I. Love. Cheese. (I sound like Oprah in her Weight Watchers commercial. “I. Love. Bread. I love bread!”) I wouldn’t have survived as a child without macaroni and cheese. A common snack of my childhood was a plate of shredded cheese. I’ve been known to order a grilled cheese with a side of mac-n-cheese at a restaurant I frequent with my coworkers. These same coworkers threw me a mac-n-cheese themed baby shower (complete with cupcakes with cheese-colored icing and a sign that said “Congratulations On Your Little Noodle”) because they knew of my love for cheese and all things mac. (There’s a point to the cheese talk, just bear with me).
We had a visit with a Pediatric Gastrointestinal doctor a couple of weeks ago because of our little weight gain issue. Now before I had Avalynn, I was very fortunate to have a healthy immune system. I had never experienced a hospital stay, and I had seen very few doctors. With the handful that I had seen, I automatically trusted them. They were older, wiser, and obviously knew way more than I did. So disagreeing with a doctor was completely foreign to me. But everything that came out of this particular doctor’s mouth immediately put me on the defensive. I couldn’t understand why I felt the way I did at the time, so I nodded in agreement to everything she said. After stewing on it for a few days, however, I only became more disgruntled. The meeting started with her firmly suggesting we put in a G tube (a tube connected to the baby’s stomach to provide nutrients), and ended with her telling me to supplement formula into Avalynn’s bottles and to basically stop nursing in order to solely pump (this was after I refused the tube since she’s otherwise perfectly healthy: plenty of wet and dirty diapers, good height growth, and generally happy baby). While we were there, the doctor took a stool sample from Ava (oddly, I felt this clarification was needed), and found traces of blood in it. She said this was most likely due to a dairy intolerance (This is not like being lactose intolerant. It is the protein in milk that babies tend to have issues with – not the lactose.) This brings me back around to my cheese rant: Avalynn and I are now dairy-free. No more milk, butter, or cheese for us in the foreseeable future. Anything for my little nugget.
While I was less than impressed with the overall visit, the steps they gave me to follow seem to be working. Avalynn has gained 6 ounces a week since then! That’s more than she gained in an entire month. We’re finally out of newborn sized clothes, and we’re very nearly into size 1 diapers. I’m stoked about the diaper size change because we have tons of size 1’s just sitting around, while we’ve had to make several trips to the store for more newborn sizes. People kept telling me not to get too many newborn sized clothes or diapers because babies grow out of them so fast. Of course I get the kiddo that stays in them for almost five months.
Speaking of: Avalynn is five months old! So close to half a year, and it still feels like I just brought her home last week. She’s continuing to meet all of her milestones right on target, if not earlier. When I make her goals with the early interventionist, we have to choose milestones that she really shouldn’t be meeting yet because she’s already met the ones for her age group. I am so impressed with this little girl.
My grandmother passed away last week, and fortunately, we were able to go to Mississippi for the funeral. At a time that should have been filled with tears, Avalynn kept everyone smiling and happy. It’s amazing how just being in a room with a baby can lighten the mood. Looking back, I am so glad that my grandmother was able to meet Ava during the hurricane evacuation. I never expected for that to be the one and only time she would get to hold her. It makes me realize how many moments we all take for granted. This time we have been given to make memories with Avalynn is limited. Our life with her should be full of adventure and laughter and fun. (We did stop by the Natural Bridge in Alabama with my brother and his fiance on the way back to SC. Gotta start those memories somewhere – even if the memory is just for the parents.)
I want to experience everything life has to offer, and I want to do it with my family. Who better to share in life’s joys with? I would hate to look back on this time and regret not doing more, seeing more, spending more time with people while I could. I want Ava to know the love that a family can fill a room with. I want her to witness God’s miracles. I want her to never doubt that she is wonderful, and special, and perfect. We were given this child and this life for a purpose, and I don’t intend to waste it.