Wednesday, May 30, 2012


This is the face of a little girl who no longer likes to take the long, predictable naps that she used to take:

Now she prefers to nap like this:

And wake up only a short time later, usually after I have tried to place her ever so gently and quietly in her crib.

At least she wakes up happy!

Im sure we are to blame for the sudden lack of naps.  Its been hot, we have been busy, and our schedule has been anything but routine.  We have been having fun though!  Just in the past few days we went to a birthday party, we saw family, we went to a parade, and have had a few baby playdates.  I have been a nervous preemie mom and have been using purell and wiping her hands, carseat, stroller and toys like crazy.  I have found it very challenging to find the balance between cautiously enjoying our summer and feeling like a crazy person.  

Virginia is in her crib and has been  napping for more than 10 minutes now......

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A little laugh

Apparently Virginia thinks my rendition of twinkle twinkle is funny.   She is full of giggles these days. They are usually even longer than this clip, but she stopped when she saw the camera :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

7 Months Old!

I love this months photos because they are such an accurate sample of all of Virginia's faces.  She is such a happy, smiley, giggly baby.  She also loves to have her hands in her mouth.  We are so smitten and just having so much fun with her!

At 7 months old Virginia:
Weighs 11lbs 7oz
Is 23 inches long
Her adjusted age is 3.5 months
Almost grown out of 0-3 month clothes and starting to fit into 3-6 month clothes
Loves the momaroo, links, her garden toy and her butterfly toy
Is very ticklish
Is working on sitting up and rolling over
Is consistently sleeping 9+ hours at night
Has appointments with the Physical Therapist every other week
Doesn't have another Doctors appointment until July


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Some New "Firsts"

Virginia has had alot of new things going on lately.  I honestly don't realize how much she is changing or how many new things she is experiencing until I either look at a few weeks worth of photos or write in her journal or on this blog.  We are wrapping up her 6th month, which means I will be finishing her first journal soon.  Its time to order another book to start the next 6 months!

Virginia's highchair arrived last weekend.  Heath quickly assembled it and of course we had to put Virginia in it for a photo!  She is still a little too small to use it but Im sure that will change soon.  We don't quite need to use it just yet, we wont be starting solid food for at least another month. 

Heath is home with Virginia this week and next, but right now I am only working 4 days a week.  My day off also happened to be the most beautiful day of the year so far so we went out for Lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, sitting outside on their patio.  Heath and I had a lovely lunch and even each indulged in a glass of wine.  Virginia was perfectly behaved and we all enjoyed our first time out at a restaurant together!  Heath commented during lunch that in October he never imagined that we would be where we are now.  We raised our glasses and clinked to Virginia.  It was a perfect afternoon. 

Lastly, Virginia has finally gotten her first real bath in a bathtub. Up until now I had been giving her baths in our bathroom sink.  She has gotten much too big for that!  She loves getting a bath and Im sure she will love it even more when she can sit up and splash around.

Happy girl after her bath and lotion.... its  a baby spa around here :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Routine

I am back to work this week and Heath has taken a few weeks off to stay home with Virginia.  We are all getting used to the new routine and new roles.  I cant say that I am thrilled to have turned in my yoga pants and tshirts for work clothes and high heels again, but I'm sure with time and alot of work-life harmonizing things will get easier.

In the meantime, Heath is learning the joys and fun of being home with Virginia all day.  He is also learning just how hard it is to get half of your 'to do' list done each day.

I also forgot to mention a few weeks ago that Virginia was finally released from the retina specialist!  After 4 months of eye exams her retinopathy of prematurity is fully resolved!  She will need to see a pediatric opthamologist in a few months, but this is one less regular appointment for us and one less thing to worry about.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day - Dear Virginia

Dear Virginia,
Thank you for making me a mother.
Thank you for giving me a new appreciation and new love for my mother.
Thank you for being the first thing I think of when I wake up.
Thank you for being the last person I pray for before drifting off to sleep.
Thank you for our early mornings together.
Thank you even for your cranky nights.
Thank you for always giving me just what I need when I need you the most.
Thank you for your naps when I need them most.
Thank you for your giggles and 'uhhhh-huhs'.
Thank you for the bottomless stares of your big blue eyes.
Thank you for your patience as we figure out this parenting thing.
Thank you for teaching me all about hope, faith, and patience.
Thank you for fighting so hard.
Thank you for never giving up.
Thank you for being so brave.
Thank you for all you went through to make us a family.

Everyday I feel like my heart is full of love and somehow the next day I love you even more.

Well, I have a thing to tell you,
and it won't take long:
The way I feel about you
is a kind of a song.
It starts with an OOO,
and ends with a kiss,
and all along the middle, 
it goes something like this---

OOO, Snuggle Puppy of mine!
Everything about you
is especially fine.
I love what you are.
I love what you do.
Fuzzy little Snuggle Puppy,
I love you.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Virginia Lately

Virginia has been a busy (and growing) little girl lately.

She now weighs over 11 pounds and is 22 or 23 inches long (its hard to measure a wiggly little girl)

She knows how to let her opinion be known.

She is much more wakeful and alert during the day

She smiles, giggles and coos all.the.time.

She is getting stronger and stronger and starting to reach many of the goals that we set for her at the beginning of her physical therapy program.

She took her second trip out of state to meet Jack, her future boyfriend (in 25 years or so),  and see Auntie Colleen again.
 Little Jack is only a few weeks old but they are already fast friends :)
 It was a quick trip to Upstate New York to visit with Mr. Jack and Colleen, but it was so nice to share the day with one of my best friends and our little babies.  Colleen is one of my amazing RPI friends who truly has gone above and beyond in the past 8 months to support us.  We were supposed to go through pregnancy together, thankfully now we can go through motherhood together.  Colleen was one of the first people to know I was pregnant and was one of the first people I turned to when the scariest days arrived.  She sent packages, called and emailed when I needed her most, visited me while on hospital bedrest, organized a baby shower for me, brought food, sent cards, prayed for us, visited us in and out of the hospital, and was one of the biggest cheerleaders we had.  There is not an adequate way to thank Colleen, nor is there an adequate way to express our gratitude to her and the rest  of our friends who showed us their amazing compassion, generosity and love.  Everyone should have friends like this.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Go Ginny Gooooo

We had a great time at the March for Babies this weekend!  Some good friends and family walked with us here in Connecticut and we also had more friends and family walking in the March for Babies in New York.  Go Ginny Go has raised over $5,500 for the March for Dimes and is one of the top 15 teams in Connecticut.  Many many thanks to all of you that donated!  We were once again totally blown away by the support and generosity of all of our friends and family.  

We spent the morning surrounded by miracles as well as heartbreak. We were once again reminded just how lucky we are.  As a micro preemie, Virginia is one of the lucky babies, she was born at a time where medical advances (some of which were funded by the March of Dimes) has greatly improved the outcomes for babies born after 23.5 to 24 weeks.   We were and still are very aware that our story may be very different had Virginia been born just a few days earlier.  

We hope to continue to our support the March of Dimes, we also hope to find ways to give back to the Newborn Special Care Unit at YNHH.   

Thursday, May 3, 2012

a look back

Ive been sending out birth announcements this week.  Its seems a little silly to do over 6 months after Virginia's birth, but we cant help wanting to celebrate her birth, homecoming and share more photos.  Initially I simply gathered our christmas card list, a list full of our biggest supporters, but then started to make a list of other people that were involved in our story.  I started from the beginning and as I played out the last year in my head the list of people who affected us got longer and the memories of how this amazing story developed flooded my head.

There are my obstetricians, specifically my doctor who was there the day of my regularly scheduled ultrasound when we realized that I unknowingly was having symptoms of preterm labor and my cervix was giving way.  Weeks later this same doctor  held my hand as they tried several times to give me spinal anesthesia and so calmly performed the cesarean section to safely bring Virginia into the world.  

There is the ultrasound tech at my OB's office-  I will never forget her scanning my belly and sensing my fear; she gently grabbed my hand and told the baby on the screen "hang on; let your momma know you are going to be ok."  It was what I needed, those words never left me.  

There are the nurses on the 14th floor of the Smilow Cancer Hospital and the nurses of the Maternal Special Care Unit.  I stayed on the 14th floor of the cancer hospital from October 1st until October 13th, thankfully I was naive enough for the first few days to not even realize that this was a holding space for pre-viable cases.  At 4am on October 13th they gave me my first round of steroid shots to help mature Virginia's lungs and it was officially a new fight.  I was moved to the Maternal Special Care unit with new rules,  new monitoring and the knowledge that when our baby was born we would be having the NICU team's assistance.  The nurses of both floors celebrated with us that day.  It was a day of new hope and a new fight for our family.  

Then there is the Fairfield Police dispatcher and a rookie cop from the Fairfield Police Department-  On October 18th I was getting ready for bed after a great day.... I hadn't had any contractions (that I knew of), I had lots of visitors, there was a delicious eggplant parm special for dinner, and I had skyped with my nieces.  Much to my shock things went bad quickly.  Before I knew it I had a resident in my room and 2 nurses attempting to put IV's in my arm.  One nurse asked where my Husband was.  I replied that he had class that night and was at home.  She suggested that I call him.  I was trying to remain calm and positive and told her that I would give him a call once we were on Labor and Delivery and I knew what was going on.  She was quite frank with me and again suggested that I call him right away so that he doesn't miss our baby's birth.  I started calling, but it was close to midnight.  I called home, I called his cell, I called home again, all while being wheeled through the hospital and signing surgical consent forms.  I must have called 20 times before I started to call neighbors.  Finally I decided to call the Fairfield Police.  I knew that there was no other way to get in touch with Heath.  A very kind but confused dispatcher sent a police officer to the house to awake him.  Heath woke up confused and initially didn't go to the door.  The police officer returned to his cruiser to turn on his lights and then made a second attempt at knocking on the door.  I assume this is when Heath really woke up.  He answered the door as the police officer was backing up.  He was a rookie cop, but he knew well enough to be at a distance when pounding on someones door in the middle of the night.  
About 30 minutes later Heath arrived at the hospital, in his dress clothes no less.  I assume he threw on the business clothes  that he had just gotten out of that evening and sped to the hospital.  It was 2am and he looked like he had just walked out of a meeting at business headquarters.  Virginia was not born that night.  She continued to keep us and the doctors on our toes for 4 more days.  

The list goes on and on; there is the pastor at our church who blessed Virginia a few days after her birth, the mothers prayer group who prayed for us, the other families in the newborn special care unit who rooted for Virginia right along with their own babies, and then of course there are the doctors and nurses of the newborn special care unit.

Virginia, there are some amazing people that have a very special part in your special story.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

First trip out of Connecticut!

Virginia spent the first 2 months of her life less than 50 feet from the Operating Room where she was born.  By 4 months she had ventured to a few different parts of the hospital and even went a few blocks away for an MRI.  At 6 months old she finally left the state of Connecticut as we ventured on our first roadtrip to Maryland to celebrate Moma's 60th birthday.  Ginny was a champion traveler!  We all had a great weekend celebrating with my Mom, who looks much too young to be 60 and have three granddaughters.  

Virginia also got to meet some of her cousins, 2nd cousins, great aunts and uncles and friends.  She loved seeing lots of new faces and snuggling with some of her biggest supporters.

After many visits to the hospital and countless skype visits, my sister Lindsay got to hold Virginia for the first time.

We started off the weekend with a small dinner party at my parents house.  

 My niece Clare holding Virginia for the first time!

Some family and friends came over on Saturday to meet Virginia and eat some Ledo's Pizza!

Aunt Karen and Uncle Jim with Virginia

Aunt Karen & Uncle Tink came as well as my cousin Greg, who was in town from London!

Uncle Mike, Aunt Maureen and Karly came too!