Sorry I haven't blogged in so long...it's been a hectic couple weeks for us! And, we haven't been very good at taking photos lately either. There is a lot of news though, so here goes.
First of all, it's Willow's 9-month birthday today. How time flies.
We've abandoned a couple more of those things that identified Willow as a preemie: the itzbeen and the Neosure preemie formula. I know a lot of parents of "normal" babies use the Itzbeen too, but we became hooked on / obsessed with it after we gave up the hospital-style charting. It got to the point where, we'd be upstairs about to feed her, and it'd be like "where's the itzbeen?" Someone would have to run downstairs and get it so we could press the feeding button. Extreme, I know. Well, Willow's been doing so good with her feeding, we finally trust her enough to tell us when she's hungry and know that it'll be appropriate. Before, it seemed like if we didn't tell her when it was time, she'd happily go all day without eating. Now she gets hungry every 3 hours or so on her own.
We could've given up the Neosure a while ago, but decided she could use the extra calories it provided when we fortified her milk with it. But now we've run out and are not buying more. Straight breastmilk for Willow.
Willow will be 6 months corrected on Sunday and people are starting to ask when we're going to start feeding her baby food. We will, soon enough. I think we might wait until she's sitting on her own. I did have an idea the other day when I was bottling up milk, and let her try out the spoon with some (breastmilk) cream on it. She did great, actually, opened right up and let me put the spoon in her mouth, and ate the cream right up!
As far as pumping goes, I'm down to once every 6 hours - it's great! However, supply is still ahead of demand, and the second freezer is full, so I'm back to dumping some of what I pump. Not much though. As I keep increasing my time between pumpings and Willow keeps eating more, eventually she will eat more than what I make, and then we can dip into our freezer stash.
Willow got her second H1N1 shot today, so she's finally all vaccinated against H1N1 and seasonal flu. Yesterday, we all headed down to Marquette for the first time since discharge, so Willow could go to the NICU follow up clinic. She saw a developmental pediatrician, a Physical Therapist and a Speech Language Pathologist. She is still tiny for her age (actual and corrected), but is now up to about 13.5 pounds (we don't know her exact weight because they weighed her with her clothes on) and 23.5 inches tall. The PT she saw there was a special pediatric PT, and she had some minor concerns that the Early On PT didn't notice. Apparently Willow favors her right side, and has some issues with weight transfer from her upper body to her hips...or something. We're not quite sure exactly, but they referred us to another pediatric PT who is up here in the Houghton area. She's supposed to give us some exercises to do with Willow to help her. The PT said it's not a big deal and would probably resolve on its own by the time Willow is walking, but the exercises will just help her along quicker.
After the appointment, we stopped by the Family Birthing Center to see if we could visit some of our old NICU friends. We weren't really able to though, because right when we got there, they had just gotten two admissions that were babies transferred in from elsewhere, so they were really busy. Next time, I guess. We miss you guys!
Our friend Sharon came for a quick one-day visit last Sunday. We didn't take any pictures though - we're terrible! It was a fun visit. Grandma babysat a couple hours so we hit the brewpub!
Some parents teach their babies sign language. It seems Willow has learned a sign inadvertently due to our germophobia. See, anytime we are going to pick up Willow, we wash our hands and then use hand sanitizer. So now, anytime we are rubbing our hands together (like rubbing in the sanitizer), she knows she's about to get picked up and gets all excited and squirms and coos. It's so funny.
Here's a last photo to leave you with.
We have one more note for today: Welcome Home, Charlotte! Another micropreemie comes home. If you haven't seen Charlotte's blog link on our home page, check it out. What a little cutie.
This blog follows the adventures of Lindsay, Josh and Willow Jenson. It started in 2008 as my pregnancy blog, then when our daughter was born 14 weeks early in February 2009 it morphed into a medical blog as she spent her first 105 days in the NICU. Now, thankfully, it's basically a run-of-the-mill new parent blog.