Tag Archive | smile

Big Girl

Yesterday, Little Miss Minion held and shook a rattle. According to several sources, this usually happens around 4 months. LMM is 2 months adjusted, so this is fantastic. She smiles at Mr Minion and I all the time and tracks us as we move around. I think I’ve said before, but I’m sure her eyesight is better than mine.

Today, we ventured out for a walk. It was a little cool, so I bundled her up in two outfits, socks, and a hat, plus her blanket. She likes to be pushed in the stroller and fell asleep almost immediately. Mr Minion and I don’t get out much, so it was nice to get some fresh air.

She’s awake for longer stretches after her feedings, so we’ve started doing play mat after the wait for her reflux. She bats her toys and grabs them, which is a great thing, developmentally. She’s also started grasping my fingers or the bottle while she eats.

This week’s excitement is a pediatrician appointment on Monday and the scheduling of her follow up MRI in a couple weeks. She will also get her synagis shot sometime this month, which I am greatly looking forward to. I think she’ll get more shots Monday too. I’m probably the only mom who is excited about more shots.

PSA: If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, you should. Help prevent the spread to babies and other immune compromised people.

2 Months Adjusted

Today marks two months after my original due date, August 6. Little Miss Minion is 2 months adjusted today, and she has learned so many new things since 1 month adjusted. She smiles on her own at Mr Minion and I. She smiles when we smile at her. She grasps toys, bats at the hanging toys on her play gym, and laughs. She rolled over twice yesterday–very impressive. And she will sit almost unsupported, just with light support around her waist. She weighed 9 pounds 7 ounces a couple of weeks ago at her last pediatrician appointment, so I am sure that she is into double digits by now. She’s outgrowing some of her newborn outfits (mostly onesies), and is into 0-3 months now. She’s still taking about the same amount of milk-right around 100-110 mls, which is 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 ounces. She’s starting to finish them completely, so we’ll probably bump her up to 120 mls, or 4 ounces, in the next couple of weeks.

Our other big milestone this month (besides her 5 month birthday on the 14th) is her first Synagis injection. Synagis is a shot that is given to at-risk babies to help reduce the severity of RSV, should they acquire it. You can read more about it HERE. She qualifies based on her birth weight and will get one shot every month for five months. What’s the big deal, you might ask. All babies get sick, after all. How else will they build their immune systems? The reason is simple. Preemies didn’t get the chance to build their immune systems in utero and therefore are much more likely to get sick than full term babies. Preemies (or any baby born before about 37 weeks) will have underdeveloped lungs. A baby born at 40 weeks had 3 full months of extra time to soak up antibodies than Little Miss Minion did. It is of vital importance that she gets the chance to build her immune system without the challange of being sick. Below are some images that might help you to picture the differences.

Keep in mind with the Lung Capacity image that the smaller set of lungs is representative of a baby born at 34 weeks. This is 6 weeks older than Little Miss Minion was at her birth. Preemies who get sick with RSV can end up in the hospital and can require ventilators, or breathing machines. Their airways are too narrow, and with the inflammation of something like the cold, flu, or RSV, they quickly become unable to breathe on their own. I’ve seen Little Miss Minion on a ventilator and it is not something I care to experience again.

My final word on isolation (for today, at least) is this letter, written by the parents of a 23-weeker. I’ve copied the first part of the text below, but http://anearlystartblog.com/2014/01/07/isolation-isnt-about-you/ is the link to the full version of the original letter and website. Many, many thanks to Andrea M for allowing me to link it here.

Dear Extended Family,

Isolation isn’t about you. Let me explain…

Babies who are born prematurely are different than full-term babies. First, premature babies have under-developed lungs and often require life-support and breathing tubes for days, weeks and even months. An important goal for every premature baby is to breathe on their own. Unfortunately for some preemies this doesn’t happen. Some preemies come home on oxygen support or on a ventilator. Their tiny lungs are not capable of keeping them alive without the help of a machine.

Chunky Monkey

I took Little Miss Minion to the doctor yesterday to check on her shunt sutures. They looked a little red and bumpy, and shunt infections are a BIG DEAL so I wanted to rule that out. They gave her an extra strength neosporin type cream and some sensitive skin soap, and it already looks better today. It isn’t an infection, but they want it to heal faster. 

We got a weight on her while we were there. Little Miss 1 Pound 14 Ounces now weighs 9 pounds 7 ounces. Almost exactly five times her birth weight. She’s almost too big for some of her Newborn onesies (I find that the onesies run small).

I set up her play gym with some new additions today. I added a chain of connecting plastic rings for her to grab and suspended her zebra from the middle. She was trying to grab at it this afternoon and actually laughed for the first time. She does this evil genius cackle thing, but this was a genuine laugh. And lots of smiles. 

It’s amazing how much progress she makes every day and how quickly she picks up new skills. 

Little Miss Big Eyes

We had our first real smiles two weeks ago!  This is usually not seen until 8 weeks of age so seeing smiles at 4 weeks is very reassuring and impressive. She also rolled herself over twice last week, so no more arm swaddling at night.

We also had our first official outing this past weekend! Two outings, technically. The first one was to a local park, and the second was to another garden type thing. The first one was a test run to see how things would work. We hadn’t used our stroller yet. We put her carseat in the stroller, pulled up the sun shade on the carseat, and then pulled the shade on the stroller up over that. She was completely contained and protected from curious, germ covered fingers. We repeated this system on the second day, with the addition of one detail. Getting into the second garden required passage through a building, so I took the carseat and LMM out of the stroller and made a run for it through the building while Mr Minion took the stroller in the elevator. I felt like I was going in for a shot on goal in hockey, ready to hip check anyone who got too close.

Once we got through that, we walked around outside for a couple of hours. It was so nice to be out of the house. Until May and the end of RSV season, we are limited to uncrowded outdoor areas, free of smoking. It will be worth it, to keep her healthy and out of the hospital.

1 Month Adjusted

Yesterday was Little Miss Minion’s one month adjusted birthday! Today, she gave us two gifts: we each got our very own real smiles from her, and she kicked herself over from her stomach to her back.

I took her surgery bandage off today. My friend M is a nurse and said the tape would come off with baby oil. I could have sworn we had some, but we don’t, so I used sesame body oil instead. It took about 10 minutes and she smells wonderful. The incision looks pretty similar to the old one. It’s healing really quickly.

We’ve got another big week of appointments coming up. On Wednesday, her early intervention team meets to discuss her therapy needs. Right now, she will just be getting physical therapy. On Saturday, she has a pediatrician follow up. On Monday, she has a neurosurgeon follow up. On Tuesday, she has another physical therapy follow up from the hospital. I’m going to need a personal assistant just to keep these appointments straight.