Thankful is how I am feeling after today's doctor appointment. Extremely thankful. So very thankful.
I'll begin with Morgan Kate's "stats" because that is what I was dying to know at first.
Height - 24.5 inches
Head circumference - 16.5 inches
Weight - 13 pounds and 6 1/2 ounces
Yes, "Lil Bit" has gained over 11 ounces since her last weigh in which was over two weeks ago. Oh, how happy my heart is. And even better news, she is actually on the growth chart for her height and head circumference for a nine month old. Granted, it's only in the 10th percentile, but still, she is on the chart. Yahoo! And her weight is right there on the edge just wanting to jump on the chart. It too will come. I know it.
We were only five minutes into the appointment and I was already on cloud nine. I had already texted Travis like five times to share the good news and we hadn't even seen Dr. G yet.
The good news didn't end there folks.
Dr. G said that Morgan Kate was the "picture of health". Picture of health? My Morgan Kate? My 25 weeker? Again, I was floating. She said that she looked great, she looked happy, her lungs sounded terrific (big plus for me) and her eyes, nose, throat and ears all looked good too. She couldn't get over how far MK has come and how much she has changed in such a little time. All smiles from me.
I know I have said this before, but Dr. G is awesome. I wish I had a better adjective because I really don't feel like awesome does her justice. She came in, pulled up a chair, and just talked to me and let me ask a zillion questions. I'll share just a few of the questions and her answers:
Question 1: What to do about solids? We have already started rice cereal and MK seems to like it and also seems to have the hang of it. I don't want to rush her, but I don't want to delay doing something that she might be ready for.
Isn't a picture worth a thousand words?
Dr. G said that we could start other solids. Oh my goodness! My little precious baby who I swore would still only be drinking two ounces of formula when she went off to kindergarten is now ready for solids. Dr. G would like for us to start with a fruit and do that for about four days. Then move to a veggie for four days. Then introduce a new fruit for four days, then a new veggie and so forth. In some cases premature babies can have issues with certain textures and even an oral aversion, especially babies that were fed through a tube (which MK was). So we are supposed to alternate between fruits and veggies to get MK used to things. This is by no means an alternative to her bottle. She will still take her bottles as usual, we will just be using this new food as a teaching tool. Eventually we can try puffs, and melts, and even a sippy cup. My baby is growing up!
Of course Travis and I had to run out this afternoon and purchase some baby food. We must have sat on the aisle for what seemed like half an hour. We were looking at the different brands, the different "flavors", the different stages, so many different things.
I know there are like a million gazillion "rules" to solids. Yellow before green then orange or something like that. And don't do fruits before veggies because then the baby won't like veggies. Make your own, go organic. Anyway, to each his own (or whatever the saying is). I totally respect what anyone is willing or wants to try with solids and I do appreciate any help on the topic. I am sure I will have a thousand questions. But for the time being we are following Dr. G's advice and ultimately what works for MK. Hopefully she will like fruits and veggies. Travis and I both do.
Tonight MK had applesauce. And she really seemed to like it. Next on the list is carrots.
Question 2: How much longer will MK be on the apnea monitor?
Before I share Dr. G's answer I'll give a little background. MK has been on the monitor since birth. If she stops breathing for more than 20 seconds an alarm sounds. Since coming home from the hospital (over 5 months ago) the alarm has only gone off maybe twice, three times tops. Her monitor is downloaded every so often and the results are printed and sent to Dr. G. MK has only had one apnea episode and that was back in December. With all that being said, Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning around 4am the alarm sounded. Not once, not twice, but four times. The thing is, each time it was clear that she was breathing. I'm not sure if the wires were bad, the leads weren't on good enough, or if all that rolling around she does pulled them in the wrong direction. But MK was perfectly fine. Mommy and Daddy on the other hand were scared to death. It hasn't happened since, thank goodness.
Dr. G would like for MK to undergo a sleep study before making any decision about discontinuing the apnea monitor. This makes perfect sense to me and I support it 100%. I don't mind the apnea monitor at all and it actually gives me a piece of mind. If she has to wear it until she is five then that's okay too. For the sleep study, MK would spend one night at the hospital and be constantly monitored. Don't worry, I already asked about staying with her. I'll keep you posted on when this will take place.
Question 3: Should we continue with MK's breathing treatments? I still notice that she gets really short of breath and almost sounds like she is panting after she has PT or things of that nature.
Yes, continue with the breathing treatments.
There were many, many more questions, but these were the big ones. I won't bore you with my questions about the sun, swimming, next winter, or MK's skin color. Yes. I foolishly asked if it was normal for MK to be so pale or "fair skinned". The answer was yes.
Again, I am just so thankful.
As I was rocking MK to sleep tonight I just couldn't thank God enough for her health, her growth and for just watching over all of us.