Velcro Baby

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Methinks I need a Snugli or sling. Robby has gotten into the habit of wanting to snooze on me for his naps instead of in his bed and won't have it any other way. I, of course, am a sucker and let him get away with it (yes, I know, I know - before you start emailing/commenting, I know). It's cutting into "mommy time", so we're going to have to find a happy medium somehow.

As an added bonus, he's decided to share all bodily fluids with me, today. So, I've been blatantly peed upon, spit up upon, and have had to change two major poop bombs - one of which I heard occur from the next room. I'm all for sharing, but some things are better kept to yourself.

It's rather hard to type over a sleeping infant on a Boppy, by the way.

Robby, The Party Animal

Robby went to his first birthday party, yesterday! A friend of mine's daughter was celebrating her first birthday and Robby and I were invited. I have to admit that I'm still slightly nervous to venture out on my own with him, but it's getting easier. He did really, really well - other than he dropped the nastiest poop bomb to date in his drawers in the middle of it, but after gagging my way through, it was easily taken care of. My friends, seasoned veterans, just chuckled at my newbie-ness, of course. Other than that, he ate a bunch of times, slept in various sets of arms, and that was about it. We're working on our mingling skills.

Baby Bliss

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ever since we switched to formula, Robby has been a completely different baby. He's always satisfied after he eats, he's quiet and awake more often, he sleeps longer at night, and he actually plays a little. He's an absolute joy! I'm still offering the breast at every feeding, but his "main course" is formula, which he loves. It's so nice to finally have that happy, thriving baby I hoped and prayed for! Plus, it's nice to have the pressure of having to feed him lifted off of my shoulders. It was nice to have Matt feed him last night for a change and it gives them time to bond more.

I was somewhat embarrassed to admit the WIC people that I had to switch over to formula, but the girl was young and didn't really seem to care much. It's pointless to harass me about it, anyways - there's not much I can do about it! I gave it a good effort and it didn't pan out, so I'll be happily taking my nine cans of formula a month and be grateful for the help. He's happy and well-fed and that's all that matters to me.

Let Down

Monday, July 28, 2008

I did something last night that I vowed I would never do, but the lack of sleep and constant screaming made me crack. After many, many failed attempts to feed Robby from the breast, I finally turned to it's enemy - formula.

I admit it was out of desperation. I knew he was starving, I wasn't able to provide fast enough or enough in general, and I knew that both of those factors were probably why he wasn't having a bowel movement since last Monday. I solemnly went to the kitchen, screaming child in arm, and made a bottle. The poor little guy sucked it down like he hadn't eaten in weeks and quickly fell fast asleep. Later on, I had to make him another bottle after fighting him for almost an hour and he finally had bowel movement - a brown, gooey mess I was more than willing to clean up at 3am just out of joy that he finally had gone.

It made me feel better knowing he was finally satisfied, but I still feel like I failed him. I wanted to breastfeed and never use formula, even as a supplement, but pride should never replace necessity. My child was starving and I just couldn't provide. I feel like crap about the whole thing. Luckily, I have a WIC meeting tonight, so hopefully they can guide me on what to do. I have a pump and have tried to express my milk, but I just never get enough to make a difference. I'm tried of fighting with him everytime he's hungry, too. He screams when he doesn't get milk instantly, finally eats for a minute or two, then either falls off and starts all over again or falls asleep and wakes up hungry 30 minutes or less later. It's so frustrating. I'll keep trying. I can't afford formula.

[Edit] I just had a reassuring talk with my grandma (thank you again SO much, Grams) about this situation. I guess the low milk production runs in the family, if that's possible. Her, my mother, and my aunt all had issues producing and had to switch to formula as well, so that just might be my fate. If it is, it is. I'll do anything for my baby boy. I hate seeing him miserable and I refuse to let my pride make him starve.

I'll probably still continue to pump as much as I can and give it to him, but he'll be getting formula unless anything changes.

[Edit] Robby just gave me the best reassurance ever. After another formula feeding, he was quiet, alert, and even a little playful. He just kept looking up at me with those sweet, little eyes as if to say, "thank you!". I actually enjoy our time together, now, instead of dread the sound of his stirring.

Nothing about this experience has been what I had expected, but I know God had it planned out exactly as it is for a reason and I take comfort in that.

To Circumcise or Not to Circumcise

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Robby was supposed to get circumcised on Friday, but the doc deemed him "too small" to have the procedure done. He told us to bring him back in a week and hopefully he'll be "more endowed" to have it done, but unfortunately at that point, he'll really be able to feel it. This has sent us into debate on whether to go through with it or not. I wanted to have it done before because I knew it would be cleaner and he wouldn't be embarrassed about it later on in life, but I didn't want to put my boy through that pain. Now that I know that it's definitely going to hurt...badly...I'm really having second thoughts. Is it worth it? Feedback welcome.

[Edit] After much mulling-over, we've decided not to have Robby circumcised. If a medical reason for it arises in the future, we'll deal with it then, but for now it's just not worth it to us or him. With proper guidance on how to take care of himself, he should be just fine. Thank you to everyone who responded.

No Rest for the Weary

Friday, July 25, 2008

The colic days have came and went (hopefully for good), but now we're on to something new with no break in between. My precious baby boy has found my least favorite inherited trait - his temper. Matt and I figured he would have a fiery one, since both of us are hot-heads, but I was hoping that it wouldn't set in until later.

I assume he's going through a growth spurt because he's extremely fussy and wants to eat constantly and with ferocity. He had me up every hour last night and fought me every step of the way. I couldn't get him fed quickly enough and if he didn't get instant gratification (another one my least favorite inheritances), he would scream to the point of almost losing his voice. He even got so upset that he bit me three times in already tender spots (I cried). Finally, after fighting me for 10-15 minutes, he'd get latched on, eat like he was starving, and then fall asleep, but then came the task of burping him, which set him off again. The first round of this, he screamed for an hour because I woke him up to burp him. This went on from 12-7am...every hour.

I'm so tired of hearing him cry that I want to cry. I'm praying and hoping that some sort of peace and calm is in sight. We're both wearing thin.

[Edit] I realized later that I'm having issues with my milk production and the poor guy is starving. Will play it by ear.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

We finally got a photo of Robby's eyes! As you can see, they're still bluish-gray, but there's a hint of brown there. We'll have to wait and see.

A Crazy Little Thing Called Sleep

The screaming started at 10pm last night and I thought we were in for another rough night. After about an hour of squeals (even with the gripe water), I got desperate and called a friend for some anti-gas tips and empathy. She suggested some various ways of burping and some gas drops we could get. So, Matt, bless his heart, ventured out for drops. Unfortunately, the drops didn't work, so we moved on to the burping. We tried every one on the list. Fail. Fail. Fail. Finally, we tried a move that I'd like to call "baby crunches". With baby on his/her back, you gently take his/her legs and roll them up into his/her stomach, applying a little pressure. As soon as we started doing this, Robby stopped crying. I've never seen a more contented look of relief on my son's face. He just laid there looking around quietly as if he was finally able to enjoy the sights.

Even though he was wide awake, he stayed quiet and eventually went to sleep without another fuss and we were able to go to bed. He only woke up twice during the night, but was easily consoled back to sleep without eating. He woke us up at 6am this morning, very ready to eat. It felt weird to actually wake up refreshed for a change. I actually dreamt about needing to wake up and how odd it was that I was still asleep.

So, thank you, Sara, for your tips - I owe our rest to you - and here's praying that this change sticks around. I kind of like that sleep thing.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I finally got a chance to take some "artsy" photos of Robby this afternoon. Unfortunately, I made him quite upset by messing with him too much. I miss the days at Kiddie Kandids when I made the babies upset and then sent them on their way. Payback stinks.

Colic Stole My Baby

Mothers beware - there's something out there that will sneak into your homes at night and snatch your angel babies right from under your nose and replace them with demon ones. It's called...colic.

As soon as 11pm hit, Robby wasn't Robby anymore. He was a screaming, flailing, demon monkey set to make his parents go insane. He woke us up every hour wanting to eat, but then refused what I had to offer with an ear-piercing screech that I'm sure was heard across town. After about three hours of this merriment, he decided to pull out all the stops and just scream bloody murder for almost an hour straight. I didn't think he was ever going to stop. Finally, after attempting to feed him multiple times, I just let him cry. It killed me, but I didn't know what else to do. I just went to my happy place and just let him go at it. And then it happened. Silence. Just as quickly as the storm had started, it stopped and I had my baby back. Given, I had to camp out on the couch as he slept in his swing (I didn't dare want to chance putting him in his bassinet), but I was willing to sell a kidney for sleep at that point.

To wrap up my tale of woe, we all survived the night and gripe water is a Godsend. Here's praying for rest for the weary.

He's Here!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Robert Deane Marshall was born via C-section at 5:01PM on July 18th, 2008. He weighed 6 lbs. 11 oz. and was 21 1/2 in. long.

It took a LOT to get him here, though. My doctor decided to induce me at 6:30 PM on Thursday, July 17th because of my high blood pressure, as I posted before. He gave me Cervidil, which started some contractions, until 3 AM, but I only dilated to 1 CM. He then started Pitocin, which completely stopped my contractions. He maxed my dose of Pitocin at about noon and then decided to break my water (which hurt like no other!) and unfortunately, there was some meconium in my fluid, but they weren't too worried about it. Stronger contractions started and went on for a couple hours and I decided to have an epidural. My doctor then came in and checked me and I had only dilated to 2 CM, so they started prepping me for a C-section. As they were putting in my catheter, the baby's heart rate dropped and stayed at 50 BPM. The room was all of a sudden swarming with doctors and nurses and I was rushed to the O.R., leaving poor Matt in tow, clueless. As soon as they got me ready for surgery, the baby's heart rate stabilized, so they slowed things down a bit. When Robby was born, he wasn't breathing, so they had to resuscitate him. I've never been so terrified in my life! At that point, Matt was allowed into the room, donning scrubs. We sat and prayed and waited and finally Robby started screaming. Matt got to follow him to the nursery and hold him as I was being stitched up. Finally, they finished up and rolled me into my recovery room where I got to hold my precious baby boy for the first time. Luckily, the whole harrowing experience didn't effect him any and he was perfectly healthy after.

I must say that I never thought another man could steal my heart until I met my son. I am completely in love with the little guy! I'd like to say a huge thank you to our family friends for all your support and prayers through all this. I'd also like to say a special thank you, even though it will never be big enough, to Matt, who was the most awesome support coach in the world and was a huge source of strength in my moments of pain and weakness.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

It's amazing how life has a way of jumping up and smacking you in the face.

I went in for a doctor's appointment today, hoping for him to tell me that I'm dilating and was close to "D day". Instead, I was informed that my blood pressure was through the roof, I was only 1cm dilated, and was to be induced at 6:30 tonight with the high possibility of a C-sectioned result. Yikes! So much for my original plan of flying into the hospital after timing contractions at home, practicing my expert Lamaze skills, and going through labor and delivery Wonder Woman style. Needless to say, I'm shocked, scared, excited, and have a LONG night ahead of me.

Stay tuned for updates.

Poor Timing

When babies are born, it's supposed to be a happy time for families, but unfortunately, right now it's bittersweet. I got a call from my mother-in-law this morning informing us that Matt's grandfather, who was diagnosed with cancer not too long ago, is slipping in and out of a coma and probably doesn't have much longer to live.

I can't say that I don't feel slightly guilty for throwing a baby into the mix. I feel like I just stepped into a funeral with a bunch of balloons yelling "surprise!". I know God has this all planned out and it's meant to be this way for a reason, but it's tough to gauge what to feel at the moment other than numb. Do I feel sad that there's going to be a death in the family soon or happy that a new life is about to begin? Better yet - how do I feel both at the same time? Does not compute. I'm trying to be strong for my husband and his family because I know what they're going through since I lost my uncle to cancer in 2006, but I'm feeling overwhelmed with everything that's going on. It's like a destruction derby of emotions.

On the ironic side, I've read that it's common that babies are born after a death in the family. Even more ironic, I was born four days after my great-grandfather died and my mother was born shortly after her grandfather died. Perhaps we're just continuing on this morbid tradition. I just wish Robby would have had the pleasure of knowing this part of his family. At least he has the honor of sharing his great-grandfather's name and I'll make sure that he knows it and wears it with pride.

[Edit] Matt's grandfather passed away on the morning of July 19th, but was aware of the birth of his great-grandson. Even in his comatose state, he raised his eyebrows twice and smiled when told that Baby Robby was on his way.

There's a First Time for Everything

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I've always wanted to attempt a blog, but have never really had a reason for it. I have to be the most unexciting person on Earth and have nothing special to write about, but that all changed on November 17th, 2007 when two purple lines informed me that I was about to make a career jump from "homemaker" to "mom". I'm told that the pay isn't great, the hours are brutal, and you may pull all your hair out, but it's considered "fulfilling". We'll have to see.

At the moment of writing this, I am six days away from my due date and quite eager to evict this rowdy little tenant that is to be my son. We've been through a lot together so far - all the kicking, squirming, heartburn, and hormonal meltdowns for the past nine months, but I'm already head-over-heels for the little guy and can't wait to meet him. I'm certain he has to be a nicer fellow in person than the occasional gouge to the side at 1am.

So, here's to new chapters, new beginnings, new adventures, and new insanities. Cheers.