April 28, 2004
Today is Molly's due date, which is a kind of birthday for her and day of reflection for me. Although I realize developmental charts are not exact, they will now more accurately trace the little steps she will take toward childhood rather than the depressing possibilities of preemie problems. The "what-ifs" become "what next?" and the milestones become achievements rather than cause for relief. A fragile preemie becomes a vivacious newborn.
I reflect on the ease with which parenthood has come to me. I think being older makes a big difference. There's no substitute for the confidence experience brings, although nothing can prepare you for the loss of sleep a gassy baby brings. But that's part of the contract, part of the process of passing on our genes and creating a new human.
The experience of Molly for me works on several levels. I see her as my child, but also as the irrepressible biological processes that govern all; as our brash human spirit; as life's poetic struggle to simply be; as an infinitely malleable mind capable of learning any language, any culture, any creed; as a product and recipient of my and her mother's love.
Happy (scheduled) Birthday, Molly.
April 23, 2004
The ECI--Early Childhood Intervention--department came and evaluated Molly today as part of their partnership with CookChildren's Hospital. The overall evaluation was good, with Molly showing a higher than normal developmental level in all areas, especially social interaction and adaptive. Denise and I both agree that we don't know what "adaptive" means, but as long as she's exceeding expectations, who cares?
The evaluator said Molly's independence showed during her evaluation and also observed that Molly was very alert and socially expressive for her age.
Mom was right when guessing that her weight had surpassed 7 pounds! She now weighs 7 and 1/3 pounds. Yeah! She measures 19 1/4 inches, too.
Go, Molly! Grow, Molly!
April 22, 2004
Now that Molly is safe, I'll be returning to my regular blogging, which includes political rants and random thoughts that I'm sure all you wonderful family members and friends who have used this site for Molly-watching will find offensive to varying degrees. Or maybe not.
Today, FairEconomy.org released a very interesting study that examines how the tax burden has steadily shifted away from the rich and corporations and onto the middle-class and poor, especially in the last few years under Bush.
Those around me tire of my expounding on the difference between regressive taxes and progressive taxes, but this study shows the clear trend away from progressive taxes, like income and estate states, and toward regressive taxes, like property and sales tax. In many cases poor and middle-class taxpayers are paying a larger percentage of their income in taxes than millionaires. That's not fair.
Take the time to read the report. Once you're done with that, take a look at this report from this site, which shows the expenditure per federal tax dollar per state. Now take a look at this red/blue state breakdown of the 2000 election. The so-called "red" states--Republican-voting states in the Midwest and South--generally receive much more back than they paid, which really turns the idea of the "tax and spend" Democrats on its head. After all, all those welfare moms who are sucking taxpayers dry tend to live on the coasts, while all those hard-working, tax-paying conservatives live in the Midwest and South, right? Wrong. The red states are on the federal welfare dole, getting more than a 100% return on their federal taxes paid in some cases, all the while whining about their taxes.
April 19, 2004
I'm spending the evening alone while Denise and Molly visit Denise's family, and, I must admit, Molly's absence is having a more profound effect on me than anticipated. Earlier today, I looked forward to watching a couple movies at full volume by myself, but instead I sit here keenly aware of her missing spirit, her little life to which I've already become attached more deeply than any other.
What a sweet, sweet sadness.
April 18, 2004
Molly Returns to the Homeland
We've taken to assigning Molly nicknames depending on her behavior of the moment. My favorites so far are, "Chunky Monkey," "Cheesecake," "Fidget Midget," and "Wiggle Worm."
I was officially inducted into the father club when Molly projectile-vomited her entire meal on me today. We think she was overstimulated by her bath. Despite that, she's large enough now to almost fit into newborn clothes and diapers.
April 10, 2004
Having her out in the world prompted my protective instinct to go into overdrive. It was a highly stressful and anxious time for me, and something I guess I'll learn to control. But man, talk about primal, undeniable urges.
April 09, 2004
8 Weeks Old
Tomorrow, Molly celerates her 8th week in the world. We've gotten quite used to our daughter and her whims, including her need to be held at 4 a.m. every morning. We are miles and miles away from the unspoken but understood fear for her health that haunted our stay in CookChildren's and now focus only on feeding and holding our child.
Her weight gain is steady, and she's now the owner of a full-fledged cry and is not afraid to use it. She's outgrown the premie clothes and is now wearing small newborn clothes and diapers, which means she's around six pounds at least. She's regularly eating around 60-70 ml of formula and sleeping peacefully most of the day.
Denise has taken her out in the stoller and in the car to run errands alone, which was a big step considering her size. Having her out in the world really underscores her fragility and tiny stature, making her seem that much more precious and precocious.
Easter pics in the bluebonnets are planned today or tomorrow!
April 06, 2004
Announcing a new attraction: BabyCam. Highly experimental, largely unpredictable, it's an hourly pic of Molly to feed the voracious appetite of grandparents for pictures.
The pictures are on an hourly cycle for twelve hours, so some images will be black at night. Just check back in a few hours to see new pictures.
April 02, 2004
Ounces of Gold
Sure enough, Denise's prediction that Molly had gained a pound or more since our last doctor visit proved true. Molly gained 24 ozs. (1 1/2 pounds) in two weeks! She now weighs 5 lbs., 9 ozs. Holy cow, that's double the growth rate of 6 ozs. per week that's expected.
Dr. Raine said, "Y'all got a winner!" after examining her and discussing her status with us. Truer words have never been uttered.