I love Christmas. A tree is a must, of course. In fact, a Christmas tree really has to be at least six feet tall for it to feel right to me. I’ve been collecting ornaments for years and love every one of them. Now that we live in a house, I wanted to decorate the porch with lights so that our home was as festive on the outside as it was on the inside. I bought many more strings of lights than was necessary, put them up with care, plugged them in, and–nothing happened. The lights worked when I plugged them in indoors, but the outdoor socket was a dud, apparently. I was disappointed, but quickly moved on. Both lazy and distracted by the goings on with Stella, I just left the lights hanging up out there, an ineffectual tribute to my holiday spirit. Or so I thought.
Last weekend, Cody and I attended his company’s holiday party, delayed due to Seattle’s crazy holiday weather. We were gone for five hours, and, yes, we did manage to find topics of conversation other than Stella–though of course we talked about her eating, poop, and cuteness at least a few times each. Upon arriving home, I believe we were arguing about some petty little thing that I can’t recall when we looked up and noticed that the Christmas lights on our front porch were ON. The festive, unexpected sight stopped us in our tracks.
We still have no idea how it happened. Neither does our friend Barb, who was watching Stella that evening, or our landlord. We flipped every switch we could find to see if we could figure out what had given them power. We never found an answer. So, we have chaulked it up as a “post-Christmas” miracle. A sign.
Yes, it may be magical thinking and total conicidence, but since the icicle lights’ spontaneous illumination, Stella’s eating has steadily improved. She didn’t eat much while we were at the party, but she did take 200 mls from Cody before bed that night–a lot in a short amount of time. In fact, since that mini-miracle, feeding has become enjoyable for all of us! Something has changed in Stella. And THAT is truly miraculous.
We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. There could very well be more ups and downs as Stella continues to adjust to life without the tube. Actually, I’m sure there will be. But what really, really amazes us is the shift in her mindset and behavior around eating. Over the last couple of days, Stella has decided that she WANTS TO EAT. She gets hungry often, and when she sees the bottle, she LUNGES toward it, grabbing it with both hands, pulling it to her mouth and sucking on the nipple before we have a chance to settle into our new, seated, comfortable, relaxed, unswaddled feeding position. I can’t tell you how incredible this is. We are in awe.
The numbers aren’t as important as what I’ve just described. However… on Thursday, she took 700 mls. Friday, she took it up a notch to 725. Saturday, she upped the ante to 770. And today, she ate a whopping 875–with gusto! Stella has left no doubt. She can do this. She IS doing this.
There is a new energy in our household. Joy? No, that was always there, surrounding Stella, even with the tube. I think it’s relaxation. After so many months of worry, it’s another little miracle to savor.