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Diary of a Stay at Home Dad: Free at last, free at last…

So once we got discharged from the NICU we brought Anne Marie home on a heart/apnea monitor.  The problem was, her breathing and or her heart would slow or stop, and we would have to kick start her again by waking her up or getting her attention. In the NICU she had a fancy deal with all kinds of computers and wires and such.  At home we had the version pictured below.  It was like going from the space station to the Flintstone’s.

We were told the condition usually clears up several weeks after birth.  In AM’s case it did not.  She went from the premie version of apnea to infant apnea.  In the final weeks at the NICU she went almost a seven days without an event and we thought we might escape the monitor all together and go home clean – no equipment, hoses, oxygen, medication, etc… But she had an event a few days before, and then we found out the standard is to go at least 60 days without an event, so we took her home on the monitor.  Here is what it looks like.

Smart Monitor II

We never had much trouble with it, except when I would step on the wire and the leads would pull out of the block, thus setting off an ear splitting alarm at 3:00am.  She had four events the entire time she was on it at home.  And I do mean was.

Wednesday, 14 November, she was given a clean bill of health and we walked out of the pulmonologist’s office free of the monitor, the leads, and that freaking alarm.


This is how it’s hooked up to the baby. Don’t be fooled, ain’t no baby smiling about having no monitor hooked up.  The strap has to be very tight around the chest to prevent false alarms.  This makes for an angry baby.

Simple but effective

So another hurdle jumped, another milestone passed.  Flu season remains the next big hurdle.  If we can get to the end of March without getting the flu, RSV, or pneumonia, we will celebrate her one year actual birthday and be right as rain. (one year adjusted birthday will be 26 June, maybe a party then too!)


Oh and a quick update.  The little pot belly is weighing in at 14 pounds, and taping out at 24.5 inches.  She has doubled her length from birth.

Latest picture below.  And yeah, I’ll be in trouble for posting this.  But it wouldn’t be Friday, or any other day, if I’m not getting yelled at for something.  No point in breaking the streak now.


Never to early to start reading.


Diary of a Stay at Home Dad: Wait? She’s a girl?

Yeah, you bet she’s a girl.  There are several ways this became apparent to me.

First and foremost the doctor told us she was a girl.  Always good to get a professional opinion.

Second: She yells.  A lot.

Third: There are times when nothing seems to make her happy.

Fourth: She survived against impossible odds.  The stats show that girls have a higher survivability rate, when born early, than the boys do.

Fifth: I’ve changed her diaper more times than I can count, and besides the obvious anatomy differences, the technique is different.  OK first of all, the fact that there has to be technique changing her diaper means it’s already tougher than changing a boys diaper. With Frank, as long as I didn’t crush his grapes in the process of a diaper change, it was all good.   With Anne Mare I have to be more technically proficient.  I was schooled on this when she was a few days old and not yet two pounds.  At first I thought it was a preemie thing, but then was alerted to the idea that it would be this complicated all the way through to potty training.

Sixth: She likes to supervise jobs she would not do herself.

Behold, her close inspection of my kitchen cleaning skills.

Little more elbow grease, junior.


But given all that, the notion that there was another girl in the house finally set in one day when I noticed this.

8th wonder of the world



And this…


The habitat of the indigenous creature known as Girlous Alotaclothesus.


What you are seeing in these two photos is a phenomenon that occurs once or twice in a millennia.  Well actually in this house it occurs at least twice a month.  But, you are seeing visual evidence of the presence of girl, in her natural habitat.  The first photo, taken at great personal risk and safety, shows a completely full to over flowing hamper, while the second photo simultaneously shows her closet full of clothes.

At first I thought it some kind of witchcraft, voodoo, or black magic, based loosely on the principal behind microwave cooking. But as I continued my study, I found this is a natural occurrence around the very small female of the species.  I don’t have enough data to draw conclusions on the entirety of the species based on age.


The study continues….