Monday, December 21, 2009

Weekly Bella Update 122109

Hello everyone!

Ah, the simple things.

Bella has a cold.

It's almost cute.

It's n-o-r-m-a-l.

I keep thinking back to how easy we thought caring for Bella would be (when she was still in the womb), and how our real concern was how to handle Ali. Man, that seems like child's play compared to the hand we were dealt. Talk about a slice of humble pie.

Through the sniffles, and stuffy nose, through the blisters and bloodied closthes, Bella continues to smile and drool the moment after anyone makes eye contact with her. It's as if she forgets about her Self in the presence of another, and instead focuses all of her consciousness "over there" with the other person, rather than on her Self. How easy it would be for her to be Self centered, given her condition. Yet, she abandons Self and spends her time out in the world, full of wonder, full of mystery.

How refreshing to behold.

Her toughest times right now are while falling asleep. She goes through a strange ritual every time she falls asleep where it looks like she is wrestling sleep itself, hoping to keep if from "getting all over her." The way she swats at her head, bends, wiggles, and writhes in bed, you'd think sleep was like molasses, slowly poured over her, eventually encasing her in suspended animation.

This might be viewed with baffled wonder or even a little humorous delight, except during the process, she manages to inflict some serious damage on her head, particularly her right ear. The ear, or area directly behind it, seems to constantly be in some stage of bleeding/bloody/blistering/breaking down. This morning, her entire right shoulder and upper arm were caked with dried blood. The all white "onesie" that she was wearing was soaked and stained like, well, something out of hollywood. It was rough on the eyes, to say the least.

Further complicating the issue is her sweet little head cold, which prevents her from falling asleep with her favorite "binky" in her mouth. Her mouth is currently working double time handling breathing, so sucking on a binky is out. This is a blessing in disguise, though, because while the binky has been helpful, it has also been a crutch that ends up waking us throughout the night when it accidentally slips out. We are hoping that the cold will cure her of the binky dependence at bed time. In the meantime, we have to hold her limbs like a seizure victim until she fully succumbs to sleep. I am partial to doing this in her crib, because often times, when I hold her in my arms/ on my chest till she falls asleep, she awakens when I try to put her down in her crib, and then the whole process starts anew anyhow.

She also likes to dig her right heel into her left knee, and her left toes under her right heel (not at the same time). we think this is because the knee and foot are healing and must itch. The rhythmic writhing that ensues, however, is causing the left knee to stay open despite the amount of bandaging. It's a pickle.

Onto other happier news, we started introducing baby food to Bella. That's been going slowly, but we have had a couple of successful feeds. You should see Ang, Ali and I go crazy when she lets me put the spoon in her mouth... Bella must think we are off our rockers with how excited we get! Ali can barely contain herself from helping out. She is the best big sister ever! The one catch with Bella is that her hand bandages are going to be orange for a few weeks (at least while we feed her carrots and sweet potatoes). Last night, she grabbed the spoon and all of its orange baby food and just smiled as it soaked into the tubifast and rolled gauze. It was a funny moment. I realized that I forgot how messy baby food is for quite a while! Again, these are the fun problems to have. These are the ones we've been through, and know that everything will be okay in the end.
We thank God for the fun problems.

Are your problems fun?

Bet you never put fun and problems together before, huh?

Maybe, this Christmas, those 'problems' with Uncle this or in-law that might be fun after all.

That is my Christmas wish for you.

Merry Christmas, and thanks for still being here, almost 7 months later.


The Ringgolds


  1. That picture of Ali is simply beautiful.
    I love that I can picture all of you cheering Bella on...
    we are cheering here, too, for ALL of you.

  2. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Your girls are darling. Bella is an amazing child, we can learn a lot from her.


  3. Love the picture in the stroller :O) Such a cutie! Glad to hear that you are finding the normal in your very unique circumstances.

    Blessings to your family this Christmas!

  4. Merry Christmas Tim to you and your entire family.

    Wishing you all a peaceful, blessed 2010



  5. Merry Christmas! Thanks for the updates - Your family is beautiful!