Archive | April 2012

Girl Toys Vs Boy Toys

As previously mentioned, I have a daughter. She’s the greatest thing I have ever done and the light of our lives. Will we add to our family? We don’t know. Parenting right now is solely focused on our daughter and raising her healthy (which so far hasn’t been easy) and happy.

It took us until we were 27 weeks into pregnancy to find out we were having a little girl. Until then we were told it was 60%-40%. She was shy. We ended up doing a 3D scan and that’s when we found out for sure she was in fact a she.

 

We had already started getting things for the baby before we found out the sex, so of course there was gender neutral stuff all over the place. Greens, yellows and browns up the wazoo. I had also purposefully started buying things in blues,since I knew that no matter the sex they would be wearing blues and other tradionally ‘boy’ friendly colours. Even after we knew the sex I kept buying blues and greens.

When did we decide that boys and girls have to be raised so differently? Why can’t they be raised the same way with a few modifications to suit situations like potty training and what their privates are. I get that pre equal rights little girls were expected to wear dresses and boys to be covered in dirt, but somehow I don’t think it was as polarized as things seem to be headed now. I can remember the toy section being fairly neutral, expect the doll section which was a land of fluff and pinks, but otherwise the toys were pretty free range sex wise. Now it seems even toys like Lego are boy and girl specific with there being the tradional boldly red, green and blue lego for boys and the more ‘girl’ friendly pastel coloured legos for the ladies out there. It’s as if society has completely forgotten that historically pinks and purples were considered too ‘masculine’ for women to pull off.

My mother is a feminist. Not the light weight kind either, but the full bra burning kind and I love her for it and my dad for supporting her. They went out of their way to make sure that I was exposed to both ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ toys. I ended up loving Barbie and Disney Princess but I also ended up having the largest collection of Hot Wheels and race tracks in the house as well as my own sizable collection of Legos. I was all over the place in the toys and games I liked and my parents encouraged me to explore them and decide for myself which ones I liked and not to only like all things pink. I even ended up going through a very tom boy phase before deciding I liked dresses again.

In high school I did dance class and tried wrestling and played on the rugby team. I was allowed to experiment with all sorts of tradionally gender selective sports, games and toys. My parents never made me stick with one thing, they let me try and fail and choose for myself my likes and dislikes. Now, I’m 25 and I definately prefer some decidedly girly things but I still enjoy things aimed at men more than women. I also find that my parents way of raising me rubbed off in my previous work experiences.

When I was a nanny the youngest child, a boy, loved Disney Princesses. His favourite was Ariel, The Little Mermaid, he wanted to watch this constantly and I let him. I don’t see how it can do any harm. We never watched more then 2-3 hours of TV a day and if watching Ariel fight for her love was how he wanted to spend a large chunk of his TV time then that was OK with me. Admittedly she wasn’t the most proactive princess but she was the first to do something other then wait to be rescued. He also loved to steal his sister’s dress up clothing and run around in it. He never played being a girl, he just liked to hang out in it sometimes. Do you have any idea how hilarious it is to see a 2 1/2 yr old boy run around his room in a transparent pink pengior while smashing two cars together and making wreck noises? Just because he liked his princesses and pink doesn’t mean he also wasn’t obssessed with Cars or Toy Story either. He was well rounded.

Don’t think, ‘Oh, he must be one of those boys who always knew’. He’s now 8 and an absolute boys boy. He now is your typical 8 yr old boy. Playing with cars, guns and sports balls. He mainly has guy friends and they run around causing usual kid mischief. He is the sweetest, nicest little boy I’ve ever met, there isn’t anything mean or malicious about him. He’s  treasure.

Where is all this going? Well, I hope to be able to expose my daughter to the same openness that I was. I hope to be able to have a little girl who chooses for herself if she wants pink or blue for her bedroom and if she likes football or ballet on her own. I don’t her buying into advertisings campain to have little girls only interested in pink and princesses and Bratz. If she wants to play with the boys, I want to let her and will fight tooth and nail to give her that chance, but if she wants to sit and have tea parties with her Babrie’s then I’ll be happy too as long as it’s her choice and not what TV or some old fashioned notion has told her what she should do and like. Besides, with her eyes, blue is a great colour on her!

Devastating…

We have PVR, since with a baby watching your favourite TV show at its regular air time isn’t always an option. We didn’t get around to watching this past weeks episode of Grey’s Anatomy until Friday and I’ve needed until now to be able to process it and what I wanted to write.

So the episode was Titled ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and in the show one of the interns had to let her preemie baby pass due to complications of the premature birth. Sad for almost anyone to watch, especially someone with a baby or who had recently suffered the same thing. I’m lucky to say I didn’t have to go through that but I have been watching one of my best friends deal with this.

Literally the day I was at Sick Kids in March with Maddie my friend, ‘S’, was at Sunnybrooke giving birth to her preemie. This was ironically the same day that on ‘Grey’s’ the intern gave birth early. Similar right? Wait, there are more co-relations than that. My friend was 8 hrs shy of 23 weeks, the intern was just 23. Early labour due to mothers undiagnosed condition? That too, although different conditions. Both also had little boys.

In the show the baby had many complications and went through several surgeries before finally having to be taken off life support last week, by the time he’d passed in the show around 5-8 weeks had gone by, although you’re never really sure with that show. It was terrible watching the intern, Morgan, have to hold her baby while he slowly stopped fighting to breathe. I bawled and finally had to skip over it, I couldn’t watch that knowing that ‘S’ had to do the same thing only 6 weeks previously.

It all started on a Sunday night when she sent me a text asking what I thought about her ‘plug’ coming out. I wasn’t too worried but since I’d gone through it and ended up on modified bed rest I made her call the hospitals 24 hr line to talk to the OB on-call. They said to not worry, keep an eye on it and come in ASAP if there was any bleeding but since she was coming in on Thursday to just take it easy until then. Over the next bit she kept me updated, until Tuesday night she told me she didn’t feel right but when I suggested she go into Triage she decided not to since the Dr said it wasn’t an emergency.

Then, while at work on the Wednesday, like me she started to bleed. She got up and went to the Maternity Triage immediately. At this point she was 22 weeks 5 1/2 days. When the nurse came in to check on her at one point she asked point blank if it was possible she was having an abruption since she was having the same symptoms I’d had only a few months before. The nurse told her ‘No’ because if it were she would be in much more pain. No doctor had seen her yet and wouldn’t for at least another 2 hours, by then she’d started having contractions and dilating. They admitted her and told her she wasn’t even allowed to stand up because her sack had started to decend through the cervix and they hoped to stop the contractions.

Finally, Thursday morning the Doctors told her she was going to have to deliver but since the baby was on the Edge of Viability he would not survive and there was no real hope, but if she wanted they might try to save him. How devastating, right? They had her fully convinced that her baby would be either still born, due to her heavy bleeding or would die shortly after and that if she told them to try it would be basically useless. I remember her texting me and telling me before they started her on pushing how sad she was and in shock. She wasn’t fully aware anymore, she’d retreated in on herself.

Before I continue let me explain what the Edge of Viability is… It’s the line that Doctors have drawn on when they’ll intervene essentially on premature births. In Canada it’s usually 23 weeks and up or 500+ grams. The doctors will fudge on this sometimes but only at the extreme insistence of the parents barring that the mother is at a hospital with a NICU with extreme preemie capabilities. Sunnybrooke has them. Now this line isn’t the same for every country, it shifts and even then can be pushed to the side. There is right now in Miami a little girl who in 2006 was born at 19 1/2 weeks and from all accounts is actually quite normal developmentally. She’s the youngest surviving preemie in the world. The lightest weighing one was a twin and was 244 grams, both she and her sister are alive now. So, we know that babies under both of Canada’s standard have lived. Yes, there are risks as with anything and the statistics aren’t the best but it’s possible.

Thursday in the late afternoon ‘S’ gave birth to her son at 22 weeks 6 days and 16 hours… so close. He weighed in at 484 grams… Again, so close. The doctors and nurses clipped his cord, put a hat and booties on him wrapped him up and gave him to her so she could be with him while he passed. It took 12 minutes. 12 minutes where the doctors hadn’t given him anything for the pain to make it easier. It might not seem long but imagine fighting to breathe for that lenth of time and then tell me that isn’t too long. That’s a fifth of an hour. That’s longer then even the medical staff thought he’d survive, they’d figured a moment or two.

I cannot say what Sunnybrooke’s practice is on preemie deaths but I know that at Sick Kids when a preemie cannot survive they give the baby a pain medication to stop any pain and put them to sleep so that their passing is easier for both the child and parent. My friends baby got nothing.

The reason the doctors thought he would only live for a moment or two is because when a baby is born premature their lungs are not ready to breathe. A babies lungs are underdeveloped and brittle until about the 8th month, so a premature baby is given surfactan, a liduid medication that help the babie’s lung mature faster and soften to ease the assisted breathing. He managed to go 12 minutes without it, how long he could have survived with it and a ventilator and all the other care a preemie receives we’ll never know.

My friend had her own complications, she wouldn’t stop bleeding and had to while holding her son be treated and the doctors help keep her from bleeding out or anyother risks she faced due to what ended up being anbruption, as she’d feared. Hers was in the most extreme tyre of which 24% are, and yet she’d been told she couldn’t be having one. On top of the abruption she had the early signs of Gestational Diabetes, for which she’d been tested already and told was negative and a clotting problem. At her 6 week postpartum check up they told her all this and that any future pregnancy would be considered ‘high-risk’ and she would have to be monitored closely.

It’s been almost 7 weeks now and since then my friend has been on an uphill battle to right her life, which was completely flipped upside down. She’s blamed herself, the doctors, God. She’s over the blaming and knows that things happen we cannot control, but she’s still devastated emotionally and trying to figure out how to move forward now without the little boy she’d been preparing to bring home in July.

I know TV is not real and some shows are more fanciful than others, but in that moment when I was watching Morgan lose her son, I believe they got it exactly right. I can’t imagine what people who have to face that reality are going through, but having watched ‘S’ I can say I know that it must be absolutely heart-wrenching and something that you never fully get over. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, ever.

Baby Poops and Hysterics

I never imagined how obsessed with poop I would become and I have IBS. My issue has been under control for years and it’s not been a concern for me but then along came Maddie. At first it didn’t faze me, she was one of those newborns that pooped basically everytime she ate and then slowly she regulated to 3x a day.

How am I so sure it was 3x a day? Because after our week long visit to Sick Kids and the various issues we had to deal with there I ket track. Not only of her diaper numbers and stats but also of her mmilk intake and my pump numbers. I’ve been doing this since she was 3 weeks old and I can tell you it’s come in handy. At about 7 weeks the little miss got a stomach virus of some sort, we don’t know what exactly but we knew before it got bad and were able to help keep it as manageable as possible until things got complicated.

How did we know? We saw her poops went from mustard yellow to olive green with mucous. Now green isn’t out of the realm of normal but mucous definately is, and this was while it was in the early stages. Later on, as it got worse add the fact that it turned into green mucousy diarrhea, lots of it. So I dragged her off to the doctor and got the usual warnings to look out for in case it got worse and we booked an appointment for 2 days later. Literally the next day her poop had changed again… There was red blood in it.

Blood, you say? Yes, blood. I called our family health centre’s On-Call doctor and was told to take her to Sick Kids once again. She had a virus and had become somewhat dehydrated from the diarrhea poops. We got treated and were sent home tokeep watching her poops and the types they were. See? Keeping track really did help.

At our 2 month immunization appointment the doctor popped up their eyebrows and told me there wasn’t a need to keep track anymore, she was out of the largest danger zone. I choose to still keep doing it, for MY piece of mind and once again it’s helped. My poor baby, so many issues and still so young and tiny.

Around Easter weekend she went from 3x a day to only 1 every other. Now any of you parents out there know the articles all say that’s not uncommon so long as less frequent poops are normal for your baby. This wasn’t since it came out of no where essentially. So, I tried to make sure she stayed in the higher percentage of her daily milk intake to keep things moving easier.

Last weekend we went away for a night with fammily for a small ceremony and the effects of infrequent pooping was taking a noticeable toll. She started sleeping more fitfully and less soundly and any time she has had gas she’s starting crying and fussing. Not too hard go deal I thought until she hit her metaphorical wall while we were out. She was just beside herself in misery. She hysterically bawled for 2 hours non stop, chin wobble and all. I was nearly in tears by the time she stopped. I’m not used to her crying like that unless something in terribly wrong. Literally every other time she’s done that we’ve been in the hospital or ended up there within a day or so and she doesn’t go for as long a stretch. She also would do this every few hours or so.

Monday she did a huge poop and seemed to feel a lot better. Tuesday nothing and Wednesday was only an average sized poop from before when she went to much more frequently. No more poops, finally Friday evening after no poop since the tiny one Wednesday I went out and got all natural prune jucie and mixed a tsp of it with a tsp of water. Saturday we wtill only had wet diapers so I dressed her up and hauled her bacl off to the doctor’s. SO glad I did.

I know I shouldn’t laugh looking back on it but it’s pretty hilarious really. When we went into the doctors office and I said what was wrong she nodded her head and helped me get her undressed until she was only in her diaper. Then she did the usual check her little body over before undoing the diaper and looking at her tummy. It was distended and taut and she would fuss every time it was poked. Finally she said she completely agreed with me and that poor Maddie had some contitpation. She said the prune juice was good but wanted to check for a blockage. On went a glove with lube and in her pinky went to check.

What happened next would have been in slow motion with someone shouting ‘NOOO!’ in a comedy. The doctor said she couldn’t feel anything in the lowest part and pulled her finger out. BOOM! Her finger popped out and there was an explosion of poop. It went EVERYWHERE! Seriously, everywhere. The poor doctor, it was on the gloved hand, her ungloved hand, her sweater sleeves, her under top and even in her hair. That’s right, her hair. Then there was to poop on Maddie, the diaper, the counter, the floor and even the chair.  See? I told you it was everywhere.

The doctor did that horrified blink thing and then found a way to leave quickly. LoL, even now I’m giggling looking back. Maddie cried for a moment and then was grinning like the Joker. It was obviously a huge relief for her and her tummy. We were told it wouldn’t have cleared it all out and to keep up the prune juice until Maddie started going once every day.  It’s sunday evening and she had another massive expulsion this morning and I’ve got my finger crossed for another tomorrow. Since her poop on the doctor incident we’ve had no more crying jags other then her usual I’m hungry or tired shrieks… Thank goodness!

Sometimes, going with your instinct on something that really seems silly and a waste of time doing can be so v ery helpful. I coouold tell the doctor to the day when everything changed and all because I was and still will be for awhile yet obsessed with Maddie’s poop.

Breast Milk Frustrations

I had mentioned in a previous post that from the beginning my daughter was never able to latch properly and so we’ve been pumping and bottle feeding her breast milk. It’s not an ideal situation, both in time and energy, but to me much more preferable then formula. Even when I was pregnant I knew that if I had the milk I would be breast feeding, the benefits and cost were just too great to not at least make the attempt. I bought a friends pump to use  to store extra milk, never realizing that it would end up being the only way she would be able to get breast milk.

I had an emergency C-Section and eneded up knocked off my but drug wise so she was unable to latch right away, which can later lead to latching issues. I don’t know if that’s why she never took to the breast right or not and in the end I don’t care. I just know we tried EVERYTHING to get her to do it. spent the first 2 weeks of her life trying and failing to get her on, even now if I put her on she’ll suckle for a few minutes and then just stop and cry miserably. We saw the lactation specialists at both the hospital and the Doctor’s office only for it to have no effect. Then she got sick and we spent a week at Sick Kids Hospital with her in an oxygen hood. There was no breast feeding with her in there. So, since she was 3 weeks old we’ve been on the bottle and to be honest after her illness I prefer it. I love being able to know exactly how much she’s had on any given day. I can see the ups and downs in volume and never have to guess if she’s a little dehydrated, I know.

When you breast feed or are pumping there are a couple guidelines, pretty easy but still important. Like never going longer then 6 hours between feedings or pumping and even that long of a break shouldn’t be more then once a day, usually at night. Since I pump I’ve played with the times that are easiest for me and I decided to pump 6x a day, so every 4 hours. I only ever go longer when I go out somewhere that I can’t pump. I take it with me when visiting. This is a big commitment, especially at night to get up but I’m used to it now. So, I pump and then have to wash out the parts and any used bottles and then sterilize the lot. I’ve gotten the whole process down to about 20-25 minutes including the washing depending on how accommodating the baby is.

I happen to be one of the lucky women who produces enough not only for her daily requirements but also to have enough to freeze almost a full days worth as well. It’s alot, and requires that I keep fully hydrated and fed. So when I say that last Thursday in the middle of my early evening pump at 5:30 the pump dying was for me devastating. I had literally pumped it to death. It hadn’t lasted a full 3 months. At first I was very upset and then remembered the level of frequency I had used it and that I had gotten it lightly used. So, I’ve darnned it with no anger now. Darning by the way in my family, is when you stand over the garbage and drop something into it put your hand over your mouth and in a mock sad voice say ‘Oh Darn!’. My family has done this as long as i can remember.

So, I darned the pump and had to throw on some clothing and run to get a new one by 9:30, sometimes my pumping schedual is really inconvient. I called my mother and off we went to Babie’s R Us. I love that store. It’s like a mother’s playland. we decided to get the Evenflo Simply Go Dual pump. I personally prefer to get it over with as quick as possible and do them at the  same time if possible. When I got home I cleaned the pump parts and sat on the couch to get started. I hated it. Hated the noise it made, the weight and the fact that it was so awkward I had to do it 1 at a time. I was so angry and frustrated. Pissed off doesn’t even begin to describe it. Now we’re 5 days in and I don’t mind it anymore. It took a bit but now I have figured out how to manage it so I’m back to doing both breasts at once and the noise, while still louder is very rhythmic and doesn’t phase the baby even helping her fall back asleep at night.

Take a wild guess what happened next.  This morning one of the pump stopped suctioning properly! Literally 4 1/2 days after I got it. I’m not a quiet person when angry, I vent, but with the baby next to me and the fact that it was only 5:30 am meant I had to just sit and stew. I went onto the Toys R Us website to check their return policy and it turns out pumps are not allowed to be returned due to hygenic reasons. Annoying but fair. So I found the Evenflo website and a number I could call. I just had to wait until the call centre was open. So where I am now still not thrilled that I’m stuck single pumping for the next little bit but very happy they are sending me a new motor free of charge and postage. I’m not going to disparage the company or pump yet. I’m right now working under the assumption that I got a faulty motor since one is still working perfectly. After I get the new one I’ll write how it goes. Hopefully the wait for the new motor won’t drive me batty until then!

Daddying Vs. Baby Sitting

So when did a father, or mother really, watching their own child start to be considered baby sitting?

Let me explain… This past Saturday I went out for a girl friends birthday and ‘C’ watched Maddie. The group of people I was with are mostly parents, some single others not, so a fairly frequent question going around would be ‘Who has your kids tonight?’. My answer of course was ‘At home with her Daddy’. Simple enough right?

‘Wow, he’s baby sitting?’ would be a general response.

‘No, he’s watching his child, like I do during the day.’ Sometimes I would get a little snotty. Not always fair but you can’t  help it sometimes.

‘C’ and I are together so we don’t have to work out visitations or anything like that, which makes everything much simpler but even if we weren’t togehter I don’t believe a parent looking after their own child is baby sitting. Baby sitting is what a grand parent does, what a teenager does. Even if we were no longer together either of us watching the baby while the other is out to me is not baby sitting, it’s this funny little thing called parenting.

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Maddie will be 3 months on the 25th. Since her birth I have gone out two times for friends birthdays, both times for less then 6 hours and once with my mother last week to get a new Breast Pump for about 4 hours. Everytime I was out ‘C’ was with Maddie. Is that baby sitting? I don’t think so. Is it baby sitting when I’m at home with her all day and her Daddy is at work? No, so why do we as women and a society say it is when Daddy watches his children for only a few hours?

In less then 48 hours ‘C’ is leaving for South Carolina for 5 days. I will be alone with the baby for the first time without him to help after a long day of feedings, diapers and pumping and yet I don’t hear anyone praising me for being a mom and taking care of my baby. I’ll miss him and will miss the help in the evenings but I know it’s something he’s excited for and will be good for him to go out and do something non parenting related. I hope he has a wonderful time, but also know he’ll miss the 2 of us the entire time as well.

I know that I would go crazy to not be able to see her whenever I wanted but I still need some time to myself if even for only an hour to read and that’s when ‘C’ helps pick up the slack. I appreciate it greatly, but I won’t turn it into something it’s not. Parents are supposed to look after their kids, it’s how we as a species survive when we’re so young and defenceless. I also know that it is different as the parent who works full time to then be the primary care giver when the other parent isn’t around, it’s hard but has to be done. Especially since when I ask ‘C’ to do it 95% of the time I’m literally a room away and just taking a short breather. I won’t beg him to look after her and I won’t apologize for needing some grown up time for myself either, but I do ask and say thank you.

I’m not belittling anyone who takes care of children (I was a nanny for some time), just reminding people that there’s a difference between parenting and baby sitting, and that you cannot be baby sitting when it’s your baby/child.

‘Baby Yoga’ vs Safe Infant Exercise

I was watching ‘The Doctors’ yesterday and they had a segment on this charlatan named Lena Fokina and her brand of ‘Baby Yoga’. You can find her videos on Youtube and articles about her and the yoga online. Lately it seems to be everywhere causing a huge controversy in Europe. Have you seen it? And if so what did you think on an intellectual and then emotional level?

To me it was horrible. I sat there with a hand on heart and the other over my mouth as if trying to hold in my horror. If you think that she’s swinging and tossing around a doll you’re very much mistaken. That is a real terrified crying infant. That noise you’re hearing? A babies panic cry, the one they use when in true distress hoping someone will come to their aid. The position the babies body is in? That’s the panic position, when all of their earlier distress cues have been missed or ignored a baby will arch their back and fling out their arms while crying or screaming. The people you see watching? That infants parents and other parents taking this insane woman’s ‘classes’ on Baby Yoga.

Lena claims that in Russia, where she’s from, this form of yoga is becoming very popular for helping develope an infants joint and muscle strength and that children wh had their parents do this to them are smarter as well. She also says that babies learn to enjoy it and helps them acclimatize to being outside of the womb by making them relax.

I don’t believe it or see how that is possible. Putting aside everything we know about Shaken Baby Syndrome, which is an obvious risk with this, what about the hazards to the childs joints? Dislocation or rupture? Then there’s also the whole what if you drop them?

Personally, I know that if I ever saw someone doing this to my child physically restraing me wouldn’t be enough to stop me from doing bodily harm to whomever thought it was ok to flop my child around like a sack. I alsoo know that parents have a right to raise their children how they believe is best but I honestly don’t think I could walk by a park where this was being done and not try to intervine. We as parents have the right to raise our children but we don’t have the right to force something so obviously distressing on a baby who is unable to express their displeasure in any way other than a cry.

I’m definately not saying to not offer your infant a healthy way to exercise and strengthen their muscles, just a safe way. My daughter will be 11 weeks tomorrow and she gets lots of exercise and is in fact ahead of the game with physical achievements for babies her age. This is all on top of being 2 weeks early and losing another almost 2 1/2 weeks to hospital stays and illness. How did we manage this? By spending lots of her awake time playing with her of course. Even in the very beginning while I was in the earliest stages of physical recovery from the C-Section I made sure she was doing modified tummy time for a new born and sit up time. I would carry her on one fore arm tummy down so that she could start learning control of her neck muscles by looking around in a completely safe and controlled way. We only started this when we noticed early on that she is a people watcher and enjoys many different views and scenery to look at.

Even at the beginning when a newborns vision is only 12-18 inches she liked lots of visual stimuli, colours and faces. She even started focusing on the cats fairly early on. So upon realizing her external interests other than ourselves we made sure she could focus on them as often as possible without overstimulizing her. It’s a delicate balance but worth the extra time and effort so far.

We also have had her working on her leg muscles for weeks now. She can now with assistance stand up while we start off holding her around her chest and then we can even move to just holding onto her arms to offer balance so she doesn’t fall over. She can do this for up to 1-2 minutes before sitting down and then wanting to do it again. She likes it and will continue this repeat process for up to 10-15 minutes now. Just liike she enjoys sitting up on her own with us again only offering balance. I know some people are probably thinking ‘What about her neck and head? Doesn’t it flop around?’ The answer is ‘NO’, she has excellent neck and head control becasue we’ve been working on it from the beginning. She can even roll fully over from tummy to back sometimes now, not every time but sometimes. The same from back to front.

All it takes as I said before is a very hands on approach to babying, which does mean I get less vegge time while she’s up but we have I feel a very close bond, Daddy included. She’s very vocal and can make many sounds and different types of Coo’s. She also has many facial expressions to let us know how she’s feeling.

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She’s a month old here and this is her ‘Don’t do that, it is NOT ok with me’ face, which is still the look she gives me once she finishes shrieking at me for cleaning out her nose when it’s stuffed up. That’s a left over trauma from the hospital that she I sometimes think will never go away.

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This is her ‘I just woke up and am SO happy to see you!’ face. this is what we see 80% of the time when she first wakes up. The other 20%? That’s a frown or at night cry of ‘I slept too long and am hungry or dislike how my diaper feels’.

I’m not saying she has no problems, she does. Our biggest is breastmilk intake. Because she was so sick and had to be in an oxygen box for so long she does not breast feed. She gets bottles, but unfortunately she has trouble drinking more then 2-3 ounces, and even then she’ll only manage that a few times a day. She cannot keep it down. This is due to the illness again, she was on IV only for a bit and then due to choking and vomitting problems from her breathing issues we were only to give her a maximum of 2 ounces at each feeding and feed her more frequently. Even all this time later with lots of trying and constant spit up we’ve only been able to increase as I mentioned to 3. She also is still quite petite, wearing a blend of N/B through to 3 months, which are still big.

I truely believe we’re helping her prep for later advancements such as crawling and walking, but I don’t think we’re pushing her unsafely or too soon because we’re only moving at a pace she sets. The best thing about our approach? She sleeps well, she tends to sleep a bit more then the stated average for a baby her age but she’s also more active so it makes sense. She also only wakes up once a night for a feed and goes right back to sleep. No fuss, no muss. Her night time wake up also coincides with my night time pump, so I end up not even having to exert any extra effort.

I’m definately not telling anyone how to raise their baby but would like to offer hope that there is a safe way that works on babies time line and ours as parents. We might give her the first push but we at no point force her to keep doing something she obviously finds upsetting, other then getting out of the bath (she hates being cold). We just feel that reading our daughters bodily cues and expressions is the most practical way of raising a happy healthy baby and for us at least it seems to be working. She doesn’t cry or scream unnecessarily, only when something is truely upsetting her and yet she’s constantly making noises and sounds all of them positive to her learning curve. As I typre we’re working on a laugh.