Hey folks, I know it's been a while since my last post. A lot has been going on. Not only did the new semester start, but I got the flu exactly one week before. A real-deal flu, too, that lasted two weeks. Yep, so my first week back I looked cadaverous! I felt that way too. I'm kind of amazed that students didn't drop on account of my haggard appearance. I got through it, though, and hopefully (fingers crossed) it will be the only illness this semester. I'm super paranoid so I didn't get a flu shot. I thought it might give me the flu or that it wouldn't prevent the virus that was out there anyway. Maybe it's worth it, though. I wouldn't want to go through that again next year. I've also been dealing with stupid work stuff. Nothing major, just a bout of unprofessional behavior that has me really ticked. Not to mention my sad, lean, meager W-2 statement, which arrived at the same time. Ugh...anyway...
There's also another reason I haven't been posting. Besides the whole "new mom no time" thing. Jack's wearing a helmet. Yes. A helmet. I guess his little penchant for sleeping with his head to the left wasn't just a cute thing of his, but a result of "torticollis," a condition where the neck muscles on one side aren't stretched out enough in the womb. He must have stayed in the same comfy spot for a long time and never gave his neck a workout. This led to the aforementioned left head turn in his sleep, which gave him a flat spot on the back of his head, which now requires a helmet to correct. In addition to some neck exercises, he should be good and round in a couple months. But damn, who wants to see their kid in a helmet. I've refrained from posting pics of him in it on Facebook or Instagram, just because explaining it is long and full of guilty feelings. According to the folks at the clinic, it's not my fault, but I'm a mom so of course I think it's my fault! My womb was too comfortable. I didn't notice fast enough. I didn't work hard enough to fix it before it was too late. All of these thoughts careen through my head on a daily basis, pretty much.
First of all, I took him to a second-rate pediatrician (I had to switch insurance and chose a cheap one so I could avoid paying $8000 for the birth in the hospital I wanted). She kept telling me it was normal and handed me a dumb pamphlet on tummy time. I was doing tummy time. I was turning his head in his bouncy seat. None of it worked and the spot just got flatter. When I got new insurance, I was finally able to see the pediatrician I had interviewed that I loved. She immediately recommended treatment and sent me to a specialist. With my insurance, the whole shebang is only $400, but it's the trauma of seeing him in it where you really pay.
At first, I felt really, really down. I didn't even realize I had the flu. I thought I was just depressed for the first two days of it! When we got the helmet fitted and brought him home, he looked so...helmeted. I thought he'd have a hard time adjusting and that nights would be awful and he'd pull at it. None of that happened.
He was fine with it. Took to it without any real problems. He still laughed and chatted and played. I decided to make it look like a hockey helmet, so I got some Flyers stickers from Amazon and it made me feel a little better.
|True Philadelphia loudness!|
I guess we'll just have to wait this out and by 6 months, he'll have a beautiful round head. He spends some time without it, for his neck stretches and tummy time, as well as an hour after his bath.
|This picture is so freaking awesome I can't stand it.|
He's the happiest baby ever. Super long, with feet too big for his jammies and socks. And skinny. Maybe he'll be a string bean and help mommy with stuff on the top shelves one day like my brothers! He eats like crazy but still isn't chubby yet, really.
Even though he's not really big enough for it yet, he fits in his walker and his feet touch the ground. He plays in it and rocks back and forth, but hasn't got the strength for movement yet. I see his coordination and concentration getting better every day.
All throughout this stuff, I have had the best support from M. and our parents. My mom still comes by and watches him twice a week (sometimes with my brother). And M's parents skype with us once a week. We talk or text almost every day. I feel so very lucky to have all these people in our lives. I knew having a grandchild would be awesome for everyone, but you don't really get to see your parents quite so happy as when they are holding on to a laughing baby! That my mom uses her only days off of work to watch him and is still excited to do so is truly amazing and wonderful.
|eye lashes that go on forever...|
|Babysitters chilling in front of Star Trek TNG!|
|Not as jazzed that I'm getting ready to leave him for a sushi date with Brande. I however, am super jazzed!|
So, what I'm saying is it is tough, but I'm dealing with it. Trying not to beat myself up about stuff is key, but you know what helps with that? A flu that makes you barely functioning. Honestly, not only did it make me lose 5 lbs, but I wasn't able to dwell on the helmet. By the time the flu was over (and M. got it too by the way, so good times all around), I was back at work with other junk to think about and Jack was two weeks into his helmet with an already noticeable improvement in his flat spot. I also now have a perfectly good excuse for not letting him play football. "I went through hell for you to have a perfect head and you're just going to ruin it? I don't think so, buddy!"*
Today marks Chinese New Year, the year of the snake. I was born during a snake year, so maybe it's my time? I'd really love some positive changes this year. Wish us luck, OK? And I'll keep you posted more often.