Thursday, April 08, 2010

Weekly Update


Dear Story,

Today you are eight weeks old and I’m still amazed at how much you have grown since we first took you home from the hospital on that snow covered Philly afternoon. All the books tell me that eight weeks is an important turning point. They say that this is when you begin to smile and play more during the day and sleep more during the night.

Let’s take a look at how you measure up, shall we? This week…

WEIGHT: Mom was both delighted and distressed to discover you now weigh 12 lbs. and 7.5 oz. Delighted, because it puts you in the 87.7th percentile and means I’m feeding you well. Distressed, because girl, you are getting heavy! And not the kind of heavy to which the singers from the seventies refer. I mean heavy, like the last time I worked out I was only using ten pound weights and you already weigh more than that and i can tell! Since your Mommy hasn’t worked out since she was 32, this is an extreme jump and leads to a lot of arm and back cramps with no hunky trainer rubbing them out at the end of the workout. Mom is out of shape and thinks the lifting of M&M's into her mouth are not going to help her work up the strength needed to carry you around as you continue your record growth.

HEIGHT: After the doctor announced that you are 24 ¾ inches and greater than the 97th percentile for your height, she asked me, “How tall are you?”

I told her, “5 foot, 2 inches."

“How about your husband?” She inquired. And this is where I got a little Mommy brainitis.

"5’8”, no six foot, oh gosh, 5’11? That can't be right." The entire experience reminded me of when I cheated on my Health badge in Girl Scouts by making up a three month chart of my fluctuating weight and height, all in one night. The Girl Scout troop leader informed me that people don’t normally get taller and then shorter on a daily frequency.

You doctor just looked at me a little confused before shaking my head and informing me, “She is going to be taller than you."

Okay. Well that’s not hard, I’m pretty short. But I think she was trying to say you were going to be tall. The thought of you growing up and sprouting like a beanstalk under my nose made me imagine you as a gangly teenage girl, forcing the enormity of motherhood to wash over me and warm my heart.

HEAD: Your head has a circumference of 15 inches, and that is in the 16.7 percentile for head circumference. I have to admit, I find this a little disappointing. Your Mother and Father have very big heads and I was hoping that you would as well. And well, your Grandpa Wiese has the biggest head of all and I was sort of hoping you might get a little bit of Wiese in you somewhere. But I guess it’s not a bad thing to not have a big head. We will have to settle for a humble little lady.

BOWELS: After unloading an assplosion of mythic proportion in H&M, you didn't poop at all for the last six days. The doc says this is perfectly normal - but I must admit it makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong. Every time I hear a little toot or smell a sour stank, I get all excited and rush to the changing table - only to discover a lackluster wet diaper. The doc points to your weight and says it is nothing to worry about. But you know your Mommy, always striving for perfection, I am drinking eighteen glasses of water a day and have added a lot more fiber to my diet this week.

SKIN: We go to see one of those pediatrician offices with rotating doctors and this week your latest doctor thinks your rash is just baby acne that will clear up by three months old. I pointed out that it was already clearing up in the areas it first appeared, which makes it much more likely to be a viral rash. Whatever. This doctor thinks it will clear up by the end of the month and that otherwise your skin looks pink, healthy and totally normal. I am just glad that she didn’t see all the little bite marks from where your Daddy and I try to eat you while we say, “Nom, nom, nom, nom, nom."

SLEEP: Dadddy and I started implementing our first efforts at sleep training this week. I swear we have been gentle. Especially Mommy, who breaks the rules all the time – even though it really pisses Daddy off! Your Father and I began by reading Twelve Hours' Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old. Since you were already letting four hours go by between feedings, you were ready for the next step. We chose a twelve hour period of time, 10PM to 10AM and that is supposed to be your night time. I know, I know, it’s late, but we are late night people and when we move to Los Angeles the time zone shift will make you much more normal. So we feed you now at 10AM, 2PM, 6PM and 10PM. At night, we let you eat whenever you want – which is currently at exactly 2AM and 6AM. But the book has a few tricks to eliminate these feedings. I’m not quite ready to introduce the new tricks yet. In fact, I was reluctant on the whole thing, but it has been nice to plan a life around your eating schedule. And unfortunately, your doctor confirmed the facts in the book and made a strong case for making sure you eat every four hours during the day. Even if it means waking you from a nap. Dad is constantly catching me cheating on the schedule. When he does, he sighs heavily, lowers his head and says, “We don’t have to do this you know.” And I insist I will try harder. I’ll keep you posted on this.

VACCINES: At your doctor visit today, you got your two-month vaccines in the form of two shots in each thigh and some drops in your mouth. You loved the drops and didn’t even cry on the first two needles. But the third needle made you frown and your lower lip quiver. And the fourth! Oh the fourth! The fourth made you scream and look at Mommy for the first time with real pain in your eyes. It felt like you were saying, Why Mommy, why? And it broke my heart. But then you stopped crying and fell asleep in your stroller. Mom spent the rest of the night babying you and Daddy came home from work early. We let you sleep in the bed like a real princess because we both want to make sure you know how much we love you.

AUDIO: Another big reward of the week is the increasing amount of time you use your emerging voice to melt me and your Dad. You hum when you eat, you coo when we change your diaper, and you make all sorts of happy little noises when you are playing in your baby gym. You look at Mr. Monkey and make a high pitched coo and pull the bright string that makes his tail rattle. Then you flash a smile at me and Daddy and you make a different sound. Sometimes when you cry, I think it sounds a bit like maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaammmmy. Which is very close to Mommy and a sign that you are getting closer and closer to saying it.

Of course, the very best part of the week is that I can tell how much you trust me. You push your body into me when I hold you. You hold my hand when the nurse comes near because you know I will protect you. You stop crying when you hear my voice. You don’t worry that I will drop you when we are in the tub. You don’t wince when I cut your fingernails. I know it won’t last forever and one day I will cut too close to your little fingers and make you cry or turn my back when you are in the bath and let you slip under for a moment. But for right now, I make you feel safe. And you may be the only person I’ve ever known whom I have yet to disappoint.

This trust is something I treasure with all my heart and fills my soul with a sense of importance and responsibility like nothing that ever came before it. Mommy is right here Story, she loves you very much and will try her hardest to take care of you.

For as long as you will let me.

Xoxo - Mom


Anne LaBrum said...

Bravo! Bravo.

Laurel said...

This is a beautiful post.

FYI, my daughter has the same play gym and LOVES Mr. Monkey. He is like her new bff.


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