As you know, my Zarriah was born weighing 2lbs. 10 ozs. She spent the first 3 month of her life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Virginia Beach, VA. This is my preemie a year and half later. She's walking, talking, eating everything in site and has proven herself to be one of my greatest blessings. I look back at the day she was born, Hurricane Irene was coming through. I nicknamed her "Storm".
Her doctors say she's doing fine. They see no problem with her eyesight. Her motor skills are fine, she sleeps through the night, she's walking, and throws the normal tantrums for a toddler. She has a totally different personality from her brother. He's loving and likes to cuddle, Zarriah prefers her independence. She likes to be held, but she doesn't hang around long. She prefers to discover and climb over or under whatever is in sight, and is always up for a fight. Yep, she will fight. She fought for her life, and she continues to fight. Hopefully, she will grow out of this habit.
She has a huge appetite! I must say, she eats more than any child that I have ever seen. There's times when I think she's going to be sick, but it never happens. When she doesn't want anymore, she will turn her head, spit it out or just stop eating if she's feeding herself. Her grandfather and I took her to Golden Corral for dinner. She ate the biggest plate of mashed potatoes and gravy that I've ever seen. The people sitting next to us looked and looked. Finally, I spoke up and said she will eat until the bottom falls out. We engaged in further conversation, and found out that they too had a preemie who was at that time 10. She had caught up and grown into a beautiful young lady.
It is such a blessing to be able to write this post. I want to thank the nurses in the NICU at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital in Virginia Beach for their professional care. They were all excellent, and will be forever in our hearts and prayers. I remember the first time that I saw Zarriah. I truly believed that I would pass out. She was so tiny, in an incubator and wires everywhere. I broke out in a sweat. The nurses comforted me, and assured me that they were skilled and she would be fine. Zarriah has been back to visit the NICU on several occasions. We thought it was important for her to keep the connection with those who fought as hard as she did to save her life.
Are you raising a preemie or know someone who is? Have they caught up or did they remain small? Leave me a comment, I would love to connect with other raising preemies.