This was Chaim...He is barely 1 month in this photo. This photo brings back so many memories for me. You may note his little blue soother in this pic. He loved his soother...ever since he was a newborn he loved to suck on anything...as long as it didn't contain any food substance that is. From the start this boy has not been an eater. Shortly after this pic was taken I banished his soother for good, in the desperate hope that if it were gone he would no longer fill his suck-satisfaction needs and would be resigned to eating. Sadly to no avail. He never again saw his soother, though I did employ the help of a hairy folkmanis raccoon to help him eat...he would go to suck on the nose of this little puppet and then I would ever so sneakily switch the bottle in it's place. As long as he could still run his fingers through the racoon's fur, he would eat longer than if it were not there (I laugh even now at how quirky it was). I felt ridiculously hopeless at this time...I was hounded by health nurses, obsessed with weekly weighing, growth charts, comparing my skinny baby to all the chubbier "healthier" ones around me (which I know is one of the biggest mistakes), and my days revolved around how many cc's he had...I measured and documented everything. Just yesterday I found my old steno book where I kept track of all of his feedings, poops, spit ups, feeding attempts which he all to often was uninterested in. I was a mess...Food, Clothing, Shelter --Basic needs...and yet, I felt like no mater how hard I tried, I was failing at providing my baby with one of the most essential basic needs--I was failing as a mother. I tried breastfeeding, formula feeding, the dietitian put him on a special concentrated formula diet. I was setting my alarm through the night to feed him...all to no avail...4 ounces a week (which we had to fight hard to get) was his usual weight gain (not good enough according to the health nurses)...I was so desperate that while he lay sleeping I would try to get a little extra milk into him by dropping it in his open mouth drip by drop...Needless to say, I cried a lot! I felt so uncomfortable in my new mother-skin..."surely someone else could be doing a better job then me" was a constant thought in my mind. I couldn't wait for Chaim to grow up..."If we can just get to 10 lbs...then I'll be normal again"..."If we can just get to 15, (20 and so on)...then I will be normal again". Now I realize that once you become a mother you can never really be "normal again"...and thank goodness for that!! Somewhere in the midst of all my anxiety, fear and stress, Chaim moved (ever so slowly) from the 3rd percentile in weight to now the 50th -- and if I am being completely honest, nothing I did really mattered...he just seemed to eat when he wanted, and got there on his own--on his own time. He definitely is a kid that marches to his own drum, and my one regret is that I wish that I would have enjoyed him as a baby more than I did...I was always just worrying about the next milestone...and though Oscar is a much more predictable, "easy" baby...and Jeremy and I both have noticed how fun and wonderful having a baby is (something I think we lost in all of our worries with Chaim)...I have a special love for Chaim because I feel like we overcame some sort of enormous obstacle together that Oscar and I didn't need to face...We survived (he didn't starve to death and I am not to basketty-casey anymore). And in some ways I am sure I will always be a little bit of an overbearing, anxious mom when it comes to Chaim (which I will try to work on)....and what exactly that obstacle was...I am not exactly sure...was it just that ominous scale (all that fretting and sorrow over a few measly numbers), or was it learning how to be a mom? Or was it learning to trust myself? or was it learning to give Chaim the benefit of the doubt...to throw out the milestone charts and let him be him no matter how unpredictable it is? or was it simply post-partum? At any rate...I am proud of him and all the gains he has made. He is such a wonderful boy and joy to our family. This stage of life is just perfect and I catch myself now (instead of wanting to speed up the clock) wanting to slow it down. I find myself being sad at how fast my boys are growing up now.
Sorry, I guess I got rambling and reminiscing a little too much. blah blah blah...this was supposed to be a short picture tag.
Anyway, these were a few of the other pics in that folder that caught my eye of Chaim.