Tuesday, December 18, 2012

1st Birthday!

                                      Today my baby you are 1!!

What a roller coaster, life changing year this has been. It has certainly been the best year of my life, and definitely the most challenging year thus far. You have taught me that I am more capable than I ever thought possible.

Sometimes I still can't believe you are mine. You are picture perfect and physically I'm not. Sometimes I feel like I'm waiting for someone to pinch me and wake me up from a beautiful dream. Me, the slow person who always fell, who many people, including myself doubted, have you, a beautiful, healthy and very smart baby girl. I often will stop and stare at you and just shake my head in wonderment at the miracle that you are. Every time I look at your beautiful angelic face with your deep blue eyes, I fall in love all over again.

When I learned what the date of your birth would be, you, me and of course Doggie, were happily tanning in the winter sun. You moved to the center of my belly and snuggled there. I loved feeling you move. I dozed off, happily thinking we had at least a month more to go before you arrived. When your father interrupted our tanning session to tell me you would be born in two weeks, I panicked. I wasn't ready to become a mother yet! I didn't know squat about babies and the house wasn't set up! Aside from that, I was having a beautiful pregnancy and I loved having you live in my belly. I wasn't ready to evict you yet! 2 weeks wasn't enough time! Where was the pause button?! I wasn't ready!

Now that you are here, I love you more than I ever imagined I could. We have shared an incredible first year together. We've had amazing highs and pretty crappy lows. 
The cord which bound us may be gone, but you are always connected to me. When you see me fall and you give a scared cry, I'm always amazed that you realize mommy shouldn't be on the floor and that you cry because you are concerned for me. Every time we share a smile or you hug me with your little baby arms and give me yummy kisses, and even when you kiss mommy's scrapes,
I feel on top of the world and I'm always amazed that you are mine...

The beginning was a little rough on mommy. Like I said, I didn't know anything about babies! When we took you for your first vaccination and they asked me for a diaper after you were weighed, I looked at the nurse, blinked and said "ummm..." I couldn't believe I didn't bring anything to change you with! I totally thought they would provide diapers! You can bet I never forgot a diaper or wipes again! But I did forget other stuff=) Every time we went out for the day, I always forgot something, whether it was a hat, water in the scorching summer heat, or enough food on long journeys. I think the worst was not having enough food when we were out for a whole day. I kept forgetting that you're not such a baby anymore and you need REAL food. We ended up having to stop and get you schwarma and hummus! I will never forget the look on the waitresses face when I told her I was ordering schwarma, hummus and salads for my baby!
You may eat real food, but at night when it's just you and me as I nurse you to sleep, you are my baby again.

You are growing and developing so fast that we are looking for that pause button, but life doesn't have one of those.  
You love music. I love watching you move your little body up and down to a tune. When I was pregnant with you, every time I was near music, you started to dance in my belly. Maybe you will be a dancer one day...
We invested so  much in you this first year, but your first word wasn't mama or dada, it was dog! You LOVE Doggie and even though he seems annoyed or intimidated by you, he loves you too, especially when you give him your food.

It seems like it was only yesterday you were born and I held you for the first time. I cant believe a whole year has gone by! To celebrate, your grandfather Stephen flew in from Australia to meet you for the first time. We had a small birthday party for you at home. I baked a cake for you and your father even gave you a little bit of whiskey which you actually liked!

Happy 1st birthday my baby. Here's to many more happy, healthy years. I love you.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Touring Daddy

My husband is following his dream and just started school to be a tour guide. Israel is a beautiful country topographically and has history that dates thousands of years back. 5 years ago my husband enrolled in the course but dropped out because among other reasons, we wanted to start a family and I wanted him home so it wasn't the perfect time. Now that we have a baby, it isn't exactly the greatest time for him to be going into such a demanding profession, but guiding people around Israel is something he's very passionate about and something he will be phenomenal at, so we are willing to make the sacrifice financially and as a family. The course runs for 2 academic years. During that time, my husband will be touring on and off with his class. I feel that this course will be more of a sacrifice for me than for my husband.

Nearly 11 months old, Naama is crawling around so fast that I feel that I can't be alone with her safely. I will need help when my husband won't be home, which makes me sad because I feel like I'm going backward in my independence with Naama. Today just proved that I need more help than I think I do with Naama. Lately it seems my little princess has turned into a little terrorist when it comes to changing, dressing and putting her in the stroller. Sometimes during changing and dressing time she will roll around and get all fidgety, even when I give her a toy. I can usually get her under control to finish changing her. But on hard days like today, I'm in pain from bending over her for so long it makes it hard to breathe, so it's really not fun when she throws her head back and arcs her back because she refuses to sit in the stroller and I need the stroller to transport her around the house. Today I fought her for nearly 20 minutes before giving up. She was crying hysterically and I was fed up fighting with her, so I just picked Naama up under her arms and walked with her from my bedroom down the hall to the living room and put her on her floormats. I walked with her in my arms because I had no choice. I think it's foolish of me to attempt it again. Doggie needed to go out desperately but Naama still wasn't cooperating. After another 30 minute attempt, I finally got her in the stroller and out we went.
All this made me realize I need help even if it's just for an hour in the morning when my husband will be out the door before Naama wakes up. Once a week he will be touring for a full day. There will be overnight tours sporadically, but Mary Poppins will be sleeping here on those nights so I'm not alone and so she can help me if Naama wakes in the middle of the night.

My mother convinced me to put Naama in daycare so she has the interaction she seems to crave because she loves other babies but I know the real reason is because my mother and truthfully me too are scared for Naama's safety, on the days my husband will be gone all day, especially after I fell for no apparent reason the other night. I rarely fall these days. My mother who was visiting,was holding Naama, and when I fell Naama started to cry, which my mother found very interesting. My mother thinks Naama is an old soul:) My fall kind of sealed the deal as far as my mother was concerned, so Naama started daycare today.
Naama with daycare lady

It was so weird not having Naama around the house. On one hand it was good because it gave me time to do things like eat and clean the apartment. On the other hand I missed my baby. I felt an actual ache because she wasn't with me. When I put her in the daycare and kissed her goodbye, she was totally fine. She didn't even notice I left. It was weird being alone with my husband at home. It felt like the time before we had Naama...As pickup time neared, I was literally watching the clock for like 10 min anxiously waiting for it to hit 4pm so I could pick up my princess. I was so excited to go get her that I felt a little silly.

When I walked into the daycare, I saw Naama sitting on the daycare lady's lap. Naama was eating a cracker and her little mouth was so full of cracker that her cheeks were all puffed out and her jaw was getting a workout with all that chewing! It was such a cute sight that I wish I had recorded it. The second Naama saw me, she reached for me. I sat down and held Naama and gave her a billion kisses, I really didnt think I'd miss her so much for a few hours. Naama looked at me, pulled at the neck of my shirt and peered inside as if to say hey mommy where's my lunch?! I was told Naama played nicely with the others and had a good time. Maybe it is a good idea to put her in daycare a few hours each day even on the days both of us are home....

Monday, November 5, 2012

Picture Perfect

Today was anything but perfect. I finally organized a cleaning lady and she didn't show because she lost her keys, so my house stayed messy and dishes undone until Naama napped, but she didnt nap=(. I was exhausted from being on mommy duty all day and then my husband told me he had to go to Jerusalem for a few hours.

Camp mommy ain't over yet!

When I'm alone with Naama I always have to think one step ahead. Sometimes, like today, it gets really tiring doing things the long way by putting her in the stroller to get around the house, moving around furniture to transfer Naama safely if I'm not putting her in the stroller, and having to get all her changing stuff and put it on our bed instead of her changing table because it's safer to change her on the bed. Sometimes I just want to take a shortcut and walk with Naama in my arms from point A to point B, but I'm not willing to put her safety at risk. However, when she crawls away from her floor mats, I do pick her up and walk her back over to her mats. Short distances I can do, but I'm not willing to do more than that because I'm scared I'll trip and fall. Because things take longer to do when I'm alone with Naama, she definitely cries more out of frustration, so that's difficult for me.

Once my husband left for Jerusalem, I put Naama in her Go Around Activity Center and started to do the mountain of dishes. I LOVE this toy! It keeps her busy and more importantly it keeps her contained!

Occasionally I give her a napkin she can tear to her heart's delight. She loves that.
After awhile Naama started to get fussy and wanted to eat. As I walked toward her, I stepped on some Cheerios Naama had thrown on the floor. I groaned but then thought what's a few crushed cheerios when the house was already a mess?? Doggie came over and inhaled the rest of the cereal:) Doggie loves eating whatever she drops and with the amount he eats, I feel like I buy cheerios for Doggie instead of Naama.

I wasn't in the mood to take Naama out of her toy, put her in her stroller and take her out once I got to the couch to nurse her and I had a feeling Naama wasn't going to have patience for that either, so I slowly dragged a standing Naama in the Go Around toy to the couch. Naama's cry turned into a wail with tears and I immediately had an image of Fred Flinstone starting his car with his feet, which is kind of what Naama ended up doing as I dragged the toy. I think I hurt her little feet by possibly dragging the toy too fast. My heart broke to see her tears, but dragging her over was faster than putting her in stroller. As Naama saw me getting ready to nurse, she reached for me as if to say please mommy take me out of my prison, I need you. But even when Naama is crying to nurse, I set myself up with the computer first so I can watch TV. Since Naama usually falls asleep while she nurses, I didn't want to spend who knows how long staring at the wall while I nursed and there's only so long I can stare at my baby's face as cute as she is. I worked as fast as I could and I sat down to nurse her. I checked her little feet for any damage, gave them kisses and within 5 minutes she nursed to sleep and it looked like she was out for the night.

Shortly afterwards, my husband texted me that he was almost home. I hoped he had taken his key.
Unfortunately my husband didn't have his key. Doggie heard my husband at the door and barked, waking Naama from a deep sleep. Because she was still half asleep, Naama was all confused when I went to put her down on the floor to get the door. I can't walk with her in my arms because I'm afraid I'll trip and fall. What followed were the most heartbreaking but most delicious 15 minutes ever. Every time I tried to put Naama on the floor, she cried and grabbed at my shirt with her little hands, clinging to me for dear life. My husband texted me that he needed the bathroom. I felt so bad. I couldn't let him in. Of course Naama chooses this time to be extra clingy! She kept snuggling her small body into mine. she didn't want me to let her go. Doggie continued to bark and then whine which I realized really scared Naama because she was confused as to  why Doggie was barking and she didn't know why mommy wanted to put her on a cold, hard floor instead of snuggling with her.

Eventually, I was able to open the door for my husband. Naama was screaming on the floor, but I had no choice but to pry her from me and leave her on the floor. Thankfully afterward Naama and Doggie were happy again=)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Up and Down

Time is flying by so fast! My beautiful Naama is 10 months old and she's so smart it's scary. I've heard from other disabled mothers that their children didn't start asking them questions until they were in school and their friends asked them why their mommy is different, so I thought I had time till I reached that stage with Naama, but I think we are there! Nonverbally of course!

Lately Naama fusses when I hold her for more than a few minutes. I can only hold her sitting down. I don't have the balance to do otherwise. When I pass her to my standing husband she excitedly reaches for him and happily stays in his arms. I think the reason she likes my husband more than me sometimes is because daddy is like a carnival ride for her. She loves when he tosses her in the air and catches her. She shrieks with laughter when he flies her around the room.

If I were her, I'd prefer daddy too! Naama  lets Mary Poppins swing her around too=) I'm happy Naama is having fun. Strangely I'm not at all sad that I can't play flying baby with Naama. I just think of all the things I CAN do with her and that's enough for me.

Thankfully, Naama is a very calm baby. She sits and plays quietly on her mat with the baby sitter , but with me she crawls all over the place after playing for a little while and she usually crawls straight to places she shouldn't like the fan or the outlets! I wonder what the baby sitters secrets are?? How do they get her to sit and play quietly for so long? does Naama know that she can act around with me because I'm slow? Sometimes we will both be crawling toward the same object, often times I'm trying to stop her from getting something, and she will reach the object first. A few times she even smiled when she reached her goal before I could stop her...little stinker=)  I'm still in physical therapy just for muscle maintenance and strengthening, but crawling and jumping up after Naama is better than any physical therapy!

Now that she pulls herself to standing, it's extra taxing on me. I feel like a jack in the box. One second we can be on the floor playing together and the next second, I'm scrambling to get to my feet so I can go stand behind Naama in case she falls as she pulls herself to standing. Sometimes I will stand behind her for a few minutes as she explores a toy or the couch from her new vantage point. If she falls, I want my body to cushion her, thats what mommy's are supposed to do. Protect your babies always. Unfortunately sometimes that's not always possible, regardless of a disability.

Naama's developing and exploring is a recipe for boo boos, but I think her boo boos hurt me more than they hurt her. When I'm watching her explore and she bumps herself or falls, I immediately go to her, but sometimes I don't reach her fast enough and watching her little face register pain as she begins to cry is the hardest thing for me as a mom. I wasn't fast enough to prevent the pain. When I do reach her, I don't lift her. I haven't tried but I dont think I'd have the balance to lift her to me even when I'm on my knees. I'm afraid I'll fall sideways while holding her, so the most I do if it's a small boo boo, I tell her she's fine and she usually doesn't cry because she sees I'm not making a big deal out of it, but when she's playing on her floor mats or near the bookshelves and she bumps herself or falls and really hurts herself and cries, I crawl over as fast as I can and just hold her to me.

If Naama could talk I believe she would. One day when Naama was in her stroller and I was walking around the stroller to her, my sandal got caught on the stroller brake and I fell. Naama pushed herself up  in her stroller and looked over the side at me on the floor with a facial expression that said mommy why are you on the floor?! It was such a funny moment, I almost peed myself laughing! Sometimes Naama will look at me up and down when I walk and its absolutely hilarious! my husband even noticed how Naama gives me the once over! I wonder if she will distance herself from me the way my little brother did for awhile because "I'm stupid and I fall down." I  dont think this  will be the case with my baby, but I do think she will ask questions as soon as she's able. she cant talk yet, but her eyes and facial expressions say it all.

Last week I was nursing Naama to sleep. The one thing I can't do with her is transfer a sleeping Naama from me to her crib, so sometimes if my husband forgets to check in on us and I don't have my phone, I can sit with her for close to an hour, which can get quite uncomfortable. One night I got so frustrated because it appeared my husband fell asleep, so I was stuck with Naama and I couldn't keep my eyes open and body parts were going numb on me. I let out a frustrated scream which caused Naama to wake with a scared cry. Even though I was the one who yelled, Naama still grabbed for me and put her little chubby arms around my neck. I hugged her, comforted her and rocked her back to sleep. Luckily my scream woke my husband and he took her off me, but I felt like such a bad mother for screaming like that and waking her..

There are ups and downs to everything in life and we will hit more bumps later on, but what I know now is that despite my limitations, Naama loves her mommy.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Stairway to Nowhere

Following our traumatic summer last year when we were homeless for nearly 3 months during my pregnancy, I promised myself that when we finally found a suitable apartment it would be one we could stay in for a few years.

We took the place we are in now pretty much out of desperation. It was the last place we looked at and it kinda WAS at the top of our budget. It's a 4 bedroom duplex with a shower and a bath. Our building also has an elevator and an entrance with no stairs, which is perfect when I'd have to deal with a stroller. Being disabled and pregnant, I needed several ameneties to make my life easier but I HAD to have the elevator.

              With my balanced compromised because of my belly, I wasn't taking stairs.

                         Fast forward to baby.
I can't schlep a stroller up or down stairs and I don't have the balance to wear the baby in a baby carrier and just take her down or up the stairs, so it'd be great to stay where we are now, because I have my independence, but I think we have to move again=( I have trauma just looking at apartment rentals online!

Having a landlord from hell and an apartment at the top of our budget, now that we no longer have a live in nanny (thank God!!) we don't need the extra bedroom, so it'd be great to find something cheaper and smaller, but we haven't had any luck finding a suitable place. We live in a city in the foothills of Jerusalem Israel, so nearly every building has stairs. The buildings in this city are fairly old, so chances of them having an elevator are none really. Many ground floor apartments even have stairs leading downward to the apartment.

In our searches, apartments have been listed as disability accessible, but apparently Israelis don't understand what disabled access means. The first apartment we looked at months ago sounded GREAT. Ground floor, totally in our budget and it was at the back of the medical clinic we go to. Best of all it was still in the neighborhood we are in now which we were very happy about. We got Naama ready, put her in the stroller and off we went to look at this apartment. On the way I asked my husband if there were stairs. He said there were a few small stairs. No big deal. I can deal with taking the stroller up and down like 2-3 stairs. Not that I ever tried, but I figure it's the same thing as going on and off a curb with the stroller which is something I do very often.

We get to the building and I see TEN stairs just leading to the courtyard of the building. I was ready to turn around and walk home. But my husband said there may be another entrance. If there was I didn't see it! We got to the entrance of the apartment and I was just in shock! 2-3 stairs my ass! There were at least 8 stairs going STRAIGHT down to the apartment. My husband had a go at the landlord saying that he was told there weren't really stairs etc. The landlord said no no it's OK! He said we could possibly build a ramp over the stairs. I just stared at the guy like he landed from Mars. With the angle and height the stairs were at there was NO way a ramp would even be possible. My husband looked at the apartment anyway. I don't understand why. If I can't get in and out on my own, I don't care if the apartment is a palace!

This situation was only the first of many similar situations. It doesn't seem to matter whether I tell the landlord or agent NO STAIRS in Hebrew or English (even native English speakers), they continually show my husband apartments that have like a flight or a flight and a half of stairs just to get in to the place. Maybe they would understand if I spoke in Swahili?? Geez... I don't know, maybe they just really don't understand that I really CAN'T deal with a stroller and stairs. Maybe they think I will manage?? And my husband God love him, he continues to look at these apartments as if they are actually a possibility!!! As soon as I see stairs, I turn around. No need to waste anyone's time!
Truth is, even if I were completely able bodied, I wouldn't want to schlep a baby and a stroller up and down stairs multiple times a day. If only I could wear a baby carrier...Sometimes I think I want to try it because I have overcome so many other challenges I faced in caring for Naama, but then I come back to my senses. One fall with her on my body and it may be all over. No way am I taking that chance. I wonder if there have been others in my situation who have found a solution...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Mommy and Me

Today Naama and I went to our first mommy and me class.  I was very much looking forward to the class. I was nervous because we'd be taking the bus there and I wasn't sure how I was going to manage on the bus with a stroller. Walking with my husband to the bus stop, I felt like a little girl on my first day of school. I had butterflies in my stomach. I was nervous and excited at the same time. Here I was going with my baby to a mommy and me class all on my own! My husband put the stroller on the bus through the back door. I followed, put the stroller on brake and walked to the front to pay. So far so good. A woman helped me off the bus and I was on my way to the class.

When I got to the mommy and me class, there were stairs leading to the apartment. I called the woman leading the class and asked her to come out and help me. I didn't tell her I have Cerebral Palsy. She cast me a quick up and down, so as she pulled the stroller up the stairs, I mentioned I had a slight disability. I feel like I should wear a sign saying I HAVE CEREBRAL PALSY. I hate explaining... sometimes I do, sometimes I don't...
Walking into her apartment, I saw all the other moms already sitting with their babies in a circle on the floor. There was no room to bring the stroller through to the circle, so I had to ask the woman to carry Naama to the circle. Someone thoughtfully put a chair out for me so I didn't have to sit on the floor like the rest of the mommies. I got glances from some mommies in the class. I don't blame them. I'd look too if I saw someone walking abnormally.

The class got started and at first I was holding Naama on my lap and moving her arms and legs to the puppet show and song.
 Then I just sat her on the floor in front of me so she could explore a little. I stayed behind her at first because while she can sit on her own, she can't sit alone for a long period of time, so I was afraid she was going to fall back and hit her head on the leg of my chair, but she was fine and loved playing with other babies.

               After the puppet show, they broke out the rattles and tamboreen bracelets.

 I wanted to get in on this action, so I got down on the floor with Naama and together with the other babies and mommies we were shaking our tamboreens, rattling our rattles and singing away. I think I had a little too much fun...=) At nearly 9 months, Naama is still putting everything in her mouth, so of course in went the rattle and the tamboreen bracelet! The woman running the class must have read my mind because she said "to all new mommies, I've disinfected all the toys." Keep munching away then Naama! 

When all the babies were back in a circle, the head of the class went around putting this big furry hat on each baby as she said their name. Unfortunately, I couldn't get in front of Naama in time to get a picture, so I had to settle for a back shot.

 I think I was the only mom there with a camera. I lack the balance and strength to bend down to baby level and get really nice shots, so I do what I can. I was all over the place trying to get a good photo. Can you tell this was my first mommy and me class? =)

For one of the activities, all the mommies were holding their babies as they walked around in a circle and then jumped in and out of the circle. The other activity had the mommies walk around in a circle and the babies got to beat on a drum when the circle stopped. I don't have the balance to walk around holding Naama. I didn't say anything. For the activity where the mommies and babies jumped in and out of the circle, I just leaned back and forth in the chair with Naama in my arms. For the drum activity, when the circle reached me, the woman running the class brought the drum to Naama and let her bang on it=) 
At the end of the class, I waited till nearly everyone was gone and then asked for help to carry Naama to her stroller.

          Mommy and Me was a lot of fun! I had a blast and it looks like Naama loved it too! 

 One of the mommies in the class happened to be an old friend of my husband's from back in Australia. She recognized me and we walked out together. My new mommy friend mentioned how Naama was perfectly suited for me since she is such a calm, happy baby. Interesting how people pick that up almost  right away=)

Getting on the bus home was a story. I won't get on through the back of bus because I'm always afraid the driver won't see me. When the front doors opened, I asked the driver if he could come closer to the curb so I wouldn't have a gap between the stroller and the bus. Instead of coming closer, the driver lowered the bus but no ramp came forth, so that didn't really help me. An elderly woman on the bus saw me and came to help me lift the stroller on the bus. Right away I realized my mistake of not getting on at the back. The stroller's back wheels were too large to fit through the narrow aisle toward the front of the bus and I couldn't just stand there because more people were boarding at each stop. I had no choice but to take Naama out of the stroller and hold her on my lap. The elderly woman helped me fold the stroller and we stuffed it as best we could by my legs. I had one arm around Naama and I was holding the stroller steady with the other arm. This was my first time on a bus in our city. In certain areas the city is very hilly with windy roads. I guess I let my mind wander for a moment during the ride because the next thing I know, the bus took a deep turn and caught me off gaurd. The stroller flew into the aisle and I almost lost my grip on Naama. I readjusted my grip and someone helped to put the stroller back, but my heart was racing and my hands were shaking. What was I thinking getting on a bus with Naama by myself?

Finally when I reached my stop, a woman helped me and Naama off the bus. I thanked her and then realized I got off about a stop early which meant I had to walk uphill in crazy hot weather. As I walked to meet my husband, I had mixed emotions. I felt like crying because the whole bus thing was such an ordeal and I was so embarrassed. I just wanted to go to the class so my baby could have a good time.  On the other hand, I'm happy I went to the class with Naama. It was good for both of us. 

When I told my husband what happened on the bus ride back, he wondered why I didn't just catch a cab home. I explained that taking a cab would've been nearly the same as taking a bus. I would still need help transferring Naama and dealing with the stroller. 

I definitely want to go back to mommy and me next week. Maybe one of the mommies has a car and can give us a ride, but the ideal would be a mommy and me class in my area so I wouldn't have to worry about a 15 minute bus ride with Naama.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I LOVE motherhood! I was born to be a mother.

 For about 2 weeks earlier this month, Naama was waking up at 4am because her teeth were coming through!
 Sure I was half asleep, but my main concern was comforting my baby. My husband took Naama out of her bassinet and handed her to me. Naama and I snuggled together and I nursed her back to sleep. In the mornings, as my husband inhaled his coffee, I mentioned that even at 4am, Naama's cries are like music to my ears. "You're not normal," said my husband. "Does her poop still smell like flowers to you?"he asked. My husband can't change a poopy diaper without gagging, so I change them. I used to say her poopy smelled like flowers...Ok maybe Im exaggerating a bit, because now that she's eating solids, it definitely don't smell so hot, but I'm just happy that her plumbing's working right!

Earlier this week, we moved Naama into her own room where she sleeps in her regular crib. My husband said that at 8 months old it's time she slept in her own room. I beg to differ, but she WOULD fit in her crib better than the bassinet, so we put her to bed in her own room, which is literally 4 paces  from our bedroom. My husband was asleep the second his head hit the pillow, but I kept tossing and turning. I couldn't sleep. I missed my baby. I love this moosh face! Naama is so yummy that we have combined her name and the word yummy, so we often call her Nummy=)

 With Naama spending her first night in her own room, I felt like she didn't need her mommy anymore. I got all teary just looking at Naama's empty bassinet. She could handle it. She may have been ok, but mommy wasn't! Forget baby separation anxiety! Mommy's having the separation anxiety! Even though I felt ridiculous for doing so, I grabbed a blanket and pillow and lay on the floor next to Naama's crib. I was asleep in seconds=)

I think the best part about being a mom is when I walk into a room and Naama gives me a huge smile and flaps her arms and legs with excitement, or when she cries when I leave the room, or when she looks for me when she's frightened. I feel so happy and also amazed. To her I'm perfect even though I have Cerebral Palsy.

Yeah I can now do the majority of baby care on my own, but there are a few kinks I doubt I will ever be able to iron out.

One night while my husband was walking Doggie, Naama woke crying but she was still half asleep.  I wanted to take her out of her bassinet and just cuddle and comfort her, but she was still kinda sleepy and unlike my husband, I don't do anything gently. While I was hemming and hawwing over how to take her gently out of her bed, she cried harder. Naama often pushes herself to the head of her bed, which makes it hard for me to grab her at a good angle, but without thinking too much, I pulled her toward me by her legs/tush so I could get a good grip on her and lifted her out of her bassinet. I tried to put her gently on my bed , but I ended up more like plopping her on the bed and she cried harder. Talk about a rude awakening! After positioning her, I lay beside her and nursed her back to sleep, but I felt so bad that I was kinda rough on her.... Sometimes when I'm trying to lay Naama next to me so I could nurse her in bed, she decides it's easier for her to just come at my breast head on! That does kinda make it easier on me and it's hysterical to see. I love my intuitive baby=) When I was younger, I always joked with my friends that I should be a product tester. I tore and broke more notebooks and binders than I can count! If a product can withstand my falls, drops and toughness it gets a green light!

When I'm alone, I nurse Naama on the couch so I can transfer her to her stroller if she's awake when she's done. Since I can't gently transfer a sleeping Naama from my breast to her stroller or bed, I have to stay on the couch with her in the nursing position until she wakes up which could be close to an hour. It's not easy having body parts fall asleep on you=) Occasionally, I can move her from a nursing position to a sitting position while she's still out which helps my numb arm, but I'm still stuck on the couch for who knows how long=) However, having her delicious, warm little body on me makes up for all the other things around the house which aren't going to get done...again!

And we have reached the next developmental stage! Crawling! We totally thought we'd have a bit more time before Naama started crawling in her 7th month, but one day she was just on the move and she never looked back!

It's hard for me that she's crawling, but I'm doing the best I can. Thankfully Naama is just doing the army crawl now and is mainly crawling in one area which makes it a little easier.

Last week, my husband started a new job. He left the house at 6:30AM. Naama was already feeding and I was happy about that. If I needed help, my husband was still around. I can deal with the baby care, it just takes me longer because I have to put her in the stroller first to get around the house, or I have to rearrange things before doing something like changing a diaper and we all know that patience is one thing babies DON'T have, so it was easier having my husband help me since Mary Poppins wasn't coming until 10am.

Now that Naama was crawling, I was very apprehensive to be alone with her. I wasn't planning on taking her out of her stroller until Mary Poppins arrived. Naama hates being confined, so I knew she was going to want to be on the floor and I wanted her to have her freedom.

I can put her on the floor and pick her up if she is within my reach from where I'm sitting on the couch but I had yet to pick her up from the floor while standing. When she starts crawling just out of my reach, I will grab her by her clothing and slide her back to me. I feel kinda cruel for doing that because she's trying to get to a certain point and here I come pulling her ALL the way back. When she's on her mat, I'm careful not to walk near her without holding onto something because I'm afraid I'll fall and hurt my princess. One day I was on the baby's opposite side. I went to get something and I tripped over the blanket that cushions the mat. I decided to play with her while I was on the floor. Why not? I'm already there=)
 But usually, I get on the floor and play with her. I love every minute!
Aren't those teeth just the cutest???

One day, Naama crawled across the room from me and was going near the computer cable. My only choice was to pick her up while I was standing. Once again when push came to shove, I knew I could do what I need to do. I braced myself and without really thinking about it, I picked her up and walked her back to her mat on the other side of the room! When I pick her up, I hold her away from my body so her weight doesn't throw me off balance. I sense that she knows she has to be extra good around me, because when I pick her up she doesn't squirm around at all. She stays perfectly still. Sometimes I will hold her to my body, bracing her against me with my arm. I'm definitely holding her too tight because she makes grunting noises like I'm cutting off her air supply. I haven't yet figured out how I can hold her to me a little gentler. I just have a tough grasp....probably because of the Cerebral Palsy.

The night I slept on the floor next to her crib, Naama woke at 5am wanting to eat. Instead of waking my husband to take her out of her crib and carry her to our bed or the rocking chair in her nursery, I lifted her out of the crib (which I had done before under supervision ) and holding her against my chest, I walked over to the rocking chair, sat down and nursed her! During our short walk, Naama let out a few grunts as if to say Mommy you're choking me!! I felt bad, but there's nothing I can do about how I hold her against me. I was concerned that squeezing her little body so tight could cause internal bleeding or something, so at her last doctor's visit, I voiced my concern and he said it's not a problem. PHEW!

I'm happy that I can pick Naama up and walk a short distance with her if I have to, but what happens if I trip and fall on her? I've fallen on a cat before, so falling on a baby can happen, but I realize that the more I do the same tasks with her, my body is better able to deal with what I need to do in the moment, like lift her and walk short distances with her, but at the end of the day my back is shot and all my muscles are in knots, but even though caring for Naama is the reason behind my physical pain, I wouldn't have it any other way=)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

High time

Meet my latest challenge.

It's a great little highchair and it's adjustable. It even has a cute little tag on it that says
Good baby as opposed to what?? Bad baby?? :)

Jokes aside, I'm just concerned I won't be able to put Naama in the highchair. I don't think I can lift her from her stroller while standing and place her in the highchair. I'm afraid I may lose my balance with the height differences even though the highchair is adjustable....maybe if I transfer her while sitting? I won't know until I try, but that's tomorrow's challenge....

Now that Naama has been eating solids at least once a day for over a month already, it was time to get her a highchair. Until now, we were feeding her in her stroller or with someone else holding her. Feeding her in the stroller was doing a number on my back. I also think it may be the reason she got more food on her than in her.

Little miss independent wants to feed herself!!
Now she eats all proper in her chair.
My little baby is growing up too fast for me! I knew she'd have to start eating solids soon, but I wanted to nurse her for as long as I could so I kept pushing off buying the rice cereal=) Nursing time belongs to just the two of us. I call her my little monkey because she will literally wrap her fingers, hands and legs around me as I'm nursing.

When we were in the supermarket, my husband picked up the rice cereal. As I started to read the instructions I realized I was supposed to substitute a nursing session so that she could have rice cereal mixed with my milk. I thought she was just supposed to have a teaspoon or two, not substitute a feed! I'm not a person who cries easily, but I found myself tearing up as I said "No. I'm not doing this" and I put the rice cereal back on the shelf. My husband said he understood, but apparently when I wasn't looking he tossed the rice cereal back into our shopping cart.

I eventually came to my senses and realized that I could really benefit from Naama eating rice cereal at least once a day. On the days I'm on my own with Naama, I nurse her from my left side and just pump from my right side. Now instead of just having milk, Naama could eat rice cereal after nursing and be fuller longer, which meant that I wouldn't have to nurse her so often. I love nursing her, it just isn't always so easy on my own