Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Nine Months

Dear Katie,

Oh, what a month my little Katiebear. It's been stressful to say the very least.

We spent the month trying to fatten you up as much as possible - on strict doctor's orders. You moved from solely breastfeeding to solely bottle-feeding (you dealt with this far better than I did). And you moved away from jarred foods into the table-food arena of eating. This proved a bit challenging, because as much as you dislike the purees, your gummy chewing abilities still have a ways to go before we're offering you steak and the like.

However - we learned that you LOVE avocado when mixed with a bit of tomato and cream - guacamole for beginners. You also love broccoli, little hunks of overcooked carrot, pasta (any kind of pasta - avec beurre svp), salmon, yogurt and RASPBERRIES. Oh, how you love raspberries. Then again, they are the best fruit imaginable - so I totally get it.

Daddy and I did the unimaginable and left the country for 4 whole days this month. Grandma & Grandpa V and Bucky came up to take care of you and your sister. Apparently you were a sweetheart, taking your bottles like a pro, sleeping far better than you ever do for us, and enjoying the attention lavished upon you. It was so hard to leave - if it wasn't a free trip to Mexico in the final throes of winter, I'm not sure I would have gone. Again, I took it much harder than you did. You independent little thing.

This month also brought about your obsession with walking. Any chance you get, you'll grip onto my fingers and just start motoring towards whatever/whoever tickles your fancy. You've gotten quite good and can even stand for a second or two unassisted before starting to topple. I keep encouraging you to use the little push-walker, but you have absolutely no interest as of yet.

That being said - crawling is still a non-issue. You are starting to roll and scoot a bit more - but crawling seems like it may never happen. My back needs a break from all the assisted walking though - so we'll be "working on" your crawling this month...

Because - oh the frustration! You know when you want something. And to watch the frustration in your face when you flail and "air swim" to try and get there - oh it's comical and yet endearing, because you, my love, have a Temper. Yes, mastering the ability to craw would make everyone much happier I think.

You have also started "talking" so much more. We hear "da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da" all day long. I get the odd ma-ma-ma-ma -- usually when you're annoyed or grumpy or upset about something. "Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba" has started to come out often too - I'm not sure if you mean bottle just yet, or just making sounds - but it's amazing to watch the words starting to form. You are going to be a chatterbox just like your sister - I'd bet the farm on that.

You're also learning sign language and you're already signing "all done" and "more" quite well - not consistently, but definitely when you want to get your point across. And you love the baby signing classes - you flirt with the teacher and try to "kiss" the little boy sitting next to you - I wish we had more baby classes to take you to, as you so love being around little ones your age.

Oh my Katiebear - you are turning into such a little girl - still so much baby, and yet I can see your personality poking through more and more and more.

I can't wait to see what this month brings - you are our sunshine - filling up the days with brightness.

Now, just learn to sleep, would you? Please?


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sigh of relief

Wow it's been a while and I've been silent. I do that when I don't like life - just kind of hibernate and deal with the now and my energies don't extend to complaining quite as vocally. Which is in direct contrast as to how I deal with minor hiccups - I'm usually quite a loud, complainy, bitch.

But now I can talk to you again, because on Monday we received word back on Katie's test results (the doc's office actually called me to give me the results over the phone! How refreshingly helpful is that?)... she passed them all and we're in the clear. We have a final follow up appointment with the pediatrician to wrap up the assessment and I'm guessing for us to ask any final questions, but yeah, we're done with the worry.

She is, as we hoped, just a tiny little thing.

Which she makes up for in massive attitude. Totally my girl...


PS - I have to add - all the tests were performed at Toronto Sick Kids and W.O.W. is all I can say. Yes, there's a LOT of money put into that hospital - but it was the employees that we encountered that made a stressful visit just so much easier. They were all brilliant with Katie, brilliant with me - encouraging, efficient, comforting - pretty much everything you could hope for in a situation like that. What an incredible hospital with incredible staff.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

This isn't an easy post to write

We had our follow up pediatrician appointment yesterday - Katie is still not gaining weight at any progressive rate that makes the doctor happy. Our little 8 month old weighed in at 14 lbs 2 ounces - which is actually down 2 ounces from when we were at the doctor a few weeks ago when she was sick.

Awesome possum.

And so - now we have to do tests. Start ruling things out (hopefully). Start loading up her food with butter or full-fat cream. And offer formula only.

There's the rub for me. That little sentence, "Oh - and quit the breastfeeding, now's the time for formula only." cut through me like a knife.

And I know it's best for her. And it's not about me. And regardless I shouldn't feel guilty. And we breastfed for 8 months and thats something to be proud of. And. And. And...

I don't get it - that I could breastfeed my first so easily, without issues and while she was tiny, she was always roly-poly. Smack dab between the 10th and 25th percentiles, never a cause for concern. Always a great eater. It makes no sense that I have trouble breastfeeding my second. It's supposed to get easier over time, not harder.

And yet - that's the best I can hope for. That somehow my milk is nutritionally deficient and that I'm at the root of this, because the alternatives could be far worse and I'm not even going there yet, because we have visits to Sick Kids and tests to run and bottles to push and extra-caloric butter to add to mashed potatoes right now.

That's where my focus is and needs to be. The future will tell us what the future will hold. No point in worrying about it now.

The silver, ironic little lining?

We came home from the appointment, she was EXHAUSTED and drank a 4 ounce bottle before her nap like it was no big deal. Of course she did, right? Because we haven't been fighting with her to take a bottle for 5 months or anything. Maybe she saw the determination in my eye. Or pure panicking desperation...

Regardless - she's taken 4 bottles thus far - all 3-4 ounces at a time. So we are doing what we can do for now.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bright shiny star

Even in my sleep-deprived grumpy bear-like state, I could help but brag about this...

That's right. She's a fucking genius.



The deepest part of night. Where things still go bump and boo and you can't be convinced that the shadow is just a shadow.

It's a time of night when thoughts get dark - things are bigger, worse, more troubling, more concerning - nothing is as it seems and everything seems as it shouldn't.

Rambling internal monologue is depressing and veers into the fantastical. Reality is tenuous and sleep is like a forgotten dream.

And through it all, there is a little person who needs you. For comfort. For snuggles.

She is your rock. Your grounding reality. Her eyes stare into yours, wide and dark pools of blackness - trusting you to be her rock.

And so you swallow your anger. Your self-pity. You find reserves that do not need sleep. And you hum one more lullaby...