The "Little Guy" Blog



Grady Jeremiah entered the world earlier than expected on November 7, 2010.  He was 26 weeks and 1 day in his development and only weighed 1 pound 15 ounces.  Follow his story (and ours) here!

The most recent posts are listed first, so we have compiled the blogs in chronological order into Grady Jeremiah's story.  If you are new to this journey, let us encourage you to start there to see how it all began.


Well Past Two Years Old!

posted Feb 28, 2013, 6:55 PM by Grady Smith   [ updated Feb 28, 2013, 6:58 PM ]

February 28, 2013
~ Almost nine months have passed since we posted an update on Grady Jeremiah's progress.  It's amazing how much harder it is to find time to blog with two little ones and as Grady is trying to complete his dissertation for his Ph.D. wile maintaining a normal work/ministry schedule!

Mid-February two years ago would have been his due date, so he is a little over two years "corrected age" and around 27 months actual age.   So here is a quick two year update.  Grady Jeremiah continues to amaze us with his development.  For those of you who have seen him recently, you know what we are talking about:

(1) VERBAL DEVELOPMENT

Grady Jeremiah loves to talk.  He got it honestly :-)   Back in August, UAB sent their developmental specialist to assess his progress and to close out his files.  They were hoping for him to have eight vocabulary words to be normal for a premature baby who was as little as he was.  They quit counting at 100 words, and that was almost 6 months ago!  The developmental specialist said she had never had a preemie as little as Grady Jeremiah with the verbal development he has.   He continues to amaze us with how well he can communicate memories, likes, fears, and so many other things.


(2) MEMORY

We continue to be amazed at Grady Jeremiah's memory.  He is learning people's names and can point them out in a crowd at church.  If you play a guitar, he definitely will remember you :-)   When we go places, he talks about previous conversations at that place. 

(3) LOVE FOR CHURCH

Grady Jeremiah loves to go to church, which is a huge answer to one of our prayers for the boys.  Not only does he love the people and the music, but he loves helping Grady with ministry.  The International students in English classes are growing accustomed to having Grady Jeremiah open the class door, walk in, and tell them either "break time" (to dismiss them to their breaks) or "Good night, load the vans" (to dismiss them at the end of the night).  It is so sweet to see him excited about helping daddy with his ministry.

(4) LOVE FOR MUSIC

Grady Jeremiah is inseparable from his little guitar.  He drags it all over the house, takes it with us when we travel, and even takes it to church to play along during orchestra practice on some Wednesday evenings.  He constantly is asking us to sing to him, even if it means he wants us to make up songs from books we are reading!  So if you have any recommendation of good learning songs, please, please, please contact us to let us know :-)
 

(4) INTO EVERYTHING!

Watching Grady Jeremiah play, you would never realize he was an extreme premature baby.  He is energetic and into everything, much as you would expect a two year old boy to be :-)   He loves getting dirty, making a mess, and learning how everything is put together and works.  He loves mechanical things, and of course trucks and planes and trains (that includes the real ones and his Thomas the Train creations!).   Just  take a look at the pictures at the end to see what we mean.

HOW TO PRAY

We appreciate your prayers for him on this journey and ask that you continue to do so.  If you want a simple thing to pray for him (and for Richard Josiah as well!), pray that God would give these boys a love for Him, a love for His Word, and a love for His Church.    As you pray that, pray for us to have great wisdom to know how to raise these precious little ones in the way of the Lord.   We need grace to not only keep the Gospel before them, but to daily live it out in our own lives.  


We appreciate you continuing to walk alongside us in this journey!

Grady, Julia, Grady Jeremiah, and Richard Josiah


 
 
 
 


Spring 2012 Update

posted May 27, 2012, 12:20 PM by Grady Smith   [ updated May 27, 2012, 7:40 PM by Julia Smith ]

May 26, 2012
~ More than four months have passed since the last update.  With Julia having contractions beginning at week 20 of this pregnancy, going on restrictions, and then going on a modified bed-rest, we have not had the time to update the blog on Grady Jeremiah's progress.  By God's grace, we have made it through 33 weeks of another high-risk pregnancy so far, and are more than seven weeks past the point where Grady Jeremiah was born!  Please be praying for us during the remainder of this second pregnancy.
 

Grady Jeremiah is progressing so well!  First, he is saying lots of words.  His favorite words are lawn-mower, air-con (for air-conditioner), attic (yes, he is obsessed with the attic!), bye bye, and out go (when he wants to go outside).  He also is saying things like truck, gum, vent, moon, Auburn, egg, and even eyebrow.  And yes, he calls some of us names like Dada, Mama, Nana, Papa, M.E., R.C., and  Uncle.

He also is very close to walking.
  He can stand up on his own and cruise holding on to walls and furniture.  In the last week he has begun to take his first steps.  He already is into everything, so we are bracing ourselves for a fun new adventure very soon!

Grady Jeremiah is incredibly curious about his world.  He wants to learn about everything!  Here is just one funny example.  He was watching closely as I started the dishwasher one day.  So I picked him up and explained to him what buttons I pushed and why.  The next day we were sitting in the den and he crawled to the kitchen.  Within a few seconds we heard the sounds of the dishwasher as he had figured out how to turn it on, and also how to cancel it while it is being used :-)

Medically, he is doing great.  Since our last post he had great reports from early intervention, his pediatrician, pediatric eye care at UAB, and newborn follow up clinic at UAB.  We are very thankful for these good reports.  Our only major prayer request related to medical issues is that he would gain weight more quickly.  That appears to be the only area where he is slightly behind.

Perhaps the best way to see his progress is to see his pictures!  Follow the links below to our photo albums of our "little guy" in recent months.

         
*  Pictures from Winter 2011-2012
          *  Pictures from Spring 2012



Growing Up & a Big Brother?

posted Jan 8, 2012, 1:02 PM by Grady Smith   [ updated Jan 8, 2012, 1:14 PM ]

January 8, 2012
~ It is hard for us to believe it is already 2012, that Grady Jeremiah is well over a year old, and that we have been home from the hospital with him almost a year.   We have experienced God's blessings in many ways. 

Grady Jeremiah is growing up in so many ways, but before we get to those details, we want to let you know that he is going to be a big brother!  That's right, we are expecting baby number 2 this July!  We are excited about the Lord's provision in blessing us with another child.    We will be posting more information and prayer requests about this new pregnancy in another post soon.

(Remember, you can click on any picture on this page to see the larger version of it)

Quick developmental updates on Grady Jeremiah:

  • Weight:  16+ pounds

  • Movement:  Crawling... quickly!   And wanting to explore everything!

  • Sounds:  Saying "B" words such as bye-bye, Bible, ba-ba (for Grady), and bubble, as well as Ma-Ma and apple!  We have some pretty cool, retro Christmas "bubble lights."   Grady Jeremiah was fascinated by them.  When we told him they were bubble lights, he began saying "bubble."  Now anything he really likes or that is exciting is a bubble to him :-)

  • Eating:  Still drinking his bottles but doing great eating lots of table foods.  We "mash up" for him vegetables, fruits, breads, and even some meats, and he loves most of them!  He does great putting things into his mouth now, as well.
            Look at how much he has grown and developed in the past year...



Exciting events since our last post:

  • 1st Brithday Party
    - Our parents were able to come to Auburn to celebrate his first birthday with us.  Julia themed it around one of his favorite books, Go Dog Go.  It was at this party that his Papa and Nana (Grady, Sr. and Jane) and his RC and MEJ (Rick and Mary Jane) found out they were going to be grand-parents again :-)

  • Trip to Callaway Fantasy in Lights - For the older Grady's birthday, he wanted to take the family to Fantasy in Light.  Nana and Papa joined us for the trip.  Grady Jeremiah loved the Christmas lights!  Julia held him in her lap in the front seat as we drove through the light displays.  For 45 minutes he was mesmerized looking around at the beauty of it all.

  • Christmas with families  -  Grady Jeremiah did great traveling to Birmingham, Montevallo, and Nashville during the Christmas break.  He loved the attention of so many family members during the time together!  

More details on his great progress:

Since our last post, Grady Jeremiah has seen his pediatrician several times, Newborn Follow up Clinic at UAB, an occupational therapist, and an endocrinologist at Children's Hospital.  We have received nothing but good reports!  The doctors are very pleased with his progress.  Our latest tests were growth hormone and other hormone levels related to pituitary function.  Everything came back normal!  Thank you for your continued prayers for his health.  He has yet to be sick even once during the past year!

One of Grady Jeremiah's favorite activities continues to be us reading books to him.  He now will crawl across the room, pull a book off a shelf and either look to us to come read it to him, or just sit there and flip through it himself.  We love seeing his curiosity to learn!

Here is one example of his progress and curiosity about everything...   This past week while Grady was working on taxes, Grady Jeremiah crawled from another room in the house into the home office, crawled to Grady while he was working at the computer, pulled on Grady's pants legs, and once Grady picked him up just stared at the paper and listened like an adult would as Grady began telling Julia what he was doing related to taxes!  It was so sweet.  The picture below will also show you his curiosity.  In early December while Grady was doing yardwork, Grady Jeremiah crawled in the grass and sat down to watch what 'Ba-Ba" was doing.  Now we just need to teach him how to rake leaves once he can walk :-) 

There are lots more pictures than we can share on this one post.  We will post a few more below, but you can follow the links here to see the full albums: 

       Pictures from Fall & Christmas

Again, thank you for your continued prayers for us during this journey! 

Blessings,
Grady, Julia, Grady Jeremiah, and Baby #2



 
 
 
 


Overdue Fall Update

posted Oct 27, 2011, 7:26 PM by Grady Smith   [ updated Oct 28, 2011, 6:34 PM ]

October 27 - We have let the blog lapse for our longest period so far.  With the busyness of ministry this fall, Grady resuming his work on his Ph.D., and spending lots of time playing with Grady Jeremiah, we let more than two months pass with no updates.  However, Grady Jeremiah is doing really well.  We'll let you see for yourself how far he has come...

 
 


So here is a quick update:

  • Weight:  15 pounds, 10 ounces

  • Personality:  Fun-loving, easy going (except when he really wants something!), and curious about his world

  • Verbal development:  Imitating sounds, making lots of babbling noises and looking at us expecting us to understand what he is saying :-)

  • Motor skill development:  Sitting up, able to turn around while sitting, grabbing objects, touching and holding onto whatever he can get his hands around, and trying to learn how to crawl and walk

  • Eating:  Doing great with his bottles (still on breast milk) and beginning to learn about baby foods, though it is only a small taste each day!
The specialists from early intervention say he is meeting all of his development goals and is doing great!  There are no signs of developmental delays from the missing septum pellucidum.  His doctors continue to tell us that he does not look like he was a premature baby!


His Favorite Activity...

Grady Jeremiah's favorite activity continues to be us reading to him.  Beginning this week we can place several books in front of him and ask him which one he wants us to read.  He will look at them, then lean forward and either put his hand on one or grab one.  It is so much fun to watch!  He is a creature of habit as he normally chooses "The Big Red Tractor and the Little Village," "Bear Hunt,"  and "Go Dog Go" (and usually in that order!).  Here are two recent pictures of Grady reading to Grady Jeremiah...

 
 


Quarantine update:

Many of you have asked about his quarantine.  It continues through May 2012.  We were able to relax it some during the summer months.  However, with cold/flu/RSV season upon us, we are back to the restrictive quarantine that we had last winter after returning from the hospital.  That means that Grady Jeremiah can't go with us to church, restaurants, or anywhere else indoors where airborne sickness can spread.  That also means that visitors to our house will need to carefully review the health requirements for visiting page before coming.  Thank you for your understanding during this time.  We can hardly wait for next May to be here!

While it was still warm without much sickness going around, we did get brave and take Grady Jeremiah for a walk on Auburn's campus before one of the early football games.  We kept him a safe distance from the crowds but let him experience his first Tiger Walk with the band, gameday crowds, and rolling Toomer's corner!




Closing Thought:

Grady Jeremiah's one year birthday is approaching in less than two weeks!  We hope to post a blog around that time reflecting back over the journey of this past year.  Check back in a few weeks for it.  Also, during the next seven weeks we will have several visits to the pediatrician as he begins his monthly Synagis shots (a shot of antibodies to protect against RSV for 30 days) and has his one year check-up and shots, as well as visits in Birmingham to pediatric neurology, pediatric endocrinology, and newborn follow up clinic for follow up visits.

Thank you for your continued prayers for Grady Jeremiah and for us!


PS - If you want to see more pictures from his time on
campus, reading, and exploring his world, see our
FALL 2011 PHOTO ALBUM


My Favorite Things

posted Aug 25, 2011, 12:04 PM by Grady Smith   [ updated Aug 25, 2011, 12:40 PM ]

August 25, 2011
- Is the summer already over?  It seems as though the past several months have flown by.  Grady Jeremiah continues to grow and develop well!   He now weighs 14 pounds 10 ounces!  Last week we went back to UAB for two visits.  One was a research study follow up.  There a child psychologist evaluated Grady Jeremiah.  Developmentally our little guy is between the 6-10 month mark for each area!  Remember that he is 9 months actual age and 6 months corrected age, which is what they use for his developmental assessments. So we are very pleased with his progress.  The next day we returned to the newborn follow up clinic.  The many doctors and specialists we saw were also pleased with his progress.  They said that Grady Jeremiah does not look like he was a 26 week premature baby!  Thank you for your continued prayers for him!

We want to take a minute to show you some of Grady Jeremiah's "favorite things."  No, they are not rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens like the old song goes, but they are...


 

(1) READING

Grady Jeremiah loves his books!  One of his favorite activities is us laying on the floor next to him reading him one of his books.  He will stare at the pictures, touch the pages, and makes lots of sweet sounds.  He is even trying to learn how to turn the pages for himself, though it usually results in him closing the book!
 

(2)  TOYS

Grady Jeremiah loves to play.  He is very fun-loving and a happy baby.  One of his favorite toys is actually one of Grady's old toys...  colored rings!  He loves to hold them, throw them, and try to take them off of the holder.  In this picture, he had dropped the green ring on his head and was looking confused as to where it was :-)
 
 

(3)  THUNDERSTORMS

Grady Jeremiah loves to watch the rain!  We take him on the front porch where he can watch the storms come in and watch the rain fall.  He is so happy!  So maybe raindrops on the sidewalk are part of his favorite things.
 
 

(4) EXPLORING NATURE

Grady Jeremiah loves being outside!  Julia takes him out for walks almost every day and he loves it.  He loves watching Grady cut the grass.  He especially loves touching leaves on the trees in our yard.
 
 

(5) MAKING A MESS... BUT NOT EATING

Up until last week, Grady Jeremiah was only eating breast milk with a daily vitamin.  It amazes us how well he has grown on just milk!  We are now beginning to introduce him to single grain cereal and baby food.  He still likes his bottle better, but does enjoy making a mess with whatever food we are trying to introduce to him.  Speaking of his bottle, he now likes to grab his bottle and shake it, sending milk drops flying!  It is cute, though a bit messy :-)

 


We have lots more cute pictures besides these! 
Click here for the rest of Grady Jeremiah's Summer Pictures.



Summer Medical Update

posted Jul 17, 2011, 3:43 PM by Grady Smith


July 17, 2011


It has been too many weeks since we gave you an update on Grady Jeremiah's progress.  The summer months have been a blessing with time together as a family, as well as with good reports from the doctors.  We have seen a lot of doctors since the last update.  Here is a summary of their findings...

  • Neonatologist   - We were able to meet again with Dr. Carlo, the lead neonatologist at UAB who oversaw Grady Jeremiah's care during our hospital stay.  He was very pleased with Grady Jeremiah's progress and said that his lungs sounded great!  This report is so encouraging as it comes from one who watched Grady Jeremiah closely for so long and from the one who is the lung specialistic for children at UAB and Children's Hospital.

  • Cardiologist
    - If you remember, before being discharged in January the doctors discovered a faint heart murmur caused by a small hole in the heart (a patent ductus arteriosus).  For our recent follow up visit, the cardiologist did a ten-lead EKG and an echocardiogram.  The result is that they found the hole has closed and there is no murmur!  The doctor said his heart function looks normal and they do not need to see him again. 

  • Ophthalmologist - Also before being discharged in January, an MRI scan revealed a slightly under-developed right optic nerve.  We returned to see the pediatric ophthalmologist who evaluated Grady Jeremiah while he was in the hospital.  We had another good report here.  Grady Jeremiah's vision appears to be normal and the eyes have developed as would be expected.  The doctor said that what he could see of the optic nerves in the back of the eyes looked healthy and normal!  He also was pleased with how well Grady Jeremiah could follow objects with his eyes.  We already knew that as we have watched him follow the trash truck and UPS truck with his eyes as they drive down the street :-) 

  • Endocrinologist - At the newborn follow up clinic in May, they asked us to see a pediatric endocrinologist to check Grady Jeremiah's pituitary function.  Since Grady Jeremiah is missing the septum in his brain, they wanted to take a closer look at the pituitary gland since it could be a related issue that could impact his growth as it regulates growth hormone and many other essential hormones in the body.  The doctor's first evaluation of Grady Jeremiah led her to believe that he did not have any pituitary issues.  However, she wanted to do a number of blood tests to verify as well as to give us a baseline for future tests.  The results indicated that his pituitary is functioning normally!  Because Grady Jeremiah is still considered "at risk" for growth related delays, they will see us again in six months to check the hormone levels again as a precaution.

  • Pediatrician - We continue to regularly see Grady Jeremiah's pediatrician here in the Auburn area.  She remains very pleased and encouraged by his progress.  His last weight was 13 pounds, 10 ounces!  He continues to just eat breast milk (with a vitamin) and is growing really well.  Based on our pediatrician's recommendations, we will probably begin spoon feeding him in August.  It is hard to believe how much he has grown just on breast milk all of these months!

  • Early Intervention Developmental Specialist
    - Due to Grady Jeremiah's extreme prematurity, the developmental specialist at UAB recommended that we enroll him in Alabama's "early intervention" program for children at risk for developmental delays.  It is a wonderful program where a developmental specialist comes to our home once a month to assess Grady Jeremiah's progress, look for any delays, and give us specific goals we can be working toward to help him develop.  The specialist has been to visit us three times now and is amazed at his progress.  There is no indication of any type of developmental delay!  During our visit this past week, Grady Jeremiah decided to be a show-off for the specialist...  She told us she wanted to see if he could pass objects between his hands.  She put the rattle in his left hand.  He immediately grabbed it, brought it to the middle, passed it to his right hand, shook it, threw it, and looked up at her with the "did you see that" look :-)  We continue to be amazed at the way he tries to talk (with his cute baby sounds) and with his great alertness and curiosity about things.
As you can see, the summer has been full of lots of doctors appointments.  However, we feel so blessed to have such great medical care available, and are incredibly thankful for the great insurance policy that is provided to us through Grady's job at Lakeview.  We also are very grateful to the Lord for the way He has watched over us and blessed us.  Thank you for rejoicing with us and giving thanks to God for these good reports for Grady Jeremiah!

Grady, Julia, and Grady Jeremiah


PS - Be Sure to see the previous post of lots of summer pictures!

Summer Pictures

posted Jul 17, 2011, 2:18 PM by Grady Smith   [ updated Jul 17, 2011, 2:31 PM ]

July 17, 2011 - Wow.  It has been way too long since posting an update.  Grady Jeremiah has grown so much since the May 26 update.  We will be posting an update on his growth and medical/developmental progress soon, but until then we want you to see some sites from the last several weeks...
 
 
 
 


Above are just four of the more than thirty pictures from the last two months.  Please follow the link above to our newest photo album to see them all!

May Travels

posted May 26, 2011, 1:59 PM by Grady Smith   [ updated May 26, 2011, 2:41 PM ]

May 26, 2011
- It has been a few weeks since last posting, primarily due to our May travels.  Grady Jeremiah had two trips this month!

Gulf Shores...

Grady Jeremiah and Julia were able to join Grady for Lakeview's staff retreat at Gulf Shores, and then stay for a short vacation afterwards.  We had not expected for us all to be able to go to staff retreat together due to his quarantine restrictions.  However, this year's setup of several houses at the beach made it possible to keep Grady Jeremiah on quarantine and all of us to be together!  One of the blessings was that all of the equipping staff of Lakeview were finally able to meet Grady Jeremiah as we sat outside on the deck of the beach house during the meals.

In addition, we were able to stay two extra days after staff retreat for our first family vacation with all three of us!  We had time to rest, take a walk on the beach, and even take Grady Jeremiah to his first fort experience at Fort Morgan!  Enjoy a few pictures of us exploring the fort together.  Remember, you can click on any of the pictures in these blog posts to see bigger versions of them.

 

 
 

Julia explaining the
Fort's history and map
to Grady Jeremiah

 Quick...  Grady Jeremiah! 
Do you see any Union ships
approaching the harbor? 
 Posing for a photo
on an old ship
anchor.


           We have a lot more pictures from this trip.  For more family beach pictures, click here!


Montevallo...

After returning from staff retreat, Grady left for Russia to lead a team of English as a Second Language teachers to work with a language center there.  While Grady was in Russia, Julia and Grady Jeremiah went to Montevallo to spend time with family and friends there.  Grady Jeremiah was not only able to play with his fun uncles, but he was able to meet his great-grandparents!  Enjoy a few pictures of his trip with Julia's side of the family...

 
           Fun with uncles....
 
 
          Meeting the
          Great-Grandparents...

 
 

The Weeks Ahead...

In two weeks we will be taking Grady Jeremiah back to Birmingham for follow up appointments at UAB.  He will be seeing a pediatric ophthalmologist, cardiologist, and endocrinologist.  Please pray for the doctors to have wisdom as they evaluate Grady Jeremiah in each of those areas and for us to have good reports from them. 


Spring Is Here!

posted Apr 30, 2011, 3:02 PM by Grady Smith   [ updated Apr 30, 2011, 5:36 PM ]

April 30, 2011
-  Wow, nearly a month has passed since our last update here.  It is amazing how quickly time vanishes with a baby at home!  It also is amazing how much he has progressed both physically and mentally since our last update.

Grady Jeremiah is doing great!  He is now 11 pounds, 9 ounces!  We are so grateful for his good health and incredible growth.  The doctor said his growth chart is phenomenal and he is quickly catching up. 

Also, Grady Jeremiah has become so much more interactive just in the last few weeks....
  • He is making a few vowel sounds - He is beginning to make "coo" sounds.  Also, when we tell him "I love you," a few times a day he will look back at us and say "I."  He does the same thing about once a day when we wave at him and say "Hey," he answers with "A."  It is so cute!  He really seems like he is wanting to communicate with us.... beyond cries!

  • He is so attentive to his surroundings.  He constantly is looking around, watching us, and turning to hear noises.  He does not enjoy sitting still unless we are playing with him, talking directly to him while looking at him, or reading with him.  If we're not doing those things, either he is asleep or we are walking around the house carrying him facing out as we attempt to do things one handed :-)

  • He imitates us at times.  If we stand over him and shake our head, he will do the same.  Last week he was laying on a mat on the floor, quite fussy.  So I (Grady) laid down next to him and started kicking my feet in the air.  He settled down and began to copy my movements.  We find it amazing what things entertain a little one!

  • He regularly smiles, and has even laughed!  His smile is absolutely adorable.

  • He loves bath time!  Even if he is crying, when we put him in his little "whale bath tub," he immediately becomes happy.  He loves the water, and loves splashing around!

  • He loves being outside.  On walks in his stroller, he looks around at his surroundings as we go, well at least for a few minutes before falling asleep.  Sometimes when he is a fussy it just takes a quick walk outside for him to settle down.

  • He even tries to help with his diaper changes!  When we get ready to change his diaper, if we hold up each thing we will use (diaper, wipe, dry cloth, cream) and explain it to him, he looks so intently at it.  He often will pull his knees up into his chest when we begin the diaper change and just hold them there until we are done.  It is adorable!
That is just a quick glimpse into life with Grady Jeremiah the last few weeks.  We have lots of new pictures in our online photo album if you want to see more of these things.

Thank you for your continued prayers for him and for us.  Please continue to pray for his continued health and growth, for wisdom for us as parents, and ultimately that he will put his faith and trust in Christ as his Lord and Savior at an early age and be used mightily by God for His Kingdom purposes.

 

UAB Newborn Follow Up Clinic

posted Apr 2, 2011, 5:07 PM by Grady Smith   [ updated Apr 2, 2011, 5:53 PM ]

April 2, 2011
-  On April 1, we made our way back to UAB for their "newborn follow up clinic."  It is a clinic where they bring back their low birth weight and high risk babies for an evaluation.  For UAB, it helps them improve their ability to care for premature and high-risk babies.  When this clinic began in 1976, only 20% of babies born under 1000 grams survived (remember, Grady Jeremiah was only 880 grams at birth!).  Today, that survival rate is at 75% percent.  However, the same percent of premature babies still have developmental delays, so they continue the clinic to continue to look for ways to improve care.  For us, it gave us an opportunity to have a number of specialists look at Grady Jeremiah and provide resource to help us.  It was a great visit and we had great reports...

 * Our first visit was with a dietician.  She was so pleased with Grady Jeremiah's eating and weight gain.  In fact, she said he had "a good little fat pad," which for babies is a good thing... for us, well, that would be a different story :-)  Growth wise, his weight is good and his length is ahead of most premature babies at this stage!  She also was amazed that Grady Jeremiah is still eating exclusively breast milk.  She told us that only 2% of the moms they see are still able to supply milk for their babies by this point.  It was another reminder for us of God's grace and kindness to us during this journey.  Most of our visit with her was learning about his feeding plan for the year ahead, how to know when to begin to add other foods into his breast milk diet, and how to do so.  It was a tremendous wealth of resources for us.

 * Our second visit was with a physical therapist who did a developmental exam on Grady Jeremiah.  If you use his corrected age (i.e. 7 weeks old from his due date), he is in the 90th percentile in his development!  The physical therapist had no concerns and was pleased with his progress.  She provided us great tips on "tummy time" and how to use it to help him continue to develop muscle strength and to learn how to crawl. 

 * Our third and four visits were with two doctors.  The head doctor of this clinic, who has been overseeing the newborn clinic for 34 years, spent a good bit of time with us.  From their physical examination of him, both doctors think that Grady Jeremiah is doing well!  They provided us with great insight on his quarantine timeline.  They also referred us to see a pediatric endocrinologist in the months ahead.  Since Grady Jeremiah is missing the septum in his brain, they want to take a closer look at issues related to the pituitary gland since it can be a related issue and could impact growth.  They also encouraged us to go ahead with our plan for an eye exam follow up and cardiology follow up this summer.  We appreciate their counsel as they have years of experience working with babies like Grady Jeremiah. 

 * Our fifth visit was actually not part of the newborn follow up clinic but was with the head neonatologist at UAB.  He was such a blessing to us and so instrumental in Grady Jeremiah's care while we were in the hospital.  He was pleased with how well Grady Jeremiah is progressing!  While at the UAB Women and Infant center, we were able to see several of the nurses who cared for Grady Jeremiah during our 82 days there.  We wish you could have seen their faces when they saw how big he had become!  In the picture to the left you see Becky, one of his regular night nurses in the Continuing Care Nursery, holding her "sweet angel boy" as she liked to call him :-)   Seeing some of the staff again was like a reunion for us.


We are so thankful for the good reports from the many specialists and doctors.  We appreciate the insights and resources provided to us. 
So, it was a great trip and a great day for us!  Grady Jeremiah even got to enjoy his first nap while visiting the home of his Nana and Papa (i.e. Grady's parents) while we were in Birmingham :-)

So what's next?  First, it looks like we will have a four week reprieve from visiting any doctors :-)  
Then in late April through August our anticipated medical visits include:
  • Developmental research study follow up at UAB with developmental specialists
  • Six month check-up and immunizations at local pediatrician
  • Eye exam follow up at Children's Hospital 
  • Cardiologist follow up at UAB to make sure his heart murmur is gone
  • Endocrinologist assessment at UAB to make sure there are no growth delays
  • Another research study follow up at UAB
  • Then back for another newborn follow up clinic in mid-August!
Thank you for your continued prayers for us!  We continue to be amazed at how well Grady Jeremiah is doing and appreciate your involvement in this journey with us!

Grady, Julia, & Grady Jeremiah

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