Thursday, August 30, 2012

One in a million baby!

We went to see the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Dream Home in the Welcome Home Sweepstakes (for a virtual tour visit: We go to see it every year. Of course this was my first time seeing it with the baby, which is a different experience! Luckily my Mom offered to carry her half the time to save my arms/back (which were already aching.) Michelle had fallen asleep in the car so we thought it better to leave her in the carseat so as not to disturb her. It is quite heavy though! She ended up waking up anyway but at least she was pretty good. She seemed fascinated by her new surroundings. She seems to register a lot more now than she did at first as a newborn. I'm not sure what babies see exactly but now that she's a month old I know that she recognizes me and she does seem to take in a lot more. Today she smiled at herself in the mirror! That was pretty cool. I'm not sure if she thought it was another baby smiling back at her. Everyone keeps commenting "She's only a month old?!" when they see the way she smiles or makes little noises or moves her head. So maybe she will be a little genius. Or maybe it's just wishful thinking.

I was relieved she was good while we were touring the Dream Home. Of course she's usually happy when she's in motion (in the car or in your arms.) She needs perpetual motion! It can get tiring though carrying her all the time. My Mom says I was the same way. I was constantly in her arms. "Spoiled little girl needs constant attention just like her Mom!" Mom said about Michelle.

The house was GORGEOUS. They always are. A 6500 square foot $4.3 million dollar home fully furnished in contemporary rustic decor with a lot of natural wood finishes and a zen-like muted colour scheme. It would be wonderful to win it! Not that I could probably afford the property tax anyway! It would be nice to live closer to Mom and May. Though they are always just a phone call (and not too long of a drive) away.

It was a nice day but had started out quite stressful. As I started the drive Michelle was screaming (she usually falls asleep in the car but she hadn't yet.) I had fed and changed her twice before leaving the house so that she'd be in good spirits for the trip. When I looked at the rearview mirror and saw Michelle in the mirror at the back I realized that the sun was on her face. D'oh! I have screens on both the rear windows to shield her from the sun while she's in her carseat but they don't cover the entire window and don't work from every angle, depending on the sun's position. Usually she's in the shade but on this particular morning as luck would have it, the sun was right on her. With her red hair and pale sensitive skin I couldn't let the sun be on her for any length of time. I wasn't sure if UV rays are able to go through car windows. I didn't think so because my prescription glasses are transition lenses and don't darken when I'm driving (which was annoying when I first got them because driving is the main time that I really need sunglasses.) Anyway, I didn't want to take a chance at the baby getting a sunburn so I stopped the car and tried to reposition the stupid screen on the window to put her in the shade. It didn't work. I was so annoyed. I wanted to just black out all the windows! So when I started to drive again I reached back to the backseat and held up a piece of paper beside the carseat until I could see in the rearview that her face was in shade. She was still screaming, my back and arm were aching, nearly dislocating my shoulder to reach back and protect her from the sun. I was so stressed I said a prayer "Please God let us turn a corner and put her in shade to save my arm and let her fall asleep for the trip to save my sanity!" With that, the next thing I knew there was a bend in the road, the sun was no longer in her face and she closed her eyes and went to sleep. "Thank you!" I said to God. Whenever I need help, He's just a prayer away.

The traffic in Oakville is always horrendous and somehow now that I have a baby I seem to hit EVERY SINGLE RED LIGHT THE WHOLE WAY! It's so frustrating because the baby is content and restful only when she's in motion. When the car stops, she doesn't like it at all. Oakville is usually bumper to bumper. Apparently motion and white noise are comforting to babies because it reminds them of the cozy environment in utero. I've even had people suggest that I put the baby on the dryer. I know she likes the vacuum. Sometimes the fan works. And the motion of the car (that seems to be the most popular among babies and I know many parents that will go for drives just to put the kids to sleep!)

I'm learning not to take crying episodes so seriously. The baby, like me or anyone else, just has bad days or bad moments sometimes but it's not the end of the world. She always winds up smiling again and I know she's happy.

Michelle's latest doctor appointment went well. She's healthy and strong and 10 lbs 10 ounces! Almost 11 pounds. When I told the doctor about the baby having her fussy periods in the early evening she said "Colic." And gave me something to try. It has little capsules with liquid in them and says to give it to the baby when they're having an "episode." So I guess I'll give it a try if she has one again. I asked the doctor about gripe water (a few people had recommended it to me). She said it's harmless and was another option I could try. I said that I heard it had sugar and alcohol in it. The doctor said it used to (so people were giving their kids alcohol? I guess when you're desperate you'd try almost anything!) but doesn't have alcohol anymore. I guess some babies have intestinal problems, tummy aches and they can't say that they're in pain so they just cry. Then again some babies just cry for the heck of it. It's hard to know for sure. Really all that anyone (even a doctor) can do is guess because you can't ask the baby what's going on. The last couple of nights she has been pretty good. She's fussy for a bit but then settles down. My Mom suggested putting her on her tummy over my knee and rubbing her back. If it is gas then this may help. I know for myself when I had gas pain the only thing that really helped was lying on my stomach (and passing wind!) The baby does poo an awful lot. My sister said she never had to change so many diapers. At least I know Michelle is eating well. I read that breastmilk is very easily digestible. It certainly seems to go right through her. Or maybe she's got IBS like her Mama already, poor thing.

It would be really nice if we could win the dream home. We could live in it for a little while at least and then sell it. Winning any lottery would be nice! Millions of dollars would definitely help! As a single Mom it is tough. They say money can't buy happiness but it would buy peace of mind if nothing else. It would be one less thing to worry about. And with millions of dollars I could buy Michelle all kinds of fancy toys. Maybe even a motorized contraption that simulates a car/a vacuum/a dryer. If they have such a thing. Maybe I should invent one! They say that necessity is the mother of invention. Someone needs to invent baby clothes that are easier to put on as well! So many outfits that looked cute when I was pregnant I am now realizing how difficult/impractical they are. I hate pulling things over her head. Buttons in the back are a nightmare. I almost wish everything had domes in the front!

She does have a swing and enjoys that sometimes. Other times it doesn't cut it. The car seems to be the favourite though she likes being in the stroller as well. It's a combination of motion and white noise. When she's fussy you just try whatever works. She had one REALLY bad night so far where I couldn't seem to console her at all but (knock on wood) it seemed like a temporary problem. Someone suggested maybe it was a growth spurt. Considering she's gained more than a pound already (and as a percentage of her total weight, that's substantial!) I might agree! If that's the case I may have more episodes in the future as she continues to grow. I just have to remember not to blame myself. Birds fly. Babies cry. It's natural for them. Usually there is something that will make her happy. I just have to try everything until I find out what it is! It will be easier when she can talk and tell me what she wants. Though I hear that can be a challenge as well. Especially when they hit the terrible twos and the more terrible teens...So much to look forward to!

It occurs to me that even with millions of dollars, the baby would still cry, I would still breastfeed, I would still lose sleep. So it wouldn't change everything. But I could hire someone to cook meals and do laundry. That would definitely be a help. I could hire a nanny but the truth is even with all the money in the world I'd rather no one watch Michelle but me. I am her Mommy and that is priceless to me. I wouldn't really trust anyone else to watch her. No one could love her like I do.

Michelle is my little miracle baby. A beautiful, totally unexpected gift from God. She is one in a million and is worth more than millions to me! But yes, winning the lottery would definitely be nice! I could buy a beautiful dream home in paradise and live by the ocean. Instead of making a shushing noise or running the vacuum, Michelle (and I) could be soothed by the sound of the waves. Or we could live on a houseboat and then she would be lulled by constant motion even when we're at home! Sounds like a plan! That's it. I'm buying a lottery ticket! You just never know...

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