A Preemie’s Journey – Happy 3rd Birthday

It’s hard to believe that my little preemie will be turning 3 on August 28.  Almost 3 years ago, I watched Zarriah fight for her life for 3 months.  She entered this world weighing 2 pounds 10 ounces.  Those 3 months were the most stressful time of my life.  When I wasn’t on my knees praying, I was crying.  Through the stream of tears, I was fighting to keep my daughter from going into a depression.  When I wasn’t caring for my daughter, I was trying to help take care of my grandson and son-in-law.  I am so blessed, Zarriah is thriving now and I must admit bad as ever and smart as a whip. She’s a sassy diva with a mind of her own!  She fought for her life, and she’s still fighting. This little girl will be able to take of herself.  There will be no intimidation in her life. When they say night and day, that’s my grandson and granddaughter.  She is as spirited as they come.    

While we were on vacation, my son-in-law won a Bubble Guppy for Miss Muffin.  She loved it, but she loved the balloons just as much.  In the 3 years that Zarriah has been on this earth, I’ve never heard her ask for anything besides food.  I’m serious she has never asked for toys.  She loves clothes and food.  She has plenty of toys and dolls, but this little girl dreams about food.  She wakes up in the morning asking for a cookie, peanut butter or whatever is on her mind and that’s the way it is for the remainder of the day.  I sure hope she stays active.  She protests if we pick out something she doesn’t want to wear. She’s very independent and likes to pick out her own clothes.  We have had to deal with numerous tantrums because she didn’t want to wear what we picked out.  So, we allow her to select her outfits when she wants now.  She may end up in sweat pants and cowgirl boots, but she’s happy with her choices, lol.  

This is Miss Muffin at the beach several weeks ago. She had no desire to build a sandcastle or get her feet wet in the ocean.  Finding shells with Mawmaw was out of the question.  That would require her to walk on the sand and she’s not having it.  As you can see, she’s perfectly content eating chips, and when she had her fill she demanded to be taken inside where she consumed a Popsicle.  She has quite an appetite, so it’s imperative that we give her healthy foods.  This endeavor hasn’t proven to be a problem so far, she loves pears, apples, grapes, popcorn and other healthy foods.  Her brother on the hand, not so much.  He’s my picky eater. 

We’re planning her party this week, which will have a Minnie Mouse theme.  She loves, loves, loves Minnie Mouse. After all, Minnie is a diva too.  Finding the perfect birthday gift for her will be a piece of cake, no pun intended, lol.   Clothes with Minnie Mouse!  Now off to find them.  Happy 3rd Birthday Zarriah.  Mawmaw loves you!  

Raising A Preemie

As you know, my Zarriah was born weighing 2lbs. 10 ozs.  She spent the first 3 month of her life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Virginia Beach, VA.  This is my preemie a year and half later.  She’s walking, talking, eating everything in site and has proven herself to be one of my greatest blessings.  I look back at the day she was born, Hurricane Irene was coming through.  I nicknamed her “Storm”.

Her doctors say she’s doing fine.  They see no problem with her eyesight.  Her motor skills are fine, she sleeps through the night, she’s walking, and throws the normal tantrums for a toddler.  She has a totally different personality from her brother.  He’s loving and likes to cuddle, Zarriah prefers her independence.  She likes to be held, but she doesn’t hang around long.  She prefers to discover and climb over or under whatever is in sight, and is always up for a fight.  Yep, she will fight.  She fought for her life, and she continues to fight.  Hopefully, she will grow out of this habit.   

She has a huge appetite!  I must say, she eats more than any child that I have ever seen.  There’s times when I think she’s going to be sick, but it never happens.  When she doesn’t want anymore, she will turn her head, spit it out or just stop eating if she’s feeding herself.  Her grandfather and I took her to Golden Corral for dinner.  She ate the biggest plate of mashed potatoes and gravy that I’ve ever seen.  The people sitting next to us looked and looked.  Finally, I spoke up and said she will eat until the bottom falls out.  We engaged in further conversation, and found out that they too had a preemie who was at that time 10.  She had caught up and grown into a beautiful young lady. 

It is such a blessing to be able to write this post.  I want to thank the nurses in the NICU at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital in Virginia Beach for their professional care.  They were all excellent, and will be forever in our hearts and prayers.  I remember the first time that I saw Zarriah.  I truly believed that I would pass out.  She was so tiny, in an incubator and wires everywhere.  I broke out in a sweat.  The nurses comforted me, and assured me that they were skilled and she would be fine.  Zarriah has been back to visit the NICU on several occasions.  We thought it was important for her to keep the connection with those who fought  as hard as she did to save her life. 

Are you raising a preemie or know someone who is?  Have they caught up or did they remain small?  Leave me a comment, I would love to connect with other raising preemies. 

Look Who’s 1

Wow, it’s been a long time since I posted.  I took a much needed break to focus on my grandchildren, rest and just figure out where I was headed in my life.  I ended a long term relationship, got tired of being in it by myself.  I did a few home improvements, planned and hosted the grandchildren’s birthday parties, planned and hosted my little Zarriah’s Christening party, planted a garden and harvested and canned my crop, vacationed in St. Croix and the list goes on.  I’m feeling energized and have lots of posts for you so lets get on with it. 

Look who turned 1 August 28.  My little preemie, Zarriah, who weighed 2lbs 10 ozs. when she entered this world is thriving.  Miss Muffin is weighing in at 20 plus pounds as you can see.  She’s not walking yet, but she’s crawling, pulling herself up and taking steps while holding on.  She has become quite a handful.  She’s no longer on formula and we’ve moved to stage 3 foods. The doctor said her eye sight is fine and they don’t foresee any vision problems in the future.  She’s had an ear infection, but other than that she’s a picture of health. 

We decided to celebrate big for her 1st birthday.  We felt so blessed that she had survived and was doing so well, we wanted a big birthday bash for her with family and friends.  Celebrate we did. Stay tuned for pictures and all the happenings with the children and my journey as a 50 plus single mother.   It’s so good to back. 

Teaching a Preemie How to Nurse From a Bottle

I wanted to let my readers know that my little Zarriah is up to 4 lbs.  2 ozs.  Quite a milestone for us.  My daughter is attempting to bottle feed her for the first time in this picture.  She needs to learn how to suck and keep her milk down.  This is a task that she would have learned during the last month in the womb.  Once she masters this task, we will be well on our way to gaining that last pound needed to go home. 

In addition to learning to nurse from the bottle, she also needs to maintain her body temperature outside the incubator, pass the car seat test and maintain a steady heart rate.  So we still have a few milestones to accomplish. 

The first attempt at bottle feeding was a little overwhelming for her.  We’re hoping she will relate to sucking her pacifier, which she loves, and she will get the hang of things quickly.  The hospital she’s in, is ranked as one of the best in the country for nursing preemies.  They’ve actually had a speech therapist working with my daughter and Zarriah to help with the sucking processing.  Is that not amazing?  You wonder how they can teach a baby this small to do anything, but they can. 

We’re thrilled that Zarriah is allowed to wear her own onesies and tees now, but I’m having a time finding preemie clothes.  If you know a site or store where we can find cute onesies for her, please let me know.  If you have experience with a preemie, I would love to hear from you.  Please leave me a comment.