Browsing Category: Preemie

My Mother’s Day established a new Mother’s Day tradition

Mother's Day Tradition

I had a seriously eye-opening Mother’s Day. It was intense and emotional, but also pretty transformational – what I did first thing in the morning on a day all about celebrating moms is definitely going to become a Mother’s Day tradition for me. But first, let me back up and tell you how it all came to be.

You see, I was approached for the Cape Town Embrace campaign, and I wrote about it a few weeks back. I wrote all about how even with all the love, support and help that I had as a new mom, it was still so daunting, so scary. And I encouraged all of you to take part in this idea of visiting moms on Mother’s Day. We’d reach out and encourage them, make their day a little brighter and generally just welcome them to the mom tribe. But there was one problem. I had no idea which hospital I’d be going to or what it would be like. So I felt like a total hypocrite, telling everyone to do this and not even sure how I would manage to do it. Well, the amazing Sharon from The Blessed Barrenness stepped up and organized for us to visit Charlotte Maxeke hospital on Sunday morning, and I was blown away. Continue Reading

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A year at home

a year later

Last Friday was a very special kind of anniversary – it was a year since we brought Harley home from the hospital. It’s funny looking back, realizing how little we knew, how we truly didn’t know what we were in for. No matter what anyone says, nothing can prepare you for a newborn, and a preemie in particular. Now, a year later, our lives are so different, Harley is so different. Things have gotten so much easier, and also so much harder in other ways. It’s all part of the journey, but with Harley home for a year now, I thought I’d look back at those dark early days a bit, and also at how things are right now.

The past couple days with Harley have been tough. She isn’t sleeping too well – not horribly, but not great. I think she is teething quite badly, plus she is about to hit a major developmental leap which always makes her a bit impossible. She gets upset quite easily, cries more often and is generally just clingy and cranky. However, it is still a million times easier than it was back when we first brought her home. Sure, she can crawl off now, and get into things she shouldn’t (she ejected my PS4 game yesterday, much to my horror… time to move the console!) but she can also interact, smile, play and have a lot more fun than she used to. Continue Reading

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World Prematurity Day – An open letter to Harley’s NICU nurses

nicu-nurses-header

Dearest sisters,

I came around for a visit to the NICU with Harley yesterday, wanted to show off just how big she’s gotten. I wanted to show you all how far she’s come, how much she’s grown. I brought a cake and snacks and whatever else I could think of that would be nice for the team, a nice treat for all of you. But nothing I could buy, nothing I could give you could ever compare with what you gave to me. It was so wonderful seeing you all, taking pictures of you with an almost-year-old Harley – even if she did cry in all the pictures.

Growing up, I remember seeing donation tins for The March of Dimes. They used to be next to the check out counters in the drug stores in New York, and I would always look at them, but never really noticed what they were about. In fact, even last year I didn’t really pay attention to this day. I was already a mommy blogger, and I saw some of the other moms writing about it, but I don’t think I even read the posts. Oh how times have changed. Continue Reading

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Being “normal” as a preemie

breaking the normal mold

I was not expecting to have a preemie. It was not part of my plan, but it was medically necessary. After I got home from the hospital, I started reading up on preemies, and it was pretty scary stuff – there were so many articles and books about the challenges that are common for premature babies, and I was feeling so sad for my little princess. It was hard enough to see her so very tiny, filled with tubes and sensors in the NICU, but the idea that her struggle would continue long after she was home… it just broke my heart.

When she was still in the hospital, I remember a physiotherapist came in the one day and started chatting to me. She explained that premature babies do eventually catch up, but that you need to adjust for their age – instead of sitting by six months it would be six months from the due date, etc. That wasn’t so bad, and that’s how I thought of Harley for a while – as her real age and her “adjusted age”. But I’m not sure I need to keep doing that. Continue Reading

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How Harley has changed in three months

Harley 3 months

Today Harley turns three months old. It’s still a bit odd because I always have to adjust her age – she’s three months old, but considering how early she came, she should only be about a month old. That said, there are only really a couple milestones that are a bit delayed for my little preemie princess – otherwise, she is already on track for her actual age.

In only three months, my little girl has gone from a mere shadow of a baby to a real tiny human. She is growing so much every day, and I’m amazed at her development. Much like my own changes in the past three months, time has taken on a strange shape – it feels like both a long time and an instant. I can only imagine how another month or three or nine will change her even more. Continue Reading

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