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the smile test

February 29, 2012

There are all sorts of tests at the start of a life, and so far Hope has passed them all with flying colours; she sailed through her hearing test, succeeded in her heel prick tests, has good reflexes, responds, is of good colour, sticks her tongue out just the right amount, has put weight on and so on and so on .. but this last week she failed a test. That made me cry …

Hope failed ‘the smile test’, and has to be ‘retested’ in a month or so … apparently at the point of the 6 week check a baby should be able to grin back in response to being grinned at … I mentioned this in my last post and now a week later she still isn’t smiling back. She does smile in her sleep, sometimes she appears to grin from ear to ear, and other times she smiles but everyone says it’s wind. She looks very intently at the world, often seeming a bit overwhelmed with her huge eyes gazing about her and sometimes with a little furrowed brow or a quizzical raising of one eyebrow (not that she has eyebrows at all yet, but you can see where the eyebrows will come).

I spend hours chatting to her and smiling cheerfully at her but as yet she hasn’t returned the smile. Perhaps she’s just going to be a bit of a reticent baby and observe quietly and thoughtfully and won’t be an overenthusiastic fool like her mother, but I really hope she does start smiling soon.

She seems to be in a ‘growth spurt’ phase – I’m told that this happens about now (8 weeks tomorrow – can’t  believe it) and again at 12 weeks … this means she is eating incessantly, constantly and often – infact almost all the time. Mainly breast milk but with the occasional top up of formula … I don’t have time to express. Not only is she eating milk she is also eating time, I’ve totally failed to get work done this week that I’ve needed to and Hope is miles behind with her thank you cards. It also means that I am absolutely knackared. The weary exhaustion of getting up in the night is coupled with a feeling of being drained (quite literally) of energy and inner resources. According to my book this will improve, and for once I think I shall choose to believe what the book says!

I’ve also developed a frozen shoulder, I’m right handed so I hold Hope in my left arm to keep my right hand free but that seems to have totally locked up my left shoulder – it really hurts, that coupled with the fact that my fringe is now down to my nose and my knees ache means that I don’t just feel like an old biddy, I look like one too!! Still, in amongst all of the aches and tired pains, I am constantly reminded of the utter joy of having a little person, she has grown hugely but suddenly looks so tiny again.

This weekend she’ll meet her Great Uncle which is very exciting, and I need to take her again to Daddy’s grave to put some flowers down. When we went just after she’d been born it was raining too hard to get out of the car.

She has started to play on her ‘baby gym’ and spent a happy 3 minutes kicking the swinging musical things and batting a dangling monkey with her hand. She seemed to be enjoying herself until she remembered she hadn’t eaten for half an hour and then gave a howl of rage and insisted on being picked back up!

Right now she’s asleep in her red sleep suit, bluey red suits her as opposed to orangey red (mother’s an artist, she explained the types of red to me earlier), she’s due to wake up in about 7 minutes so I thought I’d sneak in a bit of time on my own in front of the computer rather than with her asleep on 2 cushions on my lap with me typing over the top of her. Perhaps when she wakes up in the morning after a night of voracious feeding she’ll smile at me when I roll over bleary eyed and smile down at her in her little white Moses basket on its lovely rocking stand and say, “Good Morning Hope”. I love starting the day saying ‘good morning Hope’ it’s like the most positive affirmation … just think how much better it would be accompanied by a little toothless baby smile.

Maybe tomorrow … and if not then I’ll enjoy her “milky” look. When she finishes breast feeding she lies back looking totally replete, chubby cheeked and satisfied with a very contented look on her face and the air of one utterly absorbed in feeling completely full up and not wishing to be disturbed.

Happy post feeding sleep

Leave me alone, I'm just having a milky moment

Utterly contented


I’m so lucky to have Hope : )

and yes I can now hear her waking up and a large howl just came from her basket … she doesn’t look this serene or peaceful now bless her!! Let feeding time commence!


One Comment leave one →
  1. February 29, 2012 11:19 pm

    Enjoy it. Before you know it, you’ll be having sleepless nights because she has organised a party on whatever the equivalent of Facebook or Twitter is in 15 year’s time and you won’t have a clue where she is, whether she is smiling, or even if she is happy!!! LOL

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