Thursday, February 23, 2012

NICU follow up! (long)

Throughout the next couple of years Cameron will have NICU follow up appointments with a neonatologist who specializes in development. As a 26 week NICU grad they want to monitor really closely since she is so high risk for having developmental delays. The NICU follow up clinic is at the Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital and we had our first appointment today!

First of all, the doctor and the nurse practitioner who will be following her could not believe she was a 26 weeker! They were so impressed with her muscle tone, strength, head control, and head shape among other things. They had absolutely no concerns from a developmental standpoint which is obviously good news. I worry a lot about developmental delays but everything looks good to them so I am really happy! It's still early but they felt like she looked exceptionally healthy for a 26 week preemie.

Unfortunately they did have one concern, and that is Cameron is getting too F-A-T, and if you have ever seen Josh and I, you can imagine my surprise at this (although I have to admit I love the chubby cheeks and leg rolls)! Now, they weren't really "concerned" but it was the only area she didn't get an A+. In a way it's good because she is showing that she is a good eater and a good gainer but she is getting out of proportion. Her length is still around the 5th percentile for her adjusted age and her weight is up to about 20th percentile. Those numbers used to be even, with both height and weight in the 5th percentile, but she is outgrowing her length in width (read: her waistline is growing a little too fast for her height). The worry with this is that when she gets to the age where she should start to roll over, being too chubby can prevent her from being able to do so. Fortunately, there is a reason for all this. If you can recall, we have been fortifying all of my breast milk with formula to help her gain weight, which for a long time she did need because not so long ago her lack of steady weight gain was a concern. So now we are cutting calories since Cameron is basically telling us that she is a good enough eater that we don't need to pack in the calories like we used to. I'll still be fortifying some but only with about half the amount of formula we were before. We go back to the NICU follow up clinic in another 3 months where they will reassess and make any changes as necessary. Oh, and with all this talk about weight, I guess I should tell you what it is! Cameron is a hefty 9 pounds 3 ounces!! She is SO BIG :D

In other BIG news, the neonatologist looked at all of the data from the apnea/brady monitor Cameron has been wearing for the past 2 months she has been home. She had one very small brady (heart rate drop) but nothing that concerned the doctor so we are now MONITOR FREE! I have to admit that it's a very scary thought and I may or may not have hinted that I wouldn't mind her wearing it for a while longer, but the doctor told me in a really nice way that I needed to let it go because she simply doesn't need it anymore, and she's right. In a way I will miss the monitor and in a way I won't. I liked having that peace of mind but it is pretty awesome that Cameron is now free of all things preemie related. She came off the caffeine two weeks ago and will come off the monitor today. The medical equipment company will be here later to pick up the monitor, at which point all the medical equipment and all the medications will be gone. Other than monitoring for developmental delays and a few extra calories, Cameron is officially a "normal" baby. It is such a weird feeling, for the first time in her life, she is expected to just live and breathe on her own. Makes me sad in a way, she's growing up so fast, just in a different way than other people experience. In a strange way I'm not sure I'm ready to let go of my tiny, fragile, "special needs" baby. But I'm happy, truly, truly happy that while I used to question whether or not we would ever get to this point, we are finally here.

Congratulations Cameron, I'm so proud of you, you are so strong! YOU DID IT!!!


  1. That is wonderful news Megan! So happy for you guys... you deserve it. Yay for being Monitor Free!!! Congrats to your princess!

  2. Awesome! Congrats to you and your awesome family!

  3. Wow, what a HUGE milestone! Congratulations :)