Saturday, February 28, 2009

A girl so special she gets TWO birthdays!!!

As most of you know, and much to her Papa Smith's chagrin, Haley is a Leap Day baby. People ask me all the time, "don't you feel sorry for her, she only gets a birthday every 4 years" or "when are you going to celebrate it" Well my answer to that is Haley is just so special that it takes two days to celebrate her birthday this year, especially because its her First birthday!! I'm not sure how we will do it in the future. I have heard some Leap Day babies say they celebrate on March 1st because it is the day after the 28th, and they were born the day after February 28th. I've also thought of just celebrating it when its more convenient while she is too young to care then letting her pick her birthday on the off years. I don't know what we will end up with, but for this year it TWO BIRTHDAYS!!!!

I am, of course, getting nostalgic as the anniversary of her birth approaches. This time last year I was getting ready to be admitted to the hospital for induction. Will and I went to eat at Outback before going to the hospital. A "last meal" of sorts for me, I knew it would be a clear liquid diet for me until Haley was born, I was going to enjoy myself one more time!!!! And it would also be our last meal alone, just the two of us. The next time we ate together two would then be three. I remember being so nervous when we checked in at the hospital, it was weird being a patient for once. It was an unexpected emotion for me, I am used to being in a hospital, I've worked in one for what seems like an eternity!!! But I was all of a sudden freaked out by being in the hospital. Weird putting on that hideous gown, weird laying in that horribly uncomfortable bed, weird being the one the IV was going in (that hurts a lot more than I ever thought it would!!), weird being the one the nurse checks on. And then I thought I would be brave and stoic and do this without an epidural, I would be that crunchy granola mom who did it "au naturale"!!!! HA!!! Bring that epidural STAT next time!!!! Things didn't go at all like I had envisioned. I had dreamy thoughts of my water breaking at home in the middle of the night and Will driving franticly to the hospital. Images of us walking in the hallways, stopping to "breathe" through contractions, sitting and bouncing on the birthing ball, and most of all it being quick. Instead I was almost literally chained to the bed because the slightest movement sent my blood pressure through the roof, I could only get up to pee. Labor progressed very slowly. I was technically in labor for over 24 hours. Don't get me wrong, things could have been WAY worse, but it was not like I had imagined. And this wouldn't be the first time having a baby wouldn't be like I imagined. Nothing happens like the Hallmark card vision in your head when it comes to parenthood!!!

And then came Haley. Some of you may not know, or remember, that Haley's middle name was originally going to be Grayce. But the second she was born, Will and I looked at each other and said together...."Haley Gray". She was so much smaller than I had expected. The ultrasounds were all predicting a 9lb baby. She weighed in at exactly 7 pounds. I would have never thought I would have a baby that small, thanks for the petite genes Martha, a 9lb baby would not have been fun to birth!!!! She was so calm and quite that first night, she just laid in the bassinet and took in the new world around her quietly. It was just a preview of her personality to come. She is normally the most laid back baby you could imagine.

Everyone was right, there is nothing like the birth of your child. Your life changes in an instant, and all for the good. You fall instantly in love with this person that you just met. It is amazing!!!!

Well, the big party was today. It was an all out PINK extravaganza, pink giraffes to be exact. The theme of her nursery was jungle animals, I thought I would bring it full circle and do a giraffe theme for her first birthday. For those that came to the party, thank you so much for coming and sharing this special day with our little family. I will post pictures of the event hopefully by tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

More appointments

sorry its been awhile since ive posted, ive been busy running haley to therapy while trying to work during the week. its a little overwhelming. so we had our occupational therapy evaluation yesterday. for those that dont know what OT is (the name has never made since to me....what is her occupation??) they work with fine motor skills, coordination, sensory skills, age appropriate activities etc. the therapist said that her fine motor skills are pretty much on target for her age, but her coordination skills and mimicking skills are a little delayed. she thinks it may have something to do with her vision. she may be having a hard time seeing what she is doing and putting it all together. so now we see OT once a week as well as PT once a week. she enjoys OT much more than PT. OT is more like playing, PT is more like working out. i guess shes like me, she doesnt like to work out!!!

we also have some appointments in march to see a pediatric neurologist and pediatric opthamologist. hopefully that will give us some answers as to what is going on with haley. but the waiting is killing me. but its normal to have to wait a while to see these specialists, they are always booked way in advance. so there is not much we can do except work with PT and OT in the meantime.

i would post some pics, but i honestly havent had time to play with the camera. but i promise once i get some pics i will post them.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Fun on the Farm

WOOOO HOOOOO!!!!! My weekends are now FREE!!!!!!! We had a really good weekend too. Saturday we played golf with Grams (Wills Mom and her boyfriend Greg).....and, not to brag, but whooped their butts!!!!
Sunday we went to visit Will's dad up in Mocksville. They have a beautiful farm. Haley got to see all kinds of new things. Lots and lots of different "buhs" (thats what she calls dogs right now). She also saw some horses, she wasn't quite sure what to think of those, and some calves. They also have some donkeys, but we didn't go see those. Here are a few pictures of Haley in her backpack that Will carries her in.

I just had to add this picture, it is priceless!!!! She was playing in the floor and kept reaching over to pick up her toys and kept showing her little crack....too cute!!!!

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Week 2 of Physical Therapy

We had our second appointment with PT yesterday. It was not the greatest visit for Haley, she was a little out of sorts and I don't think she was really in the mood to work. We spent most of the visit trying to console her, she was not a happy camper. It is to be expected I guess, having her in a new environment, with a strange person and toys that aren't hers. She did meet one of her goals already, which is reassuring. She was able to consistently come to a sitting position while holding onto our fingers. It is strange that such simple things to us are such huge milestones in little ones. The PT wants to refer her to a pediatric neurologist because of some head "tics" that she has. She shakes her head back and forth for no apparent reason. Haley has done this "tic" for a long time and we have never thought much of it. It would come and go, but ever since the PT pointed it out to me last week, it really stands out to me now. Most people think that she is shaking her head "no" but now that I watch it closely, I really don't think that is what it is.

We also had a home visit from the child development service program this morning. We met with our service coordinator, who I believe is a child development specialist, and also a child psychologist. We just talked about what Haley does and how she handles certain situations. The psychologist did some developmental testing with her, seeing how she handled objects, how she looked at things, responded to certain situations, etc. It probably seemed a lot like playing to Haley. The psychologist said that Haley did have some overall developmental delays, that she is developmentally around 9 months. Its not a huge deficit, just at the low end of average. But she did explain to me that when dealing with someone so young, a few months behind can be pretty significant, and that is why early intervention is so important. They have so many services available. They want to refer her to occupational therapy to work on her coordination skills, and have a nurse come to evaluate her vision, and play therapy, possibly speech therapy. It is all very overwhelming right now, where will I find the time to fit it into my schedule?

I know some of you may think that this is all a little overboard, why does she need all this? I think they are trying to err on the side of caution since they are seeing some delay. They want to make sure and rule out some underlying condition. Hopefully, in the end, this was all overkill and not necessary, but I would rather go overboard that sit passively and watch her fall further behind. This is all pretty stressful for me. It is hard being a nurse and having some medical knowledge. Sometimes I wish I didn't know what I know, or have seen the things that I have seen. It would be nice to be "blissfully ignorant". When they start talking about neurologists and psychologist it sends me into a tailspin of "what if" scenarios. I analyze everything she does with a fine tooth that something, what did she just do? So, even if you don't agree with what we are doing, and all of the people we are having look at her, please don't judge or criticise us. We are doing what we feel is best, and if its what???? what will it hurt in the long run? I'm not trying to be mean by saying that, I just don't need the extra stress of worrying about what other people think.

With that said, I will of course keep you posted on whats going on. I'm really going to try not to turn this blog into "Haley's Medical Progress Blog". I want to keep it a fun and happy place!!! Thanks you everyone for all of your support.

We love you guys!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

bitter sweet

today i am packing up all my breastfeeding supplies. i successfully breastfed for almost 11 months and had planned to go longer, but haley had other plans. the morning of january 22nd was the last time she nursed. i had no idea that would be our last time breastfeeding. had i known, i may have paid more attention to the moment. on the other hand, maybe im glad i didn't know, maybe it would have made it harder. i tried to feed her that evening and she wanted nothing to do with it, was biting, hitting, and screaming at me. i thought, fine, maybe just a nursing strike. she will be back to normal tomorrow. i kept offering and she kept refusing. i decided to pump for several days and keep offering. after a week of offering and pumping i said enough is enough, she has decided she is done.

haley is really starting to develop a sense of Independence especially with feeding. she rarely lets me spoon feed her anymore, doesnt like for you to hold her bottles. shes a big girl, she wants to do it herself!!!

its been 4 days since ive pumped, so i thought its time to pack up that damn contraption.....that ball and chain!!!!! i thought i would be excited about the end of breastfeeding. it was torture for me in the beginning. i hated it, couldnt wait for it to be over. the cracked nipples, the feeling bound to either the baby or a pump, the engorgement, the leaking, the worrying over what i ate or drank. as time went on, it got easier, less painful, and part of my everyday life. now there is a huge chunk of my life missing, it was part of my identity. now, dont get me wrong, i never planned to be one of "those moms" that breast fed a 3 year old, i just planned to do it for a few more months. i thought it would be my decision to stop, not haley's.

i will miss it, i do miss it. it was something only i could do for her. and having bigger boobs was also a nice perk to breastfeeding. :) it is nice not to have to worry about finding a spot to discretely breastfed (although i was becoming pretty good and nursing in public!) and not having to take my pump with me if i were away from her for more than 12 hours, and getting to wear normal and sexy bras again. there is a new sense of freedom.

i look back now and wish that i had at least one picture of haley while she was nursing. i always hated those pictures, thought they were creepy. but now i wish i had captured that moment in time, just for me to look at and remember what it was like. oh well, should-a could-a would-a!!!

i think if there is a next baby, i will enjoy it more. i wont have to go through that learning process, i will be a seasoned breast feeder. it may be a struggle for the next little one, but it wont be as much of a struggle for me. i know what to expect and how to do things.

anyway, i just wanted to write a little about this, to help me remember and help me move on. this is nothing like i expected to be feeling. i am happy that i was able to provide for haley as long as i was able to, i am sad to see it go, but im also excited to see her grow up!!!!


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