Thursday, October 29, 2009

Small Milestones

Little E (as the baby will now be referred to) had some minor milestones over the past week that may not seem like a bit deal to some but for a baby that started out scrawny they seem impressive to us! The first one is that she is officially fitting into most her 0-3 month clothing (some pants are too long for stubby legs) and some of her NB clothes just don't fit anymore. Second, she recently has started napping in her actual crib and she's been doing such a great job sleeping like 3-4 hours at a time. I must say that is quite nice. The other news is that she is officially out of her NB diapers and into a Size 1! I am pretty sure SSG and I were cramming her into the NB diapers for a little too long. Oops. We actually didn't buy any NB since she was born and we actually have quite a few diapers we can pass on. We have both Pamper.s, Hugg.ies, and even the Hugg.ies natural diapers.

These milestones actually leads us to the other news. Little E had a doctors appointment yesterday for a normal check-up and of course she got weighed. Now we were there 3 weeks ago and she was 7 pounds 8.5 ounces. We assumed she was easily over 8 pounds but nearly fell over when she was weighed at 9 POUNDS 6.5 ounces! Whoa. Now I realize that there are some babies are born at this but we're talking a child who was 2 pounds 5 ounces. She is actually on the normal growth chart (not the adjusted age) and it's cute because she's at 1%. Hey at least she's on it! She has come so far and we feel so blessed she is doing so well. She's getting stronger all the time and doing a great job having periods where she really holds her head up.

SSG are hanging in there and do have days of just exhaustion. Like all babies Little E has her good days and her bad days. We just try to roll with it the best we can.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Long Overdue Posting

Wow. I just looked back and it's been like 2 months since I posted anything. The reason? My guess would be that over the past 3 months there has been so much going on that I just get overwhelmed with my own thoughts, worries, etc.. In looking back and kind of checking in with myself now, I honestly also think it's taken me this long to recover from the trauma of July 8th, the night I drove a pregnant SSG to the emergency room. I'm not sure I talked about it enough and I also didn't feel like I had time to dwell on it. We suddenly were thrust into parenthood and life in the NICU. I also didn't want to come off as "Whoa is me" because the result was a good one and we have a beautiful daughter and I have a healthy wife. Not everyone in our situation can say that. It's just an experience that one isn't prepared for and something you can't understand if you haven't gone through it.

It's all very surreal that we are now responsible for this little being and I think at times I too find this overwhelming. It's a good overwhelming, don't get me wrong. It's just initially when she came home I found myself kind of taking a deep breath and saying to myself, "Ok, we can do this". NOTHING prepares you for parenthood. I don't care who you are or what you tell yourself. I mean SSG and I are in our mid-thirties and have endless experience with babies/kids and guess what? At times is still difficult. I find it rather amusing to hear really young people talk about having kids and there kind of "this will be easy" attitudes. Heck I think some people think that babies are like cute accessories. Here's what I've's not all freakin rainbows and butterflies. There are highs and lows but the other thing I've learned is that nothing prepares you for just how much you can instantly love this little being. Little E is amazing and I look at her with such awe every single day. She's our little feisty fighter.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pretty Ella

A few weeks ago we got a free photo session for our purchase of clothes at Ja.nie and Jack. Ella had been home for only a few weeks and while we had scheduled a photo session with our wedding photographer for later in the month we just couldn't resist the opportunity to catch Ella in some shots when she was a wee girl. I went back today and bought some of the image files (so yes it was not really free!). I would have loved to get more but they were expensive and since we are getting pro pictures taken next week (they were supposed to be tomorrow but are being rescheduled for next week) we decided that we would not get all of them. I think they came out great and personally I think that Ella is beautiful but I may be a bit biased.


Friday, October 16, 2009

One Month

So we have made it one month with Miss Ella home. It seems like yesterday that we were going to the hospital every day and at the same time so far away. So much has changed in our month together as a family. I think we have gotten into a bit of a groove and routine and I must say that we are holding our own pretty well here.
Since we can't go anywhere (for the most part) we spend our days watching daytime tv, doing laundry, and washing bottles and pumping supplies. We have been brewing our own coffee, having sandwiches for lunch, and making home cooked meals for dinner. We have even eaten at the dinning room table a few times and shared a bottle of wine.
Ella is really coming into her own. She is having periods of happy awake time between her naps and meals. She is getting some tummy time in most days and is starting to interact with her activity mat and toy bar on her bouncy seat. She also is starting to smile. She doesn't do it all the time but she definitely smiled at our friend Jen today and I think we heard a little chuckle tonight when we were getting her in her pjs. She is starting to really look at us with her big blue eyes. I look forward to each day and the new Ellaism.
You may have noticed that we have a new ticker at the top of the blog. One is her chronological age (from her birth date) and one is her adjusted age (from her due date). From now until her 2nd birth day we will use her adjusted age for developmental milestones. For the most part Ella should reach all her milestones somewhere between her actual and adjusted age. If she can learn to sit and roll and crawl somewhere between these two dates she will be doing great. Most likely she will be delayed in some areas past her adjusted age but quite frankly I am just so happy that she is home, she is alive, and she is my daughter I am not so concerned at this point.
Next week we have our photo shoot with our wedding photographer. We are so excited, she is wonderful and we love her work. She was kind enough to gift us this photo session while Ella was in the hospital. It was her photograph of Shazam and I that was in Ella's isolette and crib for her stay in the hospital. We need to order a new copy since it was a little worn from all the changing of beds that she went through. If you are looking for a photographer for your wedding or for family portraits I highly recommend her. Check out her website she is truly gifted. I look forward to seeing the results.
Tomorrow I am actually leaving the house and getting my hair cut. I am very much looking forward to my outing and may go crazy and go to the grocery store too. If I am feeling totally crazy I think I may stop by target too.
Ella is one lucky gal she has three days to celebrate every year. Her birthday, her due date and her homecoming day. Happy one month home my dear Ella, one down, many happy years to come.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Blog Fantasy

One of the interesting things about keeping a blog is the different people who read the blog. Some of our readers are friends and family from real life, some are internet friends that I don't know in real life, and some are strangers from all over the place. I find it interesting to look at the log of where our readers live and how they got to the blog. It is crazy to think that someone in Africa found our blog, even crazier is that they seem to think we are interesting enough to read about our life and keep coming back.

There is one reader that I have made up a whole little story about. I don't think they have ever commented and there is no reason for me to think this but I am convinced that Portia deRossi reads our blog. I base this completely on the fact that I see a reader from Los Angeles listed as a reader. Perhaps this has been caused by the fact that we are in lock down here at the Darwin has Two Mommies household and I think we all are going a bit nuts.

I like to think of Portia sitting on her swank couch in her swank house reading our blog and calling Ellen over to show her our latest entry. I am sure she says things like, "Ellen you won't believe the funny thing that Shazam just wrote in the blog." or "Ellen Don't you think Super Sammy G looks great for just having a baby.", or "Wow baby Ella gets cuter every day."

Oh I know that it is probably unlikely that Portia is really reading the blog. But it makes me smile to think she does. So here is a shout out to my Los Angeles reader, I like you even if you are not Portia. Though it would make my day if you are!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Check Up!

Just wanted to post a quick update on our doctors appointment today. I went well and Ella started on some reflux meds today. I think is is already helping! Yeah for drugs that work. I love our doctor (she is a family practitioner) the practice she is in is a nice combination of traditional medicine and alternative and is just the right balance for us. Her first line of defense is not to medicate which I like but when it is the right thing to do she does it. We trust her so much. I feel like we are lucky to have her. Ella is already much less cranky with the medicine. It is peppermint flavored (who the hell makes kids medicine that flavor) and she took her first dose fine but I don't know if she will continue to like it we will have to see. She is growing like a weed!

Her new stats are

weight 7 lbs 8.5 oz
length 19 inches

She will be three months tomorrow. It is crazy to think she has gained 5lb 3.5 oz and 5 inches in 13 weeks! She is now in the 25th percentile in weight for her adjusted age (her age from her original due date). She is starting to catch up a little bit at a time. We will be celebrating her 3 month birthday with her grandparents tomorrow. I can't believe that it has been 3 months it has been the longest and quickest 3 months I have ever experienced.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Apple Picking

We had a great time apple picking today. I need to do something with the apples but there is always tomorrow. We picked some apples, took some pictures with pumpkins, drank some cider, ate some cider donuts, and went home. It was fun, it was normal, and it was my family!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Ella is being a bit needy today. She wants to be held all the time and is quite cranky. Not sure what the problem is but I think she may be in a bit of a growth spurt. I hope tonight is not a nightmare but I have a feeling that we will be taking shifts of rocking the girl in the nursery and not a lot of sleep of Shazam and I. Perhaps she will surprise me and sleep like an angel.

Tomorrow Early Intervention is coming back to write up Ella's plan. We got the case worker we wanted so that is awesome. She seems so nice and I think she is a good match for us personality wise. The first evaluation was so quick and Ella was half asleep so I am looking forward to having more information on Ella's development and start to work on areas she needs improvement in.

After our EI meeting we will be heading out to go apple picking. Since RSV season has begun as of the first of the month we will be starting a hibernation of sorts. We won't be able to take Ella to public places or with big crowds until the end of RSV season in April so our little trip is sort of our last hurrah. I am really looking forward to our outing. I want to get some yummy apples, a few decorative pumpkins, some cider, and as many cider donuts as I can shove in my mouth! The orchard makes their own and are served warm! I can not wait.

Ella has a doctors appointment on Friday where I hope she will get her first synergis shot. This is an injection of antibodies for RSV and will help Ella fight the virus off if she get it. She will get one injection every month until April. The injections are very expensive ($3,000 a shot) but RSV is the leading cause of hospitalization in preemies and is very serious. Our goal is to keep her healthy this winter hopefully our obsessive hand washing and sequestration will pay off. We also need to talk to the doctor about Ella's reflux and constipation. The girl seems to be having some issues on both ends of the GI track. Nothing horrible but she can't be put down after eating without spitting up and screaming and she is not pooping like she used to in the NICU. She had problems with both on and off in the hospital so I am sure we can figure out a plan pretty quickly.

Well the girl needs to get her pjs on have a snack before going to bed. Send us sleepy thoughts.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


We are settling in here at home. We have now been home for 2 weeks. It seems so crazy and the NICU seems so far away. Not quite a distant memory but it doesn't seem so fresh and the stress of that experience is fading a bit.

Ella is pretty much sticking to a 4 hour schedule and is eating well. She takes about 2-3 oz per feeding and we have switched her to the Dr. Brown's bottles with the preemie nipple. She was really refluxy and gassy and we think it was because she was collapsing the nipple on the hospital super slow flow nipples and getting too much air. She is sleeping great in the day and not so great in the night. She will only sleep in her bouncy seat. We are working on this and if anyone has any great thoughts on how to get the chicky to sleep in the pack n play I would love to hear them.

We have gone on a few walks and outings over the last few days. We went to sample some cupcakes we saw featured on a tv show yesterday and a walk around the neighborhood a few days. I love our stroller and car seat. We have used both the bassinet and the car seat on the stroller chassis and both have worked great. It rides great and looks great too. I would totally recommend the qu.inny and the maxi car seat.

She has also gone to the doctor three times. Twice to the pediatrician and once to the opthamologist. She is doing great with weight gain and as of a week ago Tuesday she was 6 lb 7 oz. She was keeping to her 1 oz/day trend so she should be about 7lbs by now. It is so strange not to get her weight every morning. For over 2 months I would call in the morning and get a report from the nurse and find out her weight. Now when people ask I have to guess when just a few weeks ago I knew to the gram how much the little girl weighed.

Our trip to the opthamologist was good. I am so happy that Children's Hospital has a satellite location in the town we live in. It was no nice not to have to go into Boston for her appointment. We saw the same doctor as we did in the hospital which was nice and comforting to have the consistency. Unfortunately Ella's retinas are still immature. This means we need to go back in a month to check them again. The doctor thinks they will be fine just that Ella is a slow grower. If she has not developed ROP by the next visit she will be cleared and won't have to go again. The doctor is not concerned so I think it should all work out.

Early intervention came this morning to evaluate Ella. She was found to have delays in most areas but is actually testing at 3 months in language. The speech therapist was actually very impressed with her chatter. She was very sleepy so she didn't do a whole lot for them this is actually good since it made it more likely to qualify for services. I want to get as much as we can so that Ella has the best chance at catching up. It seems they will be coming once a week. I am really looking forward to getting this started and making some progress in her areas of delay.

Some things at home are just like the experiences of any new parent others are not. We still have those middle of the night feedings, the diaper changes and the laundry (holy shit the laundry) but there is just another layer of worry and stress that comes from parenting a preemie. Every sneeze every sputter every nap is charged for me with what if. What if she gets RSV, what if she stops breathing, what if she has major developmental delays? I am transitioning from the acute day to day worry of the NICU to an ongoing worry that lives just under the surface. I hope that this anxiety decreases the longer we are home because it sucks. I know that it is normal to worry and I am a worrier to begin with but I wish I could just enjoy having Ella home and not have this background noise of worry constantly running in my head.

Even with all the worry I love having my baby home with me. All of this is so worth it to see her sleeping next to me as I type this (yes in the bouncy seat). Next week if the weather cooperates we are going to go apple picking. It will be so nice to go and do some fun stuff and then I can make some yummy apple items.

I am going to try to do better about blogging but I swear every time I sit down to write the baby wakes up. I also need to get the rest of the pictures that I took of Ella the other day edited and up on the picture site. Since my mom is coming tomorrow perhaps I can let her hold the baby while I get some things done.