Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Grounding


We recently found out that my grandfather has brain cancer.  It is an almost 2" tumor.  Two weeks of treatment would give him maybe three extra weeks, so he has decided against it.

I took Kaliel along when I went to visit him in the hospital.  Chris offered to keep her at home with him, and I know he must have thought that I was making things harder for myself by taking her.  But the fact of the matter is, my motivations were mostly selfish.  Yes, I knew he'd be happy to see her.  And yes, I knew she'd be happy to see him.  But more than that, I knew she would ground me.

She is an anchor.  She is my motivation.  She makes it so that even if I am sad or upset, I have to continue on and pull myself together.  Because no matter what happens, she still needs me to care for her.  I can feel these things, but I cannot fall apart or wallow.  I need to be there for HER, and that makes me stronger.

I know to some this may sound like a burden.  I once thought the same thing.  When Morgaine died, I idly pondered how I could possibly ever have a child.  Who would care for said child while I wept and gnashed my teeth for days on end?  I could never muster the strength.  Well, as it turns out, I can muster the strength.

This child of mine has changed me in ways I never could have imagined.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

35 Weeks In, 35 Weeks Out


Kaliel has officially been on the outside for as long as she was on the inside.  This is INSANE to me because it felt like I was pregnant forever, but it feels like she just got here yesterday.  The passage of time is so weird.

I gotta say, I feel a lot better and am a lot happier in that second photo!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Month Eight


Age: eight months
Length: ??
Weight: 18 lbs, 10 oz
Sleeping: 9-11 hours at night
Eating: breastfeeding 5-6 times a day, fruit/veggies/meat 1-3 times a day
Likes: baby cereal + fruit, sitting, chewing on cords, bath time
Dislikes: going to bed, not sitting
Favorite food: bananas
Favorite toy: empty water bottle
Eye color: blue/grey
Hair color: darkish strawberry blonde?
Clothing size: 6-9 months
Accomplishments: grabbing EVERYTHING, babbling a lot, crying when I leave her, recognizing her name.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Month Seven


Age: seven months
Length: ??
Weight: 17 lbs, 3 oz
Sleeping: 9-11 hours at night
Eating: breastfeeding 5-6 times a day, fruit/veggies 1-3 times a day
Likes: sitting, rolling, eating, bubbles
Dislikes: cribs/pack n plays, staying on her stomach for too long
Favorite food: bananas
Favorite toy: butterfly teething ri
Eye color: blue
Hair color: darkish strawberry blonde
Clothing size: 6-9 months
Accomplishments: sitting for ages if you sit her up, rolling back and forth, reaching and grabbing, smiling and laughing - it's been a big month

Monday, May 2, 2016

What Happened To My Tiny Baby?

 
I have lived here in Pennsylvania for all of my 32 years, and yet the changing of the seasons never ceases to amaze me.  Every single year I am full of awe when the trees sprout their first pale green leaves in the spring, and again when those tiny buds turn lush and shady in the new warmth of summer.  When they begin to turn in the autumn, I am once again astounded by the way time continues to march on, disappearing out from under me seemingly overnight.

Every year, without fail, I remark on these changes.  And every year, without fail, Chris is confused by my joy.  "This happens every year," he says.  "Why are you still so shocked?"  I am shocked because life is slipping away so quickly, and I had barely gotten a chance to enjoy the season that had already somehow passed.  I am shocked because it is beautiful.  I am shocked because even after 32 years, it is still breathtaking.

A small, but no less significant, version of this is occurring at my house.  As I notice and exclaim over the fact that there are suddenly leaves on the trees, I am also noticing and exclaiming over the fact that Kaliel is no longer a little baby.  She sits now - unassisted for short periods, if you sit her up in the right position - and is not content to just sit around grabbing at her toys.  I've been given the okay to start feeding her cereal and baby food.  When I hold her close to my chest, her legs and feet dangle into my lap.  I know logically that she is still small, but to me she is immense.  The fragile 4 pound baby who was torn too soon from my body is now 16 pounds of energy and emerging personality.  I am excited and proud, but I also feel a profound loss.

Chris is, of course, bewildered by my mixed emotions.  "Finally," he says, drawing giggle from her smiling mouth, thrilled that she is so much more responsive now.  He eagerly awaits the days when he can do things with her.  I felt the same, once.  But now that these baby days are slipping away from me faster than I can count them, I am not in such a rush. 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Month Six


Age: six months
Length: 26.25"
Weight: 16 lbs
Sleeping: 9-11 hours at night
Eating: breastfeeding 5-6 times a day
Likes: sitting in anything that will keep her upright
Dislikes: using her arms, tummy time
Favorite food: milk
Favorite toy: apple rattle
Eye color: blue
Hair color: darkish strawberry blonde
Clothing size: 6 months
Accomplishments: sitting for about 30 seconds if you prop her up

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Month Five


Age: five months
Length: 25"
Weight: 14 lbs, 12 oz
Sleeping: 9-11 hours at night
Eating: 5 -6 oz every 3-4 hours
Likes: not wearing pants, loud mouth noises
Dislikes: not being able to sit up
Favorite food: milk
Favorite toy: play mat
Eye color: blue
Hair color: darkish strawberry blonde
Clothing size: 3-6 months
Accomplishments: occasional rolling, lots of babbling

Monday, March 7, 2016

Why I'm So Proud Of A Freezer Full Of Breastmilk



It's no secret that my body is pretty bad at the whole reproductive thing.  I've had horribly irregular cycles since I was a teen, it took me ages to get pregnant, I spotted and bled throughout the first trimester and occasionally during the rest of the pregnancy, and I ended up having seizures and an emergency c-section because my uterus was literally rejecting the baby.  It should not be a surprise that this makes me feel pretty down on myself sometimes.

When I am feeling disappointed by my body, all I have to do is walk into the kitchen and open the freezer.  I may suck at bringing babies into the world, but by golly I can feed them once they get here.  With the exceptions of a few feedings in the NICU and some small bit of supplementing in the first month, I have turned a 4 lb baby into a 13 lb baby in just FOUR months.  I have pumped day and night to provide enough nourishment for this tiny life AND to stock a freezer.  That is pretty impressive, if I do say so myself.  Would I like it if she could just breastfeed directly?  Yes, of course.  And I'm still working towards making that goal a reality.  But for the time being this is the way it has to be, and I'll do whatever it takes to give her what she needs.

So forgive me this bit of bragging, but I feel I've worked pretty hard for it!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Month Four


 
Age: four months
Length: 24.25"
Weight: 13 lbs, 1 oz
Sleeping: 8-9 hours at night
Eating: 5 oz every 3-4 hours
Likes: playing on the floor
Dislikes: tummy time
Favorite food: milk
Favorite toy: still vibro-fish
Eye color: blue
Hair color: darkish strawberry blonde
Clothing size: 3 months
Accomplishments: rolled from back to front once, more sounds, lots of smiles

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Month Three


 
Age:three months
Length: 23-ish"
Weight: 11 lbs, 9 oz
Sleeping: 7-9 hours at night
Eating: 5 oz every 3-4 hours
Likes: bathtime, hugs, flashing lights
Dislikes: getting stepped on by cats
Favorite food: milk
Favorite toy: vibro-fish
Eye color: blue
Hair color: darkish strawberry blonde?
Clothing size: 0-3 months
Accomplishments: lots of smiles, some tiny coos, sleeping through the night