Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Occupational Therapist

Weight checks continued, and progress was slow at best. Nurse H. had determined by trying to get Bebe to suck on a latex glove, that she did not know how to suck, and that she would need to go to a few sessions with the occupational therapist in order to learn. This was very surprising to me. I had no idea that some babies had to be taught how to suck. I was even more surprised that this had not been talked about sooner. One other thing troubled me too. She seemed to suck just fine on her terms, and when she wanted to eat. I pushed these thoughts aside. I took Nurse H.'s advice, and said that I would call for an appointment as soon as we got home.
Well I didn't have to call the occupational therapist, because she called me as I was pulling into my driveway. She told me that everything had been set up. She told me that they had set up the appointments for the next day. We needed to be there a little before 2:00 P.M. and I should feed Bebe at 12:00, but if she got hungry between the feedings I should not feed her. I really wasn't worried about her getting hungry between feedings. I was a little irritated that Nurse H. had called for and made our appointment for us. I felt like she didn't trust me enough to make my own appointment. I also though it was strange how quickly she had set everything up. Was there something seriously wrong with my child, something that couldn't wait a few days,or even a twenty minute car ride for me to call personally. If there was something scary wrong why hadn't H. told me what it was. Now I was worried. As I prepared for our post doctors office visit routine(put Bebe down for a nap, take a shower, and cry like a baby) I couldn't help but notice that she was sucking on her bottle. I thought to myself,'I think she knows how to suck, but what do I know. I'm just her mother.'
We were about 15 minutes early for the appointment, and had time to fill out all the paper work. Then we were led up stairs to the pediatric area. We went into a room with a padded floor, and told to get comfortable. Soon the therapist Missy walked into the room. She was a curly haired ray of sunshine with a bright smiling face. I liked her instantly.
First she grabbed a glove, and looked into Bebe's mouth. She poked her finger inside, just as Nurse H. had done the day before. Bebe made a face, and extracted the finger in the same way she did the day before. Missy turned to me and asked,"Is that how H. tested to see if Bebe could suck?" I said yes. She laughed lightly. Then she explained that Nurse H. had called her and was very concerned about my little baby. She removed the glove, washed her hands. Then she walked back over to Bebe, and poked the same finger in her mouth. This time Bebe latched right onto Missy's finger. Missy said,"This makes my job much easier. Bebe knows how to suck, but babies, like most people, do not like the taste of those awful gloves. Bebe is healthy and alert. I really think that everyone is over reacting, but let's just see what she does with a bottle." I handed the prepared bottle to Missy, and she held Bebe, and Bebe drank her usual 2 ounces at her usual rate. When the bottle had been drained of half it's contents she stopped eating, and spit out the bottle. Missy then took her over to the rocking chair, and tried to feed her more, but Bebe wasn't having it. She began trying to burp her, and encountered the same difficulty I always had. Eventually Bebe burped, and Missy tried to feed her again. Bebe began to cry. Missy asked if this was normal I said it was. We tried a number of different nipple styles, but Bebe would not take any of them. After struggling this way for about a half hour Missy said, "Bebe will not eat more because eating more makes her tired. She doesn't want to be full, because she knows that she will become sleepy. I don't think that this is a feeding issue. Yes, she is small, and it is true that she doesn't drink enough, but it isn't because isn't able to eat more, or she isn't capable of eating more. It isn't because she doesn't know how to eat. She doesn't finish her bottle, because she doesn't want to finish her bottle. This is a control issue." I was freaking out, I asked, "My two month old child and I have a control issue? Is that possible?" Missy laughed, "Yes, control issues are always present. They don't just happen when a child turns one, or three, or whatever. Control issue start at birth. It is all up to you, and you need to stay strong. Because these control issues will pop up again, and again. You need to be sweet and caring, but never give in. Try to get her to drink the whole four ounces every time. If it is just to hard stop at three, but never give in at two." I laughed a little and I said, I am stubborn. I never give in at two ounces. She then asked me to show her how I got Bebe to finish a bottle. I grabbed Bebe, and went straight for the rocking chair. I began rocking back and forth while at the same time patting a slightly quicker rhythm on her back. Bebe finished the bottle in a few minutes. I then told Missy that in two hours time Bebe and I would be fighting this same fight again. Missy thought that was ridiculous, and told me to feed Bebe on demand, and make sure that she never went more that four hours between feedings. She also told me that she was impressed that I was able to get Bebe to drink her entire bottle. I asked her what I should do about those dreadful 2 and 4 A.M. feeding when she just didn't want to eat at all. Missy said I should eliminate the 2 A.M., and then after a while and after receiving the OK from H. just let her sleep through the night.
I left Missy's office feeling confident. I knew there would be no crying this day. I knew that I was a good mother, and that I was on the right path, and all because of
Missy. This is one woman who is really good at her job, and although we never had to go back to her for feeding issues, she kept in touch and checked on Bebe often. If I ever need to take A child to an occupational therapist again I know exactly where I am going.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Six Week Appointment

Bebe's endless weight checks continued, and we were getting very used to spending long days in long lines just waiting for our turn to come. and then the moment I had been half waiting for and half dreading finally arrived. It was time for my six week appointment. Yes the far distant date set at the time of Bebe's birth had finally arrived. I kept telling myself that I would weigh myself, and start exercising just as soon as I had my 6 Week Appointment. I went to my doctors office, and was in and out in about thirty minutes. It was determined that I was healthy, healed, and ready to go.
Bebe and I went home, and soon it was time for her nap. When she had drifted off. I went into the bathroom, and prepared to meet my nemesis, the scale. I really had no idea what to expect. I finally took the plunge, and stepped on with both eyes closed. I tilted my head down, and began to open one eye. The number looking back at me was a total shock. I opened the other eye just to make sure I had read it right. I had. The number was 125.5. I was baffeled. I didn't need to loose 20 or more pounds. As usual I had made things so much worse than they really were. I was only a few pounds away from my prebaby(preBebe) weight.
Then I took the next step. I hadn't looked at my stomach since that day in the hospital. Now was as good a time as any. I looked in the mirror, and yes my stomach was slightly bigger than it had been, and I was just a little bit on the flabby side, but I felt great, and I looked pretty good too.
I decided to try so gentle walking, and lifting, just to see if I could do it. I grabbed the baby monitor, and went out into the garage where we had a little home gym. I found that I was in really good shape, and I was so very grateful. I once again felt overpowered by emotion. Was there anything this body couldn't do if I treated it kindly? I knew that I was blessed.

Let's Try This Again

I can't believe how long it has been since I posted to this blog. As I was reading it today a few things became very clear. I am a great starter of projects, but a terrible finisher! I also realized that I do need to finish this blog as a record of the life of my young daughter. I hope that someday in the distant future she can read the things I have written about her, and just maybe understand how much I love her. So yes, I will be posting, and posting a lot. I would love to complete, no to get caught up by April when she will have her 3rd birthday. Time truely does fly when you are having fun!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I woke up early on Sunday, and something was wrong. I didn't wake up at 4:00 A.M. For Bebe's feeding. It was 5:30! I thought to myself that she must be starving, and how could I sleep straight through a feeding. What was I thinking! I raced to the bassinet, and pressed the button for the small light. Our room was filled with a soft glow. As I looked into the crib I noticed something was missing. The baby was gone! Well she certainly hadn't fled on her own. I quietly crept into the living room, and found her on the couch snuggled up to my mom. An empty bottle sat on the coffee table. Everything was just fine. I went back to sleep for a half an hour. Then I knew I needed to get up and moving.
Church started at 10:00 A.M., and we needed to be there a few minutes early. Since our home was overflowing with company the sooner I took my shower, the better. I enjoy a good hot shower, but since I am typically self centered I don't think about anyone else wanting such things.
I took my time getting ready. Two hours later, I looked in the mirror. The last ten months of my life had been so full of change. In that time I had gained about fifty pounds, then in the course of a few hours I had lost thirty. Over the last five weeks I had lost an unknown amount. Since I refused to weigh myself I'll never really know, but by the way my cloths were fitting I felt like my prebaby weight was about fifteen pounds away. I could see myself again. I was completely ready, but I didn't want to put my dress & shoes on until the very last second. I didn't want to get messed up while I prepared Bebe for her big day. Yes, visions of projectile vomit, and other natural disasters raced through my head. I decided it would be best to wear my robe until it was time to leave.
When I entered the living room people were lazily milling around a few T.V.'s were on, and children were grazing on the many types of cereal they had found in the pantry. My husbands mother was feeding the baby. Bebe drank one ounce of her four ounce bottle. It had taken her nearly twenty minutes to accomplish this task, and she began to cry in protest. My mother-in-law set the bottle down, and said that she wasn't hungry. I was pretty sure she was hungry. I knew that I hadn't fed her at 6:00 and I was pretty sure nobody else had. Even if she wasn't really hungry she needed to eat we had to stay on schedule. I grabbed the baby, and began trying to burp her. After about ten minutes I was rewarded for my efforts. Bebe ate two more ounces. Then I drew her a nice warm bath, and grabbed her special soap. She watched me carefully as I washed her. She didn't cry at all. It was like she knew this was a big event. I wrapped her warm little body in a soft fluffy towel, and took her to her room. We used her special lotion, and put her in her beautiful plain white slip. embroidered on the bottom was her full name, the name that she would be given in just a few hours time, and the date of her blessing. I sat her up, and brushed her hair. The actual dress was so enormous that we couldn't fit her into her car seat with it on so we decided to dress her when we got there. She was ready to go. The whole house was in an up roar of excitement, but I was calm, Bebe was calm, and while the house filled with more and more excitement we sat still in the rocking chair, and let the world spin around us. People were yelling, children were running. One little girl walked slowly to her grandma and said,"Grandma, I don't feel good." then passed out flat on her face on our tile bathroom floor with a smack. This shook me out of myself involved state of mind but only for a moment. I was so focused on my little miracle, that nothing could touch me for long.
Soon it was time to go. I handed Bebe over to her father so that they could have a little quiet time, while I got dressed. I smoothed my dress over my slip. They I went to put on my jewelry. I put on my earrings, then the necklace that I had been given for my very first Mother's Day. Then I looked at my engagement ring, and my wedding band. I hadn't worn them in over four months. I had been worried that my fingers would swell, and the rings would have to be cut off of me. I decided to try them on, just to see if they would fit. They did, and for the first time in months I felt dressed. I went to the closet, and from the top shelf I grabbed the bright yellow bag where I had hidden my own idea of treasure. I took the bag, and placed it on our cedar chest. I removed a yellow box with dark black bold print reading FENDI. Inside the box was a silky black bag. I opened the bag and removed the contents, two elegant black patent leather peep toe slingback four inch heels decorated with a large black on the toe. My treasure. A gift from my mother who had bought them from the flag ship store at the very end of the via Condotti in Rome, Italy for my twenty-fifth birthday. I hadn't been able to wear heels for months, my feet so painfully swollen wouldn't have fit into these ones even if I had possessed the balance to wear them, but now my feet slipped into them for the perfect fit. I was ready.
We drove four blocks to our church, and It was buzzing with activity already. We went in and found our bishop, and reminded him that we would be blessing our daughter that day. Then my husband introduced our bishop to his father, who would be giving the blessing. Bebe and I found seats, and we saw that the chapel was filled with family and friends. A feeling of warm gratitude washed over me. The meeting began, and soon it was time to bless my daughter.
I listened to her grandfather giving her the meaningful name we had carefully selected. A name which echos wisdom, strength, knowledge, and timeless beauty. She is named after a unique ancient church residing in Istanbul, Turkey. A building that has weathered centuries of change, and still stands steadfast. A true masterpiece. Her middle name is that of my late grandmother to always remind her of her family. Tears sprang into my eyes, and I let them come. In that moment I knew two things. I knew of the power and existence of God, and I knew that I had been allowed to participate in the greatest and most common of all miracles. I was a mother, and no matter what else happens in this life I will be eternally grateful for the endless joy motherhood brings me.
After the blessing the father usually holds his infant child up so that the entire congregation can see them. Some fathers do this timidly or they are so wrapped up in the moment that they forget about it altogether. Not my husband. Her was so proud of his beautiful little child that he held her up in a manner befitting a princess. Her lacy bonnet gracefully covering her head, her black hair peaking out from underneath it. Her intricate dress trailing long beyond the existence of her feet. upon seeing her face the congregation uttered a unison,"Awww...." It was one of the most meaningful moments of my life.
After church we went back to the house and started working on the food. Nothing from the day before turned out at all, and my streak of bad luck continued, as the bowl of frosting, which didn't set up at all, was dropped on the floor in the kitchen. It exploded from the stainless steel bowl and I found chocolate marshmallow mess in very strange places for the next several months. Luckily the hamburgers turned out perfect. Of course I can't take any credit for that. My mother who owned a local drive-in restaurant for over thirty years cooked and decorated the burgers for me.
It was a perfect mess of a day, but yes it was, in my opinion, perfect.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hello World!

Bebe was just a little over one month old, and the time had come for her formal debut. In our religious community each child is given a name, and a blessing usually on the first Sunday of any given month. We chose the first available Sunday. I believe it was June 2, 2008. We invited friends and family members to attend the meeting, and come to our house for a meal afterward.
The blessing is given by a close male family member. We chose my husbands father. The first Sunday of the month is also a testimony meeting, so anyone can stand up and testify about ways in which they feel blessed. This is a big event for every mother. Bebe would be introduced to our little world, and not only that, this was my debut as a mother. I wanted everything to be just right.
On Saturday morning I woke up very early. I had so much to do, and my mother was arriving to help at around 9:00 A.M. I was leaving the house for a hair appointment at 10:00 A.M., and would be leaving my child for the very first time. I had to get my hair colored. I'll be honest, I am a natural blond, I think, but my natural color is very dark blond, so I had some killer roots that needed to be taken care of.
I remember being so nervous about the baby. I had left her with my mother, and my husband, not a gang of wild hooligans, but in the back of my mind I just kept thinking that I shouldn't have left her.
I kept thinking that I was the only person on the planet that knew how to feed her properly. I worried thinking that she might not cry when she was hungry, and that the time might slip away and since she wasn't crying my mother would assume that she wasn't hungry, and didn't need to eat and then the feeding schedule would be off, and that would surely lead to the end of the world!
I thought I would enjoy getting my hair done. I thought it would be relaxing to get away from the house, but I couldn't wait to get out of that salon. When my stylist was finished I gave her the money I owed her plus a little extra, and then I sprinted for my car and drove home like a wild woman luckily it was just a few blocks.
I ran into the house to find that my mother had started cleaning, and Bebe was fast asleep in the arms of her father. I also noticed that there was a four ounce bottle near her, and that she had only drank two of those four ounces. I could usually get her to drink three ounces. My husband handed her to me, and I asked for the bottle. He said,"Kaysie she isn't hungry. She won't eat anymore." I began trying to burp her. This was always some trouble. She hated to be burped, and I insisted on trying. everyone else had given up on trying to burp her, but I knew that if I could do it she would drink another ounce.
As I said she hated being burped, and from the moment she was born she would fight it. When I watched other mothers burp their babies they would just lop them over their shoulders, and briskly pat them on the back a few times, and out would pop a huge burp, but when I tried to lop Bebe over my shoulder, she would scream, and cry, and arch her little back, and hold her head up. No, I am not joking. She held her head bolt upright when I would try to hold her over my shoulder.
The things we went through to get her to burp! But I am stubborn, and I always burped her. I would lay her on her stomach across my legs, she would fight it by arching her back, and then that little head of hers would pop up screaming like crazy. I would get so upset thinking to myself,'You are barely one month old! You do not have the strength to lift our head! Stop it!' Anyway, at the time I was a novice at burping, but now after Bebe I have become a master.
It took me about ten minutes to get a nice burp out of her. Then just as I was getting ready to feed her my in-laws arrived. They entered the house, and my mother-in-law announced that it was time to hand over the child. I did, and told her that she needed to eat so I also handed the bottle to her. She put it near her mouth, and Bebe wouldn't open up. She tried once more, and still nothing. Then she put the bottle down, and said, "Kaysie, she isn't hungry right now." Grrrrr. Foiled yet again.
Soon we headed to town. We went out to lunch, and then we learned that my husband's brother and his family had made it, and they were at the mall across the street doing a little shopping. My husband and his parents went to meet them. My mom and I headed back to the house. It was time to feed the baby. We needed to finish cleaning the house, and then we needed to work on the food.
We got the house in order, and then we saw my husband's nieces and nephews appear at the front door. The kids were tired of shopping, so my mother-in-law brought them over to the house to play. It was at this point that everything began to go terribly wrong. Was it a coincidence? Perhaps.
Suddenly there were toys strewn all over the floor, and everyone was running in and out of the house, slamming doors, and screaming. Then another niece was dropped off at our house.
I like to do everything myself, but someone offered to help me by making the cupcakes. I thought to myself just let them help you. It isn't rocket science anyone can make cupcakes. I went into Bebe's room to feed her, and pump. I told everyone to stay out, and only about 5 people walked in on me.
I finished feeding the baby, and put her in her swing. Then I went into my kitchen to find it left in a huge mess. I asked my mother for help on the clean up, then I started making my favorite yet very temperamental frosting for the cupcakes. One of the nieces wanted to help me. I set up the double boiler, and told her not to touch any of the controls.
Then my mother-in-law headed back to town to buy a few things that she had forgotten. As soon as she left the two oldest girls started fighting. I told them all to go outside and play, because by some miracle Bebe had fallen asleep.
The girls were still fighting so stepped out of the kitchen to settle things. I asked what the problem was. Both girls started in at once,"Kaysie she blah, blah, blah....", "but first she blah, blah, blah..." So I said," I don't care who did what. Both of you stop it and get along, go outside and play with the boys. Do not come in until I say to, and be quiet! Bebe is sleeping!"
I went back into the kitchen, and found the youngest girl stirring the frosting so sweetly. Then I noticed that something was wrong. The marshmallows were not melting. The stove had been turned off. Then I realized that the cupcakes were still in the oven the timer had not been set, and they were burning! I quickly pulled the first batch out of the oven. They were a mess. They hadn't even risen! I put the second batch in the oven, and turned the stove back on.
Then suddenly from the living room I heard someone yelling,"Die! Die! Die!" When I walked in the youngest boy was poking my sleeping baby in the stomach with a plastic knife, while screaming at her. I grabbed the knife from him, and told him to stop it. He looked at me with a look of disgust, and said,"I didn't hurt her! I was just poking her with a plastic knife." I said that I knew what he was doing, and told him to go back outside, and play with his brother. He said he didn't know where his brother was. That he had come inside to look for him.
Suddenly it was a man hunt. We looked all over the house. The only place we hadn't looked was in the master bedroom. We walked in and found him digging all of our neatly stacked storage items out from under our bed, and throwing then into a pile in the corner. He was looking for our two cats which we had locked in the master bathroom since we had company. I told both boys to go outside.
Then headed back to the kitchen. Where I found out that he stove and oven had somehow been turned off, yet again. I turned them back on and started cooking. I made sure the timer for the cupcakes was set. Then Bebe started crying, so I went into the other room to feed and change her once again telling the "helping" child not to touch any of the dials.
When I came back in to the kitchen I noticed that the frosting had been turned off again, but I didn't notice that the oven timer had been turned off. We finally got the frosting all melted together. I sat down with the baby for a few minutes to rest. My little kitchen helper had gone back out to play. My mom had somehow put the house back together. We sat in silence for a few minutes.
Then we began to smell something strange coming from the kitchen. It was the second batch of cupcakes. When I realized what it was I ran to the kitchen. As I removed the second batch of smoldering cupcakes from the oven something in my head snapped. A sudden volcanic explosion of profanities erupted from me, just in time for my mother-in-law to witness as she returned from her shopping. I was so angry that I didn't care who heard me.
You might think that this would let people know that I might need a little space,a little quiet, maybe even just a little time alone but no. It was at this point that I was informed that all the kids would be staying at our house for the night. I started saying I didn't have room for five children to stay the night at my house. We had a spare bedroom that my in-laws were staying in,and an air mattress set up in the office for my mother. There was Bebe's room, but I needed access to it for night time feedings, and diaper changes. I explained this. I was told that the kids could just stay on the couches in the living room or the floor. I said that I didn't want a big mess to clean up before church because we were having about thirty people over for lunch. Then my mother feeling bad for me offered to sleep on the couch so that the kids could sleep in the office. She said that she would be up early and pick up her blanket and pillow before anyone else woke up. I thought my mother-in-laws would refuse this,and see that I couldn't have the kids stay, but that was not the case. My mother was thanked for her kindness, and the kids moved their stuff into the office.
Then the door bell rang. It was my brother and his wife. When Bebe saw my brother she gave him a great big smile like she was greeting an old friend. It made everyone in the room get just a little teary, and it felt like my whole family even those who hadn't been with us for a while were there surrounding my beautiful little lady.
I asked my sister-in-law to trim Bebe's wildly out of control baby mullet. My husband had said that I wasn't allowed to cut her hair ever, but I ignored him because what do men know about having girl hair. I didn't care if it was short as long as it was growing evenly, and besides he hadn't been home all day.
We went into Bebe's room. My mom had the video camera, and my brother had my little digital. We began the epic first hair cut, and that is when my husband came home. He was upset. "I guess you want her to look like a little boy," he said. No but I did want her hair to be styled in a cute little pixie cut. My sister-in-law was very careful, just taking off a very fine fuzz, but it looked darling. I showed my husband what we had done, and he said that he couldn't even see anything different.
I went to sleep late that night. My mother and I stayed up to talk a little. It had been a crazy day, and another one was almost visible on the horizon.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Meeting Nurse K.

We had endured yet another week filled with visits to the doctors office. It was becoming quite routine. On Friday The Nurse for a free program called Healthy Steps was stopping by our house for our first meeting. I was very excited to meet her. Considering the month I had been through I felt I needed all the help I could get.
Nurse K. entered our home on Friday at 10:00 A.M. Bebe was taking her morning nap, and I asked if I needed to wake her. Nurse K. said no. She was really just their to talk, and to ask a few questions. She was an odd woman. Very straight forward. I felt like I was being interigated.
Nurse K: What year was this house built?
Me: 2002
Nurse K: At least we don't have to worry about lead based paint. Do you or your Husband smoke?
Me: No.
Nurse K: Does anyone who spends time with the baby smoke?
Me: No
Nurse K: Are you breast feeding
Me: No, not any more, but I am still pumping one bottle of breast milk for her each day.
Nurse K: Do you consume any alcohol?
Me: No.
Nurse K: Not even when you aren't pregnant or breast feeding?
Me: No.
Nurse K: Not even socially?
Me: No.
Nurse K: That is strange. Why?
Me: I have plenty of vices without adding them intentionally. I feel it would be unwise given my family history, and drinking conflicts with my religous beliefs.
Nurse K: Have you completed baby proofing your home?
Me: We have put the protective covers on all the outlets, but other than that what needs to be done?
Nurse K: I'll leave you with a flyer. Are you having any problems with the baby? I notice that you have been to the blood lab a few times, and you have been going to the office for a lot of weight checks. Why?
Me: I guess that Bebe isn't gaining weight as fast as her doctors and nurses would like her to.
Nurse K.: Is she lathargic?
Me: No. She takes naps, but she is also awake a lot. and when she is awake she is very allert, and energetic. She is difficult to wake for her 2:00 & 4:00 A.M feeding. If I didn't wake her she would sleep from midnight until 6:00 A.M.
Nurse K: I see she has dropped into the 11th percentile?
Me: Yes it concerns me. If it didn't I wouldn't be spending all my time sitting in line at the doctors office just waiting for someone to be late or cancel their appointment, so that we can weigh her yet again. Yes, I am very concerned.
Nurse K.: You meen that you have been to our office a dozen times in the month since your daughters birth, and you have to wait in line.
Me: Yes.
Nurse K. They are telling you to bring her in nearly every day for a 30 second weight check, and you have to wait in line for 30 minutes.
Me: if I'm lucky I only have to wait for 30 minutes, most days I have to wait 45 minutes, or an hour.
Nurse K.: That is rediculous! When I get back to the office I am making you a standing oppiontment for a weight check on Mondays and Fridays. Does 10:00 A.M. work for you?
Me: Yes! Thank you!
Nurse K.: Is there anything else I can take care of for you? Are you having any other problems or expirencing any depression?
Me: No I am stressed and concerned about her weight gain, but I am not depressed.
Nurse K.: Call me if you ever have any questions or problems.
And then she was gone. I never had to wait in line at the doctors office again, and that was a wonderful thing.
The weekend was upon us, and we had tons to get done. We were expecting about thirty people for lunch on Sunday. The house needed to be cleaned, food needed to be prepared. It was sure to be a wild weekend.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The New Plan

We fed Bebe every two hours just as we had always done, but without the breast feeding it was much faster. It still took between thirty and forty minutes to give her a two ounce bottle, then I would pump for ten minutes. I was still only able to pump six ounces ever 24 hours, but I felt like it was better than nothing. I would give her the breast milk on her 4:00 A.M. feeding. I noticed that she still drank the breast milk much faster. It was like she was hungry for it. It took her a half hour to drink a two ounce bottle of formula, but it only took her ten minutes to drink six ounces of breast milk! If my milk had only come in the way it was supposed to perhaps there never would have been a problem, but I digress.
We continued to visit the doctors office twice a week. I was assured that now that she was on mostly formula with a small breast milk supplement she would grow much more quickly, but really she was growing the the same slow and steady pace. The other infants her age were gaining more and faster. Bebe was slipping down the chart. By the end of that first month she had slipped from somewhere around the 35th percentile down to the 11th percentile. When they would show me her growth chart compared to everyone else the results were almost unbelievable to me. Bebe was still about five ounces below her birth weight, while other children had not only regained their birth weight but had gained a few pounds!
There were other issues troubling me too. People say the strangest things to new mothers, and I think I have heard them all. Bebe is her daddy's girl. She looks almost exactly like him, and when you see pictures of him as a child compared to Bebe they look like the same child. The only way you can tell them apart is the fact that Bebe had a ribbon in her hair from the time she was a day old. That being said, she doesn't look much like me, and when she was tiny she looked nothing like me. in that first month Bebe's skin was very dark due to her jaundice, she had black hair, and blue eyes. I have very fair skin, blond hair, and light brown, sometimes hazel eyes. We looked as different as night and day. I would take her shopping and every few steps someone would stop me and ask to see the baby. This was a very common conversation,
Random Stranger:"Oh, can I take a peek at the baby?"
R.S.:"Oh just look at her! Oh she is a beautiful baby. She must be adopted."
Me:"Nope, she is all mine."
R.S."Oh, it's just that she doesn't look a thing like you. I never would have thought she was your biological child!"
Me:"Thanks... I guess."
It was much easier when my husband was with me. People still made the same comments, but I could just say. "I know she doesn't look a thing like me, but do you see the man walking two feet behind me? That is her father." Then they would say, "Oh, she looks just like her daddy! How cute." Yes, how cute indeed.
My very favorite comment ever was made by a little old lady who stopped me to comment on Bebe's hair. She came right up to me grabbed me by the arm and said,"I just have to ask, is your little one wearing a hair piece, or it that really her hair!" I started laughing. I couldn't stop. I was seriously I was cracking up. I thought she was joking, but she wasn't. It took me a minute to compose myself. Then I managed to blurt out something like,"No, it is her natural hair. Luckily she was born with those two lovely inches of thick black hair, because it is very difficult to find a newborn hair piece that looks authentic."
I couldn't' believe it. Time was flying by so quickly. Bebe was nearly one month old, and her formal introduction to our little community was coming up in just a few day. It was sure to be another wild adventure.