Thursday, 23 August 2012

Pack N' Play Ball Pit

Since the day Claire came home from the hospital she has slept in her own room and in her crib. We set the tone from the beginning that her room and her crib was for sleeping. However since we have a big 2 story house we thought it would be good to have a pack n' play for downstairs for her to take naps. We tried putting her down for naps in it but when she did nap there it wasn't for long since she associates her room and her crib with sleep not her pack n' play. So we decided to just have her nap in her room instead no big deal really since we have a video monitor. Which was exactly what she needed, she immediately began taking nice long naps. However this left us with a really nice unused pack n' play (except for when we travel). One Sunday an idea came to me. Why not repurpose it into a ball pit. I put Claire in the car and one trip to Target and a $14.99 bag of plastic balls later we had ourselves a ball pit. It was cheap, she enjoys it, and as she gets older I can add more balls to it for more fun.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Teething Trial & Errors

The last six weeks poor Claire has been battling with the dreaded milestone of teething. Preemies tend to be delayed teething, which was the case for her. I have to admit it was one milestone I didn't mind her being delayed with, I mean teething isn't fun for baby, mom or anyone really. One day around 7 1/2 months my happy baby became inconsolable. Low and behold I look and she has four teeth coming in. As a result I have spent the last six weeks finding what works best for her with controlling the discomfort of teething. Here is what worked for Claire.

Teething rings and lots of them. Rotate them out as they warm up. I prefer the water filled teething rings since they stay colder for much longer than the cold gel kind. But that's a personal preference.

These mesh feeders are great. I sliced up some of Claires favorite fruit like Mango then froze them in a ziplock bag. Once they're frozen you just pull a piece out and put it in a mesh feeder and give it to baby to gnaw on.

Sophie the giraffe. Claire has everything giraffes. I had heard a lot of wonderful things about Sophie but hadn't gotten her one yet. Luckily my sister sent Claire one and she loves it. Aside from being a great toy to chew on she loves when it squeaks which is great for entertainment purposes.

To control discomfort and swelling I used Tylenol. A few friends recommended teething tablets, but they were hit or miss for Claire although several of my friends swear by them for their children. Lastly, which we actually haven't tried yet but a few recommended was an amber teething bracelet or necklace. If you try one out let me know how it works for you and where you bought it. 

Saturday, 18 August 2012

9 Months Old

Wow the last month just flew by! Good thing to, because I'm so over summer and ready for the fall and it's cooler weather. It's hard to believe but Claire turned 9 months on the 16th (I swear eventually I'll actually remember to write about it on the actual 16th one of these months). She has started doing a lot of things over the last month. Milestones are always exciting for a parent but when your the parent of a preemie each milestone has so much meaning. The big things Claire is now doing is holding her own bottle, which is great because I can put her in her hoppy with her bottle and get an extra 15-20 minutes to myself (if your a new mom you'll see just what an exciting thing it is to get time to yourself ). She also picks up her sippy cup and drinks from it herself (thank you Tommee Tippee for yet another great product). We now have an army crawler and she is getting quick fast. And she is starting to eat small pieces of soft thing like Strawberries. Oh and she now has two teeth.  I can't wait to see what she does over the next month!

She likes broccoli & cauliflower, strawberries, taking baths in the "big" tub, crawling after my phone, the laptop, iPad, Xbox controller and the remotes.

She dislikes her reflux, mommy leaving the room (good ol separation anxiety), teething and not being able to reach things that she wants.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Claire's Story

I realized I hadn't yet shared the story of Claire's arrival yet. I guess I should start at my first appointment and I was 11 weeks along. My midwife noticed I had something abnormal with my uterus, it was separated into two sections. The doctor referred to it as a septated uterus. I was then sent to the high risk area of the hospital that I would be delivering at for them to look at my anatomy and the baby closer to make sure everything was okay. Luckily, the baby was in the larger side of my uterus and looked good. The doctor went over the possible risks that could arise from my anatomy, one of which was that the baby could come early since it may run out of room earlier than 40 weeks.

The doctors felt comfortable with me continuing to see my midwife for my regular appointments, but would have me come every 4 to 6 weeks for a growth scan to check on the babys growth. I felt great and the baby was good and we even found out we were having a girl. Sometime around 27 weeks or so (I don't remember when exactly) I stopped feeling her kick as much. I tried everything to get her to move so I could feel her kick and get my kick count for the day. But one day I didn't, so I went into labor and delivery to get checked out as I was sure she was fine but I needed a peace of mind. Sure enough she was, but we did learn I had an anterior placenta which was acting as a shock absorber between myself and the baby which explained why I wasn't feeling her as much. The doctors said I should still get my kick count in and if I didn't I should come in. A few days later I went the whole day at work without feeling her, so I decided to drive to the hospital after just to get checked again to be sure everything was okay. As usual she was fine but this time my blood pressure was high. They admitted me to the hospital to be tested for preeclampsia. After the 24 hour test was done my results came back okay so they diagnosed me with gestational hypertension and kept me for observation for 3 days. When I was discharged I was told to take my blood pressure multiple times a day and e-mail them daily to my doctor along with weekly check ups and a non stress test for the baby. They told me they wouldn't let me go to 40 weeks but depending on how things went I would be induced between 37-39 weeks. Christian and I both took it in and felt okay about it since I was being monitored so closely and we knew the doctors knew best.

That weekend I panicked as we hadn't done anything for the nursery and only had a crib, dresser and a other non essential things from my baby shower. So we made a list of what we needed and spent the weekend picking up what we needed. On Monday I went to work as usual and felt like things were back to normal. Then on Thursday night around 1:30am, I was asleep when I felt and heard a snap, and sure enough my water had broken. I was 34 weeks to the day as we headed to the hospital to have our baby girl. She still had no name, her nursery wasn't even painted and I knew it was too early. After we arrived at the hospital around 2:30am I was taken to triage to do an ultrasound. She was still breech, as she had been for weeks so they began prepping me for a c-section. About 20 minutes before I went back for surgery we decided on her first, Claire. On November 16, 2011 at 4:44 am Claire arrived weighing 4lbs 4oz. After being cleaned up and standard tests done, they brought her to me to briefly see her before she was taken away to the NICU and I was taken to recovery.

While in recovery trying to move my feet as quick as possible so I could be moved to a room and hopefully see my precious baby girl we decided on her middle name, Lucille. Finally after about an hour I was moved into a postpartum room only to find out it would be 8 hours before I could see Claire in the NICU. But finally I was taken by wheelchair into the NICU where I would finally get to hold her for the first time. She was so tiny and had so many wires on her but she was perfect and holding her that first time was the best moment of my life.

Claire spent the next 22 days in the NICU fighting to be well enough to come home. She battled with bradycardia and couldn't make the 5 day count of being brady free. When she reached what would have been 37 weeks gestation they discharged her on an Apnea/Bradyicardia monitor so we could bring her home. On December 8, 2011 Claire Lucille was finally home.