I’m thrilled to report that Stella finished TWO BOTTLES today. And her others were solid performances as well. She had a fantastic day all around. There is still much progress to be made, of course. But Stella seems to be getting her groove back. Day by day. Bottle by bottle. Milliliter by milliliter.
It’s tough to do, but Cody and I try not to focus too much on volume. Just as important, if not more so, is her comfort level and receptiveness to the bottle. If she befriends the bottle, volume will surely follow.
Today, for the most part, she did not fight the bottle. There is still a bit of turmoil within her, however. At the start of most of her feedings, she’d take to the bottle quickly when I offered it. Then, a second or two later, she’d pull away and fuss a bit. But there was something different about the fussiness. I realized that in some cases she was telling me that she wanted the bottle back! Yes, she was a bit conflicted, but I could see that she wanted to eat. So I’d offer it to her again, and off she went. (Or I’d offer it to her again, she’d pull away again, want it back, and THEN she’d be on her way.) As I’ve stated before, there will be more ups and downs, but I think Stella is coming around.
I had a more than my share of belly laughs this afternoon, during Stella’s photo shoot for our holiday card. Her range of expressions is so broad! And if she doesn’t like something, she will let you know in no uncertain terms! As a proud new mom, I bought her a fancy, adorable Christmas outfit: a black and white dress, with matching embroidered sweater, black tights and mary janes. To top it off, I bought a red hat, for a splash of festive color. Well, I had her decked out in this “aw”-inducing get-up for all of five minutes before Stella threw a fashion fit! Even after I removed the sweater, which was probably a bit itchy, she was clearly uncomfortable, writhing around and crying like her tights were in fire. So, I gave up on the chic factor and took it all off except for the hat. Somehow, the pictures wound up being perfect. The simplicity really worked, and she was so much happier, which made it a lot easier to get card-worthy shots. Another valuable parenting lesson, perhaps? I learned to roll with the situation, even if it didn’t fit my idealized vision. The funny thing is that the photos, card, and experience turned out better as a result.
The hat also served to cover up her patchy ‘do. Stella and I are both losing our hair. The dark locks she was born with are quickly giving way to blond peach fuzz, while my postpartum shedding only serves to clog the shower drain. Our paths continue their parallel trajectory. Before long, we’ll both have huge appetites and bald heads.
Tomorrow, we have two appointments at Children’s–an abdominal ultrasound and occupational therapy. Not looking forward to the disruption to our schedule, as it throws off Stella’s napping and eating rhythm. But the appointments’ longer-term contributions to Stella’s overall progress are worth any short-term inconveniences or minor setbacks. Besides, she’s shown that she can bounce back! Amen to that.