Hello to all of Juliana’s faithful followers! This will be a wordy update on her life.
Juliana is now 10 months old and 6 1/2 months old developmentally. She weighs about 13 lbs and is 25 inches long, perhaps longer by now. She is an angel.
We have her helmet now, which will correct the asymmetry of her head. She only has to wear it for 3 months, thankfully, but she doesn’t seem to mind it too much. She wears it for 23 hours a day and then gets a break each evening for her bath.
We went to the eye doctor yesterday and he checked her eyes. He says that her retinas are looking great! (Retinal issues are prevalent with babies who have had ROP.) Her glasses prescription has not changed, at least for now, and we figured out how to keep the glasses AND helmet on simultaneously. This is a huge relief, because we did not want her to go 3 months without her glasses. She sees things so much better with them, and she is more animated and interactive with them on.
Developmentally, she keeps on trucking according to where she should be with her adjusted age of 6 1/2 months. She loves to roll all around but is not quite ready to crawl. She is just about to sit on her own, and actually loves to stand. She is very stable on her feet, but nowhere near ready to actually stand or walk.
She smiles all the time and makes a cute little laugh that doesn’t quite sound like a laugh yet. She sleeps most of the night and loves to play all day long, except for a few brief naps.
Juliana has been eating some rice cereal (didn’t impress her) and butternut squash (she kinda likes). She still isn’t sure about swallowing stuff, but seems to do okay with the squash flavor. Next up: sweet potatoes.
I have started back to school, but I am only teaching part time this year. Jason watches Juliana until I get home mid-morning, and then I spend the rest of the day with her. She goes to faculty meeting with me for now, and we take a lot of walks.
She looks like a little aviator with her helmet and glasses on together, especially when she sits in her exersaucer and she looks like she is manning a huge control panel. Her exersaucer especially inspires her to “talk” very loudly. She also loves to play the piano and listen to music.
We’re sorry that the uploading photos part of the website has become so time-intensive that we have fallen off our regular posting. We’ll try to do better! Maybe more pictures to come later today or tomorrow.
Thanks for following Juliana’s progress. She is so sweet and wonderful and we thank God every day for her precious little life. Parenthood is just absolutely wonderful, and we are loving every second.
We went to Harpers Ferry a few weekends ago.
Happy Father’s Day to Juliana’s favorite and most wonderful Daddy! Jason: you are a wonderful father in every way. Juliana is blessed to have you! (click for photos)
A quick update for the readers: it appears that Juliana is going to have to start wearing glasses. Her check up with the pediatric ophthamologist indicated that she is extremely nearsighted. Unfortunately this will not improve as she ages, but will possibly worsen (as do most people’s eyes as they get older). Fortunately, she will be able to see clearly with her glasses, and when she gets older will be able to wear contacts. Her little (the smallest size) pink frames with prescription lenses will be arriving by FedEx sometime this week. We will post pictures when we are able.
Hello Everyone! I’m sorry that we are updating more infrequently now. We still appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers as Juliana continues to grow. Here is an update on what she has been doing in the last several weeks.
All doctor visits have been great. Juliana is a very healthy and happy little baby. She is 7 months old, and nearly 4 months old developmentally (adjusted age). She is still not on the growth chart, but her growth is tracking according to the curve, so although she continues to be small, she is growing appropriately. She currently weighs about 11 1/2 lbs, and she grew a remarkable 2 inches in length in about 2 1/2 weeks! She is 23 1/2 inches long. She is eating well and sleeping well. Her nighttime schedule is rather interesting: she usually sleeps from about midnight to 6 am, eats, then sleeps again until 10 am. This works fine for my current summer schedule, but we will need to adjust before I start back to HVA (teaching part time) in August. Throughout the day she giggles and coos, plays with her toys, and really enjoys reading books and watching her mobile.
The physical therapists are still coming regularly, and they say that she is progressing very well. Each time they give us a skill or two as her goals, and she meets them within a day or two of their visit. Yesterday she surprised us by rolling over! (There was a small cheat involved, as the surface was not entirely flat, but she has definitely learned the skill!) She has started to drool all over everything, which indicates that her saliva glands are kicking in to gear to start some solid foods in a couple of weeks. We don’t think that she’s quite ready to teethe, but we are watching for that as well.
We are currently monitoring the asymmetry of her head, due to the enforced positioning on her left side while her right leg was broken in the NICU. It isn’t severe, and we are hoping that it will resolve itself, but there is a possibility that she may have to wear a helmet for a few months, later in the summer.
We went to Tennessee in May to celebrate my brother Caleb’s academy graduation. It was Juliana’s first road trip. She did pretty well with the experience, although I think it would be a fair assessment of her feelings to say that she thinks 10 hours in a car seat should be considered child abuse. 🙂 The family enjoyed getting to spend more time with our chubby little bundle of joy.
Juliana’s life was saved by your many prayers and by God’s working through the miracle of modern medicine. The doctors and nurses at University of Maryland Medical Center who worked so hard for our babies were greatly benefitted by funds and research done by the March of Dimes foundation.
In order to raise awareness of the tragedies of prematurity, the March of Dimes hosts walk-a-thons all over the country where individuals can raise money for this very worthy cause. My sisters and brother-in-law will be walking on May 2 in Chattanooga, Tennessee on behalf of Juliana, Zoe, and Eden, and we would love your support! If you would like to contribute to their walk and to saving premature babies, please visit their team site: Payne3. You can learn more about the March of Dimes organization, and even join an event near you at www.marchforbabies.org. We’re hoping that you will be willing to sponsor our family in this walk and donate to an organization that will help families everywhere.
Thank you, each one, for taking the time to come to our blog and post your comments in show of support. Thank you for your many prayers during our difficult time.
Also, to celebrate Juliana’s life and dedicate her to God, we are holding a special baby dedication at the Highland View Church on Sabbath, April 17 at 11 a.m. during the church service. We would be honored if you would like to attend and meet Juliana. It will be her first official outing into public, and we are so thrilled to be able to publicly dedicate her to God. Thank you all for being a part of our journey to this point!
Easter weekend was quite full. Grandpa and Grandpa Minner and Ansley accompanied Juliana and me on her first excursion to Washington DC, where we saw the cherry blossoms in full bloom, and Juliana had her first glimpse of the White House. (Well, I’m not sure she even opened her eyes.)
Our new camera has been very fun. I am learning the settings and playing around with different techniques. Stay tuned for many more fun pictures!
Also, the developmental specialists came to evaluate Juliana yesterday. She weighs 9 lb 4 oz, and she is now 21 inches long! They were very impressed with her. She is functioning right where she should be, according to her adjusted age of nearly 2 months. There are some areas where she is ahead, mainly in her social skills. She makes a lot of eye contact and follows people and voices. She has also started smiling a lot more. We look forward to some more coos and giggles in the weeks to come. Another goal for her is to increase her neck muscles and hold her head up for longer periods of time with more stability. We will be doing a lot of playtime on her tummy to help with this. We are also going to start working on rolling over. We will be helping her learn how this feels, and then hopefully she will start to do it on her own. We are very proud of her progress, as usual. She continues to be a super sweet baby who doesn’t cry very much and smiles more and more.