December 12, 2013 by kruckr
Just over a year ago, Dan and I had our first pregnancy officially confirmed by my doctor. It was an incredibly exciting time for us … aside from the discomfort associated with the first trimester of course. It’s hard to believe how much life has changed these past 12 months. In many ways I feel like a completely different person. My faith and spirituality have grown seven fold, I’ve learned to survive on far less sleep than I’ve ever gotten before and all of my priorities have shifted to Henry. He is pretty much at the heart of everything I do now. He’s changed the kind of person I am because, let’s face it, mothers are a completely different species. He’s changed the kind of wife I am and even the kind of teacher I am. It’s amazing how this one tiny (or not so tiny anymore:) person can cause such an incredible paradigm shift.
In recent updates, Henry is progressing really well. I wish I could get more pictures and videos of him at daycare. He loves all his teachers so much. Yesterday, when I picked him up, he was staring up at one of the aides Miss Star, fixated by her soothing voice as she was rocking him. The day before, I got to see Miss Alyson (his occupational therapist) work with him. He still has a lot of instability in his neck, trunk and core, but he works really hard and is making progress. The entire time she was working with him, he was just smiling and talking to her. You could see from her expression, that he had her wrapped around his finger. Later that afternoon, when I picked him up, his nurse Laura was holding him and he was giving her an earful. It’s the first time I’ve seen him “talking” out of frustration or anger without actually resorting to crying. You see, Dan’s work shift recently changed from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. to 8 am. to 5 p.m. So now, daddy drops him off and mommy picks him up. Before, he was usually on the boob by 3:45 p.m., but that’s about as early as I can get to daycare in the afternoons, sometimes later when we have conferences or meetings. In any event, he’s not to happy with his schedule change. Luckily, they’re pretty comfortable with me sitting and nursing him before I put him in the car if I want to. Of course, what I want is pretty irrelevant in those circumnstances.
Henry’s next surgery is scheduled for January 13th for his first lip repair. I was so hoping that we would be able to do it right before winter break, but though the coordinator tried her best, it wasn’t possible. Dan and I are going to share taking days off, so we can keep him home that whole first week. He will only be in the hospital a day or two, but the total recovery time for a lip repair is usually about three weeks. During that time, obviously this biggest concern aside from infection is tearing the stitches. So we have to keep his hands away from his face (in the hospital, they actually put braces on his elbows called “no-nos”). You can find more information about the cleft lip surgery in this pamphlet if you like.
Overall, the feeding issues are my biggest concern about the surgery so far. He will not be able to breast or bottle feed during those three weeks, so we have to feed him with a syringe connected to a small rubber tube. I’m going to try it out over winter break. I’m trying to stay optimistic, but he’s so anti-syringe right now because that’s how he gets all his medicine. However, I’m hoping that following his recovery his feedings will go much better. He still prefers breast to the bottle. At home, he eats every 2-3 hours (except at night), so during the week between 4 p.m. and 7 a.m., he’s getting anywhere from 12-18 ounces. On average, he usually only takes 4-5 ounces at daycare. On Tuesday, he only took 1-2 ounces, but yesterday he took 9 ounces! He certainly has no problems growing or gaining weight regardless. Since birth, he’s grown about 6 inches and gained nearly 10 pounds.
In closing, we’re excited to celebrate Henry’s first Christmas in a few weeks. We won’t be traveling this year, so we’re going to keep it pretty sweet and simple here at home. We recently bought him a new swing and jump-a-roo and I’m constantly buying clothes and books (mostly from consignment – BIG shout out to Once Upon a Child!) and of course diapers and wipes. Consequently, I’m having hard to figure out what to buy a five month old for Christmas. Any ideas?