Dear Elanor…5 months

My darling Elanor

You are five months old today.  151 days on this earth.

Yesterday brought back those early days when no one was sure if you would make it this far.  We were at the hospital to check in with the gastroenterology doctor when it occured to me that the PICU staff might want to see you…to see how well you’re doing; how big you are, how alert, how happy.  So we went up to the PICU to say hi.  We saw the doctor who was there the day you were admitted.  We saw several of your nurses.  The nurses were practically in tears to see you, and I was practically in tears seeing them.  We got a picture of you with the doctor for your baby book…so when you’re truly ready to hear the story of those early days, I can point to him and say “this man was instrumental in saving your life.”

As someone who has suffered from depression throughout my life, even on several occasions being so depressed that I thought about taking my own life…I feel a slightly irrational desire to instill in you that you should NEVER attempt to cut your life short.  You fought so hard as an infant, and so many people fought to help keep you alive.  I feel, on some level…fair or not…that you owe them, and more importantly yourself.  I want you to try to live a full life, to achieve all that you are capable of.  Any less would be a slap in the face to the one week old who fought to keep her life going.

You are a remarkably happy baby.  With the exceptions of hunger and tiredness, you rarely are missing a big grin.  I love especially the smile you reserve for me.  The one that shows your love and trust.

In the past month you have discovered your feet and have found them to be tasty tasty treats.  I am endlessly amused by this, and enable you by constantly removing your socks when you’re indoors so that you notice them.  For some odd reason, you only seem fascinated by them when they aren’t covered by socks or shoes.  I’m not sure why, but since there are few things cuter than baby feet, I am content to just go with the flow and keep you barefoot in the house.

You are growing by leaps and bounds.  As of this week you are 24 inches and 12 lbs 3 oz.  The 24 inches in particular seems remarkable to me.  I don’t know why two feet seems so much more significant than 1 foot 11 inches, but it does.

You are also a remarkably adorable baby.  I will admit to doing everything I can to enhance this—I have bought a painful amount of baby clothes you will quickly outgrow simply so I can put you in matching little outfits.  A pair of pink jeans with a pink hat specifically to go with a pink and white striped sweater.  I try never to leave the house with you in a sleeper…I like you clothed and adorable.  I can’t help it…the praise you get when I take you out dressed adorably coupled with your own bright personality is addictive.  You shine when people talk to you.

Early intervention continues to be underwhelmed by you, and I in turn remain grateful for this particular status quo.

Unfortunately, Elanor, you have been diagnosed with food allergies and I, in turn, have 40 oz of breast milk I need to find a home for.  I have a potential recipient lined up, and I hope that it works out.  Your GI doctor says you won’t be able to have the breast milk, so I want to find a good home for it.  After all, it was created out of love for you.  And it deserves better than the drain or garbage pail.  Since the diagnosis of milk, soy, eggs, and nuts I have stopped pumping.  Your daddy and I both cried as you drank the last bottle of breast milk.  I miss how breastmilk was good for so much longer than formula…I miss that it smelled better…I miss how happy you were to drink it, although you  have adjusted very well to the formula.

In a week and a half we move to our new home.  I can’t wait to see you there, and to create your nursery.  The one in our current appartment has turned into a storage room, and I am hoping for better in the new place.

with love always

Mommy

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