Thursday, April 30, 2009

New Pictures

Last week I had 9 month photos taken of Stella. She was a little doll during the whole shoot - smiling and giggling, and flopping over, of course, when they tried to sit her up. Here are some of my favorites.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Finally, Stella started physical therapy today! I got so fed up working with Early Intervention that I took it upon myself to find private therapy. For now I will pay for it and hopefully down the road we can get EI to pay! Grrrr.

Stella is working with Rita at Arlington Pediatric Therapy. I was so impressed with the facility. It's huge and they have so many therapy devices and rooms. Everyone, the staff and other families, was extremely nice and outgoing. It was a bit difficult for me to see so many kids with physical limitations. They also had a memorial wall filled with pictures of kids. For some reason I was deeply touched by all of this. I am so grateful for the people who choose to go into pediatric medicine/therapy. All the professionals I have met so far along this road have made things easier.

Stella liked Rita and was showing off during the session. Rita gave me a lot of good/new/different ideas of things to do with Stella, so hopefully we will see an improvement soon.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Visit with Endocrinologist

We met with Dr. Ellen Kim today, a pediatric endocrinologist at Children's Memorial. Stella is so tiny for her age, so I wanted to have an initial consultation mostly for peace of mind. Dr. Kim agreed that Stella's weight and height gains show some cause for concern and ordered some tests.

I learned a lot about the pituitary gland during our meeting. Probably the most interesting thing I learned was that issues with the pituitary can show up into a person's 20s, so at the very least Stella will need yearly screens until then. (People born with bilateral anophthalmia often have problems with their pituitary glands.) The most reassuring thing I learned was that any problem that may arise can successfully be managed with synthetic hormones.

Getting Stella's blood drawn was so traumatic. She is a chubby little thing, so it was nearly impossible for them to find a vein, and when they finally did (it required 2 nurses and me) they couldn't get very much blood. This whole time Stella was crying like she was being tortured, which, I guess in a way, she was. It was horrible. I started crying too. I hope I don't have to go through that again any time soon!

We should get the results by the end of test week. Fingers crossed that things are normal!

Friday, April 10, 2009

9 months

It's hard to believe my baby is 9 months old already! She's still so tiny, and acts more like a 5 month old in many ways, so it's easy for me to forget how old she is. While I do want her to grow and develop and become more mobile, there is a part of me that is enjoying this "extra" baby time.

Stella has one tooth, middle bottom, and more are on the way. She chews on everything, including her own fingers. I think it's funny that she continues to be surprised when it hurts to chomp down on her finger. She is still nursing strong, but also enjoying a variety of foods. I think we're done with the pureed baby food, because she makes a huge mess and doesn't seem to like it that much. She seems to prefers actual chunks of foods. So far she has had puffs, cheerios, carrots, peas, bananas, and teething biscuits. I am so impressed with how well she finds the food on her high chair tray and feeds herself. She doesn't have the pincer grasp down yet, but she grabs the food with one hand and uses fingers from the other hand to scoop the food into her mouth. She helps to hold a sippy cup but hasn't managed on her own yet, but we haven't given her many chances to try.

I think Stella has made great strides in her physical development this month. She is rolling from her tummy to back very easily and consistently. She still prefers to be on her back, although she tolerates tummy time a little better and will actually reach for objects and play with them while on her stomach. She often rolls from her back to her side, usually to find something to play with, but rarely goes all the way to her stomach. I think she is pretty close to sitting by herself. She does very well in the high chair and the exersaucer. Of course she still loves the swing and her little room and really interacts a lot with her surroundings now. She enjoys exploring textures and playing with rattles. Stella has become a lot more verbal this month too. No words yet though. Stella found her feet this month and just loves to play with them. She can also pull her socks off to get at her feet.

Her hair is getting longer and often seems like it might be curly. It definitely has a lot of body. This has been a difficult month for her conformers. The visits were traumatic and we had trouble finding a good fit. The end result is that for 3 weeks she has been wearing one clear conformer and one white conformer. They seem to be doing the job, but I think it looks awful. Next week we will get them changed and hopefully she will look a little better.

Overall I'm happy with the progress Stella is making, although I would love to see her be a bit more mobile. We are starting her on physical therapy to help with that, hopefully next week. Stella is such a sweet, easy baby, and I am having so much fun with her. I'm amazed at how expressive her face can be and at how easy it is to figure out what she needs. I just love watching her grow and learn things. And it's very fun to watch Sebastian find ways to interact with and enjoy her.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Well Visit

Stella saw Dr. Elvove today for her 9 month well visit. Although she's tiny, Elvove says she's healthy and thriving and he thinks we are doing all the right things to help her grow and develop. He suggested I try giving her chunkier foods, and even some cooked peas and carrots. We'll see how that goes.

Stella measured 26 inches and weighed 17 1/2 pounds. That puts her in the 5th percentile for height and around the 30th percentile for weight.

She also got the Hib vaccine today.