2 Months Old Already!

Avery is 2 months old. I can hardly believe it. It doesn’t seem that there is any way that much time could have gone by since she was born. But it has.

Yesterday I took Avery to her 2 month well child appointment. She has certainly grown since she was born.newborn baby girlAvery on the day of her birth, weighing in at 5lbs 1oz.

2 month old baby girlAvery at 2 months old, weighing in at 8lbs 5oz. It’s amazing the difference 3lbs can make!

Avery’s appointment went well and other than some continued health issues due to her prematurity, she’s doing well. We’re hoping and praying she’ll outgrow those issues (namely reflux) soon!

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Avery’s Trip to the ER

It’s amazing to me that a baby who is unable to move on her own has already suffered an injury that required a trip to the ER. Or maybe it shouldn’t be, since that baby has a very rambunctious (and ornery) big brother.

On Monday evening, Avery was sleeping in her swing. Which is pretty common for her. During the day that is where Avery spends a lot of her time. Since she has reflux, I’ve been sitting her in her swing to sleep so she can be upright a little and so I can spend time with Blue. She’d been a little crabby that day, so she was swaddled in her blanket to sleep. For the most part, Blue ignores Avery, usually only paying attention to her when she’s crying or I’m trying to take care of her. And lately, he’d been being a lot nicer to her, giving her kisses and gently touching her.

brother kisses sisterI guess we got a little too comfortable and relaxed our vigilance a little too much.

That evening Blue pulled Avery out of her swing and onto the floor. Neither HandyMan nor I saw it (he was in the bathroom and I was in the kitchen), but based on the way Avery was in the swing and the mass of her head compared to the rest of her body, we’re pretty sure her head hit the floor first. When HandyMan and I arrived in the living room, Blue was standing over her with a look of “Oh Crap!” on his face. He KNEW he had done something he shouldn’t have done.

baby sleeps swingBecause she’s so little and was premature, I decided to call the doctor. Avery was acting normal, other than the screaming she did after the fall, which is understandable! Surprisingly (to us) the doctor recommended that we take Avery to the ER to be examined, just to be safe.

We rushed Avery to the ER and the ER pushed us to the front of the line. Evidently they don’t mess around with potential head injuries to 8 week old babies who were born 5 weeks early! After a very short wait, the doctor examined Avery and ordered a CAT scan. They strapped her down to the table and quickly scanned her head. Thankfully they let me stay in the room with her and comfort her while she cried during the scan.

Then we waited. Evidently the radiologist was backed up. And then he couldn’t tell exactly what he was looking at on her scans. There was a shadow that showed up. It could have been bleeding on her brain or it could have just been normal for her head shape & development. The doctor couldn’t tell.

So they admitted Avery, again, to the hospital for observation overnight. I stayed with her, “sleeping” in a hugely uncomfortable recliner while HandyMan went home to rescue the wonderful women from our church who had come to stay with Blue.

They rescanned Avery’s head on Tuesday morning and thankfully everything looked fine. There were no signs of any bleeding on her brain and they sent us home. After our NICU experience, there was a little bit of anxiety about being back in that hospital!

Avery is doing well and we are going to work harder at teaching Blue to be gentle with his sister. We are also working harder to keep Blue from being alone with Avery, even for a few seconds, because that’s all the time he had on Monday and look what happened.

Now, for the rest of her life Avery has something to tease her brother about…”Remember that time you dropped me on my head?!”

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Catching Up

It’s been a while since my last post. Sorry. The last 7 weeks have been crazy busy, full of ups and downs and every time I sat down at my computer to post something I just couldn’t. The words wouldn’t come. I had lots that I wanted to share, but couldn’t seem to find a way to articulate it.

Hopefully I’ll do better now!

Avery was born 5 weeks early and is now 7 weeks old. Although she had minimal complications after her birth, she spent 3 weeks in the NICU. Those 3 weeks were incredibly stressful for me and HandyMan and seemed to pass in a blur of business, stress and emotional highs and lows.

We are SO glad she is home and enjoy having both of our children together, but Avery’s homecoming has brought its own stresses. Blue is not really a fan of having a baby sister and has responded to her presence accordingly. Blue has spent the last 4 weeks transitioning from being an only child to a being a big brother. He mostly ignores Avery (which is fine, even ideal right now), but when he does acknowledge her he likes to poke her in the eyes or hit her. Sometimes he tries to shove his pacifier in her mouth. Recently he has started being nicer to her. He will gently rub her back or try to give her a kiss. It’s so sweet and warms my heart to see it.

Now for some pictures. Which is what everyone wants to see anyway, right?!?!

nicu baby cordsHooked up to lots of cords on the day she was born.

Getting ready to come home from the NICU.

My beautiful baby girl!

Avery at 4 weeks old.

Blue says, “Cheese!”

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Baby Girl is Here!

HandyMan and I are so excited to announce that our much anticipated baby girl arrived this morning. She made her appearance 5 weeks early, but is doing well, weighing in at 5 lbs 1 oz and is 17.5 inches long.

newborn baby girlWelcome to the world, Avery Katherine!

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Expressions

Like most parents, I think my kid is pretty much the Cutest Kid Ever! I know I’m biased, and I’m sure that there are maybe probably kids out there who are cuter than Blue. But not to me. And frankly, I think that’s how it should be. Every parent should think their kid is the cutest thing they’ve ever seen.

So, like most parents, we have tons of pictures of Blue. I love to capture his smiles. I love the way his face lights up when he smiles!

toddler smiles

But I also love to capture some of his other facial expressions. Blue has a lot of personality and it shows through all of the different faces he makes. Here is a sampling of some of the looks I’ve been able to get pictures of.

toddler makes facestoddler funny faceannoyed toddler

The above picture is one of my favorites. I don’t remember what he was annoyed about, but it is obvious that he was expressing his displeasure about something. It’s amazing how much Blue has learned to express himself without using very many words and how much HandyMan and I are able to understand just by the look on Blue’s face.

happy boy

Such a happy boy!

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The BedRest Chronicles: Grief

While playing on the internet to keep myself busy and help pass the time on bedrest, I discovered a website completely devoted to women going through high risk pregnancies and women on bedrest. I joined the forum and while I haven’t posted very much, I have enjoyed reading and been encouraged by several of the posts there. In one of the posts, another member talked about going through the grieving process – grieving the loss of a “normal” pregnancy.

That really struck a chord with me.

I’ve spent some time thinking about it and looked up the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. As I look back through the first few weeks after realizing we were having complications with the pregnancy and being put on bedrest, I realize that I did go through all of the stages of grief. There were lots of thoughts to myself and comments to HandyMan that there was “no way” we could be going through this, that surely it was just a bad dream. Then I quickly moved on to anger, being mad that I wouldn’t get to have a “normal” pregnancy and do all of the things I had been looking forward to doing this spring & summer – taking Blue to the park to play or to the swimming pool when the weather gets warm. I wanted to do some special things with him before the baby came that we, maybe, wouldn’t be able to do with a newborn. During this stage, I spent a lot of time crying and mad that I couldn’t take care of Blue the way I was used to. I remember telling HandyMan that I just wanted to be able to “be Blue’s mom.” Bargaining and depression quickly followed – I told myself that if I was really good and did bedrest the way I was supposed to that maybe my restrictions would be lifted a little and I could do more. That hasn’t happened, but after a couple of weeks I came to accept bedrest.

That doesn’t mean that bedrest is fun – it still breaks my heart when Blue lifts his hands to me to pick him up and I can’t do it, but it does mean that bedrest has been a lot more tolerable. I’m still looking forward to being off bedrest, and now that I’m almost 30 weeks, I can see an end in sight. I know (because I asked) that when (if?) I reach 36 weeks, I’ll be able to return to normal activities. While 36 weeks is still 6 weeks away, that is a lot closer than it was when I started bedrest 8 weeks ago.

Here’s hoping the last 6 weeks go by quickly!

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The BedRest Chronicles: Complications

It seems that my cervix has a mind of its own and isn’t entirely excited about prospect of growing a full term baby. When I was admitted to the hospital the first time, my cervix was 75% effaced (1 cm long – normal would be 3-4 cm long) & 1 cm dilated. After the cerclage it was 2 cm long and no longer dilated at all. Yay! Since then, it has fluctuated. Every week when I get it checked, it’s a different length until yesterday when it was funneled/effaced down to the stitch (I’m sure having the stomach flu last week didn’t help anything). And to top it off, baby has decided she wants to be head down, so the doctor sent me straight to the hospital to be monitored for a “few days.”

I’ve been in the hospital for almost 24 hours and hooked up to a machine that monitors contractions the entire time. So far, I’ve had all of 4 contractions. Only 2 of them happened in the same hour and I had no idea any of them were occurring. Mostly because I was sleeping at the time, but also because they were so minor they barely registered on the monitor. I’m not super worried about them, it’s not uncommon for a woman having a normal, complication free pregnancy to be having contractions every now and then.

But I’m not having a normal, complication free pregnancy, so maybe I should be worried about them. I don’t know. What I do know is if I spent any time at all worrying about everything that has gone wrong this pregnancy and the potential complications of having a premature baby, I would be a hysterical ball of nerves. And that would be good for no one.

Instead, I’m trying to do what the doctors tell me to do. I’ve spent the vast majority of the past 7 weeks either in bed or lying on the couch. I haven’t picked up Blue, cooked a meal, cleaned anything or gone shopping (although I have shopped online) in 7 weeks. I’m taking the medicine they tell me to take and showing up for all of my appointments (and there have been several). The rest is out of my control. And I’m OK with that. I’ve spent a significant amount of time praying for my baby and that God gives her the time she needs to grow and develop inside of me and I, literally, felt a wave of peace and calmness wash over me. Since then I have been a lot less worried and stressed about when my baby comes.

God has a plan. I don’t know what it is, but I’m trusting that He knows more than I do and even though it is not fun to go through these trials, I know we’re going to get through it.

I’ll be 29 weeks on Friday.

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