But here I am. Samuel is ten and a half months old, which means that he has been at home for longer than he was in hospital. Here are a few of his latest tricks:
Sam went swimming for the first time at the warm salt-water pool near our house. This is something we always liked to do as a family and I haven't been since Sam was in my belly. The fear of pool germs has kept us away but I really wanted to do something 'normal' as a family. I can't say if he loved it or hated it. He seemed pleased enough in my arms but was very still and quiet, which is often a sign that he is just a bit overwhelmed by stimulation and unfamiliarity.
Samuel got to participate in his first Christmas decorating marathon with Uncle John. Every year, Uncle John comes out from Vancouver and we go pick out a tree and spend the weekend making our house all festive. Since Uncle John only comes a couple of times a year, we make him go hard on kid-entertaining and tree-decorating and light-stringing activities. Pulling out the decorations this year triggered many memories of last year when I could hardly move under the weight of my physical pregnancy complications and overwhelming grief. What a difference a year makes.
|Our four boys with Uncle Michael and Uncle John.|
Sam is starting to move from hospital transition services into more community aid services. We've been cleared by Thrombosis clinic (who were following his femoral blood clot) and Cardiology clinic; both will see him every year or two now. Genetics is still interested in his vision issues but there is nothing to indicate a genetic component to his diaphragmatic hernia. With his oxygen needs on the way out, we are being discharged from Respiratory Home Care. Kari, Andrea, Colleen and Lucie became a really comforting, helpful, lovely part of Sam's care over the past five and a half months. When I realized a couple of months ago that we wouldn't have them forever, I felt panic. But now I just feel kind of sad because I care about these women and they care about Sam. I'm forever grateful for the reassurance and guidance they have given us. But it is time.
|Playing in cool activity centre.|
Speaking of things that suck... the helmet is done. Is his head perfect? No. Is it fine? Yes, and it will continue to grow in the right ways on its own now that he is upright and mobile. Was it the right decision to let this go, given the ongoing problems we were having with it? Yes. Do I feel guilty as his mama for not managing that stupid thing better? Yes. Oh yes. So we won't talk about it anymore. It has been bequeathed to another boy needing some head remodelling more than Sam.
|That's one pricey headpiece for a stuffie. It doesn't fit this pup any better than it fit Sam, but the pup complains less about it.|
|Ha-HA! They think they can put me down waaaay over there and I won't make it over here to check out this pyramid of sparkly light and sprucey scent?!|
|Thanks to my ninja skills of rolling and plucking ornaments off the tree, the taste of this Christmas bell will not be lost on me this holiday season. (Lock up your chokables, mama.)|
|Hanging with Daddy (who is making a demented face, as usual, and thus has been edited out. Sorry, Chris.)|
|Our 10 months old Samuel.|