Over the nearly 17 years that I’ve lived in the Chicago area many of my friends and family have asked me how I could possibly deal with the legendary, frigid Chicago winters. I’ve always answered that winters here are not that much worse than where I grew up (New Jersey), went to school (Rhode Island) and worked (New York). The wind tunnels on an NYC avenue can be as brutal as the wind off our lovely lake, but without the spectacular view of frozen foam. The cold in Providence on a rainy fall day can cut to the bone. And New Jersey, well, I don’t remember it being too cold, but I remember lots and lots of snow.
Really how we get through winters in Chicago is that we wait for days like tomorrow–after the coldest weekend of the winter (February 17-22, right when my mom, the ultimate ‘fraid of frigid person was visiting) and then a week of 30 degree windy cold, tomorrow we get 47 degrees. By Thursday it will be back in the thirties, but we’ll have had that one warming day.
As any Chicagoan will tell you, these balmy days in the middle of our winter remind us that winter doesn’t last forever and that spring will come.
What does this have to do with Charlotte? Everything, actually. Yesterday, Charlotte had a very bad eating day. She refused the bottle for all but 2 ounces at lunch, ate no solid food, and had medium to horrible reflux episodes after each meal. At midnight, about 30 minutes after her last feed, she screamed and vomited. No sooner had we gotten her cleaned up than she screeched, a sound that let us know she was in terrible pain, and vomited again.
Today was our balmy day, at least 2/3 of it: at breakfast and at lunch Charlotte willingly, even lustily, ate more than 4 ounces. I pumped only about 2 ounces at each meal. She playfully ate a lot of her solid food, too. As Laura, her feeding therapist (who fed her breakfast today) noted, days like today remind us that Charlotte can and will eat. She even enjoys it. Once we’re able to better control her reflux, winter will end.
And dinner, you ask? Well, she stubbornly refused her bottle, eating about 1 ounce. She ate a few bites of her lentils and rice. She played and laughed. And when I took her out of her chair to take her to bed, she screamed in pain and vomited so much that I thought she was going to start retching. Sorry to be so graphic, but it is a rather horrific, adrenaline-ized situation, especially because the little princess doesn’t cry that much.
A few other updates of note:
–We have our date with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. We’ll be heading up there on April 13. I think I can hang in for 6 weeks. As long as she doesn’t vomit on the flights to and from NJ.
–Laura swears that Charlotte made and “L” sound today. She is positive Charlotte was trying to say her name. I wouldn’t be surprised.
–Charlotte started to get the hang of the sippee cup some more with Laura, but she still won’t do it for me.