Today we had our first visit with Nurse Becky. She is a former NICU nurse and now provides services to babies who were in the NICU within the home setting. Athea qualified to be a part of the Newborn Infant Care Program since she was in the NICU for a while.
I'll be honest... when I first heard we "qualified" for the program I wasn't too keen on the idea of having a stranger come into our home to track Athea's development. But recently I've been feeling overwhelmed at times and unsure as to what to expect with Athea. She can be very very fussy and at times it feels like there is no warning with her "moments." After we went to our centering class reunion, it was a big blow to realize that our daughter is definitely a preemie. The other two babies were full term and the moms had a normal pregnancy. Nothing to write home about... they both gave birth naturally at the birth center. So it was a bit hectic when we were at the reunion and Athea was literally crying for almost the entire two hours while the other two "termies" were contently eating and just hanging out in their mom's arms. It was such a reality check. A week after the reunion the moms got together and just talking to them about things that they have been experiencing were completely different than what we were experiencing with Athea (eating, reflux, developmental milestones, being much more cautious about germs). I remember driving home and thinking that our daughter will continue to be challenged differently.
SO, when I got the call from Nurse Becky I jumped at the chance for her to come into our home and I started making a mental list of questions to ask.
I am so happy we met Nurse Becky and she was impressed with Athea's weight gain. She brought her scale and also measured her body. She explained that we should be comparing Athea to other babies that were born on or near her due date and not when she was actually born.
Her are her stats:
Actual age: 11 weeks, 6 days
Adjusted age: 6 weeks, 2 days
8 lbs, 14.5 oz (20% compared to babies born around her due date)
21 1/2 inches long (30%)
37.5 cm head (75%!!!) she has a big head!
Nurse Becky gave us some goals since a lot of her development is emerging (beginning to smile, beginning to vocalize- mostly grunts, lifts head a little, beginning to look at faces). MORE TUMMY TIME!!!!! Encourage face to face time and more talking/singing and eye contact.
All in all I was reassured that we are doing what's needed for our daughter and to not place so much pressure on keeping up with the other "termies."