Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Two month appointment

Just got home from baby's two month doctor appointment. Her stats:

Weight: 11 lbs 0 oz (just over 50th percentile)
Height: 23 in (just under 50th percentile)
Head circumference: 39 1/4 cm (between 50th and 75th percentile)

She also got two shots (one with 5 separate vaccines and one with just one) and one oral vaccine. Mommy and Daddy stepped out into the hall while the shots were given so we could swoop in and rescue her. Imagine our surprise when she had already stopped crying in the nurse's arms when the door was opened! She was such a good girl! We're now giving her Tylenol every 4 hours today to help avoid a fever and illness. We're also supposed to keep an eye on her temperature to be sure it doesn't exceed 104 and are supposed to call the doctor if it does or if she is inconsolably fussy for more than 3 hours. Could be an interesting evening!

The doctor was pleased with her progress--the major milestones he was looking for were her cooing and holding her head up, both of which she demonstrated in the office before he even had a chance to ask! We need to work a little more on doing tummy time twice a day for 5 minutes a session and will do that.

Baby and I will be going to meet with a physical therapist tomorrow for an evaluation and to get some exercises to work on. Between those and tummy time, we'll spend all of her awake time (which there still isn't much of) exercising!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Torticollis Update

After seeing the doctor, we went for an ultrasound at the Child.ren's Hosp.ital here in town. The ultrasound came back verifying that the lump was muscular (which means it isn't a tumor or something like that), so we then had an x-ray at the same place. The x-ray was really traumatizing for all of us involved (mommy and Grandma B. and baby). Grandma held down her arms while I had to hold a rolled-up piece of cloth under her chin to hold her head straight. She seemed to be in so much pain--it was awful. The tech was really sweet and assured us that she wasn't being hurt by the procedure and even hurried to allow me to comfort her once we were done.

The x-ray came back that the problem wasn't cervical, basically confirming that the problem is torticollis and could be fixed by some physical therapy. The pediatrician is supposed to refer us to a PT. In the meantime, we've been doing a few stretches that I've found online to try to work on her neck. I'm already seeing some improvement--she looks further to her right more often now.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Why is it that no one ever talks about how awful these first months are? You might think I'm lying, but I truly believe that I don't have a particularly difficult child. She's happy when she's awake, naps well in the mornings, sleeps for long stretches during the night, eats well, doesn't spit up too much...but last night I was ready to throw in the towel. I've thought that before, but last night I was honestly one more waking from walking out the door. I found myself actually regretting getting pregnant and having this baby.

I never thought I'd feel that way. We worked so hard to have this baby and I love her, I really do. But every single evening we fight bedtime. She naps well during the day, and has finally started to be able to go to sleep without needing to eat every time. She's happy when she's awake as long as we don't let her stay awake for too long. But around 5:00 it's like we trade her in for a different baby. She won't go to sleep no matter what we do. And if she does, she'll sleep for maybe a half an hour, then wake up again. We've tried gas drops, letting her cry a little, rocking, shhing, swaying, walking, car rides, stroller rides, swings, swaddling, baths, letting her sleep more earlier in the day, letting her be awake, putting her to bed earlier, putting her to bed later, pacifiers, nursing to sleep...it seems like we've done everything we've read about possiblly working. Last night she slept from 4 to 5, 7 to 7:30, then was up until 1:30. During those 6 hours she would doze off and we'd put her in her crib, only to have her start screaming again within 10-15 minutes. We were at our wits end and whenever she would doze off were afraid to move.

I, mortified for feeling the way I did, reluctantly talked to DH about it this morning. He told me that others have to have been there. Other people, even those who had tried for awhile to have babies, have to have had moments of wishing to go back. Of looking in those baby eyes and wishing for the life we had before she arrived. But no one speaks of it. No, we're all afraid of being judged. I, for one, am afraid that my friends who are still struggling to have a baby will think I'm completely selfish and ungrateful. But I need to get this out there. I believe it's normal for parents to feel this way, but why didn't anyone warn us of this? Why didn't anyone tell me that, even if I have a pleasant baby, I could end up wanting to set her down and just walk away?

For that matter, why doesn't anyone talk about how trapped you feel with a newborn? Maybe my child is an anomaly because she won't sleep in a car seat if it's not in a car, making me even more reluctant to get out of the house. But surely there are others out there, not feeling able to leave the house for fear that their child will start screaming in the middle of the store. Why don't we mothers admit to these feelings, for the good of mothers to come?

Because admitting these feelings would be admitting that we're human. That we AREN'T supermom. Moms are supposed to be invincible--able to raise a child, keep the house clean, and still be completely rested and happy all at the same time. But we can't. We aren't. And I think it's time, at least to each other, that we admit that. I'm admitting it. I can only do one of those at a time and don't really have a choice but to choose to raise my baby. So my happiness, my house's cleanliness, and my restfulness are going to have to take a backburner for now. And that will have to be okay.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Doctor Appt

We had an unexpected trip to the pediatrician this morning.

On Thursday evening I discovered that baby's belly button is sticking out. Not like an outie, but the whole thing. My godson had had an umbilical hernia and that's what I immediately recognized this as. I wasn't sure if there were other things it *could* be, though, so I called the pediatrician's office on Friday morning to see if they needed to see her before our 2 month appt on the 29th. They said it could wait.

Then Friday late afternoon I found a lump on the side of her neck while nursing. And I sort of freaked out. I did some searches online, though, and found some sites that suggested that it could be due to torticollis. Luckily (for me, not for her) a friend's daughter had been afflicted by this (this is also the same person who had a failed version attempt and scheduled C-section), so I knew this wasn't the end of the world and was able to relax a bit. I had previously noticed that the baby had been tilting her head one way and wouldn't turn her head quite as far to one direction as the other, so it all made sense. I called the pediatrician office Saturday morning to see if the lump was something that needed looked at over the weekend or if it could wait until Monday. The nurse confirmed that since DD wasn't acting sick (if she were, it could have been a swollen lymph node), it was probably a lump in the sternomastoid and could wait to be seen on Monday. So I made an appointment.

Dr. W. took a look at both the umbilical cord and the neck lump and confirmed my thoughts on both (after a consultation with one of his colleagues on the neck lump, just to be sure he was right in his thought that we needed an ultrasound on the muscle and not an ENT for a lymph node). We have an ultrasound scheduled for tomorrow morning. If the ultrasound tech confirms that the problem is muscular, we'll then need an x-ray to confirm the problem isn't with the spine, which will be needed before a PT will work with her. We have the paperwork to get the x-ray done at the same place while we're there.

Hopefully DD cooperates as well for the radiologists as she did for the doctor today :)

P.S. The bonus to going to the pediatrician today was that we found out that DD is a whopping 10 lbs 11 oz. Yay for great growing! She's still in the 50th percentile (when I heard 10 lbs 11 oz, I thought surely she would be at least in the 75th percentile!), but is a confirmation that we're doing a good job nourishing her. Mommy needs all the affirmation she can get.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Anyone who knows me knows I'm a planner. I like to know exactly what is going to happen before it happens and if things *don't* happen as expected, I get a bit bent out of shape.

Having a baby has completely rocked my world.

You can't plan anything with an infant. Just when I think we're getting a routine down, something changes. Take this morning, for instance. Typically baby gets up around 7:30 (or a bit before or a bit after...), eats, then goes back to bed until I wake her up (again, trying not to let her go more than 3 hours between feedings during the day), which usually happens around 11. So I know I have the morning to myself, whether that means watching TV, sleeping, or cleaning. Well, this morning after baby went back to sleep, she decided to wake up again at 9:15, throwing me completely off. Luckily she went back to sleep after eating, but I had really hoped to get out today with her after her morning sleep...which looks like it might be lasting into the afternoon.

I guess this means I get to eat lunch, but who knows what she's going to do after she eats when she gets up. Will she sleep again? Will she be awake and happy? Will she be awake but upset?

So much for a plan.

I guess this is like the quote I've heard recently: "You plan. God laughs."

That little baby is chuckling up there in her sleep at me.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Over the hump

(or maybe just a fluke)

I feel like we've gotten over a hump with Baby's sleeping. DH and I were truly frightened that we'd messed her up forever by letting her sleep on us, but it appears that we're doing alright :)

Last night, at exactly six weeks old, she slept for approximately 5 1/2 hours. Wow. Of course, it was the night that DH was going to let me try to sleep through the feeding by giving her a bottle...but since she'd slept so long, he thought he should wake me to pump (which he was right about). I was able to pump off enough to supplement the amount we had to give her and then some, which is great. She took the bottle like a champ and then...the best part...went right back to sleep and slept until 8 a.m. (had woken at 4).

I'm hoping this is the start of a trend. If it isn't, that's okay too, but what a wonderful night! We were all a lot happier for it--including her. Of course, yesterday she didn't get as much sleep as she typically would during the day. I don't know if that means we should start trying to keep her awake (she did eat for about 3 hours after Daddy came home and was fussy if she wasn't eating b/c she wouldn't let herself take a nap) or if we should just let it happen as it happens.

Also something we had happen the night before last...she put herself to sleep in her bed! We swaddled her, she fought it for about a minute, we soothed her, then laid her down with her eyes open. She grunted for about 3 minutes, but fell fast asleep soon after. What a relief! She then did it again for me in the morning after I fed her. How wonderful not to have to get her completely knocked out before putting her down in her crib...

Whew. Six weeks is all it takes, apparently (at least for THIS baby...). :) Daddy and I are beginning to feel human again and she's starting to get a bit more interactive. THIS is when it gets fun (I hope).

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I'm a believer!

I'd heard many times the advice from moms to take a shower each day. I hadn't really made a point to shower every day for the first five weeks. Gross, but true. However, last week, as posted (I think...) I took my first shower while home alone with the baby. I felt free. I sort of thought it was a fluke, though--that I had conquered something, but not really a big deal. Well, today I got up with the baby when she was ready to eat around 7. I fed her, then re-swaddled her and put her back down (this is the small routine we've gotten into). I came downstairs, went to the bathroom (a luxury when you're home alone with a baby!), and had frozen waffles for breakfast (eating warm food...with a fork...I wish I had appreciated that phenomenon before!). It was wonderful.

I should stop here and say that baby isn't on a schedule. At all. I never know when she'll want to eat or when she'll sleep. They say this is to be expected, but it drives me a little insane. That said, she does typically go back down after her 6 or 7 a.m. feeding and I sometimes have to wake her up again after 3 hours (we're still trying to wake her after three hours so maybe she'll go longer between feedings at night).

Leave it to this child to throw me for a loop. :) I put her down at 7:45 a.m. and, lo and behold, around 8:35 she started fussing. This wasn't normal... I finished my waffles and went upstairs--there she was, fighting her swaddle with her eyes wide open. This, we have come to realize, means she's truly awake (she makes a LOT of noise when she's still sleeping). I scooped her up, took her out of the swaddle, and tried to get her to go back to sleep on my chest. Not happening. She started in with her hunger cues, so I fed her. Of course she fell asleep while eating because she was still tired! We made it through the feeding and I snuggled her up to me while I finished my TV show. It was lovely to snuggle with her, but I soon realized that if I wanted a shower, I needed to go get it. So, at 9:30, I went ahead and re-swaddled her and took her back to her crib and put her down.

I turned on the shower and got the monitor, only to realize that she wasn't sleeping very soundly and was making a lot of noise. Then came the decision point--to shower or not? I figured I could shower in a couple of minutes and it would be worth it. I turned the monitor all the way up and got in the shower. I was happy to realize that I could hear her noises while in the shower (this was something I had doubted in the past).

I got out of the shower and she was still sleeping--success! I can't describe how much better I felt. And she's since calmed down and is sleeping soundly right now, at 11:10 a.m. I'm going to go get some lunch (another hot meal with a fork??? No way....) before I get my snugglebug and enjoy her little warm body on mine some more :)

Who knows what barriers we may cross today....maybe we'll give the grocery store a try. We are out of bread...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Proud Mama

Well, apparently we haven't screwed Baby up too much. My little girl is sleeping in her swing and has been for over an hour and a half. And the best part? She wasn't sleeping when we put her in there. She's learning how to put herself to sleep. Yes, she was really drowsy, but she typically fights it like crazy. Tonight, though, she let herself doze off and has been sleeping there for longer than ever before. When we've put her in the swing before once she's already sleeping, she's stayed for no more than 20 minutes. What a breakthrough!!

My confidence needed this boost. When you're exhausted, hormonal, and newly responsible for a little human, it's hard believing that you know what you're doing. I always thought parenting would come naturally, but it just doesn't--not to me, anyway.

This also tells me that DH and I can probably let her sleep on us during the day if we want, as we have been and she still is able to do this. Woohoo! Back to enjoying our snuggle time without worrying that we're messing up her sleeping abilities forever.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Big Step Forward

Yes, I know, lots of blog posts from me...I just wanted to note that today I took my first shower without someone else in the house with me and the baby!!!!! :happy dance: We both survived, too :) Of course, it was super fast, but beyond feeling clean, I feel FREE. We've been traveling just the two of us around town and now I've gotten a shower...feel like I can do just about anything. Next task to master: going shopping :)

Rock Bottom?

There have been quite a few times where I think, "It can't get any worse, can it?" and it does. DD got overtired yesterday (only good sleep she got was about 1 1/2 hours in my arms at a friend's house...otherwise she slept while in the car, but then woke up within about 15 minutes of the car stopping moving). By evening she was a wreck. She was screaming like she was in some major pain. We tried gas drops. Who knows if they did anything. We tried walking, dancing, swaying, swaddling...everything we could possibly think of. I told DH that at least we knew she'd sleep eventually in the car. After awhile of the screaming, he looked at me and said, "Let's go for a ride". We got loaded up and he just started driving. From the second we were in the car, DD was totally calm. She finally fell asleep after about 10 minutes of driving. We continued to drive for about 30 minutes, then came home. We knew she'd wake up once we got inside, but neither DH nor I were really in any condition to be driving (we'd all been up since about 5 a.m.).

True to form, after about 15 minutes, she woke up unhappy. I decided to try feeding her again. She took right to it (as she typically does) and ate for awhile and then fell asleep while nursing. She had done that earlier in the evening, but woke up when we tried to move her. This time, however, she stayed mostly calm as I burped her. She cried some, but not nearly as badly. She finally fell asleep on my chest and there was no way DH or I were going to move her. We both must have fallen asleep sometime soon after. I woke up intermittently, but didn't really note the time as I did. Eventually, however, I woke up. It was 3 a.m. We'd all been sleeping for about five hours. I was shocked. I was leaking buckets of milk, but oh well! DD was starting to wake up, so we let her wake on her own. I fed her, DH changed, swaddled, and burped her, then he put her to bed. Typically when she sleeps for awhile (longer than 3 or 3 1/2 hours) we get a fight (or at least a lot of awake time), but not this time. She went right down and we didn't hear a peep for another 2 1/2 hours. Wow.

While she was screaming, I figured this had to be the worst it could get, but looking back, it could have been worse (really, it could always be worse). She could have fought sleep for even longer. Or woken up after only an hour or two. Or wanted to be awake after her 3 a.m. feeding. I'm hoping, though, that this was the worst it will get. They say the fussiness typically peaks around 6 weeks. Hopefully she's just a bit ahead of schedule (today is 5w2d). :) I don't know how much more of that sort of screaming my heart can take. It hurts both me and her daddy.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Giving In

Knowing that the baby is generally calm and typically sleeping when in the car was our one ace in the hole. It was supposed to be in reserves until we were desperate. Well, tonight we were desperate. We drove and drove until she fell asleep and now we're back home. And she might be waking up already. Just sleep, little one...please...

A few thoughts

No time to write a real blog post, so here are a few thoughts.
Parenting is a big guessing game. Guessing what is best for your child. Guessing why your child might be screaming their head off.

I suck at guessing.
Why does my daughter fight sleep so much? I love to sleep. Really. She hasn't had any good sleep today since 5 a.m. (some catnaps in the car). Was put to bed at 6:40 after DH calmed her b/c she was so obviously overtired. Swaddled her and put her down. Slept until 7. Now screaming her head off. Not just normal screaming, but the kind like we're hurting her. We're not.
Had one month check-up on Monday. She her previous stats were: 19 inches long (25th percentile), 7lbs 5 oz (25th percentile), and head was in the 50th percentile. This appointment: 21 inches long (50th percentile), 9lbs 0oz (50th percentile) and head 38cm (75th percentile). Glad she's growing. My nipples feel the effects of all the eating that's getting her growing so well.
Had her hip ultrasound today that was suggested at the hospital just to check and make sure everything was okay. Apparently it's normal to have it done for girl babies who were breech. Everything looked good.
Still struggling horribly with the feeling that I can't do anything other than nurse DD. I'm incredibly grateful that I can do that. If I couldn't, I would feel fairly useless. DH is much better at diapers, fun time, calming, burping...pretty much everything but feeding (not that there's a choice there).
DD and I had our first solo outing last Thursday. We went to the bank and she was kind enough to let me run through the drive through for some fast food.
DD got her first bottle a couple of days ago. It took her a very long time to eat (we were trying to make it take more effort for her to eat to simulate being at the breast), but it eventually worked. DH tried to give her another today at the hospital and she didn't really want anything to do with it.