Sorry it’s been so long since the last post…time flies.
Little Miss Minion turned 8 months old on the 14th! And she turned five months adjusted on the 6th! Some of her favorite things include smiling, laughing, screeching, grabbing things, and putting everything in the world into her mouth. She’s rolling from belly to back pretty consistently, although only over her right arm. Her PT thinks this might be a muscle imbalance from her last surgery, since she preferred her right side for so long due to the new shunt. We are working on getting her to equally use her right and left sides, which is something I feel like we’ve been doing in one form or another since she came home. First it was the left, now it’s the right.
Mr Minion and I went on our first vacation in like a year and a half. It was also the longest we have been away from her since she was born. The previous record was about 16 hours. This was four days, and it was not nearly as hard as we thought it would be. We felt like terrible parents until we realized that we had gotten used to leaving her at the NICU. Plus, we knew she was in good hands (thanks to Mr Minion’s parents). We went to Universal Orlando to see Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley (Harry Potter) and it was amazing. We had seen Hogsmeade before, several years ago, so we focused on Diagon Alley. And they have hot Butterbeer now! I’ve been researching recipes since we got back.
I was very anxious about traveling and pumping. Going there was not going to be a problem, since all I had was my pump, but coming back, I knew I would have several days of milk, about 100 ounces. What would I do with it while I was in Orlando? Would they let me on the plane with it? I did some research and printed out the TSA rules about breastmilk and pumps as medical devices (therefore not counting as one of your carry on bags) and highlighted the parts that applied. I put several copies in my pump bag, just in case. They sent the pump through the X-ray machine and cleared us without a second glance to leave home for Orlando. Coming back through, they pulled the cooler bag full of milk for a physical search, which I totally understand because it looks like a bag of liquid, which, as we all know, is VERBOTEN on airplanes. The guy put gloves on (which must be standard procedure), which the preemie mom in me appreciated because of germs. He opened it and picked a couple of the bags up to see what was in the cooler.
Another mom (with a baby) was getting her formula and a couple bags of milk examined as well and said something like “good job, Mama! Liquid gold right there. I wish I could pump like that.” It made me feel really good to have a total stranger acknowledge that the effort and time and frustration of pumping is worth it. And it reminded me that, even though I would much rather LMM take it “from the source,” I’m still doing something that not all moms can do. Even though breastfeeding was incredibly difficult for her in the nicu (suck, swallow, breathe is so much easier with a bottle), and I pretty much gave up on it because she handled a bottle so much better, and even though that was my last possible “normal” childbirth experience that got thrown by the wayside, I am still doing something incredible for her.
LMM got her monthly Synagis shot this week, and her newest weight is 14 pounds and 0.8 ounces. I’m totally counting that 0.8 ounces because that is 2% of her birth weight. She’s now 7 and 1/2 times her birth weight of one pound fourteen ounces, and she’s 24 inches tall, which is only 3 feet shorter than me. 🙂 And it’s so close to double her birth length of 13.5 inches.
I’m going back to work at my physical office in a couple weeks, but they are going to let me keep working from home a couple days a week. I’m so unbelievably lucky that they have been willing to let me work from home since she came home in August. We hope to start her in daycare around May or June, but I’m positive that keeping her in isolation this winter has made a huge difference with her immune system. I asked her pediatrician about when Preemie lungs catch up to full function and immunity, and she said that it’s usually about a year for every month of prematurity. Since LMM was born three months early, she will probably catch up at around three years old. Since she was such a rockstar at birth, not needing a ventilator at 28 weeks gestation, I have high hopes for her lungs. Thank you, steroid shots and surfactant!
Other than that, there isn’t too much going on here.