Do I always have to title these posts…? This one is random….
Sitter is back today, so finally a minute alone after a week. Ah… So nice! My book club I started meets later today, but for now I’m catching up on emails at a coffee shop. I need to schedule nanny interviews as our current is finished this Friday, fill out some paperwork for Nadia’s insurance, and possibly order baptism invites. Well, if I knew where the party was being held. And who was being invited. Don’t even get me started. It’s still not settled. Drama, I tell ya. And my blood boils every time I even think about it. I originally thought maybe I would combine the baptism and Nadia’s first birthday party, but now I’m thinking maybe it would be better to focus on each separately.
Way back when, when Nadia first started physical and speech therapy, Eric asked me if I wanted to hire someone to come to our home to work with her. At the time I was like, oh heck no, we don’t need that. Now, weeks later, and with the addition of Nora’s feeding therapy, I’m wondering if maybe that was a good idea. I’m not sure how that works though. I assume we just pay for it outside of insurance, which isn’t a problem. But how does one find such qualified people? We would still go to the official appointments too, right? Anyone know a lot about all this? I certainly don’t!
But there is a caveat to this… I would feel incredibly guilty hiring someone to help the girls. I guess I have in my head that’s it’s my job as their mom to do everything I can to support and help them, including working on our therapy ‘homework’. But honestly, this is so far from my natural talents. I have no training in this area, and let’s face it, I’m not one of those SAHM who is down on the floor with their kids every minute, dreaming up new ways to entertain and grow their children’s young minds. It’s just not me.
I feel like I live at the Pediatric Therapy Clinic. We (I had to take Nadia too) went this morning to Nora’s feeding evaluation. I had no idea what to expect, but they asked me to bring three foods she will eat, and three she won’t. The first half hour or so was just information gathering, we discussed Nora’s premature birth, acid reflux as an infant, her breastfeeding issues in the NICU, her posterior tongue tie and upper lip tie, how even after correction she still took forever to finish a bottle… I gave a list of what Nora will eat, how we still rely a lot on Pediasure and toddler formula, the how she spits out a lot, even before she’s really had a chance to taste.
The therapist really wants to see Nora twice a week, but we’re already there once a week for Nadia’s physical therapy, once a week for Nadia’s speech therapy, and now once a week for Nora’s feeding therapy. Adding three appointments a week to our schedule is enough for me, I can’t do four. I feel bad, but I can’t, not now anyway. Maybe in a month when I get a new sitter hired and we’re into a routine.
I was able to see a little bit of the actual therapy today… The therapist started with one of the foods that Nora likes, sour cream and onion goldfish crackers. A few were put on a plate for Nora, and the therapist put a few on her plate at well before going on to talk to Nora about how crunchy the crackers were when chewed. She made a big display of it, and of course Nora thought it was hilarious and then wanted to crunch them as well. Next they moved on to a food Nora doesn’t like, pumpkin banana snack bars from Plum Organics. Again the therapist took a bit of the bar as well, talked to Nora about how it was soft, didn’t make noise when she ate it, could be smashed with her fingers, etc. She asked Nora to first touch the bar, then kiss it, etc. until finally asking her to ‘send it down to her tummy’. Apparently they aren’t supposed to always or even often use the word ‘eat’… This process went on with the other foods I’d brought, almonds, fruit snacks, yogurt, and bits of actual fruit.
The therapist seemed to focus a lot of Nora’s acid reflux as an infant, suggesting perhaps Nora has learned that eating is actually painful and thus she has somehow learned what she can eat, a very limited variety of foods, that won’t cause her reflux. I’m not sure I believe this theory…
One of the questions I was asked was whether or not Nora is overly concerned with her hands being messy. I’m not sure on this one. She does ask me to wipe them off if she gets a lot of food on them, but she certainly doesn’t freak out about it. Looking back though, I never really let Nora eat with her fingers… You know that spaghetti picture everyone has of their child? We never did that, rather tried to teach Nora from a young age to use silverware. I more blame giving up on the idea of baby food so soon for the issues we’re having now. Nora spit out a lot of baby food at first, and being a first time mom I figured she didn’t like it and quickly moved onto baby led weaning. Having seen Nadia spit the baby food out a few times before liking it and figuring out how to eat it, I now think maybe I just didn’t give Nora enough time. Who knows… Can’t go back now I guess.
Our next feeding therapy session with Nora is this Friday, so rather soon. We were given a few instructions to work on at home in the meantime:
- continue our usual routine, sticking with the Pediasure and toddler formula for the time being
- during family meals prepare for Nora foods we know she likes and will eat, even if that means mac and cheese and fruit snacks for every meal; the goal for now is just to make sure she is eating with us
- during family meals talk a lot to Nora about what we are eating, meaning about the foods we want her to eat; for example if I’m eating a green bean tell her how it’s soft and green, doesn’t make a sound when chewed, can be cut into smaller pieces, how yummy it is, etc.
- plan time for one-on-one therapy meals with Nora, perhaps when Nadia is napping (ha); during these ‘meals’ introduce Nora to new foods but also incorporate familiar items she likes while completing this feeding log
- the idea with the log is to start at the top and attempt to move down the list by encouraging her, playing with the food, doing these things myself with the food, etc.; if she won’t move down the list, go back to the top and start over
So… this all sounds great and wonderful, but ah, finding the time, and preparing new foods to try is already a bit overwhelming to me, not to mention also finding foods to take to the actual therapy sessions, oh, and going to the therapy sessions. I know, this is just one more thing I’ll look back on and think, oh, remember that? But still, right now it feels like a lot for me. Especially since my specialty is accounting, not playing with kids and their food!
I’m usually not a crier. But I was watching a recorded episode of Nashville last night, and a particular scene really got to me…
Now I know I didn’t purposely do anything to cause Nora and Nadia’s premature births and ongoing related issues… But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel quite guilty. I mean, my God, Nora had bacterial meningitis and sepsis as a preemie, two separate episodes. When they told us they said, I’m so sorry, as if she was already dead! I’m honestly shocked she’s doing so well. We still have many follow-up appointments, which reminds me, we need another hearing test for her, as she’s at-risk for hearing loss for several more years yet, I think until she’s five maybe. And Nadia, every time I look at her and will her to crawl or make a babbling noise I’m reminded of her brain bleed.
There is the rational side of it all… But then there is the side who wishes she could go back. To beg for the cerclage, or do more research on my own, or rest more during both my pregnancies. I don’t know, anything to change a 29 and 30 week delivery. And then I think of our frozen embryo. How do we give that little boy or girl a chance? Is it irresponsible for me to attempt another pregnancy? What if I delivered at 24 weeks next time? How would I live with the guilt of raising a possible special-needs child knowing my body was the cause?
I think back to the month we started our first round of IVF, how scared I was of the process… And here now, with two beautiful girls… The situation may be different, but the fear remains.
I’m over this weather. Either it’s 100F with 90% humidity, or raining, or both. I didn’t leave the house yesterday or today, so needless to say, I’m going a bit stir-crazy. Eric is on-call and has worked 13+ hours each day, physically at work. And then when he gets home he goes directly to the basement to dictate notes for several hours.
I was really, really missing Iowa City today. You know how we each have our happy place, where you feel relaxed? Mine, for whatever reason, is shopping malls. (Probably some deep-seated childhood issue, I don’t know.) Anyway, being it was hot as hell and raining today, I was really missing the mall in Coralville, right outside Iowa City. They have a Barnes and Noble with Starbucks for me, and a fairly decent, although very germ infested, play area for the girls. I know, it’s kind of sad when you miss a mall, but it’s somewhere to go on days like today. We don’t have that here. Our mall is 95% vacant spaces. Seriously. And no kid area. Ugh.
We did make it through the day though, and I even cleaned our master bedroom up a bit, went through some of my clothing, and made a donation pile. So a success on some small front.
Hopefully I find a way to get out of the house tomorrow…
All moms worry, right? My current list of (irrational?) worries:
- How will I ever potty train Nora when she cries whenever I mention it?
- Why does Nora already have two moles on her face? Can kids even get moles? Have I already ruined her skin with the sun?
- Are Nora’s baby teeth already rotting from all the Pediasure she consumes? Why does she hate brushing her teeth?
- Is Nora the only two year-old who still cries for a bottle?
- Is Nadia not talking or crawling because I don’t give her enough attention?
- Does Nora cling to me because I don’t expose her to other children enough?
- What if I don’t find an awesome sitter for the school year?
- Should I already be researching gestational carriers?
- Does Nora watch too much TV and/or play with her iPad too much?
- Should Nora be dressing herself by now?
- Do I spend too much time on my phone when the girls are awake?
- How can I keep this house better organized and clean?