gone through and what strength and courage that eensy little baby Cooper has shown. Praying for your family and that sweet sweet little soul as his body catches up in the next couple months.