Monday, April 30, 2012

but she's a preemie...

i've debated writing this post for some time
i've always said i'd be an open book
an open book i will be
i'm going to try and streamline this post
but it's a very difficult
and composed of many aspects
so bear with me if i take a left turn somewhere
i promise to try and make some sense

let me precede this post with this thought
i was never diagnosed with 
{post partum depression}
nor do i think i had it
and i don't want to make light of it
post partum depression is a very serious illness
those who think they are suffering from it should seek medical attention

before i ever had emerson
a good friend warned me about 
"baby blues"
she explained they last about two weeks 
you cry for no reason at all
it's just hormones getting adjusted

this was the best pregnancy advice i received
i didn't realize it at the time 
when the "baby blues" hit me
i was so thankful i knew what was going on with my self

emerson was 7 weeks early
some may say
"that's not that premature"
(in fact i have been told that)
to those i respond
"whether she was one week early or 10 weeks she spent time in the nicu which was the scariest part of her birth"

then the follow up appointments occur
and with each appointment
i am reminded by some medial professional
"well remember she is premature"
a part of me wants to yell 
"um yea i know i was there"
but i bite my tongue
and just nod
and because she was premature
you are informed of all the risks she is subjected to
like developmental delays
cognitive delays
and at aviano
they send a physical therapist out
once a month
to make sure your premature baby
developing normally
for me 
that means once a month
i am reminded that i failed to carry full term

there is certain guilt that comes with a premature baby
(at least i experienced a guilt)
my only job
was to carry this wonderful creature for 40 weeks
(or at least 36)
and i felt like a failure
and when you are reminded of it constantly
you can't help but feel the guilt over and over and over again

and i can't speak for parents of term babies
maybe they experience a guilt as well
when something goes wrong
or the doc observes something abnormal
but for me
even the simplest thing as a weight check
became a guilt fest 
even though she's gaining so well

so for those who are pregnant 
i warn you about baby blues
if/when you find yourself crying 
because you still can't eat gelato
(yes i cried because gelato still made me sick)
your husband didn't put the trash bag in the trash can just the right way
know that this too shall pass

for those who have preemies 
or babies in the nicu 
hang in there
talk to someone about any guilt you have
try to find a support system with other parents in the nicu
we did
even though it was an italian hospital 
there were two other american families
so we had a nice support system
love on your baby!
me lovin' on my baby!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

what's that on her face?!?!?: a lesson in infant dermatology

there isn't a day that goes by
that someone doesn't ask
"what's that on her face?"
a part of me wants to reply
"what on her face? i don't see anything"
then the nice person
the not rude person
wants to take the opportunity to educate
and inform
the questioning person 
of her birthmark
known as a hemangioma
are birthmarks
that are more likely 
to occur in
who are premature
hello emerson!
at birth they usually aren't visible
but about 2-4 weeks after birth they become apparent
which in her case
we thought it was from the tape of the ng tube
but within a week or so after that it became bigger

and a week after that even bigger

and today it's even bigger

(happy two months sweetie!!!)
but they
tell me this is normal
and that the birthmark will go away on its own
there are 
ranging from
beta blockers
laser surgery
surgical removal
because her spot
close to her eye
more than likely we will treat it 
we meet with the dermatologist
this week
to determine a treatment plan

her spot will
most likely
go away
with or without treatment

so there is your lesson in infant dermatology!
happy monday
happy 2 months to our sweet emmi!

Friday, April 20, 2012

do you breast feed?????

welcome to aviano!
oh you have a baby!
so do you breast feed??

it's a question i have encountered
more than
"how old is your baby"

here at aviano
your nursing cover 
is more in style
than a louis vuitton bag

step one
get a really cool nursing cover
thanks mimi!

step two
have a baby 
(maybe this should be step one but the nursing cover is just really a cool accessory!)
got the baby
isn't she a doll???

now bring out the boob!!!

my baby is a preemie!
the nicu wouldn't let me breast feed
oh no!!!!
maybe i can just wear the really cool nursing cover and hide her underneath
maybe no one will notice

but here at aviano
where breast feeding is the standard
that just won't happen
the lactation consultant
swarms in on me
waves her wand!
don't get me wrong
i love my consultant!
she's awesome
she goes above and beyond 
what i would do
she never gave up on me
offering different ideas
did i mention she breastfed her adopted child!!
yes her adopted child
so i figure if she can do it
so can i!
problem number one:
baby screams at breast...
oh no..
enter laction consultant with wand in hand and
i can proudly say 
that although it took two weeks
two very long weeks
my baby no longer screams at the breast
success number one!

problem number two:
i don't have enough milk
this breast feeding thing can be tiresome
here comes the lactation consultant with her wand!!
the pump

enter a regimented feeding plan

maybe one day we will eliminate the bottle 
but for now
it works
my baby is growing like a weed
impressing the docs with her growth
i can proudly answer
yes i breast feed
it wasn't easy getting to this answer
i know we aren't at a whole hearted yes
and some people would argue i'm not breast feeding 
because she still gets a bottle
but to those negative nancy's
i say hush!
there have been moments
where i wanted to give up
with the support of my husband
my mimi
my lactation consultant
fellow moms here at aviano
and back in oklahoma
emerson and i 
can be in style here 
at aviano
wearing a really cool nursing cover!