Thursday, March 29, 2012

3 Weeks: Transitions and Comparisons

Bridget turned three weeks old yesterday.  She is doing wonderfully, growing like crazy (She was down to 7lbs when we came home from the hospital, and she was up to 8lbs, 6 oz at her two week appointment), and is generally a very happy baby.  Her cord stump did get infected about a week after we got home from the hospital, but it has finally cleared up.  The best news with that is we don't have to do sponge baths anymore.  I can't wait to get that little girl in the tub tonight and scrub her.

The transition to two kids has been smoother than I thought it would be.  Granted, I've only had both girls by myself for about three days, but they've gone well.  We've been able to make it out of the house to appointments and story time almost on time.  Pumping is by far the most challenging time of the day with both girls.  Claire knows when I can't help her or hold her, and that is of course when she needs me.  At least when I'm nursing I can sit on the couch or the floor with her, but pumping offers fewer options.  This is when Signing Time comes in very handy!

Claire is still really good with little sister...for the most part.  There have been a few times she's been too rough, both intentionally and unintentionally.  Usually the unintentional roughness comes when Claire is signing or singing with her.  She'll take her hands to do Itsy Bitsy Spider or to show her signs, and sometimes will pull a little too hard.  And then there are the times she'll just grab a hand or foot and just yank.  That's the indicator that it's time for Bridget to sit in the swing while Claire gets some momma time to herself.

I've been comparing my kids.  Not in a one kid is better than the other kid way, but more of a look how different (and how awesome!!) each of my kids are. The differences are small, really unimportant, but still unique to each child.

When Claire was little (NICU little) she had the most amazing grip.  She would grab your finger with her little hand and hold on tight.  All of her nurses would comment on the strength of her grip.  It was like she needed to be close to us, just as much as we needed to be close to her.  Bridget rarely holds on to anything.  She's held a finger a few times, and occasionally will get a handful of shirt while she's nursing, but she is content to be held, and not holding on to us.  Not wrong either way.  Just different.

Claire was (and still is) a champion burper.  You could just move her to your shoulder to burp, and get a huge belch.  Bridget...not so much.  I can burp her forever and not get anything.  I wish she took after her big sister though because we've been fighting some colic-y, belly ache-y stuff in the evenings.  It's not terrible, you can just tell she's a bit uncomfortable.  

The biggest difference with Bridget is that when she is awake, she is awake.  She has huge eyes that just stare at you.  She'll happily lay in your lap and look around for an hour at a time.  When Claire was this age, she was always tired.  Her unrepaired heart took a toll on her, and I don't remember her being awake for such long stretches so young.

Claire has been quite the entertainer then last few days.  She got this microphone for Christmas, but recently found it again.  It sings Be Our Guest, and Claire will sing and dance around in circles, laughing hysterically the whole time.

And Claire reminiscing about her younger days....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

World Down Syndrome Day: All About Claire

Happy World Down Syndrome Day!

March 21 (3/21) was chosen as World Down Syndrome Day as Down syndrome is caused by three copies of the 21st chromosome.

Down syndrome has been in the news recently and the coverage hasn't all been all positive.  First, another company has launched a non-invasive prenatal test for Down syndrome.  I'm not against the test itself, I believe knowledge is good and powerful, but the testing company has a financial reason to portray people with Down syndrome in a negative manner.  More terminated pregnancies mean more financial support from insurance companies.

The second story to hit the news recently is heartbreaking.  A family recently sued their doctor for their daughter's wrongful birth.  They had a prenatal test which showed that their daughter did not have Down syndrome, when in fact they found out at birth that she did.  The family sued, and won millions, because they said they would have terminated the pregnancy if the prenatal test had been accurate.  I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that this family has raised their daughter for years (she is 4), and they are still be able to say "I wish you didn't exist."

The scariest thing about Down syndrome is the unknown.  When most people think of Down syndrome, they think of the negative connotations.  Delays, decreased cognitive ability, the possibility of being unable to live independently.  But really, these are a possibility with any child, any person.

While I am only two years into raising Claire, there are so many things I would miss out on if she wasn't in my life.  Today I would like to share what Down syndrome (in the form of a two year old) is really like...

Claire is...

1.  Daddy's girl.  When he is around, I am chopped liver.
2.  In love with sandwiches.  Cheese sandwiches are a favorite, but anything else you can reasonably call a sandwich (pizza sandwich, burrito sandwich) has been a hit lately.
3. Not a fan of having her hair done.  It is a battle every morning to get a comb through it, let alone a rubber band or cute barrette in.
I asked her to smile for a picture, and got the
sign for smile instead.  :)
4. A book lover.  And Clairey knows that the best place to read a book is snuggled in someone's lap.
5. An expert toilet paper unroller.
6. Independent and stubborn.
7. Not a fan of breakfast.
8. A hitter, biter and head banger when she is frustrated.
9. Incredibly hard to diaper.  She refuses to sit still.
10. Pretty good at using a spoon and a fork, but she has recently gone back to eating with her fingers.  
11. A daredevil.  There is no such thing as too high, too fast, or too upside down.
12. A wonderful mimic.  If we are teaching her a sign she is very motivated to learn she'll have it down with just a few repetitions.
13. Organized.  Open cabinet doors and drawers don't stand a chance around her
14. Little miss social.  A trip to Walmart or church is just another opportunity to wave and smile for all her adoring fans.
15. A huge fan of songs with actions.  Her current favorite is a self created medley of Itsy Bitsy Spider, The Chicken Dance, and Head Shoulders Knees and Toes.
16. Smart and creative.  Claire has an empty cabinet she plays in, and she taught herself how to close the cabinet door while sitting inside. 
17. A chewer.  If you don't want something in her mouth, don't give it to her.
18. The best hugger.  Especially when the hugs come with little pats on the back.
19. Great at following directions sometimes.  Other times, you may as well be talking to a brick wall.
20. The best big sister!
21. The light of my life and a fabulous teacher.  I have learned so much from her already about love and acceptance.  I am truly a better person because she is in my life.

While most people who read here are friends, family, or already know that magic of the extra chromosome, I hope that this small glimpse into our real life will show someone that a life with Down syndrome is a life worth living.

My friend Patti is hosting another fabulous giveaway to help a little girl with Down syndrome come home to her forever family.  Please stop by if you have the chance.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

One Week

I can't believe I've been the mother of two for a week already!

And since I'm behind on updating, here's a quick run down.

Yeah for VBACs!  While I really had a great recovery from my c-section with Claire, the VBAC was wonderful.  I was carrying Claire around the next day, have been to the store, the park and and have spent hours with both girls  by myself.  Those things would not have been possible if I'd had to have surgery again.

About 24 hours after Bridget was born she started looking a bit yellow.  Her bili levels put her in the high risk category, and since bili levels usually peak around day 3-5, she earned herself a day and a half under the lights. With that, my plan of being home right after delivery turned into three and a half days (including labor) in the hospital.  We've checked her levels a few times since she's been home, and while they are still a little high, we haven't had to do any additional light therapy.

Since we've been home both girls have been wonderful.

The first couple of nights were a bit rough, but the last two have been a little smoother.  I've been getting about four to five hours of sleep a night and we are slowly getting into a routine.  Bridget is a wonderful nurser, and I'm thankful to already have milk stored in the freezer. Bridget's first checkup was on Monday.  She weighed 7 lbs 10 oz when she was born.  By the time we left the hospital she was down to 7 lbs even, and she was back to 7 lbs 4 oz at her dr appt.  I don't think she will have any problem getting back to her birth weight by next week.

Claire is THE BEST big sister.  She loves to hold her sister, kiss her and pat her head.  She's already started teaching her to sign (she signs dad on Bridget's forehead) and has showed her how to do "The Itsy Bitsy Spider".  Claire also learned the sign the for sister (she signs girl) in record time.  The funniest thing is how huge Claire seems.  She went from this petite toddler, to feeling like a giant.

The transition to two kids has been so easy that I keep waiting for things to unravel.  This weekend could be it, as I'll have both girls for most of the weekend by myself!

Monday, March 12, 2012


Bridget Evan Moos
Born March 7, 2012 at 6:54 pm
7 lbs, 10 oz and 20 1/2 inches

Saturday, March 3, 2012

39 Weeks, No Baby

Yep, still waiting!

Wednesday was my last doctor appointment.  We had a growth scan (baby is estimated at 6 lbs 14 oz, so with the margin of error, 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 lbs), and an office visit.  We'd planned to see a specific doctor and have her strip my membranes, but she'd been called out of the office, so that part of the appointment didn't happen.  Otherwise the appointment was good. Weight gain and blood pressure are still right where they should be, and Bob is a wiggly baby.  We go back to the dr again on Tuesday if baby doesn't come before then.

Physically I feel great, just a bit disappointed that this whole baby thing isn't happening on my time frame, but really, when does it ever work that way....

My mom was off from work on Thursday so Claire and I met her for lunch and some shopping (walking, really).  We had a great day, went home tired, but no baby.  We did more of the same yesterday, lunch with mom and a friend, more walking/shopping and still no baby.  We've spent so much time in the car the last few days that Claire is refusing to get in the car seat today, and I don't blame her.  So we are sticking close to home, and will venture out to the zoo (more walking!) tomorrow.

In Claire news, she loves being at the farm.  All she has to do is get her hat, sign outside and there is always someone around to put her in the Gator and go for a drive through the cows.  Before we left home she discovered that she could almost climb in one kitchen cabinet.  Darren cleaned it out for her so that they could play right!

And one last belly shot at 38 1/2 weeks.