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Anastasia's first year (2005)

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July 2006


July 1, 2006

Yesterday, I started adding an extra feeding to Anastasia's schedule. I debated whether to do it in the evening (which meant I'd need to stay up later), or in the wee hours of the morning. I choose the latter, because it actually gives me more rest. (I need a good 12 hours sleep, but I never get it anymore. Still, midnight feedings give me something closer to 12 hours!) This gives Anastasia more opportunity to drink formula, which makes everyone more comfortable about giving her one feeding a day where she has solids first.

On her "solids first" feeding yesterday, she did eat a little better (baked beans and strawberry cream cheese for dessert), although nothing like she ate at the feeding clinic. I think she likes having a midnight snack, though. She eagerly pulls the bottle toward her, even though she's still mostly asleep.

For the past several days, Anastasia has also been wrecking havoc with our schedule. She used to be such a good napper and we stuck to an ideal schedule. Then she was napping well in the morning, but refusing all other naps during the day. For the past two days, she won't even nap in the morning, and wants to stay up late at night. I'm wondering if its possible the Polycose we put in her formula (which is mostly carbs) is giving her surplus energy. I wouldn't think she's getting enough of it yet to make a difference, but...

She's taking her Polycose well, too. She's up to four feedings a day with it, and has shown no side effects.

By the way, July 4 is the anniversary of my water breaking. I'm not looking forward to that.


July 4, 2006

This morning I told my hubby: "Today is the anniversary of Anastasia seeking her independence." It's amazing to think it's been exactly a year since my water broke. But if I'm tempted to linger on sad thoughts, all I have to do is look at my precious little girl. I'd do it all over again for her!

Anastasia grows and shows us more of her personality every day. She's taken to clamping her mouth down when I initially offer her solids, then gingerly sticking her tongue out to taste what's on the spoon before she'll open her mouth fully. She adores baked beans and Safeway's whipped mixed berry cream cheese.  She loves to drink iced water from mommy's glass. She delights in babbling while I stroll her in the park. She squeals and bounces even faster if I jump up and down while she's in her jumper and say "Jump! Jump! Jump! Jump!" Last night, while she was sitting in my lap, she wormed her way over to the right, where her daddy was sitting. She threw out her arms and tried to squirm into his lap. (Of course, he grabbed her right up before she had much of a chance to try to scoot over to him.)

What a sweet babe.

July 6, 2006

The big news today is that Anastasia has a tooth! I can't see it, because every time I try to get a peek she pushes her tongue out and tries to taste my fingers. (She's very into finger-tasting.) But I sure can feel the sharp little sucker. I can't believe my little baby already has a tooth!

We've had a rough morning. Anastasia's been cranky (no doubt because she's teething) and if I walk away from her for a moment, she cries. I had several important phone calls to make this morning, but the minute I got on the phone, she cried and cried like her world was falling apart. I tried to give her some infant Motrin, but she vomited it up. All over me. And when I went to my bedroom to change clothes, she cried the entire time. So I gave her some Tylenol. That seemed to help, and now she's snoozing peacefully. Whew!

Yesterday, Anastasia weighed 15 lbs. 13 1/2 oz., so she's gained a few ounces, at least.


July 8, 2006

Yesterday, Anastasia ate very poorly.

Our evening went something like this: I was trying to quickly put away groceries, while she cried, apparently hungry. (We live a half hour from our grocery store, so I needed to get perishables put away.) When I finished and tried to give her a bottle, she wouldn't take it. When I offered her solids instead, she vomited repeatedly. As I cleaned up her, the high chair, and the floor, she cried. I tried to take her temperature, but she wiggled so much it's hard to say just what it was. Still, it looked like she had a fever, so I gave her some Tylenol. That seemed to make her feel better. Poor baby! Cutting teeth is hard work! Today, I'm only going to give her Tylenol (no Motrin) and see if she feels better.

Sitting in her Bumbo seat.


July 8 (part II)

Anastasia seems happier today, but she's still eating so poorly. When I bathed her (after she vomited all over herself), I weighed her, and thankfully she hasn't lost weight since the last time I weighed her. She's 15 lbs. 15 oz.


July 10, 2006

Anastasia now has two tiny, sharp teeth! Her eating was really poor this weekend, but yesterday it was a bit better (I didn't have to give her any pain or fever medication yesterday, either). So hopefully her poor eating was connected to teething and she'll soon be eating better.

In an effort to give her fattening table foods whenever possible, I've occasionally given her ice cream. (It's a strange feeling, doing this. She's so little, and it seems so bad to give her a sugary treat. But those calories and fat are needed!) Yesterday, she experienced her first bout of ice cream-induced brain freeze. Her eyes got wide, she shook her hands, and cried out...But it didn't prevent her from eating more ice cream, once the freeze passed!


July 11, 2006

We had an Early Intervention appointment today, where our coordinator basically just watch Anastasia play and ask questions about her development. "Her speech is just great," the coordinator said. "You know, speech is something that's tough to help babies with, but Anastasia's not having any problems that way. And her physical stuff is coming. Slowly...but it's coming."

Today, for the first time, Anastasia very clearly said "dada." (In the past, she's said "dadadadaaaaa.")

On the downside, she's eating very poorly, and has actually lost a few ounces.


July 13, 2006

Yesterday, as Anastasia turned 11 months chronological age (7 months corrected age), she said "Hi, dada!" Periodically throughout the evening  she continued to practice "dada" and said "hi" to her grandpa, much to his delight.

She's continuing to eat poorly, but as of yesterday, she hasn't lost any more weight.


July 14, 2006

Well, I think Anastasia has her first cold. We're so careful about germs, it's hard to imagine how it could happen, but...

Yesterday afternoon I noticed Anastasia sounded like she was breathing through a snotty nose, but I thought this was from crying because she was overtired. By bedtime, she sounded like she was actually having a hard time breathing through her nose, and several times in the night I woke to use a bulb syringe to clear her passages. I was scared her breathing might become labored, and checked on her very frequently.

This morning she still sounds snotty, but she's energetic and happy, and doesn't seem to have any type of labored breathing - or any other symptoms. So I'm just keeping my eye on her and praying the cold doesn't go to her lungs.

The doctor who released Anastasia from the hospital said that if she got a cold in her first year, she'd end up at the children's hospital on oxygen or a ventilator. We've since heard this only happens in rare cases. Basically, the first cold will give us a good idea how damaged her lungs still are at this point. If she comes through okay, her lungs have healed considerably from her early days on the ventilator. If her breathing becomes labored, her lungs are still pretty damaged.

On a happy note, Anastasia called said "daddy" yesterday :)


July 14 (part II)

Anastasia lost another ounce and a half, so I called the feeding clinic this afternoon. They'll be squeezing us in for an appointment on Tuesday, unless Anastasia suddenly starts eating better. (A couple of ounces per feeding just isn't enough!) In the meantime, we'll try feeding her a half hour later each feeding (hoping she'll be more hungry), and I'm giving her Tylenol for the rest of today, just to make sure it isn't a teething issue (even though she shows no real sign of teething).

Anastasia's nose seems less stuffy as the day goes on, which makes me wonder if she might have allergies. Yesterday, before her stuffiness appeared, we went on a long walk, and then spent some time in the garden. I know they used to say little babies didn't get allergies, but that line of thought has been reversed. I'm keeping Anastasia inside today, to see if that makes any difference.


July 15, 2006

Anastasia's stuffiness is almost completely gone after staying inside all day yesterday, so I suspect allergies. (Her daddy also pointed out that what's draining from her nose is clear, not colored - which, he says, indicates it isn't from a cold.) Whatever the case, I'm relieved that she's doing better, not worse.

Yesterday she eat extremely poor, though. Only 21 ounces for the entire day. I didn't feed her in the middle of the night last night, and I'm hoping that one less feeding per day might make her hungrier and more eager to eat.

Anastasia keeps astonishing us with her vocabulary. Last night she said, clear as could be, "pun'kin," her daddy's nickname for her. She also gave a very gobbled (but still recognizable) "I love you," and later said quite clearly: "I love." I think she'll soon be talking our ears off! :)


July 17, 2006

Anastasia started eating better once I withdrew her midnight snack. I weighed her this morning and she was 15 lbs 13 1/2 oz again, so, she's back on track.

She's still got a stuffy nose with clear mucus, and it seems to get worse if she goes outside even for a moment.   Allergies, it seems! This is not only a bummer for her, as it curtails outdoors activities, but it's a bummer for her mommy, who uses walks as a sanity-booster.

"Hi, daddy!" is now a common sentence for Anastasia, and she's still saying "I love (garble)." And you know how they say babies use words like "dada" indiscriminately for any person? Not Anastasia. She looks right at my hubby when she says "dada" or "daddy." A few nights ago, while we were eating dinner and Anastasia was in her high chair, my husband was talking to his father, his back turned to the babe. Anastasia said, "Dada!...Dada! Dada!...Dada, dada, dada, dada!" Until he looked over. Then she smiled.

Anastasia lounging against an afghan her grandma made while wearing a dress and bonnet I made.


July 18, 2006

Last night I read that with babies, mucus from colds often runs clear until about a week has passed (at which time it turns green or yellow), so I guess it's still anybody's guess whether or not Anastasia has a cold. Her nose is more stuffy and runny today, and sometimes she's coughing and sneezing, but coughing and sneezing also go with reflux. Or, for that matter, with allergies.

Today my mom watched Anastasia while I tried to clean (most of) the house. She laughed hysterically whenever she tried to get Anastasia to stand up, because all the little one does is jump. Yup, that's my girl. You'd think she had springs on her feet :)  She's also taken to bobbing her whole body (rather violently!) while she's in her Bumbo seat, as if to say, "Doesn't this thing bounce???" I've never seen a baby who loved bouncing and jumping so much.


July 20, 2006

I canceled our Tuesday appointment at the feeding clinic because Anastasia seemed to be eating better. She even gained an ounce as of yesterday. But it's so stressful to feed her! Usually, she'll take an ounce or two, then arch her back and turn her head away. If I try to coax her back to the bottle, she acts like I'm trying to poison her. Perhaps half the time I can play with her a bit, let her wiggle, and then offer her the bottle again and she'll eat some more. Those are the good feeds.

I'm trying, as much as possible, to feed her when she's sleepy. It's kind of ironic, since we spent so many months trying to wake her up so she would eat. But now she'll only take a full bottle (or close to it) if she's half asleep. I'm even back to adding a feeding at night. It's so frustrating.

Many of you have written to say that Anastasia looks great and I shouldn't worry about her eating. I'm tempted to listen to you :)  But I have to trust that the experts (two pediatricians, an RN, and a physical therapist) know what they are talking about when they say Anastasia is borderline on her eating. (It could be worse. She could be loosing weight and the doctors threatening a G-tube.)

I'd planned to take Anastasia out for a walk today, but her stuffy nose seems better. She's been inside for two days. Could this mean she has allergies and that taking her outside will make them worse? I'm ready to go nuts, though, so we will at least be out in the garden a little.


July 24, 2006

Well, I think we can safely say Anastasia came through her first cold with flying colors. I finally decided that going outside didn't make it worse, and as of Friday, the sniffles were entirely gone.

But the cold was replaced with a low grade fever and new bumps on Miss A's upper gums. Poor baby. She was fussy and out of sorts all weekend, despite Tylenol and Motrin.


July 25, 2006

Anastasia's weigh-in today was disappointing. She's 15 lbs. 12 oz., which is actually a slight decrease in weight. And this is with Polycose in her formula, to add calories. Today, I was looking at her growth from the time she came home:

When she came home (at 2 month corrected age): 11 lbs. 5 oz. and 22 in. long

3 months corrected: 12 lbs. 7 1/2 oz and 22 3/4 in. long

4 months: 13 lbs. 13 1/2 oz and 24 in. long

5 months: 14 lbs. 3 oz. and 25 in. long

6 months: 15 lbs. 4 oz. and 25 in. long

7 months: 15 lbs. 11 oz. and 25 1/2 in. long

8 months (weighed today): 15 lbs. 12 1/2 oz. (no length measurement today)

It's certainly time for Anastasia to start gaining more weight!

Now that she's not teething or dealing with a cold, she's taking her formula a bit better, so I'm hoping this is the new trend. She's also eating more solids - although I have to deal with her good-natured gargle- and tongue-spits. :)

Anastasia also had an Early Intervention appointment today. We could see progress in the stability of her head (it's pretty darn stable now). During the appointment, Anastasia also started bouncing herself on my knee and then standing for seconds at a time. And the coordinator is very impressed with her vocabulary. Anastasia is ahead, even for her chronological age, since she not only has many words, but even sometimes speaks in sentences.


July 27, 2006

Anastasia is eating so very little. Today, she's only had about 7 ounces, at a time of day when she'd normally have eaten at least 15. I'm afraid to weigh her. She's eating some solids, but only a few tablespoons a day.

As of today, she's no longer getting polycose (which adds calories to her formula). Sometimes, the doctors say, when you add calories to a baby's formula, the baby eats less. So we're hoping that she'll be feeling hungrier soon.

Much of the time, Anastasia acts like she's not hungry at all, even if four hours or more have passed. (She usually eats every three hours.) Other times, she acts hungry and takes the first ounce or two eagerly, and then stops, turning her head away, wiggling, biting down on the nipple, etc.

It's extremely frustrating for me, but I also know I can't let that frustration out when Anastasia is nearby, or it will only make her less likely to eat well. (She'll associate eating with stress.)

On a positive note, Anastasia said "bye" for the first time today, as her daddy left for work. I'm not sure yet whether she was mimicking me, or if she really knows what the word means.

Also, she's taken a real liking to standing. She straddles my knee and bounces, occasionally stopping to stand for a few seconds. She gets balance from me, but she's bearing all the weight. If I hold her arms, she can now also go from laying flat on her back to standing up!


July 28, 2006

Anastasia's found a new game. She very earnestly takes hold of her ring stacker and, one by one, removes each ring. (She's not too interested in putting them back in place yet.) So intent is she on the game that this morning, as she played laying on her back, she actually turned fully onto her tummy (something she normally hates to do) in order to grab the stacker, then rolled onto her back to play with it.

Our dear girl's eating is still rotten, though, and all the usual "tricks" aren't working. Frankly, it just seems she's loosing more and more interest in eating. I'm hopeful (though it's a strange hope!) that when she has her barium swallow study on the 1st, the experts will see something unusual. At least then we'd know what the problem is and could treat it. At this point, though, the experts don't see anything that indicates she might have a swallowing difficulty. Her daddy and I are doubtful she does, either - although she does have a strange way of coughing while she sleeps...as if she swallows her spit wrong.

Today, I weighed Anastasia, just to see how badly she was really doing. Thankfully, she hasn't lost weight! I've also had some success by first giving her the bottle, then giving her a bit more formula from a cup. It's a royal pain, since she wants to talk as soon as the cup reaches her lips, and she enjoys blowing bubbles in the formula, too (something she's started doing even when using the bottle). But it does get an extra ounce or so down her.

This is a trick from our very first feeding clinic appointment, but it never used to work. Now, I think, Anastasia is interested enough in mimicking mommy and daddy that she's actually interested in drinking from a cup.

Anastasia has learned to remove all the rings!


Ready for a ride in the stroller.


July 31, 2006

Anastasia continues to eat better now that I'm offering her the bottle first, then following up with formula in a cup. She seems to look forward to the cup...or should I say she looks forward to blowing bubbles into the cup. But, hey. I have all day! Ha ha!  Happily, she seems to be taking more via bottle now; perhaps this is a slow reaction to having the polycose taken out of her formula.

Tomorrow is her swallow study. It should be fascinating!