It has been too long since I last posted, but I guess that's a good thing. There really isn't too much to report as far has Veronica goes. She continues to amaze us everyday just by her being. This past Sunday she turned 4-months-old, corrected that is. I like to focus more on her adjusted age since that's the most accurate way to describe her, at least for now anyway. So at 4-months, she has great head control, plays with her hands, holds a rattle, smiles like crazy and even giggles at times. We're still waiting for her to roll over but we have a few more months before that would be anything to be concerned about. Veronica loves to watch her siblings play and doesn't seem to mind all the chaos and noise. She continues to be fed only breast milk and we'll continue that until she is 6-months adjusted, unless we see some obvious signs sooner that she is ready for something more. As far as I'm concerned, there is no rush to starting solids. At times I feel like I already have enough on my plate trying to feed the other five.
As far as growth goes, Veronica is currently 24 1/2 inches long and weighs 14 lbs, 6 oz. The big news is that she has actually made it onto the growth chart for her weight. The doctors measure her growth in terms of her actual age (7 1/2 months) and she is currently in the 5th percentile for weight and almost on the chart for her height. I am amazed by her growth and so glad that this has not been an area that we have had to worry about. She has actually doubled her weight from the day she was discharged which I think is remarkable in four months.
Today Veronica had a follow up at the developmental Clinic at the Children's National Medical Center (CNMC) in DC. She was evaluated by a neonatal nurse practitioner who had no concerns regarding her progress which of course was a relief to hear. She will return to CNMC at 9 and 18 months corrected age as part of a research study. On Veronica's 2nd day of life, we agreed to allow her to participate a study called Neurodevelopmental Outcomes of Very Low Birth Weights (VLBW) Infants Managed with Early Nasal Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (ENCPAP). Although I really didn't understand what I was agreeing to at the time, I am glad to have enrolled her in the study. I am hopeful that whatever is learned from this study will at some point be beneficial for other premature babies.
Veronica continues to be visited once a month by an occupational therapist from our county's early intervention program. Over the course of two visits, she trained me on the techniques of infant massage. I try to do it every day but admit that it doesn't always happen. When we do get the chance, Veronica really seems to enjoy it (who wouldn't?) and I love that it forces me to give her some undivided attention. See the photo below. Can you tell she is enjoying it?