Tag Archives: Preemie

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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How this mommy and baby class saved me and Harley

Toptots

With Harley now seven months old, I have enough distance from those early weeks and months to look back with some perspective. I’ve written about how traumatic her birth experience was, but even then I didn’t realize how traumatic it was and how hard it was going to make things with her. I was sick, she was so very premature, and we had quite a road ahead of us. I struggled to bond with her, I felt like everything was just so hard, and I was even resenting her. It was NOT good.

Luckily, while still pregnant, I had already decided that I wanted to try and find a nice mommy and baby class to attend once she was born. There are so many out there, so I wasn’t quite sure which one I’d go for. But I chatted to Geoff, my editor at Lazygamer, and his wife used to own a TOPTOTS franchise, so I decided to give them a whirl. It turns out, that was one of the best decisions I’ve made in the first six months of Harley’s life. 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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One more sleep until my baby’s homecoming?

no place like home

Soloman Grundy might not have been a part of our thought processes when thinking about Harley originally, but he is coming to mind now that we are preparing to take her home. Born on a Tuesday, Harley is coming home on a Wednesday. That’s right, barring any unforeseen issues, we are able to drive to the hospital tomorrow and drive home with our little girl! After 36 days in the NICU, she is finally ready for her homecoming.

It’s exciting, exhilarating and more than a little terrifying. I have changed her nappy a bunch of times, bathed her, given her a bottle and breastfed her. So, I know I should be able to keep her alive what with being able to feed her, keep her clean and hopefully comfy. Of course, comforting her when she cries is still a bit hit or miss, although she is still a tiny little thing and I suppose that’s par for the course for a while. Still, at least I’ll get to figure that out at home instead of during NICU visits. Continue Reading

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