Friday, September 25, 2009

Appointment Recap

On Wednesday, we took Jacob into Boston to see his Pediatric Opthamologist. They have been monitoring him since birth because of his ROP and laser surgery treatment. The doctor seemed pretty optimistic in the beginning and said babies with ROP can go either way. Some babies have horrible eye sight and side effects from the laser treatment and some babies are not affected at all. He was hoping that Jacob, like most babies, would outgrow the issues he was seeing (farsightedness) and so he had been monitoring him every three months since March. At our appointment this week, the doctor informed us he hasn't seen any change in Jacob since March which is unusual and also not very good. Jacob's eyes strain to see objects close to him and if we do not correct the problem now then we could further damage his eyesight. Long story short, Jacob needs glasses. I asked the doctor how often he needs to wear them and he said all the time. I was pretty shocked and upset by this because most preemies start out wearing them for a few hours a day and work up if they need them more. Some of you may or may not know that I wear glasses (contacts most of the time), but my vision issues stemmed from me needing glasses only to see the chalkboard at school and wearing them all the time. My vision is now horrible because I ruined my eyes by wearing them all day instead of just to see the board. I am hoping by making Jacob wear the glasses all day we will not make him more reliant on them. He also doesn't cross his eyes which is what many babies with his condition do when they are looking at an object close to them and trying to see it clearly.

In other news, Jacob's heart murmur is back. They thought they heard it again at his 12 month NICU follow-up, but he wouldn't sit still long enough for the doctor to confirm that it was the murmur she was hearing. Our pediatrician heard it at Jacob's 18 month visit this week and Jacob was very well behaved so we have confirmed that it has, in fact, returned. I am making an appointment at The Floating Hospital for Children this week for Jacob to see a Cardiologist. Hopefully it is just a benign murmur and nothing serious requiring surgery. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we head into the next challenges Jacob faces as a result of his prematurity.

On Thursday, Jacob and Grace had their 18 month and 2 month well visits. I was shocked to learn that my two month old now weighs MORE than half of what my 18 month old weighs! The good news is that Jacob has finally made it on the charts for his length. His weight and length have consistently been -3% since he came home, but Jacob was 30.1 inches which puts his height at 4% now! He weighed 21 lb 1 oz and is still -3% for weight and his head is still big (no surprise considering he is a Stewart) at 47.5 cm and 42%.

Grace, on the other hand, is growing like a weed! She weighed 12 lb 5 oz (83%), was 22.4 inches (50%) and her head was 40.0 cm (78%). I was pretty surprised at her stats given the fact that she was 4 weeks early. She is reaching all of her milestones right on target and doing well. She sleeps through the night (usually at least 7 hours!!!) and takes naps on and off throughout the day. I am very lucky that both of my babies slept through the night relatively quickly.

This weekend will be spent cleaning the house and packing for our trip next week to Tennessee! We are very excited about this trip, but nervous as well. We know Grace will do well and sleep most of the way, but we are a little worried about Jacob. He is constantly on the go and always moving from one thing to the next so I am a little concerned about how well he will do in the car. He normally loves to go for rides, but we haven't been on a trip this long since last October when he was 6 months old (2.5 adjusted). He slept most of the way last year. Part of our plan is to start driving at 4 PM and stop around 7 PM for feedings, diaper changes and PJ's. Then we will continue on until 2 AM and hopefully they will sleep the majority of the ride. If that works out as planned then we will stay in our hotel room until check-out and get on the road once lunch is over. That is usually Jacob's afternoon nap time so hopefully he will sleep for a couple of hours again. We are packing lots of board books and small toys to keep him occupied! If anyone has any suggestions on how to keep an 18 month old (14.5 adjusted) entertained on a long road trip please let me know!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Walking

A few weeks ago, Jacob took his first steps. We were overjoyed at this milestone especially since we didn't expect him to walk until his 2nd birthday. Many 24 weekers are very delayed when it comes to walking so we basically "prepared for the worst" for lack of a better term and expected to see it sometime between 22 and 25 months (this is the earliest and latest I have heard of a 24 weeker walking). Imagine our surprise when he walked at 17 months (just about 14 months adjusted). He is so happy and as soon as I stand him up and run to the other side of the room and hold my arms out he starts giggling and wobbling across the room. It is pretty funny to watch and melts my heart at the same time. I have so many videos of this, but I will share the one I think is the best. It shows how excited he is and he claps at the end after collapsing on me for a hug. :)

video

Gracie is already smiling a ton and loves to "talk" to me. Once I start talking to her the coos start right up and continue until I stop talking back to her. She is doing really good holding her head up and will be ready for the Bebe Pod any day now. She loves practicing on my lap and taking naps on Daddy. I can't believe how fast she is growing and I am looking forward to her 2 month appointment on Thursday to see how much she weighs.

This week is pretty busy as far as appointments go. Tomorrow Jacob has another follow-up at the Pediatric Opthamologist in Boston and I am just waiting for the day they say he needs glasses. I wouldn't be surprised seeing as how I am blind anyway. If his extreme prematurity didn't cause it I'm sure his genes will. On Thursday, both kids have appointments with the Pediatrician (Grace's 2 month and Jacob's 18 month) and both are due for two immunizations each. I will have two crying babies to comfort at the same time. What is a Mom to do? Friday morning Jacob has PT and EI and I am really looking forward to Joann (Jacob's PT) seeing Jacob walk for the first time. She has been Jacob's PT since his days at Jordan Hospital (when he was transferred closer to home from Boston). He was only a couple/few months old and weighed no more than 6 pounds. She has loved coming to the house and seeing how much he has changed and the new milestones he has reached and this one is the biggest yet!

I will be sure to update at the end of the week on the result of all our appointments. I am crossing my fingers, but I think Jacob may be on the charts for weight/height for the first time. He has had a major growth spurt since his last appointment in June and I am looking forward to him "catching up". It usually happens by 2 or 3 and I can really see him making some strides toward that so we'll see how it goes. For now, he has outgrown his 6-12 month clothes and still growing into his 12-18 months which makes dressing him much harder. It is especially hard when the 12-18 month clothes are loose and he wriggles out of them and undresses himself. Not my favorite part of the day!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Back to reality....

We had a wonderful week down the Cape even though the weather wasn't very cooperative. For the first three days Hurricane Danny was passing by so we had lots of rain and wind. The sun finally came out on Monday around 5 PM and the rest of the week was mild, but enjoyable.

Jacob had his first adventure at the beach and loved every minute of it! He ate lots of sand and flirted with lots of women. Everyone who walked by commented on how adorable he was and he immediately started smiling and clapping. We spent a whole day at Nauset Beach not knowing that they had just spotted 5 Great White sharks down the beach in Chatham. Yikes! The beach has been closed indefinitely ever since! We spent a full day at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, had dinner in Provincetown, checked out lots of lighthouses, windmills,beaches, etc. I also ate my body weight in lobster rolls and soft serve ice cream!

We came home on Friday night to beat the Labor Day traffic and spent the following day in Boston at the Public Garden and Boston Common. We took Jacob to see the Make Way for Ducklings display and he had fun playing with the ducks while Mommy ate some fried dough. :)
Even though we technically have a couple more weeks, traditionally Labor Day marks the end of Summer and since school is starting up again and the temps have dropped significantly I have whipped out the Fall decor. We are looking forward to apple picking on the 20th and hope for cool weather. Every year we go it just so happens to be the hottest day in September. When I think of apple picking I think of turtlenecks and hooded sweatshirts not shorts and sunblock so hopefully we'll get a cool day this year. I hope to get lots of pictures of Jacob picking apples this year and will post them in my next update. Last year, he was only home from the hospital for 2 months and I had to carry him around in the Bjorn. This year Grace will be two months old in the Bjorn and Jacob will be picking apples. Funny how that happens.....
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