Wednesday, July 31, 2013

ch ch changes

We have had a rough re-entry to the real world post vacation.  The past 2 days have consisted of a long and traffic filled drive home, work deadlines, loads and loads and loads of laundry, general crankiness, and a bout of coxsackie virus.  fun right?!  

This photo pretty much sums things up... haha!

Its also time that I start figuring out new childcare for Virginia.  Our very much loved Nanny is going back to teaching in September :(   Virginia has really thrived under her care and has stayed remarkably healthy this past year.  We have been so lucky to have the protection of individualized care in our home  and thankful that Virginia has had our Nanny's 18 month old daughter as a companion and peer model all year.

We have been pretty conflicted about whether to hire a new Nanny or enroll Virginia in a daycare center. I firmly believe that it would be very beneficial for Virginia to be around other children in a play based environment but the "never trust a preemie" statement is loud and clear in my head right now.  

In an ideal world we would have a Nanny that would come to the house and Virginia could be enrolled in a preschool like program a few mornings a week.  Unfortunately there are not many such programs in our area for kids under 2 and the costs would get wildly expensive (salary, tuition, extra car, ohh my!)

I hate feeling like I have to choose between the social development of my child and her physical well being.  We are leaning toward enrolling her in daycare, knowing that if she cant handle it medically we will have to change course.  She has been amazingly healthy this past year (is she stronger/healthier than we think or has she just not been exposed to much?)  but  the 8 weeks on a ventilator and 124 days in the NICU are just still such a recent memory.

I won't bore you with the details of the other complicated side of things - the fact that we are still on the wait list for all of the local daycares that we would consider sending her to.  We are family #32 for the 2 year old room in one of them in fact.  lovely...

Experienced preemie moms - any advice?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

vacation recap

We had a wonderful vacation with friends this past week.  We rented an enormous house on the beach in Nags Head NC with 7 other couples from RPI and our brood of 6 children (all under 2.5!).  It was an absolute blast and I think Virginia had the most fun of all of us.

This week she picked up several new words, including "NO" ...  lovely
She learned how to open doors (sigh..)
She spent a majority of her waking hours at the pool or on the beach.
We learned that she loves elmo and doesn't care for the count.
She tried freezie pops, cheetos, oreos, and doritos for the first time. (sigh...)

It was perfect.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


our toes are in the sand.
we staying up late and waking up early.
we have no schedule.

And this is the best part of my day...

Thursday, July 18, 2013

preemie mama friends

New moms are notorious for seeking out each other.  It takes a village to raise a child, and the advice, commiseration, and friendship of fellow new moms is golden.  Being the parent of a micro preemie can be terribly isolating in the new mom world.  We didn't meet any other couples during birthing class because we never made it to birthing class.  The soon to be moms that I met in prenatal yoga were still pregnant and still going to yoga class.  You get the idea.

What I didn't expect when starting on this preemie journey was to meet such amazing people that have walked in my shoes.  Some people I have only met via blogs or facebook and others I am lucky enough to see regularly.  Its an immediate sisterhood.  We all have unique journeys with the common threads that bind us.

As much as this blog has been a wonderful avenue for meeting other preemie mamas (and dads and grandmas too), meeting and developing relationships with local preemie mamas has been really good for my soul.  I didn't meet any of them through a support group or preemie mom club and it wasn't how I was expecting to meet fellow new moms, but boy am I grateful that they are in my life.  There are several that I met in the NICU.  There is one whose son shared Virginia's spot 1.5 years earlier and guided me through some tough days in the NICU.  And there are a few very special friends that I have met through the March of Dimes.  These are the women I turn to for preemie specific advice and recommendations, but also for a little w(h)ine therapy and lots of playdates.  Everyone should be lucky enough to have a local support network like I am blessed to have.

If you are a new preemie parent, I encourage you to find some fellow preemie parents.  You may find them through online groups, through the March of Dimes, through your NICU's family support network or advisory board, and through local Preemie/ NICU organizations (here in CT we have the Tiny Miracles Foundation).  Reach out, you will be glad you did.

Below are some of Virginia's warrior friends.  I love these kids and their mamas, who are some of the strongest and most loving people that I know.

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Family Time

We have been so blessed to have had a lot of time with family over the last  week.

One of the most difficult mental challenges for me about having a micropreemie has been how it has impacted our ability to see our family and especially our nieces and nephews.  We were so excited that we were expecting a baby that would be close in age to her cousins, but we didn't expect that we would have to miss out on so many of their milestones and keep them away from their little cousin for so long.

We live 3-5 hours away from each of our families, so both distance and the precautions of RSV and flu season have impacted how much we have been able to see them.  Thankfully our parents have made countless trips to Connecticut to visit and support us, sometimes even making the whole trip in one day when we needed them most .  This past week Heath's Mom came for 4 days to visit and watch Virginia while our Nanny was away for vacation.  (Thank you Nino!)

Our 5 nieces and nephews ranged in age 6 months to 3 years when Virginia was born and we went from seeing them roughly every other month to not seeing them much for nearly 7 months.  We missed baptisms, birthday parties, holidays, and dance recitals.  We missed all of these things again when RSV season rolled around again.  We are now making up for lost time.  My sister, her husband and her girls came for a visit this past weekend and the girls had a great time together.  The girls were so SO good and so patient with "Ginnieeeeeee" and she learned so much from them in a few short days.

Friday, July 12, 2013

my motivation

 virginia during her most challenging workout

This week I started a bootcamp workout class with another micro-preemie Mom.  After class my friend said something that struck me.  She said "when Im working out and ready to take a break I think of my little guy and how hard he had to work every second of every day."  Our babies didn't get a break.  They didn't get to hit the snooze button and skip the work out.  They worked for every single breath.  They continue to work for each step, each word, and each milestone.  

Im pretty sure I will be thinking of Virginia every time I am ready to drop a plank a few seconds early, every time I think of taking the shortcut on a run, and every time I consider hitting the snooze.  

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Further evidence of her climbing and fearlessness below.  Unfortunately she now climbs over the tray too.  We have upped our child proofing and now know that we cant keep her unattended at all.  yikes!

Monday, July 8, 2013

silence is golden

Things have been quiet around here because we spent the last 5 days in Maryland visiting family and friends, hanging out at the pool, eating crabs, and most importantly celebrating the marriage of my cousin Nina and her new husband Jay.   Welcome to our crazy family, Jay!

Our trip was great for so many reasons, but one reason was that it was great to see how much Virginia has progressed in the last few months through the eyes of people that haven't seen her in a while.  It is easy to forget all of the progress while in the day to day parenting and therapy-ing.  It was also the first time that we went to Maryland and I didn't carry hand sanitizer and disinfectant with me everywhere.  I'd say it was nice to relax in that sense but I was too busy chasing her everywhere and keeping her from getting into the trash, other peoples purses, the dog bowls, the silverware drawer, the sink cabinet EVERYTHING.  This is a problem we are loving to have!  

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

beach baby

Our happy place these days is at the beach.  We absolutely love living near the beach and go any chance we get.  We have 6 different beaches to choose from in our town, the closest of which is about a mile away.  Our favorite beach is a little further away but is absolutely the most divine place to be on a late summer afternoon or early evening.  Its small, it has a gorgeous jetty, there is a protected area where kids go digging for seashells and treasures, and has the most beautiful view of the Long Island Sound and several lighthouses.   The lobster rolls that they serve at the shack are an added bonus, as is the delicious pizza that the local pizzeria will deliver right to the beach.  

The best part is that Virginia loves the beach.  She enjoys exploring and is especially enamored with the seagulls.  She loves playing the sand and now loves going in the water too.  Our trips to the beach have also been really good for her development.  Playing in and walking on the sand has really helped her core muscles and has improved her balance.  I definitely have noticed a difference in her strength and stability and it has been a really nice addition to our weekly PT exercises. 

sweet sweet summertime.