The team at Tidelands Health Women’s Center helps families navigate pregnancy and childbirth every day. For the past year, we’ve followed one of the practice’s physicians – Dr. Monica Selander – on the journey as she and her husband, Tidelands Health orthopedic surgeon Dr. Earl Han, welcomed a second child to their family. Now we celebrate the conclusion of the series with a look back at some of the highlight’s of Luna’s first 12 months of life and her first birthday festivities.
Talk about an eventful first year of life.
Last summer, Tidelands Health OB-GYN Dr. Monica Selander and her husband, Tidelands Health orthopedic surgeon Dr. Earl Han, welcomed baby Luna into their family.
As expected, introducing a second child to the world has come with myriad memorable moments, challenges and surprises. But little could the couple have forecast just how much life would change over the past 12 months, and not only because of the tremendous progress their newest family member has made since her
Luna was born in June 2019 to Dr. Selander, who practices at the Holmestown Road and Georgetown locations of Tidelands Health Women’s Center, and Dr. Han, who practices at the Georgetown location of Tidelands Health Orthopedics.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Luna enjoyed a small, family-oriented celebration of her first birthday.
Luna delivered her first surprise on the day of her birth. Drs. Selander and Han had opted not to know their baby’s gender, and nearly everyone except their first child, Nora, 2, expected Luna to be a boy.
“I laughed right away because almost all of us thought it would be a boy,” Dr. Han said at the time.
The next major surprise came in August when Luna was diagnosed with laryngomalacia, a congenital condition that causes noisy breathing and reflux. Because the larynx isn’t formed correctly at birth, tissue partially blocks the baby’s airway. Some children struggle to nurse and gain weight, but those issues weren’t a problem for Luna. Over time, Luna’s larynx has matured and the condition has completely resolved.
Then, with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world seemingly changed overnight. Both personally and professionally, Drs. Han and Selander have adjusted many aspects of their lives.
“When we leave the house, it is only to go to outdoor areas,” she says. “If we go to the beach, we are far away from other people, and we don’t take our children to the grocery store or on errands.”
The girls have continued to attend school part time, which Dr. Selander says she feels is important for their social development, but otherwise their interaction with others is limited.
“Of course, we try to still get them outside and do fun things, but they definitely have less social interaction and less variety in their daily activities,” she says.
Luna, 1, and Nora, 2, have developed a strong bond.
The most recent surprise came at Luna’s first birthday party. With social distancing in mind, the family opted for a small, family-oriented celebration.
The highlight of the party was the doljabi, a Korean fortune-telling tradition where babies are presented with an assortment of small items. The object the baby selects is said to predict his or her future occupation. Items often include things like thread, gold coins, balls, papers, fabric and a bow and arrow.
To say Dr. Selander was surprised when Luna selected the bow and arrow is an understatement.
“I guess she’s supposed to be a general in the military or something along those lines,” she says with a chuckle.
In recent weeks, Luna has started walking, a milestone welcomed by Nora. Dr. Selander says the soon-to-be three-year-old loves holding her little sister’s hand as they “run laps” around the house. Ever the little sister, though, Luna has a tendency at times to playfully tug at Nora’s hair, borrow her toys and finish her meals.
She’s also identifying her family members by name: “mama,” “dada” and “Nuhnuh” for Nora.
“They’re at a really fun age right now,” Dr. Selander says. “The first six months, we were in survival mode. But now we’ve settled into being family of four, and Nora is used to having a sibling. It is really enjoyable.”