Halia at 8 weeks

7 Jan

Halia hit the 8-week mark today.  She’s starting to be a lot more responsive, smiling happily and cooing at us when we talk to her, and especially when we play Mother Goose games with her.  Her favourite one is this:

The moon is round, as round as can be (making circles around baby’s face with a finger)
Two eyes, a nose, and a mouth (point to eyes, nose, and mouth)
Just like me! (tickle baby’s tummy)

mirrorAlthough we have the occasional pre-bedtime cry-fest, they seem to be diminishing in length and intensity.  I suspect Halia is sensitive to some of the things I eat, but I haven’t pinpointed just what yet.  She has occasionally slept for as long as six hours, although since I transitioned her to her crib a few nights ago, she is waking a little more often.  She occasionally sucks on her thumb or fingers, but doesn’t seem to have figured it out as a self-soothing mechanism.  In the meantime, I’m her human soother as she gets boobed to sleep each time.  I don’t mind… when she sleeps well.  But it’s pretty frustrating to nurse a baby to sleep, only to have her wake up again in less than five minutes.  Fortunately, she’s getting a pretty good track record, and even sometimes puts herself back to sleep after waking.  If you’re wondering, yes, I have tried giving her a soother, but she spits it out.  I’ve tried shoving it back in (gently) a few times, but after ten or so repetitions of shove, spit, shove, spit, shove, spit, I figure it’s time to give in.  Besides, she takes in quite a bit of milk when I nurse her down, so I don’t want to deprive her of the nourishment.halia-feet

Hitting 8 weeks means that Halia is almost 2 months old, which brings with it a new worry.  She’s due for her first round of vaccinations and I’m not sure what to do about it.  I know that vaccine injury is a highly controversial topic.  I know folks who are staunchly against vaccines of any kind, and others who fiercly believe that not vaccinating is extremely irresponsible.  I’m not convinced that Jade’s epilepsy is connected to her vaccinations, especially because her seizures didn’t start until 10 months after her last shots.  But what if it were? I think I’ll ask our doctor about thimerosal-free vaccines (which I asked about before Jade’s shots, but they weren’t available here) and look at doing a delayed vaccination schedule, with more time between individual shots.  Your opinions and advice are entirely welcome, by the way.

Enough of the medical stuff!

sleeping-haliaHalia has had a pretty exciting time in her short life.  A summary:

  • She has been to three Big Band rehearsals, a sound-check, and an actual Big Band gig.  (It was pretty stressful for me to do this, especially the sound check, which Jade came to as weall.  It’s hard to concentrate on playing an instrument when there’s a baby crying for milk and a toddler eager to play with the sound board controls.  At the gig I tore Halia off my breast at least three times when I realized there would be a short piano solo bit in upcoming tunes.  I won’t be playing with the Big Band again until after she’s on solids or at least on a bottle!  Especially without Nai Nai to accompany her backstage.)
  • Just before Christmas, my friend Heather hosted a shower for Halia.  It was great because our friends all got to meet the baby (and she, of course, got passed around, which is something I’m usually not a big fan of, but I was okay with it this time).  Happily, we didn’t get tons of toys and clothes we don’t need (because we pretty much have it all); instead, Heather made it a food shower, so our deep freeze. plus a cooler out in the shed (which is staying very cold in this weeks-long -35 weather) is full of prepared meals.  How great is that?!
  • Besides her Nai Nai, who was, of course, around for her birthday, Halia also got to meet her Opa, Auntie Nem, and Uncle Mike.  halia-with-pedro-and-nem
  • She celebrated her first Christmas.
  • She got to be the baby Jesus at Christmas Mass.  (I’m so sorry I haven’t got a picture to post — my mom did take some but you know how candid shots in dim buildings go.  Someone looks demented or fuzzy in every single one. )
  • She got baptized surrounded by her family on the Sunday after Christmas, also known as the Feast of the Holy Family.

Not a bad resume for 56 days old!

bapteme-de-halia-1

Halia's baptism on December 28

bapteme-de-halia-2

Everyone put a hand on her to share in the moment of her baptism

halias-baptism-dress

Halia's baptism dress -- the same one Jade wore for her baptism last year

halias-baptism-dress-2

She also got to wear a sweater knitted for her by Pedro's mom -- isn't it sweet?

bright-eyed-halia

The beginning of a smile

hali-with-jade

Jade tickles Halia's feet

wide-mouthed-halia

I know this is almost the same shot again, but her wide-open mouth just cracks me up!

smiling-halia

This is one from today. The shot with her really big smile came out fuzzy, but this one's pretty cute!

Since my poll showed that the greatest demand was for updates on the girls with pictures (those weren’t all your votes, were they, Marian?) I hope you’re all happy for now.  It’s technically the day after Halia hit 8 weeks now because it’s almost 1 a.m. on Wednesday.  And Michael’s going to be out of town all day, so I get to do the night shift and single parent all day.  Methinks me had better hit the hay…

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22 Responses to “Halia at 8 weeks”

  1. Murray January 7, 2009 at 5:55 am #

    She’s beautiful, Fawn! Vaccinations are a huge worry, and I have to wonder if that’s not what caused my daughter to get her life-long immunity disorder. I have a dog that we know almost died from vaccination complications. BUT, just plain not vaccinating isn’t reasonable either. With our dog we now do a titers test, which shows how his immunity level to the major diseases is – I don’t now whether there is a human equivalent or not.

    I’ll be going to Skagway when it warms up on Monday, and will pick up your package 🙂

    I never thought about vaccine injuries for animals until I was writing the post yesterday. Now I see that it really isn’t just a “human issue”. Since I know I get tested during pregnancy for immunity against rubella, at least, I guess that there IS a human equivalent. I would think, though, that the titers test would make sense for animals/people who have already been exposed to the major diseases, either by vaccine or contracting the disease… otherwise, I don’t see how any immunity could exist. I suppose there’s a very small amount passed on by the mother, but I don’t think it’s much.

  2. Chrisitine January 7, 2009 at 8:35 am #

    Fawn,

    Gorgeou pictures! I am glad you posted them. Thanks for all your advice and response to our blog and my Jake! Your words are so kind and helpful. Please don’t hesitate to tell me what to do, or even what I am doing wrong.

    Thanks,
    Christine

  3. Marian January 7, 2009 at 9:41 am #

    Hi Fawn
    Thanks so much for the photos. Halia is adorable…. and only one vote was mine.
    It was great that your family was able to be at Halia’s baptism….we had our turn at Jade’s. Still wish we could have been there too, of course.

  4. Gen January 7, 2009 at 10:35 am #

    Fawn, your daughter’s beautiful! And how busy and accomplished she already is!

    The vaccine issue continues to be a difficult one for us parents. Here’s my opinion on it…
    I’ve researched the predominant opinions on both sides for my moms’ group. The epidemiological evidence of a cause-effect link is very weak, if non-existent. It appears that most of the hoopla is based on the positive findings of one study of v. poor quality. Better ones have not found a link. However, there’s lots of anecdotal evidence out there from parents themselves and we shouldn’t ignore those. Most agree that more research needs to be done to establish or refute a link. In the meantime, parents must decide for themselves if the uncertainty is worth the potential risk. I like the idea of spacing out the vaccines and ordering (if at all possible) a thimerosal-free vaccine, particularly for the 18-months shot. I don’t think that forgoing vaccines altogether is a good idea. I’ve lived in Mennonite country and have seen how a minor “epidemic” develops in school as a result of dozens of kids un-immunized. Interestingly, having a chickenpox party does not protect the kids when they become adults, particularly when the girls become pregnant (natural exposure is apparently weaker than that of a vaccine, thus the disease can reappear in adulthood). Fascinating isn’t it? : )

  5. Malva January 7, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    Nice to have an update!

    About the vaccination thing, I highly recommend The Vaccine Book by Dr Sears. Check to see if your library has it. It’s worth reading. It’s written from a fairly neutral point of view and includes a schedule for delayed vaccination.

    I’m sure you’ll get something different out of it than I did. You’re probably going to focus on different areas of the book and will read it through a completely different lense than me, with Jade’s health colouring your perspective (and rightly so!).

    Personally, I wouldn’t give the rotavirus shot (one that is sure to come up at your appointment) to a baby that is breastfed and doesn’t attend daycare. But that’s just me!

  6. Jenny January 7, 2009 at 11:09 am #

    I would definately at least slow down the vaccinations. It’s unreal how quick they give them now! I remember once Naomi got 4 shots and they combine things into some of those! Better safe than sorry.

  7. Kara January 7, 2009 at 12:43 pm #

    Fawn are you sure she is 8 weeks old? Isn’t she closer to 3 weeks? Time is going too quickly!

    She is looking amazing!

  8. Marianne January 7, 2009 at 5:58 pm #

    I am in favour of vaccinating, but also in favour of spacing out the vaccinations or in some cases delaying slightly (although we didn’t do that with our daughter). I also agree that ordering thimerosal-free vaccines is a good idea (although many more have gone thimerosal-free in that past year and a half).

    For the newer and more optional vaccines, however, I am more cautious. I am thinking particularly of the HPV vaccine and the Chicken pox vaccine. HPV of course, it will be many years before your girls will be at the age to recieve it, by which time there will be more studies and evidence of possible side effects, etc. But I wouldn’t be too comfotable being an early adopter of it at this point. For the Chicken Pox vaccine, it is true that it offers good protection from the chicken pox — but it also leaves the person susceptible in future to contracting shingles, which carries it’s own risks.

  9. Captain Momma January 7, 2009 at 6:09 pm #

    HI Fawn!

    Great update and gorgeous baby!

    We didn’t start vaccines until the boy was 1 year old and even then we spaced them out. He still has one yet to get and was supposed to in December but I can’t do it, Daddu has to take him and mostly has, I pass out!

    Will have to look up that th….free thing you wrote about, haven’t heard about it. We’ll be delaying the next kid’s vaccines until they are a year old as well. I can’t stand so many at once!!

    Best of luck with that,

    Kelli

  10. MommyTime January 7, 2009 at 7:34 pm #

    She is gorgeous! And you look so happy in the baptism photos. I love this update and all the photos. I know a lot of people who struggled with the vaccine question. The ones who seem most satisfied with the decisions they made are the ones whose pediatricians were open to good discussions about pros/cons and scheduling issues. I hope you have that resource.

  11. Chrisitine January 7, 2009 at 7:43 pm #

    Hey Fawn,

    No ,we are doing MAD, under my neuro and his dieticians advice. However, I used the Keto pizza recipe tonight. Well I believe it’s Keto. It may be a MAD recpeand I mistakingly called it Keto. I am unsure. I amunsure of alot of things right now.

    For instance..we actualy got accepted to do Kossof’s clinical trial for the MAD, but were afraid to accept, as we may piss our neuro off, and Kossof and his nurse appeared to be telling me it was a ong way to travel for this trial.

    I am beating myself up, as to what I should have or should do, as I know he is one of “the best.”

    Thanks again for all your advice and keep it coming.!!

    For your reassurance we are VERY much in contact with the neuro and the dietician during this induction of a new diet.

    Christine

    ps..my husband loves your blog too!:-)

  12. Chrisitine January 7, 2009 at 7:46 pm #

    OK I need to use spell check and/or take a typing class..or maybe simply reread before I click “submit.”

    Sorry for the awful spelling and typing.:-)

    Christine

  13. Lara January 8, 2009 at 1:42 am #

    Great update! Intesting thoughts on vaccines.. will be eager to hear what you decide as the issue is coming up soon for us too. Beautiful photos! Its amazing how similar our babies’ resumes are for the first weeks of life. Big hugs, Lara

  14. Barbara January 8, 2009 at 6:53 am #

    Very thankful for the many photos and words of your lovely family.

  15. Proud Auntie Lindsay January 8, 2009 at 12:24 pm #

    The girls are perfect. I can’t wait to meet Halia and see Jade again. It’s been so long. We think of you often and are so glad that we are able to stay informed about you guys through your blogs. I especially love the photos of course. We’ll have to skype again soon. xoxoxo

  16. Bubblybunny January 8, 2009 at 1:10 pm #

    Halia is adorable!! I love her chubby little cheeks. 😀

  17. Asheya January 8, 2009 at 6:50 pm #

    Cutie pie! What a great stage, when they are just beginning to smile. Every smile is so precious!

    I’ll email you some info I put together on the different recommended vaccinations, and what we decided to do.

  18. shannon maccuaig January 8, 2009 at 8:50 pm #

    wow! she’s just gorgeous fawn!!! i wish i could be cuddling with her right now! 😀

    about the soother, i can’t recall at what age i did this, but we used to bounce maggie on the ball pretty much all the time for those first 6 months or so, and she WANTED the soother, but always spit it out cause she was in so much pain, so when i would bounce her, i would angle her so her face was against my arm and my arm would hold the soother in until she relaxed enough to accept it… that strategy was a miracle for us! (maggie got bored of the soother once she could suck her fingers, and now she’s a full-blown thumb-sucker – and we LOVE it!!)

    i watched “Vaccinations?: assessing the risks and benefits / Jay Gordon” on DVD from the library, but maggie was many vaccinations in at that point… if i could do it all over again, i would follow Dr. Gordon’s suggestion (for a typical child like maggie), and only get the whooping cough vaccines… but i’m just glad i stopped before the MMR shots… i do believe that mercury has been taken out of most (all?) vaccines now, which is good, except that instead they’re using aluminum now – NOT good…

    i am also reading Mother Warriors (Jenny McCarthy book on autism) right now, and Dr. Gordon wrote the foreword, and it is AMAZING! in it, he says that Dr. Sears has recently pointed out that on the one hand the American Pediatrics Association states that the toxic level of aluminum for an infant is 20mcg, and yet the APA recommends a set and schedule of vaccines that has the hep B vaccine given at birth which contains 250mg and then the vaccines given at 2 months of age add up to as much as 1875mcg given all at once!!! and then more at 4 months, 6 months, etc! isn’t that just the most unbelievable thing you’ve ever heard??? oh yeah, and aluminum is toxic to the BRAIN and these mega doses given all at once is what causes these often irreversible injuries! yikes!!!

    ahhh… well… i could go on and on, couldn’t i? 😉 but that was the most important thing i’ve learned recently (the doses of aluminum in today’s vaccines DESPITE knowing that they vastly exceed known toxic levels), and then of course, that Vaccination DVD was truly eye-opening to me when i first started looking into all of this stuff… he really goes through each and every disease and helps you assess if you think your child needs immunity against it… he also says that they shouldn’t lump so many of them all together on the same day… i guess that’s the concept of doing your own schedule of the vaccinations…

    do you recall which professor it was that we had at carleton, that used to say over and over again that the pharmaceutical companies were the richest corporations in the world? i’ll never forget that… big business in sick care, i mean health care!!! 😉

    anyway, best of luck with your decision… i encourage you to do your research before letting them stick her with a needle of THEIR choosing with ingredients unknown to you! if you don’t have time to do it before your appointment, just STALL the vaccines until you feel fully informed!!! one of my best friends has a daughter with autism, and indeed she began to regress upon getting the MMR vaccine… quite sad…

    lots of love to you and your family! i hope the appointment goes well! and thank you so much for the post!!!! 😀

  19. Brian January 9, 2009 at 8:06 am #

    I am so totally not a look-at-the-cute-baby kind of guy, but look at the cute baby! Those feet!

  20. Andrea January 9, 2009 at 9:23 am #

    She’s beautiful. I love the idea of gifts of food at a baby shower and it’s awesome that you baptized her (which might sound strange coming from a Jew, but to me religion is beautiful regardless of one’s chosen religion and beliefs).

    Re. vaccination:
    I say now that I’m anti-vaccination, but I’m not a mom so I feel that my opinion is less valid and when I have children of my own the decision might be more difficult than I anticipate. I’m sure you know this already, but vaccination has been connected to autism as well.
    (Wait, I just scrolled up and see that someone already covered autism – but I’ve read about it too.)

    The photos are fantastic.

  21. Tine January 10, 2009 at 7:03 am #

    Having no kids of my own, I’m no help with the vaccination-question … But I really enjoyed the pictures – thanx so much for sharing them !! (I just LOVE Halia wearing the Baptism dress !!)

    By the way – you said, you don’t really need any more toys & cloths (the food gifts are a great idea, though – a big help with your 02 girls keeping you busy, huh ?!), so I was wondering whether there ‘s anything else I can send from Germany ?!

    Lots of love !!

    ♥ ♥ ♥

  22. courtney January 10, 2009 at 12:40 pm #

    Hi!
    I have never commented before, I found your blog through Kara’s (in Faro). She is a great friend of mine.

    I have to saythat you have some great responses here regarding vaccinations but I will add just one thing. If you do not feel 100% comfortable vaccinating your precious little one, then wait! You can never take it back.

    I have no children of my own but I have researched the ingredients and adverse effects and weighed in on the pharmaceutical companies huge profit margin and I will never vaccinate my babies (and I’m a nurse!)

    You have a beautiful family.

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