January 2008 Archives
Ollie did his best to be a cheerful traveller, even though we got up at 4 AM on January 6th and didn't arrive at the house here until 2 on January 7th. He refused to nap almost all day on the 6th, but slept in his travel cot they gave us on the plane pretty well, even though people were loud and it was more or less a vinyl box (Eric said he looked like he was in a coffin, which is morbid but true). Last night he and I went to bed around 4:30 and slept until 9. He woke up some, and after we noticed their nursery was very cold and brought him into bed with us, he did crazy acrobatics. Eric woke up at one point and his feet were on Eric's pillow and his head on ours. Another time he crawled (in his sleep) to the head of the bed and was banging his head into the headboard trying to go forward. Another time he turned around completely and was crawling under the duvet. Eric woke up and stopped him, but that scares me since I don't want him suffocating and we usually keep the duvet far down from him to avoid that.
We are having a good time here... though Ollie and I just tried to go to to grocery store in Fiona's car and the extremely hilly and windy roads (which are driven quite speedily here) made us both really really car sick. Ols threw up everywhere (which he's never done before) and I almost did too. We hastily requested to come back and after he nursed for awhile and I lay down, we're both feeling better. We might have to come up with a new plan on how to get around.
It has been great to see Ben, who is adorable in every way, and awesome to hang out with Fiona and Lesley. And after a long morning nap, which we actually had to wake him up from (not wanting him to get days and nights confused) Ollie seems to be in pretty good spirits and, contrary to the title of the entry, not too jet lagged.
Exciting things are happening with our friends in Texas, not the least of which is all the adorable babies turning 1 and other media related hijinks, and we are sorry to miss those. But it is great to be back in Bristol and we have plans to go to Bath, Wagamama, and Renato's (a city and two restaurants) which are some of our favorite places.
A year ago Oliver Grey Kokai-Means was born. At four in the morning after hours and hours of tough labor they wheeled me into surgery and at five they extracted Ollie from my womb. I was so tired when it happened. Unfortunately he wasn't breathing and as my doctor sewed me up other doctors and nurses crowded around my baby and got him oxygen and made him pink and breathing. They placed a blue and pink striped cap on his head, an oxygen mask the size of softball on his mouth. They whisked him by me, showing me his face, tiny scrunched up eyes. Pink smooth skin. And he was gone.
The next week was the hardest week of my life. It was filled with terrifying moments of worrying about his health and with the agony of not being with my baby. Not holding my baby. Not snuggling him or nursing him or rocking him to sleep. Not being a mom they way I wanted to.
When I think about Ollie's birth I always seem to have to start here. It's not what I want to think about. I have hopes that the memories will continue to fade. Continue to be replaced by the beautiful moments that happen every day. And that I can someday focus on what I want to focus on, which is that if I had to, I would live through every moment of that day again if I needed to do it for my Ollie.
I can not express how much I love my Ollie. How much I love his golden curly hair and the way it smells as he snuggles up to my shoulder. The way he's taken to throwing an arm around me and pulling me close to snuggle as he nurses (which involves me doing some contortions). How he learned to stick out his tongue and then recently he began to blow kisses at us, sucking his cheeks in tightly and smooching at us.
Ollie is walking now. Things like this take on special significance for me because the neurologist told us that his brain damage might result in developmental delays. The brain damage is gone, and the development is right on track. This is one of the things I want to get over too, I want to be able to celebrate his milestones without thinking of them as still proving he is ok. I'm sure this will get easier with time as well. He walked a few steps the other day and yesterday he took off walking clear across the room. He likes to walk a bit at a time, but he also still wants a hand to help him some. He can do it, but he's not steady and he's so sure. But he can do it.
We cut his hair today. Trimmed above the ears and the back. He had cinnamon roll for breakfast with sugary icing. He loved it. He ignored his presents, dunked a mug into the dog water and tried to drink it, did some finger painting. Turns out blue paint is not as tasty as cinnamon roll, but his impression of William Wallace was pretty awesome. It was a good birthday.
And I could snuggle with him whenever I wanted.