Monday, July 31, 2006

Our next sign: Wrong Way

I'm entirely enthralled with this baby signing stuff. I should have read the entire book however because I think I have confused my son.

Sam's first sign is "more" which I had been showing him for weeks during his mealtime. I would hurriedly feed him a heaping spoonful of very drippy baby food and then before giving him "more" I'd make the sign. Now, it seems that Sam corresponds the sign "more" with food, because being the dumbass that I am, that is the only time I ever used the sign. So at random times, Sam will sign "more" to me, of course which I take to mean he is hungry. Yes, yes, there is a sign for "eat." I seemed to overlook the fact that "eat" is the more appropriate sign. I'm just stoooopid.

Today during a diaper change, Sam signed "more" to me. I thought that he couldn't possibly want me to use "more" wipes or had "more" peeing to do, so I rushed him to the kitchen and whipped out some stewed carrots. He screamed like a banshee. This is all corresponding, of course, with a week that he decided he hates baby food. I finally figured out that he wanted a bottle. He does know the sign for milk. As I pulled a bottle out of the fridge, it must have triggered a memory link in his growing little brain, and then he started signing "milk."

Other times when I use one of the many other signs we are trying to teach, Sam will start to sign "more" as though he is thinking, "Oh yeah... I remember this signing stuff. Like this one...see?"

No where in the book does it tell you what to do if your baby is confusing signs or, like mine, uses one sign for everything. It DOES tell you to avoid using the signs too carelessly and be cognizant of your child's perception at the time you introduce the sign. I was thinking, "More food, Sam?" and he was thinking, "Mmm, EAT!"


I have some serious reprogramming to do. In his brain or mine, I haven't decided.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

A collective sigh of relief

Last Thursday Rob and I visited a maternal-fetal specialist to discuss the events that took place after my delivery of Sam. I had all of my questions answered, specifically if I was at risk of developing preeclampsia if I were to get pregnant again. The good news is that I have only a slightly elevated risk of developing preeclampsia, unless of course I switch fathers. So far, Rob has proved to be worth his weight in gold, so I'll keep him. I also learned that I did not have HELLP syndrome; even though my liver enzymes were elevated and my platelets were low, they did not meet the criteria for HELLP. That is GREAT news! News that I wish I had heard 9 months ago which would have saved me countless hours of internet research and worry.

The doctor we spoke with was very kind and knowledgeable. She did not rush us through our visit. She patiently answered my questions, which can be numerous, I know. She even repeated her answers as Rob and I were baffled at her casualness regarding the whole thing. She didn't seem to think my 8 days in the hospital was a big deal. I'm sure she has seen much worse. Rob and I looked at each other in stunned disbelief when she explained what she read in my chart as "routine" and "mild" She was more concerned with the endometriosis causing further infertility and advised us to consider our next pregnancy "sooner rather than later." With a collective sigh of relief, Rob and I left the office, stopped outside the door to hug and I cried in his arms.

That night I started my scrapbook for Sam. I started with our wedding picture, for in my mind, that is where it all began. I created the next 5 pages filled with pictures of me, Rob and Samuel during our stay in the hospital. As I cut, arranged and pasted the photos to the page, I revisited his birth with mixed emotion. This picture is especially touching to me as it captures my face the first time I laid eyes on my son. The love I felt at that very moment could have filled every ocean. I then look around at the operating room and I remember that every part of my birth experience was nothing like I had imagined. I see my swollen hand reach out to hold Samuel and think that, to me, there was nothing "routine" about the eight-day ordeal we had in October.

I am saddened to think that I reminisce about Sam's birth with feelings of love and fear. I feel robbed of the birth experience I subconsciously planned and openly hoped for.

Rob and I held each other Thursday night and thanked God for our healthy baby boy. After another good cry, I felt cleansed of the burden of our family planning. The next pregnancy for us will be "later rather than sooner." Before we tackle that, we plan on cherishing every moment our crazy little baby brings us a little longer.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Signs, signs, everywhere there's signs

If my life was choreographed to music, last night at dinner I would have heard Tesla singing.

It was leftover night in the Sinanian household. Sam had finished his normal two jars of baby food and a few handfuls of "O's" before we rolled him up to the edge of the dinner table to watch Rob and I eat. We've been including him at the dinner table since he was able eat solids. We quite enjoy having Sam at the dinner table since conversation is usually lacking as I have nothing of import to tell my husband unless you count the infrequency of our son's bowel movements or how my roots are out of control. And since Rob doesn't like to discuss work at home, Sam is our only source of entertainment.

Sam has been showing increasing interest in the foods Rob and I eat so we're eager to have him try new things. Last night was his first taste of spaghetti sauce. He took his first bite and with childlike exuberance, he kicked his legs and flapped his arms in delight. His eyes were wide and he was grunting like the little Neanderthal he is (yes, I've read Happiest Toddler on the Block.) As it turns out, Rob and I have been using baby sign language with Sam since, well, birth. Being the over-achiever that I am, I started a tad early and have been eagerly awaiting a response. I asked Sam if he wanted "more" and I used the sign. He replied by signing back to me and saying "maaa!" I tried to keep my cool and not over react with excitement, but let me tell you, I fed that baby spaghetti sauce for the next 30 minutes, each time rewarding his sign with a little nugget of tomatoey-meat. The whole scene was vaguely reminiscent of training Emma to shake. I said to Rob in amazement, "He's communicating with us!"

He finished the plate of spaghetti and Tesla faded out in the background.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Keep up, will ya?

Ok, so I haven't blogged in over a year and in that time I gained and lost an inordinate amount of weight, gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Samuel Robert, who is now almost 10 months old, and I completed two triathlons. There, we good?

Rob and I are going on our first weekend get-away sans baby next Thursday. We're taking a 3 night cruise to the Bahamas and we're leaving on Rob's 36th birthday. My mom is going to keep Sam for the weekend. I had been nagging Rob for months to book the cruise he had been promising. The alluring thought of drinking wine, dressing up, comedy shows and SLEEPING IN was so intoxicating. Those things don't seem so alluring to me any more because the closer we get to our departure, the less I'm looking forward to it. Next Thursday will be the first night in Sam's ENTIRE LIFE that Rob and I won't stand over his crib and ogle over how beautiful and wondrous he is and what a great job we (I) did. I'll have to list that in the Step-by-Step Guide of Caring for Sam that I intend on composing in the next week. I know my mom will do an outstanding job taking care of the little man, but what about the little nuances that only I am aware of? Who will cut his fingernails and continue the baby sign language that I'm working so hard to teach him? What about when Sam gets that look in his eye that says, "Mommy, please get on the floor and let me crawl all over you?" Or worst of all, what if he doesn't even notice we're gone and forgets who we are!? Get a hold of yourself, Shannon.

I think Sam will be fine. He'll be more than fine. He'll have so much attention doted on him he won't know what to do. It's me I'm worried about. I'm going to miss him terribly. I will suffer from Sam withdrawals and probably get the shakes or something. God forbid I see another baby boy on the cruise and kindly ask his mother, "Excuse me, do you mind if I nuzzle your baby's toes for a quick sec? Thanks." I can't feign sickness either. We didn't buy the cruise insurance. I just need to keep repeating my sans-baby cruise mantra: "I will sleep in for 3 days straight."

Think of Mama, baby boy. I am going to miss my Sammy Bananas.