Thursday, July 16, 2009

21 weeks old


Willow is 21 weeks old today- she'll be 5 months on Sunday!

Josh and I had a marathon day yesterday. Willow had a doctor appointment down at the Marshfield Clininc in Marshfield, WI. Mapquest said it would take 5 hours. I think it would've taken less than that for a car without an infant, but for us it took about 6 hours with having to stop and feed Willow every 2.5 hours. We left at 7 AM and got back home at about 10 PM. Ugh! We got there an hour early and sat in the parking lot of the clinic, Josh feeding Willow and me pumping. It was a strange situation overall. Needless to say, Willow's still not nursing that well. I thought she was getting the hang of it but I think I was overly optimistic. I think I've tried about every trick in the book. I even went to a La Leche League meeting for moral support. But this preemie hates real nipples! We still work at it every day, but I know the ol' pump and I have a long and intimate relationship ahead of us, because I want Willow to heave breastmilk until she's at least a year old adjusted. You know how some women say their milk lets down when they hear a baby cry? Mine does when I start assembling my pump. Ha ha.

Anyway, sorry for going off on that tangent. Willow's appointment was with a pediatric nephrologist (kidney specialist). Willow's primary doctor wanted her to see this specialist because her blood pressure's on the high side. We just wanted to make sure everything is OK. Thankfully, it is. This doctor first told us why Willow's BP tends to be high. There are three likely reasons: first, there are these filters in your kidneys called gliomeruli. When you're being formed in the womb, these are all done being made by about 34 weeks gestation. And that's all you get for your whole life, sort of like brain cells. But if a baby is born before that, for some reason the body stops making the filters as soon as the baby is born. So you end up with less of them. With less filters, your body has less ability to rid itself of excess salt. Second, because of Willow's Broncopulmonary Displasia (otherwise known as Chronic Lung Disease), her lungs aren't as good as they should be at metabolizing a hormone that helps regulate the BP in the kidneys. Third, because she had an IV in her belly button, sometimes the IV line can sort of scar the artery that leads into the kidneys. So those are the three likely reasons.

Now, Willow's blood pressure isn't even that high. It's at about the 90th percentile for a baby her age. He said it's not hypertension unless it gets to the 95th percentile. In fact yesterday it was a lot lower than it has been. The doctor examined her and said he gives her a clear bill of health. We just have to keep watching her BP to make sure it doesn't get higher. He also said Willow will be at higher risk for having high BP throughout her life, but we can pretty much cancel it out by feeding her a diet low in salt and high in fruits and veggies. Shouldn't be a problem since I'm a vegetarian and Josh practically is. Oh, and Willow is up to 9 pounds, 5 ounces now!

2 days of leave left...


Amy Widener said...

Glad to hear about the good dr. report. I know she'll be eating better than most kids with you guys! Almost 10 lbs, getting big! Sharon reported back she's absolutely amazing and adorable. I wish I could've met her too. I hope someday soon! Enjoy your final days on FMLA Linds. Will you be able to leave at lunch to go home or anything? How far is the hospital from your house? It's nice you have a (talented) relative en route to help!
Take care and update whenever possible. I love the pics and updates so much!!

Jody said...

I'm so glad that your appointment went well, it is always good to get the affirmation that everything is ok. Willow is just adorable.....thank you for keeping this blog up, I love checking it and seeing your reports and pictures.


Rebecca said...

Hi, you don't know me and vise versa, but I stumbled across your blog. My daughter was born at 26 weeks also! 26 and 1 day to be exact. We live in Minneapolis. It's great to see other babies like her doing so well! If you want to check out her site while she was in the nicu, it's at:

and our blog since being home is:

I noticed you had a post about cloth diapers. I am wanting to try cloth with my little girl - did you like any of the ones they sent you? Good to find you guys!


Chris and Alyssa said...

Congratulations on another milestone. Keep enjoying every minute of it!