Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Preemie Catch Up Game

During our initial appointment with Dr. Kleber, Elise's pediatrician, she showed me Elise's growth charts. Knowing that I was a teacher, Dr. Kleber said that I would probably think the charts were pretty 'ugly' at the start. However, she told me that I would be intrigued while analyzing the charts as we continued to have appointments and plot Elise's measurements. She told me preemies play this fabulous catch up game with their measurements. By playing this 'game,' at the age of two or three Elise will measure just like a two or three year old that was born full-term.

When I first looked at the weight and height chart for Elise, Dr. Kleber was right. I cringed slightly. My poor girl had the have the chart extended downward just so she would make a 'point.' However, the more thought I put into it, the more understanding I gained (funny how that works?!) Her chart benchmarks (5th percentile and up) are based off her chronological age (5 months on July 8th). Moreover, her black points are based off her adjusted age (roughly one month old).


Dr. Kleber was dead on when she said I would be intrigued with the charts! If you look at the curves on Elise's graphs, you can already see how she is showing signs of the Preemie Catch Up Game. She has a greater upward trend than you would expect from a full-term baby. So cool!

Speaking of weight, Elise is now up to 7 lbs 10 oz! We are still feeding her every 3-4 hours and we've increased her volume from 2 ounces to now 3 ounces. She doesn't always take the full 3 ounces, but she's consistently taking more than 2 ounces at every feed.

Yesterday, First Steps from Columbus came to our home to assess Elise. First Steps is the local program that sends therapists into the homes of babies/children who might have any type of delay from developmental to speech to cognitive. Yesterday, the therapists raved about how well Elise looks and all the progress she is making! After examining her, they recommended NO services as of right now....what a wonderful thing! They said everything she is doing is right on track for what a one month old baby should be doing. They gave us charts that show what Elise is doing and what she should be doing in the months to come. We will stay in their system so that if/when we see signs of delays in the future, we can contact them and they will come back to re-assess and provide services if needed.

We had a follow-up eye appointment today with Dr. Roberts in Greenwood today. His words were, "Elise's eyes are awesome guys!" He wants to see us in one month to make sure her blood vessels grow completely across her eyes (right now they are heading in that direction, but aren't finished growing). He will then see us in 3 months for a follow-up/discharge appointment. It's always difficult to pull out of the driveway at 7am with an infant to make it to these early appointments, but to receive that news from Dr. Roberts, the sleep deprivation/stress was well worth it!

As you can read, we continue to make great strides having our little lady home! Although most days are wonderful, I'm reminded daily that not everything about being a stay-at-home mommy is glorious and glamorous (the realistic side all mommies go through). There are days I don't get a chance to shower until G gets home from work. There are days the dishes sit. The kitchen floor is ridiculously dirty and laundry is begging to be washed. There are days I miss my mother terribly. I wish I could load up Miss E in the car and head to Nana Lisa's house for a visit. Girl time with my best pal and getting to watch my mother with her granddaughter. As I tell people who ask: at times, it's very hard to be a mother without a mother.

However, those days mentioned above are in between days when Elise and I stare at each other with our big brown eyes. She coos while looking into my eyes and my heart completely melts. Hours pass by just staring at each other. We take power walks, attend aerobic classes, have tummy time, and take cat naps together. If we are missing girl time that day, that's when I call up one of my fabulous girlfriends and we get together. Then, we wait for Daddy to get home from work so we can hear about his day and I can tell him about every "Elise moment" made throughout the day. Elise is Nana Lisa's little lady that was snuggled close in Heaven and kept safe in the NICU. It may be difficult at times to not have my best pal and mother with me physically, but there is a definite reason why Elise is our miracle baby.

Here are some of the latest photos of our sweet peanut...Enjoy!

All ready for church! 

When items do not fit, a lady must improvise!
On a power walk with Mommy

See what I mean about staring into my eyes and making my heart melt??

Until Next Time ~
G & J & E


  1. Jess,
    So happy for you and your beautiful little girl!!! I've followed your blog since Elise was born and prayed daily for your family!
    Nothing better than being a momma...enjoy!
    -Katie Kleber-Martin

  2. So happy to see Elise is growing!!!

    We had issues with Liv gaining weight when she came home. She would sleep and would skip her feedings, even with us setting alarms & trying to wake her. FINALLY she started gaining and now at 13 months she has caught up to her age group! It was exciting that she finally made it on the growth chart for her age group at her last appointment! :)