April recently turned 11 months old. 11 MONTHS OLD!!! How did that happen!?
She is making such good progress recently. She babbles all the time and you can really make out when she says Dada and Mama, She is really interactive as well and definitely understands when you say things to her such as ‘Is it bathtime’, which she loves! She giggles at her little book that makes animal noises and listens intently to the sounds you make (even if I look like a bit of a twit). She also does this little fake cough or laugh to get attention, which is adorable…and the thing I love most is when she cuddles you back!
She is progressing in other ways as well. She is now crawling!! It feels like it’s been coming for months, but now the bum is in the air, knees up and she’s off! I love it though as she follows me around and keeps herself occupied, rather than sitting there needing to be entertained. A stair gate has been purchased and is all read for when she spies the stairs! It has also become an absolute nightmare trying to change her nappy, she won’t sit still and just rolls around – not particularly helpful if she’s had a poo!!!
Mealtimes are changing too. She practically eats anything we give her, which is brilliant. However, she really struggles with finger foods. Occasionally she will pick things up, but generally squashes the food in her hand. She is like a little bird and just likes to be spoon fed. She’s starting to explore food more and wants to pick up the bowl or spoon and play with them – until they end up on the floor.
Overall April is doing just amazing.
Recently though, I’ve started feeling emotional again. I went through quite a rough patch for about 6 months, then things started getting easier. The emotions of being in NICU still haunt me every day, but I learnt to deal with them. Now we’re coming up to all the anniversaries of when I was taken in to hospital. It’s like a dread in the pit of my stomach remembering what happened a year ago.
I’ve started getting flashbacks again of our time in hospital and how I felt when I was taken poorly. The 7th October (yes tomorrow) is the day when I was first put on medication and the 12th October admitted to hospital. Those few weeks in between taken in to hospital and April being born will haunt me. I know people will think everything is OK now, and yes in one respect it is, but as a Preemie Mum you never forget. Every day it stays with you. Every time April does something new I feel extra super proud – she has learnt to breathe and grow all by herself. I find myself beaming with pride!
But, the fear I felt never goes. I can still hear the sound of the beeping machines and the heart beat monitor that I was strapped to for hours. I can still smell the sterile ‘Pod’ in NICU where April spent her first few weeks. I still constantly wash my hands and dress her from the bottom up – even though there are no wires in the way now.
It’s funny how the emotions just catch me out every now and then and the slightest thing can set me off. For example, when we’ve been given things for the auction for our charity night, I’ve started blubbing at people’s kindness. I even started crying watching Bridget Jones in the cinema, when she was having a scan. Perhaps watching a film about someone having a baby wasn’t the best idea I’ve had.
Part of me is looking forward to April’s birthday, but the other part isn’t. It wasn’t a particularly happy day, it was scary and traumatic, so I think I”m going to have completely mixed feelings over the next few weeks. So, if you see me and I’m not gushing with happiness or randomly start blubbing on you – don’t worry it’s nothing you’ve done, I’m just back in a weird phase again. Sure it’s all part and parcel of being preemie parents!