Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fight for Preemies

Every year, 20 million babies are born too soon, too small and very sick-half a million of them in the U.S. November 17th is when we fight!

Do you know a baby who was born too soon, too small, unable to breathe or nurse on their own? With 1 in every 8 babies born prematurely, you probably do. While medical advances give some babies a chance of survival, for many babies premature birth is a life-or-death condition. Babies who survive can face serious health challenges and risk lifelong disabilities.

The rate of premature birth has risen more than 30 percent since 1981. In half the cases, we simply don’t understand what went wrong. The March of Dimes is leading the fight for answers. And, ultimately, preventions.

November 17 is dedicated to raising awareness of the crisis. Take 3 steps to help fight premature birth:

1. Visit
2. Put a badge on your blog to help spread the word.
3. On November 17, blog for a baby you love and to help others.

We need to fight ― because babies shouldn’t have to.

This month is very dear to my heart. Raegan, born on July 3rd, 2008 at 29 weeks gestation, weighing only 1 pound and 9 ounces. Her due date was 09/13/08. After being admitted to the hospital at 27 weeks and 18 days of tests, ultrasounds and round the clock monitoring, the high risk doctors decided Raegan would need to come early. I thank God everyday for giving us Raegan and I appreciate all the prayers. She spent four long months in the NICU. She had enlarged ventricles, and spent over 3 months on a ventilator, or CPAP. She is 2 now and has had over 10 surgerys in her shirt life. 5 of which have been on her brain. I love her more then life itself and I am very thankful she is here today! No matter what we endure, I proudly support the March of Dimes.

Raegans birth details:

Name: Raegan Renae
DOB: 07/03/08 @ 06:12p
NICU stay: 06/03/08 to 10/22/08
Weight: 710 grams Length: 13 inches
Overall Satus: Critical and stable
Gest Age: 29 weeks 5 days
Admission to NICU Indications: Respiratory distress, Hydrocephalus and Prematurity.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Is gone.... I hope. This morning Raegan and I got up and went into my roommates room so say good morning. She handed me her binky and I went over grabbed the scissors and cut the tip off. I gave her the binky and the tip and she tried to put it back together. When she couldn't put it back together she handed it to me to fix it. I told her it was broken and grabbed the trash and let Raegan throw the binky in the trash. She didn't cry!!! Hopefully this is the end of the binky :)

While at the hospital

Check out more pictures of Raegan while she was up at the hospital.
Click here!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Home away...

From home.... Yup we are back up at Doernbechers Childrens Hospital. It all start on October 7th when Raegan went in to surgery to have her tonsils and adenoids taken out and tubes put back in her ears. The surgery went well, and we only stayed one night in the hospital. The following Monday when I went to give Raegan a bath and noticed she had a rash on the right side of her chest. Tuesday morning got up and got Raegan dressed and the rash was gone. Wednesday night Raegan went to her dads after daycare and when he gave her a bath he noticed that the shunt tubing in her chest was red and felt hard. Wednesday night Raegan didn't sleep very well, so Thursday the 14th we were coming up to OHSU to do a video interview for March of Dimes and after we finish we went down to the ER.

In the ER they took blood, did the typical x-ray and MRI and they all showed nothing. They ended up admitting Raegan to the hospital just so they could watch her and make sure nothing was going on. My gut instinct was that some how Raegan got a bacterial infection that got into her blood stream. Friday morning the doctors came by and that was their gut feeling as well.

When there is an infection that attaches itself to the shunt tubing the only way to get rid of it is to take the shunt out, so Saturday afternoon the doctor made Raegan a reservation and she had her shunt taken out and an EVD put in. At the time of surgery we still didn't know what was wrong, so they cultured the shunt tubing, and Monday night we figured out what was wrong.

Raegan had Haemophilus Inflenzea which is a bacterial meningitis. Thankfully we caught it early enough that he had not caused meningitis. She has been on antibiotics since Saturday, and will have to be on them for 10 days. When the doctors came in the morning they told me that there had never been a case of a child with a shunt having their tonsils out getting the H Flu. Crazy to think that Raegan is the first case of this ever happening.

The goal is that tomorrow Raegan will get a PIC line, Monday she may have surgery to have the EVD taken out and the VP shunt put back in, and we want to be home by the 30th. Fingers crossed that things work according to plan!

Back in the hospital

Her chest is red from an infection

They outlined the red area to see if the infection would spred

After Surgery to have her shunt taken out and an EVD put back in

A few days after surgery she was up and playing again

Halloween party at the hospital

It's been

a while since I have posted anything. I have been so busy these days chasing after Raegan and going to school that there in never enough time in the day to get everything done. I think last time I posted anything Raegan and I were in Hawaii. Since then Raegan turned 2, and in the big picture is doing really well. Everyday with her is a blessing!

I am still going to school, and have been back for 4 quarters. In June I should be able to graduate and in August I am hoping to start a two year Respiratory therapy program at Mt. Hood Community College.

Life over all is pretty good!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

First 3 days of Vacation

Day 3

Swimming Night 2

LA Airport Day 1

Day 2

Flight number 2 - Day 1

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Time Change & Travel

Suck!! So let me back up to Sunday where I spent all day packing and doing laundry when I should have been studying. I did study for maybe 10 minutes, but had way to many other things to do. Monday morning rolls around and I was able to sleep in till 6am, crazy I know. I took Raegan to daycare, and then went to my favorite place (Starbucks) for a cup of coffee and to study for my math final. I studied for about an hour and then headed over to Verizon to have them fix my phone. What I thought would take 15 minutes tops took over an hour. Apparently setting up ymail on my Droid is hard then it sounds!

11:30a and I drive over to Clark College to take my math final and to see if the Bookstore will buy back my English book. I pull into the parking lot and as always the row I park in has an empty parking space. I scored big time because people where driving around looking for a place to park! I walk inside and see the line for the Bookstore and then look at the clock, 25 minutes till my final, not enough time to stand in line. I walk down to my math class and talk with the people from my class outside the door for a few until the teacher shows up. I walk in and think here goes nothing! I took the final and the teacher graded it right there for me to see. I got a C on the final which is better then I thought I would do, and over all in the class I got a C. That is the best C I ever got! I am so happy to be done with that math class. The teacher was great, but the math sucked!

So after my math final I walk balk up to the bookstore and realize the line is super long, and I don't have time to stand in it. I see a girl from my math class almost to the front and start talking to her about the final. I ask her if she will see f they will buy my book back, while I went into the Bookstore to buy a book for next quarter. She gladly does that for me and brings me back $56! That paid for half of the book I was buying!! Why do college text books have to cost so damn much?

Alright on with the story. School is out for the next three weeks and I was heading to Hawaii. Monday night I was up till about 11:45, and Tuesday morning my mom got me up at 2:45a. We got to the airport just after 4:30a, and are first flight left Portland at 6am. We flew to LA where we had about a 2 hour layover before we got on are second flight, the longest of them all just over 5 hours. We landed in Maui and we were there for just over an hour before we got on are last flight from Maui to Kona. We landed in Kona around 3pm Hawaii time (6pm back home). Hello 12 hours of traveling with my mom and Raegan!! At the airport my aunt and uncle were there waiting for us, as they had just got off their flight 20 minutes before us. My uncle, Raegan and I wait my all of are luggage ( 10 bags total) while my mom and aunt get the rental car (it's a mini van).

So we get the van and head towards to condo. We get there and my mom asked me if I was getting out while they went in to check us in. I asked her if it would be quick and she says "yeah". She asked if I wanted her to leave the keys. I told her "NO I DON'T NEED THEM". Remember that line it will be important later. So no it wasn't quick and after being in the car for a little while I decided to get out so Raegan could run around outside, and so we could go see what was taking so long. I get out of the van and lock the doors because if I don't my mom will ask "did you lock the van?". After walking around and then inside my mom has us all checked in to the condo. We walk back to the car and my mom says "wheres the keys?" I said "I don't have them". We goes to open the van door and it's locked! Yeah that's my mom left the keys in the van when I told her not to, and I locked the door. Thank goodness for AAA!

After AAA came and we got the van open we unloaded all of the luggage and headed out to get some dinner. By this time its after 7pm Hawaii time (after 10p back home) and that is over 2 hours past Raegans bedtime. We went to dinner (Dennys) and then to Safeway to pick up a few things for breakfast. We get back to the condo around 9:30pm (12:30a back home). I gave Raegan a bath and put her to bed, where she fell asleep within 2 minutes, and I was asleep about 15 minutes after her.

This morning I rolled over to see what time it was because my body was awake and the clock said 3:30a (6:30a back home)! I thought about getting up for a quick second and then rolled back over and went back to sleep where I slept till 6:30a Hawaiian time. What a long day yesterday was, but being able to sit out on the back porch this morning drinking a cup of coffee and writing this blog is so nice!

Day 2 in Hawaii should be better than day 1!

Monday, June 7, 2010

In eight days

Raegan, my mom, and I will be up at the wee hours of the morning heading to the airport to go spend 13 days in Hawaii. I have been waiting 10 weeks for this vacation. As Spring quarter comes to an end all I can think about is Hawaii. After today I have 3 more days left of class. Last Thursday I finished everything for my typing class. Today I finished my proof reading & spelling class, and this afternoon I will finish my English class. This will just leave me with taking my English final which is a take home test that I will get today, my spelling test which I will take on Wednesday, and my math class which I will take a test this Thursday and next Monday I will take my final.

Raegan is doing so well. She is running around this house talking all the time. She cant make a sentence yet, but she knows so many words. She knows peoples names, she sings part of the alphabet efg and tuv, she also signs twinkle twinkle little star. She can sign milk, more, all done, please and thank you. She is starting to learn her colors, so far she knows and can say pink, red, and orange. I cant leave out the fact that 98% of the last 3 weeks Raegan has got up in the morning with a dry diaper. I am going to start potty training her when we get back from Hawaii!

Alright this college mom has to get back to studying.... 3 more days left!!!!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Who I was, who I lost, and who I found again

I’m a firm believer in practicing what you preach and I’m often reminded of this when I look at my beautiful and precocious young daughter. She’s full of life and spunk and she has a spirit about her that is so pure and unfettered by the weight of self doubt and critical inner dialog that she inspires and reminds me what’s most important for us as women. She’s innocent and undamaged, but I know that only lasts so long and I can only protect her from so much. For her to be a warrior of life I have to give her the tools she needs to take into battle.

I don’t give a lot of thought to who I want her to be because for me as a parent it’s about who I want her to want to be. I don’t worry about the surface things, I have those covered. She has no shortage of clothes, food, education or toys. I worry about giving her the real tools she needs to go out into the world as a girl, a young lady and then a woman. The important tools for girls are the ones that our education system cannot teach and they are the foundation on which all other life skills rest. They are tools that have to be strong enough to be able to go up against the hyper-critical superficial media machines which consistently assault women in an effort to break them down for the sole purpose of propping itself up on a pedestal of smoke and mirrors while boosting profits and all at the expense of our girls self worth.

Confidence. Strength. Independence. Fearlessness. Courage. These are the tools that matter as women.

I cannot tell my daughter to be these things, that’s not how we really learn the important lessons or gain the skills. I want her to want to be these things and the only way that can happen is if I am these things and lead by example. So that’s what I do. I look at her and I remind myself that I am these things. I get up every day and work hard to be the woman that I want her to be. I’m not perfect at this, but I do not give up… I get up. I get knocked down, I get back up. And then I give whatever idiot fool knocked me down the big metaphorical finger. Ok fine, sometimes it’s the literal finger but remember I said I’m not perfect.

As I begin dating again I’ve spent time examining who I am today, who I was yesterday and who I was when I was married. What kind of woman am I today. Actually, that’s not entirely true, I’ve spent the last three years doing this.

When I met my ex-husband in my early twenties I was a strong, capable, independent woman. I had moved from Vancouver to Phoenix and then to Denver all by myself in my early twenties just simply because I could. I knew no one, but I was going to work as a Flight Attendant, I knew I would meet people and I sure the hell didn’t know where I was going to live. I just knew though that there were bigger and better things out there in the world for me and if I stayed where I was I would never venture out and find them. So I set out to stake my claim on the world.

Shortly into my marriage though I lost the fearless girl who was ready to take on the world and knew who she was. He didn’t beat me down emotionally and strip me of my complete and total badassness - I allowed him to. You see there’s one other thing I firmly believe in (that’s a lie too, there are a lot of them actually) but I believe that no one can make you feel something about yourself that you don’t allow them to. That was my biggest regret, giving away my power of self. It’s something I will never allow to happen again and I don’t worry about it happening again because I have confidence in me this time. Dating however, brings this all back to mind so it’s time to take an inventory of who I am and who I hope my daughter wants to be.

Confidence. Nobody is going to love you or treat you better than you treat yourself. You are worth everything you think you are and more. Do not ever settle for someone that makes you feel less than who you are. You are with the right person when you are completely yourself and do not contort yourself to fit into what you think someone else wants you to be. The right man will make you feel beautiful, smart and perfect and if he doesn’t then move the fuck on because you are those things and deserve to be with someone who recognizes and encourages you. You come "AS IS" and do not modify yourself to be the woman he wants. If you do this then he will want the woman you already are. If he doesn’t then he didn’t deserve you. And DO NOT chase him. If he doesn’t chase you then he’s not worth catching.

Strength. Have the fortitude to stand by what you believe in is right and what is wrong and do not back away from those things for any man. Do not compromise your character for anyone. It is the most valuable thing you will ever own. Stand strong every day. I’m not talking about battling over dinner selections or movie choices I’m talking about the things that really matter to you. Character, commitment, honesty, whatever it is that is your deal breaker. Weakness will make you change and cave in some ways you should not. I love the old saying that some things you can change, some you can’t and some you sure the hell shouldn’t because they are the fabric of who you are. Weakness welcomes vultures. Do NOT become their prey.

Independence. Be your own woman. Do not put your life on hold while waiting to find Prince Charming. That’s a bunch of fairy tale rescue the damsel in distress bullshit that as women we’ve been sold a bill of goods as being “romantic”. You do not need to be saved and you do not need to put your life and dreams on hold while waiting for Captain Charisma to sweep you off of your high heels. Buy your own house. Go on your own vacations with friends or yes, with your children alone. Make your own money and control your own destiny. Do not sit and wait for a man to come along and give you a life. You complete you. Nobody else can do that for you.

Period. When you put your entire identity into another human being then what do you have left of you when they are gone? Don’t give someone that power... Ever!!!

Fearlessness. Life, if you live it, is really fucking scary. Suck it up and do it – live your life with wild passion. Do the things you’re most afraid of because odds are they are the things that push your limits and force you to grow as a person. This is the one tool that I’ve had to remind myself to use lately. If you don’t look at life’s challenges and give it the big finger then life will eat everything that is special and amazing about you alive. Life plays for keeps, there will not always second chances to be the person you want to be or have the life you want to have. If you get one, grab it and don’t let go. Be that person now and make no apologies for who you are. Live life in a blaze of glory every chance you get.

Courage. The right thing to do is not always, in fact it rarely is, the easiest thing to do. Make the hard choices, stand up for yourself, stand up for your children. Be the bat, not the ball. You control the trajectory of your life. Have the courage to embrace that and be goddamn proud of it. Have the courage to stand up to what’s not right or good for you or your children. Men will treat you the way you allow them to treat you. Have the courage to hold the bar high for your sake, and your children's. If you get knocked down then pull your shit back together and get the fuck back up and when you come back up you come back swinging. You are worth it. You are really worth it.

There you have it. This is who I was, who I lost, and who I found again. This is who I get up and try to be every day so that my daughter will be this person too.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Raegan & Quinn

Raegan loves to play the Piano....

Still not sure about walking on the back porch w/out shoes!

Neighbor Stu & Raegan

Rocco & Raegan

Mitzi & Raegan

Stephanie & Raegan

These are a few of the doctors that took care of Raegan when she was in the NICU.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


First off I want to give everyone a run down on my day before I update you on the past week.

April 5th, 2010
5am: Raegan wakes up and I get her and put her in bed with me
5:15am: My alarm starts going off
5:30am I get out of bed, take a shower and get ready for the day
6:55am: Raegan wakes up and I get her dressed
7:15am: I take Raegan out to the car and get it started
7:20am: Left the house, and driving to take Raegan to daycare
7:45am: I drop Raegan off at daycare
8:10am: I got to school, found a parking space pretty quickly and walked to class
8:30am: My 1st class starts
9:20am: Class is over and I head over to a different building to pick up my financial aid check, get a protein bar from the bookstore and chat with a friend
10:20am: I head back to SHL for my next class that starts at 10:45am
10:45am: I had my 2nd class
12:05pm: I had my 3rd class
1:15pm: I had my 4th class
2:30pm: I walk across campus to go to work and think about going to the bookstore to get the last book I need, but the line was way to long
2:45pm: I started work and worked till 4:45pm
4:50pm: I walked back to the bookstore and got my last book
5:00pm: Left Clark to head to the bank
5:20pm: Went to the bank
5:40pm: Picked up Raegan from my moms house
6:30pm: Drove up to the same day services to take Raegan to the doctor
7:30pm: Left the doctors office so I could go home and change my clothes and get what I needed so I could bring Raegan to the ER
8:50pm: Arrived at the OHSU ER where I have been ever since!

Right now at 1am on April 6th, 2010 I am about to fall a sleep. I have been up for 20 hours and I dont think I will get much sleep since I have to be to work at 8am tomorrow morning. I may just have to call in and just go to class at 10:45am.

Oh so we are here at the ER because Raegan has been sick for about a week, and I am just ruling out shunt failure. It's funny how the signs of shunt failure are the same as a kid of has the Flu!

Well I am going to try and catch a few minutes of sleep before someone walks back in the room, but I will keep everyone posted.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Always Sick

I feel like Raegan or I are always sick. This weekend I ended up with a bladder infection, can I just say not fun at all. Then I stopped to think about it and in February I had kidney stones, and in January I had bronchitis. What a year 2010 has turned out to be thus far!!

So to top off a weekend of not feeling good and spending much of my time on the couch, Sunday night Raegan started coughing around 2:30a and by 3:15 she had coughed enough that she was a wake. I picked her up and put her in my bed, and by 3:30 the coughing got worse. I got out the nebulizer and started a breathing treatment for her. The breathing treatment took about 25 minutes, and I was thinking Raegan would go back to sleep. I WAS WRONG!! Raegan didn't go back to sleep until 5:00a. I feel a sleep a few minutes later and before I knew it my alarm was going off and it was 6:10a. Needless to say I got up showered, then realized I still wasn't feeling good and decided I was going to call in sick to work.

Today Raegan and I are both feeling better, she is at daycare and I am here at work!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Thank You

(Far right Dr. Joe Gilhooly)

Thank you Dr. Joe Gilhooly for your $250 donation to support Team "Raegan's Fan Club" and the March of Dimes.

(Raegan's grandma)

Thank you Mom for your $50 donation to support Team "Raegan's Fan Club" and
the March of Dimes.

Other Donations:

  • Thank you for your $25 donation to support Team "Raegan's Fan Club" and the March of Dimes.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

March for Babies 2010

Hello. As you might be aware, our family has been touched by the March of Dimes mission to prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. That's why we have formed a Family Team to raise money and participate in March for Babies. Please join us in our fundraising efforts today by sponsoring our event.

Contributing to our team online is fast, easy and secure. You can donate directly from my personal webpage with a credit/debit card or PayPal. If you prefer, I can also accept cash or check. Just click the appropriate box on my webpage.

Our family knows firsthand the challenges associated with prematurity. It is important to find out why premature birth happens and what can be done to prevent it. By raising money, ongoing research to answer these critical questions is funded. When you support our Family Team, you show you care and you give hope for defeating premature birth and other threats to babies.

Please join us and millions of compassionate people across the country who support March for Babies each year. We need your help. Visit my webpage and sponsor our event!

With your support, there's hope.

Thank You!

Visit to donate or to walk with me.

Update - Raegan Pictures

Update after a long time

I know it has been a long time since I have updated my blog. The last few months have been crazy and busy. It will take me a few posts, but I will try to get everyone caught up and whats been going on in my life. Now where to start....

Lets see here back in November Aaron and I separated and about a week before Christmas Raegan and I moved. We moved in with my long time friend Jen and her 3 boys. I meet Jen 14 years ago when she moved in to the house across the street from my parents and shortly after that I started babysitting her oldest son Liam when he was 3 months old. I always said that when Liam was old enough to babysit that I would start having kids. I had Raegan just before Liam's 12th birthday, and now at 13 Liam watch's Raegan for me once a week and does a great job.

In January I went back to college at Clark and took a Life Transition class that lasted 5 weeks. While taking this class I decided that I wasn't just going to go to school to become a nurse, I am also going to take a one year medical billing program. On April 5th spring quarter will start and I will start the one year program. When the one year program is over I will start the nursing program and my goal is to finish all of my schooling within the next 4 years.

While taking the Life Transition class one of my teachers/advisers offered my a job working in her office part time. I wasn't seeking work, but I was more than happy to take the job. The pay is not great, but I love my job. I have been working 4 days a week, having Fridays off, and next quarter I will work Monday-Thursday as well as go to school. My schedule will be crazy, but I will figure it out and manage.

I have also been taking a class on Wednesday nights at my church which has been good. Through this class, school, and moving I have made many new great friendships. My life is pretty good right now. I enjoy being happy.

Now on to update everyone on Raegan. Raegan is 20 months old and get this WALKING! Raegan has been doing great through all of this change. Back in December right before Christmas Raegan started going to daycare a couple of days a week to get used to going once I went back to school. The daycare she goes to is a great fit for her. While at daycare Raegan sees her physical therapist, speech therapist, and occupational therapist all once a week. Seeing these therapists have helped her quite a bit. It has also been good for Raegan to watch and play with other kids. To top it all off the staff at Raegan's daycare is great. She has become many peoples favorite and they all stop by her room everyday to say hi to her. I have also started volunteering at Raegan's daycare on Wednesday afternoons for a few hours after work.

Raegan has been making leaps and bounds. She started crawling and before I knew it about 4 weeks ago she started walking. I never thought the day would come, and I was excited the day she took her first steps. She also crawls up and down the stairs with no problems. We are working on moving from baby food to table food, and from a bottle to a cup. Raegan is not a fan of a sippycup, so this change of getting rid of the bottle may take a little while. My goal is within the next 6-8 months we can get rid of the bottles. I guess we will see, since by now we all know that Raegan tends to do things are her time!

A couple other updates on Raegan is that she is wearing and keeping on her glasses. We see the eye doctor again in about 3 weeks and will find out if and when they will do surgery to correct Raegan's lazy eye. The other update is that we meet with an ears, nose, and throat specialist on Tuesday and on the 25th of March Raegan is going to have surgery (number 7) to have her tonsils & adenoids taken out and to check her ear tubes and see if they need to be put back in, or taken out. I am hoping with this surgery it will help Raegan sleep better. She hasn't been sleeping very well for months, which also means that I haven't been sleeping!

I know that I am forgetting so much, and I am going to try and update at least once a week. I am going to post pictures later this afternoon.

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