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. :)

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