Friday, June 19, 2009

4 Months Old


Happy Friday! It's Willow's 4 month birthday today. Hard to believe. She's come such a long way. I was a little nostalgic about it today. I took her footprints for the occasion. In the NICU, the nurses took her footprints on her birth day, and then on her 1, 2 and 3 month birthdays. I wanted to take pictures of all of them for the blog, but I couldn't find those footprints anywhere. I know they're around here somewhere. I just found her birth prints and then compared them to the ones I took today. The ones today look like one foot is bigger than the other but I don't think it really is-it was just the way I put her foot on the paper.

Here's a shot of her the day after she was born. I don't think we put this one on the blog yet- it's a little disturbing. But now that she's well and all, I can look back at it more with amazement than...distress, I guess. It's amazing what modern medicine can do for these babies!

...and an especially chubby-looking recent photo for comparison.

Willow had two appointments on Wednesday. A woman came over from a program called "Early On". It's a government program run through the school district and it's for pre-school aged kids who may have developmental or other issues. It's free. Willow was referred to it because of her extreme prematurity. This first visit was just me filling out paperwork, but in future visits, they will assess her to see how she's doing in various measures and if she needs help they'll refer me to specialists and stuff, I guess. At least that's my understanding of what the program entails. I'm glad this program exists. I want Willow to have all the advantages she can get. On Wednesday she also had another shot-the infamous DTaP - that's Diptheria, Tetanus and Pertussis. We wanted her to get a certain brand of this shot that has very minimal amounts of aluminum, because aluminum has been shown to affect babies' neurological development and other stuff, especially in preemies. But the NICU wasn't able to get us that brand so we chose to wait until she got out to get it - a decision that wasn't applauded in the NICU. But it was worth the wait because we were able to track down a dose of that shot, thanks to Willow's doctor here. We had to get the shot at the health department though, because that's where they had doses of it. Anyway we were very happy about that, and she took the shot like a champ. A shot is nothing when you've had PICC lines, IVs in your head, and a spinal tap!

We've weaned ourselves off of the charting. We've replaced it with something almost as good and much easier - a device called the "Itzbeen". It tells you how long "itzbeen" since she was changed and ate. I also use it to show how long itzbeen since I pumped and what her last feeding was (every other feeding is special preemie formula and every other one is breastmilk fortified with that formula). It's been working out great! Thanks to my cousing Katie and her husband Jon, who gave it to us!

Since Willow's only drinking my milk for every other feeding and our freezers are all full, I've been dumping pretty much all the milk I pump. It's depressing. I feel guilty about it so I finally contacted a milk bank downstate about donating it. I was super excited about the prospect, until they started asking me the standard questions. They're the same sorts of questions you get asked when you give blood. The first one they asked was whether I had gotten a blood or blood product transfusion inthe last 12 months. Oh yeah...I have. I had a platelet transfusion right after Willow was born. So, they can't accept my milk. Bummer. So right now we're feeding her milk I pumped back in mid-March. I figure we'll use the oldest stuff first since it does expire after 6 months to a year.

We got a new car to replace poor Suby. It's another Suby - an Outback this time. A '98. The best part is, it cost less than what the Forester was worth, so we didn't have to take out a loan or pay anything, which is good because our finances are...not in tip-top shape right now with all Willow's bills! I'm loving the new car. It is so roomy. And, not that we need this now, but it has heated seats!!! I've always wanted those.

I scored on some diapers at a garage sale today. They're all bigger sizes, but really nice brands and in great shape. I got a ton of diapers and covers for $40. I think if I had bought all of them new it would've been like a few hundred bucks. I was so excited. Thanks to Robin for alerting me of the sale, which was just a block from my house.

Here's a shot of Willow snuggling with grandma.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!


Lisa D. said...

Linds, Josh, and Willow,
So fun to read your post today! I love the phot of her in the bath...down right chubby; what a wonderful thing! Glad to hear all is going well and congrats to you both for working so hard to make sure Willow has EVERYTHING she needs and when she needs it. We are packing here trying to get ready for our "Clark W. Griswald" adventure out west. Take care...and keep the updates coming!

Love to you all,
Lisa, Scott, Nicholas, and Ellen

Cameron said...


I just have 1 thing, 2 say, 3 words, 4 you...


and happy 4 month mark.

It was good to hang out with you last night. Fireworks, bridges, seafood, and the best company.

talk to you soon,
Liz & Cam

Lois Bell said...

Hi Jenson family. Tracey and I are planning on a short trip to meet Willow and hang out with the Schaefers for a couple of days . See ya soon. Gt. G'ma Lois

Billie said...

Hey Jenson Family,
I stumbled onto your blog one day and really liked your story. Then I saw the same NICU that my daughter stayed at and thought what a small world. Willow and I also share the same birth day and my husband is from Hancock.
I'm glad you now have Willow home!! Way to go with all the pumping!! I remember doing the same and I had a pretty good stock. I ended up overloading my freezer along with my dads and ended up dumping a bunch because of space. I also wanted to donate it, but it's really not an easy thing to do. So, have you read the story about the multiple moms in Marquette that are nursing Moses? It was in the Mining Journal and People Mag. Here's a link

You should try to contact Robbie Goodrich, he's a prof at NMU. I'm sure he would like the extra milk. I have family that comes down from Hancock often enough they would be more then willing to transport it.
Best of luck with everything. You guys are great parents, have fun and enjoy it!

Katie Matzke said...

I'm sooooo glad that the itzbeen has been helpful! I think it's the greatest invention since sliced bread! Glad you guys got out for some fun. Take care, and happy Father's day to you, Josh!