Sunday, April 23, 2006

New Friend for Aerin

The Marx Family would like to congratulate our friends Anne, Jeff, and big sister Emma on the birth of their baby girl Bridget Niamh. She couldn't ask for a kinder, more loving family to be born into and we couldn't be happier for all 4(!) family members.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

WalkAmerica Tomorrow

Andrew, Aerin, and I will be participating in the March of Dimes WalkAmerica tomorrow. Thank you so much to the many people who sponsored us - a lot of money has been raised for the March of Dimes in Aerin's name since her birth. We hope that the money she has inspired people to donate is used to make sure that no other baby has to go through what she did.

Unfortunately, it looks like it might rain tomorrow. It's supposed to be in the 80's (hot and muggy - my least favorite kind of weather), so we have permission to take Aerin. We got a rain cover for her stroller, just in case. I'm very excited to meet the other family teams and their miracle babies.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

7 Months Old

It's been a busy couple of weeks for us. Aerin turned 7 months old on the 12th (adjusted age 4 months as of the 18th). She also had her 6th-month baby checkup (she had it a month late because of her Synagis schedule) and her very last shot of Synagis! May is the end of RSV season and we can breathe a little easier. Aerin got a clean bill of health. She's 12 pounds, 12 ounces, which is the 50th percentile for 4-month-olds (her adjusted age). She's not even on the chart for 7-month-olds, which is to be expected. She's also in the 50th percentile for height. She's hitting every single 4-month developmental milestone and some 7-month ones, which is virtually unheardof for a 26-weeker. She can roll over, transfer objects from one hand to the other, babble, imitate sounds, bat at things, and has figured out that when she bats at her rattles, they make noise. She recognizes Andrew and me and responds to her name. I'm working on getting her to say, "Mama" in the next couple of months (she better not say "Daddy").

In other medical news, Aerin's hemangioma is going through a growth phase. They usually enter a growth phase between 6 to 8 months and then shrink until they disappear. However, some never disappear and require treatment. The standard treatments are steroids, laser surgery, and/or skin grafts. We wouldn't even think about treatment until she's at least 4 and only then if she asks for it. I would almost certainly rule out steroids, due to their side effects. The best option would be laser surgery - skin grafts are pretty rough. Of course, there may be a brand new, better treatment by the time she's ready. Her belly button is still herniated, but it seems to be resolving itself. Again, we wouldn't even consider treatment until she's at least 4 and asks about it herself. The only treatment for this is surgery.

We got some very good news - Aerin doesn't have to have an MRI for her tract (a tube of soft tissue in her back, near her tailbone). Our pediatricians reviewed the ultrasound again and consulted with a neurologist and they all agree that it is unnecessary. I'm very pleased that she won't have to be put under anesthesia. I had a feeling that she didn't need the MRI - I think you develop reliable instincts when you have a micropreemie.

Aerin has begun to display her Southern charm and smiles at everyone who smiles at her (which is everyone who sees her). People are just drawn to her - she has a very penetrating gaze and loves to look at people.

She's doing quite well in her crib. I think she likes it better than the bassinet. I got a clip-on soother that vibrates strongly and she loves it. She also loves her mobile. We got one that has soft, multi-colored ABC blocks that have slits for pictures on the bottoms and a mirror in the center block. Andrew made some geometric designs in black and white and I put those in. Aerin is fascinated by them and they are so good for her development. In a couple of months, we'll move from geometric shapes to black-and-white graphics of faces. They would be too stimulating now. We got mesh bumpers, which allow the baby to breathe clean air even if she presses her face against them. They're recommended for all infants under 1 year of age to help prevent SIDS.

We had an uneventful Passover. We can't take Aerin to a seder this year (although she can go to shul next month, finally), which is helpful in a way. For those of you who don't know, Aerin was a triplet pregnancy and we lost her siblings. We lost Baby C on the first night of Passover last year. I was in the beginning of my first trimester and C was always smaller than A and B, but it was frightening and sad and it was the beginning of all the terrible problems we had with the pregnancy. We're so very blessed to have Aerin here with us, but we do sometimes think of the other babies we never got to meet.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Friday, April 07, 2006

Bye-Bye Bassinet

Tonight will be Aerin's last night in her bassinet. I thought she'd be in it for at least another 6 weeks, but she's past ready for a crib. She is very active in her sleep and moves herself to the top of the bassinet every night. And since she has learned to turn over, she's wiggled out of her sleep positioner every night, too. If she didn't have her monitor, I'd be out of my mind.

I have a love/hate relationship with the monitor. It gives me peace of mind, but it also goes off in the middle of the night and wakes us all up. When Aerin is in a very deep sleep, her heartrate drops below the set limit occasionally (this is very normal - all babies do this, we just can't tell because they're not hooked up to monitors). It comes right back up, but the alarm is so loud that even the 3 beeps wake us up.

Aerin's reflux is challenging for all of us. It's uncomfortable for her until she starts spitting up. She doesn't mind that at all. That's when it becomes frustrating for me. I have no clean clothes left and I've washed every cushion in our house more times than I can count (thank goodness for slipcovers), not to mention the blankets, baby clothes, mountain of bibs, and towels. I am starting to get serious back pain because Aerin will scream when I put her down. She's also starting to eschew binkies for her fingers, which bothers me. I can take binkies away at the appropriate time, but I can't take away her fingers and that's a hard habit to break. We have a doctor's appointment this week, so we'll see what they have to say.

Sunday, April 02, 2006