Monday, 29 August 2011

The small things

Ella was 9 months old on Friday.  For the first time in a while, I've had a look to see which 'milestones' she should be reaching for her age.  Sitting, transfering objects, babbling, cruising and crawling...... 

Ella is almost sitting, she can transfer objects, has just really started babbling in the last couple of weeks.  She is, however, nowhere near crawling or cruising yet. But that's ok.  I have always been focused on what she is able to do, the rest will come in time.

One of the rewarding things about having a baby with additional needs is that you are more aware of their achievements than you would be with a ’normal’ baby (whatever that is!).

Smaller milestones that may be overlooked in other children are noticed, nurtured and valued, sometimes more so than the bigger ones. 

How many of you with children have felt pride or whooped with joy when your baby held his head up during tummy time, gained weight or sucked from a bottle? These are some of the small things that I have enjoyed celebrating.

I'm aware that I don't speak from experience here as Ella is my first baby, but I know I certainly took a lot of things for granted before I even thought about having children.  The number of times I was asked if I knew the baby’s sex while I was pregnant and without a second thought answered the usual ‘oh we don’t mind what we have, so long as he/she is healthy.’ I assumed all would be well and who doesn't? 

When I look back to the sleepy, floppy baby I brought home from hospital, I can hardly believe she has come so far in just 9 months. For Ella life has, until recently, been more about overcoming challenges than reaching milestones. 

The biggest challenge for Ella has been her feeding.  She has come from not being able to take from a bottle due to her heart defect making her tired to drinking milk from a cup and eating a 'normal' 9 month old diet (via an NG tube and open heart surgery!).   

But what I have learnt is that she will do everything that other babies do. 

She will just do it in her own time.

And in her own way.

But it hasn’t dampened her spirit.

To all you wonderful friends, family and colleagues of mine who said ‘enjoy them while they’re little, they grow up so fast.’ I understand completely how important this is. Please know that I am taking your advice every day and I have learnt to never take anything for granted. Ever.

P.S please excuse the quality of some pictures, camera phone is not great


  1. My favourite picture is of her sitting propped on the fab cushion with the insects. I am really looking forward to reading about her antics via your blog, Laura does a blog from time to time, and apart from anything else, it's a way for you to share her early years with Ella when she is old enough to look at the photos. Because you write about her achievements big and small you too can look back from some point in the future with great pride, as all parents do, because every child is a credit to their parent's love and nurture. Enjoy.

  2. I am so proud of my beautiful little cousin! I can't wait for her to come and visit us and have her first s'more by our campfire one day!!!


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