Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Short post today. Just mainly wanted to show some pictures of the onesie that Grandma Ruth sent Addison.

Master of kicking off her socks. I put her socks on right before I picked up my camera. She already kicked off one sock by the time I snapped the first picture.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

First Therapy Session

How does a two month old look after her very first therapy session?
It definitely wore her out, but it was a good visit. Her nurse also came to weigh her etc. She has gained three ounces since Friday and is now up to 9 lbs! The meeting with the Occupational Therapist was pretty introductory as we went over her feeding habits and she checked Addison's head and hand movement. Addison showed off her tummy time skills as well as bumbo sitting and bottle eating. The therapist seemed very pleased with Addison's progress so far and also very impressed by the rather unruly tuft of hair on Addison's head. Hope the rest of her hair catches up soon- it is one of the first things that you notice about her when you see her in person.

Here is a random picture I found on my camera...wonder who took it? (- ; If you can't see it very clearly- the hat says S&D Landscapes

You can see the referenced tuft of hair in the picture as well as a face that is trying to tell Daddy something....she is such a Daddy's girl...maybe she wanted to borrow his hat again. (-:

Grandma came over this afternoon to do some fitting for Addison's Easter dress. It is really beautiful. Grandma is doing a great job.

You can tell that Addison was fascinated by the process (and by Grandma)

Anyway, other than the therapist's/ nurse's/ Grandma's visit, the day was pretty low key. Got some cleaning done and tried out a Zumba class for the first time. Have been wanting to try one for quite some time now. I had a really great time, but hope nobody reports the crimes against dance I was committing while trying to keep up. Hopefully I will have a chance to go back to Zumba again next week. Fun way to burn some calories.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Loving Addison

Cold, dreary Monday would normally be cause for the Monday blues, but today the weather provided the perfect backdrop for cuddling with my baby on the couch. I've heard people say that you can never spoil a baby....not sure I totally agree, but I do know that I couldn't hold my baby for weeks while she was recovering in the NICU and I have a lot of ground to make up. I think there is something to be said for just loving on your baby. Addison still has a long way to come. She still can't breathe without oxygen assistance, she might need heart surgery this summer in Boston if some holes don't close up on their own, and she has a very high chance of developing leukemia within the next year. I can't necessarily help her with these things, but I can give her the most loving, supportive home in which to work through some of these medical issues. So, that is what we accomplished today- loving Addison. (-:
She is getting increasingly more and more frustrated with the nasal cannula on her face. She has ripped off the tape and allowed the cannula to dangle free from her nose 3 times in the last 24 hours. This created a rather long night for her parents as her monitor went off more than usual and her numbers were a lot lower than they should have been so we were a bit on edge. But, come morning she seems to have rallied. In one sense, it scares me that she rips off the tape. In another- I am very impressed by her hand strength and coordination to accomplish this feat. She is an extremely determined baby. (I used the word determined instead of stubborn because I don't want that to be traced back to me.)

This morning, our friend Lydia visited and brought Addison this crib musical box that is identical to what Addison had in the NICU. The music from this box was the only thing that would soothe her when she would get really worked up from being poked and prodded so much. Addison is very thankful to Lydia who managed to find the exact same model on Craig's list.
Addison especially enjoys the tuba line in one of the musical numbers. I keep telling her that her lung capacity is going to have to come a long way if she wants to play tuba someday.

Also, Grandma Sanford and Aunt Bekka sent Addison a box today! They sent some absolutely adorable clothes (including some Wisconsin wear) and my favorite- this pair of shoes:
They are still a little big. You would never guess by looking that these are NB shoes. Addison has the most petite feet ever- we think she got this from her Aunt Kenly. (-: A big shout out to Grandma and Aunt Bekka for this awesome box!

Anyway, off to feed Addison again. She is pretty much a bottomless pit these days which is wonderful since it signifies growth. Also, have a yummy baked macaroni and cheese in the oven for dinner. When I was making the cheese sauce, I ran out of milk so I just substituted some breast milk.....totally kidding. Just wanted to see if anyone actually read to the bottom of this post. (-: In conclusion, here are some pics of Addison's bumbo sitting up practice from this morning. Any thoughts on what she is thinking in these pictures?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Snapshots

All Ready for church in the outfit that Grandma Smith gave me.

Love naptime with Daddy. (-:

Rocking the bow look while showing off my mad bottle skills

My cousin Svana taught me how to do this....just trying to figure out why you don't look very happy...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Pictorial Journey through bathtime

On most days, you might hear screaming and thrashing coming from my house. No one is being hurt, it is just Addison's bath time. Because of this and the fact that we are supposed to keep her relatively calm because of her pulmonary hypertension, her baths are probably fewer than we would like. However, when we went in to her nursery for her 6am feeding this morning, it was discovered that sometime during the night, she had thrown up over to her left side, splattering the bumper pad and creating a tiny lake of throw-up that her head and neck proceeded to rest in the remainder of the night. All of this to say- the first order of business this morning was a bath. I have arranged pictures depicting this particular bath time hoping to get inside Addison's head and figure out why she hates bath time so much. So here goes.

OK, I am glad to be taken out of the wet clothes, but I am not quite sure what is coming next. Hopefully whatever it is, it involves food.

Still waiting on that food, mom.....

Wait a second, something is not right here....
I HAVE BEEN TRICKED!!!!! I will now proceed to voice my displeasure in a very vocal manner.

Wait...when do I get to use that awesome big tub?...not only was I tricked into taking a bath, I am also being gypped by having to use this little tub instead....

All, right, the torture seems to be over, but I am still pretty suspicious

Things are looking up...out of my wet clothes, freshly bathed and in this cute new outfit....

Excellent...this is all I wanted all along...

A little sitting up practice....working so hard....

After all of this torture, and you still expect me to take a morning nap? Funny, mom...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Feeding Addison

Well, it is after 11 and I am just now able to pour myself my morning cup of coffee that was ready hours ago. This morning has been a little tramatic- starting at 8am. I was sleeping rather peacefully (after a rather fitful night) and my phone rang. It was one of the Early Intervention workers. "I am here for our 8:00am appointment and I am on your street but can't seem to find your house" Talk about a swift wake-up call. Turns out the EI workers miscommunicated, so she said that she would come back at 10am with everyone else. Anyway, I was up, so I got ready, tidied up the house a bit (AKA threw large objects such as folded blankets over piles of papers) and got Addison all ready for her company. They said that the Feeding specialist was coming as well, so I waited to give her her bottle until she would be finishing it up when they were here. Turns out the feeding specialist did not come and little miss Addison decided to be a drama queen with the bottle and sputter and cough and then fall asleep as soon as everyone got there. So, she is sleeping in my lap without having gotten her whole feed while my living room is full of Early Intervention workers overwhelming me with information and acronyms I have never heard of. So, they all just left and I just got the chance to give Addison the rest of her feeding through her Gtube as well as all of her morning medicines (she is currently on 4). Pictured above is her in her crib getting her food through that tube which goes directly into her stomach. In case you are concerned about the color of my breast milk, let me just say that she is on a pretty strong multivitamin that recolors everything it touches.
This is the feeding bag that we put the milk and medicines in and then gravity feeds it down the tube. The blue lever allows us to control how fast it feeds down. We have learned from experience that if it goes down too fast, we will see it all again. This is especially awful when the multivitamin is in the feed. (-: I wanted to post a picture of the tube going directly into her stomach, but since it is still healing and doesn't look very pretty, I will spare you that detail. She gets fed 7 times a day- the majority of the feedings is fed to her this way since we are still working on her endurance with the bottle. It wears her out too much to do all of her feedings by mouth, so we let her do what she is physically capable of and then give her the rest through the tube so that she can still get proper nutrition.

On an entirely different note, I am making these chocolate chip cookies: tonight. Well, I actually made them last night, but they have to refrigerate for at least 24 hours before you bake them. My husband was pretty upset to learn that these cookies had to be waited on, especially after I showed him the picture. The looks he gave me suggested that I had done the cruelest thing known to mankind- tell him I was making these amazing cookies and then make him wait a day to try them. Pretty excited to see how this new recipe turns out. I love trying new recipes!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What is it about having a baby that all of a sudden makes you have so much more to say? I have never felt the need to blog before, but all of a sudden I have this beautiful baby with so much going on in her short little life so far that I want to have an outlet with which to share all of this with my family and friends. Addison Lynnette Smith was born on February 6,2010. We had faced this birth with the normal amount of excitement and anticipation of any two people about to become parents for the first time, but there was also an element of uncertainty. You see, when I was 19 weeks pregnant with Addison, we went in for an ultrasound that would tell us if we were having a boy or a girl. You can imagine our excitement. However, while we were having the ultrasound, our doctor discovered that Addison had two cysts on the back of her neck. Of course we were immediately freaking out (by we, I mean me. Aaron was a rock the whole time). Amy (our doctor) said it was probably nothing, but that we should get another ultrasound at the high risk center at Fletcher Allen hospital. This happened on a Thursday and our High risk appointment wasn't until Monday, so that was a very, very long weekend full of tears and wondering. Anyway, long story short, after more ultrasounds and a very scary amnio, we were told by a doctor with an extremely depressing voice that our daughter has Down Syndrome. What a scary label for a daughter that we hadn't even met yet. What followed was four more months of a very hard pregnancy as at first we prayed that the doctors were wrong, and then finally we got to the point that we prayed that she would survive and that we would be the best parents possible to this gift that God was sending to us.
All of this to say- the most beautiful baby imaginable was born to us Feb 6, 2010. Yes, she does have Down Syndrome, but she is our beautiful baby first. Even though we have only had her 7 weeks, we can't imagine life without her. She is such a joy! I think you would be hard pressed to find a baby that is loved more. Aaron is such a wonderful father- reading her books every night in the NICU and being such a huge help now that she is home. I have just a few short more weeks before I have to go back to work, but I have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy every minute with my new baby. She spent five weeks in the NICU, struggling with various physical things- but is now home!!! She is still on oxygen (which presents an entirely new challenge to new parenting) and has a doctor's appointment almost every day (it seems at least), but she is doing great! Anyway, this is a super long first post, but I needed to lay a little groundwork for where I am coming from especially when I post about Addison.