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Monday, May 3rd, 2010
You guys, I saw the craziest patient that has ever existed this morning in the screening clinic. I desperately wish I could tell you the story. Sigh. I hate you, HIPAA. You ruin all my fun.
In other news, my former classmates are in their last week of school right now. I am so jealous that it’s kind of obscene. I know, I know, I had that wonderful year off and I have my beautiful baby. But listening to them talk about senior week events and graduation and where they’re going next year and how they’re done with all the bullshit of dental school is pretty much killing me. I was supposed to be graduating now, too. I’m supposed to be Dr. L in a few weeks. But I’m still just Julia, with a crapton of work ahead of me for the next year, and it’ll be without all my friends around to commiserate with.
It’ll be fine, I know. But even though I’m going to miss them all, I’m at the point where I’m ready for them to just graduate already. I don’t want to be reminded of where I “should” be or wonder what life would be like if I had somehow managed to stay in my old class. I just want them all to get outta there so I can keep plugging along and not wish I were them.
Okay, I needed to get that out of my system. Thanks.
Caroline is doing pretty well these days. Well, to be honest, she’s kind of in one of those phases where you repeatedly tell yourself “this too shall pass”. This is the golden rule with babies/kids, I am finding. Just when you think you can’t take another minute of the whining and crying and temper-tantrum-throwing and clinging, the tooth pops through or the chest cough heals and you have your sweet baby back. I know this will be just like the rest of those times and it will end, but for now I am tired.
The gross motor stuff is the same as ever, so we are having birth to three come to our place this Friday to do another evaluation. Part of me hopes that she will qualify for PT just so we can get some help (I really can’t see her walking by 18 months), but another part of me hopes they smile and tell me she’s perfect and everything is fine. Not pulling up by 15 months isn’t a great sign, but a mama can dream, right?
Hmm, this post is kind of a downer on all counts. Oh well. Can’t win them all. Here’s hoping for a more positive one after Caroline’s EI evaluation on Friday!
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Friday, March 19th, 2010
Sometime shortly after Caroline was born, I signed up for about a bajillion baby development emails. You know the ones I mean—your baby week by week, your x-week-old, or whatever. When they showed up in my inbox, I’d read them with a tinge of anxiety, checking up on where Caroline “should be”. I’d watch her during playtime, looking for milestones, or signs that she was about to reach them. Was that roll-over on purpose, or just a lucky accident? Is she lifting herself up enough during tummy time? Oh no… am I giving her enough tummy time? IS SHE GOING TO YALE OR ISN’T SHE?! I’ve got to tell you, I worry way more about this than I ever thought I would.
But it isn’t just me. The moms’ message board I post on is always consumed by posts about development and milestones. And those baby newsletters have to be fueled by some kind of demand, right? We all want to know whether or not our babies are on track, or “normal”.
For us, it’s turned out to be kind of a mixed bag. Caroline’s gross motor skills have always been a little behind. She was diagnosed with a mild gross motor delay at 9 months, and now that she’s a year and still not really crawling and definitely not pulling up or sitting up, it’s more of a full-fledged gross motor delay. We’re in the process of getting early intervention back out to our apartment for a follow-up evaluation, since she didn’t quite qualify for physical therapy at her 9 month visit.
The girl talks, though, like crazy. I hear that’s usually how it goes… if they have one type of delay, they make up for it in another area. When you have to watch what you say around your 12.5 month-old for fear she might repeat it (need I remind you of “ohshish”?), you know you are in trouble. I admit that I now shut off the radio when I pick her up from daycare for fear that her new favorite word will be “crunk”, or worse.
Anyway. It’s hard, when you go to daycare and you see babies months younger than yours walking around, and yours is still pushing herself around backwards on her belly. It makes me a little sad when I see or hear about other babies playing in ways that she can’t, and won’t be able to for a long time. It makes you wonder what you’re doing wrong. And I feel like even if she hadn’t turned out to have a delay, I’d still have been just as anxious about it.
It doesn’t help that when I saw one of Caroline’s pediatricians for a sick visit and mentioned my worries about her lack of sitting and pulling up, he asked, “were you and your husband also slow?” Uhhh… thanks for your sensitivity there, doc. I learned tact in med school. Why didn’t you?
But what I’ve come to terms with is this: that other baby in daycare isn’t better than my baby because he walks and mine doesn’t. His mom isn’t a better mother than me because my baby has a delay and hers doesn’t. It doesn’t mean anything, really. She’ll walk when she’s ready to. And if she doesn’t walk, for whatever reason, that’s okay too. She is who she is, and I love her regardless.
So now when those baby development emails show up in my inbox, I just delete them without reading them. (Someday I will get up the motivation to unsubscribe.) As long as we are taking appropriate steps to monitor her development and help her with her delays, that’s all I need to know.
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Monday, February 8th, 2010
We had Caroline’s first birthday party yesterday at my parents’ house, with a ladybug theme. Here are a few pics. It went really well, and everyone seemed to have a great time!
Cupcakes, jellybean guessing game, and red and black licorice. I showed Caroline that bow after I made it and she clapped her hands for me. Ahh. I’ve trained her well.
This banner was theoretically easy to make. Unless you don’t buy enough ribbon and have to cut it into pieces, and then the pieces all fall apart when you try to hang it, and then you beg your husband to go out and buy more ribbon at 8pm because you have to study for a final on Monday. And then you still don’t have enough so you just hot-glue the whole thing together.
Me, getting ready for the party while Caroline took her pre-party nap (the nap timing worked out perfectly, which thrilled me)
Dining room table, before we set out the food. It was a brunch party, so we had three different quiches, an oven-baked French toast dish, a huge fruit salad, and assorted breads and pastries. YUM. Oh, and cupcakes for dessert, of course. Also, that Mylar ladybug balloon was by far Caroline’s favorite part of the day. She would look at it and laugh hysterically, then do something else for a minute, then look back up at it and crack up again. And repeat endlessly.
Opening presents. Yesss, a book!!
You can’t really tell, but her skirt was this adorable little black tulle thing with ruffles.
She loved this birthday card, more so than a lot of her presents.
Ditto for the wrapping paper:
One of her favorite gifts: a giant penguin, bigger than she is:
And finally, she wasn’t a huge fan of cake, but at least she tried it! Look at those chub cheeks.
Overall, her first party was a big success. She bounced around maniacally from the sugar high for a little while afterwards, then passed out for hours… and woke up ready to play with all her new presents!
For my part, I did better than I expected. I thought I’d tear up at least while singing “happy birthday” to her, but I didn’t. The only time I got a little teary was when I went out to put balloons on my parents’ mailbox and thought about how many birthday parties I’d had as a little girl with balloons on the same mailbox. I am lame and cheesy like that.
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Friday, February 5th, 2010
Caroline turned one at 6:08am today. I cannot believe it.
This year has flown by faster than any other year of my life. I have been thinking all day about how far we’ve come. From this…
My little sick baby is now a big, happy, healthy girl. February 5, 2009 was full of mixed emotions (joy, excitement, fear, uncertainty). This February 5 had a lot of mixed emotions too (pride, happiness, nostalgia, sadness that my baby is growing up)… I have to say that I prefer this year’s mix!
I miss my little teeny baby, but I love my life with my chatty toddler too. And I’m sure I’ll just keep loving it more and more.
Happy birthday, Caroline! I love you so much, baby girl.
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Wednesday, November 18th, 2009
I have a lot of things to report, mostly because I haven’t blogged in a couple of weeks. I was thinking today that I fear for my blog when I go back to school, because I’ve hardly found the time to write while I’ve been staying at home. And then I thought that I actually blogged more while I was in school, so maybe it won’t die out after all. And then I thought that I should probably just go write a post since I am wasting all this time thinking about blogging.
First: Caroline’s 9 month appointment. It wasn’t fantastic. (Someday, I will be able to come on here and brag that we had an amazing appointment and it went perfectly and I did not have to spend the entire rest of the day on the phone trying to get specialist appointments. Unfortunately, that day was not last Friday.) The pediatrician decided that since she hasn’t been at least trying to sit up, creep, crawl, or pull up to stand, she has a slight gross motor delay that we needed to get evaluated. She also is still making this loud raspy noise when she inhales due to her laryngomalacia (floppy airway– common in preemies). She really should have outgrown this and her snoring by now, but since she hasn’t, we need to get her in to see a pediatric ear/nose/throat specialist.
So, last week a teacher and a physical therapist from a Birth to Three program came to our apartment to check out Caroline’s skillz. They said that she was fine in all areas except gross motor, in which she falls into the 16th percentile (for an 8 month old, her adjusted age). She didn’t qualify for services, which was great news, but we need to really push the tummy time and call back if she isn’t crawling in a couple more months.
I also set up an appointment with an ENT at the children’s hospital for December 22. Sigh… we were just about to get released from the GI there and I was really looking forward to not going back. Oh well– I will try not to complain as long as she doesn’t need surgery, which is really the only treatment for laryngomalacia other than time. They’ll do a scope to see what the problem is and to decide whether or not surgery will be necessary. I am trying very hard not to imagine my little baby knocked out on an operating table… or even sedated for a scope. Poor thing. And poor me, a little bit, because I am going to be a freaking basket case and no one needs to deal with that insanity.
Even though she may not be crawling, my baby has awesome communication skills! She now signs “more”, “milk”, and “drink”, and says “done”, “all done”, “dada”, and… my favorite… “mama”!! Prepare yourself for extreme sappiness because this was seriously one of the highlights of my entire life. (Is that sad? I think it might be, a little, but nonetheless–)
This past weekend, Caroline was sitting in her highchair and eating while Tyler and I ate our lunches and talked to her. She was looking at him saying “da da da” and smiling, and I got jealous and said “Caroline, why don’t you ever say ‘mama’ to me??” She looked right at me, reached out her arms, and said “ma ma ma!” I teared up and gave her a big hug. It was so sweet. Tyler said, “No, get her to say it again, she’s going to get confused because you’re crying!”
Sigh. Just thinking about it makes me smile. I am so in love with this chubby little thing and her silly parted hair.
(Edited) I forgot to add that yesterday was National Prematurity Awareness Day. Here’s a link from the March of Dimes if you are interested in becoming more informed about prematurity and how to prevent preterm birth. Even late pretermers like Caroline can deal with health consequences months down the road. Hopefully soon, researchers will be able to determine more about the causes for premature birth, and more effective ways to prevent it.
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