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Vonda's Parenting a Preemie Journal

Entry #11 - January 19, 2003
~ Adriana's a crawl and cruise playground

AdrianaThis month, Adriana is the cruising queen. Last month, I wrote in my journal that she had started pulling herself up. She is now pulling herself up regularly and cruising like a professional. I have cleaned off our hearth, which had become a place to stack insurance statements, because she was enjoying "visiting" that area a little too much. We had been considering purchasing a new entertainment center because the old one made things too accessible for her and she probably could have climbed it once the time came. We bit the bullet and purchased an armoire center that we can close the doors. Of course, that has not deterred her, and she is determined that she will get the doors open one day.

The one time Adriana does not want to seem to show off her pulling up and cruising skills is during therapy. Her therapists are pleased with her progress, but when they want her to show them what she can do, she tends to act like she does not know how. Her early interventionist has seen her do what she is capable of, so I do have a witness in the professional world.

Adriana is definitely crawling more and more with her trunk off the floor instead of her preferred "commando" crawl. I had been thinking she would skip this skill, but around Christmas at Bruce's parents house, she really showed off with all that she could do in front of everyone. I don't know if their floor was easier for her or what, but she crawled a good deal that night with her trunk off the floor. Now, it is polished skill for her. Her occupational therapist told me she would be fine if she skipped that skill and went straight to walking. She said the reason they kept working with her on that was to help her develop strength in her hands. The things I learn from her therapy are amazing. I really wonder what parents who do not have this experience do. I know I would not have known what to do and the way I should play with her to help her develop.

Adriana with Mom and DadI was hoping she would be walking by or on Christmas, but that did not happen. I am okay with that, because I know it will be soon. I think she was very close to letting go and walking to me a couple of days before Christmas, but she fell and almost hit one of our stereo speakers. I caught her before she hit, but I think it scared her and she has not really tried again. In fact, she motions to us to come to her when she wants us.

Adriana went back to the hematologist this month. She had to get stuck three times before the ladies could get blood from her. Another lady and I had to hold her down so another worker could get her blood. The lady who was helping hold her remarked about how strong she was. I told her she has been that way even from the beginning when she was in the NICU. The hematologist's office was very nice about what she went through with the three sticks. They gave her a stuffed leopard for her struggle. The hematologist said he was running tests to see if she had a certain condition that would cause some of her blood cells to be irregular. Basically, from what I remember, the irregular cells would make her spleen not work as well as it should, and her spleen might have to be removed when she is around 10 years old to prevent gallbladder problems later. This is not really a premature issue, but he is monitoring her closely for that condition. The blood tests came back normal, but he wants to run an even more sensitive test on her. More needle sticks. What a thrill. Her hemoglobin came back in the normal range, so I am glad. She struggled with anemia while she was in the NICU, so hearing her hemoglobin was normal helped put my mind at ease that she is getting proper nutrients. She will see the hematologist again in March, when he will run the other tests.

We have left Adriana with others more times this month than we have any other months. She did all right without us over all, but she did pitch a fit on my mother one time. Last year at this time, she was housebound and we were the only ones with her at all times because of her apnea monitor. We have tried leaving her for a little while here and there with our parents, and she has done okay. We had to leave her this month with my mother to attend two funerals. She did fine for the first one, but my mother said during the second one, she awoke and was not pleased that we were gone. According to my mother, she threw a fit for almost an hour, but she finally fell back asleep. Premature babies are prone to being overstimulated. I think this happened to Adriana at one of the visitations (wakes) at the funeral home. People would come up to her to try to touch her, but almost immediately she would wave to them and tell them "bye-bye." One of Bruce's aunts whom she has become attached to tried to keep her entertained for me, but she reached a point where she only wanted Mama. She was inconsolable and I had to take her to a quiet room to get her to calm down.

Adriana and her PapaWhile I end this journal entry, I have to do so on a sad note. As I stated in the previous paragraph, we had two funerals to attend last month. One was for Bruce's uncle who passed away the day after Christmas. The other was for Bruce's father (Adriana's Papa), who passed away on January 5. This is why this journal is delayed this month. I wrote in a previous entry that he was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier in the year, but the oncologist reassured us that the cancer was gone. His father had other underlying health issues that we believe contributed to his death. He was a wonderful Christian man who had just celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary with Bruce's mom. As Bruce has said, we are sad for ourselves, but we are really sad for Adriana because she will not remember her Papa. He was her only grandfather she had left because my father passed away almost four years ago. I remarked to Bruce that maybe this was one of the reasons Adriana came early, so his father could enjoy her a little while before he became sick. Bruce said maybe this is why she came at all, to give us all hope for the future. We thank God for Papa's influence in our lives and the wonderful memories that we have. I have included a picture of Adriana with her Papa (it is a little dated) for you to enjoy.

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