Tuesday, 28 April 2009

8 months on

Jake was 33 weeks old on Monday, which is, roughly speaking, 8 months old. It seems like yesterday and forever ago at the same time. I can't seem to remember what life was really like and couldn't imagine a life without him. He's definitely here to stay! I do feel that we wasted a lot of time before he arrived and took a LOT for granted, like being able to go out at the drop of a hat, random nights in a pub or restaurant. We used to complain we were bored sometimes at the weekend, so why on earth didn't we go zorbing or take a course in candlemaking or do up an old house. Not that it would be impossible to do (this weekend we're actually going ape for example, it's just that everything takes more thinking about and more time.

Now that Jake is getting bigger, he's requiring more stimulation and the time will come, soon I suspect, when there will not be a chance of getting bored. Our spare time will be all about him and keeping him amused. It's kind of like that now, but his enjoyment will soon become more fun for us too. We went to a playground with my sister, brother in law and their kids recently and met up with another friend who was overseeing his son on the death slide and I'm really looking forward to that. My routine with my boy. Sunday mornings perhaps, although not too early. I hope I don't take it for granted and enjoy it as much as I think I will.

We're in a nice state of denial right now as we're two months away from Jake's next operation. He's a lot of fun and is developing before our eyes and it's taking our mind off of the horrendous journey we have to make at least once more before we can properly relax and put all the cleft stuff behind us. I think because we have a family holiday planned, it's easy to ignore it, but as soon as we're home, it'll hit us. I think this one will be even harder on Jake and us too. Before it was horrible because he was so little and fragile but this time, he's so much more of a little boy who can express himself more. Also, for us, there's no physical payoff; the lip repair was necessary both physically and socially. Socially for him and for us. I am a lot more relaxed now, knowing that we don't need to explain anything to anyone, no one looks twice (other than to coo!), everything's normal in fact. This op is hugely important but it won't change his appearance like the first op did so profoundly. I do think that it will be the start of the next exciting chapter. The one where Jake starts to make more word like noises - he said 'mama' the other day, we swear. It's also the one where he gets suction and can perhaps hold a bottle and learn to feed himself. I think the time between 8 months and 1 year will speed past and before long we'll wishing he was tiny again and trotting out all the usual cliches.

It's been almost a year since I started this blog and although I committed to keeping it up until the second operation, I like to think that I'll carry it on. Why not? Jake's cleft is just one part of his life, it shouldn't define him and in fact it hasn't...Jake is a smiley, happy, funny baby and that's what people always saw and will (I hope) always see. Even before the lip repair his personality was so sunny that his cleft was secondary. Maybe I'm wearing rose tints here already or maybe we just have great friends and family who, through education and upbringing know to see the person first and any 'defect'(God I hate that word) second. As he grows older and experiences life and we get to know him more and more, these set backs will dim and our focus will be entirely elsewhere.

Here's some recent photos.

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