Tips for an Extended NICU Stay

Mrs. Blue had a great post a while ago on Parenting in the NICU. I would add these suggestions if you’re staring down the barrel of a long stay, either due to having a LO with an illness or injury, or an early preemie. D spent 65 days (mostly) in one NICU, was home for 25 days, and then spent 63 days (mostly) in a different NICU, so these tips are a culmination of long and varied experiences!

- Allow yourself time to grieve. Like Mrs. Blue said, it’s a hard place to do it since there are families with angel babies and other really tough situations. But, I think it’s fair to allow yourself a few moments, or a few days, to just be sad. Rely on your partner and your support system.

- Find your zen. A good friend of mine always reminds me that you have circles of concern, circles of influence, and circles of control. It’s much better to focus your attention on what you can influence and control (like, making medical decisions when faced with discreet options, or getting the doctors to explain something fully to you) instead of worrying about what the future holds. Obviously, this is very hard, and I’ve found I need a good pity party first, but then you have to pick up the pieces and move on, one foot in front of the other.

I went through these two steps many times, after each new hurdle in the road or new diagnosis. For example, I lost it and sobbed in front of doctors and nurses when they told me that D could no longer have breastmilk, since I was a pumping machine and had a fantastic supply! But in the next few days, I had a plan for weaning from the pump, and tried to focus on his improving condition on the formula.

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Meet Roman, Our 14 Month Old Little Explorer!

Since Roman is the whole reason I have so much to say about motherhood and babies, I thought he deserved his own introduction! Born in July 2013 (three weeks early after my water broke on the toilet at Tryst Cafe in Adams Morgan), he is now 14 months old and loving life!

As a newborn I would not have described him as “loving love.” We typically referred to him as “a baby who didn’t like being a baby.” He was an only sleeps while held infant who turned me into what I called an accidental attachment parent. He struggled with breastfeeding in a way even our lactation consultant could not understand, frantically flailing at the breast as if the whole process was pure torture. After a couple months of futile attempts I ended up exclusively pumping until my supply dropped around 10 months. He spent his first 6 months mostly frustrated, but the older he got and the more he could do, the happier he was.

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Nursery Mood Board

As soon as I found out we were having a girl, I went to my existing nursery pinterest board and began planning. I am notorious for changing my mind a million times when decorating or planning a party, so I haven’t purchased or painted anything yet, but I’m itching to get started. Here is what I think I want the room to look like, for now at least.

Benjamin Moore Whispering Peach – I’ve been drawn to a peach wall color for a long time. I thought about painting the walls white and just adding pops of color around the room, but since I want to use white furniture, I’m afraid of too much white. I love this pale peach color and I think it will warm up the room without looking too babyish.

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Becoming a Mother of Two

It is safe to say I was almost as terrified to have the second as I was to have the first. The first time around I was afraid because I didn’t know what to expect. This time, I was afraid because I did.

Postpartum depression did a number on me and I wasn’t quite sure how I would handle it a second time.  I know I am only five weeks in, but thankfully I haven’t sat in the soul-crushing despair and anxiety that I had the last time I had a baby.  Let’s pray things stay that way.

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Our family of four on Labor Day Weekend

On the one hand, some things have been easier this time around.  Many moms reassured me it would be since you only go through the “first-time mom” experience once.  With your second, you have been through it once before; you know they won’t likely die if you accidentally snooze an extra half hour, and you’re not as neurotic about checking on them every five minutes just to make sure they are still breathing. You’re a little easier on yourself and have more realistic expectations about the first few months. If you’re not able to continue breastfeeding, you know you won’t be feeding them poison or lowering their IQ by giving them formula. You understand newborns aren’t always cute, and new moms aren’t always in a blissful state; newborns have a tendency to be really annoying, particularly at 4 AM when they are wide awake and you haven’t slept a full night in weeks.

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The Perfect Fall Coat

We woke up this morning and it actually felt like fall; a nice chilly fall. Not that freezing cold winter disguised as fall. Since it was summer all the way up until this morning, I haven’t even thought about pulling out fall clothes let alone shopping for them. I started searching around for fall coats so of course I thought I’d share. Here is a long list of some really great and timeless fall coats — essentials depending on your fall temps, and coats that won’t go out to style by the end of the season.

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Introducing the Project Nursery Shop + a Giveaway!

All the entry options for the contest were not visible yesterday so more options have been added!

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The winner of our Back to School giveaway was photojane!

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Our friends over at Project Nursery just launched a chic new shop that has everything from furniture to nursery decor to clothes and toys. In order to celebrate, we’re giving away this gold foil print and giraffe bookend to one reader! Check out some of the awesome things they’re currently carrying after the jump, and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Scribble’s Elevated Lead Level Scare

Our family recently moved to a small, ranch-style house built in the sixties. We absolutely love the house, and although it is just a rental, we were excited to get settled in here.

A few days ago, Scribble had his 2 year well child visit. At the end of the visit, he was subject to a mandatory lead screening. I didn’t think anything of it, except to be worried about how Scribble would react to the venous blood draw.

Then this past Monday, we got some news: Scribble’s blood lead level are elevated past what is considered normal.  The CDC classifies anything less than 5 as normal, and Scribble came in at 6.

My initial reaction was panic, and then, predictably, guilt. I foolishly hadn’t considered that moving into a house built in the sixties might be an issue. The windows are new and the interior of the house had recently been repainted. The exterior is brick. I seriously thought that lead poisoning was a thing of the past. I started scanning the house for other potential lead sources.

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