7 Months A Mom, Finally A Parent

I hope if you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you’ve figured out how much I enjoy being a mom. Even when I wake up to screaming, it’s easy to get out of bed when I know I’ll see that goofy toothless grin as soon as the door opens. But ever since the NICU, I’ve had this niggling feeling that I might be a mom but I’m not really a parent because I missed out on a lot of those early rites of passage. I had nurses and doctors to let me sleep, and coach me on what his different signals meant, and show me exactly how to do the things that most new parents have to figure out on their own, at 2 am, on half an hour’s worth of sleep.

I’m over that now.

This past week has been awful, seeing my poor baby so sick. I would have traded places with him in a heartbeat, but that’s the one thing a mom can’t do. His official diagnosis is bronchiolitis brought on by RSV, and according to what the doctors’ said about the timeline of this, we should be past the worst of it, finally.

In getting through this last week, I’ve neglected my house, my job, my husband, and cancelled commitments I made to friends and family. I’ve stayed up late and woke up early just to listen to PJ breathe. I’ve held him down while he screamed bloody murder, and cleaned out his airways, and stood by and listened while the hospital staff did the same with a big loud machine that I’m sure scared him half to death. And when it was over I picked him up and kissed away his tears, and rocked him and nursed him until his little heart stopped racing. I don’t even want to think about how many surfaces in my house are sticky from the frozen fruits and juice I’ve been trying to coax him with to get a little more liquid into him. And the usual earworms I get from the radio have all been replaced with songs from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggety dog!

Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggety dog!

And somewhere in all of this, on one of the many, many calls to doctors and pharmacies, it’s stopped feeling weird to say “I’m calling about my son.” I’ve always had this urge to giggle when I’ve had to say that, like, “Really? I have a son? Nah, I have a PJ.” But I guess I really do have a son, and I guess I really am not just his mommy, but his mother.

It’s probably a coincidence, but doesn’t feel like it, that this week is when PJ first started stretching his arms out to let me know when he wants to be held. That was pretty heartbreaking when he was getting his treatments and I couldn’t pick him up, but the rest of the time it’s the best feeling to see him start reaching, and be rewarded with a huge smile and a big hug as soon as he’s in my arms. I wonder if he feels the difference too?

Poor Sick Munchkin

I have always heard that it’s worse having a sick kid than being sick yourself. It’s totally true. After a week where I’ve spent more time in our doctor’s office than my own, I am so ready for my baby to feel better!

But even with the coughing and wheezing and fever, he’s still been the happiest baby – full of smiles and cuddles.

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I wish I could kiss it and make it all better. Poor little man!

PJ’s Diary: Feeling Yucky

Most days, I’m a happy little guy. I jump around and dance and have lots of fun!

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But yesterday, my belly felt so icky that I cried and cried. All I wanted to do was sleep.

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My mommy felt real bad that I caught a germ from her, but I love and snuggle her anyway!

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I’m so glad I don’t ever have to get sick again! Right, Mommy? Mommy? Oh boy.

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I better take another nap.

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Veggies With A Steaming Side Of Guilt

I’ve been looking forward to today – my first shot at making baby food! I spent a lot of time reading about techniques and what fruits and veggies to start with – although holy crap people, enough with the “You MUST do it like this or your baby will DIE!” dramatics! I’m preeeeeetttty sure that our species managed to survive without the aid of a Baby Bullet or even, gasp, an app that tells you the perfect developmental time to introduce sweet potatoes so your kid can make it to the head of his class at Harvard.

Anyway, in my head, today would go something like this: Paul and I would take PJ to the farmers’ market and take his picture with some pumpkins, and then come home with our delicious, locally grown veggies, which I would puree and freeze into perfectly portioned cubes of delicious mush while PJ happily bounced and played with his toys.

Yeah, not working out like that. On Thursday, I woke up with a nasty stomach bug. And the only thing less restful than staying home with an illness that has you running for the bathroom frequently, is having that same illness with an infant, who of course needs just as much love and attention as if Mommy is feeling terrific. So not fun. And just when I’m feeling better, and looking forward to baby food day, PJ wakes up with the bug this morning.

So no pumpkin pictures, and our first batch of baby food veggies came from the produce aisle at Walmart instead of the farmers’ market, and I feel terribly guilty. Guilty for getting my baby sick, guilty that I have to put him down to manage the steamer, and guilty that I don’t eat enough of these veggies myself. I eat a lot of fruit, but am very picky about veggies. I guess now is the time to get better about that, but I still feel bad that I haven’t already.

So I guess I’ll be spending most of today cuddling little man and wishing I could make it better!

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Mommy, me and Bear feels yucky in our bellies 😦