Saturday, February 7, 2009

Smiles, everyone! Smiles!

We have started getting smiles. They are fleeting, flitting creatures, lighting up Penelope's face for a few seconds, but they are definitely smiles. How do I know? She only makes them at certain times of the day -- during her quiet wakefulness. All other times of the day -- when she's fussy, when she's sleepy, when she's hungry, whatever -- she makes all sorts of faces, but not that funny little crooked smile. I'm telling you, we're really getting there...

As you can see, her Chuck Mangione ... er, her hemangioma is really getting big. On Friday, her ped said yes, it's time for us to have it looked at by a derm, and arranged for us to have an appointment toot sweet, on Monday. Which is great, because I had called the same doctor and was told there were no appointments till April. Gotta love the power of the back-channel direct orders.

Another thing he confirmed is that Penelope is at a developmental phase where she's just a lot more fussy. It stands to reason: she's developed enough to know when she's uncomfortable, and strong enough to be vocal about it, and may be frustrated that she can't do a damn thing but lay there looking goofy while I ask stupid questions about her emotional state. He counseled us to wait, give it 2 weeks, and we'll have a radically different baby. Well, for the past bunch of months, every two weeks has definitely brought us a radically different baby, so I see no reason to doubt him. And I'm reading Weissbluth, who says the same thing.

They both also say that she won't sleep on me forever. Again, the six-week mark is a magic time -- at that point she'll almost certainly be able to spend longer and longer times in her crib. We'll see. Just today, she spent a good bunch of time in her swing, listening to her Rockabye Baby Beatles albums. Honestly, I did not believe these could be bearable, but I got the Radiohead one for my sister for her birthday (i know, SO LAME to buy her something for her kid for her bday) and was compelled to buy the first Beatle one... and it's totally great. I hope this isn't the start of a slippery slope toward Raffi.

I am thinking back to the early days in the NICU. I visited today with another mom who went into labor at exactly 29 weeks and 6 days, like me, exactly four weeks after I did -- and she told me she'd heard my story from a mutual friend, and said to her husband, "can you imagine?" and then, you know, she DID. I'm amazed how similar our babies are -- even their habits of grunting while eating, grabbing on as if to force more milk out of the boob, their fussy periods. Amazing. The whole thing made me remember how scary those first days were -- how unreal. How did we get here? Amazing.


harry said...

It's not so much the mouth but the merry eyes that make for the smile. It's a look of amusement, a twinkle aimed at the anxiety of her parents. Yup, a winning smile.

Jessica, Mark & David said...

She's so adorable, Amy. What's the chuck mangione thing, anyway? Glad you're going to the derm. tomorrow about it.

As for kid's music... There's a great They Might Be Giants CD for learning the ABCs and we're big fans of Tim Cain ( Also, it seems like pretty much all Beatles songs are good for babies.