Monday, December 23, 2013

Refreshed

This weekend was exactly what I've needed. After having way too many melt downs and feeling so overwhelmed last week, we finally had a weekend where at the end of it, I feel calm and refreshed. No, this weekend wasn't without a fussy baby or anything, but it was still just what I've needed.

I've been working on telling people what I need. This weekend, I told my mother-in-law that I needed her to watch Matthew Saturday for a few hours. I needed to get out and I needed to spend some time with my husband. Thankfully, she obliged and we made a plan that they would watch him in the evening and even do his bed time routine so we could be out for a few hours.

Saturday was awesome. We woke up, got Matthew ready for the day and put him down for his first nap. It's his shortest nap of the day so I figured that we could let him sleep and afterwards, go get his picture taken with Santa. After he woke up, we fed him and that's what we set out to do.

He slept a total of 20-ish minutes in the car and wouldn't go back to sleep when we got there due to all of the excitement going on. We decided to go to the Bass Pro Shop to get his picture taken since they do a free 4x6 photo and I refused to spend $30 on pictures, especially if he cried through it (and let's be real, there was a good chance of that happening). When we got there the line was so long so we grabbed a "Bass Pass" to come back in an hour and bypass the line. Of course, by the time we came back, Matthew was super tired and fussy, but with the help of his paci, he did a great job for the picture!


While we were there, we even picked a trip we were planning on taking for our anniversary and got some great incentives with it! After the pictures, it was time to feed him and go home.
Saturday evening, Phil and I were able to go out to dinner. We ended up at Longhorn Steakhouse and it was so nice to have a dinner out that we didn't need to switch between who holds the baby and who eats. We were able to connect again just by talking and spending a few hours together.

Sunday, we ended up going to church and to a family Christmas party. We did a ton of laundry in between and watched Elf while doing chores.

Our weekend was nothing fancy, but it was so nice to be able to spend time together as a family and also just with my husband.

Matthew has an Upper GI Scan on Tuesday (Christmas Eve) which should take up to 6 hours. Please pray that the test goes well and that maybe we can have some answers on what's going on with our little man. It should be able to tell us if he has reflux and can also help to see the small intestine and if there is a problem with his stomach. We're praying this test (with the contrast dye) will go smoothly and that they won't want to follow it up with a scope (which he would have to be put under for).

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Exhausted

I feel like I complain a lot lately and I really wish that wasn't the case. The truth is that I'm exhausted on a daily basis and have been for four months. I keep reading blogs and seeing IG and facebook pictures with people exclaiming that they have such a happy baby and I'm happy for them, but that's not the case over here.

Matthew's crying has been getting worse since starting solids and he is doing a new thing where he gags/shrieks and scrunches his whole body up in pain. It's happening more frequently now and he's inconsolable while he's having an episode. I've decided to stop solids for the time being until we can figure out what's going on.

He has a doctor's appointment tomorrow and they are going to do an upper GI scan to see if they can find a cause for all of these issues. The doctor told us at our appointment last week that if it was colic, it should be gone by now so she wanted us to monitor it. Now that it has gotten worse, we have an appointment and a new plan.

I am praying so hard that we can finally have some answers or that he is healed miraculously and we can all look back at this time and be so happy that he is doing better. Until then, I really need to find a way to have some more time away to help me not get overwhelmed.

I love our little boy so much and it's so hard to be going through this with him.

All I want for Christmas is a happy baby who likes to eat and is, of course, healthy.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Starting Solids

Now that Matthew is 4 months old (seriously, how did this happen?!), the doctors have been talking to us about starting solids. His reflux/stomach issues/crying at the bottle is still happening and he's not eating much throughout the day. We're still making 4oz bottles and it's now down to 6 times per day. He's eating less than he did at 2 months old, but is still growing well, so I'm trying to focus on that.

The hope is that the food will coat his esophagus and stomach and hopefully make eating the bottle a little more pleasant for him. He's currently trying squash as the rice cereal didn't go over so well and so far it's been ok. We've been instructed to let him eat as much or as little as he would like and to offer it twice per day so, breakfast and dinner.

We're starting off with vegetables and trying a new one every four days to see if he has a reaction. He's only eating between 1/2-3/4 of an ounce at each feeding which is funny since the pediatrician said that most kids eat 1/2-1 jar of baby food and they have 2.5oz in them. I guess we just have a baby with a small appetite.

I've decided to make most of our baby food here so I've been excited to get that started. It's super easy and I like knowing what goes in the food is what I've chosen for him. We do have some jarred foods so that we can take them and use the jars for traveling and when we go out and about.

So far, I've made squash, peas, and pears. We bought a Ninja Single Serve Pulse blender and use that to puree our baby foods and it's been great so far. I need to find a different ice cube tray for baby foods since the ones we got at Walmart aren't the greatest and the foods stick in there and won't come out.

I'm hoping that he will continue to do well with the new foods and that his fussiness will start to subside as he gets more to eat and gets a little older. I was really interested in trying baby led weaning, but I guess that's not what's best for our little guy at the moment. Oh well, maybe next time.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Being a Mom

For years I've looked forward to being a mom. Sure, I knew it would not always be easy, but it's something that I've wanted more than anything.

Then, it happened and my life changed completely. I am not responsible for a little boy who I love so much. It was a journey to get him here and we are so happy that he is healthy and safe. There are so many things I love about being a mom, but I would be lying if I said it was awesome 100% of the time. 

I've been struggling with something for quite a while now. My husband knows, and I will be talking to someone about it starting this week.

The truth is, I feel robbed.

Robbed of the first moments to spend with my son after he was born. Instead of getting that hour of skin-to-skin time after delivery, I was given a few minutes before he was whisked away for two hours to make sure that he was breathing ok. I remember them bringing him back to me and looking at him and it was just surreal. I didn't have that overwhelming sense of love that everyone talks about getting when they first held their baby.

Robbed of the new baby-ness and just being able to take things as they come along. Matthew had a rough start with reflux, stomach issues, and a (now fixed) hernia. This meant that from weeks 3-9 of his life, there was a lot of crying all the time, every time he ate. Then, he would cry in his sleep because he was uncomfortable so he was crying on and off all day. It became very frustrating as we saw doctor upon doctor to try to get him help so he could feel better.

At this point I'm drained, both physically and emotionally. I have a lot of good days, but lately have been having days where I'm just drained. I just want my baby to feel better and for me to feel like a good mom again. Every time he starts to do better, something else comes along and it's just one thing after another. 

I love my son and know that this is only a short period in his life and things will get better. I also know that this is a lot harder on me than it is on him. Thank goodness for that.

I can't wait to start feeling better and being able to get out of the house for a few, even if it's to talk to someone who understands and doesn't judge.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Trying To Do The Right Thing

I have a lot on my mind tonight. You see, last year I volunteered at our church once a week with one of the kid's groups there. I wasn't planning on going back this year with having Matthew, but I was asked to come back. The kids are super rowdy and they were having a hard time getting things under control. I agreed to go, check it out, and help until they could get things up and running without me.

I went in and basically came up with a whole new system for the group. It's what I do. When I nannied, I would go in and fix things when the kids were having less than desirable behavior. I like to do things like that and create systems that work. After talking to the man in charge, we agreed that I would come up with a new system and he was 100% on board and asked the other volunteers to do the same.

Last week I brought in packets with how things would go so that everyone would be on the same page. The man in charge read it over ahead of time and really liked it. He even would stop by that night and told me at the end that he could see this really working!

Then, I got an email the next day asking me to have a meeting with a couple of the volunteers. It's a husband-wife duo and I know the wife isn't thrilled with me or possibly the changes I've made. No one will tell me anything other than the meeting is to work out any issues we may have. Umm, I didn't know there were any issues except for the ones I was fixing, but ok.
 
At this point, I'm left feeling confused and defeated. I spent hours putting this plan together and it was really going well. The kids need consistency and stability so we need to come up with one plan and stick with it no matter what. 

I was asked to come in and do this job and I am, but someone doesn't like it and it is what it is. I don't like leaving my family to go and help out if I'm not wanted so if things don't go well at the meeting, I guess I will graciously back down.

I'm just doing what's best for all of the parties involved, but I think it's a power struggle. The funny thing is that I don't need to be in control. The moment I walked in, everyone turned to me and let me take over. They asked me what to do about every situation so I made judgement calls as needed.

I guess I'll find out on Wednesday what the deal is, but for now, I'm being kept in the dark and that makes me feel anxious.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Learning

We just got in from California early Sunday morning. I loved visiting with my family and friends, but noticed it took a toll on Matthew. My baby who was scheduled here at home no longer had a schedule. So, we made the best of the situation and I actually learned a few things.

  1. His morning nap that usually lasts for only an hour? Ya, he's still tired and will go back to sleep with some snuggling.
  2. He's ready to be awake more, but still gets tired super easily so once he starts fussing, yawning, and rubbing his eyes...put the baby down!
  3. He has the capacity to go 7 hours overnight between feedings (but only slept 5 of those hours). Not sure why he won't sleep more then.
  4. No matter what, the kid loves his baths.
  5. When traveling, make sure to throw in a couple of days where he has some down time and don't leave the house.
  6. He'll sleep on a red-eye flight, but I will barely get any.
  7. Baby wearing on a plane is the best idea ever. He sleeps and I have my hands free!
  8. My mom is an awesome grandma. I miss her so much already.
  9. Don't argue with your husband when you're 3,000 miles apart. No good can come from it.
  10. Meeting up with friends who have kids is awesome. I wish we were closer.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Chiropractic Care for Infants

When I posted this picture a couple of days ago on my facebook account, I had no idea what controversy it would cause. I captioned it with...

Matthew gets regular adjustments from Dr. D!
Yes, that is my wonderful chiropractor adjusting my three month old son.

From there on out, it seemed like a war took place (by just a few people) in my comments. These comments ranged from telling me that it's dangerous to linking something about how an infant died from cranial-sacral therapy (which my son has also had done) to how if he had issues, then a pediatrician would send him to a physical therapist to really fix the problem and chiropractors can't do that. Of course, this is the condensed version in a nut-shell, but you get the point.

I would like to put it out there that the reason I get my son adjusted is for his overall well-being. Chiropractic care has helped me in SO many ways even when regular doctors couldn't. My husband has even seen how much good it has done for our family and is on board 100%. 

My chiropractor is certified in pediatric care and my pediatrician agrees with us taking him in and has encouraged us to do so! Babies are not adjusted the same way as adults. In fact, she uses light pressure to adjust him and as you can see in the picture, he has really become comfortable with it and loves seeing his Dr. D.

For us, chiropractic care is worth it and not something that's "weird." I still see regular doctors and take Matthew for his check ups and call the pediatrician when needed, but when I was pregnant, we made a decision to take him to get adjusted regularly and he has since birth. It is so much more than people who aren't used to it think, but it's so hurtful to be under attack just because they don't understand and haven't experienced it for themselves.

If anyone knows me, they would know that I do my research and would never choose to do something that would be dangerous for my family. I know the benefits that my family has seen from chiropractic care and even though there are nay-sayers out there who disagree, we will continue to take him along with me to get his adjustments.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Refreshed

This last weekend was so great for me and our little family. We had a much needed weekend away, in a sense, and came back feeling refreshed and rejuvinated.

It was nothing special, in fact, it was set up so I could work. I agreed to make custom curtains for my brother and sister-in-law's new house. I started them when I was eight and a half months pregnant and was put on bed rest before they could be completed. Yes, they've been waiting on these things forever, but have been super supportive. So, when they offered to have us come down and bring the baby so I could get some work done and have plenty of people around to help with Matthew, it was a no-brainer. 

We got there Friday afternoon and I got in a good three hours before dinner. If you've ever made lined curtains with back tabs, you know how much work goes into them...a lot. Saturday, I started around 9am and worked until about 6pm only taking minimal breaks for lunch and to snuggle with my little guy. It was a long day, but I got a lot done. At this point the living room curtains were done, but the dining room curtains still had quite a lot of work left. I was exhausted and went to bed after we put Matthew down for the night. Sunday, I got to work right after breakfast and did another six-ish hours and got them done! I still have to hem the sheers for the windows, but that was meant for another time anyways.

Even though I was working like crazy (and believe me, it was work!), it was so nice to be able to focus and get the job done knowing that Matthew was well taken care of. We had a great time away from all of the chores and distractions at home and looked forward to going back.

Today, it's back to the grind with laundry and errands, but I am so grateful for this past weekend.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Looking Up!

I'm happy to report that things are getting much better as of late.

  • Gerber Good Start Soothe is working wonders for him. He's only fussy at the end of the feeding and isn't screaming constantly when he eats anymore!
  • The doctor took him off of prevacid and so far, he's been doing pretty well. He still has a hard time at feedings, but it's much more manageable.
  • We're getting into a new routine so naps and feeding times are starting to get established.
  • With the new schedule, I have a lot of random "down time" so I'm able to get more done and have time to rest.
  • Matthew has only woken up once in the middle of the night to eat the past two nights! I'm hoping this is his new normal until he can sleep through the night.
  • We've started up house hunting again and found something we like. We're trying to go USDA which means no down payment and a lower interest rate, but there's less eligible in the areas that we're considering. 
  • My husband got a promotion at work and I couldn't be more proud of him. He works really hard and has such a long day so I'm happy that his hard work is recognized.
  • I can't wait for our California trip next weekend! My mom and sisters are excited to meet Matthew and I'm happy to see them again. Twice in one year? That's unheard of!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

We're not planning on doing much today, but I'm trying to convince my husband to let us trick or treat to a couple of houses for the candy. Hey, I have a baby who loves the stroller and a reindeer snow suit that will be too small on him come winter time. It could work out. Plus, people love babies!

Here's my little pumpkin today...

And here's he is in his reindeer snow suit...

Ya, we might need to go out for a "walk" tonight!

Monday, October 21, 2013

That Mom

I'm that mom who...
  • Has a baby with reflux. Yes, this means he might vomit while we're out and we might have to change his clothes on the restaurant table. You might see us giving him his medicine so that he's more comfortable and you might see him being super fussy and crying because he hurts.
  • Will do everything I can do get my baby to not "bother" others in public. Sure, he's upset, but I'll try to make it so that he doesn't scream forever without trying to do anything about it. One thing though, he's a baby and sometimes babies cry and there's nothing you can do about it.
  • Likes routines and schedules. Yes, this means scheduling my ten week old, but it's more of a flexible schedule where we can make changes as necessary. My son loves routine and so does his momma.
  • Puts on a clean onesie after bath time at the end of the night and doesn't always change his outfit the next morning. Gasp! I know, right?! He's clean and happy and if we're just hanging around the house, it works out perfectly.
  • Baby wears at church. It works for us and since the pediatrician said not to put him in the nursery until three months, we're holding off.
  • Picks and chooses which vaccines are best for my child. Of course, I do this with my pediatrician's recommendations, but with my history of skin reactions, we're lucky we've chosen to vaccinate at all! It's something I struggled with, but after talking to his doctor, feel like we're making the best decision for him.
  • Let's my baby cry it out. After one time of going to put in his paci every couple of minutes for a while, I knew something had to give. I let him fuss/cry for no longer than five minutes at a time (as long as all of his needs are met) and you know what? He falls asleep! Now, he doesn't even need us to go in most of the time and I'm so proud of him.
  • Binge eats because my baby cries so much. It's getting better now that his tummy is doing better, but it's something that I seriously need to work on.
  • Doesn't think I need to apologize for my parenting style. My husband and I agree with everything 100%  and we do what works for us. Of course, it's constantly changing, but we're doing our best and that's all that matters.
What kind of mom are you?

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Past Two Weeks

It's been a rough seven weeks around here. 

Here's a recap of the past two weeks...
  • The hernia surgery was successful and they found another small hernia on the opposite side so they decided to take care of it so we wouldn't have to come back again. 
  • Matthew was kept overnight at the hospital following the surgery and it was rough. Once the anesthesia wore off, he screamed all night unless he was on his momma. Sweet? Yes, but very exhausting.
  • The pain medication they gave him in the hospital made him constipated. Prune juice hurts his tummy and Karo only worked if we put it in every.single.bottle. That's a lot of corn syrup over time, so we're happy that's fixed. 
  • Oh, and he temporarily lost the ability to poop on his own. Fun times. He just got it back yesterday and I couldn't be happier to not have to help him out.
  • His reflux got worse again in addition to having some major tummy troubles so we were sent to a GI Specialist.
  • We were told to try Elecare, a $45 per can (that's tiny), hypoallergenic formula. And...he threw it all up within the first two ounces. Clearly, he has issues with hypoallergenic formulas as this is the second one he's had a reaction to.
  • The GI Specialist was wonderful and has us taking Matthew off of the soy formula and putting him on Gerber Good Start Soothe. They were able to give us free samples to try and it just so happens to be on sale at Target this week! She said he doesn't have a milk allergy and the whey protein is easier to digest, plus it has a probiotic in it to help with his tummy troubles. It will take 5-7 days for it to take full effect and have the soy be completely out of his system.
  • The Gerber formula is the 7th formula we've tried. I am desperately praying it works for him. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

So What Wednesday

Life After I Dew
This week, I'm saying SO WHAT if...
  • When we came home from an appointment Monday evening and I heard the baby crying from outside the house, I wanted to go back to the car just for a little bit. This past week has been one of the hardest since having Matthew home. 
  • I bit the bullet and bought a plane ticket to get Matthew and I out to CA next month. If my mom won't come to me, I guess we'll just have to go to her!
  • We're not cloth diapering for a while. We were gifted about 600-700 size 1 diapers and already had about 100 or so that we had purchased as back up. I'm not sure we'll even be able to use all of them!
  • I've been binge-eating sweets and forgetting to eat regular meals. It's getting better, but the stress has been so overwhelming these past couple of weeks.
  • My kid HATES hypoallergenic formulas. He vomited the $45 Elecare up within the first two ounces. He must know that mom and dad like to save money and can't afford a formula that would cost $500 per month!
  • Matthew isn't smiling just yet. He's so close and every now and then he does, but not regularly.
  • I love that my baby likes to sleep! Of course, he does best swaddled so he doesn't startle himself awake, but then he's good to go!
  • I call the formula companies asking for coupons! I'm not shy and formula is expensive.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Woolzies Dryer Balls Review and Giveaway!

Since having a baby two months ago we have definitely noticed our laundry increasing. I'd say it's safe to say we do at least five loads of laundry per week and that doesn't include our cloth diaper laundry.

When I had Matthew, I wanted to make sure that we were using products that would be safe for him and gentle for his sensitive baby skin. Enter Woolzies Dryer Balls. They were just the solution I was looking for! In fact, I had just purchased three small dryer balls from a local consignment boutique for $8.25 each...ouch. I knew that I wanted to try wool dryer balls, but at that price, I didn't want to buy too many!

Woolzies Dryer Balls are inexpensive at $34.95 for a box of 6 XL dryer balls! They are literally three times the size of the ones I purchased for double the price per dryer ball (and we all know how I like to save money).

According to the Woolzies website: 

"Woolzies are a nontoxic dryer ball that does not coat clothing with
dangerous chemicals, therefor making your laundry safe for all. Also,
Woolzies cuts your drying time down sometimes as much as 40% saving
you and your family time and money."

 What I love about Woolzies is that it doesn't use chemicals, gets the static out, and leaves our clothes (and diapers) feeling soft and fresh. It can literally be used for any load that goes in the dryer and is safe for people with sensitive skin and allergies, like myself!

Now, here's your chance to enter to win a box of Woolzies Dryer Balls for yourself!


*This product was given to me for free to review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way.

Monday, September 30, 2013

What I've Learned the Past 7 Weeks

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Parenting is hard work! As we speak, my little boy is trying to take a nap and can usually put himself to sleep fairly quickly, but with everything going on lately, it's been harder for him to get to sleep and have restful sleep. I'm hoping that with the hernia surgery on Thursday, that we will be back on track shortly afterwards.

I've learned a few things in the past seven weeks of being a mom. The first, sleep deprivation is rough. I thought I didn't sleep well when I was pregnant, but man, this is hard. Matthew wakes up on average every three hours to eat and that includes overnight. It's rough and I become a little stabby.

Another thing I've learned is that every parent has different values. We value sleep and being able to put Matthew down to sleep on his own. We also value schedules and knowing when he should eat next and when he should be ready for a nap. Of course, at this age, his routine is very flexible and is easily adaptable to the given day, growth spurts, or special circumstances.

I've also learned that cloth diapering is awesome so far. The laundry isn't that bad and if you have a diaper sprayer for to get the poop off, you're good to go! It does take a little longer to get his diaper changed than using a disposable, but overall the benefits are well worth it. And, he's starting to fit into some of his smaller one size diapers so those are much faster to change than prefolds.

The last thing I've learned is that Matthew is our child and we get to choose what's best for him. This sounds like a no-brainer, but in all honesty, we've received so many "helpful comments" and "advice" that it drives me bonkers. Every parent knows their kids the best and chooses what works for them.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Rough Start

Being born early can mean many complications. Fortunately, Matthew is healthy and all of these things are minor in the grand scheme of things, but my little boy just can't seem to get a break these days. It's hard for me to watch, but it's hard for him to go through. 

First, he had a lip tie and tongue tie that needed to be clipped. That day, we also found out he had jaundice and was sent to the hospital to have him get light therapy for 24 hours and do a rebound test 6-8 hours later. Once we were home {again} from the hospital, he couldn't seem to latch well so we had to supplement with formula. Once pumping didn't work out, we ended up having to feed him formula exclusively and that was a disaster.

We had to try five different formulas before we found the right one. Then, of course, there was the acid reflux. Zantac took away some of the discomfort, but not all so we had to switch to Prevacid. Once that got into his system, he was doing really well for a few days. 

At his one month check up they found a lump in his groin and told us he might have a hernia. They sent us for an ultrasound and it was confirmed. Yesterday we had an appointment with the pediatric surgeon and set up his surgery to get the hernia repaired. Of course, this makes going to the bathroom super uncomfortable for him and he gets really upset which means less sleep for him and for mom.

I'm really looking forward to having this all behind us. It's been a lot of little things and I'm so grateful that he's healthy, but it's still hard on him {and me}! I can't wait to get the surgery done and over with and for him to finally be on the mend just in time for his two month check up.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

So What!

So What if...
    Life After I Dew
  • I don't know what it is, but my baby is having a much harder time sleeping. He's clearly not feeling well, but there's nothing I can do and it sucks.
  • I want to binge eat. My kid is not sleeping well and has a hernia. He's not even 7 weeks old! Pass the cookies.
  • When I'm sleep deprived, I want to bite someone's head off. Seriously, it's bad. I usually end up crying and saying how tired I am.
  • I let my husband do the overnight feedings on the weekend. Ya, let is the right word...lol.
  • Being a mom is a much harder job than I thought it would be. It's seriously 24/7. Even if I'm away from him, I still worry about him.
  • My cat is irritating me to no extent. Seriously, she picks the most inopportune times to want to snuggle.
  • All I want on the weekends is for someone else to do the bottle dishes and get the bottles ready! I do it a bazillion times during the week.
  • On Wednesdays, my sister and I call or text each other and ask, "What day is it?!" Lol. Sad, but true.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

On Being Judged

Being a mom is a tough job. It's your (and your husband's) responsibility to make decisions and raise your child the best way you can. There are so many decisions to make and only you can choose what is right for your family and your child. Of course, there's always someone waiting to rain on your parade and tell you that you're doing it wrong.

Exhibit A:
My husband and I were at church and Matthew started getting really fussy. He wasn't due to eat for another 45 minutes and we left his pacifier at home. Since he was getting more riled up, I took him into the lobby to calm him down. In the lobby, there was an older man sitting in a chair and a woman sitting on the couch. They weren't together, but what got me were the comments they were making. 

At first they were nice saying that our baby is so cute, etc. I politely said thank you and continued to try to get him to calm down. At one point, he started to get even more upset and was crying. I tried holding him up to my chest, bouncing him, walking him around, basically everything except for feeding him. Of course, if we had his pacifier, he would have settled down, but that wasn't an option.

The lady saw how I was holding him and started telling me how I need to hold his head. I smiled and did what she said just to appease her. I know my child and his abilities. I've spoken with the pediatrician and know that he can hold his head up like a champ with no problems. But, I'm working on my reactions so I smiled and moved on.

When I couldn't get him settled fast enough, the old man started shaking his head, looking at me saying, "So young. So, so young." This time I smiled and tried to ignore him. I'm not that young and all babies cry. It didn't help when I finally gave him his bottle when he wouldn't be pacified any other way and he stopped crying. The lady called it a "miracle" and told me that "sometimes it's hard to tell what they need." 

As a mom, I feel judged on the decisions that we make for our child and it shouldn't be that way. I'm learning that everyone needs to parent the way that they feel is best and if I don't agree with it, who cares! It's not my child and what works for us probably wouldn't work for them and that's ok.

I've already had someone telling me that putting Matthew on a schedule during the day isn't necessary. Well, maybe they didn't need one for their child, but I've noticed that when he eats at the same time every day, he does so much better! And, it is nice to know how many bottles to bring when we're out and when to schedule his appointments based on his schedule. Of course, it's super flexible since he's so little, but even the doctor yesterday suggested a set bedtime routine already! I was so happy to hear that we're on the same page because I don't want to have to defend our choices.

The bottom line is this: 
You need to do what is best for you and your family. No one else can decide what that is. Everyone has an opinion, but if it's not helpful, please don't share. We're all doing our best and that's what matters the most!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

So What Wednesdays!

This week, I'm saying SO WHAT if...
    Life After I Dew
  • I bought a diaper bag off Etsy thinking it would be super great and it's not. Maybe it's because I sew, but there are a lot of little flaws, strings left unclipped, uneven stitching, and I'm not liking the outside fabric. I spent a lot of money on it and it's super cute, but it's also not big enough despite the fact that it was described as being able to fit a lot. It will work well for a different purpose, but for the price I spent, I would have expected better.
  • I now have two diaper bags and my husband has a diaper backpack! With each of us having our own bags, it makes it easier to just grab and go since they're both stocked up. Plus, he doesn't want to hold a pretty bag if he's out solo with the baby.
  • I talk about my kid a lot. He's what's going on here and that's ok.
  • We're already scheduling him for daytime feedings. It's what works for us and getting into a routine has been good for everyone so far.
  • I've been binge eating ice cream and cookies lately. I'll get there, but for now, it's my coping skill.
  • I'm probably way too excited for my 6 week postpartum check up on Friday. It's been too long people!
  • I'm thrilled to be making a decision on birth control at the appointment. I love my baby, but right now, I feel complete with the three of us and neither of us is ready for another one right away!
  • Sometimes I wonder if Matthew will be an only child. Not because I don't love kids, but because it was harder for us to get pregnant, I had preterm labor, the pain, and sleep deprivation. 
  • I really like cloth diapering so far! Even spraying the poop with the sprayer isn't bad and for right now, we're using prefolds and covers until he fits into his one size diapers which means changing takes more time right now.
  • I'm already looking forward to Christmas!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Diapering

When I was pregnant...ok, let's be honest, way before I was pregnant, I decided that I wanted to cloth diaper my future child. I did a ton of research on the subject and even asked a fellow blogger who cloth diapers plenty of questions.

Then, when I got pregnant, I started building my stash. I chose mostly one-size diapers and even made a couple, but decided to purchase the majority of them. I liked that they were convenient and would be able to fit him until he's potty trained! Of course, most of them fit best when your child is about 10 lbs from what I've heard, so I knew I would need at least a few diapers for before that. I decided that for the newborn stage, I would go with one of the cheapest option...prefolds and covers. So, I purchased 30 prefolds,  prefold fitteds, one used all-in-one, one cover, and I sewed 5 more covers. This way, I could do laundry every other day and be good to go!

What I didn't expect was a tiny baby. Sure, most babies are small when they are first born, but my child fit into preemie diapers for the first couple of weeks. In fact, I tried on a prefold and cover and they were too big! They gapped at the waist and were not snug at all. So, I did what was best and sent my husband to buy more newborn diapers.

Now that Matthew is 5 weeks old, we are finally running out of newborn diapers. We have only a couple left in dad's diaper bag and that's it! My father-in-law actually purchased a huge box of size 1 diapers recently and we have some as well. The box says it should fit babies from 8-14 lbs and Matthew should be about in the 8 lb range about now so, they should fit him. I tried one on him and quickly realized that they are not going to work out!

My next thought was that I had two options. Option 1: Send Phil to the store to buy more newborn diapers. Option 2: Try the prefolds and covers again and see if they would fit now. Of course, I chose option number 2 and guess what...they fit! So, I folded up the diaper, put the snappi in place, covered it with the cover I made and handed him to dad to be fed. He promptly messed his diaper so Phil got to try out the diaper sprayer his dad installed and I got to show him how to fold a prefold!

I'm happy that my newborn stash is going to good use and that all of the time and effort I put into making the covers won't be in vain. I still plan on using the disposables we have over time, but I'm so happy that he's able to fit in the prefolds and that we are able to save money! Diapering a baby can definitely get expensive.

Monday, September 16, 2013

One Month

This past week my sweet boy turned one month old. How is that even possible? It's definitely been an interesting month and he's getting bigger by the day.

He started out with a bout of jaundice which landed us in the hospital for light therapy the day after we came home from the hospital. We also found out that he had an upper lip and tongue tie. So, after being under the lights for 24 hours and waiting another 6-8 hours for a possible rebound, and an ENT consult to take care of the tongue/lip ties, he was cleared to go home!


I was pumping and giving him mostly breast milk for the first two weeks and things were going great! Then, we decided that it wasn't the best option for us and had to give him more formula and less breast milk and we started noticing a lot of problems.
My sweet boy who slept comfortably after every feeding started screaming and crying with every feeding and would tense up his body in pain. I realized it was the formula and tried a sensitive kind. This seemed to work for a day or two and the problems were back. The next step was the gentle ease formula and it was going really well for the first 3-4 days, but by the end of the week it was back to him screaming and crying with every feeding. The doctor gave us samples of alimentum, a hypoallergenic kind so we tried that. It was great for the first 24 hours then he started getting sick all over after every feeding. An ER trip later, we found out the culprit was acid reflux. With Zantac and soy formula to try, we finally got it under control!


At one month, he...
  • Sleeps a lot! Barely has any awake time except for before feedings or unless he doesn't feel well.
  • Doesn't like his diaper changed, but the wipes warmer helps a lot.
  • Is starting to like/tolerate bath time every other day.
  • Still has a full head of hair that's getting lighter by the week!
  • Loves his Rock n Play which we had to go buy when he wouldn't sleep in his bassinet due to reflux.
  • Smiles a lot in his sleep. Social smiles should come soon so we're looking forward to that.
  • Loves to be held and snuggle with momma.
  • Looks intently at people's faces now and is much more aware of loud sounds!
  • Can fit width-wise into newborn onesies, but is too long length-wise. Newborn pants are still a little big though!
I can't wait to see how much he changes in the next month!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Colicky

This past week has been especially exhausting. Matthew is now three weeks old and was super content for the first two weeks, but then when we started giving him more formula and supplementing with less breast milk, we noticed a huge change in our baby.

The first time this happened, it involved him crying for an hour straight. This is not like my child at all. My baby sleeps well and is only fussy for diaper changes, baths, and when he's hungry. He was also turning bright red and clenching his whole body. Of course, I realized that it was his stomach bothering him so we took him to the pediatrician who told us to switch formula. Done.

A week went by and we were on a sensitive formula and started to have increasingly more problems. Again, the pediatrician wanted to see us and said that we should try switching to a different formula again. If symptoms did not improve in 3-5 days, try soy formula, watch for 3-5 days, and if it doesn't work, then we would have to use the super expensive hypoallergenic formula. Lovely.

After talking it over with one of my best friends in California, we decided on another "gentle" formula before switching to soy. I also took him to my wonderful chiropractor for a much needed adjustment and between the two, he was back to his calm, not fussy self! We also decided to try probiotics and gripe water and everything together seems to work for him.

Of course, it just can't be that easy all the time so we are now also dealing with reflux in addition to the tummy troubles he's having. The pediatrician wants to see us tomorrow and after today's fussiness I'm definitely going to be making an appointment tomorrow.

It hurts to see your baby in pain and not being able to feel comfortable and the best place for him right now is on my chest. Of course, I can't be holding him 24/7 and sleep safely with him there so we went to the store and got a lesson on baby wearing and purchased a wrap today.

In the meantime while he's so uncomfortable, I feel like this is the best and safest option for him to be able to snuggle up next to me and for me to be able to keep him safe if I need to sleep in the rocking chair/recliner in his room with him on me.

 We're praying that our little boy will feel better soon, but know that colic generally clears up around three months on it's own so at least there's an end in sight!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

On Being a New Mom

Our little boy is two and a half weeks old. How can that be? There's a lot I've learned in the past two and a half weeks. Of course, things are always changing, and I don't know everything, but here's what I've learned so far...

  • Your mom instinct kicks in quickly and you learn your baby's needs right away. I wasn't expecting to feel so comfortable with our little boy or to know what he needs. I really thought it would be more of him screaming and me crying trying to figure out what's going on. I'm sure this will happen as he gets older, but for right now, he's been pretty consistent with his cries and fusses.
  • You don't have to listen to everything the doctor says. When we first brought Matthew home from the hospital he woke up on his own when he was hungry every 3-ish hours and we would feed him however much he wanted to eat. Granted, it wasn't much and he didn't ever overeat, but when we went to the hospital for jaundice they were appalled! Then, the pediatrician said that he needed to be woken up during the day every 2 hours to eat and that just messed up his whole schedule.
  • Trust your instincts. He didn't do well on the first formula that we were supplementing with and the pediatrician's receptionist said to keep trying it despite the fact that he was in pain and would wake up every hour when we fed him the formula crying and wincing. We switched and he's been a lot happier.
  • Feeding your baby is the most important thing. Yes, breast is best, but we were unable to do that. I felt guilty all weekend for wanting to give up despite the fact that he wasn't getting enough out (our baby isn't an efficient eater in general) and pumping was exhausting. If you need to use formula, that's ok.
  • Happy mom = happy baby. When you're stressed, they're more likely to be as well. All weekend I was exhausted and my husband did most of the baby duty. I feel better now, but still get so tired and need to make sure to get my rest as well.
  • You will earn not to judge. I used to have such strong opinions about myself and others and now I'm learning that it's a lot harder than I ever thought. Do I still have my opinions? Yes, but I can understand why people choose different things and I don't feel the need to get on my soapbox about all of them.
  • You don't want to leave your baby. I hate leaving him to go to the store. I can't wait to be able to take him with me, but with him being a late pre-term baby, they don't want to chance the extra germs.
  • Use common sense and talk to your mom when needed. My mom and Phil's mom have both been amazing with questions or just with venting. We're all on the same side and we all seem to agree with most things.
  • Do what you want, it's your baby. If someone gives you "advice" or tells you something you don't want to do, then just smile and say thank you. Sometimes you have to be firm if they are pushy, but trying to do it in a kind way will work out best. 
I've learned a lot these past couple of weeks and know I will continue to learn so much more as he changes and gets older.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Accepting Help

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but my husband and I are living with my in-laws while we save for a house. Of course this is good and challenging in so many ways. 

When I first found out I was pregnant, my mother-in-law let me know that she wants to be grandma and not the sole childcare provider. Fair enough. I want to take care of my child and she deserves to be a grandma and to spoil him as she pleases. I also let her know many times that this is our child and that I do not expect for her to care for him as a parent, but that she is more than welcome to hold him, feed him, and play with him as often as she wants.

Throughout the pregnancy, my in-laws were excited, but not in an overly excited way. They were pretty mellow about the baby for the most part. Then he made his arrival and oh my goodness were they excited! They came to the hospital while I was in labor and waited for him to be born. They got to see him minutes after he was born (once I was taken care of) and waited the two hours that he was being checked out in the nursery to see him again (even though it was getting pretty late). 

Once we came home, I noticed that they were really stepping into their grandparent roles quite well. They each like to spend some time with him every day holding him and they even go into his room while he's sleeping just to "check on him" and get a "peek." It's been great. They've even watched him a couple of times when we needed to go to the store since I wasn't cleared to drive and the pediatrician doesn't want him in large crowds for 4-8 weeks after birth because he's a late pre-term.

Matthew has been a pretty easy baby so far. He eats, sleeps until his next feeding, we change him, and the cycle starts all over again. We had a couple of nights where he was waking every 2 hours and seemed super fussy. The next night was worse with him waking every 1 hour and fussing for the second hour. This left both the baby and I exhausted the next day.

My mother-in-law wanting to be helpful offered to watch him while I napped. I felt horrible about this because I sleep when the baby sleeps and I need a nap, but the kid just would not sleep! He was up from 10:30am until we left for the pediatrician at 2pm. He would cry whenever the pacifier wasn't in his mouth and was wanting to eat constantly.

At the pediatrician's office I broke down when she (again) offered to let me nap. I told her that I didn't want to take advantage of her and that I love taking care of him. She let me know that I needed rest too and that she didn't mind. She also offered to watch him that evening so I could go to the grocery store and Target with my husband. I let her know that I didn't like leaving him and she said she understood, but reminded me that it's important to take care of myself so that I can properly take care of the baby. She was so understanding and kind.

Clearly, I need to work on accepting help. Could I do it all on my own? Of course, but I would probably be burnt out which wouldn't be good for anyone. I'm feeling blessed and much better today and the baby is too!




Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Birth Story

Fun fact...
I had no idea I was in labor the day I gave birth.

I was having contractions the night before every 2-7 minutes. At my hospital, they say not to come in unless they are ALL 5 minutes apart and last at least 60 seconds each. Since some of them were 2 minutes and some were 30 seconds, we decided to go to bed. After all, I had an MFM appointment to check my fluid levels one more time before induction on Monday.

I was able to sleep through the night no problem and when I woke up on Friday, I still was having contractions. Since we had the appointment set for 9am and my doctor's office doesn't open until then, I decided to just go to the appointment and let them know. My mother-in-law told us to make sure to take our hospital bags and I told her that I was NOT having a baby that day! I couldn't understand why she was so insistent, but I made sure that we grabbed them anyways.

By the time we got to the hospital my contractions were pretty regular. They were uncomfortable, definitely, but I could still talk and walk through them so I certainly couldn't have been in labor, right? I mean, the nurses at the hospital in town told me that when I was in "true labor" I would definitely know it, feel tightening in my stomach, and not be able to walk or talk through the contractions. None of this applied to me so I was sure it was just my body doing it's thing and would stop after a while like it had been.

When we got to the appointment, I mentioned to the nurse that I was having pretty regular contractions and they were uncomfortable. She hooked me up to the monitor and verified that they were happening every 4 minutes and that the baby looked great. We checked my fluid levels and they were good too. The MFM came by, looked at my NST and AFI and asked if I wanted to be checked for progress. I told him that I would appreciate that so he checked and told me that I was already dilated 5 cm and was still 100% effaced! They had me go over to labor and delivery to be admitted to see what they were going to do.

By the time we were admitted around 11-11:30am the back labor had started to kick in. I was pretty uncomfortable, but it wasn't unbearable either. Some nurses came in to do my vitals and ask a ton of questions and the anesthesiologist came in to place my IV and told me that he was going to call my OB to get me an epidural ASAP.

 Once the doctor came in, we asked if there was any possibility that we would be sent home and the answer was a resounding no! My husband was so excited that he threw his hands in the air and said, "YES!"

They got the OK to do the epidural and I no longer felt the contractions. My OB was on his way so we were waiting on him to come check me out.

When my OB arrived, he checked me and said that I was 7cm and that he was going to break my water. It took a few tries, but he finally did. By 4pm I was fully dilated and they said I could start pushing whenever I wanted. They had just given me more pain medication and I couldn't feel any pressure so I said I wanted to wait so I could tell when and how to push.

At 4:30pm I started pushing. The baby's head was still a little high so I had to push a while to get it more engaged. I pushed for a total of 2 hours and 10 minutes and our little boy arrived!

Since he was early at 36 weeks 5 days, they had the NICU team standing by to check him out. I was able to hold him briefly after they looked over him and so was my husband, but they had to take him to the nursery to make sure that he was breathing OK. I let my in-laws in the room while he was being checked out so they could see him since it would be a while before he was brought back to us.

About 2 hours later they brought our little man back to us and said he was healthy and we could keep him with us!






Thursday, August 15, 2013

He's Here!

Matthew James
Born August 9, 2013
at 6:50pm
Weighing 5 lbs. 10 oz
18.5 inches long
He's perfect and doing well!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

36 Week Bumpdate!



How Far Along: 36 weeks 4 days


Size of Baby: Honeydew

Total Weight Gain/Loss: +31 lbs



Maternity Clothes: Almost exclusively.
  
Gender: It's a BOY!!!


Movement: Lots of rolling around, hiccups, and punches.

 

Sleep: Waking up a lot, but that's normal.


What I Miss: Sleeping on my stomach.
  

Cravings: Pumpkin everything! With Fall just around the corner I am seriously so excited!

 

Symptoms: Oh, you know, just contractions and such! We're still on "labor watch" so it's interesting to try to figure out when it's going to happen!


Best Moment This Week: Knowing he's doing well and that he will be making his appearance soon!

Monday, August 5, 2013

No Baby Yet!

We've officially made it to 36 weeks as of yesterday and we couldn't be happier! Phil's parents are back in town so it's safe to say that if my water breaks, no one will have to miss his birth.

We're still at a "wait and see" point with the whole am I going to go into labor thing, but I'm still on bed rest so that's definitely helping. Baby Reese has moved up a little higher and has been there since leaving the hospital last week.

We have an appointment with the OB tomorrow morning for what will likely be my last OB appointment before the baby comes. Since he is measuring small (we're talking 4th percentile now) they don't want to let him go past 37 weeks in case there are any placental issues. Right now everything is looking good and I have another NST Wednesday with the MFM and one Saturday at the hospital so as long as everything looks good, we are thinking that Monday might be day!

There's always a chance that we could go into any appointment and be induced that day, but either way it's not too much longer! We are so ready to meet this little boy and have him be healthy and safe in our arms.

Monday, July 29, 2013

35 Weeks!



How Far Along: 35 weeks 1 day


Size of Baby:t Coconut

Total Weight Gain/Loss: +30 lbs

Maternity Clothes: Almost exclusively.
 
Gender: It's a BOY!!!

Movement: Definitely. He's been moving like crazy the past couple of days.
 
Sleep: Waking up a lot, but that's normal. Starting to nap again during the day.

What I Miss: Being able to go to the store!
  
Cravings: Nothing this week.
 
Symptoms: Oh, you know, just contractions and such!

Best Moment This Week: Knowing he's doing well. He keeps passing his tests well so hopefully he's growing well too! We find out Wednesday!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Any Day Now?!

I can't believe we made it to 35 weeks! Of course, that almost didn't happen after yesterday's shenanigans.

I went in for my normal NST at the hospital and everything looked great. I found out that what I thought was the baby pushing down was really a contraction so that was super fun! Of course, it's been happening for a couple of weeks now so that was a little shocking. After the hour or so that we were there, we were sent on our merry way and told to come back with signs of pre-term labor like they do every week.

We finally got our Target registry completion discount in the mail the other day and I was dying to get to Target and get all of the little things we needed. The Target in town has a tiny baby section so we went to the one 45 minutes away that is amazing! We waddled walked around and got everything we needed off the list and promptly went to Five Guys for lunch.

Once we were there I went to the bathroom and thought that I might have been leaking a little bit. I called my doctor and told him and he said to head straight to the Family Birthplace to get checked out, but it's probably nothing. Of course, I felt stupid about having to go back in, but it's always best to get checked out because you never know.

We headed to the hospital after lunch with a car full of baby things thinking we would be in and out within a couple of hours. They hooked me up to the monitors for another NST and did an exam. We found out that I didn't have a leak (yay!), but she said that she could see the baby's head and the sac was bulging...WHAT?!

When the doctor checked for dilation, she said I was 1 cm dilated and 100% effaced. My contractions were picking up and they weren't sure if I was going to make it through the night without my water breaking so they decided to have me stay overnight to see what would happen.

It was a super long night, but the nurses were fantastic! I started having contractions every 3-5 minutes until I went to sleep and they slowed down to every 10 minutes or so. It was hard to sleep between the contractions, monitoring, and the baby moving like crazy. I managed to make it through the night without my water breaking and was checked by the house doctor in the morning.

They released me on bed rest orders hoping that I could make it another week. I've been told that we're not sure if I'll make it another few days, but the best way to keep the baby in is to rest and hydrate like crazy so that's what we're doing. I'm supposed to only go to the fridge for food when no one else is home and to go to the bathroom. I have to keep my OB appointments and go back in if my water does break.

We're really hoping to make it to 36 weeks (ideally 37) to avoid a stay in the NICU. My hospital is very supportive of breastfeeding moms with babies who have to stay, but I would really love to be able to take him home with me when I get to go home.

My husband is being fantastic and is going to be making me food to be able to just grab from the fridge while he's at work. My in-laws are on vacation so I'll be hanging out at home by myself this week hoping that I don't go into labor while he's at work an hour and a half away! He'll be home Wednesday for our growth ultrasound so I'll have him here to keep me company and help me then too.

Let's keep this baby in for another week or two!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

34 Week Bumpdate


How Far Along: 34 weeks 4 days


Size of Baby: Butternut Squash

Total Weight Gain/Loss: +30 lbs maybe? I'm confused since they had me turn around on the scale and I couldn't see my weight.

Maternity Clothes: Almost exclusively.
 
Gender: It's a BOY!!!

Movement: Definitely. Some movement has even started to get a little painful so he must be growing!
 
Sleep: Mostly not so great, but last night was better. My round-ligament pain is terrible in the middle of the night and I can barely walk to go to the bathroom :/

What I Miss: Eating whenever the mood strikes and what I want. I really want to go to Ihop for breakfast, but my gestational diabetes won't allow for the stuffed french toast right now :(
  
Cravings: Not too much right now, but baby LOVES cheeseburgers still. Every time I eat one, he goes crazy!
 
Symptoms: Oh, the usual at this point.

Best Moment This Week: Feeling him move and hearing his heartbeat. The AFI scans are nice, but they're super quick and don't focus on body parts, but fluid amounts so it will be nice to see him next week for the growth ultrasound.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Nesting

I've been nesting on and off now for a couple of weeks. Fortunately, his room has been ready for me to do what I want to get it ready so I've been in there quite a lot lately.

We had our baby shower this past weekend and I was really holding back on buying things due to that. Now that it's over, I have a list of things to get before his arrival and can start working on that. I'm still waiting for my completion discount at Target to really get going, but for now I will just have to hold off and wait a little longer.

I managed to get all of the gifts sorted the same day of the shower and we did a storage run and laundry the day after so yesterday I was able to get to organizing. His clothes and most essentials have a home and there's only a little left to do! I have the bases installed in our cars and the car seat is hanging out in his room for now.

I don't really have a ton of pictures at the moment of his room, but I'm sure there will be some in the next few weeks. It's not anything fancy, but I like it and it's very calming to be in there. Most days you can find me sitting in the rocking chair (that my husband was rocked in) crocheting a blanket for him or just hanging out. I love his nursery and can't wait for his arrival in 4-6 weeks.