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)
June 4, 2008
Tomorrow the bun will officially be half baked; I'll be 20 weeks
pregnant! On one hand, it's amazing to us that I'm already halfway
through. On the other hand, I find myself thinking a lot about how my
water broke at 20 weeks with Anastasia. Believe me, I try not to think
about it, but it's tough to keep those thoughts from entering my mind.
Both hubby and I have some somewhat arbitrary numbers in our heads.
After 20 weeks, we'll breathe a sigh of relief. And again after 25.
Again after 28. Again after 30. Each of these are milestones for
premature babies. And even though 30 weeks is still too early to be
born, I think we'll relax a lot after the bun reaches that mark.
The good news is the bun is very active inside me, and I feel good. My
hives haven't entirely gone away, but they aren't troublesome. I haven't
had to take any more medication for them.
Miss A. is beginning to take the idea of a baby brother more to heart.
For example, a few days ago, I was cleaning up some infant toys my
sis-in-law gave us, and Anastasia was enthusiastically "helping" me. At
first, she thought the toys were her own, so I said, "No, honey. These
toys are your baby brother's. But you can play with them, too. He won't
mind." Thereafter, whenever she picked up one of the toys, she said,
"Baby brother never mind."
Already, I'm saying things like, "You will share your toys with your
baby brother, and he will share his toys with you." Let the brainwashing
Miss A. was especially enamored of the crib toys. She knew what they
were instantly, grabbed them, and said as she ran off to her bedroom, "I
put this on mine bed now!"
For a while, I thought - just maybe - Anastasia was outgrowing her
Miralax (for constipation). She went several days with a miniscule dose
(I alter it according to her needs) and had three BMs a day. That's a
record. I was ready to stop giving her Miralax when she got badly
constipated. All is well again, but she's back on a higher dose of
I think she might be going through a growth spurt, too. For several
days, we put her to bed at 7pm and she didn't wake up until 10am. That's
unheard of! For Miss A., sleeping in means getting up no later than 8am.
She was also taking two hour naps.
Then, a few days ago, when I got her up in the morning, she said, first
thing: "Maybe I turn into a butterfly, like a caterpillar in it's
cocoon." I think she meant that she'd been "cocooned" in her blanket.
She blows me away.
June 9, 2008
Today, when I saw my OB, I told her that from here on out, it was all
new territory for me. By this time, when I was carrying Anastasia, I was
on bedrest, and my OB appointments were all about whether amniotic fluid
was building up (it wasn't) and if I had developed an infection (I never
did). "Here's to all new experiences!" my doctor said.
The bun is very active, and his heartbeat is great. I'd gained only two
pounds since my last appointment, and my blood pressure was fine. I had
BV test, and it was negative. I mentioned to my doc that I'd been
having periodic sharp, shooting pain near my armpit, above my breast.
She said it almost certainly was because of hormones (preparing to make
milk), but that it was a good idea to check for lumps periodically.
(Something I'm bad about doing.)
I took this belly pic on the 5th.
We also discussed C-sections.
Many of you have wondered why I "automatically plan" to have a C-section
the second time around. Others have strongly suggested I have a VBAC
(vaginal birth after a C-section). While I'd discussed this topic with
the OB who delivered Anastasia (who is no longer delivering babies, or
he'd still be my doc) and a perintologist (high risk pregnancy doc), I
hadn't directly discussed this with my current OB. I did that today.
Here's the scoop:
When a woman goes full term (or close to it) and has a C-section, the
doctors cut into a very low section of her uterus, where the tissue
heals readily and quickly. If, during another pregnancy, she has a VBAC,
the risk of her uterus rupturing while in labor is about 1 in 100. When
a woman has a C-section very early (as I did, at 25 weeks gestation),
they cannot cut into the low section of the uterus,. (Remember, the
uterus is much smaller at this stage.) Instead, doctors cut into a
higher section, which doesn't heal as well. Therefore, the risks
involved in having a VBAC is higher.
This is why we're going for a planned C-section. There is some small
part of me that would like to give birth the old fashioned way, but that
longing is much, much smaller than my desire to have a healthy delivery.
So, while we were discussing C-sections, my doctor decided to schedule
mine. October 17th is the day! Woo-hoo!
In the meantime, Miss A. is getting alarmingly big. I can't believe
she'll soon be three! Here are some cute things she's been saying:
Every once in a while I like to ask her what she wants for her birthday,
because her answers are so fun. This weekend when I asked, she paused
and then said: "Christmas!" (That morning, she wanted to wear a shirt -
found in the back of her drawer - that had snowmen on it, and she walked
around asking for a Christmas tree.)
To her father: "Daddy, I can read your mind. You want to read to me."
Daddy: "If you could do anything in the world, what would you do,
Anastasia?" Miss A.: "Read books!"
Me: "Mr. E's mommy is nice; she likes you." Miss A.: "No, Mommy! Daddy
June 12, 2008
Anastasia has been contrary, grumpy, and whiny for a while now. I think
she's just exhausted from growing, but it's really starting to wear me
down. Yesterday, as I was preparing dinner and she was whining in the
background, I was feeling pretty grumpy myself. And when I dropped our
glass pepper shaker on my toe, I let out a loud noise.
Suddenly, Anastasia's whining stopped and she came into the kitchen.
Miss A: "Are you okay? Are you okay?"
Me: "Yes, I just dropped something on my toe and it hurt."
Miss A: "Let me kiss your toe."
And she did. Thinking this was awfully sweet, I squatted down to her
level and she threw her arms around me and patted my back.
Miss A: "You're okay, you're okay."
She was exactly imitating what I do when she has a minor boo-boo. I was
humbled. And my attitude for the rest of the day sure improved!
I'm 21 weeks along today, and so excited to be past the dreaded 20 week
mark with all its bad memories. Last night, as I read the 21 week
gestation chapter in my favorite pregnancy book (Great
Expectations, which I highly recommend; it's soooooo much better
than the old standby
What To Expect When You're Expecting), I realized the text was
suddenly unfamiliar. I'd forgotten that when my water broke, I stopped
reading my pregnancy book. The doctors made it so clear there was "no
hope," I just couldn't bear to read it any longer.
June 17, 2008
Anastasia has become a lipstick thief:
She's also become very insistent on dressing in a way that pleases her.
Fortunately, she has a pretty good sense of style:
June 19, 2008
Repeat until you've gone through three sets
June 20, 2008
Although I'm not the least bit worried about Anastasia's development, I
thought I'd take a peek at a developmental chart and see how she shored
up. I used the 30-36 month chart (Anastasia is 34 months) in The
Everything Toddler Book.
Says the names of pictures in a book when asked (if talking) -
Names six body parts (if talking) - Absolutely
Describes what two objects are used for - And then
Makes three- to four-word sentences (if talking) -
Speaks so that others understand him most of the time (if talking)-
Says fifty words (if talking) - Far more!
Understands most of what is said to him - Oh yes!
Follow a two-step command - Yep!
Reasons through problems himself - Most of the
Counts to two - Yes; counts to 8 consistently well
Indentifies four colors - And then some...She
knows all her colors
Copies a straight line - Not quite, but she's
getting there. I think mostly she doesn't care to copy my straight lines
Copies a circle - Yep!
Confines coloring to paper - Yep!
Balances on one foot (two seconds) - Yep!
Stacks eight blocks - I have no idea since
Anastasia doesn't like to play with blocks
Says "please" and "thank you" when prompted - Yes,
when not prompted!
Takes turns (with guidance) - Yes, mostly without
Asserts rights with peers - Yep!
Knows not to bully other children - Yep!
Contributes to joint act ivies and discussions -
Negotiates and compromises - Yep!
Asks for information - Oh definitely!
Plays with other children - Yep! She no longer
plays side by side other kids; she actually plays with them.
Uses the potty - Not at all consistently, but more
on that in a moment
Eats with minimal assistance - Oh yes!
Dress himself - Not really. She's more likely to
undress herself. I have no doubt she could dress herself (in easy to put
on clothes) but she's still saying "Mommy do it."
Fixes a bowl of cereal - We don't eat cereal, but
she could definitely do this, although it would be messy :)
I'd say she's doing excellent!
I have decided,
mostly due to the bragging my friend Tanya has done about potty training
her 34 month olds (grin) that I really must stop putting off the
whole potty training thing. (At the very least, as the price of
everything goes up, up, and up, it will be great to stop by diapers.) So
I bought some cute panties, a big bag of M & Ms (for rewards), some
carpet cleaner, and some Pull Ups (for night time) and will plunge into
the task Monday. I'll let you know how it goes.
Miss A. seems to really be getting the whole baby brother thing. The
other day, as she rode her Thomas the Engine, she talked about how baby
brother would soon ride it, too. On the other hand, when I ask her where
baby brother is, she sometimes says he's in her tummy. And the other day
she said, "Where mine bike? Oh, it's in mine tummy." (I guess if a baby
brother can be in a tummy, a bike can be, too!)
I did finally find a decent picture book about adding a baby to the
family. Unfortunately, it's out of print - but fortunately it's easy to
find, anyway. It's
Our New Baby by Roger Priddy. In simple terms, it explains that
a baby is in Mommy's tummy, that it takes a while for it to come out,
that Mommy goes to the hospital and has the baby, and what it's like to
have the baby at home. Everything is presented in a positive fashion,
which is sadly difficult to find in children's books these days. It's a
little on the young side for Anastasia, but she still likes it, and it
has helped her to understand what the process will be like.
P.S. Tomorrow, hubby and I are celebrating our 7th anniversary. A friend
(Mr. E's mommy) will watch Miss A. a good portion of the day while hubby
and I go on a much needed date. Ahhhh I can't wait!
June 22, 2008
So in preparation for tomorrow, I've been washing new little princess
panties. (There's not a lot of choice out there; it was either Disney
princesses or Disney cars.) Anastasia is intrigued and keeps asking what
I'm doing with the "baby panties." (I think she assumes they are for a
baby because I've been washing a lot of baby clothes and giving them
away.) I explained the panties are for her, and she can start wearing
them tomorrow. She seems excited.
Then Miss A. spotted the bag of Pull-Ups.
Miss A.: "Mommy, what's this?"
Me: "Those are also big girl panties for you to wear at night. Tomorrow
we're going to start using the potty every time, and not go in diapers
A moment later, Miss A. carted the Pull-Ups over to a baby gate and
flung them over into a room that she almost never goes into.
Me: "What are you doing?"
Miss A. (frowning): "I threw them away!" (Then, suddenly feeling
guilty:) "It was naughty."
Ha! This whole potty training thing is going to be interesting...
June 24, 2008
Accidents so far - 12 urine, 1 (very runny) BM
Successes so far - 0
At first, Miss A. was downright obstinate. On Monday morning, I
explained all about using the potty: Tell Mommy before you go and Mommy
will help you to the potty; go pee or poop in the potty; if you go in
the potty, you get a special sticker to put on your potty chart and an M
Her reaction: "No!"
Then she had her first accident...and didn't like it. Gradually, she
became more willing, and after she peed her pants said: "I need to go
But so far, she hasn't managed to tell me this more than two seconds
before she actually goes.
I think I started this at a bad time. (Is there ever a good time?)
Anastasia is grumpy and tired. And so am I. Unexpectedly, I'm starting a
new, difficult job writing web content. All I really want to do is go to
bed and sleep until the job becomes easy and Miss A. knows how to use
the potty perfectly. Oh and did I mention that all day yesterday our
sewer system was plugged up, making flushing and washing impossible???
Hold on.........Ok, I'm back. We need to update the tally to 2 BMs. (At
least this one didn't end up partially on the carpet. )
Okay, looking on the positive side:
SpotShot is a God-send. (Thanks, Becky, for recommending it!)
Gerber Training Pants are wonderful. (I should have more than three
pairs!) They are cotton, but have a padded crotch, which allows
Anastasia to feel wet, but keeps a lot of the liquid in her pants.
* Our sewer system is back up and running again.
* I have a child, and she happens to need potty training. (Hey, we moms
of extreme preemies don't take these things for granted!)
June 25, 2008
We continue to have no success using the potty. I won't say we haven't
made progress, though, because Miss A. does tell me (about one or two
seconds before she goes) that she needs to. She didn't start out that
Sometimes I think she's just being stubborn. For example, we were
Potty Power DVD (which she's been watching for a while, and
really enjoys), but once in a while, when the host would say something
like, "Now you can use the potty, too!" Miss A. would shake her head and
say, "No I can't!" On the other hand, she'd ask to watch the DVD again.
So maybe she just doesn't have the mechanics down yet. And probably
she's feeling cautious. She is a cautious girl.
I am reminded that in all physical areas of development, Anastasia has
her own time table. Nobody could rush her when it came to sitting up. Or
crawling. Or walking. And certainly not talking. So I shouldn't be
surprised that she doesn't want to "rush into" potty training, either.
Tired of cleaning up messes, this afternoon I put a Pull Up over her
panties. She was just as eager to change after she urinated, but I
didn't have a big mess on the floor to clean up. I may continue this
way...Although when I changed her panties and tried to put a Pull Up on
her again, she was defiant: "No!"
Later I told her (not threateningly, just matter-of-factly) that if she
continued to make messes in her panties, we'd switch her back to
diapers. "No!" she said, "I won't wear diapers!"
So we'll see how it goes.
I've been meaning to report to you on the Bun, too. He sure is one
active fellow. I read recently that at 23 weeks (which I'll be
tomorrow), you might feel the baby moving once or twice a day. I feel
this little guy moving a lot more than that! In fact, several times he's
kept me awake at night while he plays soccer. But I'm not complaining!
An active baby is a healthy baby.
I also read recently that by this time most women have gained 15 pounds.
I'm nowhere near that, so I feel a little proud :) Still, I am beginning
June 26, 2008
FIRST: Bun and I are at week 23! Yahooooooo!
This morning, I asked Miss A. if she wanted to wear princess panties or
a diaper. Without hesitation she said, "Princess panties!" So I said,
"Okay, that means you need to use the potty today." Her instant reply
was: "No, I can't wear panties. Diapers!"
So today she wore diapers all day. Her stress level (and mine) was much
lower. A few times she told me she needed to use the potty, but mostly
she made no note of it. So I guess we'll hold off for a few weeks, then
One thing I've read that might work is to create a deadline. One writer
said she bought a potty chair and panties for her nearly three year old,
but her daughter protested. So she said, "Oh not now. When you're
three," the writer told her. This happened pretty regularly. And
suddenly, when the girl turned three, she just started using the potty.
Presto! That's something that might work with Miss A.
I also have to admit that Anastasia is no longer drinking Pediasure. It
became such a battle every evening to get her to drink it. All she
really wanted to do was play with her daddy...and who can blame her? So
now our evenings are much more peaceful. I do worry that she's not
getting any milk though. Kids her age are supposed to get about 16 oz.
of milk, cheese, yogurt, or ice cream every day. I think she comes close
to that on most days, but still...
Today, after Anastasia's nap, I suddenly realized we were having a real
conversation. Not just a few sentences, mind you, but a longish
conversation. She has always (since she was an infant) loved to stare
into the trees she can see from her bedroom window, and today as I held
her and rocked her after her nap, she said, "Look at the baby leaves on
the daddy tree." I agreed they were pretty. Then she mentioned that
there were animals in the trees. Yep, I said, what kind of animals? She
began naming some, and I added on others, and we were silly with some.
Then she told me what her favorite animal was (bears), and asked what
mine was. It was just so...grown up!
I also love to hear her "read" to herself. The other day, I was working
in my office and she was sitting beside me, looking at an older-kid's
book about Jonah and the big fish. Oh how I wish I'd had a video camera
handy! In her version (which, of course, she was narrating out loud)
Moses starred, and he made Noah some yummy cookies.
Today, my hives were suddenly worse. They really weren't bothering me,
but I got large splotches of them on my arms. Surely it's not a
coincidence that today in my area there was an extremely high pollen
And I was feeling pretty good about my new job and how Anastasia was
handling it. I was working on my computer, and she was playing around me
happily. "Hey! This might actually work!" I was thinking. Then I looked
over at her, and I thought she had lipstick all over her face. When I
asked her what it was, she said, "Oh, just spots." I asked her to come
over to me, and as she did, I realized her face was bloody. And so were
both her hands. As I took her to the bathroom to clean her up, I asked
what happened. She didn't seem to know. It turned out all the blood was
from a small cut on one finger. I still don't know how it happened...but
Miss A. was delighted to wear a Band-Aid.
June 29, 2008
Yesterday, as Anastasia was reciting the names of the people she loves,
she added "baby brother." Later, she asked me to draw a picture of her
daddy. Then she wanted me to add myself. Then she wanted herself added.
Finally, she said, "Where's baby brother?" So I added him, too. :)
Today, we took a look around the toy store. We hadn't been there in
eons, and wanted to get some ideas for Miss A.'s third birthday. As
usual, Anastasia was well behaved in her umbrella stroller. At one
point, she said, "I love this, Mommy!" I thought she meant a particular
toy, so I asked, "What do you love, honey?" She looked all around the
store and held out her arms: "This!" she said.
In response to my worries about Miss A. not getting enough calcium from
milk products, my mom-in-law reminded me I could make yogurt popsicles.
Oh yeah! I'd even bought a popsicle mold a while back. Since I had some
calcium-enriched orange juice in the fridge, I tried that first.
Anastasia ate about six on Saturday. Yes, they are messy and some of
each ended up on the ground, but still! I'm going to try yogurt
popsicles next. I could even make them out of pudding or Pediasure.
Plus, I introduced Anastasia to ice cream cones, and she loves those,
The only trouble with these things is they are too messy to eat anywhere
but outdoors, so when cooler weather comes upon us, hopefully Anastasia
will be a more cooperative eater and drinker. If only they made apple
juice fortified with calcium, our worries would be over!