Monday, October 22, 2012

One Month Home

Can it really be one month already? While the past month has flown by, it's been one of big transitions, lots of laughs, sleepless nights and honestly, pure joy. Not saying it's all be easy but it's what we've been waiting for all this time. God has blessed us tremendously...almost still surreal to have Halif home. Can't imagine our family without this little guy with his bright eyes and infectious smile.

Here he is on his one month home. Hard to believe how much he has learned and grown in such a short amount of time! It's like watching a baby grow at lightning speed!
When we picked him up from Hannah's Hope he could barely hold himself up with his trunk but had gotten better with holding his head. This is what this little growing boy has learned this month at 7 months 9 days:

-Roll over ALL over the place and scoot around in a circle (really wanting to crawl!)
-Sit up with no assistance
-turn pages in his books
-clap his hands
-Say "da-da" and "ma-ma" which astounds me - he is SUPER verbal!
-eat oatmeal and today he started avocado
-wave bye-bye (just started this week!)
-stand up while we hold his hands (was far from bearing weight on his legs a month ago) - he LOVES to stand on my lap and bounce up and down
-use his thumb and index finger to pick things up
-Hmmmm.... I feel like I'm forgetting something....

Can you believe that?! I thought with his weight and malnourishment he would for sure be behind developmentally but so far we are seeing him where he needs to be. Such a praise!

So because it's been so long and because a few people really want to know the details, I'll give them to you!

Eating:
He eats 4 oz. formula every 3 hours and yes... around the clock so we are up at night a lot. It's a season I know and now that he's catching up with his weight, I pray he will start sleeping longer. The bottle is his comfort so we will not be keeping it from him at all =) He did have 9 whole days of strictly breastmilk from my amazing childhood friend, Crystal, who pumped for us! Sadly, it was gone quickly. He also LOVES his oatmeal (I think it has to do more with eating with a spoon) and took avocado today like a champ! We will introduce new food every 3 days.

Sleeping:
His routine is to go down for 30-45 min nap 2 hours after waking. Then he goes back down 3 hours later for 30-45 minutes before stirring ...so I strap him in the ergo and get 40-45 more minutes for picking up Claire.Don't know what I'd do without the ergo (thank you Melynda!!) He's in bed about 7-7:30ish. Gets up every 3 hours to eat and usually goes down right away but not always =). About every other night the past 2 weeks he's done this interesting thing in the middle of the night...he eats and then for about 45 minutes to an hour he just stares at me. He doesn't move, doesn't cry but just stares until he finally falls back asleep (not sleeping with his eyes open!). Still trying to figure this out and see if it holds significance that I should address.

Diapering:
Thanks to amazing friends and especially my dear childhood friend Heather, we are using Kawaii reusable diapers and LOVING them! I still have to get Neil to master the snaps but overall we are happy with them - saving mola, good for environment and SUPER cute!

Cocooning:
Yes, people think we're a little crazy with our cocooning but if you really think about it, it makes sense and we can see how it's working. We will be slowly getting out and reading his reactions so hang in there with us!! I know it's hard for people who have been waiting for him too but I promise that you will get to love all over him for the rest of his sweet life! Our going out has extended to dr. appointments and me picking up the girls. We took him to Neil's parents for the first time Sat. for the LSU/ATM game and he did well. We also took him to Claire's parent conference and he did well there too! I can tell when it's been too much stimulation for him or he is nervous, he doesn't give me eye contact and kind of shuts down with his sleeping and eating. The days of dr. appts are always interesting. 2.5 weeks ago he stretched out to go to my friend, a.k.a. a stranger to him, and it broke my heart to see him so comfortable to do that. It also confirmed we are doing the right thing. This past week we saw some great bonding as he found comfort in us after some traumatic dr. appts. It was so wonderful to be the one he stopped crying for!

Some have asked "well you can't do this forever... he has to get used to getting out and being around others. What happens when you can't meet his needs right away?" and yes! This is true. But we are building a trust between us right now that will equip him well when we do start going out and when he might have to wait a little longer to be consoled or have a need met. We are strengthening and even recreating this cycle that you and I take for granted.... cry/fuss = need met = love and trust... when that cycle has been broken it takes a lot to rebuild trust!  We will probably be branching out this week but when we go to church we might come in late and leave early at first, I'll go to HEB at 9 am and not 5 pm, we'll do one on one gatherings vs. a crazy amount of kids playing inside the house... more than anything we will be letting Halif take the lead to let us know what HE can handle. Creating this trust, bond and relationship is essential to how he will relate to others as a young man and even adult. So again, hang in there with us, show us grace and even if you think we are being crazy or over protective, try to open you mind and heart to what you would do if you were bringing a new child into your home who had already been through so much!

Stats:
At our first appointment Halif was:
13 lbs even - not on charts
25.3 inches - 2%
44.5 cm head - 73%

and 3 weeks later he was:
14 lbs 9 oz. - 2%
26.5 inches - 15%
44.5 cm head - 61%

He is GROWING! Dr. Gulde was very impressed with just how much and didn't see why we would need to go back till his 9 mo check up in mid-December!

Helmet or Cranial Banding:
This might need it's own post because this has been an amazing testimony to God's continued provision to us! We went to Austin to get him measured and photographed at Cranial Technologies and will be getting it this Thursday. He will wear the helmet for 23 hours and for what they estimate as 3-4 months. I'll take him in weekly for appts. here in town. It will be another big transition for us and for him especially with sleeping so please pray for us!

So as you can tell, it's going really well...better than we expected! We definitely are the typical newborn parents... eating our dinner cold, eating at 8 pm after kids are in bed, spit up all over our shirts, not showering for longer than I'd like to admit, falling asleep before 10 p.m....and we love it. We might not like it all the time but we LOVE it =) And I know these days are fleeting. Being a family of 5 has been good. Eden is having the hardest time with the transition and today was by far the hardest day since Halif came home. Let's just say there were lots of tears (both of us including Halif being more fussy), lots of time outs and I'm drinking a glass of wine from a bottle that has been in our fridge unopened since May.

So there you go!! I want to go back a do a post from our second trip and our homecoming so hope to do that soon! Blogging has taken a back seat with the evenings being so short and the computer being in the same room as our little guy. I'm also working on a lot for The Chosen, our Church music ministry and Orphan Sunday coming up on the 4th. I've been posting more on facebook and especially pictures but I'll leave you with a few of my favorite:






3 comments:

Sara said...

Cutie! Such a beautiful post. Keep it up, girl!

Tara said...

I loved this update! The way he is looking at you in the top picture...precious. Also love the proud look on Edens face in the car picture:)

dominique said...

YEAH! this is awesome and encouraging! we are with agci as well. fun fun. congrats! what a sweet little guy.