Saturday, April 4, 2009

Spit Up Blues, and More

Mastering the tummy to back roll a couple weeks ago, Anna Grace has now proven she can roll both ways, and get into trouble fast; she almost trapped herself under the easy chair! While I would love to provide visuals again, the flash is still not working on the camera! We've been too busy to take it in. Don suspects they will charge more than the camera is worth, to troubleshoot and fix the problem.

I've been waiting to see the back to tummy roll so I could put her to sleep in the crib, and she would have the option of sleeping on her side or her tummy. Like my other children, she would have nothing to do with the "back to sleep" campaign. They all awakened within ten minutes of being put on their backs. And having had two miscarriages, there was no way I was going to throw caution to the wind and put them to sleep on their tummies. Several friends have suggested it, despite knowing the facts. I gather since none of those parents had suffered pregnancy or infant loss, they felt free to concentrate on the huge number of babies who DON'T die of SIDS, when put to sleep on their tummies.

I am a person who has fallen into the tiny percentages more than once. For example, I was single until 33 years old. Even now, that is unusual. I lost my first baby at 21 weeks gestation, which happens in only 4% of pregnancies. I've gotten pregnant easily (too easily) into my forties, which happens to a small percentage of women. Sperm generally live only five days, but can live longer in a small percentage of cases. So we had our bundle of joy, Anna Grace! And what a blessing she is!! The last example I can think of right now, it that my adolescent acne continued into my thirties and forties, which is another uncommon occurrence.

So when it comes to things like SIDS, I've never thrown caution to the wind. I assume if it's uncommon in the general population, there's a good chance it WILL happen to me.

Anna Grace has slept with us and I've held her slightly upright against my shoulder since birth, so she wouldn't suffocate in the bedding, and to lessen her spit up. I wear sweats to bed in an effort to avoid having the covers anywhere near her face. I love holding her against me! I've done it with the last three babies, and truly treasured it. However, my husband has suffered through it, rather than enjoyed it. I have to think of him this time, and try to transition Anna to the crib, which has been waiting in our room.

Earlier today, as I was preparing the crib to be used, Anna was lying on our bed waiting for me, and I suddenly heard gurgling. She'd spit up (YET AGAIN!) and it ended up all over her face, including her eyes!

Another time recently when she was on the floor for tummy exercise, she spit up and then put her face in it! So now I am worried she will drown in her spit up, or die from choking on it, and we'll both be asleep! I'm contemplating putting the carseat in the crib, and strapping her in for naps and nighttime sleep, until the spit up lessens. She would be safer, although I'm not sure she would stay asleep. Thus far she's taken her naps in the easy chair with one of us. Not convenient, but a blessing to both of us nonetheless; it's necessary to keep her upright after feeds (recommended for spitters).

I really have to wonder if she is suffering from acid reflux. I change her outfits, and often mine as well, about three times a day due to projectile spitting of either fresh breastmilk, or curdled tummy milk. She doesn't always cry when she spits up, so I'm not sure it's associated with pain in her case. Could be just an immature sphincter muscle. Definitely at her four-month check up, I'll be discussing it with the doctor.

Holding her pretty much twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, doesn't usually get to me. I'm amazed by that fact, but I attribute it to all the years I was single and living alone, free to do what I pleased. When children came along, I was sick of me. I wanted to take care of babies and children, cuddle with them, read to them, watch them grow, celebrate their successes, laugh with them. I'm glad for that me time, but I've never wanted to turn back.

There is a time for all things under the sun, Solomon says. Someday, I'll dine alone with my honey again. Savor novels again. Take bubble baths. Cook fancy meals. Dress up. Have a clean, organized house, and a substantial garden, and I'll workout daily. Someday.

But when someday comes, I'll dearly miss my children. I'll think of all the spills that exasperated me, the mud that incensed me, the laundry that overwhelmed me, the talking back that enraged me, and I'll wonder why I didn't just treasure, treasure, treasure. Grateful I'll be, for my four fussy babies, who wouldn't let me just go on with life. The twenty-four seven days with them will always be remembered fondly. Thank God for naps in easy chairs, for endless nights of smelling sweet baby heads against me.

And thank God for grandchildren, for the chance to feel it all again, minus the messes.

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