Wednesday, December 31, 2008

She's sick, sick, sick

Well, Baby Girl is sick for the first time... she's been increasingly congested over the last few days and running a very low grade fever - always under 100, so no terrible ocncern - we keep her on infant Tylenol every 8-12 hrs...

Anyway, Monday night was rough, rough, rough; she was SO congested and really having trouble breathing! I was actually worried enough to consider taking her to the ER, but we got her to sleep and her breathing seemed to ease - though I COULD feel vibrations in her chest that I hoped were just referred from her upper airways... she's also coughing up some mucous, which is disconcerting for her!

We made it through the night and I called the pediatrician first thing yesterday morning and they had me bring her in. Much to my relief, the doc said her lungs were clear!! They did a blood count - had to stick her little finger and get a tube full of blood - and said it looked like a viral infection. Could be RSV, but that usually comes with a runny nose, which she definitely hasn't had. We decided to treat symptomatically and monitor her, then if her symptoms increase, we'll have to go to the hospital for an RSV test. I'm supposed to monitor her breathing rate and effort and call if she gets worse - or go into the ER if it's the middle of the night. Hopefully it won't come to that!!

All of our scheduling efforts have gone to pot as she is "requiring" additional attention; we're back to refusing to sleep unless being held, but with her being so sick, we don't feel that we can really put her down and let her cry - that really increases her mucous also!! Guess we'll have to start completely over once this illness passes!! Oh, joy...

Of course, there's so little you can treat an infant with - infant Tylenol for the fever, saline nose drops and bulb suction for the mucous; luckily she's kept her appetite so that's been no trouble! Little heifer has gained nearly 2 lbs in the last 2 weeks!!

Hopefully this will pass soon, before it kills US!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ugh! I feel awful!

Well, I am officially sick - whether I have what B has been fighting or something totally different, I feel awful. I'd been getting more and more congested over the last few days and then it seemed to hit me yesterday morning full force - severe congestion, sinus headache, cough, aches, chills.... I spent pretty much all day in bed.

Last night I was hardlly able to care for Baby Girl and B had to get up and help me every time she woke up... this morning he's a little out of sorts because he didn't get his requisite 6 hrs of uninterrupted sleep. For some strange reason, I feel a little bad about that, though I know that I shouldn't because I haven't had more than 3 hrs of continuous sleep in over 5 weeks now!!

She's been doing pretty well with the scheduling so far - she still wants to go right to sleep after eating, so we have to work to keep her awake, and she still cries when we put her down for a nap, but the duration and intensity are decreasing, so that's good. I guess she's going to be on the long end of the "average time it takes to retrain a baby"! Today is day 3 and we still have a ways to go...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wish I had gotten this book months ago!!

So, I went for an acupuncture appointment last Friday and was telling S how I'm totally worn down and how my milk supply is waning.... and she recommended that I get a book called Baby Wise and follow the suggestions to "schedule" Baby Girl so that she will be more predictable and maybe I can get some rest. I couldn't find it locally, had to order it from Amazon, but it finally arrived... it was easy to read and it felt as though they were talking about ME when they were describing the pitfalls of baby-directed feeding schedules, which we are definitely on!! Given that we were going to my mother's for Christmas Eve, we decided to wait until today to do anything about scheduling her - being realistic that this isn't going to be easy...

We started this morning - she is on a 2-1/2 hr schedule, the time being measured from the beginning of one feeding to the beginning of the next; the routine is feeding - playtime/awake time - nap time. She refused to nap much at all today - spent a good part of the nap time crying, though we never let her get hysterical. If she cried for more than 10 minutes, one of us would pick her up, and love on her until she was nice and calm, then lay her back down. She would then nap, but only for a short time. I knew she had to be getting exhausted...

After her 5pm feeding, we had our "awake time" and then went for naptime about 6pm; after 10 minutes of crying, I comforted her and decided to swaddle her - something that we quit doing when she was about 1 wk old - wouldn't you know it, she went straight to sleep when I put her back in her crib and slept for 3 hours!! I had to wake her up to feed her at 9pm!! And even then, she never opened her eyes - she nursed and went right back to sleep. She's stirring now and squeaking, so she may get back up - we'll see... Hopefully today was the worst and tomorrow will only get easier!!

Guess I should comment on Christmas... we did the family Christmas Eve gift exchange at Mom and Dad's house. The boys got some toys and money, First Born mostly got clothes for his upcoming job, which was fine with him. He got his iPhone and that's the only thing he really wanted anyway - he's SO low maintenance, it's crazy... I got the last wise man for my Lladro nativity (!!) and a few other small things; M made us a dinner in a basket - shrimp cocktail, filet, twice-baked red potatoes, asparagus and chocolate cake - we had that tonight and it was wonderful!! Gama gave us $10,000!! I was NOT expecting that! (As a side note, we discussed it this morning and decided to put it into a "house fund" - we're going to look for some land and go ahead and purchase it, with the plan of building that house we've been contemplating within the next year or so. It all depends on the market, of course, because we still do have to sell this house.)

Last night was rough, and I slept precious little, so B took Baby Girl out of the room shortly before 7am so I could take a nap; he woke me at 9 -- the kids were chomping at the bit to get the gifts open. Actually, I think they were pretty patient, all things considered!

We opened the gifts, emptied the stockings and the boys took off to play video games! I had to force them to shut down at 11:45 so they could go to their dad's house! Guess it was a success. I'm just glad it's over!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Biltmore

We went up to Asheville this morning to go to the Biltmore House; we did the daytime tour and then returned at 10pm to do the Candlelight tour - honestly I didn't realize it was the exact same tour but with the Christmas lights turned on... don't know what I expected, but... anyway, the kids seemed to enjoy it. I took my boys and T - only Middle Child and I had ever been there before!!

Because it's such a long drive, we stayed the night in Asheville and will head back home tomorrow morning. The boys have been a bit out of control lately - guess it's that pre-Christmas crap that mom always complained about. There are days I could just twist their little heads off! But, I love 'em anyway!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Our baby girl is getting SO big!!

We had a check-up today; Dr. R didn't tell me to bring her in, but I wanted the PDA evaluated and wanted to see how she was growing. She's up to 9 lbs 8.8 oz and has grown 2 inches (measuring 21.5" today)!!

Baby Girl (aka Squeaker) made a huge mess there in the doctor's office today - she had a BM in the waiting room, accompanied as usual by a lot of gas. I knew we'd be called back soon and that I would have to undress her, so I didn't bother changing her right then. When we got into the room, I set about to undressing her (she was pretty princess, super cute in a pink dress and little tennies) and my hand slid into something warm and gooshy... yep, that BM had blown up her back, almost all the way to her neck!!

So, I strip her down and she coats the paper on the exam table with poop - and I pull out the baby wipes and start giving her a mini bath (and of course she had had a REAL bath this moring as well!!); I get her all cleaned up and move her onto a clean section of paper while I pull the "emergency clothes" out of the diaper bag - and she PEES!! Just like when we were at M's for her first pics... must have been at least a half cup of urine!! It runs all over the table and down onto the floor - and I just started laughing... what else was there to do??

I finally get her diapered and the nurse returns to clean up the mess. I was just mortified!! Now I know how my clients feel when their dogs pee and poop on my clinic floors!!

Everything checked out fine though - her heart sounded good, she has a tiny bit of sebhorrhea (cradle cap) in her eyebrows and a light sprinkling of baby acne, but otherwise looks perfect - she ended up getting her first hepatitis shot today as well. She was lying on the exam table and the nurse stuck her - her eyes got huge and then she screwed up her face and SCREAMED! Just once... I picked her up and it was over... I hope she does that well for her next set of shots!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Time for some "tough love"

Well, sad to say, that the "trend" of good sleeping did NOT last. In fact, I think it lasted just that one day! LOL

We have had a series of rather rough days -- there has been a lot of gas involved, my poor baby! I've started giving Baby Girl a dose of Mylicon every time I feed her and she hasn't had an episode of colic since, for which I am SO thankful!! (thanks much, K, for the advice!!)

However... she is still sleeping in our bed, which means that I'm only half asleep at any given time; add to that the fact that she wakes up every 90-120 minutes, and you can understand why I'm so beat. I found out yesterday that even holding a coherent conversation is a real challenge!!

Ah, well... this too shall pass....

ETA - I totally forgot to explain the title of this post - if THAT doesn't speak to my state of mind, nothing does!!

I've finally decided that Baby Girl will just HAVE to take her naps in her own bed, as opposed to on my chest or in my arms - I have to be able to get things done while she's sleeping!! And, if that means that she has to cry, then so be it. I'll be monitoring her, and can step in if it gets out of hand, but hopefully she'll just cry herself back to sleep without getting hysterical!! I figured that I'll just set time limits for her naps and she will NOT be getting up before that time has been reached.

Now, if I can just get B to stop ruining my efforts!! He was gone all day yesterday and came home after dinner time; I put Baby Girl down and she was quiet for a while, then started to fuss - SO HE FREAKIN' PICKED HER RIGHT UP!! Which wouldn't have been as aggravating if he hadn't lectured me yesterday morning about how I need to just LET HER CRY so I can get things done!! So, I worked all day at this, and he walks in and confirms that crying DOES get you picked right up. Way to go, Daddy! I may kill him yet...

Friday, December 5, 2008

We had a good night!!

Please, God, let this be the beginning of a trend!!

Baby Girl actually SLEPT for more than 15 minutes last night!! In fact, I woke up (or perhaps it would be a bit more accurate for me to say that my boobs woke me up) last night and realized that she'd been sleeping for over 3 hrs; I tried to wake her to eat and had quite a time of it!! She nursed for a couple of minutes and immediately went back to sleep for another 2 hrs!! I got up at 5:30 this morning to get ready to leave for the drill meet in Myrtle Beach and I WAS NOT EXHAUSTED!! Oh, this could be the start of something be-u-ti-ful!!

On a sad note... I did have to go over to K's house and put Dutchess to sleep last night :( Poor kitty... K took it with her usual mix of tears and laughter! And, thankfully, her friend J was there to help lend support (and to dig the grave one-handedly, as she'd just recently had shoulder surgery - let me say, THAT was impressive!!)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Does exhaustion eventually become a way of life??

So much for Baby Girl sleeping in the Pack 'n Play - that's over and done with, at least for now. Last night was another rough one, though there was no colic involved. She was just restless and fussy, refusing to be laid down - though I did eventually get her off of my chest by lying on my side to nurse her. Of course, then I was stuck in that position which wreaked havoc with my hips and lower back! I know she can't help it - what an adjustment she's had to make from her life inside the womb to this one out here...

Her favorite sleeping position is the one she's in right now - she likes to nurse until she falls asleep then she'll pull back and lay her head on my breast, just above the nipple. She makes frequent noises (we call her "squeaker") and such varied facial expressions (scowls, smiles, pouts)... I just love to watch her. She's so totally beautiful that I hate to move her... but it's midnight and I need to get a little sleep before I have to get the boys up and ready for school.

This would be her 2nd favorite position --

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Case of the Disappearing Colic

I feel a little bit like Encyclopedia Brown (remember him from your juvenile reading days??)...

Anyway, we had our first go-round (dare I be naive enough to hope it was also our last?) with colic last night. Baby Girl was sleeping peacefully - in her Pack 'n Play might I add (we've been fairly successful with the transition thus far) - and became increasingly restless and fussy about 9:30pm. I gave her a while to settle down and when it became obvious that wasn't going to happen, I picked her up. She was bunching her legs up and rooting with a desperation that I hadn't seen before. Over the next 30 minutes or so, her actions became more frantic and she ended up with that tearless screaming that is unique to very young infants. I did everything I could think of... let her suckle, bicycled her legs, tried to massage her very tight belly (though this only seemed to cause her more pain); I rubbed her back, jiggled and patted her, but could only soothe her intermittently.

Fast-forward to midnight... we're still at it. I'm relatively certain that it's only colic, but the frantic cries of my sweet daughter are breaking my heart, and I'm contemplating either paging the pediatrician or making a quick run to the emergency room, just for reassurance - because my education has taught me that many things can cause colic... yes, it could have been the brussel sprouts that I ate at my grandmother's house Saturday night, but it could be something more, however unlikely - intestinal intussusception, hernia entrapment, appendicitis, intestinal blockage, etc., etc.

B slept through most of the episode, though I'm not sure how he managed to tune out the screams - but just before midight I woke him to watch her so I could go and get the Mylicon drops, as I was desperate to try anything that might work. B was so distressed by her state that he went online and paid $24 for a 20-page E-book full of mostly useless information about colic, what you can do to alleviate symptoms and suggestions to prevent recurrence. I guess he felt the need to do something to help his daughter...

So I am holding my writhing child, and I am contemplating the various scenarios, and their liklihood of occurrence, and... it just... stops. As suddenly as it began, it is gone - and my sweet baby girl is relaxed and comfortable again, though she is now exhausted. So I snuggle her up against me - no way am I putting her back in her bed tonight - and we finally go to sleep, and she doesn't wake again until nearly 4 hours later.

I cared for her the rest of the nght, as I usually do, and about 6:30 this morning, B took her out to the living room so that I could sleep a bit... I finally dragged myself out of bed at 10am. Baby Girl seems back to her usual sweet self this morning... thanks be to God!!

And, just in case it was the brussel sprouts (because I had them again last night), I pumped this morning and then poured 6 ounces of possibly tainted "liquid gold" down the drain. Baby Girl will have to make due with bottles for the next several hours, and I will be much more particular about what crosses my lips as long as I am still breastfeeding my baby girl.