Baby Vivian's Journey

our sweet baby girl

4 Months & First Christmas

We are so thankful this holiday season to have our sweet little V happy and healthy! She is getting chubby as can be and doing something new every day. Lots of smiles and giggles reward our efforts to entertain her with funny noises and games of “Who’s that?” in the mirror. She’s a real peach, calm and loving the vast majority of the time. We are so blessed!

We have had Margo “Amma” here in Brooklyn from CA helping out with V for the past 3 weeks. She’s so lovely and generous to take 2 months away from Maurie “Pop Pop”  to care for the babe. V is quite taken with her and loves their play time for the first half of the day when Molly has to be gone at work. It’s tough to be away from her, but ok since she’s agreed to take a little bit from the bottle while mama is gone. Aron has been very busy at the Brooklyneer this holiday season – so many people have been having parties there!

Tomorrow we are taking a plane (First Big Trip!) to Minnesota to see our family there. V has been missing her Mamoni and can’t wait to see her. Aron’s parents are joining us there and we are having a big joint Christmas to celebrate V’s entry into the world. All she wants for xmas is her two front teeth, or any teeth for that matter.

We can’t wait to just relax and spend time together cooking and eating and playing with cousin James at Tia Nell and Anthony’s home in Saint Paul.

V sends a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all her family and friends who have been praying for her and loving her from afar!

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Two Months Old

We are loving every moment of parenthood, even the sleepless nights and diaper duty, if you can believe it. She’s been rewarding our efforts with dazzling smiles, especially for Aron who takes great pride in his “on-demand” smiles. He can coax them out of her even after diaper-changing induced tears. Molly is a complete breastfeeding pro at this point, having had to nurse while walking several times when we weren’t going to make it to the Brooklyn Bridge park fast enough for little V’s tummy. Earlier this month we went for a checkup on her progress and everything is going very well. She appears to be completely on track!

She has had the great pleasure of meeting her grandparents on the Watman side, “Amma” and “Grandpa Frailty,” as they have currently been dubbed. We had a lovely 10 days together, full of adventures around the neighborhood and other Watman relatives over to visit. Everyone took turns holding her and loving her up non-stop. Amma took the early shift at 5am and rocked little V between feedings to give us parents a little break. It was so nice to finally see our babe in the arms of her CA grandparents! They waited so long to be with her. It was love at first sight. Amma is coming back in Dec for 2 months to help out when Molly goes back to work. We can’t wait!

Molly’s mom Dillon (aka Mamoni) is still with us helping out all the time. We are very sad to be losing her to MN in a few short weeks. We are hoping that all the airports are shut down and she will be stuck with us for longer! She has been a lifesaver.

At 2 months, V’s starting to interact with the world with more curiosity and playfulness. She’s loving her tummy time on her little mat and going diaper-free is her favorite (she takes after her mama on that account). We are convinced she’s a genius every time she bats at a toy, but we might be biased. Check out how big she is growing! We think she’s up around 11lbs and about 23 in long.

Baby V in her little dancing outfit from her Amma

The Watmans meet their grandchild at 6:30 in the morning! She no longer fits that outfit now..growing fast!

Maurie “Grandpa Frailty” with the little sleeper

Margo “Amma” loving up Baby V

Walking through the hood, V doesn’t like to be laying in the stroller for too long.

6 Weeks Old

Our little V is chubbing up so nicely! She’s starting to respond to us with great attention and best of all, we are starting to get big smiles! We can’t get enough of those. She’s been home now for 4 weeks and tomorrow we have our first NICU followup appointment to check her progress. Hopefully everything goes well!

She got to meet Aunt Kathy and Uncle Tom and Tia Ali who came out to NY to visit her from Molly’s hometown in MN. They were instantly in love with her. Who can blame them? She has been going on lots of long walks and is breastfeeding like a champ on park benches all over Brooklyn. Her favorite time of day is the morning. She tends to be a little gassy at night, so sleep is still a little scarce around here.

Little V is a dead ringer for cupid

Molly’s mom and Tia Ali take Baby V out of her stroller when she gets lonely.

Aunt Kathy taught us a good move for soothing gassy babies.

In the face! Wabash!

One Month Old

Happy One month to Baby V!

She’s now been with us in our home in Brooklyn for exactly two weeks and one day, and every day has been a joy, despite the fact that she is not letting us sleep very much. She is now nearly a month old and has put on at least a pound – maybe even two. Her doctor was very pleased, as were we.

We called the NICU yesterday and learned that all of her tests have come back negative and confirmed that her MRI was normal. This essentially means that she is most likely a 100% normal baby, with no long term complications. We were so very excited to hear this.

This week was great! Molly’s family visited from MN and doted on V for two solid days. Everyone wanted to hold her constantly. Also, we had fun taking baths, spending lots of time eye-gazing, and the usual burping and diap-changing. We also have begun to take long walks up Court Street to get groceries or walk to the Brooklyn Bridge Park, and Baby V is totally loving her delux stroller.

Thanks to a brilliant lactation consultant, and lots of hard work, breastfeeding is coming along phenomenally. V is completely off the bottle as of yesterday and is now just working out the kinks and getting more comfortable. Molly’s favorite activity is feeding her while telling her about all the things she can be when she grows up. Who knows, maybe she will be a neonatologist and save little babies lives.

As we type this, baby V is lying in her little nest, sleeping like a lamb, and occasionally making her favorite dolphin cry sound. We just love having her at home. She is so very adorable.

Interview with V

Mama and baby.

Tia B and MoMo and Baby V

Grandpa and V

Tio Pedo, Mama and Babe

Tia KK and Baby V

Home for a week

Last Sunday seems like a long ways off and we are finally settling into a routine. It is no easy feat learning to care for an infant, but fortunately V tells us what she wants (there’s a pretty limited menu of choices and milk appears most often.) Aron has been able to go back to take care of the bar and spend a little time on his writing with the most welcome arrival of Molly’s mom Dillon from MN yesterday. She’s been invaluable already, washing bottles, making food, changing stinky diapers and  teaching us new burping techniques.

We went for a walk in the neighborhood today and introduced her to some of our favorite shopkeeps and friends we ran into on the street. She was so good the whole time, just loving the stroller, sleeping happily. We noticed she is getting a little more chubby; She’s got another weigh-in tomorrow and we can’t wait to see what she’s up to now. Other big news is that her umbilical cord fell completely off this evening. Time for big girl baths!

Baby V’s First Checkup

Today Vivian passed her first physical exam with her new Pediatrician with flying colors. She’s gained a little weight, which had been a concern, and all of the other basic vitals were fine.

We are still getting the hang of having a newborn around the house. She’s honestly a great baby though, who barely cries and is rarely fussy. I guess after everything she’s been through, it’s gonna take more than a few loud noises to get her riled up.

We just want to thank everyone for their enormous support thus far — it really means a lot. We will continue to update the blog on occasion, but we think it’s fair to say that Baby V is safely out of the woods at this point. And we are immensely grateful.

Goodnight, V.



Day 15

Vivian has finally made it to her Brooklyn home! It’s nighttime and we are so happy to have her with us. It’s almost unreal that we are to be trusted with her care. It’s a little scary that there are no more monitors on her and no more nurses around to answer our every “is this normal?” question. The initial MRI results come back normal which was an enormous relief. We will still do followup to make sure her development is on track, but we are so relieved that she doesn’t show any signs of brain trauma. In fact, the only signs she bares of having been in critical care at all, are two tiny chest tube scars on either side. It’s an absolute miracle she has healed so quickly and wholly. Most babies with these kinds of issues take at least 6 weeks to resolve. She’s amazing! She must have lots of angels watching out for her. We feel so blessed!

She breastfed like a champ on one side, still nada on lonely righty, but it’s a start. Aron got to spend lots of quality time with her perched on his chest. She loves being home.

Day 14

Happy to report that V had another big day today. She started off this morning in intermediate care and ended the day in the low risk section! In between we worked a lot on breastfeeding. She continues to favor the lefty. We tried a class, but she wasn’t inclined to be told what to do by Rochelle, the hard boiled Brooklyn accented nurse. She exercised her now healthy lungs in vigorous protest and we made an early exit.

She’s going to get an MRI tonight to see if she experienced any brain trauma at birth. We recently learned that she wasn’t breathing for her first 15 minutes of life, so it’s certainly a concern. But we have alot of positive signs from V herself that suggests she will be perfectly normal.
Going home soon — maybe even tomorrow!

Day 13

When we came in this morning, we discovered along with her nurse, that V had pulled out her chest tube! This was no easy feat since it was sutured to her. The doctor reassured us that they would closely monitor her and take xrays to check for any fluid build up, but there was no immediate plans to reinsert it, as there has been no recent fluid production in her lungs. Perhaps that was little V’s way of was telling the doctors and us that she no longer required it. They also removed the IV line in her hand, as she is no longer receiving the octreotide or any antibiotics. Therefore, she no longer has any invasive lines or tubes whatsoever — just little the vital monitors which are only adhesive. We couldn’t be more pleased!

Aron got to hold her for the first time. He gave her a bottle and snuggled her for an hour. Molly got to try breastfeeding several times throughout the day and she did pretty well. She only seemed to like the left side. Maybe she’s a lefty:) Tomorrow we will try again and hopefully she will start to get the hang of it.

She also graduated to a “big girl bed” since she doesn’t need as much monitoring now, and was clearly very excited about it. She’s no longer considered critical, so they moved her into the intermediate room. We can’t wait until she graduates to the next room, one step closer to the door.

Day 12

Today Molly (aka Mommy) got to hold V for the very first time, 12 days after she was born. It was an emotional moment for at least one of them (the other was busy sucking down milk and enjoying a proper swaddle).

V still has the chest tube in, but our wonderful nurse, Casey, wrapped her very carefully so it wouldn’t move. After her big bottle and a proper burp (which took the collective efforts of all three of us) she fell right  to sleep — and stayed that way even when we had to put her back in her isolette. Grandma Dillon made fudge and caramels for the all nurses, and they were very gracious.

Vivian continues to do great. She is now completely off the medication and at full feeds. If this continues, the doctors said that they may even be able to remove the chest tube by Saturday. And tomorrow Molly is going to try breastfeeding for the first time too!