Monday, November 19, 2012

Back to the grind!

It's Monday afternoon and baby and I are home from the hospital. She is sorta fussing in her bouncy chair, I am pumping.. We had a checkup with a doctor who I am not entirely sure who she was, and I can't remember how to spell her department, do I can't translate it into English... BUT she asked a bunch of questions and did a little exam on our baby girl, and concluded everything was just "óptimo!" Valentina has amazing head control and neck strength, she pushes herself up like a champ, she is getting closer to sitting every day! Baby has great eye coordination, her grip with those pudgy little paws is great, and even when you hold her so that she can "stand," it's perfect. The doctor was explaining to her intern that THIS is what you want to see! Our perfect little girl!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Happy 6 months, Boom- Boom!

Thursday, November 8th was our sweet little baby's 6 month birthday! It's hard to believe that half a year ago, I had already been hospitalized for a week before having an emergency cesarian section. Baby Valentina would spend the next 87 days in the NICU of Hospital de Santa Maria in Lisbon, Portugal. At just 726 grams (1lb 9 oz), Valentina's weight dropped to just 586 grams (1 lb 4 oz). After three blood transfusions, many rounds of antibiotics to fight several different kinds of infections, steroids, ventilators, oxygen, and more, our little baby is perfect! Nearly 3.5 months after our due date, Valentina is almost 5 kilos (11 lbs!!) and is a happy, bubbly, babbly baby who seems to be right on target with all her developmental milestones! I get chills and my stomach flips, thinking about those first few weeks, how tiny, frail and skinny she was, my sweet naked little baby bird... All pink and wrinkled... But Valentina grew. And she survived each day, stronger than the day before. I cannot begin to thank you all, for the endless love and support and prayers during this struggle, but Valentina is loving proof of the miracles that happen when love, science and prayers work together.

A very special thank you is in order, though words will never be able to properly express our gratitude to the doctors, nurses, auxiliary nurses and support staff of Hospital de Santa Maria, Unidade de Cuidados Intensivos Neonatais. The care and attention you gave to our sweet baby, while caring for me and my roller coaster of emotions... You are truly heroes to us. I know that at times baby Valentina was a better patient than I was... And my endless apologies for my less-than- stellar Portuguese, my tears, chasing you around with the same 200 questions, "what's that beeping, why is that happening, is she ok, can I have a milk kit?" and on and on and on... Your patience with me and my hysteria... I cannot thank you enough. You saved our baby. From the day that she was born until the day we took her home (plus several late night phone calls), you have been there for me, my husband and our daughter. You SAVED our baby... How can we ever begin to say thank you?
Ok! No more tears!
Now the fun stuff... PHOTOS!!!

Valentina's smile cracks me up!

her mama's costume, 28 years later.

big sister Bianca

not sure what to make of my finger puppets

roller derby baby!

helping with laundry

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


a real update this afternoon... but (a very fussy) valentina and i had to share how we are enjoying this chilly morning...

reading suri's burn book.