Month 8 ~ October 26, 2002
~ Onwards and upwards . . .
On October 4th, Missy Moo had her test for urinary reflux (micturating cysto-urethrogram, or voiding cysto-urethrogram as it is known in the U.S.). The test itself was an AWFUL experience. Poor little baby screamed the whole time. She had to be held down while a catheter was inserted into her bladder, her bladder was filled with special dye, and then a series of x-rays were taken while she weed. It took probably about 15 minutes but it seemed like hours. I was a nervous wreck, still shaking for ages afterwards, but thankfully Katelyn seemed to recover quite quickly and was smiling and "talking" by the time we saw the paediatrician. The very good news is that she does NOT have urinary reflux! I am SO thankful! It looks like her bad run of urinary tract infections was probably a combination of bad luck and not treating them for long enough when they happened. She has been on a low dose of anti-biotics just to make sure everything is fine but has just come off them and is thankfully well now. We will need to be careful about getting her checked out if she ever starts showing signs of being unwell again of course, but other than that, this whole upsetting situation can be put to rest. Yay!
Oh my goodness! At the end of last month, Katelyn had just been crawling "properly" (ie. mostly forwards and up on all fours) for about a week. I thought it would take a couple of months for her to perfect the skill. Wrong!! Within a day or two of the start of her eighth month, she was crawling around the whole house like a seasoned pro! She is FAST! She can even crawl around things, over small obstacles such as cushions or someone's leg, and is giving poor Punky a run for her money. She is so cheeky: she often turns her head to check that I am behind her and when she sees me, she gives the BIGGEST grin, squeals, and then starts crawling even faster (especially if she suspects I'm about to stop her from getting something like the cat food!). Thomas likes setting up what he calls "baby challenges" where he designs a little course for her to crawl through to get to a "prize" - at the very end she has to defeat him with her "poisoned baby slobber attack" to get it. It is so funny!
Not only is she an expert crawler, but Missy Moo surprised the socks off me by pulling herself up to a complete stand for the first time on October 10th, and then straightaway proceeding to cruise along the couch. She had been trying to pull up for a couple of weeks, and doing partial pull-ups (such as using something low to put her hand on and then holding on and straightening out her legs - but she didn't end up fully vertical). Once she had done this trick the first time, there was no stopping her, and I have had my heart in my mouth as she has been pulling up against anything and everything. It is a shame we have such hard floors in most of our house because if she does take a tumble, it really does hurt. I have put camping mattresses (that we bought for our ante-natal classes and never used) on the floor in front of the two couches she cruises along in the family area and that does help somewhat. I still end up spending a lot of my time following her around so I am there to catch her! LOL! It probably doesn't help that she also has a penchant for climbing! The same day she stood and cruised, she also climbed completely onto the dog's trampoline-style bed. She has also been getting a little bit cocky and letting go with one arm while walking along the side of the couches, or letting go with both arms and standing there unsupported before realising what she is doing and ending up on her padded little bottom!
Thomas and I have been listening to a fair bit of music lately. Thomas likes to dance to his CDs (mostly Hi-5, an Aussie kids' group) and I will often get in there and dance along with him. It is good exercise and Katelyn enjoys it when she's in the sling. Lately though she has started wanting to join in when she's been crawling and cruising around. She will hold onto the side of a couch or the stereo (she can pull up on things that are completely vertical now such as walls and the stereo) and will bounce up and down. She also likes banging on the coffee table (on which Thomas does a lot of his dancing - it makes a good stage) Sometimes she even bangs in time with the music! What is really amazing is that even when the stereo isn't on, she will crawl up to it, pull herself up, take a good look at herself in the glass (she knows she is beautiful! LOL!) and then will start "dancing". She knows that is where the music comes from. I find that pretty darned clever!
There are other examples like this where it is clear that Katelyn remembers things, can predict what is about to happen, and starts getting excited. If she sees me putting on the Maya Wrap, she will start kicking her little legs and making excited noises. If she sees me expressing a bit of milk, she starts saying "aha..aha..aha" and practically smacking her lips. At first, I thought she was just seeing my breast and wanting to nurse but I tried offering it to her and she didn't want it: what she wanted was the cereal because she knows that I express a bit and then she gets her food. She also starts blinking when she gets near the dog because she thinks she's about to be licked!! What a clever girl!
Things have been falling into a bit more of a predictable routine lately. Some things are external, such as when I need to take Thomas to preschool or pick him up. Other things are routines I have established, such as roughly when I bath her each day, when I offer solids and so on. Most things though are routines that Katelyn has established herself. She still nurses on demand, which is possibly as many as 20 times in 24 hours (gee, maybe even more). That isn't really predictable in some ways, but in others I kind of know what to expect. Our day starts somewhere between 5 and 6am (yes, early I know, but even though I am tired, when I see that gorgeous little face smiling at me, it makes it so worthwhile). She will nurse several times over the next couple of hours and will then be ready for her first nap about 2 1/2 hours after we got up. That can be a bit tricky on a preschool day, because she might go to sleep just as I need to leave for preschool and although she will stay asleep through one transition, she sure as anything won't through four!! Anyway, if we're lucky, she will save that first sleep until I get home. I have her in the sling and use the time to get a few things done, such as mopping, making up her daily medicines, spending some time on the computer . . . She might nap for about an hour but it really depends. Sometimes she will stir and want a nurse, and if I'm quick enough latching her on she will go back to sleep.
After she wakes up we usually play, nurse, play, nurse (you get the picture!), and I offer her some solids. She is really only having a few things at this point but has really started to enjoy them. Rice cereal mixed with breast milk, pureed apples, pureed pears and a little very ripe mashed banana are the only things she has off a spoon, but she does also enjoy teething rusks and Cruskit crackers. If we are having an outing, this time of day is usually a good one, but I do tend to stay at home a fair bit. Katelyn will often have another nap around the middle of the day and if Thomas is at preschool, I will use this time as "my time" to sit with her in my arms, or on my breast, and watch Days of Our Lives. This is followed by more nursing, playing and so on until it is time to fetch Thomas from preschool. We sometimes stop off at the shops or a playground on the way home. Missy Moo will usually have another nap late afternoon and after that I offer her some more solids, bath the two kids, usually myself as well. (I think she is moving towards two naps per day because the past week the midday nap has been getting later and the late afternoon nap has almost run into nighttime. I guess we'll see what develops.) We then fetch Andrew from the train station (he has a temporary part-time job for about another month, and goes to the university the other days), have dinner, and get ready for bed. I often get into bed with Katelyn around 7:30pm to start the "nursing to sleep" ritual. This can take up to three hours!! During the night she will wake often, nurse, squirm, fuss, nurse, roll over, try to sleep on her tummy, be rolled back by me, nurse some more.. Not exactly a great sleeper at this stage but I'm getting enough to get by and she is clearly thriving so that's okay.
Of course one issue that probably hasn't helped the sleep is that Missy Moo was working on her third tooth (top middle right) most of the month. It arrived on October 17th. I was working on the computer and she was standing next to the window, hanging off the steel security grilles and chewing on one of them. When she pulled off I noticed there was blood on the rail. I nearly had a fit! I checked her mouth and sure enough there was blood where the tooth had just that minute broken through the gum. I'm pretty sure the other top tooth isn't too far away too! Thomas actually LOST his first tooth (bottom middle left) yesterday - the very same tooth that I was so excited to see when it first appeared. Talk about growing up!
That very day we got a wonderful surprise! Usually on a Thursday we have a visit from my parents. Well this day my Dad rang up and said he was bringing someone with him. My sister!! I hadn't seen her in almost two years and of course she had never seen Katelyn in person. She was quite taken by her. Unfortunately Katelyn is going through a phase where she isn't happy to be held by anyone other than me, Andrew or Thomas, so poor Jennie only got two very brief cuddles that both ended in tears. Katelyn is happy though to smile and play with people as long as she is either in my arms or I am on the floor next to her.
Katelyn is now officially a babbler! It started quite suddenly actually, on October 20th to be exact. We were in the car and instead of her usual chatter she just started with "ahdadadadadidigigi", "nananana", "doodoodada", "dadagoogoo" etc. She hasn't stopped since! LOL! (Kind of reminds me of that old song by "The Police" called "de doo doo doo, de da da da"! Hehe..) All of us get called "dada". I LOVE hearing her happy little banter as she crawls or cruises around and plays. During the day she is usually such a happy little girl, investigating, following the cats or Thomas around, playing with some old baby toys we had for Thomas and so on. She has the cutest, sweetest, happiest little voice!
I have actually been feeling quite well physically and emotionally. I am SO glad that I haven't been depressed this time - it makes SUCH a difference. I was down to within a couple of pounds of my pre-pregnant weight about three of four months ago but now I am continuing to lose, and am about 2-3 pounds below. Several people who hadn't seen me for a few months commented that I had lost "heaps" of weight. That isn't true, but it sure made me feel good. At one point in the pregnancy I thought I would NEVER lose all that weight: 41 pounds seemed like so much! I have been very active lately, which is probably helping. With Katelyn on the floor a lot of the time I have needed to do a lot more cleaning! Most days I will do either vacuuming or mopping with her in the sling, and I guess that is a bit of a workout. I also hardly sit down so would be using a fair amount of energy. I like feeling strong and healthy!
Katelyn has continued to develop in leaps and bounds. I imagine that every other baby does the same things, but I still am in awe when I watch her! Every little development is so exciting and wonderful. I love seeing her grow, experiencing her joy at such simple things as stroking the cats or having her toes tickled. She is such a joy to me and I thank God every day for her!