A Little Bit of Ordinary

My life often feels like I’m perpetually performing in a one person musical. To give myself a break and for Charlie to be around other babies, I decided to check out a program at the local library geared towards babies. The description sounded perfect. There was going to be a lot of sensory stimulation, singing, and hand games. My concerns were that it was going to be too much for my sensory defensive baby or that it would be beyond Charlie’s abilities. I decided to give it try and check it out. We could always leave if Charlie melted down.

We arrived a few minutes before the class began. In past endeavors, I’ve noticed Charlie does better if I give her time to warm up to a place before taking her out of her stroller. I wanted this to go well and employed the tactic. After a few minutes of becoming acclimated, she held her arms out to signal to me that she was ready to get out of her stroller. I took a deep breath and thought to myself “Here goes nothing” as I lifted her out of the stroller.

I chose a spot on the floor and we sat as things began. I propped Charlie up in my lap like a make shift infant seat. The session opened with a hand play song. I tried to help Charlie with the motions but she was busy scanning the room. She seemed perplexed but she was not upset. Charlie decided she was more comfortable laying down. She was enchanted by the group leader as the songs were sung and stories told. She was laying on her side and watching intently.

I looked around the room. Charlie was paying more attention than many more advanced babies. I was excited. However, my excitement was short lived. They were handing out instruments.

Charlie is easily upset by sudden loud noises (for example, we have to run the vacuum when she’s out of the house). The instructor held the box in front of Charlie. With some awkwardness, Charlie chose a hand bell. The first song started.

Charlie laid there with her bell while the others started “playing” their instruments. She looked around. Her face was expressionless. She looked at me. I smiled at her reassuringly while mapping out our escape route in the chance I had to scoop her up. Charlie let out an excited squeal, grinned, and started shaking her bell in beat with the others. I had to take deep breaths to keep tears from streaming down my face (there is a lot of crying in micropreemie mom life).

The rest of the session continued on the same happy note. Charlie rolled around in the floor with different textured scarves. She tried clapping her hands (she needs some practice). She was extraordinary. Today was remarkable, it was our first little bit of ordinary.

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About Rebecca Wood

In May 2012, my pregnancy ended three and a half months early due to severe early onset preeclampsia. This is my collection of thoughts and media. It is an attempt to document and discuss our experience of navigating the post NICU world. View all posts by Rebecca Wood

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