Saturday, February 28, 2009

My Buddy!


Well, week eighteen is here! It was a year ago this time that I found out that I was prego and the morning sickness started (yes, almost everyday until twenty-five weeks!). It is crazy to think how quickly a year goes by and now we have a baby! So, I really debated (in my head) about what to title this week's post...Hunger Strike, Fussy Baby, World's Biggest Snack Feeder, My Buddy, Miracle Drug...well, obviously, I decided on My Buddy. Do you all remember those "My Buddy" dolls? You know the commercials, "My Buddy, My Buddy, My Buddy, My Buddy, My Buddy and Me"...well, that has been Hugh this week; however, you cannot put him away in the closet when you longer want to play with him (I tried, it doesn't work...kidding). We do everything together and go everywhere together...so, I thought I would be positive and title it, "My Buddy". Yes, he is on a hunger strike and no, we have not discovered the "Miracle Drug". So, here we are at week eighteen! Jake and I are so in love (getting more and more frustrated with the eating, but still so in love)!


So, what did week eighteen bring? Well, it brought his four month check-up...which brought more shots! He had a tougher time with the shots this round, but he did okay. He really struggled with the oral vaccine and after the nurse finished, she asked me if I wanted to try it again since he didn't get much in...hmmm, let me think about it...no. It also brought his first medication...Axid, which he doesn't love to take...the yummy, bubble gum flavor is not fooling this little guy. The Doctor has diagnosed him with acid reflux, but he has no concrete evidence to base that diagnose upon except for what I have told him. He said it is definitely not normal for a baby to drink a bottle all day and explained that Hugh should be able to finish six to seven ounces of milk in at least thirty minutes. We know there is a problem, but we are not 100% positive what that problem is. So, we are trying Axid to see how it works (we hope it works...it was $40!). So far, it is not the miracle drug we were hoping it would be, but it has only been a few days. The Doctor noticed that he is backsliding on the charts, which would make sense because he refuses to eat. However, he is still healthy and nothing is alarming. He is now 14lbs. 7oz. (50%), 25.25in (75%), and his head has caught up with him and is in the 75%. The Doctor is starting with this medication, but explained there are several we can try. He also explained that he may put him on fortifiers (calorie boosters) for the milk so he can drink less and get more calories. We also talked about seeing a gastroenterologist if the medication doesn't work.


We are praying the medication works and we can move forward. We are planning on calling the pediatrician again on Monday...yes, I am going to be one of those moms that is living at the pediatrician's office...never in a million years did I think I would be one of those moms. We also decided to try and curb the "snack feeding" (I have created the biggest "snack feeder"). So, we thought we'll let him only eat until he pulls off the bottle and then we won't feed him until his next feeding...we were certain he would be starving and would drink six ounces in minutes. Well, after ten hours...he had only drank seven ounces of milk...so, the plan didn't work and we realized Hugh would prefer not to eat. We also decided to try all formula rather than breast milk and took me some time to be okay with that possibly being the problem and having to throw out six hundred ounces of milk! However, that is not the problem. So, we struggle to figure out how to get him to eat thirty to thirty-five ounces (new amount per the Doctor so he can continue to growth pattern on the charts) a day when he is eating about twenty-four ounces. We also decided to stop the solid feedings for now...milk has more calories and he really struggles with eating solids; however, we are doing rice cereals in the bottle per our Doctor's recommendation. Jake and I really need to trust in God during this time...we can really let our minds get the best of us and it isn't good. Having a child that refuses to eat can be very tough at times. Hugh is also getting a lot fussier...we think it is because he is hungry, but won't eat. We are still getting up in the night as well to feed him...some nights are better than others, but I am starting to feel like how I did when he was a newborn...definitely don't want to go back to that place! I just wish I could fall back asleep after getting up...just doesn't work for me. Okay, enough about the eating struggles because we are not miserable and I sure from my post it sounds that way. He is very sweet with lots of smiles...especially in the morning. I love that he gets up and he is so happy and ready to start his day. I still love it when he is willing to snuggle with me...it is so sweet and it melts my heart. He is also starting to explore more and has really started to explore his "thing"...his hands make a beeline there every time it is exposed. Really, boys start that early?!? Jake and I just laugh...I don't laugh as much when his hands go down there when I am trying to clean a dirty diaper...a little gross. He has starting wearing shorts...it is already getting hot in AZ...ahhh!!! He went to the zoo with Jake and some cousins...had a great time (Jake did say he seemed a little more excited about the wind than the animals). Overall, it has been a great (and trying) week! We love this little guy!


We continue to ask for your prayers as we struggle to figure out what is going on and determine what the best course of action is for Hugh. We just want him to eat. We know we need to put our trust in God. It is so true that God uses our children to sanctify us...we just want to turn to God during this time rather than turn away. We focus our hearts on Matthew 11:30...knowing that God's burden is light and knowing that this season is so short. We know God is so good!


So, in case you all are wondering...my hair is still falling out (I am starting to feel like Jake) and I am still pumping (albeit four times a day rather than five times...we gots more milk than Shamrock around here). We hope you all are doing well and we love you all!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Choices


So, here we are at week seventeen! Hugh is getting so big and continues to develop his own personality each day. I think it is crazy that they can start forming some behaviors so early (some behaviors we love and some we wouldn't mind seeing go away). We love him like crazy! We are so blessed to experience each new day with this little boy!

So, what has week seventeen brought to us? Well, I would say it has brought choices. The choice whether to drink six ounces of milk in an hour (yes, he is a slow eater) or to take three hours (yes, this week it is taking him close to three hours to finish a bottle). The choice whether to drink from the Dr. Brown bottle or the Avent bottle (yes, I brought it back to shake it up a bit). The choice to eat rice cereal or stare at us like we are crazy (lately, we get the crazy stare a lot...I am not quite sure he is ready for the solids yet). The choice to be fussy or to be sweet. The choice of which toy to play with or to not play at all. The choice to cry at loud noises or to be calm (sudden, loud noises (like sneezing) make him burst into tears). The choice to smile or frown. The choice to sleep through the night or to wake up in the middle of it (yes, we are back to waking up in the night to eat...he doesn't eat enough during the day and he is hungry). So, much to my surprise, a baby at seventeen weeks has a lot of choices! So, I have the choice to trust in God or trust in man, to remain sane or to go crazy...I would say crazy won out a little this week. The eating issue for me is driving me to Crazyland. We called the pediatrician again this week to discuss the eating issues (they said teething, but that doesn't make sense) and we are going in next week to discuss. I talked with a lot of people about reflux to see if Hugh could have that...it is tough because he doesn't have a lot of the "true" reflux symptoms - spit-up, colic like crying, sitting up to eat, etc. So, we sit confused, frustrated, and sad - it is hard to see him hurting while he eats (you should hear his stomach). We'll see what the pediatrician has to say, but we hope he listens because I am starting to get that mother's gut feeling that something isn't right and this isn't "normal". Also, we can handle the eating on the bottle all day because he can play on his "breaks", but eating baby food all day is going to be a lot harder to do...we are not even close to that yet, but I still think about it. We have to debate whether to take him out during feedings times because people wouldn't understand...also, we don't know how clean people's floors are and this little boy has to be laying on the ground to eat. We laugh at the thought of trying to feed him forty ounces of milk a day and two solid feedings. I also have the choice to covet other babies eating patterns or to trust in God...never in a million years did I think I would be jealous (that jealous type when you want to jump across the table...like when other mothers tell you that their babies have been sleeping twelve hours a night since they were six weeks old) when other women tell me their babies drink an eight ounce bottle of milk in twenty minutes. So, we pick up our tickets to Saneland and chose to trust in God and be patient. We'll see what the pediatrician has to say this week.



So, we wait and trust. We realize that all the books and information still don't explain every baby. We realize that we must have lost our "Parenting Manual" at the hospital. So, we do the best we can and try not to spend too much time in Crazyland (a visit here and there is okay). We know God is good and we see it everyday. We will place our trust in Him and place our little boy in His hands. We thank you all for your prayers and we love you all!


(Yes, the new camera has arrived and I am in love...Jake doesn't have to buy me birthday or Christmas gifts this year! I don't know how I survived without the SLR for so long! Yes, I am all about the head shots!)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cousins, cousins, cousins!


Here we are at week sixteen (or four months, but not technically four months until February 23rd...so confusing). It has been a great week filled with lots of family time. Hugh got to meet his family from Alaska, which include another aunt and uncle and two more cousins! So, I am sure you are thinking there will be lots of great pictures with cousins due to the name of the post...wrong. My camera broke last week and we ordered a new one (I am so excited!), but it still hasn't gotten here (season four of The Office arrived (Jake was so excited), but no camera). So, I'll have the others email me some pictures and I will post them once I get them...there are some really cute ones of the older ones babysitting. They all wanted to babysit him and some (Kara and Eli) even told them they would babysit until November for $3 a day...I'll come knocking on their doors in a few years! The best babysitter is his cousin, Clay, who when is done with babysitting just rolls Hugh off his arm and goes to the next thing (don't worry...I monitor the babysitting). It has been a great week!


So, what is new in week sixteen? Well, I have come to the realization that our son will have brown eyes...and you know what, I still love him. I am still holding out for a blue eyed baby...I should have known that Hugh would have brown eyes...he looks nothing like me. He even has some of the same facial expressions of Jake...it is crazy! I love that he looks so much like Jake right now...one day, a girl will think he is such a cutie (just like I did with Jake and still do)! He finally laughed for me...it was very short and of course no one else heard it, but it happened...it really did. He is laughing a lot more for Jake...Jake just looks at him and he laughs (don't worry that I was the one to get up in the night, I am the one who pumps (five times a day), etc....but go ahead and laugh for Daddy all day long...one day it will happen for me). He is really starting to grab onto items more and more. He is becoming more and more verbal...he loves to talk and talk (sometimes it sounds more like complaining). He is spending more time in the Bumbo...he sits with us at the table while we eat dinner. Jake and I were able to have a late night out (thanks to Dan and Peggy) and it was the first time we didn't put him to bed. We are trying more rice cereal and seeing his stubborn side more and more - when he doesn't want to eat...he doesn't want to eat (didn't we already know that?...we like to learn this lesson again and again). He had his best and worst week of sleeping...we are trying to figure out why he cries out early (very early) in the morning (which happened a few times this past week). We brought out his "Teddy" this week (a little bear with a blanket attached since he loves to have a blanket against his cheek with he gets sleepy). Overall, it was a great week with the highlight being lots of family time (and the prospect of lots of new babysitters).


We are so thankful for this little guy. He is so sweet and we have so much fun with him. We love seeing him grow each day and are excited for each new day (however, sometimes I want him to stay little forever). Our hearts are burdened for this little one every day and we desire for him to know the Lord from a very young age. We pray continuously for him. We trust in God for this little guy. We are so blessed! Thanks to everyone for their prayers - we love you all!

(So, not a lot of great pictures...broken camera = bad pictures and no pictures.
New camera in the mail!)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

New Things...


It is week fifteen! (Yes, I am still going to count in weeks since I am going to do a post for each week of his first year...so, I have to count in weeks. I think it will start getting a little weird after week twenty (or maybe it has already gotten weird), but I am going to keep counting in weeks!) So, week fifteen brought lots of new things! It has been a great week and Hugh is still doing great...I think he is huge (I saw my friend, Karla's baby this week (who is brand new) and it made me feel that Hugh is huge compared to him...so, is it time for a new one?!?). We love seeing our little guy getting bigger and bigger and enjoying each new day.



So, what were the new things? Well, it brought a lot of Mama and Hugh time...Jake was out of town for the majority of the week in Florida...so, it was Hugh and me. We did fine, but it is nice having an extra set of hands. So, it brought bath time with me for Hugh (instead of Daddy)...well, he enjoys bath time more with Daddy...I am over it. It brought his first Super Bowl party...and of course he started crying when everyone else was screaming in the last two minutes of the game (he was scared...sudden, loud noises freak him out). It brought rice cereal...yes, I know you are supposed to wait until four months (but is it four months or sixteen weeks?) and I really thought we were at week sixteen when we started (Jake reminded that we were not)...oh, well...he is just fine. I think he enjoyed the bib more than the rice cereal...we'll try it again in a week or so. It brought the exersaucer...he is way to small, but he loves to stand...so, we tried it out. He'll need to grow into it. Side note - I put it together...and it was very hard. It brought a call to the pediatrician because he is still really struggling with being able to take more than three to four ounces of milk at a time. So, here was the conversation with the nurse...
Me: He is three and half months old and he still cannot take a full six ounces at a feeding. Do you think something is wrong with him?
Nurse: Still pretty young and the average intake of a baby at three to four months old is three to four ounces of milk, so it sounds like he is just fine.
Me: Are you sure? I have friends whose babies can take six to eight ounces of milk very easily and in one sitting.
Nurse: Yes, they are called piglets. Does your baby look chubby?
Me: No, he is long and lean.
Nurse: Well, sounds like he is not a piglet, but he is growing. Is he screaming after he eats?
Me: Not really, but he can get fussy at night sometimes.
Nurse: Sounds like every other baby. Stop listening to other moms. However, it is your right to bring him in and we will check him out, but he sounds just fine.
So, I kept my $15 and didn't bring him in and have continued to learn the lesson that not all babies are alike...Hugh is Hugh and that is just fine with me. Also, it was a good heart check lesson for me...I think I wanted him to take something to make it easier on me rather than for him (not my shining moment as a mother...just one more to add to my growing list). It brought a nap in a very dark closet (my theory that it is not the swing that helps him sleep, but it being darker)...well, he didn't nap very well...so, my theory may have some holes in it...do they make swings for toddlers? It has brought lots more grabbing - he is really starting to be able to focus on an object and grab it. It has brought a lot more time in the Bumbo (we are working on his core muscles). Oh, yes...it brought some more giggles...only for Daddy...yes, I am over it (not really, but I love that it is for Jake and not some random...that would really drive me nuts). Overall, it was a good week and we learned a lot.



We look forward to this next week...time for Hugh to meet our Alaska family! He is very excited. Hopefully, my hair will stop falling out this next week or Hugh could have two bald parents and that would be sad. We praise God for Hugh's continued growth and health. We are always reminded that God provides for us and to not worry about tomorrow...we put our trust in him for our family. We love you all and hope you all are doing well!

(Sorry, the flash isn't working on my camera...so, some of shots are a little dark.)