Happy Birthday, Baby!

To borrow a page (a post?) from Alexa Stevenson, author of Half Baked, the best preemie parenting memoir ever (read it if you want to get a glimpse what my NICU life was really like).

October 21, 2010

October 21, 2011

And also…

And finally…

Yay! Happy birthday, sweet boy. And thank you.


Where, Oh Where, Have I Been?

Apologies to my loyal reader(s) who’ve been wondering WTH happened to the Husband Hausfrau family!

We’ve had a lot going on. I’ll summarize the not-so-good briefly:

Das Baby has stopped orally feeding. Yes, it’s a major, demoralizing and somewhat scary blow. It started on September 18, when he first threw up. From there, he starting barfing more and eating less, landing us where we’ve been for the past couple of weeks: with a kid who has a hair-trigger gag reflex, and, unsurprisingly, no desire to eat solid food, or drink anything (a surprise considering the pair who spawned him).

So we’re doing all feedings by tube, wearing scrubby clothes (because of projectile vomit, duh), and engaging in “food-play” once a day, during which Das Baby mushes food around and nibbles on a Mum-Mum. I too am unconvinced that a miniature Styrofoam surfboard is going to motivate him to eat, but so far he’s tolerating it more or less.

I could boo hoo hoo about this conundrum a whole lot–that the point of the tube was to support his growth so that he could work on oral feeding, but now the tube makes him refuse to orally feed. This means we’re locked in a Catch-22. He can’t get rid of the tube until proves he can eat on his own. But the tube makes him refuse to eat on his own. And so on.

The good news is that he now weighs a whopping seventeen pounds, nine ounces.

Which means he looks like this:

Das Baby is also off oxygen for a few hours a day! No more hiding those fat cheeks behind those sticky dots!

The even better news is that tomorrow is his FIRST BIRTHDAY. And thinking about how far he’s come absolutely dwarfs the problems we’re facing now. He weighed two pounds, five ounces at birth. And that night, he almost died.

Now he laughs, and crawls, and stands up, and cruises (the walking holding onto furniture kind, not the naughty kind!) and loves throwing toys on the floor from his high chair, holding his mom’s hands and dancing, and swinging at the park (the swingset kind, not the naughty kind, jeez!). He’s literally the happiest baby I’ve ever seen. I’m not always as good as I should be at being grateful for how far we’ve come; I’m too busy jonesing to clear the next hurdle (despite my best efforts not to live that way). But something I’m loving about his birthday (in addition to buying presents and selecting cute outfits onto which he can smoosh cake or vomit) is that I’m being reflective, and doing so is making me happy and grateful and filled with wonder and joy and love (amazing what having a baby will do to a sassy gal).

The video below of Das Baby cruising is perhaps as interesting for how annoying my voice sounds as it is for demonstrating his new skills. And, dear reader/viewer, it is probably only tolerable if you are related to me, and perhaps not even then. Of note are both how insane I sound and the drivel I spew. This from a woman who fancies herself “a writer” (or once did, anyway). Spending ninety percent of your time with someone who can’t respond to you in anything other than giggles, growls, coos, and the occasional babble will do this to a person. On the plus side, having a baby totally legitimizes my habit of talking to myself in public, because I just talk to Das Baby.

I’ll post some birthday photos tomorrow. And I hope you’ll join me in wishing our little miracle man a very happy birthday (and that his second year is joyous and healthy and infinitely easier than his first!).