Posts from the ‘Parenting’ Category
Sabine finished her first year of nursery school last week. I felt unexpectedly emotional about this. I can’t believe how much she has grown in one year. She started school not being able to run, jump or climb the monkey bars. She can do all three like a boss now. She started school painfully shy and rarely used words with peers or teachers. By the end of the year you couldn’t stop her chattering. She made adorable little girlfriends who would flock to her every morning cheering that Sabine is here. Saying Sabine “blossomed” seems so cliche, but it really is the truth.
Looking at the daily photos makes me burst with pride and then choke back tears. Sabine is not a baby anymore. She is a big kid with big kid requests, emotions and thoughts. She fills a room with her personality and rarely meets a stranger, except for the crazy old lady in the building with the stinky dog. But she scares the bejesus out of me, too, so that is totally ok!
The end of the year symbolizes the end of something bigger. It is the end of our time in NYC. The next month will be a flurry of packing, planning and seeing as much of the city as we can.
It took a while to feel like NYC is home. There is a steep learning curve to this city, along with the challenging situations of being a new mom and dealing with PPD and anxiety. It was not until this year that NYC felt like home. Our apartment is cozy and comfortable. We have friends that we hang out with as a family and not just the occasional playground playdate. I know my way around pretty well and am not afraid to venture to new areas just Sabine and I.
And now we are leaving. Again.
It seems like I do this a lot. Wait, I do do this a lot! I’m ready to settle down and make a forever home. I am ready to use our extra cash to travel, not to pay for boxes and U-Haul trucks. I am ready to make friends that I know I can grow old with and not have to hop a plane to see once a year. I’m ready to be an activist in my community, something that is really hard to do when you move every three to four years.
I believe Durham will be that place. But I’m still sad to say goodbye to NYC.
I guess that is the way to leave though – as a goodbye rather than just bye.
At the urging of our pediatrician we took Sabine to a Pediatric Endocrinologist at the end of October to consult on her stalling growth and small size. I really expected this to yield nothing more than a copay and insurance battle. I really expected to walk away able to tell everyone that my small kid is just fine. That did not happen.
The doctor was super sweet and down-to-earth. She looked Sabine over and then looked over her growth history. She took our familial histories and our histories. She noted my autoimmune problems. After an hour together she explained that yes, Sabine’s growth is slowing much more than normal. She agreed that she is small for her age but, and this is a big but, she is proportional. Sabine is not skinny. Her limbs are in proportion to the rest of her body. She is alert, curious and hitting milestones, although her milestones tend to hit at the later end of the spectrum.
Based on this, our histories and the fact that both the Professor and I are taller than average she recommended a series of basic blood tests. These looked at general organ function, thyroid, blood panels, and a few base autoimmune screens, including celiacs. She also recommended a bone age x-ray to make sure her bones were the appropriate age.
It took four weeks to get all this done and then wait for results. The doctor called this week and explained that all the preliminary blood work and autoimmune tests were normal, thankfully. The bone age, however, is not normal. Sabine’s bones are that of a 6 month old. She is 16, almost 17 months. This, the doctor said, is almost certainly why she is not walking. It also means that she is not growing bone at the proper rate, which is something that needs to be investigated further. The doctor then spent two days consulting with a team of specialists to get multiple opinions on how we proceed.
She called back on Friday and said all doctors agreed we need to move fast and that we should start with the least invasive tests first. We’ll be doing more blood work looking at her calcium, folate, vitamin D and vitamin B levels along with doing a genetic karyotype. The doctor assured me this is nothing we have done. This is not that my milk is not wholesome enough (Sabine was thriving the first four months of her life, then things started to taper off.) This has nothing to do with the fact that we don’t feed her junk food or highly processed “baby snacks.” This has nothing to do with her being a picky eater (she eats a wholesome diet of extremely bland and boring food). This is something that Sabine was born with and we will get to the bottom of it.
I am finding that much like infertility, the bulk of the world just sucks at supporting you when your child might be sick. They are either harsh and criticize the mother, calling her parenting choices into question, or they blow it off saying that the child “will be just fine.” I’ve had a really hard time finding the kind of support I need – a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen. I need someone to listen when I need to vent about how scary this is. I don’t need an unqualified person to recommend random cures.
So here I am, back in my cozy little bubble of IFers who understand heart break and struggle more than most. I’ve made it to the other side and look at that, there are still more two week waits. There is still more stressful news to come over the telephone. There are still more doctors and needles and invasive tests but this time I am not the one who bears the brunt of it. Now it is my sweet miracle baby. It seems so maddeningly unfair.
(There are a handful of people reading this who know me in real life (thank you LG, MC, FP, KB and NF for being so supportive!) The Professor and I have decided that we are no longer telling people about Sabine’s medical issues as too often we walk away hurt or more stressed. If you want to offer that shoulder and a sincere and open ear please let me know and I will come to you when I need support. Otherwise, we are going about our days and enjoying this tiny and adorable kid. My new response when strangers remark on how small Sabine is is to simply say “good things come in small packages” and leave it at that. Finally, I might come here to talk about how I am feeling about everything. Scrambled Eggs has been my safe space for a long time. Sometimes these posts will be password protected. If you see a password protected post pop up and are one of my regular, long time readers (you know who you are!) please email and I’ll share the password.)
Praise the Lord.
Since sleep training Sabine has consistently slept through the night sans a few nights here and then when she is sick or we are traveling. Those nights I wake and nurse her back down and in a few days she returns to sleeping through the night on her own. It is amazing, miraculous and still surprises the shit out of me when I wake at 6 a.m. and realize I got a full 8 hours.
Up until two weeks ago bedtime was consistently at 8 p.m. and wake time was pretty consistently at 5 a.m., which after 9 months of waking every one to two hours seems like a dream. In efforts to help her eat more and hopefully grow we have bumped bedtime to 7/7:30 p.m. so dinner can start closer to 6 p.m. It seems that Sabine eats a better meal if it is served up around 6 p.m. and she is given a full hour to eat while watching a show. This is a little inconvenient for our scheduling but the sheer volume of food she can pack away with early dinner makes it well worth the sacrifice. The past week she has eaten an entire bowl of whole wheat pasta (with olive oil, Bragg’s and nutritional yeast), a fruit/veggie pouch and a protein of either black beans, tofu or scrambled eggs. (Jak, we tried sneaking finely minced ground beef into her pasta and she would have none of it, picking every. little. speck out and then eating the noodles.)
So earlier bed works great for getting her to eat more. I was afraid that earlier bed would mean earlier rise but am shocked to see her actually sleeping later. For the past few days she has slept till 6:30/7 each morning. I am LOVING it! I still wake up at 5 so I can get a little precious alone time. I eat my breakfast and drink my coffee in peace and am charged and ready to go when she arises. I sincerely hope that this post does not jinx things!
The one thing that is not going well are our naps. Sabine fights naps like it is going out of style. I am not even able to nurse her down lately as all she wants to do is go, go, go. It is terribly frustrating because I know she needs the snooze. She starts to lay down on all the pillows and blankets and stuffed animals. Her head remains still but that little tooshie bops all over the place like it has a mind of its own! Adorable but not so not a nap.
I know she needs at least one nap a day for growing and so she is not a basket case at night. I also need that one nap a day. I need at least 45 minutes to think about grown-up things, make business phone calls, sit around and watch Gilmore Girls or, gasp, blog. I am a much better mother when I get some down time and she is a much better baby when she takes a snooze.
In efforts to get this I’m starting some “nap training” using the techniques we learned from our sleep consultant. Just like bedtime follows dinner, nap will follow lunch. I let her watch 20 minutes of a show so she will actually eat some lunch, then scoop her up, hand her lovie and offer warm milk in our nursing chair. Lately she won’t take warm milk and tries to run off so I offer a hug and kiss and put her in the crib.
And she screams. Good lord does she scream. I watch her on the monitor as she screams and waves her lovie all over like it is a white flag of surrender. It is heart breaking and wakes all the cats up, but, she needs to snooze. Today it took 13 minutes for her to fall asleep. I hope that she will nap a full hour and that after a few days of this she will not fight the snooze so much.
Any nap training tips? Do you guys do PJs before nap too? Do you have a nap routine? If so, what do you do?