Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Day I've Had or Things For Which I Am Grateful

So this morning Elijah had his follow up appointment with his cardiologist and the day started out very interesting.  First, Elijah is having to sleep unswaddled now and so he's not sleeping terrifically at night anymore.  So he had already woken up several times and even though I didn't have to get him up and feed him, I did have to keep getting up and helping him settle back to sleep, which can sometimes take as long as a feeding.  Then around 5:30 I woke up to hear him crying, but it was a muffled crying sound.  Now normally when he wakes up in the middle of the night he doesn't cry, he just kind of makes grunty noises like he's having trouble settling.  This was different.  And it sounded muffled like there was something near his nose.

So I sprang up and reached for him only to discover that he had flipped over onto his tummy AGAIN and wasn't able to flip back over.  So while swallowing my heart back down into my chest, I flipped him back over and then picked him up and brought him up to feed him since it was already 5:30 and the experience had scared him a little.  That brings us to thing #1 for which I am grateful: That I heard Elijah on his tummy and that he was not swaddled.

After that we tried to lie back down and go back to sleep, but he was pretty awake so we didn't get to sleep until what I would guess was about 6:45 because when the alarm went off at 7:00 I didn't feel like I'd slept at all, even though I was clearly asleep before it went off and woke me up.  And unfortunately I couldn't go back to sleep because I had to get up and get ready to take Elijah to the doctor's office.

So I did that and we all drove downtown to Children's Mercy Hospital where his appointment was.  We had to wait a long time before we finally got to go back for our appointment.  It was scheduled at 9:00 and I don't think we went back until like 9:30, I don't think they did his echo until 10:00 and I'm positive we didn't actually see the doctor until almost 11:00.

But while she was doing the echo he was starting to fuss because he was tired, so we gave him his pacifier with some sugar water on it and he settled down.  I stroked his head and let him hold my finger and he fell asleep.  Then when she was done and we went back to the exam room, I put him down on the exam table and he slept there, too, until the doctor finally came in.  It was baffling to me how well he was sleeping since he got startled several times but just went back to sleep without much trouble.  Later I asked the doctor if he thought his heart issues had anything to do with his sleeping troubles, but as I described them the doctor said he just thought Elijah was a social person and didn't like being in the room alone.  So, thing #2 for which I am grateful: I though of another thing to try to help him sleep better.  I'm going to try leaving the TV on low for him to see if the people talking on TV makes him think he's not alone in the room.  If that doesn't work I'll try recording myself talking or singing and play that for him and see if it helps.

So we finally saw the doctor and he said that the defects in Elijah's heart have not gotten any smaller but they have also not grown even though he has grown.  So if they stay the same size even though he gets bigger, he may not have to have any procedure and he doesn't want to see Elijah again until next year.  So that is things\ #3 for which I am grateful.

However, we had been there so long that it was past time for Elijah to eat again.  I fed him a little at the doctor's office but there's really no comfortable place (for me or Elijah) to nurse.  (You would think there would be since it's a children's hospital, but whatever.)  I was hoping the small nursing would stave off his hunger until we could get home.  But first we had to drop Mike off at work and Elijah was starting to cry even as I got into the driver's seat to go home.  People on the road probably were calling me all sorts of colorful names as I attempted to race home so that he wouldn't have to go for too long before he got to eat (especially since I hate listening to him cry) and downtown is pretty far from our house.  So thing #4 for which I am grateful is that I did not get a ticket for speeding.

I finally got home around noon and after letting the dog out, I immediately went upstairs and fed Elijah.  I was pretty hungry by then, too, but he comes first, obviously.  So then I went back downstairs and was going to put him in his bouncy chair so I could finally get some lunch when I smelled something familiar and decided I probably needed to change his diaper before I ate.  Ah, if only it had been that simple.  See, Mike has suddenly decided that he doesn't like putting Elijah's diapers on very tightly because he's afraid it hurts him or something.  I don't really know why.  But since he was the one who changed Elijah's diaper at the doctor before I came home, the poo didn't really stay in the diaper.  Instead, it ended up all over his legs and back and bottom and tummy.

So I wiped it up as best I could and took off his soiled clothes.  I threw the diaper away and took him downstairs to give him a bath.  He, of course, decided to pee while I was giving him a bath so that added another thing to the giant list of things I had to clean up.  But after bathing him, I put a new diaper on him and put him in his bouncy chair.  Then I cleaned the pee off the counter, changed the changing table cover and crib sheet, and took his soiled clothes to the bathroom where I rinsed the poo off them as best I could and then took them down to the basement to put spray and wash on them and leave them in the laundry hamper.

When I got downstairs I discovered a spider in the hamper which I am afraid might have been a fiddleback.  So I went back upstairs and got a flip flop to kill it and a piece of toilet paper to scoop up the carcass.  So spider died and went down the toilet, but I'm afraid if there was one there might be more so I'm making Mike a HazMat suit and sending him down there with bug spray tonight.  But thing #5 for which I am grateful is that I saw the spider and was able to kill it without getting bitten.

So then I sprayed the soiled clothes with spray and wash and then go back upstairs and FINALLY make my lunch.  Thing #6 for which I am grateful: Elijah played happily in his bouncy chair the whole time I was dealing with this poo/pee mess and spider situation.

Anyway, now things have finally calmed down and I'm fairly certain Elijah is getting hungry again so I'd better go feed him.  But after today I have no energy to make dinner for the 7th and final thing for which I am grateful: Mike is picking up Panera for dinner tonight.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fall and Fighting Naps

Fall is my favorite season.  The weather is just right for wearing fuzzy sweaters and jeans (although I'm not quite fitting into these things yet and the weather has been unseasonably warm lately) and the leaves on the trees turn to such pretty colors.

And this October my baby turned 3 months old.  But I think I read too many books telling me that things got easier at 3 months.  Granted, he's only been 3 months for a few days but he's seemed unusually grumpy and his grumpiness seems to stem from frustration.  At least as far as I can tell, he wants to go places and be able to do things that he can't do yet.  But of course, he hates tummy time which is designed to strengthen his muscles so he can learn to sit up and crawl eventually.  Even when we go outside and go for a walk in the pretty fall weather he only lasts for so long before he seems frustrated that he can't get out and play in it.  It all leads me to the conclusion that I am going to have my hands completely full when he does start crawling.

Therefore, he MUST start taking regular naps or else I'm not going to have time to use the bathroom once he starts crawling, let alone do anything else like get dinner ready.  But as always, we are constantly having nap problems.  For one thing, he doesn't seem to like his crib.  For right now it's okay because I can put him in the pack and play bassinet next to our bed for naps.  But he's so friggin long that pretty soon he's going to outgrow the pack and play bassinet and then he'll have to sleep in his crib because there will be nowhere else.  Plus, once he does start crawling, I will need that pack and play downstairs so I can put him in it while I make dinner.

For another thing, he can now roll over so I can't swaddle him anymore.  This is causing even nighttime sleep to be problematic because when he wakes up, it's like pulling teeth to get him to settle back down.  He doesn't start crying or want to be picked up, but he's constantly wiggling and making little grunty noises and trying to flip over, thus preventing his mommy from ignoring it and going back to sleep.

Finally, he's still only taking 30-45 minute naps at a time, which means I can't get anything done while he's napping.  I finally got a handle on the getting him to sleep problem by holding him until he's dead asleep, but now he can't seem to settle himself back down and go back to sleep if he wakes up even a little while he's napping.  And it doesn't help when Nickel starts randomly barking, although I have decided now that the dog will go down in the basement while Elijah is napping to prevent Nickel making startling noises, causing the baby to wake up and me to want to take a frying pan to his doggy head.

On the positive side, Elijah is much more efficient at eating now and we've completely eliminated the use of the breast shields.  That has helped greatly in removing him from my breast when he falls asleep.  When I was using the shields, there was always milk left in the shield that would drip when I pulled him away from the breast.  Now there's no dripping.

Another positive is that he seems somewhat more interested in toys.  I don't think it will be much longer before he's able to grasp and play with toys, which will make our days more interesting and fun.  If he was a older, I'd rake up leaves and let him jump in the piles, but obviously we can't do that right now.  Maybe next year.  This year all we were able to do is make him a spider costume and take him to the Cider Mill.  Of course he slept most of the time because he didn't take a good morning nap.  And I couldn't really get a good picture of him in his costume, but there's always next week.  I'll dress him in his costume again for Halloween Day and hopefully we can get a decent picture before he conks out on me again.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Road Trip

So this coming weekend we are taking our first road trip with Elijah.  This will be the first time he's ridden anywhere farther than downtown Kansas City where Daddy works.  I'm trying to plan when to leave and what to pack without bringing the entire house with us.  So far I've concluded that it would be best to try to leave as early as possible and as close to just after a feeding as possible.  Hopefully if we leave right after a feeding he'll be content and just go to sleep in his car seat.  However, it does put us at higher risk for immediate poo diaper, which would mean we'd have to stop quickly and change his diaper.  I guess we'll just have to cross our fingers and hope the poo stays at bay for at least a few hours.

Leaving just after a feeding also gives us the advantage of being able to drive for about three hours before we have to stop for another feeding.  The problem then becomes whether I feed him in the car, which will be very difficult logistically, or if I feed him in whatever restaurant we stop for lunch at and deal with disapproving looks even though I'll be wearing my cover (because you know there will be some).  And I'm not feeding him in the bathroom.  No one else eats in the bathroom so my baby shouldn't have to either.  I guess it will depend on where we stop and how hungry I am (like can I feed him in the car and then wait until he's done feeding before I get to eat).  Alternatively I guess I could pump some milk that I could just feed to him while Mike drives and Elijah doesn't have to get out of his seat.  But I hate for him to be stuck in that seat for 6 straight hours and I'd rather not end up with rock boobs by the time we get there.

As far as packing goes, I know I'll need to bring his clothes, the bassinet sheet (my mom has a playpen with bassinet for him to sleep in, just not a sheet for it), my moby wrap, my breastfeeding cover and his shampoo and baby wash.  I also don't plan on bringing a ton of diapers and wipes because my mom and I can get some at the store once I get there.  But should I bring his bouncy chair?  His bathing chair?  His stroller?  The baby monitor?  If we bring all those things I'm not sure we're going to have room for it all in our car.  If I don't bring the bouncy chair it means someone has to hold him the majority of the time we're there.  If I don't bring the bathing chair it's going to be a lot more difficult and potentially dangerous to give him a bath and I don't want him to go five days without a bath.  The stroller would take up practically the whole trunk but if we don't bring it, if we go anywhere we either have to carry him in the car seat or in the moby wrap.  And I really don't want to pack the monitor but I don't know how else to keep tabs on him while he's napping in another room.

Road trips are way more complicated with an infant.  But we're very excited nonetheless.  It's been a couple months almost since he's seen my mom and stepdad.  And my brother & sister-in-law's baby shower is that weekend.  So that should be fun.  Hopefully Elijah won't be grumpy so I can sit and enjoy it without his crying making my chest ache and leak.  And so he doesn't scare the crapola out of my sister-in-law getting ready to have her own. ;)