Monday, 17 November 2014

Happy four month birthday, Emma!

How Old:   Four Months!
Weight:  11 pounds, 5 ounces
Likes:   Super Baby!, stuffed Bunny, Kicking on the Floor, Walks outside in the Moby Wrap, baby massage and BATHS!!!!
Dislikes:  Being changed (anything pulled over her head or over her arms....geeze!!), being held too close or not the right way, extended periods in the car, rolling over (PANIC!) and not being put to sleep right when she wants it!
Eating:  Well, my last post sums it all up. Since our formula transition, Emma seems quite happy - she is so used to short feeds it is taking some adjusting to our schedule.  She has tried Baby Rice and Carrot so far - I think she finds the whole process strange, but she seems quite intrigued by the flavours!  We are using the Gina Ford Weaning method - I like it because it takes the thinking out of it!  Wish us luck!
Sleeping:  Emma looooves her sleep...when she gets it her way.  Unfortunately, she needs to be in her crib, swaddled and in the pitch black in order to sleep.  She is fabulous at night - only wakes up once between 1 and 3 AM - she slept all the way through once!!!  She needs 3 naps during the day and they are really inconsistent. Some days she will sleep for 30 minutes - other days it's two hours!
Routine:  Our routine is all over the place with the introduction of formula and longer feeds.  We usually still wake up at 6 (isn) and then an hour and a half after a feed, we have a nap.  That routine continues until 6 pm when we give Emma a bath and she has her final feed at 7.  From there - she's usually out until 2am!  
Sizes:  WELL.  She's an American girl at heart.  In US clothes she is wearing 3 month tops and 6 month bottoms (those arms and legs!!!).  In the UK she is wearing 0-3 month and has only just grown out of new baby - mind you - it's just her arms that have grown out!
Milestones:  Smiles, smiles, smiles!  She is also trying to roll over. She tends to get one leg over the other and then gets stuck and cries.  That - or she rolls over which such force she bounces back and cries. Bless her.  Teeth are making some movements as she is drooling everywhere and chewing on everything.  Solids are our massive milestone this month!
Mum's favourite moment:  Emma's face when we gave her carrot for the first time.  I just melted.  She isn't sure but then she has an adorable smile when she realises she likes it!
Dad's favourite moment:  When out for our nightly stroll around Bonfire night, some early fireworks were set off. Her face was an absolute picture - she was mesmerised!  

We had a few great moments this month - quite a few teary ones (from both of us) - but mostly adorable, lovely, gorgeous moments with Baby Emma!

Emma's first Halloween!  We opted for a Day of the Dead inspired skeleton.  

Lunch at Middleton Steakhouse. She's loving hats at the minute!  Dribble bibs are also a KEY element of her wardrobe at the minute - teeth are on their way!  I LOVE these Ted Baker bibs!

Sophie the Giraffe is our new favourite toy.

Tummy time is NOT Emma's favourite.

But she loves walks with mummy and daddy in the evening.
How cool is her hat?

Every day there is something new and exciting!  Sparklers for Bonfire night were particularly new and exciting!

Another month older - where on earth does the time go?


Saturday, 15 November 2014

Our feeding journey...the good, the bad and the ugly

I had never been one of those women who was "gung ho" breastfeeding. I wasn't actually sure I wanted to (in spite of health benefits) because I couldn't imagine whipping my breasts out in public. I couldn't imagine a little person gumming me to death.  I don't really know what changed my mind in the end, but I found myself repeatedly telling midwives that "Yes, I am breastfeeding" during my 36 hour labour. 

From day one it was ridiculously hard. Emma couldn't latch, I had no milk due to the C section, she was screaming, I was stressing- it just wasn't a pretty picture. By the time I was released from hospital four days later, we STILL hadn't cracked breastfeeding. That first night was nothing short of a nightmare as Emma just screamed and screamed. Of course she was screaming - she was hungry!  The combination of the two of us just wasn't going to make feeding work. 

Enter: Nipple Shields. I had heard of them from a midwife in the hospital and decided to try them as a Hail Mary attempt. Of course they worked - but they didn't work in time. Emma had lost far too much weight and we were readmitted into hospital. 

I persevered with those shields, carrying my little jam jar of sterile water with me everywhere. After two hospital admissions where midwives, doctors and nurses just shook their heads, unable to offer any better ideas or suggestions - I was doing everything right - Emma's weight started to creep back up. Slowly. But it was creeping. 

We attempted topping her up with formula a number of times. Projectile vomit doesn't even cover it. Her entire stomach would empty and I would be covered. It was a vicious cycle which made me declare that I would make breastfeeding work - formula clearly wouldn't cut it. 

It wasn't always easy - but we made it work with the shields. Every time our health visitor came we would try and take the shields away. Emma would get frustrated and scream, I would panic, nothing would flow - I eventually gave up trying.  If she was feeding, she was feeding.  End of discussion. 

We were referred to a specialit who cut tongue tie, making feeding easier. Emma had a slight posterior tie so in a snap decision I agreed to the cut. I fed her immediately after and would she latch? Of course not. Did she after?  Nope. Was it worth it?  Probably not. 

We carried on for three months - and that's when I started to notice problems. Emma's hunger increased; my supply stayed the same. She even rejected the shields as she could get more milk without them. But it still wasn't enough to satisfy her. 

In spite of EVERYTHING - and I mean EVERYTHING - I felt Emma wasn't getting enough and I couldn't express more than 30 ml a time to create a stock pile. I drank nearly 8 pints of water a day (nearly wetting myself daily), I pumped 3-4 times a day, I loaded up on carbs, I even rented a hospital grade dual pump from the NCT. It just wasn't happening.  We started topping her up after nearly every feed with Nutramigen - a broken down prescription formula from our GP. She was taking 90 ml - that was like half a feed, not a top up!

We had her weighed on Wednesday and at 17 weeks she weighs 11 lbs 5 oz. 10th percentile. Which, to be fair, is consistent - just low. B said "Somebody has to be 10th..."  (She's probably 85th percentile for height).   Our Health Visitor suggests we try normal formula as B tends to give Emma tastes of whatever he is eating - yogurt, ice cream, rice pudding, olives, melon.... (don't even get me started on this....) - she never had a reaction so we may as well give the formula a go. 

So we did.

And that's where the nightmare started.  

After having a top up of Cow and Gate at 4pm, Emma was fine and dandy until 7. I laid her down to undress her for her bath and the projectile vomiting started.  She was soaked - our duvet was soaked - she was horrified - I was horrified.  We managed to calm her down and I got into the bath with her.  She projectile vomited again.  

We held her in our arms and she just lay - floppy and staring blankly - almost unresponsive. B tried to give her water to rehydrate her, but she refused.  When she started crying an hour or so later, I offered her a breast milk feed - she vomited on me.  This time - she stopped breathing.

Apparently it's part of the design of a baby to stop breathing when they vomit to prevent choking.  I didn't know this.  B acted quickly and picked her up and tilted her sideways to help clear her airway.  I just sat and sobbed.

B ended up getting some Dioralyte - a rehydration fluid suggested by a friend in Paediatrics - but Emma still refused.  She just lay in my arms falling asleep.  We let her sleep and then kept offering her the fluids when she woke at 3 am.  She had the fluid, plus some breast milk.  She was the same at 7am.  

The only reason we didn't end up in A and E last night was because B knows what he is doing.  He consulted his colleagues immediately and people were all too keen to help and offer advice.  Sure, parents worry and babies spit up.  This was not spit up, nor was it vomit.  

After a trip to the GP, many conversations with the Health Visitor and an appointment with the dietician, we now have a permanent prescription for special formula, we have to wean Emma onto solids and we are keeping her dairy free until she is one.  

There is absolutely NOTHING more horrifying than looking at your baby's terrified face when they can't breathe.  I'm exhausted.  I'm emotional.  I'm thankful for B's knowledge.  I read an article the other day about things your mom never told you about being a mom and it really hit home.  

The weaning process has made me really look at our breastfeeding journey and it actually breaks my heart that I have to end it.  I know I'm going back to work and I physically won't be able to feed her myself or pump enough to give her feeds - but I will miss it terribly.  We worked so hard and I feel as though I have failed her.  I know not many people get this far with it and I should be proud of what I have managed - and I am - but I'm also pretty sad.  I wish I could do more, but I can't. 


Monday, 3 November 2014

Remembering Grandpa

It's been a very sad week for our family as my wonderful Grandpa passed away a few days after his 88th birthday.  For the past few years he has been living in a Nursing Home and suffering from Dementia.  It's been a struggle, mostly as we all knew and loved him for his fun, spirited personality.

I was unable to travel home to say goodbye, so I did what I could by writing a Eulogy as I did for my grandma.

My heart aches. Not only because I couldn't be there with my loved ones, but because I didn't have the past few years to spend with him - I know he wouldn't have known me if I had been there - but I still wish I could have been there.

I am presenting this eulogy that was written by my sister Jennifer in England who is taking care of Carmelo’s great-granddaughter, Emma Rose.

This is one eulogy I never thought I would have to write. Carmelo Garofalo - my grandpa - was the strongest man I’d ever met. Even into older age, he was made of tougher stuff than the rest of us. I know no one is invincible, but that's how he always appeared to us grand kids. Strong.  While his strength was noticeable, his heart - his love - for his wife, children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren is what I - and I’m sure all of us - remember the most. 

Over the past few years, we have spent a great deal of time clinging onto these moments, but more importantly remembering Carmelo for who he was.  It has been five years since we started to watch my grandpa slip away - we were heartbroken, dementia left very little of the strong Italian we all loved so much.  

We aren't saying goodbye to Carmelo today, as his spirit and spark faded a long time ago - and while his body put up an incredible fight, he is able to rest, whole once again. I know for me, it’s the memories - those fantastic stories about Carmelo from years ago - which remind us what a headstrong, funny man he really was. That is the way I want to remember my grandpa.  

Carmelo was the second oldest of nine children born and raised in Novara, Sicily and that’s where he became the man we all knew and loved - Husband, Brother, Dad, Grandpa, Chief, Papa and friend.  When he was 18 he joined the Italian navy and from there he met and fell in love with Emma.  He was the only one of his family to leave Italy but still kept those Italian beliefs even though he was miles from the place where he grew up.  He believed that you respected your elders, you always cleared your dinner plate and you never put a bare foot on the ground.  He had a strong will and knew what was best.  Cut off jeans?  Inappropriate (even though my mom dared to challenge that rule).  Scruffy hair (or in our case, curly)?  Forget it - it should be brushed.  Loose tooth?  Don’t go anywhere near grandpa…he’ll knock it straight out.  Men clearing their plates at the table?  That’s women’s work.

Most of us remember him as a walker - he used to walk five miles every day around the North end of Painesville.  He was once bitten by a dog while walking, and when he hid behind a tree he found $10.    It may have been the event which fostered his fear of dogs, but at least he made some money out of it.  He was also once caught in the rain - so he did the only logical thing one could do - waited the rain out on a stranger’s porch.    In spite of inclement weather and dangerous canines, it wasn’t his commitment to his walks which impressed us, it was the treasures he collected while he was out and about.  Items ranged from small toys to rap CDs (there were over 900 random keys in his garage).  One day he came home with a dry wall measurer.  You never did know what to expect following one of Carmelo’s walks.

One of his other passions was food.  When he emigrated and came to America the whole ship suffered from terrible seasickness.  Not grandpa.  He was in the dining hall.  Eating. All by himself. Maybe because of his navy experience.  Sundays were made for spaghetti, meatballs and pasta sauce. The whole family piled into the kitchen for the feast - the same feast every Sunday after church. The family meal became an extension of our religion in itself.  If you wanted to learn how to cook the infamous sauce, you needed to be at the house early - and grandpa meant early.  By the time anyone got there to learn, the meatballs and sauce were already done.  Another lesson we learnt was that the wine was the first thing to go onto the table and the last thing to come off - it’s called “The Light” so named as it was the guiding light to the table, conversation and family. 

I think Christmas will always hold the most treasured memories of Grandpa.  Christmas Eve we would gather together and feast upon the traditional Seven Fish.  After, he would always play Santa Claus and lead us in rounds of carols before a single gift could be opened.  He would say “TO Brian , from Santa Claus” “TO Hallie, from Santa Claus.”  Then, he would watch each present be opened, followed by an exclamation of “Ohh lala!”   

In true Carmelo fashion, he celebrated his 88th birthday last weekend surrounded by loving family and excellent food.  Grandpa always used to say “It took my mother nine months to make me.  I take my time.”  He always had something to say - if we ever asked where he was going he would tell us “I go Dancing!”  

Last September, we lost my grandma - Emma - and in spite of this wretched disease, I truly believe Carmelo felt her absence.  We know that he enjoyed himself - he wanted one last meal with those who meant the most to him before he joined Emma.  They are meant to be together, and we can now rest in the knowledge that they are where they should be.

Goodbyes are never easy.  Especially when you feel as though you didn’t and couldn’t have a proper goodbye.  With heavy hearts, we don’t say goodbye, but rather “See you soon.”

Go on, Grandpa. Grandma is waiting for you.   I hope you are both dancing.


Sunday, 19 October 2014

Three months!

How Old:   Three months!
Weight:  10 pounds
Likes:   Bright lights, baby swings, grandparents and being held so she can see everything!
Dislikes:  The car (she HATES getting in her car seat and melts down if she even sees it!), being held close (sweaty baby) and mum and dad "not doing it (being anything) right!"
Eating:  We are still going strong with breast feeding although formula is just not happening. She vomits everything - even the special hydrolyzed stuff from the doctor. I wish I could just give her breast milk forever, but I can't pump enough to sustain her - especially when I go back to work.  I think I detect a problem! 
Sleeping: I always feel like I'm getting somewhere with sleep and then we take a few steps backwards. Emma is getting much easier to put down for naps and can go anywhere from 20 minutes to two and a half hours. At night she is AMAZING!  She's gone stretches of five hours and usually only feeds once now. Of course we have massively screwed her up by giving her jet lag but she still managed to sleep for nearly eight hours the other night!  Victory!! 
Routine:  I've totally got this. Up by 7- feed for 35 min, play until 8:30, mini melt down, nap. Repeat!!   I read the book Secrets of the Baby Whisperer (and let me say - it's the best baby advice book I've read to date) and it described the different types of babies - Emma is a "spirited" baby to a T!   I really listened to the advice in the book and suddenly I started to understand her -- I would recommend that book over and over again!
Sizes:  WELL. Emma wears a three month Carters onesie but SIX month leggings as she is just all legs! She's still in one month Mothercare onesies. I keep saying her shape is more American.  That's my girl.
Milestones:  Oh, the smiles...they just melt my heart. She's even started to cough while smiling - we know it's the start of her laugh!  She's cooing away and will have a nice little conversation with you if you're lucky!
Mum's favourite moment:  Flying from Newark to London and sleeping.....the WHOLE TIME.  When people compliment you over and over for how awesome your baby was - you just can't help but beam with pride!
Dad's favourite moment:  My mom and sister bought Emma the little pink skeleton outfit (sold out, but similar here). We dressed her in it one morning at about 5am and then propped her up in bed with my sister (who had drawn the short end of the stick and was sleeping in the corridor on a blow up mattress. The glowing skeleton in bed with Erin was truly hilarious.

We had an AMAZING time in America and we are so grateful for having the opportunity to go.  B's parents are so generous and I cannot thank them enough for taking us to see my family!

Emma's first plane journey was a success!  

She enjoyed loads of cuddles and did really well on the first leg - it was on the way home that she really REALLY slept though!

We wanted to Baptise Emma, but thought it was really important to do so in Ohio.  My brother and sister are her Godparents and the dress was the same dress all three of us wore and originally was worn by my Aunt Rose.  We had so many family and friends come to celebrate with us!

She changed so much over the two weeks we were in Ohio - I thought she became far happier and much more settled.  It's probably due to all of the brilliant people she met!

Mom and Dad were obviously smitten, but so was the rest of the family!  Obviously!!


Cutest Owl ever?  I think so.

My brother, Brian, and his girlfriend, Deepika, joined us all the way from Texas.  Emma was only a little peanut compared to Uncle Brian.

Auntie Erin was particularly in love - fortunately she didn't cry too much in the night and wake her up (seeing as she was the only person who had to leave us and go to work during the week - poor Ron needed her sleep!)

Aunt Rosie also had Emma cuddles - I love this photo of them, although I wish Em would grow some hair already!

We took Emma to the nursing home to see my Grandpa and she started kicking off and crying - Grandpa immediately reached out to comfort her and she calmed down.  She whimpered and he started to stroke her feet.  I know he has dementia and doesn't recognise me, but he recognised a baby and knew what needed to be done to help her.  

B and I did manage to sneak away for an evening and had our first DATE since Emma was born.  We left the grandparents with a bottle of breastmilk (which took me FOUR DAYS to express) and headed to Tremont for drinks and dinner.  We started out at Press Wine Bar for a much needed glass of wine and then had an amazing meal at the ever so trendy Parallax.  They specialise in sushi and fish dishes and they did not disappoint.  

Finally, we headed to Patterson's fruit farm for some apple cider and pumpkin fun with B's mum and dad.   I LOVE autumn in Ohio as the leaves are just beautiful and apple cider is probably the best drink EVER.

Emma was loving her stroll in the moby wrap - and then we decided to take a photo of her in the pile of pumpkins...

Nope.  Not having it.  (Seriously though - how cute are those PJs?)

All in all, it was an amazing trip to see some amazing people. Emma is so lucky to have so many wonderful people in her lives.  B and I are so grateful for the love and support everyone has shown and we can't wait to see everyone again soon.


Monday, 29 September 2014

Dear baby,

Dear Baby,

Friday was a really sad day. You wouldn't have known it because it seemed like every other day. 

And then we sent those balloons up to the sky. Do you know why we did that?  

A year ago we lost my Grandma - your Great Grandma. It's sad because she never got to see you - she never even got to know you were on your way. 

She had cancer but in the end it wasn't the cancer that won. She won. She was just tired of fighting and ready to rest. She had a kick ass life, and she was ready to join her little boy (my Uncle Jim and your second cousin James' granddad) in heaven. 

The other day you were looking at me and I was crying.  I saw this advert and it made me wonder if she would still be here had a cure been found and cancer had been made to pay. I hope to God that in your lifetime we finally win the war rather than these small victories we currently fight for. 

It makes me remember all of the wonderful people we have lost too soon. Grandma, your Great Auntie Jill,  Great Uncle Jim and Great Uncle Bill.  There are so many more, but they are the family I remember and miss.  You never got to meet Auntie Jill - but she so badly wanted to meet you. 

I'm sad because I wish Grandma could see me as a mom. I'm not sure she  would have ever imagined this for me. I'd like her to see it - she'd laugh at my panic and anxiety - but she'd admit that you're pretty darn fantastic. 

The thing I always loved about her was her blatant honesty. She told the truth and not many people tell the truth so readily nowadays. 

She was strong and stubborn and told it like it was. She was the first to give you her opinion and it was the only right opinion. She knew everyone and everything (how did she know everything?!) She loved her family unconditionally. She left such an imprint upon all of us. 

I wish you could have known her. Her name was Emma too - just like you. I know you're only little, but I already see her fierce personality in you.  Coincidence?  Probably not.

I miss her. 
I hope she gets our balloons. 


Wednesday, 17 September 2014

2 Months!

How Old:   2 Months!
Weight: 8 pounds
Likes:   The moby wrap, tickles on the nose, stretching, white noise, cuddles with grandparents, lights- especially the colour flashing cat on her play gym.
Dislikes:  Baths, sleep, being put down during naps (how dare I??), the car seat, injections!!
Eating:  Still breastfeeding every three hours, although we can often go longer at night. We tried formula a few times just to see if it settled her any more and Emma threw up ALL NIGHT LONG. Soy formula seems to be a bit more gentle on her stomach, but she's still quite pukey if she has it!  She's also a Tommy Tippee bottle fan (and how cute are her pink London bus bottles) and refuses anything else. 
Sleeping:  She's certainly better at night than she is during the day. At night we have to wake up two or three times for feeds. She *tends* to go back to sleep after a feed with the swaddle and white noise. I'll be honest, I thought feeding was our demon.  Nope.  Sleep is the nightmare we are struggling with at the minute.  Daytime naps?  She is not a fan unless held or in moby wrap.   Don't get me started..... I know breastfed babies wake more often, but Emma rarely seems settled enough to sleep at all - she wakes as soon as you set her down and she only tends to get 20-30 minutes before waking and needing comforting.  Any advice (or Baby Whisperers) would be appreciated.  
Routine:  Eat, play sleep- repeat - she's virtually clockwork. The toughest part of the routine is going to sleep. She tends to scream the house down when she is tired - she hasn't learnt how to drift off on her own yet. See above.
Sizes:  Hooray for 0-3 month clothes! We finally grew out of newborn, although size 2 nappies are still HUGE. She is SO long and narrow - it certainly makes clothing difficult. She seems to fit into American clothes much better than the English clothes (long and narrow). I can't wait to scope out the Carter's clothes when we get to America - I have my heart set on this spooky number.
Milestones:  Smiles!!! They are the cutest, sweetest things!!  She's also able to follow you, moving both of her eyes and her head. She's cooing - plenty of adorable sounds coming from her!
Mum's favourite moment:  We went to London to register Emma as an American citizen (how jammy is she with her two passports?) and had a family day in the big city. I feel like we hardly ever get days together but it was just perfect. Emma was with me in the moby wrap for most of the day and we walked up the Thames River Path to the Tower of London. It was just gorgeous outside - a really beautiful, family day. 
Dad's favourite moment:  The other night Emma woke up in her cradle and B got up to change her and pass her over to me for her night feed (bless him). He unswaddled her from her new swaddle (she outgrew the other ones as she's so long!) and she reached out her little arms and grabbed onto the bar of the cradle.  B tried to lift her out, but she wouldn't let go.  She was crying and clinging on for dear life!  We found it hilarious - she didn't think it was so funny.

At the Tower of London!

And what about Mum?
Weight loss:  10 pounds to go!
Clothes: I wish my shoes would fit - I'm still rocking swollen feet and hands. Maternity skinny jeans and vest tops are also my uniform, but I'm in desperate need of some new clothes.  Sure.  I'll be the typical mom in tank tops and yoga pants.  I've actually given up caring.  Everything is fashionably dotted with baby puke and I just want to be comfortable. Yoga pants are tres chic.  They are.
Stretch Marks:  Still there but actually looking less violent! I've started to use the Nivea Q10 firming lotion and oil. It's still early days, but I detect a difference. 
Belly Button:  A bit wobbly. Hey. There's no way I'm going to have stellar abs any time soon. That's ok though - there's a Baby exercise class tomorrow - we are going.  
Sleep:   5 hours a night?  Maybe?? We have been adamant that she needs to sleep in her cradle instead of the Mamaroo so we are getting shorter sessions of sleep.  Like I said - sleep is our demon right now.  
Looking forward to:  I've got my sights set on Halloween!  Even though it's utter rubbish here in in the UK, I'm campaigning for a costume get together to watch Hocus Pocus and enjoy festive snacks. Besides - it's Emma's first Halloween - I'm not missing out my first chance to dress her up!

This is what our days look like:
Happy Emma................................................Grumpy Emma

She *loves* the Moby wrap, not to mention the play gym with the super fun cat light.

And although these moments are rare, I managed to catch my two favourite people catching some Zzzzzzzzzzs.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Dear Baby

Dear Emma,

You are one month old.  To be more specific, you are 45 days old.  Or 1,080 hours old.  Or 3,888,000 seconds old.

Becoming a mum has been a learning curve.  Sure, I say I'm getting the hang of it, but I really have no idea what I'm doing.

The other day, you were crying and nothing I did would calm you down. I tried bouncing you, singing to you and playing "Country Roads" (as that oddly makes you calm down and drift off).  The only thing I could think of to do was feed you - even though you had just been fed. You quieted down and then I just sat and cried.  That was just another reminder that I have no idea what I'm doing. I thought you hated me as I just couldn't make things right for you. 

I know my horomones are all over the place, but I honestly become so overwhelmed with emotion at some points in the day. They aren't necessarily sad emotions. Just strong, heart pumping feelings.  Sometimes it's when you start feeding. Other times it's when I can't soothe you to sleep. Sometimes it's even when you are having a play with daddy and your big, beautiful eyes are shining and a little smile is playing around your tiny face. 

They say you feel this overwhelming sense of love. I had no idea what that really meant. My friend Gina sent me this gorgeous little quote from Colette's La Maison de Claudine:

"They do say that children like you, who have been carried so high in the womb and have taken so long to come down into the daylight, are always the children that are the most loved, because they have lain so near to their mother's heart and have been so unwilling to leave her." 

 Your first few hours, days and weeks were difficult.  Not just getting used to being a mum but also learning how you worked and what you wanted.  If you were unsettled or crying, I felt like it was my fault.  Babies cry. I get it. But it's still heart wrenching.  

The countless weigh ins and those admissions into hospital? When you needed that ultrasound on your hip because the doctors thought it was clicking?  The feeling of sitting in the doctors office while they snipped your tongue tie?  Good grief. The guilt I felt was unbelievable. 

But you know what feels even worse than that?  I have a bag of clothes that I'm putting together of things you've outgrown. Imagine that. You have outgrown clothes!  Nothing seemed to fit for weeks and weeks because you were so teeny tiny!  Now I'm buying bigger leggings and bigger onesies. You've even grown into the too cute headbands, which is exciting - but also kind of sad. 

The biggest thing that has gotten me through the guilt and the crying and the doctors appointments is the realisation that I'll never have these moments again. You'll never be this young again. You'll never be this little. You'll never be this new. I'm awed by what you can do - smiling and lifting your head. These are all new tricks that you couldn't do not so long ago. So while I'm finding some things really difficult, I'm treasuring those smiles at 3 AM because I know these moments are limited. 

I love you, baby girl.  Keep growing, keep smiling.