Thursday, December 9, 2010

"He knows my name/ He knows my every thought/ He sees each tear that falls/ And He hears me when I call"

I love the age three going on four months. LOVE IT!!! In fact I love it so much I really am wondering if Charlotte can just stay this age…really. She did great at my parents with hardly any breakdowns. She is also making me a happy mommy by mostly sleeping through the night. Yippee! It is amazing how much sleep can do. Charlotte is still on the feed every three hours during the day schedule. Occasionally she will go four and sometimes in the evening only two. But I feel like we are finally in the swing of things; in sync. I feel like I can recognize and meet her needs faster now.

Of course, there are a few things I wish she would do, like take a bottle. Yes, I have a freezer FULL of pumped milk and a baby who refuses to have anything to do with it. I tried again and she actually took a big gulp (progress!) and then proceeded to spew it all over me…then she grinned huge. Oh, Charlotte! She definitely has a personality at this point. She is such a happy girl. She wakes happy and is usually pleasant unless I don’t get milk to her fast enough. She, like all babies can get grumpy from fatigue or hunger, but then so can I!! Charlotte is even doing awesome in the car seat!! Exposure therapy worked. It probably helps that now she takes more trips in the car that aren’t to the doctor. Thank you, cousin Mary for telling me to keep at it.

Yes, she is a happy little girl and I love it.

---------30 minute break---------------

Sorry, about that…she just had a melt down. Did I mention the other thing that gets her going? She does not like to wake up from a nap not on me or with me out of visual range. In fact, when I do yoga in the morning I put her bouncer facing me. She usually does great and seems to enjoy watching me, and she dozes in and out. I’m hoping to eventually establish actual nap times, but for now I’m just enjoying the flexibility.

Yep, three going on four months is flexible and fun. She’s still a mommy’s girl, but she is typically great with crowds as well. I think she might be a bit of a ham actually. I brought her by my dad’s office when we were in town, so he could show her off to all his coworkers. She proceeded to grin up a storm and then babble at him. That’s right, she has started to babble, and it might be the cutest thing ever. I LOVE to hear her. Charlotte talks a lot with her “friends”, meaning the toys that hang from her bouncer and car seat. Sometimes, Charlotte will babble at me and seem to get frustrated, like “don’t you understand what I’m saying?” It’s hilarious. She talked our ears off one night to my Dad, and it was so adorable I didn’t want to put her to bed.

I am sure before I know it she will be forming real words. This growing up stuff happens WAY TOO FAST. When I held my little niece Lia, I couldn’t help but think “was Charlotte ever really this small??” The changes have flown by. We’ve had a few long days, but it seems like infancy is just a blink. It kills me. Ben keeps on telling me that I’ve said I want her to stay this age every month and Mike, my father-in-law, keeps reassuring me that I’ll love it all. I know both these men are right, but I can’t help but think watching your children grow up is a little bittersweet. Maybe it is part of the “pain of childbirth” that God allows women. I want to hold on to this sweet, innocent stage. I can’t help but love how cuddly she is and how dependent on me. Sometimes, I think God is trying to remind me that our time on earth is much like I view her growing up. It is over in an instant.

She is not only sweet but unknowing. Right now she is the typical baby and has no awareness of issues. I am scared of the day when she comes to realize her problems, when she asks why she has to go to the doctor more than other children, why she has scars. It’s hard enough for me to cope sometimes. I had a wonderful time with my niece Lia. She is of course beautiful. If you have seen my sister-in-law Dana, you know where she gets it from. Yet, I couldn’t help but observe Lia and her movements compared to Charlotte. One day little Lia was lying on her belly on the couch and kicked her leg back. I realized that Charlotte had never made this move before. She is a baby. Most of the complications have not fully displayed themselves, but it is painful as they come to light. The other night I was changing her diaper and realized the back of her thigh had scratches and cuts on it. She will sometimes do this to her face with her nails and scream bloody murder. I called Ben in and was trying to figure out how it happened and questioned why she didn’t cry. Then I saw Ben’s understanding face, and it came to me. She probably didn’t feel it. I completely broke down.

I get use to the complications I know about; the constant diaper rash, the flexed feet. However, when a new one arises (not kicking on her belly, lack of feeling) it completely knocks me down. Reality pushes it’s way back in. I know when she is more aware I’m going to have to toughen up for her sake. Now she has no idea, and maybe that’s part of why it’s hard for me to see Charlotte grow up. As I cried about the cuts she looked at me and smiled. That sweet smile that makes my heart abound in love but also makes me once again ask, “Why not me, Lord, why not me?”


Kristen said...

I hurt for you, friend. I wish there was something to say to make it better. I hope to see you over Christmas, although we won't make it to the PPL party, since the Parks are holding it kind of early this year.

Susan B. said...

Hi Esther!

Thank you again for sharing your lives with us. I showed Dad the Youtube video of baby Charlotte laughing when you were making faces at her. He got a big kick out of it. Charlotte is soooo cute! She made his day! I have her sweet pic on my computer screen at work and everyone wants to know who that precious baby is. You're such a sweet momma and daddy and I look forward to seeing y'all again. Don't worry about raising Baby Charlotte. Keep the faith! Jesus will show you the way.

Love always!

Athalia Critcher said...

And smiles.
For me, too - every week would be my new favorite age, but reflecting back, 3-4 mos was tops. When I sorted through her baby clothes, keeping only a handful of pieces from other ages... I kept almost the whole box of 0-3mos that fit her at this age. The little outfits brought back all the happy feelings from this beautiful time, and I couldn't part with a single thing.

Dana said...

I'll be praying that Charlotte extends her flexibility to the bottle feeding, as well! Sometimes I am happy that bottle feeding Lia allows me to have more time around the house, but then I am sad sometimes that we might not have the same connection that you and Charlotte have. I asked your mom recently if she thinks Lia will know that I am Mommy even though she now only takes bottles at this point. I hope so. I LOVE to hear Charlotte babble!!!! You are right... it really is one of the cutest things ever!!! Can't wait for the hilarious conversations to come between the two girls. That is a great point about God giving us a glimpse of how brief our time here is. I never thought about it in that way. We will continue to pray constantly for the 3 of you. I'm not sure if it was Pastor Rob or Mark (or even how long ago - brain isn't working) who recently said that peace isn't a result of having pleasant circumstances. You already know this, but like all lessons I'm sure it is much harder to remember in the day to day struggles. Her smile that you mentioned at the end sounds like a true gift from Him for reassurance. :) Love you all! See you soon!