Tuesday, June 22, 2010

4 months...

I have a 4 month old baby... She is pretty darn cute. I won't lie. I wake up at 5 AM and just stare at her sleeping little baby face and I am so happy she is mine.  I feed her and we snuggle and I sometimes make lots of noise to wake her daddy up just so he knows we are up and ready for him to snuggle with us.  For the most part though, I sit and I stare and I wonder how the heck did I get here...

Well, without being too graphic, as I am sure we all know how I got "here" (and if you don't, I would suggest staying far away from wine and the opposite sex until you figure it out), the bigger question is how have we gotten from day one in the hospital to today, day 126 of Ella Bella's life without going crazy.

We got here by lots of love, patience, family, friends and good support.  The minute we opened up to others about her having Down syndrome was the minute we could start living our lives again.  When I talk about Ella to someone who doesn't know she has Down syndrome, I feel like I am cheating them out of a huge part of her life story so far.  Her birth story isn't complete without it. Her first doctor visit or her first stomach bug are all interlaced with her extra chromosome.  Ella is a normal, super happy baby, but she is also a baby with Down syndrome and as I have learned in the past 126 days it is not something that I need to keep from people.  When they ask me how my delivery was, I respond with the truth... Great until minute 22 of her life. I tell them as much of the story as time allows. I don't cry, I don't say it with sadness or a hushed tone. I say it with pride.  My Ella is who she is because of what she is made up of.  Down syndrome is part of that, her adorable grin and chubby cheeks are part of that. Her little cry when she is hungry and her snores when she is sound asleep are part of her too.  We take every part of her that makes her "her" and embrace it.  I don't walk around shouting from the roof tops that Ella has Down syndrome, but I don't hide it either. And really, when you look at her, all you see is adorableness...

She had her 4 month doctor visit today....  She now weighs a whopping 10 lbs. :) well, 9 lbs 15 ounces to be exact...  She is doing so great. Growing in line with her "curve" and meeting most baby milestones.  She is a champ at rolling over and holding her head up when she is on her belly. She is also a champ at smiling, tracking objects as they move and eating.  If we were grading her though, I would have to say that Ella could use a little work on holding her head up when supported in a sitting position, cooing and laughing.  Now, to be fair, she is on the verge of laughing (according to her Aunt Brigid who knows all about laughing) and she does coo but not very often. The best thing??? I have 3 wonderful people who come into my home once a week who do nothing but make sure Ella is getting a lot of practice in the cooing, laughing and head holding departments.

Yes, 3 people, 3 times a week... Do you know how many extra vacuuming sessions that equals out to be? (You all know about my vacuuming obsession, right?) A lot. Like 6 more times I have to vacuum (3 before and 3 after) but really, it is so worth it.  Ella has a team that swoops in and focus on her and her little muscles for an hour at a time.  These people are amazing and great with kids and don't get discouraged when the tiny little baby in front of them falls asleep or screams bloody murder. They just plug along, smiling and working towards our end goal of keeping Ella in line with her peers.  I am so happy to have them here. Yes, there are times that I wonder if what they are doing is really helping, but I have to remember to take a step back, stop looking at today and look at tomorrow and then I realize it is all worth it. The fighting with insurance, the sleepless nights about her interviews with the state health agencies. They are all worth it. Ella is thriving under our team approach to her development.  Doctor's appointments like today make it all worth it. When the Dr. asks if she can roll over and when Ella not only shows her but does it 4 times, I get it. I smile and I get it.  Ella is only 126 days old but in those 126 days, she has beat a lot of expectations. I like that.


  1. Glad to hear miss Ella is doing so well. She is so stinking adorable in this dress (even without the dress she would be adorable!) Thanks for the post - I have missed it!

  2. Flippin' adorable!! Nice job mom. :)