2.17.2010

let's get something straight

in most cases, it is not anything the parents (read: mother) did to cause a pre-term delivery. with all the ruckus about the duggars lately, as well as some other worrisome posts by some moms on some message boards i frequent, i think it's time we talk about what really causes preemieness. i mean really.

so, let's talk about what DOESN'T cause it, and lets dump some of that guilt right now ladies:




not going to church. sorry folks. i have to start with that one.. because, well, it's just so absurd. my husband and i being christians, and attending worship pretty regularly.. i'm pretty sure our story would prove that conclusion false. from my research i can't seem to find any correlation between religious practices and preemie babies. (for a more applicable argument to people feel they are christians and believe this, i'd like to draw your attention to job. an example of bad things happening to a good man. also, i'd like to draw your attention to ecclesiastes 9.11 "again, i saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor the bread to the wise, nor the riches to the intelligent, nor the favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to all." i'm not claiming that God never delivered a punishment to people for disobedience.. but the scripture shows us plenty of examples of "time and chance".) not to mention, "going to church" is not even indicative of a relationship or obedient attitude toward God.. it is something many, many, people do once a week to check a box. ugh. there are just so many things wrong with that statement i don't know where to begin. having a preemie isn't God's punishment to sinners, and it isn't some karmic retribution. it often happens to good people, it happens to bible believing christians.. it just happens sometimes.

eating/sleeping/exercising wrong. i'm not saying don't do those things... but i'm saying if you singlehandedly downed that bag of cheetos a week before

2.16.2010

time to vote!!

vote for your favorite story
friends, family and complete strangers are welcome to vote
the winning nurse will recieve a tote bag and

2.15.2010

almost done with synagis

last wednesday was almost the last shot of the season. they're thinking one more will do it. she also had a bit of a cough... so i went all "over reacting weirdo mom" and asked them to have the doc see her too while we were there for the shot. she apparently has just a little cold. her lungs were clear and she sounded ok... so they said to just watch for increased fever, coughing, lung issues... etc. i'm using the xopenex about once a day if she sounds congested- which is what the pulm said to do for the first year or so- they said to go ahead and keep that up.


she's been teething, so she's got a TON of drool.. like 3 outfits a day worth of drool. she hasn't been sleeping through

2.13.2010

valentine's day {not just for lovers}



this is the first year where we've had more than just ourselves to think about... more than just candlelight, hearts and loooooooove.
well, we still have love, but a different type... it's not the lovey-dovey chocolate love.. it's the waking to comfort you while your teeth are trying to break through your gums type of love. it's an adjustment that i find well.. interesting... and am really quite happy about. (if a little clueless.) so, this year, i'm trying to think of what would be appropriate for wren. granted, she's 8 months old, and will never remember, possibly ever care. (as with most of our traditions for babies.) but, since it has a value to me- i've decided to do something.
i'm going to make her a list of sorts of all the things i love about her... what she's doing now, and how she makes me feel. i haven't decided how to preserve it. (i say "preserve" rather than "present" because if i presented it to her she'd just stick it in her mouth.) when i finish it, i'll post about how cute it is. it will undoubtedly be cute. maybe a tin? or a jar? we'll see what i can come up with. (read: find when i google for ideas)
some ideas that are good for 2, in romantic love, can also be adapted for families. like the "list" that i'm doing for wren.. it could just as easily be "things that drive me wild" for my husband.

  • take a vacation. as a family... yes.. like we needed another excuse to do that. but, what better time to foster love and affection than valentine's day? being a screwed up kid really turned me into a screwed up adult where love is concerned.. and teaching your kids that time is of value and a great way to show love- rather than gifts- can be life changing. and remember, money isn't what's important. i'm not talking disneyworld here (though that would be fine)... camping in the backyard is just as magical for your 5 year old- i promise!
  • do your child's favorite thing. just like your husband would (or should) buy you a spa treatment for a special occasion.. it's nice to remember things your kids wanted to do- but maybe you don't have the time or money for regularly.
  • cook heart shaped food. i know- simple right? pancakes, pizza, sandwiches, burgers, veggies, anything that can be cut! easy i know- but kids love it.
  • decorate. decorate the house, their bedroom doors, their faces, cookies, cakes, bars or candies... make your OWN valentines. (i know, it's not swinging by wal-mart the night before the school party to grab up the last of the dora boxed sets- but it's meaningful.) it's always fun to get into the mood of the holiday. i have it on good authority that you can NEVER cut too many paper hearts.
  • make a list of "sweet" words... talk about when to use them, and how we show people we care. generally this time of year is a good one to talk about feelings.
  • amberperrodin.com's potato stamped valentines
    made with her daughter
  • remember fun family times. you can do this like the "reasons i love you"... be creative.. decorate a jar, shoebox, tin... draw a picture, a timeline, or photo collage. what a great tradition to go over every year the favorite times from the year before.
  • if you're into history, and making your kids more well rounded.. tell the history of st. valentine.... or, all the histories. the basic idea is that he was loving. (and not the romantic kind.) feel free to omit his death, based on your child's tolerance for beatings and beheadings.
  • make a coupon book. (again, same concept as with husband.) a trip to the zoo, to their favorite park or restaurant, date with daddy, movie with mommy.. extra book at bedtime.. you get the idea.
  • do something to show love. not just for your family, but for others. make cards for a nursing home, visit a homeless shelter and hand out clothes or food...
  • remember your civil servants. take cookies or candies or valentine's to the police department, firemen, bible class teachers and/or elders, widows, and/or special family friends... anyone who isn't often remembered. talk about why you appreciate them, how we show love, and why we show it the way we do.
my husband is still away. so that makes focusing on wren a little easier... it does make creating "family traditions" a little more difficult.

    what are your valentine's day traditions?

    what to do about announcements

    the subject of announcements is a touchy one for most preemie parents. especially for babies that come into the world as micro-preemies... wondering when you'll be able to hold your baby really puts a damper on the usual "we're so excited our baby is here". along with the "we're looking at 3 more months till we can take her home" issue.
    some people wait until their baby is cleared of major health risks to send out the announcements. some wait until their little one is completely out of the nicu and home.
    i needed the validation as a mother... to do something "normal parents" get to do- send out announcements. (granted, it took me FOREVER! and i didn't get them all sent out- sorry if you didn't get one.. i probably addressed it and it's in a box somewhere. :/ ) one downside to going ahead with sending them out is the stress of the nicu... it really throws a kink in the plans. i'd love to show you ours, but somehow can't find one.. guess i need to go through our household goods to find one to save for the baby book- eh? this is the one we used.. it's from tinyprints.com.


    on picture announcements:

    we opted for a picture of wren's foot in our hands. many parents, depending on when they send them

    2.12.2010

    so, we may go a little nuts

    about having a preemie...
    losing our full term pregnancy and...
    losing our "ideal delivery"...
    spending too many hours in the nicu...
    not spending enough hours in the nicu...
    leaving the hospital without our babies...
    holding our babies for the first time...
    all the acronyms you can imagine, and some you can't: C/S, IVH, PDA, NEC, ROP...
    the privilege of changing diapers...
    caring for our baby...
    about germs in general...
    the wonderment of a baby nipple feeding...
    pumping all the time...
    our babies' isolette linens matching...
    finding preemie clothes that make us feel like we have "real" babies...
    having a baby shower- at all...
    finding the perfect carseatstrollercribrockingchairnursingpillowfillintheblank...
    taking our babies home...
    not having a monitor to tell if they're ok...
    not hearing beeping for the first time in months as we watch them sleep...
    hand sanitizer...
    your "allergy cough"...
    your runny nose...
    about germs in general...
    cigarette smoke...
    anyone under 5 feet tall being within 5 feet...
    strangers wanting to touch our sweet babies...
    about germs in general...
    our babies gaining weight...
    our babies' matching clothes...
    taking pictures...
    the march of dimes...
    termie moms complaining...
    doctors' appointments...
    insurance bills...
    showing the nicu we appreciate them...
    reading everything we can...
    message boards and blogs...
    experiencing parenthood...
    trying to connect with other people in our situation...
    adjusted age...
    developmental issues...
    about germs in general...
    future pregnancies...
    future everything...

    about cherishing every single moment.

    and all of this is completely normal.

    for friends and family, please just give preemie parents a crazypass. we deal with many things that termie parents can't imagine. we carry worry, guilt, doubt, fear and a sense of being overwhelmed with us almost every hour of every day.

    2.10.2010

    nominate your nicu nurse



    -WIN $50 & A TOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE NURSE-




    post a little bit about your favorite nicu nurse below.. things he/she did that made your nicu stay a little easier.. a little something about what makes them special...

    submissions will close february 15.. and then the voting will begin! the winner will receive a $50 visa giftcard, and a tote bag.

    these folks work so hard for our little ones... they deserve to be reminded of our appreciation.

    2.08.2010

    etsy evening

    i love greeniemarie!!!

    nicu babystuff

    they're small.. sometimes very small... they're most often attached to tubes and wires... they hear beeping all the time... and they don't get to spend much time with their mommy and daddy the first days or months of life. but, they're babies nonetheless, so we must buy them things.

    i've been meaning to do this post for AGES... and really just forgot about it. so, here goes... some ideas for preemie baby gifts.

    clothes
    it's important to remember that most preemies won't be able to wear clothes right away.. and if they are, they'll most likely at least have heart/respiration leads on. but, the day that the baby gets to wear clothes is a HUGE day for the parents. for us, it was the day we felt like we were one huge step closer to having a "normal baby". our nurses were kind enough to allow us "picture time" before the little bird was actually able to be in clothes "full time"... and those are cherished pictures
    this is a micro-preemie sized outfit from preemiesrus.com

    2.07.2010

    preemie comic??

    this is such a great thing! i'm so glad that someone thought to do this....what a story!
    the author, scott,  writes...


    During these dark days I was completely barraged with questions from friends and co-workers. They asked, "How are you? How's Morgan? How's your wife?" I could never tell them the truth. It's not that I didn't want to. It just hurt too much to say, "My son is in the hospital and he may not make it through the day." 

    What I found myself doing after Morgan was born turned out to be an art journal. Everything I couldn't say to my peers began finding its way into my comic strip. I found it therapeutic. No matter what happened to him I wanted people to know his story. I knew that I loved that little guy and I would do anything to protect him. It made me realize I was a superhero just like all the other parents in the world."


    one of the preemie mom blogs i read is doing a giveaway... check it out!

    the preemie experience: giveaway!

    2.03.2010

    nicu slideshow

    a lot of people end up doing a slideshow of their little one's progress through the nicu, and out into life at home... here is our slideshow, and the music we used to accompany it.
    (i didn't want to pay to make it, so i used smilebox, with playlist.com in the background... but there are other, more convenient options if you're willing to spend a little more time/money.)

    slideshow

    music:
    baby of mine- allison krauss
    let them be little- billy dean
    dream big- ryan shupe
    my girl- temptations
    be my baby- ronettes
    sweet child o' mine- (GNR, as performed by) luna
    isn't she lovely- stevie wonder

    here are some other song ideas....
    and here...

    i did a post previously on "pictures you'll want to take"... those are the same ones that you'll want to include in your slideshow.

    hope this helps you in getting your slideshow together... i'd love to see your slideshows if you'd like to post links.

    for lilly

    Readers, please head over to the Zingo Tots blog and check out a raffle to raise money for a very special little girl. 3 year old Lilly has Arnold-Chiari malformation - a condition of the brain that will require surgery for Lilly. I can attest that having a child with even relatively minor medical
    condition is very costly...from having to take time off of work, from travel to and from the hospital and doctor's appointments, to co-pays and paying what insurance won't cover...it adds up, believe me. And Lilly's condition will require major surgery...her family needs our help. All the proceeds from the raffle will go to help Lilly. Its definately worth checking out...there are some really adorable raffle items on there, and tickets are only $10! Click the button below to check out the raffle and for more information on Lilly and her condition.


    ZingoTotsBlog
    Raffle is here:
    http://zingotots.blogspot.com/2010/02/lollipops-for-lilly-raffle.html

    Thanks for considering helping!!


    (and thanks to sara for posting this on her blog so we could hear about it!)