Welcome to my less than perfect life!

Embracing the imperfections that make my life practically perfect in every way.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

November is Prematurity Awareness Month

I have been blessed in my life to know lots of premature babies.  Many of my friends have had premies.  I  have had two premature babies myself.  Many of these children have flourished under the care of experts who worked tirelessly to ensure a happy, healthy future for them.

Many do not.

Our son, Phoenix Jude, was born on April 11, 2008.  He was born in the 27th week of gestation.  He and I had already been in the hospital for several weeks by that point on a long term maternity ward (something I didn't even know existed until this point in my life).  I had developed extremely high blood pressure and eventually my son had to be born in order to try and save both of our lives.

Phoenix weighed one pound and 12oz.  He was on a ventilator and a feeding tube and catheter and every other supportive device you can think of.  He was just 12 inches long at birth.

He had a lot of challenges and, after three days, he succumbed to these and died on April 14th, 2008.  I still love him and think of him every single day.  I know that his life had meaning just as it was and that he taught me and so many people who met him the power their love could have.  And he helped teach his medical caregivers more so that they could help better care for other premature babies.

Just under one year later on March 23, 2009, our daughter, The Nugget, was born.  She was born at 35 weeks gestation after several months of bed rest.  Though she was five weeks early, she was already seven pounds.

While she needed to be in a special care nursery for close monitoring, she thrived and was able to come home with us when I checked out of the hospital myself.

Because of these two beautiful children, I support the March of Dimes.  In their own words:

Every year, more than half a million babies are born prematurely in the United States. The rate of premature birth has risen by 30 percent since 1981. 

Premature birth is the leading cause of newborn death worldwide. Even babies born just a few weeks too soon can face serious health challenges and are at risk of lifelong disabilities. Premature birth costs society more than $26 billion a year. 

In 2003, the Prematurity Campaign was launched to address the crisis and help families have healthy, full-term babies. In 2008, the March of Dimes Board of Trustees extended the Prematurity Campaign globally, and in 2009 the March of Dimes released the first global estimates showing the serious toll of preterm birth worldwide. 

The March of Dimes works different channels of influence to reduce premature birth rates. One way is to raise public awareness of the serious issue and to invest in education of moms-to-be and health care providers. We also support medical advances and knowledge. Every year, new promising research studies are funded through our Prematurity Research Initiative. Advocacy efforts have opened the door to more federal funding for prematurity research and education. 

The campaign is already showing signs of success, including a recent 3 percent decline in the premature birth rate. With more than 1,400 babies born too soon every day, much work is still to be done. 

Find out how you can get involved by visitinghttp://www.MarchofDimes.com/Fight.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sweet Dreams are Made of This

Recently The Mister and I have had a shift in our schedules.  He got a promotion (go baby!) and I continue to work my normal schedule.  This means The Nugget has entered daycare for about 3 hours a day because The Mister works afternoons/evenings and I work days.  The Nugget goes to daycare from 1:00PM-4:00PM four days a week.  The entrance into this setting caused the cursory gnashing of teeth, wringing of hands, tears and anxiety for all, but she has actually settled in quite nicely and very much enjoys her outings to see her friends.

Our big problem is that The Nugget's normal nap time falls about 2:00PM.  When I say "normal", I mean this is the schedule that she has set for herself over the course of time.  She just tends to get tired about that time of day.  With the daycare schedule as it is, she is now arriving for a play date when she would normally be napping.  Knowing this going into the situation, I attempted to plan accordingly.

Our first plan of attack was to have a snack upon returning home and then take a short nap (30-45 minutes).  WRONG.  She kept waking up a whining, fussing wreck.  Okay, we'll try for an hour.  WRONG.  If possible, even a whinier, grumpier mess.  Okay...I guess I'll try letting her sleep as long as she feels like (which, up to this point in her life, is what she is used to).  WRONG.  Is it possible that she is an even WHINIER, fussier child than ever?  FRICK!

I don't see The Nugget a lot on weekdays.  The first time I see her Monday-Friday is when I get home at 4:00PM.  She is in bed by 8:00PM.  I don't want to spend the little time I have with her yelling, "Cut it out!  You're pissing me off driving me crazy!"  Whining is just one of those behaviors I have very.  little. tolerance for.  It's like everything reduces her to a puddle of goo with the tears and the kicking and the wah wah wah.  The kid is quite verbally astute, so the whining is even more superfluous because she knows the words for anything she wants or needs.

So, I'm trying to drop the nap.  I, like many parents, was hoping she would nap until at least age 17, but it's just not working for us anymore.  Last night was our first trial, and she had such a great night!  It was clear she was a bit tired, but SO much more pleasant and easy to be with.  I liked hanging out with her again.  I adjusted her bed time earlier to help make up for any lost sleep, and she went down without a hitch and did great.  We'll keep trying this approach; it sure makes us both a lot happier!  Of course, I'll miss my nap time to get projects done while she naps, but this trade off will save my sanity.

And now, gratuitous cuteness from Halloween:

My pumpkin fairy!