Friday, October 26, 2012

Flashback Friday

This day last year was the first time I held Virginia.  It was an unexpected and brief moment while the nurse changed the linens in Virginia's isolette, but I will never forget that day and am so thankful to that nurse.  She saw that behind our tentative smiles we were scared, anxious and weary.  Virginia was obviously very fragile and quite sick but the nurse helped us do all of her "hands on" care that afternoon.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

1 year!

by the numbers:
1 year
12 months
52 weeks
366 days (leap year)
124 days in the NBSCU
7 weeks on a ventilator
7 weeks working on bottle feeding
8 months at home
16 pounds and 2 ounces gained
15.5" longer
2 little teeth
endless amount of smiles and thousands of I love yous.

At 1 year Virginia:
*Weighs 17lbs 9 oz
*Is 28 inches long
*Is teething.  Her 2 bottom teeth have popped through.
*Is working on crawling.  She gets from point a to point b by a combination of reaching, rolling, scooting and twirling... she seems close to finding a more efficient way of getting around.
*Tries to pull up.
*LOVES feeding herself.  Her newest favorite foods are cheese, meatballs, kiwi, pancakes, baby carrots & squash
*Is so happy and giggly

We had a great day yesterday and celebrated her birthday by doing some of our favorite things!

We went to crumbs to get birthday cupcakes!

Virginia played in the leaves :)

She dug into her cupcake!

Ginny posed with her giraffe

And last night we drove up to New Haven to deliver lots of books for the babies, cupcakes for the nurses and to see Ginny's nighttime primary nurse Amy.  Amy and our other primaries cared for Virginia with so much knowledge, skill and love; something that we are forever grateful for.  Their skilled hands, warm hearts, and gentle presence healed all of us during those 4 months.  

Monday, October 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl

Dear Virginia,
My heart is so full of love, hope, joy, and pride because of you.  You have already persevered through so much and blossomed into a baby full of so much life, love, and happiness.
Grow strong little girl, you have the whole world to take on.

happy 1st birthday my little love!

Enjoy the slideshow, I will update the blog with her "official" 12 month stats and happenings tomorrow :)

Please leave Virginia a note, a wish or a memory in the comments.  We will be getting the 1st year of the blog printed into a book for her and I'd love for her to have words from all of you that have followed her progress.

Friday, October 19, 2012


As the days are waning in Virginia's first year I feel calmer and more resolved than ever before.  I feel much the way I did in those final days before her birth.  My heart knows that everything is going to be ok.  Do I still have fears about the future? Of course I do.  But I know we will be ok.

In the days leading up to Virginia's birth I had one ugly cry.  The sun had not yet risen, but I was awake and alone in my room.  I was overwhelmed and knew that the only way I could make it through the next day was to let out a good cry.  I cried hard enough to cover my pillow, long enough to see the sun rise and deep enough to give myself resolve.  I put myself at peace that morning and knew we would be ok.  It took weeks  to cry again.

I cried for the first time in a long time last night as I nursed and rocked Virginia to sleep.  It wasn't tears of fear and it wasn't long and it wasn't  hard but it was deep.  Deep enough to remind myself to enjoy these days and to enjoy these moments. It is cliche, but they grow and change so fast.  As I rocked her I made a point to remember how heavy she felt, how her legs dangled well past my lap and over the arm of the chair, and how her tuft of hair puffed and swirled just so down onto her forehead.  It was only 11 months ago that I held Virginia for the first time.  I  can still feel where her head rested below my collar bone and her toes stretched to just a few inches above my belly button.  I can still feel her little arms, smaller than my fingers, as they would tuck under her chest.  I hope in the coming months and years I can take the time every so often to find that peace, to remind myself that we will be ok, and to remember just how she looks at that moment.  Photos and words are only the next best thing to memories.  

March 2012 - somewhere between that tiny baby that I first held 11 months ago and the big baby that didn't even fit on my lap last night.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Teething is Tough

Dear little toofies,
Please finish breaking through and give me back my smiley, happy, always.sleeps.through.the.night. baby girl.  I can't wait to see how cute you make her little smile.

much love,

Monday, October 15, 2012

Party Time

Lots of Birthday Party photos below.  Virginia had a wonderful 1st birthday party and as you will see very clearly enjoyed her first taste of sweets.  She attacked the cake before we could even light the candle.

  Many thanks to all of you that celebrated with us on Saturday and even more thanks to all of you that have prayed and celebrated with us every step of the way for the past year.  
Special pumpkins for our special pumpkin. 

Many thanks to Auntie Colleen for taking so many photographs at the party!

Virginia with all of her cousins.

From XXS preemie to 12 months clothes.  

The bear cake- a very special Kent Family tradition!  Thanks Nino and Aunt Nichole :)

On her new chair from Papa

We have over 60 books with special messages to deliver to the NBSCU on Virginia's birthday.

Lots of Babies!!!

Saturday, October 13, 2012


October 13 is a day of hope for us.  October 13th of last year was the first time we were given good news.  News that strict bedrest seemed to be working and hope in the form of steroid injections and more advanced treatment and intervention.  I had been on bedrest for 3 weeks and we had been holding onto our own hope, but it wasn't until October 13th that our hope was bigger than our constant prayers and outwardly positive attitudes.

Its coincidental but quite fitting that we are having Virginia's birthday party 9 days before her birthday.  Today, October 13th, we will celebrate with some family and friends.  Our hope never looked so beautiful, spunky or strong as Virginia looks today.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

These Two

These two are growing to be fast friends.  What Pippi doesn't realize is Virginia is probably only a few weeks away from being mobile and her life is about to change much more than ever before.  Virginia is surprisingly gentle with Pippi most of the time, but can definitely "love" her a little too rough sometimes too.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


We have recently discovered that Virginia loves the swings!  She still looks quite itty bitty in them but thoroughly enjoys swinging.  This weekend she played on the swings at a birthday party for two of her NBSCU friends.  We keep in touch with 2 other families that have October miracle babies. Eryn, Isabella, Logan and Virginia were all preemies who combined still weighed less than many full term newborns.  There are many similarities in all of our stories, the most important of which is that all of our babies are doing amazingly well given their tough entries into the world.  

  Isabella & Logan are  twins who were born 2 weeks before Virginia.  Isabella actually was in Virginia's "spot" in room three and moved out just in time for Virginia's birthday.  We are thankful that she left a little good luck and fighting spirit in that spot for Ginny.  We had a great time celebrating at their AMAZING Minnie and Mickey Mouse party!  

Thursday, October 4, 2012

on the move - sorta

Virginia can not yet crawl and is usually happy to sit and play with toys but it seems the minute you leave the room she is somehow several feet from where you left her and getting into some kind of trouble.   Sarah, Ginny's wonderful babysitter, sent me this photo the other day.  I imagine that there was some scooting, rolling and twirling involved in getting stuck under the chair.

As with everything else, it is clear that Virginia is going to crawl, cruise and walk when she is ready and definitely on her schedule.

Monday, October 1, 2012

filling out the map

For a baby that spent the first 118 days of her life less than 50 feet from the operating room in which she was born, Virginia has covered some serious ground in the last 7 months.  I love maps and traveling and we are doing our best to ensure that Virginia will as well.  Since our first trip out of state in April she has made at least 10 roadtrips and 1 plane trip and has been in 9 different states.  It took me 30 years to get to Maine and Virginia got there by 9 months!  We hope to fill much more of that map in the years to come and hopefully add some color to a continent or two too!  

This weekend's trip took us to upstate New York to celebrate cousin Greyson's 2nd birthday!  Ginny loved hanging out with the boys!

We went to Rathbun's maple sugar house for pancakes.  Ginny LOVED her pancake.  She has good taste .... they ARE the best pancakes and obviously the maple syrup is delicious too.  

We also got to see Mr. Jack (and Auntie Colleen, Uncle Brian R, Auntie Suz, and Uncle Brian F)  Ginny and Jack babbled together and held hands :)

We drove through VT and stopped for pumpkins and cheese.

 And finally on our way back home we encountered a big storm but were treated to this double rainbow when we got to Fairfield.  how appropriate!