Ramblings: Luna Marlena's Tenth Month

10 months already! Incredible! In 2 short months it will be the beginning of April and Luna’s first birthday. I remember those 7 days between her due date and the moment I went into labour so vividly. Taking the subway to Brooklyn every few days for NST tests, watching TV on the couch and ordering the same salad from the diner every night because it was all I could stomach. And the sun finally coming out that last weekend, a glimpse of spring after the horrendously cold and snowy winter. It doesn’t seem so far away really, just 10 months, but really the best 10 months of my life so far.

Luna was just trying to help me “type” this so I had to transfer myself from her baby “jail” and leave her to play with her teddy bears (if you can call playing actually shouting “NehNeh!!” at them). We had her 9 month check up earlier in the month, where she had one shot that we hadn’t caught up on yet. After the whole Roseola at Thanksgiving experience she has become so wary of the doctor it’s actually quite funny. I didn’t think she would remember, but as soon as we sat down she clung to me and wriggled and screamed while the doctor examined her. Everything looks fine, but her weight gain and height seem to have plateaued over the past couple of months, and she remains around 19 pounds and 27 inches. I have to remember that she was a teeny tiny 18 inches when she was born, so she really caught up in height fast, and that she will probably always be a pretty slim baby. Luna’s pediatrician told me not to worry about the lack of weight gain as she is fine for now, and it’s normal due to how active she has become.

That said we are still struggling in the food department. While she enjoys tasting food and trying everything we eat, she loses interest really fast, forces herself to gag and screams if I try to feed her more. She still prefers breast milk over everything and we are still going strong in that department (and hopefully will for most of my pregnancy), but I would love to get her more interested in food. She loves to feed herself, but chokes easily, so maybe it’s just a slow process and I have to stop reading about how other 10 month old infants are eating 3 meals a day. Maybe we are in the norm and they are not? As long as she is still happy and healthy, that she eats a little bit more every day and that she puts on the right weight and has the energy that she is supposed to have then I won’t worry. I wonder if our next child will be eating three course meals by 10 months and sleeping all by his or herself by the age of 2 days? I like to ponder on how they will be different, or exactly the same. It’s going to be interesting and fun and overwhelming and amazing, all over again.

Luna went from having 3 bottom teeth to all of a sudden having 2 incisors and another 3 teeth on their way through. I know they are really irritating her, and on top of that she had a bad cold last week with a high fever, and has now developed a cough that I hope doesn’t get any worse. I feel like we have been blessed with having a child who is rarely ill, but every time she does get something it makes my heart stop slightly. It’s CHD (congenital heart defect) Awareness Week this week, and less than a year ago I didn’t really know much about CHDs. I have one friend whose child was born with HLHS and it was wonderful to be able to talk about my fears with her (thank you Dara, you are just amazing). CHDs are the most common birth defect (1 in 100 or 1 in 120 children are born with a CHD, depending on which sources you read), and there is no real information on why they happen. As a parent you often wonder if you did something wrong, somewhere along the way, did you eat something that could cause this defect? But really, there is no real reason. A baby’s heart is already formed by the 8th week, so you can eat as healthy as you like, it most likely won’t change how your child’s heart is formed. It’s also hard to talk about it with people who aren’t really aware of the complications… The amount of times that I hear “well she’s fine isn’t she?”, or “well loads of people are born with holes in their hearts and they are fine!” etc etc, and while it comes from a good place, it’s hard to explain the fears we feel. In any case, I just have to look at my friend Dara’s amazing son Shane to see how children can really fight against the odds and live “normal” lives. And while Luna will never have to go through everything that he already has, she will have to face heart surgery in the next few years, and while the idea scares the shit out of me, I also know it’s going to be OK. And while I think many of us want to bring awareness to congenital heart defects no one wants anyone to have to go through this. All of the little heart kids in the world who go through the surgeries are little superheroes and proof that there is nothing stopping anyone living a long and fulfilling life.

Luna started to stand up all by herself this month! Every day she stands up a little bit longer and a little steadier, and she loves to “walk” around the apartment while holding our hands. It won’t be long until she starts to take steps all by herself… Although I think crawling will be her favourite method of transport for a while as it is the fastest way to Joey’s tail. The poor cat – while he kind of asks for it by always cuddling up to her, I really don’t think he appreciates his tail pulled all day long. His name is currently “DaH”. Cesar’s name is firmly “Dada” and mine is “Mama”, but Dada gets used a lot more than Mama at the moment. Dada gets a lot more kisses too! Maybe it’s because I am always around.

I love watching her little big personality develop day by day, letting us know what she wants and what she doesn’t want, what she enjoys and what she doesn’t enjoy, even what she doesn’t want to wear sometimes! (Although I think the latter is more based on comfort than fashion). She even has a favourite book – Where’s Spot – but since she decided to eat the clock door and subsequently choke on it, the book has been banished to high shelves for a while. So now ¿Dónde está el ombliguito? is the new favourite, as well as the Pout-Pout Fish that makes her laugh (it has wonderful rhymes, and reads like a song or a poem). In any case, I am now being summoned as Luna has decided she is ready for milky and bed, so I shall sign off for this month!

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This month's photo album is HERE

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