Rory – 22 weeks corrected

Rory has had a good week. We saw his paediatrician yesterday who is happy with how he’s progressing and Rory was doing a lot of talking and squealing while we were there. Lots of babies don’t gain much weight while they’re transitioning to solids but Rory has kept it up so he’s got the go ahead to move to three solid meals a day… We’ll have to continue to make sure he gains nice weight though and not dramatically cut back on how many breastfeeds he’s getting as milk remains his main source of nutrition at this stage. I tried him on a rusk this week just to see how he’d go… Mostly he enjoyed sucking the carrot off it!

  

He’s also gotten even more interested in watching us eating and drinking and was gazing at me while I ate an orange in this pic.

  

We also went to see Rorys Physio while we were at the hospital. We have access to the service for free as Rory was born under 30 weeks and she’s  very generous with her time. Laurie is happy that Rory’s been doing well with all the little playtime activities she gave us last time and it feels like he’s very close to rolling from his back to tummy. She was also happy to see this pic of rory chewing a toy while on his tummy as grabbing like that takes strength and stability that he’ll eventually need for crawling.

 

She was also happy to hear he’s beginning to grab at his feet as again this helps him crunch those ab muscles and build his core strength.

 

  

Rory has continued to enjoy sitting upright in his pram and now won’t read a book unless he can turn the pages… Here we are having a coffee earlier today 

   

 

Probably unsurprisingly given all these months of looking at the back of it, Rory is starting to grab at my phone!! 

  

  

A real highlight of the week though was catching up with Rory’s buddies from the NICU yesterday. We hadn’t seen Flynn and his mum since they headed back to Wollongong hospital in October. This week they were back in Sydney for their four month growth and development appointment so we used it as a good excuse to meet up. Clockwise from Rory are Kai, Flynn and Sami and this was the configuration of their cribs in level 3 of the NICU. Their combined weight at birth was 2.975kg with Rory being the smallest at 685g and Flynn biggest at 880g (Sami and Kai were around 700g). Now they are all between four and five months corrected and weigh between 5.1 and 5.6kg! The good news is they are all doing great! Oh and it was a really hot day hence no socks all round!

   

 

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Rory – 5 months corrected

Rory is 5 months corrected today and with us 8 months next week. We find it hard to believe his corrected age is getting quite big now! He weighed in at 5.47kg today which is 150g in the past week – right on target!

Thought you might like a little look at this video of Rory & Colman reading “Where is the Green Sheep?” at the weekend… Colman and I have been debating our styles in reading this book – he feels my version makes it clear the green sheep will turn up whereas his reading is full of drama & intrigue about where IS that green sheep! Rory often has a smile at the various pages but not this time around… you can see the enjoyment in his eyes though.  (it’s about 50 seconds long so hope you can see it all)

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Rory – 21 Weeks corrected

It was another appointment free week for Rory this week. We did our regular Tuesday weigh in and he came in at 5.32kg so nice steady progress there.

Rory had quite a few new experiences this week. We’d been thinking of changing his pram over from a bassinette to a seat as he’s quite interested in looking around when we’re out and about. Then last week his physio also suggested we make the switch as it would help Rory crunch up a bit more and find his feet for playing with. Like most premmie babies, Rory had lots of room in utero and obviously lots of space in the humidicrib so missed out on the last three months in the foetal position. This means he has a tendancy to stretch out his arms and body. This causes no problem but he needs to work on crunching up to build strength in his ab muscles for sitting upright. So we made the change and as you can see from our excursion to Bronte beach, he liked it (and chatting with Colman of course). Funnily we met Rory’s premmie buddy Kai at Clovelly today and he’s also made the switch so the boys really are taking big steps together!

   

  

When he’s asleep we still wrap him and can put him almost flat again (like an old style business class seat)… Here we are at the rock pool last weekend where Colman and I probably had our last swim of the year as it’s gotten chilly as the week has gone on … 18deg with a cold southerly wind… Brrr!

   

 

Another new thing this week was Rory’s bumbo seat. While the physio said it’s like a lazy chair for babies, it does have the benefit of crunching him up and encouraging him to play with things on the tray in front of him (thus bringing his hands in to the front rather than stretched). It’s also very cute to see him sitting like that… You can just see his feet sticking out under the tray.

   

 

We also finally tracked down a mirror for tummy time which Rory’s enjoying no end!  

Rory coped well with the clock changing last weekend and continues to sleep through from roughly 7:30 until 5:30 (although now and again he’ll randomly wake at 3:30/4 to keep us on our toes)! He’s also enjoying lots of new foods. Here he’s trying peach for the first time.

  

The cold weather has also meant Rory has worn a cardigan for the first time… He didn’t like getting it on as we left the house but was happy enough afterwards! The topic of keeping warm always reminds him of his Chicago cousins and he’d like to say a big happy birthday to Miles for Sunday… Hope he’s enjoying NOLA!

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Happy Easter!

Rory was too busy socialising at Shona, Finn & Maggie’s house to get any pics with bunnies or eggs. He had a fun day and enjoyed a few laughs with Colman & Donna!

  

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Rory – 20 Weeks corrected

Rory has had a good week and weighed in at 5.19kg on Tuesday. 

Rory and I started out home alone for the weekend as Colman was out in Broken Hill for work. We went to the beach on Saturday and spent about an hour playing under a tree before Rory fell asleep. We were in the shade but I did pop Rory’s sun hat on him when it got closer to midday.

   

   

On Sunday morning we went to the Running for Premature Babies team BBQ after one of their long runs in Centennial Park. Aunty Noelle was there and Uncle Neil joined us too. We also met a good few other team members who said “oh this is Rory”! 

   

  

The rest of the week was fairly quiet barring one busy day at the hospital. Rory had to have blood taken to check on his thyroid and also have an ultrasound of his kidneys to check one little thing from the hospital has now resolved (it was almost gone last time). We’ll get the results from those tests when we see his paediatrician in a fortnight. Otherwise we also saw the Physio who was all praise for Rory! She said we should now help him sit and encourage him to tilt forward a little so that he’ll eventually prop himself up. We need to get him a little bench-type thing to help him do this but in the meantime here he is practising with Colman. We’re also helping him roll onto his tummy now by showing him toys that interest him and encouraging him to reach across his body for them. You’ll notice Rory has a new playmat as the higher he gets up on his hands the firmer surface helps (although our wooden floors would be too hard!). 

   

   

Rory also wanted to wish his Uncle John a big happy birthday for next Tuesday! He still loves playing peekaboo! Oh and Happy Easter all!

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Rory – 19 Weeks corrected

For the first time in a long time, Rory had no medical appointments this week. What’s more it’s starting to shape up that we only have appointments every second week for the next while so hopefully they just continue to get less frequent.

In the absence of appointments, we had quite a social week. We started out with lunch on Saturday at Shona, Finn & Maggies’ place.

   

  

On Sunday, Rory had his lunch and then we joined Colman, Andrew & Granda Con for lunch at the golf club where Rory enjoyed the view of the green fairways out the windows!

   

 

Monday morning we headed to Centennial Park for a catch up and walk with Rory’s premmie buddy Kai. It was a beautiful sunny morning and both boys enjoyed the outdoors and checking each other out. They went on to both be weighed in just over 5kg this week! (It looks like Kai is sitting unsupported below but his mum has his back)

   

    

Rory continued to enjoy his solids this week.

 

 

And reading too with “where is the Green Sheep” being a favourite! (The pic with me was taken unbeknownst to both of us very early one morning hence Rory still has his prongs on & I’m in a dressing gown!)

   

 

Mostly though Rory enjoyed lots of play time with Nana Phil & Granda Con and enjoyed lunch with them at the Boatshed in La Perouse (on Botany Bay). They also stopped by parliament with Colman (last pic).

   

          

 

Rory was sorry to see Nana & Granda fly out this morning but had a really fun few weeks with them and will see them again on Skype really soon. We’ve also noticed that he’s vocalising a lot more after having so many voices around over the past month (no noticeable Cork accent just yet). Here he is chilling with Nana.

  

 And finally Rory wanted to wish a very happy birthday to his great granny, Nan for today along with wishing a happy anniversary to Granny & Grandad in Dublin!

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Rory is 5kg!

Rory weighed in today at 5.05kg and is delighted with the result! That’s two kilos he’s put on since the start of Jan!

He thought his cousin Liam might appreciate the onesie he’s wearing today after being a big Thomas fan himself! He must have taken some growth inspiration from Liam today as his tallest cousin!

  

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Rory – 18 Weeks corrected.

Rory is 18 weeks corrected today.  I should acknowledge that it is getting a little bit tricky with the weeks & months corrected at this point as he was just 4 months corrected on 14th March (last weekend) but looking at the weeks, it seems like he’s 4.5 months!  For medical appointments they’re now using months as the guide but until I can figure out a better title for blog posts, I think we’ll stick with weeks! Anyway because Rory is now four months corrected, he had his first appointment at the Growth and Development clinic.  The Growth and Development team see babies who were born 29 weeks or less premature or of birth weights of less than 1000g so Rory qualifies on both counts! The idea is that they see him at 4 months, 8 months, 1 year and 3 years corrected and then at 5 and 7 years old and through various tests ascertain how Rory is tracking against a full term baby. If he requires any assistance, they then direct you to those services.  I must say amongst parents of prem babies, this is built up to be a big check up but we were left a little underwhelmed!  I think because we’ve been tracking Rory’s progress so closely and because we’ve been seeing a paediatrician and physiotherapist, there wasn’t much more this team could tell us, particularly as at this point there’s not much formalised testing that can be done (which is a feature of the later check ups). Thankfully Rory is developing really well and they were happy that he’s doing what a four month old should so we can’t ask for much more than that!

On St Patrick’s Day, Rory went back to see his respiratory specialist post sleep study who pretty much agreed with the sleep team that Rory needs to stay on his oxygen until we do another study in May.  He reiterated that it’s not unusual for a premature baby to still have this issue and he’d be hopeful that it would be resolved/resolving by the time of the next sleep study.  Weightwise Rory weighed in at 4.92kg on Tuesday and 4.96kg on Thursday so we are edging towards the 5kg mark!

Otherwise Rory started off the week by going to his premmie pal Archie’s christening. Before we got there though we popped in to Royal Randwick shopping centre where the Running for Premature Babies organiser was trying to sign up some more runners and we thought Rory might be a little drawcard at her stand! She was delighted to see us and had actually just signed up an ex-28 weeker born in the late 70’s who is now an astro-physicist!

Onto the christening and Archie chose another venue with a view for his celebratory lunch which was in North Bondi. Rory had a lot of fun in the church but you can tell it was time to go by the time the group shot came around! Archie is doing great by the way and has just cracked 5kg!

A lot of this week was about new tastes and foods for Rory. In the vegetable category, he enjoyed some carrot and sweet potato.

For fruit, he had pear and apple (my own mum will be glad to know I ate both while preparing for Rory)! He really seems to be enjoying the different tastes with his main complaint being I’m too slow with the spoon!

And in a blog first here’s a video (I hope!) of Rory eating some apple. This is the first video on the blog for reasons that would only interest fellow bloggers. It still isn’t as smooth a process as I would like but hopefully it won’t be the last!

Separate to food, Rory continues to enjoy his thumb even finding it during tummy time (Colman was sitting right behind him by the way)!

We’ve had one of the reclining deck chairs set up under an umbrella while we’ve had visitors. It reminded Rory and I of our kangaroo care days and in particular how tricky it always was to take selfies during it… Even more so now with a squirmy giant baby!

Finally Rory wanted to say happy birthday to his cousins Aine & Sinead this week! He can’t wait to see them in August!

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Happy St Patrick’s Day

Happy St Patrick’s Day everyone and a special thanks to Aunty Mena for Rory’s leprechaun outfit! It’s way too big for him but won’t be for long as he weighed in today at 4.92kg. 





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Rory – 17 Weeks corrected

Rory had a busy week post christening. The main reason was that he got in for a sleep study as someone else had cancelled. The purpose of the sleep study was to give us a bit more information on Rory’s breathing and oxygen requirements so on Tuesday, Rory and I headed back to the hospital for the night. First up was a weigh in and he came in at 4.82kg (150g in the past week which is right on target). Then the nurses started attaching more wires to Rory than we’ve ever seen on him (and that’s saying something). There were wires to monitor breathing, eye movement, brain activity, breathing rate through his mouth and nose, how much his chest and abdomen rise and fall etc etc. It’s gotta be said Rory tolerated the whole process very well with lots of smiles for the nurses. 



Once Rory was settling down for the night he got his usual prongs attached and all the wires plugged in. The nurses also turned on the video and sound recorder. Breastfeeding him & settling him to sleep was a challenge handling-wise but once down he only woke once through the night when a machine broke that the nurses had to come in to our room to fix. Again he had smiles for us first thing. 



The upshot of all the tests was that Rory still needs the oxygen he’s on when he’s in a deep sleep (REM sleep). He still has occasions where he’s forgetting to breathe. While that sounds alarming, it’s quite common for even term babies and basically the control centre for breathing in his brain needs to mature another little bit. While he has quite a few of these episodes when off oxygen, the tiny bit of oxygen that he is on completely resolves the problem for him. So for now he needs to stay on the same amount of oxygen at night and for his big nap through the day and we’ll do another sleep study when he’s bigger in May. 

Rory was a champ throughout the sleep study process although the smiles decreased when it was time to take all that tape off and in particular get the chewing gum/paste-like substance off his head… It was his longest bath ever and we were happy when Granda Con & Nana Phil arrived just afterwards to distract us from it all! It seemed like an appropriate time to wear his Mr Strong top!



It was a sticky kind of week really as Rory started helping with his bottle. He only gets a bottle with his probiotics (on the teat) which are very sticky so soon there was sticky stuff everywhere!



Rory has also really got into sticking his thumb in his mouth & it really has become a constant companion this week!



The final sticky thing of the week was solids that Rory just had this afternoon for the first time! He did really well and actually took a lot of puréed carrot!

Although this morning it seemed he was more interested in going back on caffeine when he knocked his bottle directly into my coffee glass!



Other than all that stickiness, Rory enjoyed all his favourite things including cuddles, chatting, tummy time and playing with his toys





And a new favourite… Reading! He’s smiling lots at his black and white books now!





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