Last Friday I got a call during my lunch hour from a number I didn’t recognize. I was thrilled to discover that it was the allergy and pulmonology clinic that we had been referred to almost 6 weeks before. They were calling to let me know that they were opening up a new clinic near our house and would we like to come in on Tuesday? It wasn’t with the doctor we wanted, but I decided I didn’t want to pass up such a good opportunity, so I took the first afternoon spot available.
They weighed and measured Will (19.5 pounds fully clothed! 28.75 inches!) and checked his vitals, which were normal and sent us to a room to fill out a questionnaire and wait to see the doctor. I will be honest, I really thought that we were probably not headed down the right path. I sort of imagined that a pulmonologist would laugh at asthma concerns since it’s typically something managed by a primary care physician. I thought it would be a bit like the GI was- a check in the verify we were doing everything right and then we’d be discharged from the service.
I was very wrong.
The first thing the pulmonologist said after looking over our paperwork was, “whoa, this is not normal.”
I have never been so pleased to hear that my child was not normal ever. Not because I don’t want him to be healthy, but because I’ve been saying that and no one has been listening. And finally, someone did. He first said that the 4 ear infections were enough to give him pause and that he thinks ENT would be a good call, but that he would decide that at our next visit (next visit? What?). Once I told him that Will is speaking well already, he was less concerned, since hearing was the issue on his mind with regards to that. He then asked about Will’s overall health, growth, development and illness history. He said that even for a child in daycare, the frequency of fevers and the severity of the infections was not typical and was a point of concern.
He also asked at length about the reflux. Will was diagnosed with GERD at his 2 month well check and began the first medication at 4 months and we added a second one at 5 months. He’s now sneaking up on 14 months and he still spits up literally every single day. He will often finish a meal of solid foods and 5 minutes later he’s spitting up milk that he drank an hour before. It’s strange and strangely persistent. The pulmonologist is concerned that Will may have or may still be aspirating when he refluxes. His theory is that if he was aspirating even tiny amounts, it may have caused microscopic damage to his lungs, which makes him more susceptible to all these respiratory issues.
I did not see that coming.
And then he laid out the plan. For the next 6 weeks, we will be using a steroid inhaler twice a day, every day. At the first sign of an illness, we are to use the nebulizer every 4-5 hours during the day until the the illness passes. If his wheezing doesn’t respond to the nebulizer, we’re to call his office and then go to the hospital. We will return in 6 weeks and he’ll do a chest x-ray. If the x-ray is normal, we’ll keep on keeping on and possibly look into allergies as another contributing factor. If the x-ray shows any damage, he’s going to order a gastric emptying study and possibly another study related to the reflux to see if Will needs to be on meds that will help him digest food faster to reduce his reflux.
I left feeling…elated. I realize that sounds like Munchausen levels of crazy, but it’s been a very long year of feeling like something was wrong that no one else saw. We have a plan. Winter is coming and instead of feeling terrified that my baby is going to be sick the entire time, I feel like we are prepared. The best case is that the steroids/nebulizer will work, the x-ray will be normal and we will be able to get through the winter without any significant illnesses. But what is great is that if the best case doesn’t play out, I feel like I have a doctor who has Will’s best interest in mind.
It’s sort of amazing how I feel like I can breathe for the first time in months and it wasn’t even my pulmonology visit. Hopefully this feeling lasts for a long time.
Eli was sick pretty frequently as a baby. He had a runny nose about 80% of the time, a cough pretty frequently, but he didn’t have very many bacterial infections. And delightfully, he only had to go to an urgent care/ER once for illness and it was during daylight hours and was mostly just because his pediatrician was out of sick visits for the day. Prior to last week, Will had yet to require a hospital visit for illness, though we had paid half our income for copays on sick visits.
So, last week was a new milestone for us.
Will had run a fever Sunday and Monday of the previous week. The fever went away on its own, though he was still congested throughout the week. We had a great day Saturday and all seemed well when I put the boys to bed that night. And then I woke up at 1am to a strange sound on the monitor. When I got into his room, I realized that the sound was Will. Every breath sounded strangled and his cough was low and barky. He was clearly getting enough air as his color was good, but he was not okay. And of course, the one time we ever needed it, my husband had accidentally left his stethoscope at work. We both assumed it was stridor and probably he would be fine at home, but because we live in a house with a preschooler and a baby who puts things in his mouth, we couldn’t be totally sure he hadn’t aspirated something.
So, we had our very first middle of the night ER trip.
It was just Will and I and delightfully we were in and out in under 2 hours (plus travel time). Will was diagnosed with croup and stridor and given a dose of steroids and Tylenol and we were sent on our merry way. It was very much the best case scenario and I am endlessly grateful for the care we received. The next day Will was extra whiny/dramatic, but he had no fever and minimal coughing and I thought he was on the road to recovery. Until he spiked another fever on Monday afternoon. So we went to the doctor on Tuesday.
Of course, the pediatrician I met with at Will’s 12 month well check, who knew his history and was concerned about his health, was not available, so we saw someone else. She looked him over and declared that he didn’t have any obvious infections and that most likely this was all a viral illness that would pass on its own (spoiler alert: it did). I agreed that she was right and tried to make clear that I wasn’t really expecting anything else nor pandering for antibiotics, but that I really felt like he was too sick, too often. I went over his history in great detail, I explained that his weight gain and growth was terrible and I just felt like something wasn’t right.
And she paused for a second. And then she counted his infections (8, including bronchiolitis) and said that was the upper limit of normal for a child in daycare, so no concern there. And then she explained away his slow growth by declaring it a “toddler slump” and said that since he had gained between 9 and 12 months, he was clearly okay (nevermind that he had lost weight in the past 2 weeks, but, whatever). Basically she said that yea, it sucks, he’s sick a lot, but he’s in daycare, this is normal.
There’s this situation as a parent, or I guess as a patient in general, where you struggle with what to do. On one hand, I am thrilled that she doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with my child. The only thing I want in this world is for my baby to be healthy. But, as much as I like hearing that, it’s not comforting when it doesn’t seem like that’s really the case. I don’t think 8 infections in a year is normal, especially when 2 of them were pneumonia. I don’t think that never having gone more than 2 weeks without a fever is normal. I said this to her and I was told that I was wrong. It certainly never seemed this way with Eli.
I finally just outright asked her if there was any testing we could do for Will. She said that she felt very strongly that Will was fine, but if I really wanted, she could order a sweat test for cystic fibrosis. When I asked her if she thought there was a chance he had CF she said no, but she thought it might make me feel better. She warned that the test is kind of difficult for kids because it takes a while and sometimes the results aren’t terribly accurate.
I felt like agreeing to do that test was sort of a trap. It was like saying that I didn’t trust her, as a physician, to know if my child was sick. And it felt like she was setting me up as a hypochondriac by proxy. She said she didn’t think he had CF, why would I put him through a test that was unpleasant for him if it wasn’t warranted? It sort of felt like I would be crazy to say yes. I also knew that my husband agreed with her and that he would be opposed to the test as well.
I just sort of feel at a loss with what to do. I can keep knocking on doors and making appointments (we are STILL waiting for the allergy/pulmonology office to schedule us), but at what point do I just assume that I’m overreacting and this is actually normal? I feel like my gut is telling me one thing and everyone else is telling me something else and maybe it’s time for me to ignore my gut and let the majority rule on this. I guess, since there’s not much else I can do, I just hope they’re right.
It took about 35 pictures today to get one decent one. And none of them are actually Will sitting next to his raccoon because as soon as either of their butts hit the seat, Will had to pick the raccoon up and hold him. But, the outcome was still pretty adorable and captures Will’s personality pretty perfectly right now.
Today you are 13 months old! I’m trying to be excited, but I sort of feel like 13 months old is a bit like 22 years old, it’s not the most exciting. However, you are changing so much right now, it’s almost making my head spin.
You are so, so verbal. You just talk all day long. Now, the vast majority of your talking is not real words, but plenty of it is. You say, “want dat!” and point to things approximately 50998239209 times a day. You say and sign “all done” and follow it up with “want down” when you’re finished eating. Though you have completely stopped calling me mama (you just don’t call me anything now, I’m “dat” like every other nameless thing) you scream “da” or “dada” every time you see your dad. You can say “Elmo” and “Abby” (where’s my mother of the year trophy?) and you will occasionally mimic other words, but don’t usually say them spontaneously. You also shake your head no very reliably. I’m hopeful that nodding will emerge because it’s sometimes hard to know when we’ve cracked the dat code.
Despite being verbal, you’re also in that age where your desires greatly exceed your ability to express them, so you also scream. A LOT. So much more than I remember your brother screaming. You lose your ever loving mind when you don’t get your way. We’re hoping that since you’re already working so hard on language that this will abate soon. Since you starting using the word “want” it’s already gotten a bit better, though you’re still displeased when we know what you want and don’t give it to you. You may want to start getting used to that.
Your sleep is an utter nightmare. I tried to sleep train you. I failed. You broke my spirit. I’ll just nurse you at night until you go to college. Let’s leave it at that.
Your mobility is improving and just today you started standing, really solidly, for the first time. You’ve taken your hands off things before, but tonight you got yourself standing and then would either bounce or just turn and look around before lowering to the ground. I am equal parts super excited for you to walk (mostly because you hate being in public now since you can’t crawl all around) and really sad because walking makes you a toddler and you are definitely still a baby. My baby.
Your likes this month include: Mom (aka “dat”), Dada, Elijah, Elmo, books especially Elmo books, nursing, being held, puffs, making colossal messes, pushing your push toys, being outside, baths, any toy that makes noise.
Your dislikes this month include: the car, being told no, sleeping through the night, being held by people who aren’t related to you, when your brother takes toys away, walking while holding our hands.
You continue to amaze me with how different you are from Elijah. You are so deeply passionate where your brother was so easy going and it sort of throws me for a loop. I don’t know how to parent a spirited child, I know how to parent a tame one, and you are giving me a run for my money. But the truth is, I kind of love it. You are so fun to watch because absolutely nothing stops you. When you set your mind to something, you succeed. You are just scrappy. I don’t know if it’s out of necessity since you’re the second child, or if it’s just who you are, but it’s wonderful. In all honesty, I find your passionate nature as awesome as it can be frustrating. You also remind me a whole lot of myself even though you are your dad’s mini-me.
You started a new daycare this month so naturally you’ve already missed a day with a fever. I think you like it, though it’s hard to tell since I get such small snippets of your day. I think it will end up being great for you- you get to spend hours outside, which I know you love and tons of time with big kids, your other favorite thing. It’s hard to leave you and it’s been hard on my heart because you’re in the toddler room now. You look SO small compared to your peers, so it’s extra hard to feel like it’s okay to leave you there without me. And when you get sad all I want to do is scoop you up and take you home and never leave you again. I thought this would get easier as you got older, but it has not.
As you’ve gotten older, you want to snuggle less than you used to. So while I’m not supposed to let you nap on me (so many sleep training rules), I always love it when you wake up from a nap and I get you out of bed only for you to fall asleep on my chest. It’s my favorite time of day and my favorite place to be. I never feel more like myself than when I’m with you (and your brother!) nor more at peace. You’re growing up so fast, I’m just trying to slow things down for even a second and enjoy every last moment of your babyhood. You bring me joy each and every day and I love you in ways I’ll never be able to articulate.
Happy 13 months, William. We love you and can’t wait to see what next month brings.
According to the Department of Meteorology & Climate Science at San Jose State University, since 1998, 656 children have died from hyperthermia after being left in a car. So far this year, there have been 19 such deaths.
The situation is almost always the same: a parent or grandparent or guardian is having an off day. They may be overtired or stressed or otherwise distracted, but something about their routine gets disrupted. And typically the child is so quiet and out of sight that they are forgotten when the parent arrives at their destination. Hours later, either when the parent returns to the car or when their brain finally realizes their terrible mistake, their child has perished.
It’s horrifying. There’s no other word for it.
Whenever an article with one of these tragic stories is posted, I cringe knowing what the comments will hold because it’s always the same. The overwhelming majority of parents seem to think that this could never happen to them. Here are some comments from articles last month and one last week.
“What are the chances she was yapping on the phone the whole time she was driving to work, like most people seem to do these days? They can and should check phone records and then if she was, charge her.”
“She didn’t forget to put the child into the car, how can she now expect us to believe she forgot to take her out?”
“No, no, no! This is not accidental. It took 2 hours to realize a toddler was not inside? That’s BS. Every time a child is left in a car and dies, the adults should be charged with murder. No questions asked. I’m so sick of seeing these stories. I don’t care how distracted, exhausted, busy, or whatever you are, you don’t accidentally forget your child.”
“I don’t understand how anyone can “forget” there (SIC) is a child in a car… Also, the current fad of placing a toy bear or some other stuffed animal in the front seat to “remind” you that you have a child in the back seat is to me misguided. I am certain that many of those proposing such “reminders” have 100% positive motives behind their idea. But, if a person is not going to remember there is a CHILD in the car, a stuffed toy or a diaper bag is not going to make a difference.”
Now let’s be clear- these weren’t cases where a parent or grandparent left the child in the car for convenience. They didn’t leave them so they could shop unbothered or let them keep sleeping because they didn’t want them to be undernapped. They forgot that the child was there.
This mindset that tragedies only happen to “bad” parents is exactly why this keeps happening. So many people believe, with their whole heart, that this could not happen to them. They believe that they are a “good” parent, they love their child and they could never forget them, even for a minute. But what if the parents of the 19 kids who’ve died this year were also “good” parents? What if they also loved their kids? What if they, too, thought they’d never forget them?
I think that’s exactly what happened.
I think that these parents loved their kids so much that they never imagined that they’d need a reminder. I think, like the comment above, they probably thought that they would not or could not ever forget their child and thus, why put a shoe in the backseat? Why put a teddy bear in the passenger seat? If you believe yourself to be incapable of making such a mistake, why use a safeguard? It is exactly this mentality that is why this keeps happening. The shaming and judging is keeping us from seeing the real issue- hyperthermia deaths happen to the children of good parents.
If we stopped our judging for just one second and allowed ourselves to imagine a bad day, we might better understand. A day when there’s a catastrophe at work. A day when dad can’t do daycare drop off, so you go out of routine to do it yourself. A day when the baby was up all night and fell asleep in the car rather than chatting or crying the whole way. A day where you’re driving your spouse’s car where the baby is behind the driver instead of in the middle. It’s these situations that create the perfect storm. Where good parents make a mistake.
Yes, good parents. Good parents make mistakes. And that’s what happens in so many of these hyperthermia cases. And that’s why we need to stop acting like it can’t happen to us.
This could absolutely happen to me. I am the queen of car seat safety, I never, ever leave my kids unattended in the car, even if I need to run into the gas station store. My children rear face to a minimum of 4 years in a state where they could forward face at 12 months. I will harness to the limits and friends whose kids ride in my car abide by these rules too. And yet, this could happen to me. I am a good parent, but I am also a human being. I love my kids with my whole heart, would walk to the ends of the earth for them, but this could happen to me. It could.
And it could happen to you.
And that’s why we have to do something different. We have to start putting a shoe in the backseat when our kids are back there. We have to put the diaper bag in the front seat. Or we have to put a bear in the front seat whenever a child is in the car seat. If we stop pretending that we are incapable of making a mistake, we can do something to prevent that mistake from happening. It probably seems silly, but honestly, what is the downside of doing some of these tricks? There isn’t one. And it could save your child’s life. Isn’t that worth it? Maybe you think that this couldn’t happen to you, but is that a risk you’re willing to take?
I’m begging you, consider making a change. Don’t let your child become one of these statistics because you are too proud to put a safeguard in place. Maybe it can’t happen to you, but that is more true if you do something to prevent it.
If you still don’t think that this could happen to you, then I strongly encourage you to read this piece from the Washington Post a few years ago. It’s impeccably well written (won a Pulitzer) and it is absolutely heartbreaking, but it will show you how this can happen to good parents. And why prosecuting these parents isn’t the right thing to do. Which is a different issue for a different time.
Today we saw a new pediatrician for the boys. Well, sort of new. It was a pediatrician in the practice we used to go to before my husband’s fellowship. The last new pediatrician we saw started off well enough- we really liked the 2 main doctors in the practice, but then one left suddenly and one of the people who came to take his place was not a good fit for us. To put it mildly.
Last month, Will had a mild cold that simmered for almost 2 weeks. He had green snot and general unhappiness, but nothing major. I brought him in on a Thursday just to double check that his ears were okay as we headed into a busy weekend. She said they and fluid, but no redness or signs of infection. Three days later, he spiked a fever. A huge fever (104 with Motrin). I took him to the pediatrician assuming it was an ear infection given the way things had progressed. When we came back with the fever, he had significant redness and slight bulging of both ear drums and lots of cloudy fluid. Basically, he had a double ear infection. And yet, the pediatrician refused antibiotics.
Now look, I am ALL for reducing antibiotics. The AAP has guidelines for antibiotic use for ear infections and we love them. We do. I will whole heartedly support a doctor who refuses antibiotics if a child meets the criteria. Will met 2 criteria (only 1 was needed) for antibiotics. And yet, the doctor refused to provide them. Because we didn’t have insurance, we couldn’t go to urgent care without paying a lot of money or get a second opinion easily. So on her suggestion that it was probably Roseola (which, you cannot diagnose before the rash which emerges after the fever, so), we waited. After 4 days of high fevers and no sleep, I called back and she begrudgingly called in the meds. She gave me a long speech about how antibiotics don’t help viruses (duh) and we have to finish the entire course (duuuuuuuh) and I stopped listening because I was finally getting what I knew he needed.
And 4 doses of antibiotics later, his fever broke. And then he started sleeping again. MAGIC. Or, we finally helped his ears.
He finished his antibiotics on Friday of last week without issue. By Sunday, he had another fever. Today the pediatrician noted that his ear drums are still red and she thinks it’s probably that he’s still healing because the previous ear infection was so severe. She said IF his fever comes back (it has more or less gone away) or if he seems in pain to call and she will prescribe antibiotics over the phone if we can’t come in. WHAT A REASONABLE APPROACH.
Anyway. Eli got a clean bill of health. He’s still very thin (but now weighs 30 pounds!), but is growing a lot taller, so his BMI is low, but she was not at all worried. He’s on his own curve and that’s what matters. Will on the other hand, cannot stay on a curve to save his life. He’s finally back on the weight curve (15th percentile baby!), but he’s fallen a lot on the height curves (8th…) without explanation. He is significantly, noticeably smaller than his peers. I get asked on an almost daily basis if he is 7-8 months old by people in public. They are astounded when they find out that my 18.9 pound, 27.75 inch baby is a year old.
The new pediatrician reviewed his medical history and is worried that he has been sick a lot and that there may be an underlying issue. Certainly, a child in daycare will have frequent colds and viruses, but it turns out that Pneumonia (twice), ear infections (four times), bronchiolitis and a sinus infection all between 12 weeks and a year is a bit much. I agree. She’s going to review his newborn screen to make sure nothing came back abnormal there and referred us to an allergist/pulmonologist. If his ears don’t clear, we’ll also be seeing an ENT. And if his weight gain doesn’t continue to improve, we’ll head to a dietician. There was brief discussion of an immunology consult, but we’re not ready for that yet. We’re also moving him to a new daycare starting 2 weeks from tomorrow, so perhaps that will help too.
I feel like this past year we have tried really hard to be reasonable about our worries with Will’s health and today is the first time anyone has validated them. I want, more than anything, for Will to thrive and be healthy. My hope is that if there’s something to get to the bottom to, we can do it swiftly, and if not, that this phase will pass. I know it’s been tough on me for him to be so sick so often, I can only imagine how tough it is to not have the language to express pain and be in it so frequently.
Here’s to new starts and better care. He certainly deserves it.
Eli’s first birthday party theme was based on a book (Oh the Places You’ll Go), so choosing to do a book theme for Will was a no brainer. And since Will is so bonded to his Corduroy, it seemed like an obvious choice to do a Corduroy party. I didn’t think I was being terribly creative, but I found that there were very few party decorations or favors to choose from when it came time to buy the decorations. After a fruitless Etsy and Amazon search, I enlisted the help of twitter and I could not be happier.
We were able to get all the decorations exactly the way I imagined them in my head (though I did not capture them well in pictures). Honestly, the party was perfect. People were 45 minutes late, a lot of people canceled at the last minute, but what we were left with was a wonderful, low key celebration of Will.
While we didn’t manage to get a single picture of it, we rented a huge inflatable water slide for the backyard since it was a relentless 102 degrees on Saturday and we were having a number of children over. We literally didn’t see Eli for 80% of the party because he was on the water slide virtually non-stop (with supervision). I went down it 3 times, two of which ended in ass to ground contact and I may never be able to sit comfortably ever again. My husband and his brother had a great time on it as well.
We were going to have a barbecue (a bear-becue, if you will), but ultimately we just ran out of time to get it all put together, so we bought some sandwiches, found a way to get them on theme and then continued on with our other ideas.
The cakes were a labor of love and of insane frustration. I love the final product, but I found the caramel buttercream I used for Corduroy to be an absolute nightmare to work with. It’s literally the most delicious frosting I’ve ever tasted, but good God it was awful to pipe. And Will’s button came out cute, if a little sloppy.
As for Will’s cake experience. It was…eh. It was pretty much on par for all of Will’s food experiences. He played with it for a minute or two, liked the flavor well enough and then dumped it. And then he flopped onto his tray and got frosting all over his face.
And that’s about it. The party was lovely, Will got great toys (about which Eli repeated roughly 100 times, “mama, William has to share.”) and we got to spend time with some of our favorite people. I can’t believe my baby is 1, but I’m glad we were able to give him a great party to celebrate it.
I realize I didn’t photograph them well at all, but the decorations created by A. Olson Design included a fabulous banner (I will add a picture of this later), little buttons with Corduroy and Ws and 1s, the food labels, that have buttons on the back and the iron on print that we put on Will’s shirt. The party would’ve have been nearly as adorable without the decorations.
This was officially the month where things went off the rails for Will. He wanted nothing to do with sitting on the chair and taking a picture and it took both my husband and me to get this picture done without him falling onto the floor. So, you’ll have to excuse that this month isn’t the greatest. It was the best we could do under the crazy baby circumstances.
Today you are one year old. I’m kind of impressed with myself for actually writing this on time. Not because I’m busy, but because I am in denial. Maybe not denial as much as willful ignorance. When your brother turned 1 I was a little sad, but also excited for what was next to come. And while I am excited for what’s next to come for you, I am also feeling really melancholy about you growing up. I feel like this year has flown past and I’m not ready to have a toddler where my baby just was.
This has been a good month, for the most part. You had a double ear infection (with a 4 day fever that didn’t respond to Motrin), but other than that, you were largely healthy and happy. You are exceedingly mobile and so incredibly fast. You can crawl as fast as I can walk, which I think is why you are showing zero interest in walking on your own. Why do something you’ll be slow at when you can crawl fast? You have stood independently a few times this past week, but for the most part, you’re content to crawl and cruise. I am also content for that to be the case because walking seems to be the nail in the coffin of babyhood.
You are into everything these days. I mean everything. Even if we were making an effort to baby proof (we’re not, sorry second baby), there’d be no way to keep you out of everything. You love to empty out cupboards and drawers in the kitchen, especially spilling out the cookie cutters and putting all the measuring spoons in your mouth. I have done so many dishes this month it’s not even funny. You also love all your brother’s toys, especially cars that light up and anything he doesn’t want you to touch.
For as disinclined as you are to walk, you are the most talkative newly one year old ever. You have spontaneously and in correct context said: hi, bye, nigh night, nana (banana), all done and da (dad). You will repeat most sounds and you sometimes say “thanks” back to Eli when he takes something and then says thanks to you. It is hilarious because it really surprises people when you do it in public. You’ll yell hi and wave and people who think you are younger than you are because of your size freak out.
You have become really attached to your Corduroy bear this month. You sleep holding onto him every night and now have to hold him while I nurse you before bed. You can’t lay down for nap until you have him and if you see him, you have to grab him. Tonight, he was on a shelf you couldn’t reach, you spotted him from across the room and cried all the way to the cabinet and tried as hard as you could on your tiny tippy toes to get him. When Eli got him for you, you fell to the ground and squeezed him so hard. It’s the best. I love that you’ve found your security object and that he brings you so much joy.
Your likes this month include: dad, mom, Elijah, Corduroy, Jacques Imo, bananas, nursing, baths (especially in the sink), your grandparents, Aunt Claire, cars, trains, Elmo, crawling with things in your hands so you make a ton of noise, measuring spoons, banging things on the floor loudly.
Your dislikes this month include: sleeping through the night (for the love of God child. Try it just once. Please.), being put down when you want to be up, riding in the car, when we try to give you a pacifier when you don’t want it because it might pacify you (the struggle, it is real), pieces of fruit that aren’t bananas, eating in general.
I can’t believe I’ve had a year with you. I just can’t believe it. It has moved so quickly. It’s like you just fit in with us so perfectly, like you belonged here that it’s hard to remember when you joined us. I can’t believe how much you’ve grown and changed from that tiny infant to this near toddler and most of all, I can’t believe how lucky I am that I get to be your mom.
Someone commented today about how relaxed I was with you, and that’s something I’ve worked hard on this year. I want to be present with you, to let you explore without hovering, and to stop the anxious thoughts before they can start. I’ve tried to remember what is really important and let the other things go whenever possible. Even though there were challenges in other areas of our lives this year, this has been the best year of my life.
You are a joy and people every day comment on your disposition. Your smile practically lights up the room and when you’re smiling and happy, it is impossible to not smile with you. You have your dramatic and frustrated moments, but in general, you’re just spectacularly pleasant. Your presence in my day, in my life, makes me a better person, a better mother. While I am sad to be leaving the baby stage, I’m also just so excited to be along for the ride that is your life. I can’t wait to see who you become, what great things you will do.
Having a second baby is scary because it feels like there’s no way you can possibly love them as much as you love your first one. But know that the day you were born it was as if I grew a second heart. I love you and your brother in ways I didn’t know I could, didn’t know was possible. Being your mom will always be my greatest accomplishment because you and your brother are incredible. I love you more than you will ever know, my sweet boy.
Happy birthday William. We love you so much and can’t wait to see what next year brings.
It’s been over 2 weeks since my husband started his new job and I can barely begin to tell you how amazing it is.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy. The hours are rough right now, rougher than they’re supposed to be, but his coworkers actually acknowledge this and are giving him a free day off to compensate. Last year, he worked 80 hours weeks and while his coworkers were appalled at the time he had to give up for work, no one made an effort to do anything about it. It was just a bummer.
For the first time in the 10 years he’s been on this journey, he’s…important. I don’t mean like he’s the leading doctor in his field, just, to his employer. He’s a priority to them and it’s awesome. He’s been working so hard for so long and finally, his nametag says “Attending Physician” where it used to say resident/intern/fellow. His work is reimbursing him for a nice new computer (to use for work), they will pay for him to attend conferences and just, they’ve invested in him.
He doesn’t always see it, but I know that it’s a good investment.
I don’t have a lot to add, as the ins and outs of his job are not terribly exciting, but I will say that it’s just so great to have him back. The past year was really, really difficult, and he slipped away little by little. Each Friday that he stayed at work until 1 or 2am took a toll. Every 3am wake up broke his spirit a little more, until the spring when there wasn’t anything left to break.
It took only 2 weeks of vacation and 2 weeks at a job he enjoys for the light to come back and hopefully, it’s here to stay. I can’t begin to say how proud I am of him. Of his 10 years of hard work to reach this point. Of his commitment to see things through, even when he wanted to quit. I’m not sure I could’ve done it, but he did, and now he’s arrived at his destination. And it’s pretty great.