Wednesday, March 31, 2010

upbeat

So just have to say after my downer post yesterday, I love my preemie! Whenever I am feeling frustrated or down, I simply have to look over at her in her swing and I smile. She's such a great baby. I really do cherish this time I've had with her and love watching her grow. I can't wait to see what she will become.

Well, I can. But you know what I mean.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Yay!

New header! Thanks to Lauren Sanderson

Wahoo!! :)

Thinking...

Before getting pregnant with Elisa and during most of my pregnancy, actually, I participated in a forum with some other really great girls who had been trying to conceive. By the time I was pregnant, they had all managed to become pregnant and all but one had delivered healthy, full term babies.

Now, all are pregnant with baby number 2 or 3. 2 are already further than I was able to go. And I find myself thrilled for them. But unable to relate anymore. And what's even more unusual is that all of them were "oops" pregnancies.

So I keep thinking, I'd love to have an "oops" pregnancy. But I have to talk myself out of it. Why? Because I think I only want an "oops" pregnancy to try to erase all the bad memories from my three previous pregnancies. Somehow, I think if I can have an "oops" maybe this one will last AND go full term and I can experience the excitement and joy of pregnancy rather than just the loss and fear.

Now I have my baby. I love her and I would not give her up. If I had to choose between not having her at all and going full term or having her early, but still having her, I'd have her. I can't say I wouldn't change anything though. Because if I could have my cake, and eat it too, I'd chose that in a heartbeat.

Anyway, I'm just having a hard time watching all these girls have a successful pregnancy. They are very careful not to complain of the lack of comforts of the third trimester, but I still find myself unable to relate. I have a hard time not calling Elisa's birth a "successful" pregnancy because she is, after all, here and healthy. But at the same time, it wasn't a "successful" pregnancy.

*sigh* I'm just feeling a bit blue today, I guess.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

5 months



5 months ago today, my life changed. I can never go back. I can never forget. I've learned the meaning of true fear and true love. And I am thankful for each and every day I've been given.

My trip went well. Thank you all for your prayers. Andrew and his mom and aunt did a wonderful job taking care of Elisa and we were even able to skype a few times. My mom came over daily and took pictures to send to me so I could "see" her. She began eating like crazy while I left, and has continued that trend. We still struggle with a lack of a reliable schedule, though. She's still all over the place on when she wants food, sleep, etc.

We have our 6 month check up in a few weeks and then we'll know more on her weight. According to the Wii fit we've broken the 10 lb mark. And if you can judge by the way her clothes are fitting, I'd say that's about right.

Also, we decided to surprise mommy and roll over 4 times in a row!! On purpose this time!

video

We've also begun early intervention meetings once weekly. She's come a long way and is now tracking much better, grabbing for things in what seems an intentional manner and cooing. She's also begun laughing at things daddy will do, although a lot of times it sounds more like a cough than a laugh, but it's a laugh!

So here she is. Elisa Grace at 5 months old:

Friday, March 19, 2010

Prayer Request

I have to leave my baby for 6 whole days tomorrow. I don't know if I can do it. :( Please pray that I don't lose my mind as I'm already losing it with just the thought of leaving.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Uh oh!



I did it again!

I spit up and pooped the second mommy finished buttoning my new clothes on me after giving me a fresh diaper.



Will you pretty please change me again?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Flashbacks?

So I've heard that preemie moms sometimes suffer from PTSD. At first, I completely discounted that idea. Sure, it's traumatic...but that traumatic? Now I'm wondering about that. As I clean up and put away documents in their proper places from my time in Arizona, I can't seem to help but flashback to where I was on that day. At that moment. And I find myself feeling that fear and anxiety and sadness again. And sometimes it's overwhelming. This, too, shall pass. Right?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Day 1 down

And here is what greeted me when I would walk upstairs



The photo may be a bit blurry but the smile on her face is too gorgeous to not put up!

I found myself getting a bit jealous at times when I could hear the antics going on up stairs as Daddy and Elisa had their first day together without me to help out. I had worried that it would be a bit of a struggle for Andrew to get everything done, but he did a great job. He kept her entertained and fed right on schedule. However, there may be a question on his entertainment when I walked up to see this at one point.



LOL starting her early on learning computers, huh?

So overall it was a good day. I was able to get through a lot, although I did forget to take my lunch. Oops. Oh well, there is always tomorrow!!

And I'll leave you with one more gorgeous pic.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The final weekend

Yup. Maternity leave is over. Tomorrow, I begin life in a new reality once again. For the third time, no make that fourth time in the last 4 months.

So what did we do with our final weekend? Well, we packed a lot into it. First, we saw the outdoors near our house for the first time from the comfort of our stroller.



Thanks to the arm power of daddy, I slept when the sun wasn't in my eyes.



And then, we had a sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa Hartzheim's. Yup, Elisa spent the night with my mom and dad while Andrew and I had a date night. We topped it off with sleeping in and doing a big clean of the house. We picked Elisa up at 2 that afternoon and after a nice dinner with my parents, we returned home in time for Andrew to have a guy's night! I love seeing him relaxing and having a good time. Although Elisa didn't cooperate for me and Andrew ended up coming up to get her to do his normal bed time routine for her, it seemed the night went well over all.

Sunday came around and we partook in some playtime with daddy.



We are really starting to smile a lot. I have caught her many times just grinning away at nothing. Sometimes it's followed by a bit of spit up but sometimes it truly is a smile!

And last, but not least, we had to pause for a photo shoot. We finally fit into our going home dress and she just looked too cute to pass up. So here's our model. I'm thinking I need to buy another one in a bit of a larger size so she can wear it over the summer with out the black shrug and long sleeve onesie underneath, lol.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Good news, bad news

Good news...

We qualify for additional help from Missouri's First Steps program. This means that Elisa will get extra help from therapists to aid in her development to keep her on track with other babies her actual age.

Bad news...

We qualify. Therefore she must need the help. Therefore the darned preemie mom guilt feelings are back in full swing. Just another thing my darned body failed me on. *sigh*

Thursday, March 4, 2010

4 month check up

So we had our four month check up today, including our 4 month vaccines. YUCK.

I was a bit worried about this one just because she'd been so fussy the last few days I was worried she may be sick. But she decided to be her cute, flirtatious self and charmed all the staff. She babbled, and cooed and talked throughout. They asked all the normal "is she doing this, is she doing that" type questions. She seemed to be pretty good on all of them.

We had a different doc than the one we normally see, which I'm not too upset about. Truth be told, I rather liked her better. She asked if there was anything we were concerned about so we discussed her reflux and the zantac. She looked Elisa over and during that she noticed the dry skin/eczema/rash I've asked about for the last few months. She wonders if Elisa doesn't have a cow's milk protein allergy, which could explain her reflux and general fussiness. So we had two options. Take her completely off breast milk and go to straight, non-milk special formula, or I can remove all traces of dairy from my diet and still use a non-milk special formula for the supplementing. As much as I love my child, I love my milk. So we are on a two week experiment of formula only. I guess God was telling me it was time to give up breast feeding. I had been struggling with it, especially with supply issues, and the fact that I feel caged in and unable to get out because I always have to be where she is in order to feed her. And with my upcoming trip looming, I didn't know how I was going to get enough of a supply built up for her to have while I was away. If this is the problem...and we have to give her only formula from now on...it solves a lot of those problems. It's rather "freeing" as it releases me from my "failure" notions.

And the other thing she did...in her typical fashion...was show off. The doctor picks her up and places her on her belly to see how well she holds herself up, etc. Well, Elisa decided she did NOT want to be on her belly, so she pushes with her little left arm, throws her shoulder and hip back and whacks her head on the mirror as she rolls herself onto her back. We just kind of watched her in shock. Every time I try to put her on her belly she screams and flails and ends up with her face planted in the blanket sucking on her fist. Elisa didn't even seem to realize what she'd done, she just looked up at the doctor and cooed. The doctor put her back to see if she'd do it again, but we only received our typical reaction. Cry in frustration, find her fist with her mouth and suck in satisfaction. Ah well, hopefully this is just the first of many attempts.

She also received her vaccines which has left me with one fussy baby. I just hate those cries of misery, they break your heart. Lets hope tomorrow with the combination of the new formula and being over the shots will bring me my little relaxed, laid back kiddo.

Monday, March 1, 2010

4 months old

So, I've been trying to get to this post for a couple of days now, but I keep getting sidetracked by either editing the template or a little miss who is quite demanding at times. It seems to me that she's lost that happy go lucky attitude she had while in the NICU and has moved to a all me all the time attitude. She's definitely making her presence known and is keeping us guessing on what she really wants!

So, Elisa is 4 months old as of yesterday. Her personality is still ever present. She loves sticking her tongue out for pictures.



It appears she will definitely have blue eyes (no surprise there, both Andrew and I have blue eyes.) The question is, will it be the bright blue of mine or the darker blue of Andrew's? That is still to be determined.

We have our 4 month check up on Thursday and I'm hoping for 9 lbs. At her last appt about 2 weeks ago, she was 8lbs 3 oz, and the way she's been porking it up, I can definitely see her making that 9 lb mark. Just to compare...I took this picture. The doll pictured is a 14 inch long doll and I've placed some of her preemie clothes on it.



I still am taken aback when I look at her compared to this doll. I knew she was little when she was born, and I knew she had grown. But by that much?

And she's thriving! She's eating up a storm, which mom and I just laugh about now. Especially after all the struggles we had with getting her to eat before her release. Sometimes I can't get enough in her fast enough to suit her. She's started to throw fits when I stop to burp her as well. She'll push up on her feet, scream and stamp her feet until she burps or gets her bottle back. And she loves being on her feet. She's gotten so strong and can even hold herself somewhat erect. If we hold her by her hips, she has all of her weight on her legs and while her upper body wiggles and looks like someone who's had too much to drink, she manages to keep herself mostly upright. And she loves to sit! We bought her a bumbo chair (which apparently are very popular! We searched for a used one and even though we jumped on every one that was recent...they were already sold...) and, depending on her mood, she loves to be in it. Andrew calls it her "throne." I'll have to get a picture of her on it. Ermm..in it.

Since this is just fun to do for comparison purposes, I'll leave you with a photo timeline from birth to 4 months.


Birthday



One month old



Two months old



Three months old



Four months old