Friday, March 25, 2011

Mommy Faux Pas #2

As I made dinner one night, I realized I was missing a key ingredient. Nothing a quick trip to Ralphs wouldn't fix.

So I popped outside to get the jogging stroller ready, accidentally letting the front door slam behind me. And of course, it was LOCKED.

I basically freaked out because I could hear Stephen crying inside. Rationally I knew he was safe but that didn't keep my from bursting into tears.

Thank goodness for kind neighbors and a fast sister-in-law. She had the extra keys here in about 15 minutes. But I sure felt like a dummy. And the baby didn't let me forget it, either. He was pissed the rest of the night.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

3 Months Old

Baby: Has been opening that right eye a lot more, but we are still going to the optometrist in April to make sure everything is OK with the actual eyeball development. I think his eyes will be brown. He is continuing to grow and loves meal-time. Although his favorite time of day is taking a bath! The last few weeks have been a great improvement as far his happiness goes. He's not as fussy and he has been taking little naps. There are lots of smiles and babbles during the day. Still waiting to hear his little laugh though. He all of a sudden enjoys being in the backpack and also likes the jogging stroller (as long as he can sleep during the morning run). He's discovered his hands and I love when I catch him staring at them or sucking on them. Still can't quite get that head up, but pediatrician isn't worried. She said to just continue tummy time.

Head - 15 1/2"
Weight - 14 lbs. 3 oz.
Height - 23"

His head and height are only in about the 5th percentile. His weight is in the 50th. Knew there'd be no problems with chunkin' up!

Parents: Will I ever stop complaining about being tired? Well, we still are. The longest he sleeps at night is 4 hours in a row - and that starts at like 8pm. I can't remember the last time I was in bed before 10. The rest of the night, he sleeps about an hour at a time. So yeah, we're still tired. But somehow we are working it out. We are crazy about this little guy and love, love, love to show him off. Daddy talks to him on the phone every day and I'm always taking videos and pictures, so he doesn't miss too much while he's at work.

Mommy's Thoughts: As I mentioned, things are getting a little easier. I also feel like Stevie and I have reached a real happy place. We do share more of a bond over the last few weeks. I love when we play and I can make him smile. Just when I think we are kind of getting on a schedule, he likes to change it up so I'm just learning to be flexible and not control what he does. When I try to control his naps or eating times, it just leads to frustration. So we're just wingin' it... for now. I look forward to watching him grow and learn new things. It's so exciting! I have made a real effort to get dressed every day and paint my nails once a week. Those little things help me feel like a normal person instead of just a tired Mom. And just a side note, I'm sad that he and I don't have any good pictures together. Need to remedy that.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Weekend Haps

Over the weekend Stevie went to his first birthday party. Of course, to prepare for the occasion, I had to get him a new outfit. I have been really fortunate in the clothing department. Besides the fact that he's either in a onesie or a pajama 99% of the time, I was able to borrow a ton of baby boy clothes from my sister and we got so many little outfits as gifts. I really haven't had to purchase a single thing. But put me in a Baby Gap and I'll be sure to find something.

He looked so cute and was such a good boy at the party. We started out in the Bjorn backpack, which he is becoming quite accustomed to as he gets bigger. I accidentally dropped pasta salad on his head while I was eating though. Haha. When he got tired of that, Daddy held him for awhile and then he laid in the grass on a blanket for a long time, just smiling and babbling to all the passersby. I was so glad he was happy, because it can be so stressful when they have the grumps. His souvenir from the party was this awesome 'stache & glasses.

Later that night, the little guy hung out with his Tati while the huz & I went out with our friends for a birthday celebration. It was fun to be out and I really didn't worry about him all that much. But by 10pm, I was wiped out - and secretly wishing I had been sleeping the whole time we had a sitter. We did have a nice night though and we are really trying to make an effort to not to lose all our social connections just because we're parents now. I'm not going to lie, its kind of difficult being the only ones in our group of friends with a kid. I'm constantly talking about the baby and we just relate to things in a totally different way now. But thankfully our friends love little Stephen and they seem to understand.

Plus, being a parent is just too good to worry much about anything else outside of that.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mommy Faux Pas #1

The first couple weeks that Stephen was home from the hospital, bath time was...well, traumatizing. That's the best word to describe it. The poor baby would scream bloody murder through the whole process. Then Gadoo would sit by the bathroom door and meow incessantly. I would be stressed to the max - it was physically painful because I would get so tense in my back and shoulders.

My poor husband usually watched in horror from the sidelines. Until finally, one night I told him "You need to do the bath so you can learn how in case I'm not here". So reluctantly he drew the bath and as he placed the baby in the tub - SILENCE. This time I watched from the sidelines, baffled. Stevie lay in the tub, totally relaxed. Even went as far as to have his leg hanging over the side and almost fell asleep!

I blurted out "What the hell!" and huz insisted that I feel the water. It was quite a bit hotter than I had been making it. And that was the secret to successful baths. The running joke is that I might as well have filled the tub with ice cubes.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Good News?

Yesterday, we had a follow-up appointment at Children's to get the results of Stephen's blood work. The main thing we were concerned about after his surgery was that he might have a clotting disorder. It is extremely rare for babies to clot the shunt, and his body rejected it completely. If you remember, the shunt would clot every 15 minutes and put him into cardiac arrest. So obviously, it was very necessary to find out what the problem is before his next surgery. We want to be fully prepared if other measures need to be taken.

The good news is that he does NOT have any type of clotting disorder! Hooray! All his blood work came back normal, except for the proteins in his liver. Those numbers were a little low, but they suspect its just because he's young and the numbers will go up as he grows. We'll follow up with that one in about 4 months to make sure the numbers increase.

So while this is excellent news, its also a little frustrating because there is still no clear answer as to why his surgery was so difficult. It also makes me nervous for his future surgery just because it will go on as planned with no special revisions. What if his body rejects the new valve or something? We still have a few months to prepare, but whenever I think about it, I can't help but feel slightly uneasy. I have to remember that he's working with the best surgeons out there and they are quick on their feet. They knew what to do when they ran into complications last time, and they'll know what to do if, God forbid, anything happens this next time too.

Can't help huggin' and kissin' this cute little bug all the time!

No doctor appointments next week (yay!) but he'll be back to the cardiologist the week after. We suspect that check-up will go beautifully as always.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Little Relief

The last two days, we have been in much better spirits around here. Hope I don't jinx it by bragging!

Stevie has taken naps!!

At first, I wondered if maybe something was wrong with him. He was actually sleeping during the day? For more than 10 minutes? And 3 times at that?? I imagined he must be feeling sick... and hopefully nothing worse. I couldn't help but monitor him closely as he rested, just to make sure. Everything seemed fine, so by the next nap, I got smart and got a little sleep myself.

Oh my goodness, what a difference that 45 minutes made.

The rest of the day I felt energized and I wanted to spend time with him, instead of being frustrated with him. We smiled at each other and babbled to each other and just enjoyed the rest of the day. I didn't even care when he pooped on me. Plus I was able to get a few of my own things done, so I am feeling good.

He must have known I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown and just gave in. Thank you, baby. Thank you.
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Thursday, March 3, 2011

One Last Shot...

So let's talk about breastfeeding. One of my least favorite topics - probably because I never quite mastered it.

When I brought bitty home from the hospital, he definitely struggled with breastfeeding right away. My pediatrician knew he wasn't getting enough food, so she asked me to supplement with formula. I did that one time. I cried and cried as I gave it to him. This was not in my plans.

At 10 days old, I went to a Lactation Support Group. The specialist explained to me that the breastfeeding was difficult because A) he was a hand-sucker in the womb and B) he had a high pallet, which made him feel like he was choking when he'd eat. (It was also a side effect of his heart condition, but obviously we didn't know that until after the fact.) So she gave me some tips on massaging his gums and on different ways to hold him to make him the most comfortable. It helped a little, but I scheduled a one-on-one consultation with her to get really good at it.

The day of my one-on-one appointment, we wound up in the hospital.

After surgery, he had to take a bottle. Obviously he got very accustomed to that. It was all my milk that they were storing for me, but we didn't really have a choice as his little body healed. Once he was finally off all the wires and tubes, we tried breastfeeding and he seemed to pick it up right away. Oh my gosh! So exciting. But as the days went on, he got less and less interested in it and I ended up giving expressed milk all the time. I would offer the boob and he would typically reject it. And by reject it, I mean he would scratch and punch and get himself all worked into a tizzy until he could barely breathe, he was so mad.

So back to the Lactation Support Group. She helped me again and even suggested bottles that were more similar to breastfeeding. So I got those and I really tried every day to get him to nurse. We actually saw some improvement and he once ate for 15 whole minutes. He would still need a bottle afterward, but he did the initial work and it made me very hopeful. However, once again, as the days went on, he just became disinterested.

I continue to pump, but as he has grown, I have had a hard time keeping up. Yesterday I gave him formula for the second time because I just didn't have enough milk. It made me so sad!! I don't think mothers who give their kids formula are bad or wrong in any way, but I had my plan and this was not it! It also doesn't help that for some reason, all the milk I was storing in the freezer went sour.

So now, almost 3 months into it, I am on my last attempt. I bought Mother's Milk Tea and Fenugreek Herbs which are both supposed to help with milk production and I will continue to give him the natural stuff as long as I possibly can. But I won't lie, the pumping is getting tiring and so is the fight. So please send your happy thoughts my way as this nursing thing (or lack thereof) is on its last leg.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

2 Months Old

We're actually going on 10 weeks old! So crazy.

Baby: Has been working on opening both eyes. His right eye has an issue, but we're seeing improvement all the time. Has gained over 3 pounds and grown 4 inches since birth. He will hold up his head pretty good while upright, but totally hates tummy time and has to work really hard while lying face-down. Sometimes he is working so hard, that a fart will slip out. That always makes me laugh. Still struggles with breastfeeding. I haven't given up yet, but I've come close. Feedings are no fun when I'm facing rejection every 2 hours! Recently started LOVING the bath. He is smiling and cooing after his belly is full. Likes just laying on the floor and taking in his surroundings. Those are my favorite moments and I love to talk to him and see his reactions. When I rock him to sleep, he always finds the collar of my shirt and holds on for dear life.

Head - 14 1/2"
Weight - 11 lbs. 4 oz.
Height - 22 1/2"

He is in about the 20th % for all of the above.

Parents: Tired of course! We've been taking shifts and co-sleeping with baby on the couch. We sleep there during nap-time and nighttime. It's the only way anyone can get rest. And he looks so sweet all snuggled in my chest, my heart melts just a little bit. Hubby usually takes the evening shift from like 11pm to 2am so I can get a few hours of consecutive sleep. But he got a really bad flu, so we just had to work it out and I've been with baby a LOT the last few days. Praying we don't catch what he had! When he and I are frustrated in the middle of the night, we have had a couple arguments - but decided that anything said between midnight and 6am doesn't count towards the relationship. You can't take things personally when you are being tortured. We are also too lazy to dress baby in anything but onesies.

Mom's Thoughts: After the kid's hospital stay, I have had my moments of paranoia - even paged the doctor late at night just in case. I feel like the time we missed together and the intense fear that I had of losing him caused me to detach a little and it interfered with our bonding. But its always reassuring when the doctors say how great he's doing. I worry less and less every day about his condition. And baby and I have our moments where we can't get enough of each other. Today I went jogging for the first time in probably 10 months. It felt good and I'm hoping I can work it into my days on a regular basis somehow. Kind of sad to still see all these stretch marks though. No amount of exercise will help those suckers!