Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fly By Post

From CaringBridge

It's been too long but there is really no time to get online, let alone write up a post.  We are still working on Ella's need to be held during the day (all day).  We are able to get her down on her own for an hour or two every day, but other than that either Grandma or I are holding her, playing with her, trying to calm her.  This is NOT a bad problem to have... given EVERYTHING we have been through in the last six months.  Like I said in my last post, it just makes it hard to do anything other than the essentials.

Ella is doing really well. As of Thursday she is 10lb 9 oz!! We moved to SIZE 2 diapers! She's a JOY!  She isn't perfect though... with the holding all of the time, late day/night fussiness she keeps us on our toes.  We admit that she is completely calling the shots in the house!  She is still (THANKFULLY) sleeping well at night.  It's just never fun to have to wake a finally sleeping, previously fussy baby every 3 hours around the clock.  Thankfully at night she tends to go right back to sleep!!  Let's keep it that way!!  If she's going to fuss, keep it during daylight hours!

Starting next week it looks like we are going into a phase of ONE doctor appointment a week!  We had 3 this week: eye doctor, pediatrician, GI doctor. Everyone is pleased with her progress!  We have graduated to seeing the eye doctor every-other week now!!  I asked the GI doctor how long Ella would have to be on the TPN (IV fluids), knowing that she can't give me a definite timeline.  She did say that based on how well Ella is doing that she would be off "sooner than you (I) expect"!  I still don't know what that means, but it made me happy!  

It's time to start interviewing help.  I do have an ad posted but have not had a chance to go through resumes and prepare myself for how I want to structure interviews.  Mom plans to stick around after I go to work but I told her that we will still need part-time help.  Given we have to feed Ella every 3 hours around the clock AND she needs to be held all day, that's too much for Grandma to do along with me working.  

For longer term help I am back to seriously considering an Au Pair program due to the cost savings compared to a full time Nanny.  An Au Pair is usually a young woman from another country who comes and lives with the family (us) and for a small salary provides 45 hours a week of child care.  Since the cheapest I believe I can get a full time Nanny would be TWICE what I budgeted for Day Care, the Au Pair comes in a good bit less than a domestic Nanny.  

We are getting by on "Contact Restriction".  I do wake up every day and WISH we could get out and see friends, go places and do things with Ella.  BUT... it's not worth it!  For a baby as premature as Ella it takes the body/lungs/immune system up to TWO years to mature vs. a full term baby.  Germs people carry that they never know about, never make them ill, could send Ella back to the hospital - or worse.  Being home with Ella in isolation is a trillion times better than the alternative!  

We are taking walks, going on drives and trying to maintain contact with the outside world.  I have occasional appointments outside the house and mom had brunch with a friend who was in town this week.  My sister and father are coming to visit this weekend.  Besides the WELCOME extra hands it will also give Grandma and me an opportunity to get out.  I have my Supper Club on Thursday night, if all works out (we have some other things in the works) then hopefully I can meet my girlfriends out for a while.  I plan to send the family out one night over the weekend to give mom some time off.  

There's more to write about, but I need to relive Grandma from a fussy girl, this will have to do for now.  (Right now her fussiness is because she is gassy, which is unfortunately common for an SBS baby).


  1. Wow! I'm glad that your mom is there to help. I wish that there were more that people could do to help right now. I know you said that it could be up to two years for Ella to build all her immunities, but do they give you any "steps" that she has to meet that will show she is more ready? Sending prayers and love.

  2. You are doing an amazing job and I am so glad to hear that Ella is doing so well. Won't one appointment a week be such a great change, your strength amazes me! Ella is a smart girl for wanting to be close to you and Grandma all of the time, she has great taste. I know how taxing that could be but I can tell that it is the best possible "problem" for you to have.
    I can relate a tiny bit to your feelings of isolation, although I am not minimizing your reason behind yours. I have twin boys and it is so difficult to take them out by myself. I do venture out but I am not nearly as "social" as I imagined I would be.
    I am so glad to hear you will be getting additional help. I think an Au Pair is a great idea!
    Take care, and well done!

  3. As a mom of 3 , an ex nicu nurse please do not get an Aupair . An Aupair is for healthy children above 1 and for a mom who needs an extra set of hands. During the past 7 years I've had 5 amazing Aupair With infant skills ( 200 hrs) and none of them were comfortable with infants alone . It would be a challenge for your mother and an Aupair to care for Ella while you work. Please find the best nanny for Ella despite the cost and transition to an Aupair in time. I too was a single parent for a while with my first and second child - my husband passed away when I was pregnant with my 2nd child so I under stand your financial
    Concerns .

    1. Thanks for your insight. Given that I work out of the house I am more comfortable with the idea of an au pair than I would be if I had to be at the office downtown 40+ hours a week. I have gone back & forth about au pair vs. nanny but the cost difference is over $10k/yr so I am back to considering it.

    2. You being home will make a difference! I've had several " extension " aupairs . They have the experience of being in the country and child care experience of the previous family. I find it takes an Aupair 3 month to settle in so this would be an easier transition. I use a smaller Aupair agency called goaupair and Amanda is my coordinator - she's really wonderful.

      Matching time takes about 6-8 weeks and about a week to adjust to the new time change and to be up and ready for work. If your interested ill email you some helpful tips if you decide to choose the Aupair path - my friend gave me valuable info and

  4. I'm hoping that the Au Pair program will work out well for you.

  5. Loved hearing how you're all getting along. Sounds very challenging yet you sound so happy!

  6. Sounds like you are getting into a routine!! Maybe you can Skype some friends so they can "visit" with Ella without having contact!!

    Great to get an update!!

  7. Glad she's growing so well!

    Both my kids needed to be held most of the day; I'm not sure if you've tried any carriers with Ella (her tubing might make that complicated?) but if you can manage it, it might give her the closeness she needs without tying up your hands...

  8. I'm a single Mom of two that somehow found your blog and just have never commented before. I've done both the au pair and the nanny with my two. I second the idea that a nanny would probably be a better choice but money is a issue in the real world. If you do go the au pair route I would suggest that you move quickly so that you can have lots of training time. An au pair has a big learning curve just being in a strange country and culture and then to learn all the ins and outs of your situation - she will need alot of help in the beginning. Just my 2 cents and that is exactly what it's worth 2 cents! Good luck.


Unfortunately due to an overabundance of recent spam I have turned off Anonymous commenting.