Friday, April 14, 2006


Grace had her 2 month birthday yesterday; it is amazing to realize that she has been part of our lives for a whole 8 weeks, an entire 1/6 of a year. We are enjoying her tremendously and much of life with her is starting to seem easier. Hitting the 6 week point really made a difference. I started to do things like go to Target or the grocery store without it feeling like a monumentous undertaking. Don't get me wrong; leaving the house is still quite a challenge, but now it feels less like a Herculean feat. Our current challenge is my gradual return to work; we’ll see how that turns out...

One prerequisite for me leaving Grace is her ability to take a bottle, and she has been most cooperative in this endeavor. She doesn’t put up any fuss at all (using the first kind of bottles we tried) and it doesn’t seem to have negatively impacted her breastfeeding habits so far. This comes as a bit of a surprise because she is not interested in pacifiers at all. We did not introduce a pacifier until she was about 3 or 4 weeks old, as advised by all the breastfeeding people. At first, she would suck on the thing for a while, with some convincing from us. With every passing week, however, she grows more determined in her refusal of the pacifier and more able to emphatically spit it out, as she gains head and neck control. We would not have minded her taking to a pacifier as a tool to help her soothe herself, so one of those trips to Target involved buying one of practically every style of pacifier available to the baby consumer. Grace was not to be convinced with variety, though, and apparently there will be no pacification for us. She concurrently enjoys and is frustrated by sucking on her fists; perhaps soon she will manage to separate a thumb or finger and suck away on that. Possibly a harder habit to break, but an easier comfort object to find in the middle of the night.

Grace’s 2-month birthday also brought her first experience with immunizations, and thus some serious need for pacification. It actually didn’t seem too awful to me; Grace has screamed with equal vehemence during particularly unwelcome diaper changes or baths. I was expecting her response to be worse, somehow, and to feel tremendously awful myself about the whole thing, as many others do. Oh no-- I shall compare myself to other mothers and find myself lacking in sensitivity! Anyway, in the immediate term, she calmed down when I nursed her for a bit after the mean doctor finished with the painful poking. She was fussy for the rest of the day and well into the night; it was obvious that she didn’t feel well or like her normal baby self. The next day found her back to her charming and demanding self, at least until the next round of immunizations at 4 months. She gets immunizations at every doctor visit until she is 18 months; can you believe that? It’s like the doctors don’t want babies to like them or something; thankfully she is still pretty fond of this pediatrician.

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