Today, Stella enjoyed 1000 mls from the bottle.
It’s our family’s equivalent of breaking the sound barrier, or walking on the moon. It’s historic and worthy of endless news coverage.
I just fed her. It’s such a lovely, peaceful, fulfilling, loving experience–even if it’s not breastfeeding anymore! We sit in the rocking chair next to her crib, moving in a gentle rhythm. She lounges in my lap, very relaxed, but always winds up with one of her hands gripping the arm of the chair. (It’s adorable, and another sign that Stella likes to be in charge.) She usually drifts off to sleep as she drains the bottle, nestling her head into me. I put her in the crib, admire her for a moment more, then leave the room, feeling a bit like I’m walking on a cloud.
Back down to earth. Stella had about five MAJOR poops today. We definitely overdid it with the prunes in her bottle. Let’s just say that we are scaling back on that. But now we know what to do if constipation ever becomes an issue for Miss Stella Bella. I won’t go on, but trust me, Cody and I can talk AT LENGTH about her bowel movements and never think for one moment, “Oh, this is a weird topic” or “Man, this is getting old.” To us, it’s as interesting and complex and potentially controversial (“You can’t seriously believe that this counts as diarrhea!?”) as politics.
In other news, she is sitting up very well these days. Rolls regularly. Talking more and more–she’s got a really powerful set of pipes. We’re talking operatic. We went to a PEPS meeting today, so Stella got to hang out with about six other babies her age and we got to hang out with 12 other new parents. Stella and another baby made very similar noises and had on near identical outfits. She held hands with a couple other babies. They each just instinctively reached out for each other chubby paws and held on. It was a sight to see (and hear). Stella was most interested in chewing on her shoe, but still. She had fun and interacted with peers. Fabulous!
PEPS is such a good thing for us. We re-connected with people and were made to feel welcome after being gone from PEPS for a while due to Stella’s trials with her feeding aversion and tube. We also felt a lot more normal. It’s hard to have healthy perspective when you’re isolated. Being around other new parents is hugely helpful–it makes us we realize that we are not alone in our challenges, and that babies all develop at their own pace and that is perfectly, wonderfully okay.
We saw my parents via Skype this evening. They asked if our days with the tube felt far away, if all the feeding issues seemed to have occurred long ago. I had to say, very honestly, “Yes. It feels like another life.”
But we strive to never take things for granted. I still keep a very watchful eye on her eating habits. More importantly, I truly savor my time with Stella. I squeeze the juice out of many of our moments together, then lick the rind to make sure I got all the goodness out.