Monday, September 24, 2012

RIP Swaddle

If you were to ask me what my favourite baby product was, I would usually say "the Miracle Blanket"!

If you haven't heard of the Miracle Blanket, it is a fancy swaddling blanket that is something akin to a baby straight jacket. An awesome baby straight jacket. If you have a baby who has an active startle reflex, the Miracle Blanket is - well - a miracle! (if you are unsure of the effects of a baby's startle reflex, picture them trying to fall asleep and having their arm raise their hand and bash it into their face. Repeatedly).

Luca was a big fan. Or rather, he didn't fight it and it definitely helped his sleep.

The blanket was fantastic and keeping him secure and cozy but still left his legs and hips free to move and kick.

And the best part was when he was unswaddled in the morning and he finally got to stretch!

Needless to say, we were fans. Until one day, he started doing this arching of the back and kicking of his legs thing. At the same time. You know what that move does for a little burrito-baby?

It makes him roll over. Onto his face. With his arms pinned. I've heard this is a bad thing.

This move is what caused us to take Luca out of the magical swing at night (he sometimes gave me a 4-5 hour stretch in that thing!). Once he was in his crib, the hours of sleep decreased and his time spent crying and screaming increased. Of course, with his freaking out, he started rolling even more.

We tried flipping him back (you should have seen J run when we watched Luca roll onto his face over the video monitor (also a baby must-have!). Nope. He'd just flip again. We tried putting pillows next to his hips which sometimes helped but made us very nervous as you aren't supposed to put anything in the crib (suffocation danger).

So yeah - that is how we dropped the swaddle. It made us too nervous and watching the monitor like a hawk wasn't helping our sleep situation.

The upside of dropping the swaddle is that he can finally wear all the awesome sleepers he has!! If it wasn't going to scar him for life, I'd make him wear sleepers day and night for the next 20 years.

So yeah. RIP swaddle. You were great while you lasted and I still count you as one of our favourite baby items. Every time Luca wakes up after only 2 or 2.5 hours, I think about how awesome you were. And to all those non-swaddling parents out there, there is nothing cuter than a baby wrapped up like a burrito :-)
 
 

A Little Late

First things first. I need to say a huge, massive thank you to all of my lovely readers who commented on my last post and emailed me with support, encouragement and suggestions. Every comment made me feel better and reminded me that I'm not alone. I'm not the only new mom who has experienced more challenging days than not. I definitely felt hopeful knowing that this wouldn't go on forever. 

If you have a fussy/colicky/"high-needs" baby, I encourage you to read last weeks post and go through all of the comments. They are gold, I tell you.

In other news, ever since writing that post, Luca has given me a few good days. Maybe he read the blog?  What makes a good day? SLEEP! It is amazing how much happier this kid is when he gets a good nights sleep. Seeing him wake up with a smile on his face (as opposed to his normal screaming) is like heaven.

I am not convinced that our troubles are over but OMG it is a nice change. A smile. So good.

Anyway, I finally grabbed a few three month photos of the little guy! I'm missing the ones with his stuffed toy but these will have to do :-)

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Happy Monday!


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Monday, September 17, 2012

Kid, Your Time is UP

Today is Luca's three month birthday (Happy Birthday, little guy!). Ideally, I'd be showing you some super cute pictures of him sporting his three month onesie (okay fine, it is a white onesie with a sticker on it), but I'm not. 

Why? 

Because Luca spent this weekend screaming. Not crying, but screaming. I'm sure in...oh...twenty years I would have thought that taking the three month pics while he was screaming his head off was funny. A funny reminder of how bad it really was.

Unfortunately, I can't see twenty years down the road right now. All I can think about is my screaming child and how THIS IS NOT WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR and the guilt that follows such a thought because it is exactly what I signed up for.  So what - I didn't end up with a 'perfect' child - I have a super cute little guy who is rarely happy (but when he is, he is awesome!) and who is having a rough start that he (hopefully) won't remember.

So here we are. I've always been a vocal supporter of honesty on blogs so here goes.

Right now, being Luca's mom is rough. I have shed more tears than I care to remember. I could ask J, but he probably wouldn't want to remind me of the number of times he has come up to the nursery to find me bawling as I was feeding Luca. Or trying to burp him. Or bouncing him on those annoying exercise balls that aren't as 'magical' as everyone promised they would be.

At first, I'm okay. I feel sympathy for the little guy. I want to  do anything to make him feel better. Sing like a goof? No problem. Feed him AGAIN even though I feel like my boobs are going to fall off and have nothing left to give? Of course. Hold him over my shoulder as I do lunges from one end of the house to the other? Been there. Drive around town just so he can finally settle and have a nap? Okay. Cut out chocolate, dairy, soy, nuts, and all types of gas producing vegetables? Whatever it takes.

But after a while, usually about an hour, I can feel my sympathy waning. The screaming starts to pierce the armour I have on (which is made up of positive affirmations like "you are a good mom - you can soothe this child" and "this too shall pass") and little by little, my insides start churning. Instead of sympathy and concern, I start feeling frustration and despair. Why won't he stop crying? What could be so awful that he would scream for this long? I've done everything I can and he is STILL crying. What is WRONG with this kid? Why does he hate me? Maybe it is me. Maybe I'm not producing enough milk. Maybe I'm starving my child. (It is usually around this time when I panic and run downstairs to the many boxes of formula that formula companies mailed me as soon as Luca was born and get him a bottle. I feed him, he eats it. He pukes and then starts screaming.)

Then I get sarcastic (such a cruel, awful trait in a person). "Oh, you are crying again? AMAZING. I've been waiting to hear your cry ALL. DAY. LONG."

Then I see the big tears running down his red, sweaty little face. Then my heart swells with love and concern, and I burst into tears. We are then a crying two-some, holding on to each other for dear life, neither knowing how to make the other stop crying.

I don't like feeling this way (who would?). I feel immense amounts of guilt over my inability to keep my son happy, or soothe him when he is not. Even worse when I feel an emotion akin to anger when I am staring in the face of the little screaming child who has been screaming for an hour and who finally went to sleep after 45 minutes of aggressive rocking and singing of "You Are My Sunshine", only to start screaming IMMEDIATELY after being placed ever so gently into his crib. Anndddd....the cycle starts again. 

This mom thing is tough.

I have been to the doctor numerous times (don't worry, she says. This is normal.).
4 visits to the lactation clinic. (Everything looks good, they say)
1 home visit from an expensive private lactation consultant. (Luca was perfect and everything was 'fine').

And here we are. There is no consistency to his screaming. If he screamed after every feed, I'd say it was my milk, or reflux. If he screamed after feeds when I had eaten something in particular, I'd get rid of that food. If he stopped screaming after I fed him AND topped him up with an extra 3 ounces of milk, I'd feed him more. I'm a mom. I would do ANYTHING to make him feel better.

One thing I know is that he is happier when he sleeps more. The few times he has slept well at night, he has been pretty awesome during the day. I just don't know how to make that happen more frequently. He still wakes up multiple times a night to eat, and then often loses it when I try to put him back to bed. Then when he wakes up in the morning, he usually wakes up crying and screaming because the little guy is still exhausted. 

Everyone promised that at three months, things would get better. Maybe I should have put a calendar in his crib showing Luca when his three month birthday was like my Dad suggested. Maybe he just doesn't realize that his three months is up. 

I know that one day, I will forget that it was this bad. I will say "Oh yes, my son was fussy/colicky/challenging" but when someone asks how bad it was, I won't remember. Here's hoping that day comes soon.

I could post a video to show what I mean when I say "screaming", but instead I'll put up some pics to make me feel better.

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P.S. For those of you who are worried, please know that we are okay. I'm fine and I know when it is time to put Luca in his crib and walk away for a bit. I am lucky to have family support and a loving, involved husband. I'm just ready for Luca to get a little happier.

P.P.S. I went back and forth on whether I would disable comments on this post because of its content, but ultimately figured that such a change would cause too much concern as it would be very out of character for me. So please be kind.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Update

...for those of you who were wondering (I'm sure you were all waiting with baited breath)...the third doctor who specializes in babies with tied tongues and performs the clipping of said tied tongues, looked at Luca and thought he was just fine :-)

So no clipping was necessary, which was good for me because I was not looking forward to that! Of course, we are still uncertain what the issue is but the doctor examined him and said that he seems just fine. Be patient, he said.

So that's that. No solution but no potentially painful procedure for my little guy. The search continues!!

Here are a few pics of Luca and his buddy Noam at the park!

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Have a good day!

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Labour Day Weekend!

I hope everyone had a nice long weekend and made the most of the amazing weather we had! We went up to the cottage with the family and did our best to get some rest and relaxation but Luca had other plans for us.

He has finally decided that not only is sleeping for the birds, but that crying isn't cutting it anymore. Screaming is much better!!

He has started screaming at the top of his lungs. Frequently. To me it sounds like he is in pain, but of course we can't figure out what could be wrong with him. He will be sleeping soundly and when he wakes up, he immediately would start screaming. Sigh. It breaks my heart to hear him like that but honestly by the end of the day, it is oh. so. tiring.

We are heading out tomorrow to have L checked out by a new doctor who specializes in tongue tied babies. Luca has now been diagnosed by two other doctors as having a short frenulum which is likely causing our breastfeeding issues. The recommended treatment is having it clipped, but we are going for a third opinion tomorrow. If this specialist thinks it will help, we may have it done. Wish us luck!

And finally, in house related news - the new roof goes on tomorrow!!! Updates to follow.

And....some pics from this weekend!
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