Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Eating is a whole other struggle, she has become a very distracted eater, and although she is hungry she just can't stop watching everything that is going on, mainly Hunter. When I feed her cereal she likes to stick her tongue out and spit, which Hunter comes over to watch because he thinks it's hilarious which then distracts Ella.
Now that all of our company is gone (we've had family visiting for 6 weeks) Ella is back in her room in her crib. She has been sleeping on her stomach now, and spits up a good bit. So, I attached one of those spit up sheets (the kind that tie on either side of the crib) so I wouldn't have to change the big sheet all the time. I went in yesterday to check on her during her nap and she had both of her arms stuck under it, so imagining in my mind her somehow getting her head stuck in there I took it out. Her next nap I tried just a lap pad, I went in to check on her and she was wrestling around with it and had it over her face. So I guess I'll just be changing the sheet everyday, good thing I have 4 of them!!
Even Ella's hair is high maintenance. All it wants to do is hang in her eyes, which it now goes down past her nose. So, countless times a day I am brushing it out of her eyes. When she is not on the floor playing or sleeping I put it in a little ponytail, but as soon as she starts moving around it comes out.
So, my Ella Grace is quite a bit of work these days. At night when it is just the two of us, and after I have wrestled her to sleep (I no longer consider it rocking her to sleep, you literally have to pin her arms down so she won't pull her pacifier out of her mouth), I sit and stare at her. So peaceful when she sleeps. Though I am wore out, I actually love that she is such a handful!! She has come so far from the tiny baby I brought home who we didn't even know if she could actually cry. I love that she is a mover and can't sit still for one minute, even in her sleep. And I especially love her attitude, and it's a big one. She knows what she wants and when she wants it. My husband said, "well maybe she figured out she really is a princess."
The above picture is after Ella's bath last night and I had just set her in the exersaucer, which apparently she did not want to be in. Even though she has quite a temper she is also very quick to give smiles. All it takes is me saying her name in a sweet voice and this is what I get. For a second anyway.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Ella has figured out how to roll!!! She has known how to roll from her back to her stomache for a couple of months now, and she was rolling from her stomache to her back when she was 5 weeks old, but stopped. She has figured out now that if she keeps rolling it will get her where she wants to go so now she is log rolling all over the living room!!! Yesterday during therapy is when it seemed to sink in, so right after she rolled right over to see what Hunter was up to. He thought it was great at first and began reading his book to her, but then became annoyed that she kept touching his book so he moved it away : ) It was really cute, and Ella was just so proud of herself!!!
Monday, May 21, 2007
The lady in these pictures name is Germaine. Germaine is an angel.
Ella was born on a Wednesday night, on Friday my mom flew in from Alaska. My husband had gone home to spend some time with our son so it was just my mom and I in the hospital room. We were crying. Most of my time in the hospital was spent crying, but this was the first time my mom and I were left alone and we were REALLY crying. In the middle of this in walks Germaine, a CNA at the hospital. Germaine took one look at me and immediately came and sat on my hospital bed. She said "is it your baby?" I said yes. She then hugged me and held me for the longest time. She told me "God knows." and began praying and telling me that things will work out. I can't tell you all that she said, most of my time there is a fog, a bad dream, but I can tell you that she is the first person that gave me any hope. It was kind of strange, some lady I had never met holding me, our cheeks touching each other and her whispering prayers in to my ear, but at the same time it was so comforting. Of course I cried harder hearing her words, and she just kept holding on. When I finally stopped she kissed me on the cheek and said to me "One day you will bring that baby back up here to see me and tell me that everything is good."
Well, that one day was today. I did not remember her name, but I decided that I was going to find her and I did. I knew that if I told her how much her compassion meant to me that I would began to cry, so I wrote all of my feelings in a card. I described Germaine to the nurse working the desk and she went to get her. I was unsure if I would even recognize this lady. She rounded the corner, smiled at me and ran up and gave me a huge hug. I knew it was her, and apparently she had remembered me. She held and loved on Ella. She told me that she knew I would come back. No one at the hospital had showed me any compassion, except for Germaine. She was an angel sent to me. I do not know if at that time she even knew what Ella's diagnoses was, because she did not ask, she simply said that "God knows." To me, looking back, that means that God knew what he was doing when he gave Ella to me. He put her in a family that will love her unconditionally and give her every opportunity possible, and I'm not just talking about me and her father I mean our whole family. God also knew that I really could handle this all, even though when she was born I thought that he had made a huge mistake and that I was not cut out for this. I'm new to the whole religion thing, so I still have a lot of questions about why Ella has Down syndrome, but I do know that she was given to me to change my life. I no longer believe in coincidence and certainly don't trust odds (HA). This is how my life was meant to be. It is no coincidence that Germaine was working that day, I believe she was sent to me and that she is an angel.
While I was up at the hospital I also ran into my OB. Now, I will say that I am not entirely crazy about her. I only saw her twice during my pregnancy, I saw her nurse the rest of the time. The day I went into labor she met me at the hospital and said "I am not doing a C-section on you today, it is too early. No baby today." Well, good I hadn't really planned on having a baby 6 weeks early. She gave her instructions to the nurse and left, about 5 hours later she came back and checked me, she began shaking her head and she said "this is not good. I have to think." and walked out of the room. My husband and I looked at each other, when a doctor says they have to think while shaking her head, it is definitely not good. She came back not even 5 minutes later and said "okay, we are having a baby." Hmmm, didn't she say "no baby!" Well, then began all the paperwork and I was wheeled into the OR about 15 minutes later. Ella was born, no one had any concern in their voice, she was a good size they said and she was crying so everything was good to me. Once I was in recovery the doctor came in and checked on me while my husband was still in the nursery with Ella. She just asked me how I was feeling etc, said the baby was doing good, nothing out of the ordinary to me. A while later, once Chris was in the room with me, the OB had come back in and was checking on me again. While she was in there the pediatrician that attended Ella's birth came in. He told me that he was going to test her for Down's and the OB says, "yeah, I saw it too." Okay, so if she saw it and had already been in to see me why didn't she say anything? Maybe she didn't say anything because I was alone the first time, I don't know. I really didn't know her. So, at that point I didn't really feel one way or the other about her, really I hadn't given her another thought. Then I had my postpartum follow-up. I took Ella in with me. Her comment to me was "well, at least you will always have a baby." Um, not exactly what a mom with a new baby with DS wants to hear. In fact this was one of my initial fears, was that Ella could never be independent and would forever need my constant care. So, needless to say from that point on, I didn't care for my OB. So here I am the hospital today to see my angel, and I run into the OB. She looked at me, and then looked at Ella and seemed quite surprised. I have no doubt that I looked like crap after having the baby and at my postpartum checkup, puffy eyes etc. She asked how old Ella was now, and I told her 8 months, she commented on how big she was and asked if she could hold her. Ella was wonderful, she pulled the OB's hair tried ripping out her earrings, tried putting her hand in the OB's mouth, all the "normal" baby things! The doctor said that she was really strong and looked really good. I was so proud of Ella. As the doctor started to walk away I called to her while Germaine was holding Ella, I told her that I had heard that 92% of parents that found out their baby had DS aborted their baby, she said yes. I told her that I would like her to give out my name and number to parents who find out, so they could call and ask questions. My thoughts on this are maybe if they see that Ella is just a baby, and see her smiling face maybe they will see that they can do it, that Down syndrome is not as hopeless as they fear. Anyhow, she said "okay I'll do that." It didn't dawn on me until I was back in the van that she never asked my name or number, and I highly doubt that she remembers my name. I still don't like her very much.
It was really strange being back up on that floor of the hospital. My memories are not fond, while it should have been a time of joy, my experience was a time of sorrow and hopelessness. But I feel better having gone up there and showing Germaine and the OB that Ella is wonderful.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Here are some pictures of Ella eating. I started giving her Gerber fruit puffs, (a favorite of Hunter's when he was a baby.) I know that you are supposed to wait until they can pick up objects with there finger and thumb ( the pincher,) but frankly I don't have any idea when that can be and the kid wants to eat. So, with a little help from big brother she is hooked on puffs!!!
Friday, May 4, 2007
Here are pictures of Ella when she was five days old and yesterday. (8 months old.) My mom and I were sitting on the couch just staring at this new tiny little baby, the smallest one either of us had ever seen. My mom kept saying "she looks like a baby doll." her little features were so small and perfect. I remembered that I had left my favorite baby doll, I got it when I was 3, out in Ella's room. So we laid her by the doll, (which happened to be named DustyDavidBaldyJack, a name my grandad gave it because I changed it so often,) and they were the same size. Pretty amazing. I couldn't help but think of all those years I played with that baby doll and hoped that one day I would have a little baby of my own. I certainly never imagined my life being what it is now. I still have so many questions. It is easy for me to forget that Ella has Down syndrome. Today Ella was doing tummy time on her quilt and getting frustrated because she will not roll off of her stomach and she was getting tired and kept slamming her face down onto the floor. And it struck me, this is something that Hunter did at about 4 months old, and Ella is twice that age. Does it matter? NO. But it just strikes at my heart. Why does Ella have to work so much harder at everything she does than Hunter did? Why does she have to tire out easily? Why does she make so much noise when she breathes? Why does she have so many doctors appts? Why does she have weekly therapy? Why do people stare at her just that extra second trying to figure out what is different about her? The answer to all those questions is DOWN SYNDROME.