Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Five years of Callie

She arrived screaming, screamed for the first three weeks as she waited for her first full feeding, screamed a shrill Spanish "rrrrrrr" sound every time she was ignored or denied from about four months through eighteen months, and she still screams today. Step on her toes, wrong her in any way, make her anything less than your top priority, and this chick will let you know. NOBODY crosses Callie and gets away with it, my friends. NOBODY.

Yet, she is also a kind, generous, cheerful, joyful, loving girl. You just have to catch her at the right time. In the right mood. And watch what you say, lest you set her off.

I pray for Callie's husband. Daily. And I imagine what a lucky man he will be to have a woman who so clearly knows what she wants and is willing to do what it takes to get it. This girl, who wants ten children of her own, wants to live forever in a house with her sister, and collects flowers, leaves, and sticks as if they were made of gold, is going to be a woman like no other. I feel privileged to have this time with her. Callie is a blessing.

Today she turns five years old. Where has the time gone?

The day after she was born -- ready to leave the hospital. A more precious baby did not exist.

Three weeks old. This photo was taken the day before the doctor said, "Keep breastfeeding, but it's time to start supplementing." Thank God for honest doctors and supportive grandmas and husbands. My mom and Scott must have seen that Callie was starving, but I didn't until months later when I looked at this photo. It makes me cry now.

Six weeks old. Again, thank God. Babies are resilient and baby formula, as bad as it may be, is good.

Five months old and pudging up nicely.

Eight months old. This was our Christmas card photo and a friend responded, "That little one looks like a party!" He had no idea. Callie was almost nonstop smiles as a baby. When she wasn't screaming, of course.

About to turn one year old. Healthy, happy, strong baby.

The big day. Callie turns one!

Almost two.



Four! Getting hugs from her favorite friend, Hayden, on her birthday last year.

Which brings us to this year. Here we are at almost five. And oh, my...the kid is gorgeous. I'll share some photos of the newly-crowned five year old after her big birthday bash tomorrow.


Grandma D. said...

Happy 5th Birthday gorgeous girl!!! You have the most beautiful eyes!! Love ya lots!!! I will call you tonight after your fun party!

Bri!!! said...

Were you able to exclusively breastfeed Brynn? That would be really hard. I'm obviously not a fan of formula but I always say it's a huge blessing in the case where it's absolutely necessary. Knowing what I know about you I know you did everything you could have to BF exclusively. Seeing that picture also shows your doctor had wisdom in his counsel to you. My sister who is a BF Nazi had to supplement with her second son but exclusively BF her 1 and 3rd son. Do you have any insight as to why this happens? My sister thinks her working out too soon with Luke was a possible reason, but isn't sure. This is such a sensitive subject because there are cases where it just doesn't work even though rare. She really is such a cute girl.

Bri!!! said...


Hillary Dickman said...

Thanks, Bri!

I am a BF nazi, too, despite failing miserably with both of my kids. We had to start supplementing Brynn when she was 3 days old (she was born a week late at nearly ten pounds and was VERY hungry right away). We didn't even have any bottles in the house, much less formula! We had to use what came in the go-home bag from the hospital. After feedings, I pumped with a rented hospital pump four or five times a day for six months in order to increase my supply but I never got more than an ounce out.

Both of my kids latched properly and sucked well, both of them breastfed and drank from the bottle because they were losing weight rapidly with exclusive breastfeeding. My milk never came in with either kid. Period. I am convinced that it wasn't something my kids and I were doing wrong; I know that my body doesn't make milk the way it should because I did everything possible to bring in my milk and it never came. I never gained weight in my breasts while I was pregnant, never felt full, never felt the "tingly" sensation that is supposed to accompany letdown. I am always stunned to hear stories of people leaking through their nursing pads, letting down in the shower, letting down when other women's babies cry, growing three cup sizes, etc. I can't even imagine that! I still beat myself up about not producing, but at the same time I know that I couldn't have done much differently, and the things that I think I could have done I am convinced wouldn't have made a difference in my supply.

I would have liked to try one of those co-feeder things -- you know the ones with the little catheter tube that you tape onto your breast so that the kid gets formula from the tube while also breastfeeding? That would have made life easier but it wouldn't have increased my supply.

So...I have no insight for you. Just the confirmation that, though rare, some bodies don't make milk. Unfortunately, I am one of them.

But, I am excellent at labor and delivery! :)