Splish Splash


Beautiful Avery on 10-18


Splish, splash, Avery’s now taking a bath in a “big girl tub!”    (Well, okay, it’s a plastic storage container that is used as a bath tub for NICU babies….but it’s wayyyy cool progress.)   Up until this weekend, Avery only experienced sponge baths through the windows of her isolette.  Now, because she is regulating her temperature more and is doing so well on her respiration, she gets to have all of her monitors unhooked long enough to get an actual bath in a tiny tub of water.   She seems to really enjoy the warm water and fresh air, and she loves all of the attention.   I think Quin and I laughed more giving her a bath (and witnessing her inquisitive and perplexed looks) than we have in over 12 weeks.


Bath time with Mom...



...and Dad


In addition to her upgrade in what I like to call her “spa treatments,” she gloriously weighed in yesterday at 1680 grams.  That’s right – 3 times her birth weight!  Cha Ching!


1680 grams (3 lb 11oz)


Her Ophthalmologist test today showed that she is progressing as hoped following her laser eye surgery 2 weeks ago.  The doctor indicated that it takes up to 6 weeks for the full effects of the surgery to be noted, but so far she’s showing signs that it’s working.

On the flip side….as I am feeling a wealth of maternal instincts that I cannot fully utilize right now, I literally ache each moment that I cannot hold, kiss, rock, touch, and feed her as all mother’s should be able to do.  Although we do get to hold her now and touch her more often, it still feels torturous to be among the monitors and chaos, and to have to leave her in the hospital each night in the care of strangers – despite the fact that they are likely the best ‘care givers’ on the planet.

Tears come easily and often at unexpected moments as I witness the inevitable pace and activity in the NICU.   I have seen more there than I care to admit.  I am continuing to pump breast milk every 3 hours for the 85th day in a row in anticipation of the day that the cold machine will be replaced with the warmth of my beautiful child.   As testimony to what all parents have known for generations…..I will keep going strong through the fog and the fear, because I have been given a glorious responsibility and am now part of the sacred society of parenthood.  My love has never been so deep or so profound or so simple… or so complex.

So, what am I feeling most on 10/19/10?    Avery Rose is a miracle baby and a darn amazing inspiration.   I am so proud of her and deeply moved by her sheer will and determination.   Although I am learning patience in a way that I do not wish on anyone, for today and the coming days, I will…

continue to just keep putting my hands to the sky…

will leave my heart wide open…

will look at her pictures countless times a day and give thanks…

will continue to humbly ask for your love and prayers for us all…

and will take one moment at a time.




Gorgeous feet! (This picture is taken especially for my dear friend, Nancy...)


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10 Responses to Splish Splash

  1. Rebecca (Hill) McKown says:

    I loved reading this post and seeing the pictures. I love the feet picture. What is it about baby feet? They are so cute!

  2. Lucy Gray says:

    What a wonderful post and answered prayer to the progress Avery is making everyday. We are keeping you in our prayers daily.

  3. Jill: the triplet girl's mom says:

    Congrats on the tub bath. Avery looks so cute with her cubby cheeks and I love the nasal canula!
    We haven’t seen you in a while and were wondering how Avery was doing~I’m glad I found the card with your blog.
    Congrats again! We’ll catch up again in the halls of the nicu.

  4. Lisa Graves says:

    So very happy to read this post:):):) and to see Avery so wide eyed and alert!
    Thank you both for all of your posts. You are inspiring in the way you are being in grace and love.

  5. So precious! Avery has beautiful eyes. So good to read about all the remarkable progress. I remember the tiny plastic bath tub well – I use ours now to store Bradon’s sippy cups in! Thank you for sharing your incredible journey with us. You all remain in our prayers.

  6. Angel and family says:

    So CUTE…… Look at my niece just getting bigger and stronger. I am loving the pictures. Baby Avery is a miracle baby for sure. She has that die hard Roggenkamp fight in her… I betcha my grandma is in heaven with Sienna looking down on Avery. Great grandma Gladys is smiling from ear to ear holding Sienna and loving every minute of watching Avery grow.

  7. Stephanie says:

    Thank you for the beautiful pictures and updates! Avery is lovely baby!


  8. Shasta Brown says:

    Yeah!!!! Nice weight gain, that is awesome. The baths are pretty awesome. I love it when they lay in the warm water, taking it all in. That is pretty darn cute. I love these pictures. I am so glad her eyes are progressing well. A good friend of mine has a daughter who was born at 23 weeks as well. She is now in 1st grade. She also had ROP. That story is amazing to hear. The eye doctor for her daughter was supposed to be on vacation and he randomly came in to check on their daughter, because he had a feeling he should. Within hours she had the laser surgery to prevent her from going blind. It worked and she is a beautiful girl now. Hang in there. I love Avery’s progress. It is great to hear and see wonderful pictures of her. YEAH AVERY!!!!!

  9. Christine says:

    Sounds like she gets her will & determination from her Mama (85 days of pumping every 3 hours?! – wow!!!) I’m so happy she’s doing so well & soaking up all the hands-on time with Mom & Dad.

  10. Katie and Clint Wagner says:

    So excited to read about Avery’s progress!!! Way to go… almost full term!!! Love you guys!

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