Monday, December 16, 2013

my baby has colic

I knew we had it too easy with Cohen.

This pregnancy was harder, with being more tired and exhausted (albeit, probably from Cohen...).
This delivery was harder.. well, the labor portion.
And this precious boy has been the root of many tears and sleepless nights in our home.

Yes, he's my baby and I'm head over heels in love with him.

I've known since the beginning that he seemed unnaturally difficult, but I chalked it up to being tired, having gas, not getting enough breast milk, or [insert google answer to "Why won't my baby stop crying??? here].

You know something's awry when his grandma can't calm him, his own mom can't soothe him, and you start hearing comments like: "What do you do in the hospital when they cry??" or "You're a NNICU nurse, can't you figure out how to help him sleep?" yeaaaa..... I can assure you, no NNICU baby of mine has ever cried like Liam does. Ever. Plus they're sick and premature and in isolettes and I'd just prefer you keep those comments to your self.

I began to notice around 5-6 weeks of age that his crying periods were getting worse and worse in the evenings. I called it a witching hour, and went on about my day. "Colic" crossed my mind, but I dismissed it.. thinking I recalled some qualification of colic to be crying at least 16 hours a day or something irrational like that. Boy was I wrong. Today, on the eve of his 7 week birthday, I finally looked it up. Guess what? It's crying 3+ hours a day, for 3+ days a week, for at least 3 weeks in a row.

They say it peaks at 6 weeks, and starts to normalize by 3-4 months.

Ding-ding-ding! We have a winner! This is my son to a "T"!! Another site said, "Does your infant have a regular fussy period each day when it seems you can do nothing to comfort her? This is quite common, particularly between 6:00 p.m. and midnight—just when you, too, are feeling tired..."

I only say all this, because I know it is a weakness for me. I know that I was called to be little Liam's mother, and to love him the way Christ loves us. I also know this time is fleeting and won't last long. Soon he'll be giggling, crawling, walking, talking... it all goes too fast. This is only a short season in our lives. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 says "For our present struggles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever. So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever." The Lord already prepared us for this! 

I also put this out there, because, I think I tend to put up a pretty front, letting everyone think it's all perfect. It's not. Now, I know, this is nothing compared to mama's dealing with infants/children who have medical issues, or anything like that. It could be WAY worse, and I know that. I just want to share our story, and what's helping us. So that it may possibly help another mama, dealing with a darling with colic.

Every evening, I feel like the world's worst Mom, because I just want to set him in the closet and close the door. Of course, I don't.. and would not do it. But Satan really works on your mind when you are so sleep deprived and your infant is shrieking at full force for hours at a time. I can't understand why he is screaming, or why my measures don't soothe him. After reading about colic, I understand that it isn't my fault, and it certainly isn't Liam's. He's just a new baby, trying to figure it all out. Liam needs extra love, extra hugs, extra attention. And by golly, even if I have to walk him for hours, with tears in my own eyes... I'll do it. I'll always do anything for my children-whatever it takes. 

"Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary." -Galatians 6:9

"And He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.' Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weakness, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me." - 2 Corinthians 12:9

We employ a swing, a vibrating lamb seat, a bassinet, a rock-n-play sleeper, and multiple loving hands and hearts. Oh and the car helps a lot. :) I found the blow dryer noise soothed him a few days in a row--it no longer has an effect. The Dohm white noise machine did nothing for Liam, despite rave reviews. Lots of sweet talking with him, lots of Daddy-time (let's face it-he's tired of me by 4 pm!), lots of walking and bouncing, lots of back rubbing.. He's tricky, but he's not impossible.

And today's highlight? He gave mommy multiple little gummy, cheeky grins. I melted every time and yelled for Hector to come look. It was precious. He's cooing a lot now, too. I thrive on coos like they're worth an hour of missed sleep. :) Thank you Lord, for these little reassurances that he likes us and we're doing OK. 

We're going to keep doing what we're doing. We'll get past this. Thoughts and prayers welcome and appreciated. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

A little Christmas and our Elf arrived!

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we put up our tree!! It's a new tree, we bought it on sale after Christmas, last year.

Cohen was so tired, so he put the first ornament on and then went to bed.

Like I said.. tired and done. :)

It was his "Baby's First Christmas 2011" ornament! So sweet. 

Liam snoozed during the decorating. :)

Placing my kitty cat ornament. Looks like Napoleon :'(

My favorite Anthro ornament, on sale after last Christmas!

Hector placing the Tree-topper Angel!

Our nativity!

Coco's snow globe. He carries this thing all around the apartment.

Had to get an advent calendar to show Cohen when Santa was coming, and where we are currently. Maybe next year we'll actually put activities in the pockets! (too tired this year.)

Then, a couple days later, our Elf on the Shelf came! And brought a North Pole Breakfast for Cohen!

Sugar, sugar, sugar! 

Brother got festive for the occasion!

Sleepyhead! But he was surprised and so excited!

His faves were the marshmallows!

Cohen had a little trouble naming him.. First he said Tow Mater (after I suggested Lightning, Piston.. and something else). Well, I didn't want a month of working with "Tow Mater", since we watch the movie and play cars all day long. So we settled on "Chummy." Which is his word for marshmallows (Thanks, The Lorax..) :) But today, he's been calling Elf "Snoopy". No idea where that came from. But I asked him what Elf's name is and he clearly said, "Snoopy." So, I guess we're changing it. Oh well. 

Fitting for this breakfast!

Cohen's selections. :) He was just thrilled to eat all these sweets at breakfast!

And "Snoopy" has not been too creative yet in his hiding spots. He was riding a Lightning McQueen ornament one morning, sitting on top of the tv another morning, and today.. He was zip-lining from the book case to the Christmas tree. Cohen liked this one. We'll see if he gets into any shenanigans. :)

LOVE this time of year!

Liam ~ 1 Month Old

Boy, oh, boy. We've made it to 1 month old! We wanted to keep with tradition and take our boy's pictures with a Tonka truck each month. We did buy Liam a new truck, however, because Cohen has dented and chipped and wrecked his so many times.. Plus, maybe one day they'll play trucks together?? One can hope. :)

Here's our winner.
Gosh, he's handsome!

This was a tricky picture to get, too. For some reason, I remember Cohen sitting up a little better.. or something.. I had to stabilize him, then yank my arm out of the picture real quick for it to work. 

Some outtakes...
roly belly baby

(see what I mean with the hands??)

he was the tiredest he's ever been in his life when we went to take these.. figures

A little about Liam in his one month...

He has exclusively breastfed this month. It has been anything but easy. Hard, in fact. He doesn't sleep  much.. especially at night! He gets a couple decent naps in during the day.. on a good day. I try to coordinate his nap with Cohen's, but that rarely happens. So, sleeping when baby sleeps is next to impossible. 

He is the spitting image of his brother. Here is Cohen's one month picture.

Let's see.. what else.. Obviously, I focus too much on the constant breastfeeding and little sleep. 

By the end of his first month, he holds his head up really well! It's his favorite thing to do. Especially when you lay him on your chest, he pops his little head up so he can look at you. It's very sweet. 

We catch the occasional "goo" or "ooo" sounds from him.. VERY occasional. Like maybe once every day or two. He smiles even less often. Sometimes in his sleep. :)

He's been very gassy for us. It peaked at about 3-4 weeks and made the evening hours very long and trying. It has since gotten significantly better.. (at this time of writing, he's 5 1/2 weeks old) 

We can get him to take a little nap in the swing.. But honestly, he naps best in our arms. Which is sweet, but tiring. It's hard for him to nap in my arms usually, because I guess he smells milk and starts rooting and just wants to eat. But Hector, or Granna? He's out. 

As Hector is working this time around, it's just me and the boys. Most nights I sleep in the living room, so Hector can get rest. I wake up usually with Liam snuggled on the couch with me. But, hey. If he gets sleep that way, and I do to.. I'm not changing one thing. Even if it takes months of undoing later on. We are in survival mode over here, so whatever works.

We haven't put him in cloth diapers yet, because we are working through our gifted diapers. He is wearing size 1 Huggies right now. We weighed him at Granna's house last week, and he was just over 9 pounds (via the weigh-with-him-then-subtract-your-weight method). That's a gain of over 2 pounds in one month! More like 2.5 pounds! 

Oh, also, two kids is haaard. Cohen is great around him, but Cohen gets a little jealous at times, too. It's just really hard to juggle right now, with no help and no sleep.  I know it will get better, but I just can't see that light at the end, yet. Thankfully, I get to go to my Mom's pretty often (we went twice this month, for nearly week long stays!). And my friend Leslie has been a great help..a real blessing. As have my community group ladies. Sometimes they will take Cohen out for a couple hours, so I can rest. And all the meals.. man, we're blessed. 

Ok.. gonna wrap it up. I have another post I want to write while they're both napping!

And P.S... we are in love with this baby. :)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Welcome, William Emile!

Our little pumpkin decided to come a little early!

He debuted at 1:15am on October 28th. (Originally due November 7th)

His story goes a little something like this:

I worked Saturday, October 26th. Lost my mucus plug at work. Sorry if any guys are reading this. :) I'd already had some concerns that my BP was rising above my normal. (Even had L&D check it, and it was elevated for me, but not necessarily dangerous) Anyways, I finished my shift at work, and was planning on coming in to work the next day. I knew that it could still be a few days before labor actually began. My mom was urging me to call in. I assured her I knew what I was doing. 

When I got home, I had a nagging back ache. We got Cohen to bed and I laid down around 11pm, probably. Hector slept on the couch, because his snoring irritates me at this point in pregnancy. ;) I think I woke up every hour or hour and a half. Looking back, I bet contractions were waking me up, and I just thought it was needing to use the restroom. At about 4:30am, I decided to stay up. And I started timing contractions that were about 5 minutes apart. I went ahead and called in to work. At 5:30, my water started breaking. I say "started," because it wasn't a big gush, all at once. It was small spurts every time I moved or got up. At that point I woke up Hector and surprised him with, "I think we need to go to the hospital!" He stared blankly at me. Then it started to sink in. And our apartment was in shambles because we weren't exactly planning on this happening today! So he got up and started cleaning up. I called my mom at 5:45am, so her and my dad could start heading over. I took a shower. I called the on-call doctor, my doctor was not on. :( A very nice Dr. H called me back at 7:25am. He told me to get to the hospital! After I finished getting ready, packing and getting Cohen ready, we left at 8:30am.

We got to the hospital at 9am. First thing I did was put on a gown, and Cohen cried. :( It scared him. All the while fluid is just leaking out of me. I got an IV started and the drew a little blood for labs. Contractions were still 4-5 minutes apart. My nurse checked me, and it was the worst pain I've ever known. I cried. Hard. I was 3cm dilated and Liam was still pretty high up. (picture me, bummed) My parents got there about 10 minutes after us. :) Cohen was thrilled!

A last, big belly picture! Notice it's only 2:30pm. And those contractions are 4 minutes apart.

We had started Pitocin at 1:45pm. My original nurse got busy, so a new nurse took over. Guess what? It was the same nurse who I had for Cohen's delivery! Judy! I was so happy to have her. We were increasing the Pit every 20-30 minutes. At 3:45 Dr. H checked me and tried to place an internal monitor. It hurt so bad again, I cried again. :( I was still 3cm, 75% and -3. So bummed. 

I cramped a lot after that check, so at 4pm I got a Stadol shot. It made me sleepy. I think I had a quick nap. At 6pm, Judy checked me again. 3-4cm. My mom took Cohen home and my Dad had to return to Paris. :( Wasted his whole day. Next check is planned for 8pm. I'm starving and discouraged. I also have a new nurse, Dianne. I was nervous because she looked young. 

At 8, Dr. H checked me.... 3cm! :'( So, I went ahead and asked for epidural. The anesthesiologist and nurse anesthetist got there at 8:30. He placed one, but it went in a vein, because the catheter filled with blood. Dianne was a great support during the whole process. They removed the first epidural and placed another one... it worked! I felt the cold sensation run down my back, then my legs went numb. My right leg was considerably more useless.. I could somewhat move my left leg. So. After that, Dianne put in the urinary catheter. Dr. H came back in and replaced the internal monitor, since it didn't get placed properly the first time because I was pulling away in pain. So, at about 9pm, I was still 3 cm. I can't tell you how discouraged I was at this point. He said he'd come back in at 12am (midnight) and check again. 

Hector was able to lay on the couch and catch a few cat naps. Liam started having late decels (if I remember correctly) with contractions, so Dianne put an oxygen mask on me. She also had to give me a dose of Ampicillin (antibiotic) since my membranes had been ruptured for so long. 

Dr. H came in and checked me at midnight. You'll never believe this... 3-4cm, he said. And I think he added on the "to 4" just to give me hope. He did say that he'd check me again at 3am, and if no progress, we'd need to do a c-section, since that would be about 24 hours since rupture. (Infection risk goes up after 24 hours..) I wanted to cry, I was so scared and disappointed. They left us alone for a minute. 

At 12:30am, Dianne came in and said, "I want to try something... a new position, to help baby move down." I was up for anything. Hector was completely asleep. Snoring even. So this position.. It was awkward. She'd told me it would be. :) I rolled way over on my left side, almost onto my belly. Then I pushed my left leg back behind me. And Dianne took my right leg, and raised it up and over onto the stirrup on the left side of the bed. I think "scissors" best describes this position. She left and we waited. 

At 12:45am, I felt intense pressure down there. I told Dianne and she told me to just give myself an extra dose of epidural and see if that helped. I told her it really wasn't pain, just a pressure.. like I needed to push. At 12:55am, she just decided to check me, instead of me getting extra pain medicine. So she checked, and said, "Oh my goodness! His head is RIGHT THERE! You are complete! We are ready to have this baby, let me page the doctor!" So, lights came on, Hector was shaken awake, nurses rushed in, NICU team rushed in, Dr. H got there... It happened quick! Dianne asked me to do a practice push while Dr. H was scrubbing in. Mid-push, she said, "Stop! Nevermind! He's coming!"

Dr. H took his position at the end of the bed, I pushed once and his head came out. I took a breath, pushed again, and out Liam came at 1:15am! He cried and was very alert! Dr. H cut the cord and handed him to the NICU team to look him over (for the prolonged rupture of membranes). They scored him 9&10 for APGARS, just for color. They put him on my chest as soon as they decided he looked fine. He was breathing a little fast, but nothing else.

My sweet Liam getting his first smells and feels of Mama!

Loved the skin-to-skin!! 

Our perfect boy.

Our first breastfeeding experience. He latched on right away. 

Daddy and his boy! In love. :)

I knew when I saw him that he was small. I had always told Hector, "I just want a smaller, healthy, term baby! Is that so much to ask??" Since he was born at 38 weeks and 3 days, he missed 11+ days of growing. He weighed 6 pounds, 11.9 ounces! The Lord answered my prayers! :) haha. He was 18.5 inches long. I've just loved having this little cuddle bug. 

Danelle was Liam's nurse. She had to draw some blood for cultures (to watch for infection) and a CBC. She gave him a Vitamin K shot and a Penicillin shot. :( My poor baby. 

At around 4:30, they finally moved us to a postpartum room. Before that, though, Dianne had brought me a ham sandwich, chips, jello, graham crackers and like 4 juices! I ate and drank it ALL! I was starving! A bag lunch had never tasted so good! 

I think we kind of took a little nap between 6 and 8am. But then my Dr. R came in, and the pedi came to look at Liam. Dr. R was so upset she missed his birth! Around 11am, Cohen and Granna got there to meet Mr. Liam!

Their first meeting!

Cohen thought he was cute :)

Kisses for baby brother!

My sweet big boy, holding brother for the first time. Be still, my heart!

First picture as a family of 4!

Granna holding her new grandson!!

He got his circumcision right after Granna and Cohen got there, and Cohen was upset when they wheeled him out. 

A few visitors that afternoon/evening..

The Coles:
Liam shares a birthday with Sallie!


The Rays:

Mommy steeling kisses!

Uncle Josh and Cortney and the girls:

Big, happy family :)

Dr. R and me on the day of discharge, after a night of NO sleep.

Homebound! He is tiny in the car seat, the straps don't tighten all the way! :-/ But cute as can be!

So that's our story! We're so in love with our little William!

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