The pictures, they speak for themselves:

AW! Lookit! Alex is FEEDING THE BABY! What an awesome big brother!

Oh, and there he goes, trying to pick out her eyeball.

Kids. I tell you.


To answer your burning questions, I present to you an abbreviated post! Hooray for small bits!

So, why the hell didn’t the doctor tell you about the encephalocele?

Honestly, I don’t know. I’m not sure if the whole litigation-happy climate made him wary of telling us anything before he knew for sure or not. I’m feeling much better about it today after being nearly bowled over by the news yesterday. Dave, predictably, handled it much better.

We went into surgery thinking that this was fluid-filled, which in retrospect, makes no sense so the news that there were actual glial cells inside that pocket was completely shocking to me. And it made me feel oogly inside.

Kinda creepy when you think about it.

Well, what does this mean for her development?

No clue. She appears to have all of her mental facilities intact, but she’s only 5 weeks old. The age when they sleep, poo and eat exclusively. So measuring milestones is an impossibility at this moment. She does eat, poo, sleep and wiggle which is a good sign. And when she looks at you, the lights appear to be on and someone appears to be home.

We have been flagged by the county (her diagnosis, not my shabby parenting) and will be followed by a public health nurse. That in addition to my own nursing experience ought to be able to ascertain any issues as they arise (or don’t. Let’s hope) and get her into proper treatment as needed. We’ve had much experience with Early Intervention, so I’m not scared of that.

We’ll handle it either way.

How are Alex and Ben adjusting to their sister?

Shockingly well, truth be told. Alex is a consummate Momma’s Boy and I was most afraid of how he’d take to having to share my attentions, but so far so good. Providence smiled upon us and we were able to enroll him in some in-home care 3 hours a day after my neighbor recommended her sitter. Who is awesome.

This seems to help.

A couple of months before Amelia was born, we’d bought another doll for Ben, who is nurturing it and loving it just the way he did with his first doll (bought when I was pregnant with Alex). Yes, my son plays with dolls and no, I don’t think that’s stupid. He may be a father some day and I want him to know that men can nurture as well. He’s loving having another sibling.


Anything else I failed to answer? My brain is mushy and stupid right now (okay. My brain is always mushy and stupid. I admit it.) so ask away.

39 thoughts on “Brothers And Sisters And Doctors

  1. What sweeties your boys are. Alex’s hair is so freaking cute! And What the Hell??? I can’t believe they kept you in the dark. She is still in our prayers and will continue to be.
    (My boys have dolls too, I totally agree. Though the dolls do not get as much nurturing as I would have expected, they are sometimes subbed in for footballs. On the other hand, they are extremely nurturing to their younger sibs, so it is all good.)

  2. Nothing I can think of. But it’s ok if he pops her eye out. She has another one. Who needs “2” eyes anyway? Sounds a little excessive to me.

  3. Man, I do know how you feel about oogly. Somewhere about 10 days after birth, we learned that we were, in fact, squishing our fingers into the dura every time we fed him. We just thought it was swollen from … well, who knows but they SAID his head was swollen and it would go down, so we just attributed the squish-factor to that. After we found out we were touching his BRAIN TISSUE not just fluid on top of bone …. ew. We totally kept hats on him for a solid 2 months just to be able to tell ourselves “it’s the HAT squishing NOT HIS BRAIN”.

    And hey, eating is a milestone not to downplay. She’s doing exactly what she SHOULD be doing, and that is a huge relief.

  4. MAN! Your boys are so sweet! There is NO way Zilla would be OK with me having another child. He is a complete and total mama’s boy. He doesn’t even like it when I hold another baby. You’re doing a great job, keep it up!

  5. I think that would kind of piss me off that a doctor lied to me. Scratch that – I KNOW it would piss me off.
    Your daughter is beeeeeeaaaauuuuutiful. Her skin is like plastic!

  6. Just keep watching for messages in the poo. Communicating via bowel movements is often the first attempt babies make. Try to see images in her poo.

    In all seriousness, I’m sure she’ll be fine. I have no reason to give you, but I’m sure.

  7. I have no boys of my own, but one of my nephews had a lovely doll for most of his toddlerhood and almost into kindergarten, his brothers weren’t as lucky. He’s the most well adjusted of my nephews. I’d trust him with a newborn straight from the womb, I wouldn’t trust the other two with a dead cactus.

  8. Jiminy, here I missed yesterday’s foofara regarding oogly brain matter.

    I’m with above that eating, pooping, sleeping, and looking at you are all supremely positive. And I read through the linky and I swear, it sounds like one of those things where one of a million outcomes is possible, one being nothing at all. I kinda hate those. Just point me to the nothing at all, ok?

    Your son is adorable. And I need the number of the person who did botox on the baby.

  9. Well, he’s certainly a lot nicer to dolls than I was! I’m going with the thought that the doc knew Amelia would be just fine so there was no reason to have you reading all the doom and gloom on the Internet. Yeah, I like that thought, and I’m sticking with it.

  10. I am so glad the kids are adjusting well. Madison was 14 mo when I brought Drew home, she wouldn’t come near me for a week after. Now though, they are so close and interact all day long together. My fear now is that he doesn’t know what to do with himself when she isn’t around. It’s cool and I am so so so glad they will always have eachother. Special.


  11. “William has a do-oll, William has a do-ol, ’cause someday William’s gonna be a faaaather tooooooo…..”

    Great song, that. The Evil genius has several doll-babies, because why not?

    Amelia will be perfectly herself, which is all any child can be…so there.

    Is plucking the eyes out what comes after feeding? Dang…I was doing it all wrong…

    Shade and Sweetwater,

  12. Amelia has a big brother who is trained in plucking out eyes – watch out boys. Kisses to the little pumpkin! All three of them, really.

  13. Looks like Alex will be the one to scare away the boys when they come “hunting” for his sister. I recommend further training in eye-plucking just in case this isn’t enough…

  14. My FIL told me I was an idiot (in those words!) when I bought Monkey a doll for his first birthday. Now Boo has a gajillion (and two!) dolls and he plays with them just as much as she does.

    Also, Alex has way more hair than Boo. I’m jealous. 🙂

  15. Alex? Freakin’ adorable!

    Glad the boys have been so taken with their baby sister. Also glad that, five weeks or not, Amelia is doing what Amelia is supposed to be doing. I imagine nothing but good things ahead for her, and for those big brothers who look out for her!

  16. She’s five weeks already? Wow, time flies so quickly! I’m sure she will be fine…you seem to be handling this so well.

    Oh, and if you ask my brother, I’m sure he will tell you that plucking out eyes is what brothers DO!

  17. I have no problem with boys playing with dolls. In fact when I peek in on my son in day care, he is often toting around a pink purse – I assume practice for when he’s married and his wife make him hold hers…or he’s gay – either way is fine with me, I could use someone to help me with my wardrobe anyway. He does also play with a doll occasionally, so I fear I’m headed for him being straight and a father and I’m going to have to find someone else to help me with my clothes.

    I think the only way to be is to think Amelia is perfect (which she is) until she shows signs that she isn’t. At least that’s how I’m approaching it.

  18. I thought everyone was very PC about boys playing with “girly” stuff now? I mean, I know guys who carry around purses…ok, they’re “messenger bags”…yeah, right. But, hey, it’s better than the fanny pack M. used to wear on vacation!

  19. My boys don’t have dolls. But! They make sure the bigger dinosaurs are very nurturing to the smaller dinosaurs, so I figure that is something right?

    Glad they are adjusting well to having a sister!

  20. Oogly inside, indeed! But she’s going to be just fine and running circles around her parents and big brothers in no time. She will be plucking their eyeballs out in another year, trust me. Glad to hear that both boys are adjusting so well. You’ll all get into a rhythm soon. Cenzo plays with Cheeks’ dolls more than she does. Especially the Barbies. If you call “looking up Barbie’s dress and yelling “butt” at the top of your lungs” playing.

  21. Cute pix. What loving boys you have!

    And I am glad she is eating, poohing and sleeping, etc. All good signs of healthy normal baby!

  22. W.T.F.? SRSLY The doctor didnt TELL YOU? I just.. I’m flabbergasted by this. At your follow up appointment you should kick him squa in da nuts. Jesus.

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