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Checking out at the grocery store today, the clerk asked us if it was Christopher’s first New Year’s Eve.  Immediately I replied that it was.  But, then I realized that, no, it wasn’t.  Just like Christmas, this is actually Christopher’s second New Year’s Eve.  Last year, we spent both of them in the hospital.

The last couple of weeks have been crazy for our family.  We packed all of our stuff and headed to New Mexico for my brother-in-law’s wedding and then stayed to celebrate Christmas and a belated birthday for Christopher.  Before that we were consumed by Thanksgiving and holiday preparations.  During all the craziness I tried to make time to celebrate Christopher and what a miracle he was.

One of the things we decided to do to celebrate was to prepare care packages for the families in the NICU at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas where Christopher was born.  I reached out to the Lake Highlands Area Band Club for food donations and they were awesome!  On Christopher’s birthday we went up to the school and put together the care packages with some help from the band moms and then we delivered them the following day.

I can’t explain the emotions that overwhelmed me entering the NICU a year later.  The nurses gushed over Christopher in his birthday shirt and thanked us for the gifts.  I couldn’t believe that it had been an entire year since our journey with Christopher started.  As we left the NICU, I felt a joy that was so immense…even though Christopher has been home since January, it was like we were taking him home all over again.

New Year’s Eve is a time where we reflect on the year and make resolutions for the next year.  Even with our rocky start, I wouldn’t change a thing about this past year… bringing my son home in January, figuring out how to change a diaper without getting peed on, breastfeeding, crawling, figuring out a car seat, burp cloths, diapers, road trips with a baby, making mommy friends, raising awareness for prematurity, diapers, home made baby food, the list goes on and on.

My resolution for 2010, continue being the best mom I can possibly be and no hospital visits!

One year ago today my precious baby boy was born.  What a year it has been!  After 47 days in the hospital, my baby defeated the odds and came home…he has been on time with all of his milestones and even a little ahead on some of them.  I am so proud of Christopher Anthony and can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for us!

Christopher at 2 weeks old with his first clothes

Christopher at 6 months old

Christopher at 11 months old

In this last picture, the bear that is sitting with him was in his isolette when he was born.  It was twice his size!



It’s true, my little boy is growing up!

The past two days have been exciting yet bittersweet for me as a mom.  Yesterday, Christopher took his first unaided steps!!  Right there, in the middle of the living room he made a break for it(more towards eating the sofa but, it still counts as a break!).  We were playing in the living room before dinner and I was trying to get him to practice standing.  He’s a champion stander.  All of a sudden, he let go of both of my hands and took two steps towards the sofa.  I couldn’t believe my eyes!  The coolest part was that he did it again for his dad when he got home.

After almost a year of reminding myself that he will be slower to develop than some of his friends and his adjusted age is two and half months behind his chronological age, this was a great achievement.  This means that he walked a week and a half before his first birthday and at his adjusted age of 9.5 months.  Too cool!

Sadly though, walking means less carrying time with mom and more independence which leads me to our other major event… we stopped breastfeeding.  This is something that I’m finding harder to believe than the walking.  I was determined to make it a year and we stopped just a week short of it so, I’m saying I MADE IT!!

What makes this so much more of an accomplishment for me is that for the first 6 weeks of his life, I pumped every three hours for him.  Because he was born so early, he was born without the sucking reflex that babies have.  He was fed my milk through a tube and we taught him first, with a pacifier, then with a bottle, and finally on the breast, how to suck  and be able to eat.  He was also a champion breast feeder.  The nurses said he was the best on the floor.  That’s my kid!

During that time, I didn’t know if I was going to make it with the breastfeeding.  I had a very intimate relationship with my hospital grade pump, sometimes even falling asleep while pumping.  Once we got Christopher home, I felt like all I did was feed him.  But, I was bound and determined to stick it out.  I’m not one of those “Breast is Best” women, I just made the decision that since I was able to do it I would.  I think that each mom needs to do what is best for her and her child, as well as her mental state.

So, after almost a full year of awesome breastfeeding, Christopher became a biter.  UGH!  No one can understand how awful this is until it happens to you but, a friend of mine put it very well when she said…”get me a pair of pliers and I’ll clamp them down on your nipples.”  Yup, that’s about right.  Not only does it hurt physically, it hurts emotionally.  No, they don’t know that they’re hurting you but, it still feels like a slap in the face.  How could someone that you have nurtured from your own body just bite you like that?  The first time he bit me, I cried.  Like I said, they don’t realize that it’s bad.

Yesterday morning was our very last breastfeeding session and yes, he bit me again.  Oh, so sad that it couldn’t be a perfect morning.  But, even my husband was on board with it being time to stop.  How fitting, though, that on the day of our last breastfeeding he takes his first step.

This morning we got up and instead of snuggling for feeding, we got up and ate cereal and then played with our toys.  He didn’t even notice that we skipped our “session.”  They just grow up so fast!!

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