March for Babies

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


That, that sound, was the sound of the other shoe dropping. It has been coming. I have said it before. Things cannot possibly go this well indefinitely.

Azure is still thriving, she is still smart, she is still pulling herself up to standing (and letting go occasionally) every chance she gets and crawling all over the place. She is smiley and babbling like crazy.


Houston, we have a problem.

Yesterday was our follow up visit with the pediatric ophthalmologist who has been checking her for ROP since long before she left the NICU. She initially had Stage 1 which cleared up on its own and her retinas are just fine now.


She is showing more than one symptom of having Duane Retraction Syndrome, Type 1. A congenital neurological disorder of the eyes that appears in only 1-5% of the population. In essence it is a birth defect caused by a teratogenic experience somewhere between 3-8 weeks gestation. (Common causes are Thalidomide or Fetal Alcohol poisoning, neither which explain why Azure has this.) The only thing I can come up with is that 4 weeks past IUI, I was in my first ever car accident when an elderly couple T-boned my car while I was out at lunch one day. The day before my "6 week" ultrasound at the RE's office. Could that car accident be the cause of Azure's eye disorder? Not the actual impact, I walked away without a scratch (though my head was a little tender where it hit the side window), no big deal, but what about the stress and adrenaline? My car was fixed and back on the road in about a week and as far as we could tell there were no consequences for the pregnancy at the time. (The other driver was found at fault but not ticketed despite the fact that he did not have a valid drivers license.)

But what if...

*Deep breath innnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn, Holllllllllllllllllllllllllllld, Exhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaale*

Like I said, my daughter is gorgeous and happy and the center of my world. She may have to get used to wearing glasses in about 6 months or so, but those beautiful blue eyes will still twinkle when she smiles.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

How Blue Got Her Groove Back

I wrote a short while ago about how I was having to work at my marriage for the first time and never had any time for myself. I guess that was not entirely accurate. We have worked on our relationship all along, I just never focused on it before. For the most part, it has been an easy time the past 19 years (6 married). Things are better than they were even a month ago. I credit the fact that I have been actively trying to spend time with T. I saw us sitting at opposite ends of the couch and I got myself up and moved over next to him. I stop him when we pass each other in the kitchen and give him a hug and kiss, just because. I have read that making LOVE into a verb can do wonders for your relationship. I think I am finding that is true. For T’s part, he has started watching Azure so that I can go to the gym. This is a HUGE thing for us. He is spending time with his daughter and getting more comfortable caring for her and I get time.…alone (Ok, technically I am surrounded by other gym-goers, but plugged into my headphones I am in my own little world). Ahh. Now that is the ticket! We have also made plans to spend some time together, specifically, he is going to help me improve my chess game.

Step two. I remembered a passage from a book I read years ago which said if you think of yourself as a sexy confidant woman, others will see you that way too. Now, I have 40 or so pounds to lose (again), so I have imposed the fake-it-until-you-make-it theory. I have a little help with this as well, since I just got my first pair of black square-toed cowboy boots and I am living it up. I LOVE them. I also died my hair. My natural blondness has been darkening over the years and I almost lost it all when I cut my hair last summer. Since then I have tried a few different lightening/highlighting products, none of which I really liked. I finally just died it blonde which I liked, until the roots started showing. Blehck! So, I thought I should find something a bit closer to my natural color. Not brown, but a bit darker than my beloved golden locks. I went red. I am now "Blush Blond" and I love it! I was strawberry blond as a baby and everyone always wondered if I would be the red head in the Irish Elephant family. Now I am. Basically, I have put a little swagger in my step and my mood is improving! Yay!

Step three. T and I talked about how we BOTH individually have felt the weight of the world on our shoulders over the past year (me taking care of Azure 24/7 and he doing EVERYTHING else) and how we feel that we are at the point where we can start getting our old lives back. The life we had before Azure was born, the life we wanted to add her to. We are attempting to leave behind Preemie-hood and move forward to Family-with-a-toddler-hood. We also are actively working our way out of debt. His goal is to move to a newer house in a nicer (safer) neighborhood. My goal is to afford an adoption after that move. Win-Win.

In other news, my kid ROCKS! She had surgery last Thursday to repair the damaged tissue on her arm from the electrode that first week in the NICU. Not only did she do a fabulous job before the surgery (considering there was a two hour delay and she was not allowed anything to eat or drink) but afterwards as well. She has an immobilizer on her arm to keep her from pulling at the stitches/surgical glue and she has adapted to it SO easily. She is still pulling herself up and crawling all over the place like it is not even there. She fights me when I put it on her, she would of course prefer that it not be there, but it doesn’t seem to phase her in the least once that Velco is sealed up. I am so impressed with my daughter I do not even know where to begin. We even had our first (and hopefully last) experience of pooping in the tub an Sunday! While I might have been overheard to say, "Oh!, Oh Wow!" I did follow up with a quick, "Mommy is not mad at you Sweetie, we just need to get things cleaned up a bit." All the while I was thinking, Oh Gross! Ewwww, Bleaeaeahck! I suppose I knew this day would come, and now it has. Check that one off the list of milestones, write it down in the baby book and move on.