Wednesday, April 29, 2009

All things are cooler with glasses on!

I went and picked our bean up early from daycare today . . . so I MUST go upstairs and do work now, but I had to post these two quick pictures from the day. Sam is SO much more engaged now that she's wearing glasses -- I can't imagine what the world must have looked like to her before, or what it looks like to her now. She follows Dude's every move, and today she and I took turns petting him. And, after her dinner, we always give her this toy that came with the high chair to play with while we quickly clean up. She loves it!

Tomorrow is our first PT appt. My tummy hurts every time I think about it . . . NONE of the doctors we've seen think there's any reason to be concerned, but the anxiety-freak-worry-wart in me still gets crazy before every appointment, hoping that's not the time when the other shoe will drop (so to speak).

Many of you that know me well know that my family has had much tragedy . . . my aunt's untimely death in a car accident, the later car accident that left my cousin blind, LOTSA LOTSA drama with my brother . . . and unfortunately, all of this has left me with this deep-seated fear . . . when all things seem right, I can't help but feel like the other shoe is bound to drop. So, worrying about Sam like this is almost more than I can handle! I'm trying to keep from letting my worries of the future keep me from enjoying today, and certainly the little moments like those pictured above help!! She's such a doll :o)

Stay tuned . . . will update tomorrow!

PS - I just learned something new -- it's deep-seated not deep-seeded. I consulted a dictionary.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sleeping with the Bean

While I was on maternity leave, one of the best parts of my day were the early morning hours, when I would put Sam in our bed. She would wake up for a bottle around 4 am, and after I fed her, I would usually put her in bed right next to me (yes, I know this COULD breed bad habits, but it didn't). We would snuggle next to each other, and sleep. Then, when she would wake up, we would sing songs, and sometimes, doze back off for a bit. I can't imagine anything better. Her bottle time gradually got later -- 4 am turned into 4:30 which turned into 5 and then 5:30 then . . . she slept all night. The first time she slept until 7 am, without waking up, I was sad, because I knew those early morning snuggle sessions were likely to be a thing of the past. The bean was growing up.

But, we still took ALL of her naps together. In fact, Sam never took a nap in her crib until her first day at daycare. Many of you will remember that I kept saying I was going to work on naps in the crib, but then, I didn't . . . I kept putting it off. Part of me thought "it's my maternity leave, and she's only this little for a short period . . . If I want to hold her while she sleeps, I will." So, I did. Lots and lots and lots of naps in mommy's arms (and daddy's on the weekends!).

The first day I took her to daycare, I was so worried, I knew she'd have to nap in a crib there, and I was worried that I'd done her a disservice by holding her too much. But, we only left her there for a few hours that first day and when we arrived to pick her up, there she was . . . sound asleep in her crib! Such a good girl.

I still love sleeping with her next to me. There's something so comforting and peaceful about it. On the weekends now, I LOVE napping with her. Sometimes even on work days, if I don't have to be in at a certain time, I'll steal a quick snooze with her before I take her to daycare -- she likes a nap about an hour after she wakes up -- just a quick cat nap. And, in the evenings, around 6, another cat nap. I usually hold her for that one too, and doze off myself. Often, its the power nap I need to be able to do work after she goes to sleep.

When I watch her sleep (and hold her while she's sleeping), she's the most beautiful thing in the world to me :o)

In other updates, Thursday is our first PT appointment -- I'll write an update that night. I still go back and forth between total optimism and worrying myself crazy, but thankfully, I have enough supportive friends/family in my life that I'm staying fairly sane. And, thankfully, my husband never seems to get sick of reassuring me -- he lets me worry enough for both of us! He's clearly the most sane b/t the two of us!!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Tonight, after we put Sam to bed, Brian and I looked through all of the pics of her on our computer. It's amazing how much she's changed and how much she's grown in her 7 months on this planet. She went from a 5 pounder, in the bottom 2 percentile, to now being about 18 lbs, and in the 75th!!!! Brian and I were both feeling so nostalgic looking at the pictures . . . from when she was a tiny little bean curled up on our chests, barely filling up the bottom of her car seat, swing, etc., to her first few smiles caught on film, to now . . . It's incredible!

These last two days with her new glasses - WOW!!! We went out to dinner tonight -- usually while we eat, we just sit her on one of our laps and talk to her. And, she just sits there. But tonight, as Brian sat with her in his lap, I watched as she reached for his menu, the table, everything. It's incredible!!! And, she used to just barely touch the toys on her car seat, but today, as I drove all the way downtown, I heard her playing the whole way! So exciting!

The pictures remind me of so many great moments with Sam - moments I only hope I can remember to tell her about someday . . . .

- Sitting in the NICU, by her incubator, after days of hoping they'd take the feeding tube out, and watching her reach up and pull it out herself :o) and they never had to put it back in (and my friend Tricia telling me later that that definitely meant she was my child!)
- Brian being OBSESSED with keeping her warm at first, and dressing her in pjs, a hat, mittens, and TWO blankets for naps. From some of the early pics, you'd totally think we live in Alaska, not California.
- Dancing her to sleep during maternity leave, to my favorite sappy country songs
- Having to sleep downstairs w/ her b/c I broke my foot and couldn't manage the stairs
- When we would both get up with her every time she cried at night -- Brian and I are such a team! We could have taken turns, but we wanted to do it together.
- Her first smiles :o) (which have now become her almost constant smiles, and as I said to Brian, she always smiles like she's so proud of herself! I love it).
- The first time she laughed out loud, laying on the changing table, and Brian and I couldn't stop laughing
- The first time she noticed the zebra hanging from her car seat ("mr. zigs")
- When she started to talk, and then never stopped talking, to Mr. Zigs (babbling!) - We have pictures of her talking to him, and she looks SO serious!
- All of our snuggly, snuggly naps together on maternity leave
- Dressing her as a chicken on her first halloween -- and she slept through the entire thing -- even when we walked to a neighbor's to show her off
- Her first Christmas, and the whole family in matching pjs
- Her first visits with the grandparents (their smiles in the pics say it all . . . so in love with her!)
- Her first trip to the beach!!!

Even though life is chaotic and crazy, and with my job, "routine" is difficult to find, looking back over the last 7 months, I realize how much Brian and I have grown as parents and as people. From those first weeks with her at home, frantically making bottles in the middle of the night, getting them to her as fast as we could, me in my first few days ALL alone with her after B went back to work, unsure how to manage to eat and take care of her and never leaving the house . . . to now . . . where somehow we manage to live a pretty on-the-go lifestyle with her in tow, enjoying EVERY second with her, and feeling pretty confident in our ability to care for her, we've grown so much - together! --- it's incredible! And so much fun :o)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

March of Dimes Walk and 24 hours with Sam's Glasses!

Today we did the March of Dimes "March for Babies" walk. It was SO inspiring. We walked wearing t-shirts with Sam's picture on them, and we walked with one of Brian's co-workers who had her daughter at 32 weeks. Some of Brian's other co-workers and our friends from the NICU walked with us.

During the opening, a lady spoke that just lost her baby, at 17 mos. old, from complications due to prematurity. Her daughter just died three weeks ago, and she had the composure to stand in front of this crowd of hundreds and tell her story. She really focused on the 17 amazing months she got to have with her daughter and not on the loss. And, one thing that really hit home - when she was talking about bringing her baby home from the NICU on a breathing machine and with oxygen treatments, she said, "those just seemed like little obstacles on her way to conquer the world." What an incredible outlook! So, that's how I'm going to look at Sam's regional center services . . . little obstacles on her way to conquer the world!!!

Today also marked the first 24 hours with Sam's glasses. She obviously is loving her new outlook on the world -- she's even more smiley than her previous self, and she's playing with toys like never before! When she reached for things before, she was so timid about it, now she just reaches out and takes what she wants. We are feeling so excited!!!

And, we had to say "no" and put the glasses back on only about once per hour today which is WAY less than yesterday! I read that at 6 mos, babies can understand "no" but we've never had to tell her no before!!! But with these glasses, I think she's going to learn "no" pretty quickly.

Sam and I also hit up a warehouse sale for designer strollers. I got caught up in the moment and ALMOST dropped $400 on a $900 stroller, but I called Brian, and he talked me out of it. I decided after walking out w/o a new stroller, that I should come home and transfer what I would have spent on that stroller into Sam's college fund!!!!

This blog is going to be great for me - I can't wait to share all my magical mommy moments, and all my scary ones. I decided that if I can keep this blog up, and post regularly, I'm going to print all my posts periodically and make a book of them for Sam someday. I imagine one day, when (perhaps) she's a mom, she will read them and love thinking of her own mom -- young and just trying to figure out the mommy thing!

Friday, April 24, 2009

My first blog :o)

While I was pregnant, one of my friends suggested I blog about finding a balance (or struggling to) between being a female professional and a mom. At first, I thought it was a nifty idea. Then, I figured if I ever was going to find a balance, it wouldn't be by "wasting" time blogging ;o) But, I've now realized that maybe the answer to finding balance is by feeling my way through it, and maybe blogging will help.

I had my daughter in September, 5 weeks early, and after 6 weeks on bed rest. She's the most amazing thing I've ever done. I wasn't even the type of girl who dreamt of being a mom. I dreamt of being a lawyer, and I'd accomplished that. I think I could have easily went several more years focusing on my career and been very happy. In fact, I thought I had it all figured out . . . I had a Timeline, and it required me to work several years, THEN have a baby. But then I got some health news (lemons for ovaries, thank you very much). My OB advised me if I wanted kids, the younger I was, the better. I told her about said Timeline and she told me that sometimes, life happens and we have to throw our timelines out the window. So, I did. And, as a first year associate at BigLaw, working way too many hours a week, I got pregnant. Brian (the hubby) and I were so excited . . . cloud 9. We did all the things that new parents are supposed to do - we bought a new house, we decorated a nursery, we registered for the baby stuff, and we couldn't WAIT to meet our little girl. (When we found out it was a girl, in the doctor's office, Brian said - grinning from ear to ear -- "we are going to have TEA PARTIES! " - I love him!).

Everything went swimmingly until I went into labor at 29 weeks and had to go on bed rest. That was not in the plans! I was dressed and I thought on my way to work when it all happened. Instead of work, I went home to bed, for six more weeks. Those weeks were so hard, I felt such a heavy burden. This child was counting on me to keep her safe. I had to keep her in for a few more weeks. I made it six weeks longer, so she was born at 35 weeks.

When she arrived, and she wasn't quite ready to go home and had to stay in the NICU for two and a half weeks. That was the hardest experience of my life!!! I sobbed every night when I came home. I would just sit in her room, in the rocking chair and sob. It felt so unfair . . . I'd done everything right while I was pregnant, and now, I'd gone through the whole pregnancy, whole labor, etc. and didn't have my baby at home with me. I'd never known any love as intense as what I felt for Sam. This tiny, precious little thing . . . Suddenly all the crazy things my mother had done for my brother over our lives made sense. Because I looked at that little girl in the incubator and knew I'd do ANYTHING for her.

Being a mommy is MAGICAL. Absolutely MAGICAL. I love her with every fiber of my being, and there's nothing I love more than seeing her smile in the morning when I go to get her out of her crib.

So, that's the beginning. I've got lots more to fill in, and lots more to sort out. . . I still work way too much, and I miss her like crazy during my days. We also just learned that she's very far-sighted (got her new glasses today) and also has low muscle tone (and delayed in her gross motor milestones because of it). We are starting the regional center process with her, so that we can get her the early intervention she needs. The intake social worker came to our house today for the first time, and I feel SO optimistic. I think a lot of this blog will be about our journey through that process.

I already decided I need the social worker's number on speed dial. I've been a MESS lately. Worried sick about my Sam. Obsessed with it. Googling every symptom, and of course imagining the worst. But not really talking about it, because talking makes it real. Social worker told me to "stay off the internet - all you get is worse case scenarios there." True. She believes there's NO delay in any area other than gross motor which is pretty benign and "fixable." So there doesn't seem to be any cognitive delay, which is huge!

I just feel so much better. And, I feel blessed that we get to have this team of people go through this process with us, as Sam's advocates (there's an interdisciplinary team - made up of a phd, psychologist, pediatrician, OT, PT and ST - that review each child's case and decide on a plan of intervention). Really -- I think she's a lucky little girl to have such experts looking out for her! The next step is that PT comes to our house for a PT evaluation.

Being a mommy is magical, but its scary. I don't know how NOT to worry. And all the new moms talk about all the great things their babies are doing. I can do that too . . . Sam has the most amazing giggle (sounds like a hiccup), she smiles so big when she sees me or Brian, she smacks her lips when she wants more food, she holds her knees up for us when we change her diaper, etc. . . . but no one ever talks about what their kids AREN'T doing that's got them scared shitless . . . and that's how I've been feeling. SCARED. But today, I feel optimistic.

And, I know this little girl is going to be okay.