Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The days are long, but the years are short.

An older gal told me this in passing the other week while at a doctors visit, mentioning that I should cherish these days, as they all fly by.

It's so true already. Tiny Beast is just over a month, and the past few weeks are mostly a blur, and it feels like so long ago that we had her. It also feels like it's gone by in a flash.  For those of you who are new to the blog, you can read more about Tiny Beast's arrival here.

The days are spent pumping, bottle and tube feeding her every 3 hours, about a half gallon of breast milk a day. The other hours are spent snuggling her ever-growing body in beams of sunlight or under antique quilts, and journaling our adventures in my tiny notebook. I don't do as many crafts as I used to, instead, the time is spent doting over and gazing at her tiny features.  After nearly a decade of wanting her and planning for her, I am still amazed that she is here.

Her weight is increasing so well, and she is eating more and more by bottle-usually more than half her total feed.  We continue to try breastfeeding, and she gets better with each attempt. Sometimes she just screams at my chest, which doesn't do either of us much good. It's all just for the closeness, and when that doesn't work, we grab a bottle of milk and snuggle together instead. Her tests continue to come back strong, indicating that she won't have any side effects from the fluid on her lungs, or the cleft pallet. We're still so, so lucky. The doctors are amazed at her development, and excited to see what else she can accomplish-she's hitting milestones ahead of time, which feels good after the challenges the first week brought. We have a great team at two hospitals who want to see her be as healthy as possible.

We have had amazing support in friends and family, between meals being delivered and house keeping/gardening help, we've been able to relax. The cards, and calls have all been so welcomed and I can't say enough how amazed I am for the amount of love this kid has. Thank you all, so much!  I suck at asking for help, and am way better at saying 'thank you'. I know it takes a village, and I am grateful for an amazing village.

We're still cooking up a storm, which feels good. The food blog will be updated this week with my gumbo and pot pie recipes.  We're also getting out more, seeing friends and having people over. The normalcy feels good.

Of course, it's not all cuteness and happy times. Tiny Beast can yell. In addition to that skill, she can also poop up a storm. I had no clue of the sheer volume of poo and noises that something so small can produce.

This whole experience has really forced by to evaluate who I am, and how I live, and all my attempts at planning anything have gone out the window. She's making me a better person every moment, and I am so grateful for that. Even at 2 am, when she starts wailing, when I just laid back down after pumping and tube feeding her for the past hour.

We're still learning about what works and what doesn't, and I know that will be an ongoing activity, but for now, her laughs and smiles are all the motivation I need.  I leave you with a quick picture from her birthday. She was not amused.
All my best to you all, as you find your way through chaotic times :)
Raina