Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Monday, January 30, 2006

Days 138-140

Aerin had a great weekend. The new feeding schedule is really making things easier for both of us. It's wonderful not to have to spend 90 minutes coaxing her to eat. She's actually eating the same amount, if not more, because we've added 1-2 additional feedings. Even with the extra sessions, we still spend less time on feedings. Aerin seems to have less reflux this way, too. I was worried that she would stop gaining weight or even lose weight, but I shouldn't have - she's up to 9 pounds, 14 ounces! I can't believe her weight is going to be in the double digits soon.

Aerin's adjusted age is 6 weeks today and she's either on track developmentally or ahead. Yesterday I asked her who wants to eat and she smiled at me. Today I asked her if she wanted to eat and she smiled at me. She smiles at Andrew when he makes up silly songs for her. She definitely has dimples, which is amazing because neither of us do.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Day 137

The feeding experiment is going well thus far. Aerin has had wet and dirty diapers and she hasn't lost any weight. It looks like she might even have gained half an ounce - it's hard to tell with our baby scale. I spoke to Dr. Al-Mateen today and we're going to keep this up for the next 4-5 days. We'll have a better idea of how it's working then and we can decide how to proceed.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Days 134-136

Aerin and I have had a rough couple of days, feeding-wise. She's been fussier and slower than usual. Today she took 2 hours to eat 60 cc's, so I called Dr. Al-Mateen. Since her chest is clear and she's still having wet diapers, he doesn't feel that this is a significant problem. We are trying an experiment for the next 24 hours. I will stop Aerin's feedings after she has stopped eating vigorously. Her pattern is that she'll gulp anywhere from 50 to 80 cc's and I'll coax the rest into her 5 cc's at a time over 90 minutes. We're going to try allowing her to stop herself when she wants and see if she still has wet diapers and doesn't lose weight. I'll call Dr. Al-Mateen with the results tomorrow and we'll go from there. So far, so good - she's taken 80 and 95 cc's at her last 2 feedings.

Aerin is sleeping long stretches during the night, which makes things a lot easier for her momma.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Day 133

Aerin had a much better night last night and a great day today. She ate with minimal fussing, although she's still taking her time. She stayed in her swing for a good 90 minutes and was content to stay in her Maya Wrap the rest of the afternoon and evening. I'm hoping this is the beginning of a new trend.

Dr. Al-Mateen isn't going to increase Aerin's meds for at least another month. As she grows out of the reflux, she should need them less and less. I can't imagine having a child on no medications anymore than I can imagine having a child without an apnea monitor, but she can't be on them forever.

By the way, Aerin's favorite Steeler is #43 Troy Polamalu.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Days 130-132

Aerin is doing extremely well, but she has been very demanding these past few days. We've hardly put her down at all and I've gotten very little sleep. She's incredibly adorable, though, and has started smiling at us! She's been eating super slowly, which can be frustrating, but she's gaining weight, which is the important thing.

Aerin was overjoyed today when her beloved Steelers won the AFC Championship and she's really looking forward to seeing them destroy Seattle at the Super Bowl.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Day 129: Free Babysitting!!

But who took the picture, then?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Day 128

Aerin got a (relatively) clean bill of health from Dr. Al-Mateen today. She still has a head cold, but it's getting better and her lungs are clear. She's gained 3 pounds in 4 weeks and her development is either right on track or advanced. She got her polio vaccine and her monthly Synagis. Dr. Al-Mateen was very happy with her progress and told me that in April he's going to give us his "lighten up" talk because we're so cautious with Aerin (caution is good in RSV season).

One of Aerin's NICU neighbors was in the doctor's office today! He was a 36-weeker, but he had had a lot of respiratory problems. It was really nice to see him and his mom outside of the NICU. She couldn't believe how big Aerin has gotten.

Andrew had to work today, so I took Aerin in myself. It went very well - she slept in the car, as usual and the hospital has valet parking. After our appointment, I stopped in the hospital cafe to get a cup of coffee for the ride home. On the way there and back, no less than 4 people came up to me to say how adorable Aerin is. People were actually glancing in her stroller and then doing double takes. I know she's a beauty, but even I was surprised at the response.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Days 124-127

I'm sorry about the long hiatus between posts - Aerin has been extremely demanding lately. She's been wanting to be held all the time and taking her sweet time eating. She got a bath last night and didn't cry until the very end, which was a nice change. She's up to 9 pounds, 3 ounces.

We're seeing Dr. Al-Mateen tomorrow for a routine appointment. It's nice to have scheduled appointments and not emergency visits. Aerin has been home for almost 5 weeks now.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Day 123

Aerin is really thriving. She's up to 9 pounds! She's almost ready for the next diaper size. Her lungs are still clear and I'm getting a lot of mucus when I suction her. Babies can't blow their noses, so saline nose drops and suctioning with a bulb syringe is the next best option. Aerin absolutely hates it, but it helps her a great deal.

We had a very good night last night. Aerin went right to sleep and only woke up once to eat. We got Aerin a swing yesterday and we've had mixed results with it. There were hour-long blocks where she was content to swing and there were times when she cried until we took her out. Andrew and I did get to eat together for the first time in a long time - we usually eat in shifts.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Day 122: Four Months Old

Aerin is 4 months old today. It's hard to imagine life before her. Every day she does something new and adorable. She's getting dimples and her eyes are getting lighter near the pupils. She may have green eyes yet.

The respiratory technician came to our house this morning. She brought us a new belt for Aerin because her old one is getting way too small. It overlapped when she first got it and it's barely holding together now. The resp. tech. downloaded the information stored on the monitor - it records any apnea and/or bradycardia episodes. The record is read by the company's neonatologist and forwarded to our pediatrician. The last time the resp. tech. was amazed at how big Aerin has gotten - the last time she saw her was in Henrico Doctors' and Aerin wasn't even 5 pounds yet.

Today really is a red-letter day. It has been 4 weeks since we brought Aerin home from St. Mary's. These have been the best 4 weeks of my life and every day is better than the last.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Day 121

While watching the Alito confirmation hearings over her lunchtime bottle, Aerin directed a little projectile spit-up at the image of Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT), ranking member of the Judiciary Committee. It would seem that Aerin supports Alito's philosophy of judicial restraint. We report, you decide.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Day 120: So Very Tired

Aerin didn't go to sleep until 3:30 a.m. this morning and she was up every hour until her 7:00 a.m. feeding. Luckily for me, Andrew finished feeding her while I went to bed. She took forever to eat for most of her feedings last night and this morning. Then Andrew fed her at 4:00 p.m. and she ate without fussing in 20 minutes and went right to sleep. So unfair. Actually, she ate very quickly and easily at her last feeding, so I felt better.

In other news, she's up to 8 pounds, 10 ounces!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Day 119

Today is Aerin's Daddy's birthday. She celebrated by taking extra long with her feedings. I spoke to the doctor today and her Zantac (for her reflux) was bumped up from 0.4 to 0.5 mL. I think that'll make a big difference.

Aerin's face is very expressive. She does a devastatingly adorable pout and can curl her upper lip just like Elvis. She also loves music - her favorites so far are Johnny Cash and OyBaby.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Day 118

Aerin followed a fussy night with a fussy day today. I think that her meds need to be adjusted - she's more than a pound heavier than the last time they adjusted her dose. I'll be speaking to her doctor tomorrow.

She's three weeks old today - adjusted age. That's the age from her due date, as opposed to her chronological age, which is her age from the day she was born. Her chronological age is her "official" age - she'll start school, get her license, etc. on September 12th. Her vaccinations are also given according to her chronological age. Her adjusted age (from December 18th) is how we measure developmental milestones. In other words, she should be acting like a 3-week-old infant, rather than a 17-week-old. She's exceptional, so she's doing things you'd expect to see in a 2- or 3-month old, like mini-pushups, holding her head up, making prolonged eye contact, bringing her hands together, and holding her binky and bottle.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Days 116-117

Aerin had a great night last night. She ate without much fussing and slept for good three-hour clips. She's all the way up to 8 pounds, 5 ounces! We were sad to say good-bye to Grandpa Steven, who returned to New York today.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Day 115

Grandpa Steven is in town for his first visit since Aerin was just a few days old. He noticed a slight difference in her size.

She's doing very well, although she's gotten a little fussy when it comes to getting back to sleep after nighttime feedings. At least she's finishing them.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Day 114

Aerin had a late night - she just didn't want to settle down. She's doing great. Her lungs are clear and her head cold is getting better. She's starting to grab for her binky and even puts it back in her mouth when it falls out!

Aerin's Granddaddy Steven is on his way and we are very excited. He hasn't seen Aerin since she was born.

I want to mention that we have received many, many beautiful gifts for Aerin. I am working on thank-you notes, but they might be a little delayed. We really appreciate the lovely things y'all have sent. Aerin is a very lucky little girl.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Day 113: Man vs. Baby

While mom went out to run errands, I looked after the little one. She didn't hit me quite as hard this time, but gave me an impressive regurgitation.

Aerin's grandpa is coming to visit tomorrow.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Day 112: Sweeter Sixteen

I jumped the gun yesterday; Aerin is 16 weeks old today. Before her bath this evening, she weighed in at about 8 lbs.. That's about 4.5 times her birthweight.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

Aerin is having a great New Year. She slept in her bedroom all night and continues to eat well. I missed her projectile spit-up, but I saw the aftermath and it was impressive. The look on Andrew's face was priceless and Aerin looked very pleased with herself.

I'm happy to see 2005 come to an end. It was the best year of my life because I got Aerin, but we also had a lot of heartache. I'm looking forward to a problem-free 2006.

Happy New Year from Andrew, Aerin, and myself! Don't forget to eat your black-eyed peas.

Day 111

For a two-week old baby who is 16 weeks old, Aerin is pretty advanced. She's already spitting up in projectile mode. Acting under the misconception that her dad was ablaze, she did her best impression of a baby fountain statue, dousing her paternal caregiver with barely ingested formula.