Saturday, November 10, 2012

7 Months Old!

Grandma Carol captures a self portrait!

Ella turned 7 months old yesterday!  As of today she is 12lb 14.5oz!  Just over a week ago she measured 23" long at the doctors office.  According to a conversation with the Nutritionist from the Infusion company the other day she is at the 50th percentile (on the growth chart) for her adjusted age (i.e. How old she would be if she were born on her due date 7/21/12).  The nutritionist believes that based on Ella's growth she shouldn't have any height issues (which was a concern).  The Nutritionist actually said she will soon start charting Ella's growth on her ACTUAL age chart rather than her Adjusted age!  

We are still waiting for a laugh from my girl.  Grandma and I have at various times thought we heard a 'start' of a laugh but it's just not quite there yet.  She continues to develop new skills.  She LOVES to sit on my knee and be bounced!  She has started rocking herself in this position too.  She stands (has been for quite a while) while holding her.  She has started rocking while standing too.  Now she is rocking side to side too!  She loves movement!  She loves the outdoors (and thankfully it's been pretty outside this week)!  She still doesn't like tummy time but she tolerates it for a while on the ball (an exercise ball).  She's doing better with time on her back.  She is much more interested in people than she is in her toys, but she is grabbing/reaching for some toys and bringing them to her mouth.  

We continue to try things like the swing, jumparoo and activity center without much success.  Yesterday, after a really great nap, we put her in her big swing.  She tolerated it for a few minutes and then all Hell broke loose!  She screamed bloody murder!  And the trauma continues long after you finally remove her from the swing. She looks at me as she is still whimpering, the look saying 'Why Mommy, why?  I trusted you!'.   Ella knows that she wants to be held.  I may have mentioned it before, but my theory is that for the 5 1/2 months she was in NICU whenever I put her down, I LEFT (to go to work/bed). So Ella could associate being put down (not being held) to abandonment/mommy going away?  I have no idea if there is any truth to my theory but you have to admit, it sounds good!

We caught a smile!
She is also having periods of "I want mommy and ONLY mommy".  There are certain times when she can't have mommy (and more to come when I go back to work next week).  I feel bad for Ella and Grandma when this happens, as it did tonight.  When I prepare her fluids I can't attend to Ella, I'm gloved, working with syringes, needles and keeping things sterile (and I'm very particular about keeping things sterile, as I HAVE to be).  Grandma handles it so well, and I think right now, part of it is increased gas on Ella's part.  

Grandma Carol had a birthday this week!  Since we couldn't go out and celebrate, we ordered dinner in!  Unfortunately I had stayed up FAR too late watching election coverage the night before... so I was dragging much of the day (admittedly my own fault).  You see, our corner grocery store is CLOSED for renovation (it's being rebuilt) which makes getting to the store a destination trip.  I didn't have the chance to get away to get to the store and pick up a cake.  Had my head been working correctly I would have realized that I could have walked to the corner bakery for cupcakes...  Instead, we had cupcakes the next night!  And they were delicious!  And the next night, we had a glass of wine!  So Grandma Carol's birthday celebration has been extended throughout the week!

Nanny S came over Friday to meet Ella.  Ella seemed to take to her and smiled and took her in (she has a head full of a lot of red hair, fun to focus on).  Then it was close to nap time so Ella got fussy.  S will start working on Wednesday (my first day back), with Grandma Carol showing her the ropes.  I've written up a "Care Plan" for Ella that outlines her day and nuances... it's nearly 4 pages (although a good portion of that explains her pump, backpack, maneuvering her line and what any pump alarms could mean)!  

So I start back to work on Wednesday.  This start date was intentional to give me a short week back, then the next week is Thanksgiving, another shorter week.  Part of me is looking forward to getting back to work as productivity has looked very different than I'm used to at home with Ella full time.  It will be an adjustment though.  I've worked from home full time since 2010 and it's worked out well, but it's always just been the dogs and me at home.  Now my house is full!  My biggest concern is being able to hear what is happening with Ella (when she gets fussy) and NOT to respond.  It's very instinctive for me to jump up and take her when she gets fussy.  It will be a new challenge to let go and let Nanny S or Grandma take care of it without intervening.  

I know I would have much more anxiety about going back to work if Ella were going to daycare!  I'm thankful that I work from home!  I also have no idea how I would handle it if I didn't work from home??  Ella's infusion (IV fluids) completes at around 2pm.  I will have to take the 5 - 10 minutes to unhook her line/fluids and flush the line every day, even though I am working.  If I were in the office I have no idea how I would handle this, given we don't qualify for private nursing?  

Unhooking/Hooking Ella up to her fluids daily is a 2 person job... one to hold/handle Ella and one to do the gloved/sterile work.  I've already figured out that once Grandma leaves and it's just me and N (our Au Pair) I will have to be very scheduled with hooking up Ella's fluids - before N goes off duty for the day - otherwise it wont work.  I still have not quite figured out how to handle it on N's days off...  I may just have to have Home Health come in those days because, as I said, it is a two person job (if Ella were a mellow baby who could be put down without a problem that would be another story).

Grandma Carol is staying until after Christmas, so we have a while until we get there.  We will have a 'test run' in early December when Grandma Carol flies home for a couple of days for my sister's nursing school graduation/pinning (I insisted my parents go, I have plenty of lead time to coordinate the support I need for those days)!!  We are all really excited for my sister as she has found (and worked VERY HARD for) her passion and she has done such a fabulous job in nursing school! Did I ever mention that she had her OB/Peds class at the same time as when Ella was born?  I still remember Ginger quizzing me about my pregnancy on the phone on my drive to the mountains that weekend, she told me she had more interest in the class than she originally did since I was going through it at the time (at an "Advanced Maternal Age")... little did we know that 3 days later Ella would be here!  Ginger was always several steps ahead of us as she had learned about all of this and we were trying to figure things out.

November is Prematurity Awareness Month... over the next couple of weeks I may share some posts from moms of micro preemies that have hit close to home.


  1. Aww, she looks so sweet in that one of her smiling!

    More pics, please!

    It's amazing that you can be home even while you work.. that must reduce your anxiety a lot.

    My hat is completely off to you for how well you have managed this new life of yours. I hope it keeps getting easier!

  2. Seven months? For those of us out here it doesn't seem like it has been that long but I know that you have felt every day of it. I am so glad she is doing well. I do love that smiley picture. :-)

  3. I agree, 7 months went by so quickly! Love the big open mouth smile!

  4. Happy 7 months, Ella!!! Love the picks & thank you so much for such a thorough update.

  5. Ella is such a beautiful baby and you are such an amazing mother! I think of you often and I am amazed by your strength, dedication, love and awesomeness!!

  6. I hope the transition back to work goes smoothly.


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