Colette: 5 Months Old


Colette has had a great month! We’re much more settled at home and I feel like I'm getting to enjoy her so much more. We're getting to do so many of the things I dreamed of doing with 'just one', and it really is so great. I love how comfy she is in the wrap or carrier and that she can tag along on many of our outdoor adventures all snuggled up. She doesn't always eat great when we're out, but often makes up for it later. If I have to run into a store, I can do just that instead of unloading a double stroller and getting everyone out. It really does feel so much easier focusing on just one. Of course we have W&G too, but Colette has been such a great addition to our family and it's been so fun to have adventures as a family of five, with W&G just as enthusiastic. They really are the greatest big brothers and continue to adapt well to having her around all the time.

I feel like we've accomplished a lot during the first full month home and I pray the progress continues.




EAT:
After very slow weight gain the first week home, she started taking more and is now gaining weight nicely, currently 14lbs 4oz (left the NICU at 12lb10oz 6 weeks ago). She’s exceeding her daily goal, taking in about 26oz/day. I did another trial mixing the skimmed breast milk with Monogen and she took it pretty well, so after an appointment with GI, we decided to go all skimmed milk with Monogen powder. Well, of course Colette wouldn’t go for that and decided she wouldn’t have it mixed the other way either. So we’re back to switching off between 27cal Monogen bottles and skimmed breast milk bottles, though I continue to do 1oz skimmed breast milk with a little Monogen powder at each feed to hopefully build up her tolerance for it and that seems to be working. We’re off of all supplements except for adeks and actigall.  The big news is that two weeks ago we started her on 1oz full-fat breast milk per day and last Monday we bumped that up to 2oz. After an appointment with GI last week and no signs of a problem, they decided to increase by 2oz per week. Today she's up to 4oz/day -- a full feed-- and so far so good. I think if she continues to do well, they may speed up the frequency of the increases even more.

Though the washing of bottles at times seems endless and pumping and skimming the milk is certainly an investment of time, I'm so happy that we've been able to get her on track gaining weight. Her doctor was thrilled with her weight gain at her last appointment and as she starts taking more and more full-fat breastmilk, it will leave fewer unknowns about how many calories she's actually getting from the skimmed milk/mct oil/formula combo.

The rare time she fell asleep in the Mamaroo
SLEEP:
Thankfully she continues to sleep well at night and is consistently waking up just once at night. I usually feed her around 10:30pm before I go to bed (sometimes she wakes up for this feed, other times I wake her up) and then she'll wake up between 3 and 4am. Now that she's taking in enough during the day, weighs more than 14lbs and is gaining well, if she does wake up earlier, I give her her paci and she always goes back to sleep. Even if she wakes up between 3-4am, I still offer the paci and go back to bed, to see if she's really hungry or just woke up. I hope I can continue to stretch this out and get her sleeping a big longer soon.

Naps are okay. She sleeps great in the wrap or carrier, or when being held (she sleeps all day when Dedee is here!), but only takes short 30-minute naps when I put her in the crib. Even when we're out and she's in the stroller or in the car, she won't just drift off. It's like she doesn't want to miss anything and will often take 40-plus minutes to finally fall asleep.



PLAY:
Developmentally, Colette has been busy in the past two weeks and is rolling on her side and is grabbing at toys. Just yesterday (so 5 days past 5 months), she rolled from back to tummy. Unfortunately she can't get back over and gets frustrated when she's on her tummy. I was putting the boys to bed last night and heard C screaming upstairs -- which she rarely does. I called up to Dave and I guess every time he went into her room, she had rolled onto her tummy in her crib and couldn't get back over. Luckily once she's asleep, she doesn't do it so she hasn't woken herself up after rolling over. She’s been bringing her hands to her mouth for a while, but now can bring objects to her mouth as well. We had a physical therapy appointment two weeks ago and the therapist was impressed with how well she’s doing despite so much time in the NICU; she’s doing everything on the 3-month old checklist and plenty on the 4-5 month old list too. Since she was born 7 weeks early, she'll be evaluated on her 'adjusted age', currently 3.5 months. Though there's no specific reason for physical therapy, insurance covers it and the therapist said she'd like to follow her so I think we'll continue to go once or twice a month at least for the next few months. She's 'talking' more, not making any identifiable sounds, but much more vocal. She’s generally very happy and easy-going; she loves being a part of everything and will sit with us at the table during dinner taking it all in.

Rolling!


Although I thought Colette got a touch of a cold about a week after coming home, she definitely got the boys' most recent cold two weeks ago. Thankfully she got through it with only some minor, and very brief, retractions so I didn’t even need to give her the inhaler treatment I have for such situations. She coughed a bit and I had to suction her nose frequently and she woke up once more than normal at night for a few nights, but otherwise ate well and acted pretty normal.




She recently got labs drawn and didn’t cry at all, yet screamed when I had to put her back in the car seat. Go figure! We got the results back from the very specific genetic testing for genes that may be associated with pulmonary lymphangiectasia and everything came back negative. 

She gives her biggest smiles to William and he can’t get enough of her either. He keeps asking us, ‘can she stay with us forever?’. After her bath, he tells her how nice she smells, when he comes home from school, he asks her how her day was and always tells her she looks pretty, especially if she’s wearing a dress. George, ever the rule-enforcer, reminded her when she was wearing her mocs, that she can’t wear her shoes inside :)



Coco-Bean, Coco-Buns (W's name for you), Bean. You are the best addition to our family. It's such a joy to have you at home with us and I love all the time I get to spend with you each day. I feel like I'm finally getting the experience I hoped for, being able to savor all the baby moments of having just one to focus on. We've gotten in a good swing of things as far as eating goes and I'm so proud of you for taking your bottles better and better, increasing your volume and gaining weight. You're still very particular about mixing the Monogen with the skimmed breast milk and now that you're doing well with the full-fat breast milk, I'm debating whether I continue pushing the combo or just proceed with everything separate with the goal that you may be on full-fat milk completely in a few months. Regardless, it feels so good to work through some of those challenges. You are such a happy baby. I love getting you up in the morning, just like the boys when they were babies, you're so happy and smiling from ear to ear. William and George always get lots of smiles from you and we've even heard some laughing. You have the biggest eyes and the longest eyelashes curling upward. You love to talk and still love being a part of everything. I've started researching high chairs, not so much for you starting solids (think we're still at least a month off there) but just so you can sit with us at the table during dinner; I think you'd love that. It really is so cool to see you progress each day. The last few weeks you've been doing new things each day -- becoming more interested in toys, grabbing, rolling onto your side, and finally onto your belly. It's such a progression and these are the moments that are so special to witness as a parent. I feel so blessed to have you home, but elated to have you doing so well. We love you!



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