Wednesday, April 30, 2014

First Cattle Sale

First off, thank you to everyone for the calls/texts/cards since the three of us arrived home. It has been weird getting adjusted to life at home with a baby, but we are all getting into a routine. 

We didn't let the grass grow under us too long after we arrived home last Wednesday. We loaded Knox up and room off to our sale last weekend. Before you freak out the doctors at Nationwide ok'ed our trip. They told us to take him and treat him like a real baby (wait, he is a real baby!?). 

Not only was it one of our larger sales, but we  (and when I saw we I am including Knox) had our own cattle selling in it. 

Knox, mom, and I hung out at the hotel on Thursday, and then we had some mommy and Knox time on Friday. First time being alone just me and him. I successfully learned how to do things with a baby around - like going to the bathroom! We even tried our hand at going out to a restaurant with Knox. My dad just came saying, "we are out to eat with Knox." After living in a hospital since he was born it felt weird to go out and do regular things. 

Everyone was very surprised and excited to see Knox. He did great and enjoyed his first sale. 

With his new friend Bella

Steve and Knox were comparing scars! 

Not only was it great to get out and show off our baby, but it was great to get back to normal. I told Drew that it made me feel like myself again. It was great to get back to work and know that Knox was just in the office. 

Now we are home for awhile and just trying to adjust to life with a baby. A baby that will be two months old soon! Ah! 


Knox would like to announce that he is one of the newest and youngest members of the American Junior Simmental Association! 

As we were sifting through the massive amount of mail we have accumulated I came upon a large envelope. I recognized the return address and opened the envelope. What I saw brought me to tears. 

As most of you know the beef cattle industry and the Simmental breed had and always will be a huge part of my life. Being a member of the AJSA gave me a lot of opportunities to grow myself and help lead other junior members. It has taught me so much and because of it I have met some of my best friends and my husband. 

I look forward to being able to share that with Knox. 

So when I opened that envelope to find an AJSA membership certificate with Knox's name and his very own membership number from some of our dearest friends, I became very emotional. 

So thank you Phillips families- Chan, Tonga, Morgan, AK, Keith, Lindsay, Josie, and Wyatt for giving Knox one of the greatest gifts. I hope you know how much this means to Drew and I. I can't wait to be able to share the AJSA with Knox. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Homeward Bound......

.......The Incredible Journey.....

Well I guess the cat is out of the bag! I am writing this from our house! We are HOME

On Monday they began the discussion of going home. We, of course, were very excited but you also have to be very cautious because at any time they can take it away. So we didn't want to get anyone's hopes up. 

Drew, Knox, and I left Columbus this morning with a packed down car and one baby of our own. We said we felt like we had stolen him. Life outside of the hospital, Columbus, and heck, just normal life has been very foreign to us.

You can imagine that I was a barrel of nerves. SO excited to go home but so nervous that we were going to be three hours away from Nationwide Children's. 
I can tell you that as we left the city of Columbus I never looked back. As I stepped back in my own home with my own things (after the initial overwhelm$ I felt this huge sigh of relief. A relief I haven't felt since all my pregnancy complications began and continuing into Knox's life. 

As you can see from the photos we got a very warm welcome. Knox has a wonderful yard card from Bluegrass Greetings and his grannies were here to greet him and his Auntie Salena. Not far behind was my aunt and Knox's Franny and my cousin's daughter Grace. Even Aunt LaLoon showed up which was a great surprise. Our wonderful neighbors also came by for a visit.

As you might remember it has been since February since we had seen our house. All of our family has been so wonderful to get things together, clean, organize, and plan for our arrival. There is no way we will ever be able to thank everyone enough. 

It's amazing to be home. Like we for real had a baby and get to keep it. Not just like hanging out in the hospital and maybe get to take him home. I would be lying if I said there wasn't a part of me that had been terrified that this day would never come, but it has and I am overwhelmed with love, happiness, and relief. We know there will come a time when we must make the trek back to Columbus, but for now... We are home and that is a beautiful thing. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014


In the spirit of Easter weekend I thought I would do a post dedicated to some of the wonderful organizations that have gave to our family and Knox while we have been at Nationwide Children's hospital.

Brynlee's Baskets

The other day we walked in to our room to find that an Easter bunny had came to visit Knox a few days early. There was this wonderful basket put together with toys appropriate for infant/toddlers. Brynlee is a little girl who delivers Easter baskets to children throughout the hospital. This year through donations there were able to deliver 60 baskets. I posted our picture of Knox with his basket on their Facebook page. If you would like to learn more or give click here

The Lauren Faith Miller Foundation 
This foundation was formed in honor of a little girl who lost her life to a congenital heart defect at the age of 3. In February, which is Congenital heart defect month, they made tshirts and sold them through I have seen the shirt several times as nurses wear them, but sadly I can't get my hand on one. On the day of Knox's first heart cath we received an envelope from the foundation with hospital gift cards in it that are good for any food or gift shop in the hospital. Around the holidays they also furnish a catered meal for families in the CTICU; which I thought was very thoughtful. If you would like to learn more or give to their foundation click here

Project Linus

A few days after we moved over to the step down unit we came in to find two handmade blankets for Knox. One was a crib blanket which fits nicely over the boring hospital sheet in the cribs, and the other was a lap blanket. Project Linus gives blankets to patients in children's hospitals. There are different chapters of the organization all over the U.S. If you would like to learn more about Project Linus click here

A few days after we received our blankets I found out that the AJSA Junior Board had selected Project Linus as their service project and would be donating blankets at the junior nationals to the hospital in Louisville. I immediately dialed up Hannah Wine to tell her that Knox had been a recipient of Project Linus. Knox will be donating a blanket to the AJSA's cause in July. If you would like to learn more about what the AJSA is doing click here

When you sit at the hospital day after day it is simple gestures of love and support that you greatly appreciate. All of these organizations will be getting donations in the future from us. It's the least we can do for all they do. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Got milk?

If you checked out my previous post you know that over the weekend we had a bit of a set back. We had some stomach issues that the doctors wanted to get checked out. 

After tests and observation they now believe that Knox might have a milk protein allergy. The bad thing is that there isn't really a way to test for it other than eliminating it from his diet then reintroducing in the future. Since Knox has been receiving pumped breast milk that means that I must become dairy free. (Insert gasp here) 

I love dairy. Milk. Cheese. Ice Cream. Anything made with dairy. Do you know how many things are made with dairy? ALOT! I could drink milk with every meal and chocolate milk is delicious! 

Can we say hello weight loss plan? In the last 36 hours have been hard. With out cute situation and eating out a lot the dairy restriction makes things difficult. It is going to be quite the adjustment for this milk lover, but it's worth it for our little peanut. 

Happy Good Friday and Easter weekend! 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Set Backs

I knew this day would come. The day when we were so close to going home, and something would go astray. 

We were working toward going home. Passing all of our tests, learning our routine, and taking a bottle better everyday. You can't help but be frustrated. Like we were so close, and now you feel like you have had a set back. I am frustrated that this happened, but it hurts my heart that this is something else that sweet little baby has to go through. He is such a trooper. 

Over the weekend we had an issue arrive that has set us back. It has nothing to do with his heart, and hopefully will turnout to be nothing serious, but the doctors want to check things out. So a few more tests, antibiotics, IVs, and observation to hopefully rule everything out. Hopefully it's just a bug or allergy. 

So please today say a little prayer for Knox and a quick recovery from whatever it is that makes his belly upset. We were hoping to be home for Easter, but looks like the bunny will be visiting Knox in Columbus. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Due Date

beware.. this one is kind of a mushy one. 

I sit here today on Saturday, April 12th with my one month 5 day old son and my husband at Nationwide Children's Hospital. We have been here one month and 5 days. We should actually just be getting here today. We should really just be beginning this journey. Today was Knox's due date.

But we are not. We have already been through 3 hospitals, 28 hours of labor, one heart surgery, 3 heart caths, and hundreds of nurses/doctors/people in scrubs.

I have learned A LOT in the past few months. Though this is exactly the path we had in mind, obviously God brought all this on us for a reason. Sometimes it just takes time to realize why.

First and foremost, I have learned that being a mommy is the greatest gift I could ever receive. I actually can't believe what I would have done if I had to wait until today to meet my little peanut. This little guy is such a blessing, and I am so glad I get to be his mommy.
Our first meeting
Knox - one day old

I have learned that the human body is amazing. It is really hard for me to wrap my head around what all Knox has been through in the last month. He has been so strong and such a fighter. Each day he amazes me on how far he has came. He is working to prove everyone wrong about his small size. He is trying to hold his head up and roll over. He is determined to show them all wrong. Hope he gets that from me. :)

I have learned that we have the best family and friends. Since this whole roller coaster began it is amazing on the amount of support Drew and I, and now Knox have received. I know that through this we might not have been the best at returning e-mails, texts, and phone calls, but we hope that everyone knows how much we APPRECIATE each and every person, text, and phone call. Friends from near and far have reached out to us in love and support. Our family has been with us every step of the way, and every mile.

I have learned my husband is simply the best.
And supportive. And wonderful. Actually, I knew all this already, but this experience has made me look at everything again. I had been in and out of the hospital since the end of January, and he never left my side. He slept in every hospital chair and couch to be with me. He left me cry, and cry, and cry, and cry some more. He held my hand and comforted me through labor. He has held our son, prayed for him, and been the most wonderful daddy. Seeing them together for the first time melted my heart and made me love him even more.

I have seen the power of prayer. Knox has been on so many prayer lists. From Mississippi to Washington to Florida. I actually wish I had a list of every place so I could wrap my head around an actual number. People who don't even know us have prayed. People have prayed for us in the middle of the aisle at the Kentucky Beef Expo. My husband prayed for us right before they wheeled me off to have a c-section. It has wrapped around us and comforted us through scary times and happy times.

I have learned a lot about myself. Things have been downright scary at times. I have had health complications myself which is why Knox was early. No to mention having a child with a congenital heart defect. I have had my moments of down right emotional breakdowns, but then I have rallied to be strong because thats what my family needed. At the beginning of 2014 if you had thrown a situation like this at me, you would have found me in the fetal position in the corner. I am strong (with a few moments of breakdowns in it).

I have learned that life is beautiful and precious. And this is how I know.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Passing the tests

I know I have been light on the updates, but it has been a busy week. Since we were moved across the squirrel we have been working toward going home. This week it had been kicked into high gear. 

Knox passed his car seat test and his hearing test! 

We also had to take our CPR class. Since mom and dad were here we took them along! 

Knox says it has been a busy week and he is ready for the weekend! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

One Month Old

This week Drew and I should be home preparing for the arrival of our first child who was due April 12. Instead I am sitting here watching my husband and my one month old son nap in the recliner at Nationwide. 

The last month definitely has not been easy. A month ago I had no idea what today would look like, but clearly it is beautiful. Knox has gone through so much but he is so strong and has come so far. 

Looking at this sweet little guy now who has completely stolen my heart; I can not imagine if I had to wait longer than I did to meet him. 

So happy one month little peanut! Let's celebrate with a National Championship tonight! 

Knox's stats
Weight: 5 Pds 8 oz. 
Height: 18 inches 
Eating: by bottle and tube 
Breathing: all by himself 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Our social munchkin man

Whew it's been a couple of busy days since moving across the squirrel! 

First off, on Thursday Knox had the opportunity to host a very important celebrity outside of his room. The doctors were doing rounds and there was a large group (25 people). Not your typical group for rounds. After a few doctors coming into rooms in a fast and furious fashion we learn that the hospital is hosting a very special guest today. I mean we had paparazzi at our door and everything. Dr. Abraham Rudolph is a pediatric cardiologist and one of the "fathers" of congential heart defects. The doctors presented Knox's story and Dr. Rudolph asked questions and talked about what was going on with Knox. He is an older man so he stepped over to the door to be able to hear better. He asked me how my baby was doing and assured me he would be fine. 

All the doctors were very excited and nervous for him to be there. I googled him as soon as they left. 

Another very cool thing is that we are now wearing clothes! We aren't on any meds that have to be given through an IV, and are only wires are just monitoring wires so as long as it zips or buttons we are free to look stylish. We were afraid he would hate clothes since he has been a naked baby all his life. 

Knox has had lots of visitors over the weekend which also meant lots of cuddle time. He has loved being held and no doubt he will be one spoiled little dude! 

Tomorrow is a big day for Knox! 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Across the Squirrel

Have you ever had a place or thing that you want to grab, touch, or achieve but it seems just out of reach? 

When I first was allowed to come visit Knox after our labor journey together I arrived on the 4th floor of Nationwide Children's Hospital. There were two doors. To the right is the Cardio ICU where Knox was and to the left was H4A with a large wooden squirrel celebrating the two. I quickly learned that moving across the hall or across the squirrel as they refer to it here was where you wanted to get to because it meant that you were in the step down unit and getting closer to going home. 

So each day Drew and I have made our journey up to the 4th floor and over to the CT ICU to be with our little man. 

But today....

Hello from across the squirrel! 

Knox has been such a strong little man and doing well that we got moved to the step down unit! Which means today Drew and I officially become real parents! We can change all his diapers, and hold him as much as we want. We don't know just yet when we will get to go home, but it is definitely on our minds now. 

And we got a real crib! 

Today is an amazing and scary day but we are very excited (and a bit overwhelmed!). Keep praying for lots more progress and a healthy baby! 

Knox sends his love! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


I came across this quote from Bob Marley the other day from an Instagram friend Jamie, and it really hit home with me. Jamie and I became Instagram friends through a common bond of Agriculture and beef cattle, but now I feel our connection became a lot deeper. Jamie's son was also born premature. It's nice to have a mommy friend who understands your situation. 

I am amazed every single day by Knox. He is by far the strongest human being I have ever met, and I get to be a part of it everyday as his mommy. This journey has tested how strong Drew and I are, but Knox knocks it out of the park. I'm not gonna lie that there have been days when it is really hard for me to be strong, but then you look at this face.

Knox has been through so much already and he has been so incredibly strong. Is it possible for someone who is 25 days old to be your hero? This little guy has stolen my heart, and is the strongest, most amazing little man. Have I told you how blessed I am to be his mommy? 

We have had a great last few days. Knox; as you can see from the photo above is breathing room air just like you and me. You want to be so excited, but you also realize that set backs are possible in this journey. But for now we are taking these wonderful last few days and celebrating them. 

Sunday Selfie!