Tuesday, July 19, 2011

update on sweet baby jem-jem

although i include some of her recent activities on my "thursday's thoughts" posts, i feel that she deserves a more thorough update filled with pictures and current statistics. so here i go...

as of today, baby jemma is 19 weeks old (which is also 4 months 1 week and 4 days if you want to look at it from a different angle). she weighs 15 pounds and is 24 1/8 inches long. her weight puts her in the 90th percentile which pleases us considering everyone was worried that she might possibly have some trouble eating...clearly, she does not. what can i say, she comes from good stock.

below are some pictures of the first time we fed her some rice cereal a couple of weeks ago. she'll eat and swallow a bite every now and then, and then wear the rest. we are excited to mix in a bit of fruit and veggies soon too to give it a bit more flavor. one thing i love about her though is that she'll help us wipe her mouth off on her bid...and then try to eat it along with both hands. nom, nom, nom...furthermore, sweet baby jem-jem loves playing on her activity mat and reaching for the dangling birdies that fly above her head. some times she'll grasp the red one by it's feet and pull it down and into her mouth. i almost forgot how babies at this age enjoy putting any and everything into their mouths and exploring it with their tongue. it's the sweetest thing ever.she has also started babbling and cooing up a storm. in fact, she is our little alarm clock each morning as we hear her squeal and babble from her swing. this sound automatically makes me happy as i pick her up and greet her with good morning kisses on those sweet fluffy cheeks of hers. she will continue to babble for at least another 20 minutes.although baby jem-jem loves to eat, sleep, exercise on her activity mat, and babble all day long, there are some things that make her mad. for example, she hates "tummy time" and riding in the car. it's no surprise that she doesn't enjoy tummy time because i've never had a kid that did. however, the fact that she hates riding in the car is new to us. both abby and lyla always slept the whole time while on car rides to places. jem-jem will occasionally, but for the most part, she screams her sweet little head off. ya'll don't know how many times i've pulled over on the side of the road and taken her out just to feed her or change a diaper, thinking that it was the reason she was so mad. nope. she's just mad. here's a picture of jem-jem doing tummy time...before she gets mad...furthermore, since she has been home, we have taken her to a doctor appointment once a week, sometimes twice. no exaggeration. whether it be to her newborn follow up clinic, "hand in hand" physical therapist, occupational therapist, audiologist, nutritionist, cardiologist, pediatric neurologist, etc., everyone is staying on top of making sure she is growing and developing the way she should be. these appointments may be a bit time consuming, but words cannot express how thankful and blessed we are that they are there. most importantly, that she is here.

lastly, here's a quick wrap up as far as the appointments with the neurologist and cardiologist...

*her neurologist has said that her temporary shunt is still working the way it should. if you haven't noticed whether it be in some pics or in person, sweet baby jem-jem has a super lumpy head. this is completely as to be expected due to her temporary shunt placing her spinal fluid to form a pocket in between her skull and skin. once her temporary shunt stops working, she will have surgery to have it removed and then we will wait a week to see if her body can reabsorb the fluid on it's own or if she will need another brain surgery to have a permanent shunt placed in. this whole process is a waiting game. as dr. oakes has said, "we don't want to poke a sleeping tiger so if it's working and she is doing fine, we'll continue to keep it in and monitor her." so that is currently what we are doing. her next appointment with him is in the first week of august.

*her cardiologist performed an ultrasound of her mitral valve and noticed that the mass which was noted at birth is still there, but has gotten smaller as she has grown bigger. he was pleased with this finding and believes that since she has not had any other complications that it's not a blood clot, but a malformation (like a skin tag). also since there are no new growths, it's not bacterial or viral. we will continue to keep her on aspirin therapy until her shunt removal is planned and the next follow-up appointment is schedule when she turns one.

*at her newborn follow-up clinic, she met with a PT, OT, nutritionist, audiologist, and a pediatrician. they each individual assessed her and noted that at this time, there are no major concerns and she is right on track. her coordination, reflexes, and motor skills are good along with hearing, eating, and sleeping patterns.

all in all, we are so very thankful that she is continuing to stay happy and healthy. i will continue to update as new findings come along, but let's continue to pray that everything still goes smoothly. we love her so incredibly much and are enjoying watching her personality unfold. lastly, here is a picture of her birth announcement because i don't think i ever documented it here...

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

So happy that Jemma is doing so well!

A Mom to Two Lil' Ones said...

I love all the pictures of baby Jemma - she is beautiful. I am so glad to hear all the positive/good updates on her health. She is such a blessed baby to be loved by such a wonderful mommy :)
Oh - and not to scare you or anything, but Ashlyn hated the carseat when she was a newborn too - and here we are 22 months later and she still screams...this too shall pass, right?

haswell said...

I am so happy she is doing so well!!!! I know that worried feeling you get Kim! The doctors appointments can be scary, but we are so thankful for them too! It makes me feel like we have people other than ourselves fighting for our child. We are looking forward to football season where all our little ones can play! So thankful for Jemma's awesome report! God is good!!!! I am in love with her birth announcement. She is beautiful!