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Our little girl

 

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Such a big girl!

At 17 months old, April has turned from a baby into a little girl.  it is so cliched to say time goes fast, but when you have a baby it really does.  I can’t believe the rate at which they grow and develop.  When April was in the hospital it seemed like nothing happened for ages and then all of a sudden she’d have a spurt of development; whether that was putting on weight, learning to breathe or feeding.

 

Every month it seems like she just comes on leaps and bounds and is developing so quickly.  So, she started walking in the last couple of months, but now is attempting running.  She is so sturdy on her feet and just goes for it.  She wants to be ‘in’ everything, constantly exploring the house and everything in it.  I have had to put all the trinkets and ornaments away and everything is picked up, kissed, used as a phone, or thrown down.

 

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April’s first trial with a spoon!

She is going great guns on her eating now too.  She has always been like a little bird and would only eat if we fed her.  Now she is getting more confident as she has discovered the spoon and what she can do with it.  All started well until it gets launched across the kitchen.  Food mainly now ends up all over her face, in her hair or on the floor, but at least she’s feeding herself, which takes the pressure off a bit.

 

 

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Cheeky chops

Her speech is also really coming along and she is starting to copy more of what we’re saying.  You can tell she really understands you as well, which is so much easier for communication.  I don’t think it’ll be long before we’re having conversations.  Though I think she is going to be a total chatter box!

 

She has gone slightly clingy at the moment.  She just wants to be near Mammy all the time, following me around like a little shadow and throwing a fit if I walk out the room.  Oh and the tantrums she has now started throwing agagagagagagahhhhh!   She really does not like having her nappy changed and lying on the floor.  She doesn’t like getting ready for bed and finds it rather amusing when I have to chase her around the living room!

 

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Tired monkey

She is also teething again.  We’ve had a few sleepless nights recently, which is a real shock to the system when she’s been sleeping 10-11 hours most nights.  The bloomin’ teeth are taking their time, though.  She’s had 5 for ages,  new ones have popped through on the top, but everything is just sooooooo slow.  I wish they would hurry up and pop through.

 

April is definitely not a baby anymore and it is just lovely watching her develop into a lovely little girl.  I often stare at her in amazement at how well she is doing and am always truly thankful that she has not had many complications in her journey from being born 10 weeks early.

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Don’t stop me now…

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Loves a good old box

April is now 16 months old.  How did that happen?  I don’t feel like I’ve got a baby anymore; I’ve got a toddler.  She is properly walking now and there is no stopping her.  It took her 2 or 3 weeks to become more confident from her initial first steps, but now she’s so speedy and potters around the house no problem.  At playgroup, she’s off – not bothered about me.  At home, it’s pretty much the same.  Trying to get into everything she can – emptying cupboards, opening drawers, sitting on things, climbing up things.  Her new trick is climbing up the footstool, on to the sofa and doing a roly poly down off the arm.

She’s always falling over or bumping her head, but she’s quite a robust little thing.  We had her measured for her first shoes last week and since they’ve given her great support – it’s like she knows there her walking shoes and she’s determined to show us how to use them!

 

One of the things the consultant said to us when we went for a check up was that we won’t know if she has learning disabilities until she goes to school.  I’ve never been too worried about that and the way she is developing I don’t think we’ll have any cause for concern.  She is doing things that I think are quite clever for a baby; stacking cups, reading books, making animal noises, responding to commands.  Phil says she’s just being a baby, which yes I guess is so, but I have nothing to compare her with other than other babies and children we meet along the way.  Considering she would be 13 and a half months if she was born term I think she’s cracking on pretty well!  Time will tell I guess, but I’m not worried about that.

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It’s hard work this eating malarkey

As the time ticks on the journey through having a premature baby gets easier and the worries you have seem to be less and less.  They are the same sort of worries that all mums have – not the additional ones when they arrive early.

 

I sometimes feel like I’m a more confident Mammy now and know what I’m doing, but then other times I feel like I just don’t have a clue.  Everybody has different ideas, different ways of doing things, there are a million and one books you could read or web pages to look at, but I’m such a strong believer in that maternal instinct and knowing what is right for your baby.

Every stage of having a baby is totally different and it feels like when you’ve just got one stage to a ‘T’ the next challenge appears.  I have loads of questions at the moment – should I start taking her dummy off her?  Am I feeding her the right food?  When do I stop giving her bottles?  How on earth do I get her to use a cup (still refuses!!) What activities can you do to entertain a 16 month old…the list goes on!  I’m going to tap into my maternal instinct and just take it as it comes…as we’ve always known she will do things in her own time and when it is right for her.  I think Mum’s put too much pressure on themselves and worry what others think.  I know my baby girl loves me and she is doing amazing and that is all that matters!

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In Daddy’s running vest

Hubby deserves a big cheer today as well.  He is currently training for the London Marathon and running in aid of BLISS (the charity for premature babies) though he is suffering from an injury at the moment.  He is so passionate about his training and doing the marathon for April and just hope this setback doesn’t stop him- we are so proud of him!  My Mam is also doing a skydive for BLISS to help towards our fundraising efforts – she’s just crazy.  There is no way I would throw myself out of a plane…I’ll stick to organising events thank you!

 

We are raising money for BLISS, Middlesbrough NICU & Carlisle SCBU to say thank you to those people who helped bring April into the world safely and have looked after and supported us.  I write this blog to help other Mums who may be going through a similar experience see that there is life beyond NICU and that no matter how early they appear or how little they may be, these teeny miracles can grow up into healthy, thriving little children – hard work like the rest of them!

You can sponsor Phil here and Nana Carol here.

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Proud Mammy moment – April graduated Baby Sensory!