So far, 2017 is off to an amazing start for Miss Daisy, who seems to be learning, growing and changing more and more every day. When Daisy first came into this world and it was immediately clear that our path would be a bit different than the “normal newborn” path we had prepared so carefully for, I decided to follow her lead. That meant rather than clinging to every warning word that dropped out of the doctors’ mouths or adhering to every milestone in every baby book we’d purchased, we instead watched her for signs and signals about what she wanted and was ready for. We continue to do that today. For example, she has shown a huge interest in baby food (and the adult foods we’ve let her taste!) which made us think, maybe we should consider transitioning away from the NG tube! She seems to be showing us she’s ready to try feeding orally again…
This past week, when she pulled the NG tube out of her nose (which happens about once every five days, we decided not to put it back in right away. Instead, Nick and I agreed it was time to try to reintroduce bottle-feeding. So far, it’s been a success! She grabs the bottle with her two little hands and holds it to her mouth - all by herself! - and can take anywhere between 2-4 OZ which is huge. Lately she has been more and more bothered by the NG tube, hysterically crying and screaming when we have to put the tube in, pulling at it all day every day and trying to rip the tape off her face, so we are hopeful that she’s ready to move on from this phase. So far, she’s made it through the night only waking up a few times to immediately fall back asleep once her soothie is in her mouth.
We are spoon-feeding her all sorts of delicious baby food in addition to formula and she loves it ALL. Her favorites are Apple Banana from Trader Joes, Carrots, Strawberries & Chickpeas by Happy Baby and anything made by mom. This week we’ve been enjoying a homemade puree of organic pears and bananas with coconut oil for digestive aid and peanut butter for extra protein.
Daisy has recently discovered how to gargle her own saliva and she spends a majority of the day bouncing between babbling and gargling at various speeds and volumes. She is always very pleased with herself when she makes a particularly loud sound and startles her parents.
Banging Things In the Middle, Pinching, Poking & Rolling
Daisy is working very hard with her occupational therapist, Genevieve, every week - playing with the bounty of amazing new toys from our amazing friends and family (!) - and trying to make progress against her goals. She has developed a good center of gravity which enables her to stay sitting up and plant her hands on either side of her body for support when needed. Apparently, banging toys together in the middle of one’s body is an important development milestone and she has mastered the art of banging her toys. She has also learned how to pinch things with her thumb and forefinger, like the antenna of her crinkly bug toy. She also spends a great deal of time poking things (trying to poke me in the eye, sticking her fingers in my mouth or nostrils, poking her dogs) which is a big improvement in her motor skills. We are still struggling a bit with the concept of crawling, but, Daisy has figured out how to roll over onto her back, twist to one side, then roll onto her belly and twist to get to where she wants to go. If I turn my back for ten seconds, she’s rolled her way into another room!
In addition to all this learning and progress, Daisy is just a really happy kid. It is really evident in her face that she loves being alive and really adores her parents. Daisy laughs at a lot of arbitrary things, for example:
- Mom or Dad sneezing
- Mom talking in a Boston accent
- Being tickled under the armpit
- The dogs existing
... And watching her laugh makes us laugh so there's just a lot of laughing happening in our house these days. She lights up with a warmth and joy every time she sees me that makes my heart grow fifteen sizes. She knows I am her mom and she wants to be close to me whenever possible. While I encourage her to spread her wings and explore, there is something pretty magnificent about being loved and needed by this tiny little being. Mothering Daisy is the greatest joy.