What do you mean she has MRSA? (and more FAQs)

A couple weeks ago, I shared some FAQs about C., my former micropreemie, with you all.  As is often the case with such things, the moment I hit “publish”, I thought of more questions I hear all the time.  So here is round two of FAQs about C:

 

1) What size does she wear?  (also How much does she weigh?)

 

C. is small.  I talked about that a little bit last time.  She wears a size 6 top and 5-slim pants.  So, not as puny as you might imagine.  Those pants are still too baggy for her, but we can’t go any smaller or they’re way too short.  Summer is much easier for us.  She can still easily fit in 3T capris.  She wore a pair of her little sister’s 18 month shorts under a dress one day this past fall.  She’s VERY slim and small-boned.  We have to be very conscious of necklines.  I am narrow-shouldered and C. inherited that.  Combined with her delicate build, she just can’t handle scoop-necks, boat-necks, or any wider cut.  Girls’ shirts tend to be narrower in the body than boys’ and that is helpful.

 

She weighs 36 pounds.  A featherweight.   She is incredibly easy to pick up, but it is uncomfortable to have her sit on your lap.  She has a very bony backside!

 

2) Are those VEINS?

 

Yes, they are.  Though not thin-skinned in the idiomatic sense, C. is thin-skinned– literally.  Fair and slight, there’s just not really any meat on her bones.  You can easily see her veins through her skin– and not just on her wrists and elbows, where they’re obvious on most of us.  Her neck, torso, thighs, etc. are a roadmap of blue veins.  We’re not sure if that will change as she gets older and, probably, picks up some more body fat as she goes through puberty.  Time will tell!

 

3) Wait.  Back up.  She had MRSA???

 

Yes.  At less than two weeks old, our daughter was diagnosed with MRSA.  They speculate that she picked it up in the hospital.  Staph is incredibly common and exists on ALL of our skin.  MRSA is present in a significant portion of the population.  Some experts estimate that close to a third of the general population is carrying MRSA.  Unless it gets into a wound or the bloodstream, it is nothing to be concerned about.  Still, because it IS hard to fight off and C. was (obviously) among a fragile population in the NICU, she had to be isolated.   The fact that she was MRSA+ almost never comes up, but it is always noted on hospital paperwork.  We have been told that unless protocol changes in the future, she will likely always have to have a private room any time she is hospitalized.

 

*****

RSV… ROP… BPD… more things I get emails about every week and more things I’ll try to address in future FAQ posts.  In the meantime, please feel free to leave additional questions in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.  Don’t worry a bit about offending me.  I’ve heard some outrageously offensive things over the past six years and I have absolutely no doubt my readers have more tact than that. :)

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11 comments to What do you mean she has MRSA? (and more FAQs)

  • Mermaid

    I appreciate you sharing. Our twins were 28 weekers. My daughter was IUGR so she’s tiny, too. Our problem, and I wanted to know if you dealt with the same thing, is that we can’t get her to eat! She’s picky and has texture issues (she was released from “eating” therapy at about 2.5 yrs old because there wasn’t much more they could do). We finally had to take her off pediasure because all she wanted to do was drink her calories. She’ll always be tiny but at 2.5 y.o. she weighs 22 pounds. Her doctor is fine with her health and says she’s just petite. How long, if ever, did you struggle with eating issues? Did C. ever become a “normal” eater (if she wasn’t one in toddler years)? My son, the other twin, eats just fine. Frustrating! We’re thankful that this is the biggest problem we have with them now, but it still is worrisome.

    • Thanks so much for commenting and sharing part of your story, Mermaid. Well, let me think. I’m trying to remember how much C. weighed at 2 1/2. I don’t think she weighed much more than your little one. I know she was past 2yo when she passed the 20lb mark. (My full-term daughter- who is 2 1/2 right now- weighs 26 lb.) Anyway, to answer your question– the only eating issue that C. ever had was when we started to introduce baby food. She had a severe tongue thrust and it made it nearly impossible to get (and keep) food in her mouth. Our early intervention therapist worked with her, but the best thing we ever did was go to a private clinic and seek out an occupational therapist who specialized in feeding issues. In less than 3 months of once-a-week therapy, she was discharged and eating normally. Since that point, I would actually qualify C. as a “very good eater.” I think it’s encouraging that your pediatrician isn’t concerned but, since it sounds like you are (and I don’t blame you), it might be worth asking around to see if there’s anyone (else) in your area who truly specializes in feeding issues. Sometimes it seems like if you can find that one person who manages to find the right technique, everything can fall into place. Let me know if I left anything out or you have more questions! Wishing you many happy moments with your sweet toddlers through the holidays! :)

    • Becki

      Have you tried desensitizing her mouth before eating? For example, putting a wet then frozen washcloth in her mouth or eating something cold, such as a slushie or crushed ice (as long as she won’t choke!!!). Also, try bushing her teeth, tongue, cheeks, and roof of mouth with a vibrating toothbrush before eating.

  • So I have a few comments. That photo looks like a full term chunky baby. That cracks me up. About those veins…me, my mom and her dad all had this same vein issue. At some point in life my mom and I ceased to be skinny minnies and the veins were not hidden by the fat. So C may be out of luck in that department. Eventually your skin is not so delicate, pale child skin and you notice less. Finally to Mermaid: My full term, no therapy of any kind son is 26 pounds at 2 1/2. I think a 28 weeker should expect to be a few pounds less. As long as she stays on her own curve enjoy the break for your muscles.

  • Ashley

    My 6.5 yr old is barely over 35 lbs and has the same veins you describe. She started kindergarten this year and I was so pleased to see that she is the same height as many of her classmates, just more petite with a smaller frame. To look at her, no one would guess that she is 10 or so pounds lighter than her average classmate. She was born at 34 weeks so we assumed, in part, that her size (for the first few years) was due to being a preemie. But our full term son is 26 lbs at 3.5 years. His veins don’t show through nearly as much as with ‘A’ but he also takes more after the Swiss side of our family.

    • So interesting! Our preemies sound very similar in build. I would describe our C. much your like you described your little girl and she, too, started kindergarten this year. My firstborn was ginormous and was over 30 pounds by his first birthday, so these “little” girls of mine were a big change! ;) (My youngest is on the slim side of the growth chart, but she looks almost chubby compared to C.)

  • Carolyn

    My 17-year-old daughter is very petite and weighs 80 pounds on a good day (height of 4 feet 11 inches). She wasn’t a preemie but is a twin, so I don’t know if that made a difference. The biggest problem we have is finding clothes in the juniors section that fit – a senior in high school does *not* shop in the girls’ department! haha We’ve been fortunate that her doctors over the years have the attitude that as long as she is healthy and happy, they aren’t going to worry about her size, and neither am I. She does tend to be a picky eater (her twin brother, on the other hand, eats like a horse!) but as she gets older, she is doing a better job at expanding her dietary choices.

  • ~M

    My little girl is 20m. She wasn’t a preemie, but small for gestational age and still very petite. Now that she’s older, her height is getting more average (currently 25%), but her weight is still very low. These proportions make everything (at least for winter) look very baggy if they fit in the (long) sleeves and (long) pants. She can wear some summery clothing in 6-12m size (by weight and fit), but 18m pants/long sleeves are not long enough (and her height would corroborate that in sizing charts). Do you have suggestions for brands that fit better/worse than others? Thanks!!!

  • Well, the good news about girl stuff is that it tends to be slimmer-cut than boy stuff, but it’s still tricky. Gymboree’s clothes run on the slimmer side (though they run BIG overall, so she might need a smaller size than usual.) We’ve had luck with Circo and Cherokee clothes from Target, also. Most Walmart infant/toddler clothes seem super-wide to me and never fit either of our daughters well. Hope that helps a little!

  • ~M

    Following up… My son, born almost exactly 2 years after my daughter is the complete opposite proportions-wise. Both were full term, but he was 44% bigger at 7lbs 9oz, and as I said above, she was SGA. Now, at 3m, he is over 16 lbs (90% for weight, 80% for height). My toddler daughter is probably about 23-24 lbs at 27.5m. Same parents, both were/are nursed. Genetics are just funny, I guess! Everyone thinks my two are much closer in age than they are!
    So my question is, what brands fit your big/tall son well? Do you have recommendations for types of clothes to put big boys into for the winter before they are walkers? With my daughter, she wore lots of footed pants and footed sleepers (but they max out at 9m size…what he’s wearing now, at 3m!) and leggings. Thanks, JL!

    • I definitely have some suggestions! First off, you should still be able to find footed sleepers with little difficulty. Most brands go well into the toddler sizes and Target often carries them all the way up to “big boy” sizes. (My giant 8yo has a pair for the coldest of nights. ;) ) You won’t find “regular” outfits with feet in the 12+ month sizes, but there’s no reason he can’t wear cute sleepers if he’s not walking around. LL Bean sleepers are more expensive, but they are super warm, super durable, and the skid-proof thingies on the feet lasted through 3 children in my house. So those are a great option for around the house, even with walking babies. Fleece pants or sweat pants with thick socks also worked well for us, but we did have to put shoes on over the socks just to keep him from taking off the socks. Hope that helps… enjoy your “little big guy!” :)

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