from the experts

that is, other preemie parents. i've collected these from a preemie message board i frequent (ok, i live there really). my friends have come up with some fabulous advice that they would love to give their pre-preemie selves. if you're a woman with a high risk pregnancy... or an impending preemie... take heart and listen to what these amazing women have to share.

what would you tell your pre-preemie self?
  • hold on tight, it's going to be a bumpy ride.
  • To take my concerns/worries seriously, and insist on a pelvic exam sooner. 
  • Enjoy every moment being pregnant. 
  • To enjoy my son for who he is and not worry so much about what he is/is not doing, that it's a tough road, but it is survivable, also that I will find an amazing group of women who are all so amazing and strong.
  • Change OBs, demand better care, quit work sooner, and you are stronger than you think. 
  • That it's worth it. That you can stay on bedrest longer than you ever thought possible and do things that you never imagined having to do because in the end you get the most amazing child out of it.
  • Find better doctors, even if it means traveling across the state.
  • It is all worth it.                                                                                                                              They will be okay.   
  • When told to take it easy/relax - do!                                                                                              Take lots of pictures, even if he is tiny!                                                                                      Demand that your BP is under control BEFORE they discharge you the first time. 
  • That it's going to be WAY harder than you already think that it's going to be.                                                                                                                                               
  • That you will get through it and they will be okay.                                                                      
  • To try to get therapy right away, don't wait. 
  • Relax more.       
  • Get a better OBGYN and MFM. Gaining 30 lbs in 2 weeks is NOT normal.                                                                                                                                        
  • Join a support group.                                                                                                                 
  • And remember, everything will be ok!                                                                                       
  • Not to blame it on myself. 
  • It really WILL be okay. 
  • I would definitely tell my pre-preemie self about the signs preterm labor. Every time I hear someone is pregnant now I have a strong urge to tell them the signs. I'd tell myself to DEMAND to see the doctor if anything seems wrong to me even if the nurse says it's all normal. And I'd tell myself to take pregnancy pictures. I don't have any pictures of myself pregnant. I always thought there would be more time.
  • There's no such thing as a "safe" preemie age, and just because lots of babies are fine after XX weeks doesn't mean yours will be just like that. There are worse things than being told you are "over-reacting" to symptoms you are experiencing. If you think you need to go to L&D, GO TO L&D. 
  • To enjoy being pregnant. To rest more. Talk to the doctor before my emergency c-section to see if there were any other options. That it will be OK. 
  • I'd tell myself what a contraction feels like, so that I'd go to the hospital instead of trying to ride out the 'gas pain.'                                                                                                                       
  • That it's not normal to feel THAT bad while pregnant.                                                                
  • To cherish the feeling of them moving inside, as it won't last long enough.                                
  • To stop working when I started feeling like crap.                                                                      
  • That things will be very hard, but we won't lose BOTH boys, and that Hunter will be okay. (Granted, had I followed my own advice back then, or known then what I know now, we might have had a very different outcome.)                                                                                           
  • And that it's not my fault, despite my own ignorance. 
  • That it isn't my fault. Everything will be okay in the end.  
  • Don't compare your baby to others. ALL babies are different.....no matter what size they were when they were born or how soon. ALL babies meet milestones when they are ready. It is not your fault and you do not deserve this. You were chosen to handle the situation. Pray and always believe! And.....if you think you have taken too many pictures take more! 
  • To celebrate my daughter's birth, even if it's too early.
  • Go out on leave at least a week before you think you're going to have your last week. Oh and those 'mild cramps?' They're contractions so lay down and keep your feet up.
  • It CAN happen to me. Nothing worth having comes easy. You are emotionally stronger then you think you are. To push for my doctor to take my concerns seriously. 
  • My gut instinct was right. You can handle way more than you ever thought you could! You are not to blame, you did not fail your precious baby! You & your husband's relationship will be strengthened beyond what you could imagine. You'll find a way to love him even more.  
  • If I knew I was gonna have a preemie I would tell myself                                                             1. That you can do this.  2. It is not your fault.   3. Prayers will be answered. God & angels are watching over.  4. Find the great and supportive ladies of the preemie palace and the bump sooner.   5. She is sooooo worth it. 
 (with few exceptions they're quoted directly.)

i literally cried while reading some of these... they hit so close to home. i think my answer to the question can only reinforce what's already been said.
trust your instincts about your body. demand attention and care. enjoy every single kick. cherish every single stretch mark. you will get through this... 98 days is going to seem like an eternity... but you'll have her home sooner than you know. get therapy... it can't hurt. take pictures of everything. help others with the experiences you've been through.

if you have any advice to share, please feel free to comment and let us know your experience.

if you're a preemie parent looking for advice or support you can join the private board mentioned above [www.thepreemiepalace.com] no lurkers are allowed and you will be asked to provide some details of your experience... i cannot stress enough the friendships that i've developed and the help and support that i've gotten from these ladies. this is a moderated and private board.
[thebump.com] also has a board that can offer lots of support and answer many questions. (it is a public board though, so there can be some drama, and sometimes some real idiots who have no business posting there.) it is a great place to lurk if you're looking for information but aren't ready to talk. :)

after a sabbatical

“the most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.” -elizabeth foley

i hope you all have been growing and been blessed during the recent break in my blogging. we sure have.

so, while i've been away here's what you've missed:
-wren started eating table foods
-wren started eating exclusively table foods in obscene quantities.. like a whole kid's meal. seriously. she gets her own serving at dinner. seriously.
-she started army crawling
-she started army crawling all over the house AND pulling her knees under her sometimes
-wren also started pulling her knees under her ALL the time! (except when she's holding food in both hands, in which case she still wriggles on her belly so she can eat while she's moving.)
-she started pulling up to stand on everything
-she took her first daddy assisted steps (before she would always just plop down on her butt. :)
-she's started nesting blocks, finding hidden toys under things, pointing to what she wants, signing (when she feels like it.)
-she has many consonants now. dada being her favorite. :)
-wren is going on tooth number 3!!!
-she's grown enough hair for a bow. we thought it would never happen- and just like everything- it did!
-she now has her "big girl" car seat... and is loving it. she outgrew the length on the peg... 30in and 30lbs... she'd probably be 3 before she outgrew the weight limit! :)
-she had her first swim
-and first trip to the zoo
-she learned how to drink from a straw
-she learned so much from her EI therapist... i've got to devote a post solely to our amazing therapist!
here are a few pictures:
pretty girl

our great traveler... 8 hour trip

she's always happy when she's eating!



which is the main reason for the break in updates. we've been making trips back home (where the birth mother lives) to go to appointments... and between that and doing all the paperwork and keeping up with wren... whew. this momma is tired! :)
here's a picture of our sweet emeline adel, due november 7 (but will probably be joining us a little early):

it's been so long... i feel like, where do i start?
i've got some really neat ideas about some posts i'm going to be doing in the near future... they'll be coming your way soon!