Thursday, April 18, 2013

Veronica is Two!

It's hard to believe that it has been two years since the scariest day of my life.  Part of me still feels like it was yesterday.  I have so many mixed emotions about this day.  I am sure there will be moments of reflection  and probably some tears.  But for the most part, this will be a day of celebration and of gratitude.  Happy 2nd Birthday, Veronica!   What an amazing little girl you continue to be!   

Friday, April 12, 2013

April 12

Along with birthdays and anniversaries, April 12 will always be a significant date for me.  April 12, 2011 was the day I went into preterm labor, 17 weeks before my due date.  After five full term children, I never imagined that I would go into labor months early.  I still think about that day, although not as much as I used to.  But lately, of course, I have been thinking more and more about it.  I still find myself asking the 'what if' questions.  What if I had gone to the hospital the night before when I wasn't feeling well?  When I woke in the middle of the night and felt fluid leaking, what if I had gone to the hospital then instead of changing and going back to sleep?  Instead of waiting for my doctor's officer to call back, arranging for child care and taking a shower, what if I had left for the hospital immediately upon waking at 6:00 am when I began to feel contractions?  Would any of these things have made a difference?  I'll never know of course, but will probably always wonder.

As difficult as that day was and the memories that are associated with it, all I have to do is take one look at Veronica to bring me back to a better place.  She is a constant reminder of how incredibly blessed we are.  We could not have asked for a better outcome.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Cherry Blossoms 2013

It's hard to believe that just six days ago, we took a quick trip to Great Falls of the Potomac River.  It was a great outing but it was windy and so chilly.  Today, I took my two youngest girls to see the Cherry Blossoms in DC in near 80 degree weather.  It was wonderful.  Spring has finally arrived!  I have lived in the Washington, DC area for over 20 years and I can only remember a handful of times that I visited the blossoms when they were in full bloom.  I think I always used the excuse of it being too crowded and just too inconvenient to make the trip down to the Tidal Basin.  But after a lovely visit last year, I knew we had to go back.  Today the traffic was horrible and the parking was a challenge, but it was all worth it to see the beautiful blossoms at their peak.  And the girls loved getting out in the warm weather.    

Andrew and Veronica - Great Falls.

Sebastian at Great Falls.

 Theodore was on a playdate but our neighbor Tegan joined us instead.
Our picnic lunch and Veronica's first Capri Sun.

Veronica loves dogs!

She smiled for most of our outing except when the camera was in front of her face.

Flat Stanley was visiting us from Canton, Michigan and joined us for the fun.


Josephine was afraid she would fall in.

Veronica wanted no part of sitting in the stroller.

I can't remember why Josephine was mad it me - but she's darn cute even with that scowl on her face.

Veronica - climbing the steps of the Jefferson Memorial.

There's a smile!

Monday, April 1, 2013


Easter Sunday has always been one of my favorite holidays. What could be more joyous than celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ with the people you love.  This year, as we did last year, we couldn't help but reflect back on Veronica's first Easter.  Two years ago on Easter Sunday, Veronica was on her seventh day of life and had developed an infection which prompted one of the doctors to contact us in the middle of the night.  I will never forget how I felt as I watched Andrew from across the room as he spoke on the phone.  For a moment, I was certain that Veronica had died.  Even as I think about it now, I get tears in my eyes. Looking back, we were reminded of how incredibly blessed we are.  Although that isn't something we could ever really forget.  

Happy Easter!!    

It's so hard to get a good photo of all of us.....

Veronica and her daddy.  

Veronica loves kisses!

Veronica, me, Linus

Me and Josephine.

Josephine loves pink!

Veronica with a jelly bean in her mouth. 

Trying to look out the window. 

Two little girls. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Snow Day!

On the fifth day of spring, we were blessed with about 2 inches of snow which was enough to close schools for the day.  Andrew got out the snow gear which was already all packed away for the season and out the kids went for some fun in the snow.
Veronica - happy to play in the snow!

Josephine - happy to be eating the snow!

Theodore - teaching his sisters how to make the perfect snowman.

Sebastian and Linus - snow soccer.

Love this girl!

Andrew puts on Sebastian's boot while Sebastian eats the snow.

Andrew - not as young as he used to be.

Linus takes a turn on the snowy slide.

Josephine takes a turn.
Liesl and Veronica (from January 2013)

Friday, March 22, 2013


The first six weeks of 2013 were filled with several unexpected doctor visits for our family, including one trip to urgent care and two visits to the emergency department.  One of those visits resulted in Veronica being admitted to the hospital where she was diagnosed with pneumonia and remained for almost five days.

It was a Monday morning and Veronica had been having cold symptoms for a few days.  I worried, as I always did when she had a cold, and debated with myself about whether or not to call the doctor.  I thought I heard wheezing, but I couldn't be sure.  I wondered if she was having trouble breathing or if I was over reacting.  And I just didn't want to be one of "those" parents who called the doctor every time their child had a runny nose.  (Truthfully, I had already become one.  Veronica has been on multiple "sick" visits when all she had was a simple cold.  But I have been constantly reassured every time I have brought her in that the doctors and nurses are happy to see her and ease my worries. I love our pediatrician's office!)  What finally prompted my call was that I was nearly certain that I saw a color change in her hands.  They looked almost a bluish gray.  But even still, as I drove to the pediatrician's office, I kept telling myself that she was probably fine and I really didn't need to be bringing her in.  

When we arrived, Veronica was immediately seen and had her pulse ox taken.  Sure enough it was only 93.  They tested for her RSV and the flu (both negative) and we did a few nebulizer treatments which provided some relief.  But after about two hours, her blood oxygen saturation level still hadn't come up.  So it was off to the emergency department we went.  This had been one of my worst fears since the day she was discharged from the NICU.  But it was almost as though I had expected it at some point, as though having a micro preemie automatically meant at least one hospitalization post NICU discharge.  She had been doing  so well since her NICU days, it was as though I was waiting for the other shoe to drop.  And it finally had.

As we waited to be seen in the emergency department, Veronica was in good spirits.  She was running around and dancing to music.  Surely we would be seen and sent home.  She wasn't even acting sick.  But hours later, after multiple nebulizer treatments and a chest x-ray, she was admitted and diagnosed with pneumonia.   It was a long five days, and Veronica was on oxygen for most of that time.  So we were back in familiar territory, watching and waiting.

The good news, is that a few days after after she was discharged, we followed up with a pediatric pulmonologist at the recommendation of her pediatrician.  While he acknowledged her pneumonia and her response to it were likely related to her being born extremely premature, he did not believe she would necessarily have any long term lung issues.  He was also quite impressed with how well she has done considering how early she was born.  Hooray Veronica!    

In the pediatrician's office, where we stayed for about two hours.

In the emergency room, where we stayed for about five hours.
A one-hour nebulizer treatment.  I had never even heard of such a thing!
Veronica did NOT like it.

Finally asleep.....

Waiting, waiting, waiting....

Finally admitted!  

This is where Veronica spent her time, all day, for three days. 

There was lots of napping (for me too!). 

I'm not ashamed to admit that after a day or two, I allowed her to eat in the crib. 
Playing on mommy's IPad. 

Chest PT - Veronica seemed to enjoy it which was a blessing. 
Gifts and a card for Valentine's Day.

Freedom!  After three days, we were allowed to venture out of our hospital room. 

Pure silliness!

I went out to eat with the other five while Andrew stayed back at the hospital. 

Theodore ate a 1/2 lb burger and got his picture taken. 

Linus and Sebastian got out their "Veronica" shirts that we made when she was in the NICU.  

After four days in the hospital, I finally found our that they had a high chair!
We celebrated my 41st birthday (yikes!) in the family lounge.

My birthday cake from Costco.  We shared the rest of it with the nurses.