The Final Tether

Avery will always be considered a preemie, despite how big she gets or how much she develops. I’m finding it difficult to answer one simple question that I will inevitably be asked anytime I take her in public. How old is she? The simple answer is her chronological age, six months. But then her size and development come into question. We are still trying to get her to break the seven pound barrier and while she does do somethings that a six month old does, she doesn’t do very many of them. Intentional rolling is still not a common thing. Reaching for objects is not that common. She definitely can’t sit unsupported. And though she definitely finds comfort with Robin and I specifically she has no fear of strangers. Therefore her corrected age of two months is a more appropriate answer.

Recently, though, the final tether to the NICU was broken. At her last appointment with the pulmonologist we were told that Avie no longer needs the apnea/heart rate monitor that we had come home with. I referred to it as the final tether because for the five months that she was in the NICU it was something that no matter how hard we tried to ignore, we inevitably were drawn to looking at it. When she came home with the monitor, though mobile, it was still something that we had to pay attention to and pull along with us anywhere that we went. We would have one extra thing to take off of her and put back on for bath time. We would have that one extra bag to cart with us to and from appointments and up and down the stairs of the house. It was both a physical and physcological tether to the NICU. And now freedom from those wires and that tether is upon us.

Though there will always be an emotional bond to the NICU and all that they did to help us bring Avie home, at least that physical feeling of being still attached is gone and there is one less question that we have to answer when we go out in public.

We had been using these foam darts to train her hands to open. Avery decided to use it to hold her pacifier in place.

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6 Responses to The Final Tether

  1. Sharon Boisvert says:

    Like I said, I want to be invited to her 1 year old b-day party!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please keep posting on her great strides.

    Kisses and hugs to you all

  2. Susan Lennon says:

    Avery has come a long way and is such a beautiful baby….It is nice to hear how she is doing and the progress she makes. I often wonder how she is doing along with you and your wife. I am amazed at both of you and your ability to write so eloquently your journey with Avery. Thank you so much for sharing….and God Bless you all!

    Susie in Maine

  3. Sarah M. says:

    Our 26-weeker didn’t roll over until 9 months actual, didn’t sit until 12 months actual, didn’t walk until 22 months actual…..

    But he rolled over, he sat, and he walked. In his own time. The funny thing is, he’s going to be 2 in a few weeks and I still find myself dwelling on the fact that I have to explain to people we meet why he acts the exact same as a one year old and he is about to turn 2.

    You are right, the feeling of worry or concern never will go away, and there are so many unknowns.

    But you are amazing parents, and she is a true miracle, and it will all work out in the end. If there is anything I learned it is just to enjoy them as they are, and worry about the explanations later.

    So glad you posted this update!!

  4. Stephanie says:

    Thank you for taking the time to keep us informed of Avery’s progress! I have followed your family since being introduced by Mike. Following your daughter’s progress has brought me joy in the depth of sorrow following Layla’s departure from earth. Again, thank you for allowing us a small glimpse of your beautiful family!

    Stephanie

  5. Nicole Malachowski says:

    So glad to hear how great you are all doing! We enjoy reading about all the successes Avery continues to achieve. And, yes, we Oooh and Aahhh over her pictures…she is adorable 🙂

  6. Shasta Brown says:

    That is so cool. My boys had that stupid monitor for almost a year. Then come to find out, they weren’t supposed to have it after 6 months. That was frustrating. She is adorable. I seriously love that picture with her holding her pacifier in. That is clever of her to do that. My oldest was 6 weeks early, and while it wasn’t as early as my twins at 27 weeks, she did have a myriad of problems. BUT, she only weighed 12 lbs at 1 year. Don’t worry about the sometimes insulting questions, Avery will do what she wants to do. My oldest is now 8 years old and only weighs about 50 lbs. She is tall and lanky and doing so well. Hang in there. Avery is a doll and every time I see her, I just smile. She is just so precious. Please keep posting for us all to read. I love reading this blog.

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