Feeding Tips for Preemies
Bringing Your Preemie Home
Tips for Buying
& Making Preemie Clothes
Tips on Preemie Development
Baby Showers for Preemies
How to Help Parents of Preemies
Recommended Books on Preemies
Anastasia's first year (2005)
Eating & Reflux (year 2, 2006)
Back to Sleep! (2007)
And Zane, Too (2008)
Allergies & Getting Big (2009)
Starting School (2010)
It's All Good (2011)
July 3, 2008
Yesterday I had an OB appointment. The bun has a good heart rate and I'm
measuring about two weeks ahead. (Probably just because I'm no skinny-minnie.)
I've gained five pounds this month; that's fine, but I hope to not gain
much more. I also had protein in my urine, which can indicate a problem
preeclampsia (pregnancy-related high blood pressure). However, my
doctor isn't too worried since my blood pressure looks fine. It's been
hot here and she said protein can end up in urine if you're dehydrated.
Still, I have to go back next Friday and have them check my urine and
blood pressure again.
The doc also set up my
glucose test (for pregnancy-related diabetes) for the end of the
month. Although this is routine, I never had the test when I was
pregnant with Anastasia because I never got that far along. My friends
tell me it's no fun to drink the doctor-prescribed 10 oz. of sugar, then
have your blood drawn.
I also talked to my doctor about possibly having my old OB, who
delivered Anastasia but is no longer a practicing OB (just an GYN),
assist with my C-section. She said that was certainly possible, since
both doctors are in the same practice. Hubby and I think that would be
really neat, since my old doctor was so supportive of our decision not
to abort Anastasia (and my other doctors were not).
Speaking of Miss A., remember when I discovered her with blood all over
her face and hands? I later discovered how it happened. Earlier, she'd
been playing in my office and found a metal ruler; I'd told her to put
it back because "it could really hurt you and give you an owie." I
thought she had obeyed, but I later found the ruler - with blood all
over it - thrown over the child gate into another room. I think she
realized Mommy was right, but didn't want to admit it :)
She is getting sneakier that way. A few days ago, she was watching one
of her Brainy Baby DVDs while I worked on my laptop (not a common thing
in our house). My battery ran out, and I only had five more minutes of
work left, so I hauled the computer into my office and plugged it in,
thinking Miss A. was occupied and would be fine. Well, just as I was
finishing up, I heard Anastasia sobbing. When I asked her why, she said
she was crying because her movie was over. This didn't sound right to
me, and sure enough, I looked down and saw that her hands were
completely covered in marker ink. Then I discovered her little activity
table was also completely covered in marker ink.
Apparently, when I left the room she saw the opportunity to be naughty,
then regretted it, knowing she was going to be in trouble...hence the
crying. It wasn't too big a deal. The markers were washable. But she
still got a stern lecture as I made her clean the table all by herself.
Yesterday I took Anastasia to the park. Unfortunately, it's the first
time we've gone this year, because I've been hesitant to walk the
several miles there while I'm pregnant. (We are a one vehicle family and
I don't drive. This time, a friend took us.) Miss A. really could have
cared less about the playground equipment. She wouldn't even go on her
favorite - the swings - until she'd gone up to every child in the park,
said hello ("Hello, boy! Hello, girl! Hello, baby!") and given them a
hug. She's really turned into something of a social butterfly around
She also took her first tumble after being hit by a child in a swing. It
was Miss A.'s fault. She kept walking too close to the swings, despite
my warnings. Fortunately, the child in the swing was just a baby and
wasn't being swung very hard. Still, Miss A. did a face plant. But she's
a tough little thing. She got right up without assistance and said to
the gradeschool-aged boy swinging the baby, "Sorry, boy!"
July 5, 2008
I hope all of you in the U.S. had a wonderful Independence Day. We had a
relaxing day with friends, but in the back of my mind I couldn't help
remember that July the 4th is also the anniversary of my water breaking
with Anastasia. The sound of firecrackers always makes me think of that
Fortunately, however, there was no reoccurrence with Miss A.'s baby
brother :) In fact, the most exciting thing that happened was I got
tired of Anastasia begging to put on makeup while I did, so I handed her
what I thought was a container of blush. But when I was done with my
makeup, I realized she'd been smearing greasy lip color all over her
At the park. Miss A. climbed up these "big kid" steps all by herself for
the first time. They're really steep for her little legs!
So proud to be on the big kid swings.
July 9, 2008
Yesterday morning, we awoke to a little off-key voice singing "Old
MacDonald." Better than any alarm radio :)
Miss A. is getting to where she sings a lot of the day, as she's busy
doing other things. She even invites me to sing along sometimes. A few
days back, she asked me to sing "the Noah song." I said I didn't know a
Noah song, would she sing it for me? She proceeded to make up a song
about Noah and his rocking, big boat, that eventually turned into
This morning, I explained to Anastasia that she might not see her daddy
much today. "Daddy's truck is broken and he needs to fix it." She said,
"Yes. Hoss [one of her daddy's friends] is helping by bringing Daddy a
battery for his truck." Anything that's broken just needs batteries, ya
Anastasia's baby brother is kicking up a storm. This week, we'll hit the
25 week mark, and we have an all-too-good idea of what the bun will look
like at that point. I'll be excited to see 25 weeks come and go.
I still have an appointment to have my urine and blood pressure checked
this Friday, but I've checked my blood pressure several times and it's
just like it always is...a little low. I don't think I really have to
worry about preeclampsia.
July 11, 2008
I just want to let everyone know that I had another urine test and blood
pressure check this afternoon. There is no protein in my urine and my
blood pressure is just fine :)
July 13, 2008
Yesterday, the Bun was 25 weeks and 2 days along. The exact gestation
when Anastasia was born. I don't want to make it sound like I thought
about this incessantly, but I couldn't help but have it cross my mind
By the time Miss A. was born, I'd been on home bed rest for about five
weeks; I was admitted into the hospital for bed rest the day before I
turned 25 weeks pregnant. I'd been having cramps or possibly
contractions, but once I was in the hospital, they went away.
Many women on hospital bed rest complain that it's terribly dull, but
that was not my experience. In fact, after a month of peaceful home bed
rest, I found hospital bed rest far too stimulating. Not only did
friends drop by for visits, but I saw my doctor every day, a physical
therapist (assigned to help prevent
muscle atrophy), the chaplain, and a myriad of nurses. They wore me
Then, at 25 weeks and 2 days, I started having cramps again. I swore I
was in labor, but the nurses declared I was "too nice" to be in real
labor. Still, a few hours later, there was no question the labor was
real, and my doctor rushed to the hospital to deliver what I know he
felt was a baby who would not live.
And now look; I have a beautiful, nearly-three daughter :)
And she now has a brother with a name: Zane Daniel. Zane means "God's
precious gift" and Daniel is a family name.
Now hubby and I can say we have children from A to Z!
July 15, 2008
Anastasia is becoming more and more baby-centered. Here are some things
she's said in the last few days:
* "Is baby brother coming out of your tummy now???" (I think she's
* While sitting in my lap: "Mommy, I falling off. Push me back!" (She
didn't like my explanation that she was as far back as my tummy would
let her be.)
* "Baby brother's mine best friend. When he's born, I give him lots of
July 20, 2008
Yesterday we went to a local parade and fair. We'd told Anastasia ahead
of time that we'd be going to the parade, and that there'd be horses and
fire trucks. Her immediate reply was: "Can I drive the fire truck? Can I
drive a dump truck?"
She was so excited, and once there she received even the simplest
"floats" with glee. She was delighted to see Elmo in the parade (she has
very little exposure to him, but we do watch
Elmo's Potty Time), but mostly was the horses and trucks she
liked the best.
At one point, she cried, "There's a donkey!" We were flabbergasted
because in the middle of some horses, there was a mule. If you don't
have a sense of perspective, a donkey does, indeed, look just like a
We also met up with Mr. E. and his family at the parade. It's been a few
weeks since he and Miss A. have seen each other, and he was eager to
give Anastasia a hug. "Yep! He loves me," Anastasia said.
Later, in the park, we stopped and watched a marching band, and she
studied them carefully, applauding after each number.
Also in the park, we saw Elmo again. Miss A. was eager to see him until
she got close, and then she lost her nerve. She appears to have great
remorse over not hugging him as some other children were doing; she
keeps talking about how "Elmo was afraid of me" and how "Elmo wanted to
hug me." Last night, she seemed really sad about it, so I used it as an
opportunity to teach her a little about trusting her instincts about
people. Not that I think the person in the Elmo costume was bad, but I
don't think any child (or adult) should ever feel badly because their
instincts tell them to stay away from someone. (An idea heavily
Protecting the Gift, a book every parent must read.)
But other than this one incident, Anastasia had a terrific time, which
is great because she was sooooo tired and grumpy the day before. In
fact, she ripped the cover off one of my books--something she never
does. A few hours later, as I was telling her daddy about it, Miss A.
said, "Yes, some little person ripped the cover off Mommy's book!"
July 20 (part II)
This evening as I was doing dishes, Miss A. came running out of her room
with a toy in her hand, and I suddenly heard a very loud THUMP. There
was a moment's pause, and I listened close...Then she started crying.
She'd somehow run right into the wall--into the corner, I think. She
didn't cry terribly long, but she has a large bump on her forehead
that's already turning purple. It looks like it came very close to
splitting open. She's been subdued this evening--mostly sitting in her
daddy's lap while he put some ice on her bump. I gave her some Tylenol,
which I thought might help with a headache.
We didn't put her in bed until just a few minutes ago--about an hour and
a half later than usual. Apparently
I'm supposed to wake her
up every half hour for the first six hours after the injury, then
two hours later, then every four hours...all to make sure the injury
isn't worse than it appears. It's going to be a long night. And here I
was just thinking I was all caught up on my rest. Ah well, mommyhood and
sleep deprivation go hand in hand.
July 21, 2008
Last night, Miss A.'s forehead looked awful--huge, swollen, and purple.
I stayed up with her until 12:30 am, then went to bed. Hubby checked in
on Anastasia a couple of times in the wee hours, and then at 7:30 am, I
awoke to the sound of Anastasia singing a made-up song at the top of her
She's just fine. And even though her forehead still looks painful, it
looks better than it did last night. She's eating heartily and I'm busy
telling her not to run around in the house any more.
July 25, 2008
I feel rotten. I've had a headache all day. I've been nauseated on and
off, to the point I was sure I was going to vomit. And the sun hurts my
eyes. I'm not sure why I feel this way, but I do know I slept dreadfully
last night. I'm at the point where it seems impossible to get
comfortable in bed. If I lay on my side, my arms fall asleep and
sometimes my tummy hurts. And if I sleep on my back, it's either
uncomfortable to my stomach or I snore badly. Last night, particularly,
I tossed and turned.
I do have a
Snoogle, a pillow designed just for pregnant women. I loved it
during my short pregnancy with Anastasia, but now it's not helping me as
much as I'd like. (I think it's just worn out; I loaned it to my
sis-in-law for her last pregnancy, too.) So today I picked up an
ordinary body pillow for $9 at Wal-Mart. I hope it helps.
In the meantime, I've been taking Tylenol (which you know I hate to do
But even though I'm telling you how rotten I feel, I'm doing so with a
smile. Because I'd much rather feel rotten today--or for the next few
months--and have a full term baby than to feel great and have a preemie!
Speaking of our former preemie, Miss A. is on to two big trends: Singing
and telling stories. All day long she sings--often at the top of her
lungs. Favorites include "Jesus Loves Me," "On Top of Spaghetti," "Frère
Jacques" ("In French, just like
Fancy Nancy!" she says), "Teddy Bear's Picnic," and "Hush-a-Bye
Baby," which she often sings as "Hush-a-Bye Zane." She also makes up her
As for telling stories, sometimes she'll do it with a book in hand, but
often she'll just be riding in the back of the truck, making stories up.
But they always sound like they came out of a book. For example, she'll
say: "'Oh, I need to get out of here,' he said, walking away." (Perhaps
someday she'll be a novelist?)
Other recent tid-bits:
(While eating lunch): "Is mine chicken in mine tummy? Baby brother is in
"Can I go to Mommy's doctor and listen to baby brother in Mommy's
tummy?" (This impresses me because she's only heard the baby's heartbeat
once, and it was when I was in my first trimester.)
And the Gospel according to Anastasia:
Anastasia: "God made them for me."
Me: "Made what for you, honey?"
(A typical prayer): "I love you, Jesus. [Babble I don't understand....]
I need to pray to you, Jesus. [More babble I don't understand...] Now
Mommy needs to pray."
Anastasia (to me): "You are mine savior."
Me: "No, honey, Jesus is your savior."
Anastasia: "Yeah, you Daddy's slave."
(Okay, I admit I said this once--mostly in jest--a month ago...)
July 26, 2008
I still feel sucky. The pillow definitely helped me sleep better, but
while I was exhausted, I just couldn't fall asleep until the wee hours.
Headache, eyes sensitive to sunlight, nausea, and fatigue. I tried
taking some allergy medication to see if that might help, but it didn't
do a thing. Then my hubby suggested I look up the possible side effects
Yep, that's right. They are
all listed as possible side effects for the suppositories. Sigh. If
that's what's causing this, I'll probably just have to live with it for
a while :(
Now, to give us all a little smile: Today Miss A. and I were talking
about Zane's birth (in a general way) when she said, "Will he be born in
July 27, 2008
I'm better today, by quite a bit. I went to bed at 9 pm and slept until
9:45 am. I think I was just exhausted!
But I'm really posting because I wanted to share this video of Anastasia
Loves Me" and her own made up song about the sun "that makes me
July 30, 2008
On Monday, I had my glucose test. This is a routine thing to see if
diabetes has developed during pregnancy. I'd heard awful things about
it, but it wasn't as bad as I imagined. I drank some sort of special,
high sugar drink (which tastes like a Sprite), then had my blood drawn
an hour later. About 15 minutes before the blood draw, I thought I'd
vomit, and baby Zane was really busy inside me, but soon I felt better.
Then this morning my OB's nurse called and said my test was "a little
off." Now I have to do a different gestational diabetes test. I will
fast late this evening until the testing is over, go into the lab at
7am, drink double the amount of that sugary drink, and have my blood
drawn four times over the coarse of 3 1/2 hours. The nurse said I will
feel really sick between the fasting and all that sugar. Fun, fun.
I'm hoping the first test was some sort of fluke. Only
four percent of women develop gestational diabetes. However, it can
be very serious (which is why doctors test all pregnant women). Mostly,
it would be hard on me...hard on my organs, and would lead to an
increased risk of developing regular diabetes in the years ahead. (I
already have diabetes in the family, so that's not what I want to hear.)
Usually, gestational diabetes goes away once the pregnancy is over.
There is also some risk to the baby. Mostly, Zane could get really large
(which is a major problem if you're going to deliver vaginally...but I'm
not) and would be at increased risk for blood sugar issues immediately
after birth and throughout his life. It could even mean a NICU stay :(
But I've decided the good news is that if I do have gestational
at least my body will have something in common with Angelina Jolie's!
(Never thought I'd be able to say that!)
July 31, 2008
I've hit the 28 week mark! This is a great milestone; a baby born at
this gestation can usually breathe on his own, which puts him at a great
advantage over an extreme preemie like Anastasia. I'm very excited to
have reached this point!
But my excitement is dampened a bit to think I might have gestational
diabetes. Part of me thinks: "I just don't do this pregnancy thing very
well." And part of me feels I could have somehow prevented this
diagnosis by eating better or loosing weight before becoming pregnant.
However, my logical side realizes that lots of thin, healthy women
develop gestational diabetes (including four of the five women I know
personally who've had it). Yet somehow I feel I'll be apologizing
through the rest of my pregnancy if the doctor tells me I have this
I'm a little reassured by
an article I read today, saying: "a positive result [on your first
test] doesn't mean that you have gestational diabetes. In fact, only
about a third of women who test positive on the glucose screen actually
have the condition. To find out if you're one of them, you'll have to
undergo a longer, more definitive exam called a glucose tolerance test (GTT)."
Which is the test I took today. It took a long time, and I felt sick
longer than I had with my first test. In fact, it took me most of the
day to regain any energy. I have a regular OB appointment tomorrow; I'm
hoping the test results will be in by then...
In the meantime, my dear little Anastasia is growing up. She's becoming
more independent, often saying, "I need to help myself" if someone
offers to help her in any way. Tonight she wouldn't even let her daddy
tuck her quilt around her at bed time. She had to do it herself. She
still shows no interest in potty training, however, and whenever I talk
about switching to panties and the potty by the time she's three, she
gets very quiet. Sometimes she'll even say, "No I won't."
Her language continues to amaze me. The other day, when her daddy was
changing her diaper, she said: "My fat butt is vicious!" Well, first of
all, I have no idea where she's ever heard anyone talk about their "fat
butt." But I was still impressed by her sentence structure, even though
it's obvious she's not quite sure what "vicious" means!
She often pretends to read, and I think she may end up reading early.
The other day, we were playing a phonics game. I'd say, "What are some
words that begin with a D? What words start with the duh sound?" Then
I'd offer an example or two. In the past, she's shown little interest in
this game, or gave answers that were completely wrong, but the other day
she was playing exactly right...and becoming very excited, dancing
around the room as she came up with words. "Daddy! I'm learning my
letters!" she said.