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Vonda's Parenting a Preemie Journal

Entry #6 - July 31, 2002
~ Hello, Tooth!!!

Yes, we finally have a tooth! Exactly one week before Adriana's first birthday and the day before her birthday party, her first tooth started coming through. Our church had Vacation Bible School Commencement the night before her party. I was busy in the kitchen getting ready for that when a friend of mine who came up for the party said something about her tooth gnawing on her knuckle. I thought, no way is a tooth coming through. I mean, we have waited and waited for this for months. I reached in, and felt the very tip of her tooth coming through. Bruce was excited when he came home from work and found out about the tooth. This was one of the things he wanted for her birthday, the other was to see her sit up.

We had her birthday party at our house the Saturday before her birthday. It was a very busy week, and I probably put more pressure on everything being perfect, but the party went great. (Even after a bump in the road with the cake, but I will leave that story out. Let's just say, PMS and tears work great when the bakery doesn't have your child's cake ready.) Family, friends and members of our church all joined us for a great time. During her party, Bruce said a prayer thanking God for her and what He has done in our lives this year. We were able also to thank everyone for the support each one has shown us. Adriana wasn't too sure about the cake, and she didn't like the ice cream because of the coldness. I am sure she will grow out of that.

We celebrated her actual birthday while we were on vacation. When the time that she was born came, I started crying because she survived the year. I know she has done well for a premature baby, and we never had to face some of the life-threatening situations that some families do, but if anyone had told me a year ago that she would see her first birthday and would be doing so well, I wouldn't have believed it. I feel strange celebrating her birthday in July because her due date was in late September and we always look at her development from that standpoint.

This has been the first full month of going to physical and occupational therapy appointments. The OT and PT have decided to try to co-teach her when they can. I like this idea because Adriana will not be overwhelmed. When we say she is going to therapy, many people think they are massaging or stretching her legs and muscles. They don't do that, but they work with her and get her to do most of the work by playing with her.

The first couple of times with the PT, Adriana did fine and seemed to be enjoying herself. Well, a few times after that, you would think that ten people were in the room torturing her. While we were in the waiting room, she would be fine and even smiling at people. As soon as we would walk into the therapy room, she started crying. I could not get her to calm down. She wouldn't even let me sit her on the floor in front of me while I held her. At first, I thought that she was associating the place with the eye doctor's office since she had gone there the day before, but she cried several times after that. I thought we were going to have to suspend the therapies for awhile or try getting someone to come to our house, when I noticed that she started crying when she saw someone put a white sheet down. She also calmed down one time when one of the therapists left the room. We decided at her next appointment to try and see how she would do if I went into the room alone with her and played with her before the therapists come in. They also didn't place a sheet on the floor this time. This seemed to work, and she even let me sit her on the floor in front of me, something she has not allowed me to do in awhile.

AdrianaShe still is not sitting unsupported on her own, but I think she will soon. The physical therapist has said that she has seen an improvement in her trunk control since she has started therapy. Adriana sits really well supported, but she resists us when we try to do the exercises with her that we have been given. The trick is to do the exercises while she is playing or when she doesn't expect it. This month has been a difficult month to get her exercises in because we have been on the road more than we have been home. I think our schedule is going to lighten up in the next week or so.

Adriana had an eye appointment this month and the doctor said her eyes seem to be working fine. The first couple of times she went to the doctor, he would place clamps in her eyes to keep them open. The first time he did this, I left the room crying because she started crying. Bruce stayed in the room with her. Thankfully, the doctor did not have to clamp her eyes this time. One condition the doctor looks for is a condition called retinopathy of prematurity, which causes the retinas to detach in a premature infant. So far, Adriana has not shown any signs of this. She does not have to go back to the eye doctor for another year.

Her one-year well baby check up was also this month. Her doctor said she is growing well, but has not caught up with the curve yet. She said we could start mixing whole milk in with my breast milk for Adriana. I was so glad to hear this. I really thought she would say we needed to wait until closer to her due date to try regular milk. I get to tell the pump "bye-bye," now. Don't get me wrong. I am glad I have been able to pump milk for her, especially for this long, but I am glad to have more time to work with her. Even though pumping and washing the parts have taken time away from her, I am glad I did it because I know the benefits are priceless.

Adriana's doctor also said to try her on stage two baby foods and to keep trying her with a sippy cup. She seems to like the turkey baby food, but she doesn't have the hang of a sippy cup down yet. If anyone has any tips about the sippy cup, please email me. Her doctor also said we could try some table food with her as long as it is pretty mushy. We have tried a little bit with her, and she is taking to it well.

This has been a busy month, but a great one. Our little girl is one and thriving. We are so grateful for all that we have.

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