Sunday, January 24, 2010
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Friday, September 04, 2009
When Jennifer DeCesari learned that she was about to deliver her baby at 28 weeks, her first reaction was to say, “I’m a preemie, too. Everything will be OK.”
But now, DeCesari sees in her daughter’s struggles reminders of her own painful childhood. And she has found that everything is not OK.
DeCesari was born in Boston in 1978 at 30 weeks’ gestation, weighing just over 3 pounds. She was socially immature, physically weak and uncoordinated until high school — a scared, awkward little girl who got so lonely at lunchtime that she’d talk with her mother on a pay phone.
“I see similar things in my daughter,” DeCesari says now. Arianna was born in March 2006 weighing just under 3 pounds. Despite a comparatively easy time in the neonatal intensive care unit — the baby needed a ventilator for only 18 hours –– Arianna has had a hard time growing since she came home. She got sick immediately, required two hospitalizations and fell prey to every bug that wafted by.
DeCesari could not leave her job as a computer programmer because she held the health benefits for the family. To keep Arianna away from the germs in day care, she spent her salary on a nanny. Eventually her husband, Shawn, got a job with benefits and DeCesari left hers.
Meanwhile the little girl developed severe reflux and to this day has difficulty eating. At age 3, Arianna is physically fragile and very tiny: at her June checkup she measured 33 inches tall, and weighed 26½ pounds. She didn’t walk until she was 1½ and today still has to crawl to get up the stairs. She has asthma and catches colds easily. She has a stutter.
“She gets sick a lot,” DeCesari says. “Every single time she gets a cold she doesn’t eat for a week. They’ll weigh her, they’ll look at me, ‘She’s lost more weight.’ … Frequently she’s off the [growth] chart, not even on the chart. No matter what I pump into her she doesn’t gain any weight.”
Now DeCesari, who lives in Cumberland, is wrangling with the school system to get services for Arianna, facing long waiting lists for programs such as speech therapy. But Arianna is bright, already able to read.
Looking ahead to Arianna’s school days, DeCesari says, “She’ll be emotionally behind all the children her age, making her a target for teasing, and will have some attention and focusing problems. … I don’t see her childhood being an easy one.”
But DeCesari remembers that once she got to high school, her own social problems improved. She did well academically and attended college. She thinks prematurity hasn’t affected her adult life, except for some vision problems. And she hopes Arianna will be as fortunate.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
AHH!!! I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off!
My photography business is growing and thriving and I'm INSANELY busy! I do alot of my marketing on facebook so you can find me there most days and here almost never as I don't have much time.
My photography business site is a blog and you'll see me there nearly every day too. So if you want to check up on me or my girls, find me there!
Friday, June 12, 2009
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Arianna got a bad stomach bug Sunday. At 3 PM she was running a fever of 103. I was running out the door to photo session so I gave the tylenol to Dad and told him to watch her. I got home and things were ok, fever broke. 11 PM she was in bed and violently vomitted around her room. Fever back up to 103.6 and she is sweating and shaking. I put her in the bath, send Dad to the store to get ibuprophen, lay Arianna on our bed to watch Family Guy (ya, well, it was the only cartoon on at that time of night) and we clean up her room.
It's a typical childhood illness - she'll survive. But not before losing a pound or two and essentially stopping eating for a week.
Daria is not sick. As a matter of fact Daria hasn't been sick since she was 3 weeks old. She may get a runny nose but we haven't had to suction her nose, give her breathing treatments, pump her full of calories or worry. We haven't had to stress with Daria!
I'm crying just writing this. Arianna has had it so hard. We have had it so hard with her. I'm not kidding when I say that there isn't a meal that goes by that doesn't either have major cajoling by us or ends in tears. It's ridiculously stressful! Daria, on the other hand, eats ANYTHING and EVERYTHING we put in front her - no matter the amount. It's incredible! I don't know what to do with a child that is as happy as her. I don't know what to do with a child that simply EATS and easts well! She's so happy and EASY...
Life hasn't been fair to Arianna. I know it could certainly be worse but it could also be better... alot better.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
1995 - May 27, 2009
Last week we had to say goodbye to our dear furry friend TiSan. We've had TiSan for 8 years and, at 14, he was old. He took a stroke Wednesday morning but it was really the last thing to go in a long list of 'problems'. He had high blood pressure, horrible food allergies and was losing weight at an alarming rate. He was so frail when we held him for the last time.
He was such a wonderful companion for us. As soon as we moved out of our 'teeny tiny' apartment in Plainville to Providence we adopted him. He came from a 'cat collector' in Maryland. She had over 300 cats when he was rescued. He, almost immediately, took to my husband but it took him YEARS (at least 4) to learn to trust me. I loved him so much.
Our relationship with TiSan changed when the kids arrived. It became really apparant when Daria arrived. I felt bad for him when Daria would crawl over and pull him down - but he was such a WONDERFUL cat that he would just take it. He wouldn't hiss or bite, just take it and then slowly walk away. What a great cat for kids!
I'm going to miss him. Our house is so very empty without ANY cats. This is a first in 8 years and I think we'll remain that way for a while - we need some time without cats and all the 'stuff' that comes with them. TiSan was sick for a while and then Misty before him have left us with alot to 'clean up' and our finances need some cushion. It's amazing how much you can spend on a cat in only a few weeks... he was worth it though. I didn't want him to suffer needlessly.
We had him creamated and, as of today, he sits in our bedroom as an eternal reminder of the great friend we lost. Our memories are strong. He's quite the cat to measure up to... I don't think we'll ever have one like him.
I've been busy with life. I had to reorganize my priorities the last few weeks because EVERYTHING was out of control - I'm not kidding. I dropped the majority of those stupid MOMS groups and joined Flylady.net again. The house is clean, the kids are happy and, more importantly, I'm happy.
My photography business is booming right now - 8 sessions this month! Wow!
The kids are doing well. Daria is such a joy. She's so easy and happy. I'm so hopelessly in love with that girl. She went on a nursing strike over the weekend due to teething and I cried so hard on Sunday. I was so sad that she may be 'over' me. Thankfully she changed her mind Monday morning. It really made me realize what a special relationship we have.
Feeding Daria is so easy. ANYTHING we put in front of her, she eats! It's amazing. She eats anything and everything. I was very casual with the whole 'introducing foods' thing and now she's on all table foods. Arianna was so total different its not even funny. This morning I gave Daria some strawberries and cheerios for breakfast and hubby commented "We could NEVER give Arianna cheerios at this age", and he's right. Arianna gagged on EVERYTHING and was very fussy when feeding. Daria we don't even have to feed - she does it herself. She is her happiest when in the highchair eating. There will be no force feedings, no 'mesermizing with the TV' and most importantly - no tears from either of us. The difference between these two, as far as eating is concerned, is astounding. I marvel at it. I told hubby the other day "So this is what feeding a baby is supposed to be, fun?". Arianna wasn't fun, still isn't fun. Daria eats more than Arianna most days. There is seldom a meal that doesn't end with me yelling at Arianna to eat - seriously. I think she'd go all day without eating - but she'll drink milk all day long, still. I get sad just typing that.
Arianna is reading now - last week we were in a restaurant with a friend and Arianna took my menu from me and pointed at an item and said "Mommy, I want the fish", and sure enough, she was pointing to a fish meal. I think I jumped up and screamed "OH MY GOD!!! YOU CAN READ!!" I was so excited. She's so amazing to me.
3 years old is hard. She's so sassy and at times so unbelievably disrespectful that it makes me want to go crazy and smack the smirk right off her face. But I have to keep in mind that 'this too will pass'. I had to give up on the whole 'let her dress herself' thing too - she's just so reliant on me doing everything for her that even the act of taking off her shirt is cause for breakdown. Last week she broke yet another pair of glasses - she's getting new ones on Thursday but I swear I'm going to order the rubber ones cause when she's being a snotty little brat and throws them on the ground they can just bounce right back up and hit her in the nose.
She better win an Oscar when she gets older! She's an unbelievable drama queen - I really have NEVER met a kid that can be so over the top about things. Sensory situations are the worst. Stepping on something gooey or squishy will immediately lead to falling on the ground screaming. Brushing her hair is an epic event every day. I've actually gotten to the point where I put TONS of crap in her hair to keep it so silky smoothy that one of those head lice combs could get through her thick hair with ease. I should just shave her head.
So ya, things here are good - just INSANELY busy and that's a good thing. So much has changed in the 9 months Daria has been here, good and bad. I've learned alot about myself and that I have so much to work on!
I won't promise to be back blogging more cause I hate to break a promise... but I hope to catch an inspiration breeze soon :)
Here's a picture I took to commemorate Daria's 9 month birthday :)