Sunday, December 5, 2010

Birthday Baby News

Autumn is one. This is still pretty unbelievable to me. She is just so tiny.

For her birthday celebration she enjoyed an ice cream cake and a shiny pink balloon. I think it is safe to say that Autumn has never before tasted ice cream or felt the icy sweet coldness of it on her tongue. She was very motivated to feed it to herself. And yes, when all was said and done, she puked it up.




She has started reflux medication but it is only helping a little bit. I am not so sure reflux is the real problem. Autumn has very low muscle tone and the esophagus is a muscle. Every time she burps, or stuffs her thumb in her mouth, the contents of her stomach bubble up because her muscles are not working to keep the door shut. The fact that Autumn is an avid thumb-sucker exacerbates the situation. I have taken to keeping her left arm out of its sleeve, tucked against her, with the empty sleeve wrapped behind her... straight-jacket fashion. But she refuses to fall asleep like this, so at nap and bedtime I give in and let her have it back.


Autumn’s early intervention evaluation indicated that she would benefit from physical therapy, speech therapy, and special education. Last Thursday was her first session, PT. She loved it. She is a tummy time baby. (I am guessing that the Ukrainians don’t subscribe to the “back-to-sleep” paranoia like we do because Autumn is a hard core belly sleeper.) Autumn showed us that she can stretch far to retrieve a toy, that her lower abs work beautifully so long as you hold her hips and thighs firmly, and that sitting up is not so far off. I am really proud of how hard she works and how little protesting she does during it.









My baby girl knows I am her mama now. She will track me with her eyes when other people are holding her and she will reach out to me if I come near. Her whole body does the love wiggle when I smile at her. And though she babbles “da da da” consistently, she can say “ma ma ma” which always makes me happy.


Autumn loves to eat. She will eat most anything and is getting better at taking a spoon as well as chewing. She doesn’t seem to have any texture aversions. She loves mashed bananas and whole fat French vanilla yogurt, pureed black bean soup, and mashed sweet potatoes. If I wipe her mouth or move her bowl out of her sight, she will cry. In fact, if anything at all makes her think the meal is over, she will cry.


And speaking of crying, she has the sweetest, saddest cry ever. Her facial expression freezes up and then her lips start to tighten into a line as her face turns pink. After a couple of silent seconds (warming up) a trill rolls out of her and the drops start to slide down her cheeks. Then it is just soft “waaas” until you give her whatever it is she wants. With a darling cry like that, it will be hard not to spoil her.



Cole said...

Oh sweet baby girl- welcome to the ones!!!!!! Has she had an Upper GI done yet? We didn't have it done until 14 mos and Abby's reflux was swiftly rediagnosed as duodenal stenosis- her opening to push food through was the size of the rollerball of a pen. I mention it b/c we had been thinking the same thing as you with Autumn- just something to think about if you haven't already! Since stenosis is rare and she obviously didn't have the atresia noone suggested checking it till she was 1 and still barfing regularly. She still refluxes- but it's clear it's reflux- you know? If you think it's not- it probably isn't. She really is such a doll baby! I'm so glad she knows her momma! What a lucky gal!

Tara said...

What a doll! Thanks for the update!

Holly W said...

She is so super cute...glad to hear she's doing so well, and how nice it must be to know that she knows you're the mama!! (get all that? haha)
Brooke's always been a belly sleeper too..she rolled over at the crazy age of 10 weeks and we haven't been able to keep her on her back since!
Happy Birthday Autumn!

Kirsten said...

Happy Birthday Autumn!! She is just adorable! My little Anna gets very upset also if she thinks meal time is over or the bowl goes away or if I wipe her face....she hates it!! Hmmmm... Great post!

Rachel said...

So beautiful and I love the little mohawk that she sports:) I have had 4 tummy sleepers:) Dr. said you can't change a baby's mind, so why try, let em sleep how they want!

Melissa M said...

Happy Birthday sweet girl! I love all the updates. It's sounds like she is doing amazing!

Leah said...

That child is BEAUTIFUL! What a lucky girl to be pulled out of the baby home so young. Reflux is SUCH a pain to deal with, and the meds don't do anything to stop the reflux, they only decrease the acid levels so their esophagus isn't destroyed. Angela, too was a horrible refluxer. She started with projectile reflux at about 8 weeks and her GI doc was sure she had Duodenal Atresia or Pyloric stenosis. She had neither, but she did have severely delayed gastric emptying. She ended up having a nissen fundoplycation done at 11 months when she weighed a whopping 13 lbs and was starving to death because she couldn't keep anything down. She also had a partial pylorotomy (separating the pyloris muscle which controls emptying of the stomach into the duodenum.) so she could empty at a normal rate. In the first 6 weeks after surgery she gained 9 pounds!!! This week at the orphanage while I was taking pictures of RR kids, I walked into one room and the smell of reflux was SO strong! There was a little boy about 2 or so, sitting in an infant walker, the tray FULL of whatever meal he'd just had. Poor baby!

Rochelle said...

Happy 1st birthday sweet Autumn!

Looking Up said...

Oh, that reflux is such a pain! My son just turned two on Dec 5th & is still on Prevacid for it, which seems to have helped him more than some of the other meds, like Zantac. He has definitely improved as he's gotten older & stronger. Hopefully, that will be the case with Autumn. She really is such a beautiful little girl. Happy Birthday sweet baby!

Heather said...

Autumn is just precious. So incredible that she gets to celebrate her first birthday with her family. What a miracle.

csmith said...

Love hearing updates on your girls! They are so sweet. My DD was also an avid thumb sucker and threw up a lot. We finally reached the conclusion that she was making her reflux worse by gagging herself with her own thumb, we finally got her to take a preemie sized pacifier instead and that helped cut down on the spitting up, just an idea. Hope your little one improves, love and prayers from our family to yours.

The Amusing Redhead said...

Gorgeous and so sweet.

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