Thursday, August 28, 2008

The baby-switching fairy came

I don't know who this child is, but I think we will keep her! Our little Amelia, the baby that we have referred to as our "bundle of misery" has become a completely different baby. She is smiling all of the time, cuddly as a teddy bear, and easy to hang out with. I almost feel scared to utter it out loud, but one could even call her mellow. I know, it's crazy. . . but true. And nobody is more skeptical than me, let me tell you. She is just so cool. I can't even believe how fun she is. Everything just seems easier somehow. If I sound bewildered, please excuse me. My biggest challenge is trying to figure out what to do with a 3 month old for 10 hours a day. I used to spend most of that time trying to soothe her or get her to sleep. Now we just. . . hang out and play! She even fell asleep in the car today. She never does that. Ever. It was the first time that we went somewhere and there was no crying in the car. All of this means that the rest of the world has gained its relevance again in our house. We are getting out more, becoming more mobile and seeing our friends. There were days when I thought I would never leave the house again!

We are still struggling with a couple things this week. Trying not to double swaddle her for her daytime naps. Yes, we swaddle her twice. Once in the baby straight jacket for her arms and then again in a more traditional blanket for her legs. Some would not believe me when I say that she can get out of either of these alone and only sleeps with the two and to them I would say,


This is how I find her after napping in one blanket only. Of course, the nap did not last long. I still don't know how she managed to move straight down in her positioner without the use of her arms. And you can tell by her face that she thinks she's clever.

And just for fun, we finally got some bath time pics last night. Well, post-bath-time pics anyway. Shiny, happy baby!!

We miss Daddy all day!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Best Tummy Time Ever--and extras!

So proud of myself!!!

I see you!!!

I have solutions to the world's problems. And they are stored in my cheeks.

Please put the camera down and help me!

Mommy is so funny!

"And also, pffffst."

I love my new blanket!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Just when you think you'll never sleep again. . .

She sleeps. Last week was pretty hard. It was not anguishing like the days/weeks/months we've had before with Amelia, but she just couldn't sleep. She gets so tired and never really drifts off by herself. She HAS to be put to sleep and even then would only sleep for a few minutes at a time. Putting her to bed all week was a three-hour battle because she was so exhausted from being awake all day. . . And by the end of the week, she was getting up more frequently in the night than she has in months. I thought I was going to lose my mind (turns out that exhaustion will do that to a person) by Friday. I had spent virtually all week with a baby who was crying because she was tired but was unable sleep--therefore spending entire days *trying* to get her to sleep. ack.

Then all of a sudden, she slept. She slept from 730pm to 530am. It was phenomenal. Of that stretch, I slept for 6 hours--the longest span of sleep I've had in well, three months. I felt like a new person over night and no longer contemplated running away to a hotel for a month of solid sleep and no distractions. lol. No, she didn't nap much the next day, but then went to bed again for most of the night.

Now I can't tell you what happened or what worked. This child has yet to be the same two days in a row much less predictable in any kind of way. However, we did notice that she changed a LOT over the week. She's holding her head up much more and talking all the time. She's suddenly bigger too. So who knows. I thought babies sleep more during growth spurts, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if she is of the 1% of babies that don't. She likes to beat the odds that way. . .In any case, we are all hoping for a breakthrough and nobody more than me. A tiny bit of regularity would be amazing in our house. Honestly.

No pics from this weekend but we did enjoy a day at Grammy's and went to the mall and actually got out of the house a bit. It was rocky at times but worth it just to know that we are nearing the light at the end of the tunnel--even if at times it seems far, far away. At least it's on!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

3 months?!

I can hardly believe that Amelia was born three months ago today. She's only supposed to be two months by now--but we are so happy that she's not! Making it through these past few months has been the most difficult time we've ever had and we are soooo happy to be moving past the first quarter! We have at least survived the first three months and let me tell you, there were many a moment when we wondered. . .

With the exception of a terrible Monday and some cranky evenings, the last seven days have been great. Amelia is settling in to a life without being riddled with pain. She has since proven to be very sensitive to exhaustion, so we are working on day sleeping, but otherwise, we are looking forward to getting to know her better and getting the opportunity to fall in love with the baby we imagined long before she was born. She is sleeping through the night like a professional! Last night, she went to bed at 7:30 and slept until 4:30!! If we could just make naps as fruitful. . .

These days, she is smiling like crazy (with exception to no-funday-Monday noted above!) and even trying to laugh by adding sounds to her biggest grins. When she smiles, her whole body wiggles and her right leg kicks up and down like "car pistons," according to her Daddy. She is starting to blow raspberries, with bubbles spewing forth as she grins, and learning how to use her voice. She's making sounds for happiness and annoyance and using her cry more specifically. Her big blues, flapped by crazy long lashes are checking out her world very closely. Sometimes she focuses on one thing as if it's the most amazing thing ever and then she moves them over the room stopping on faces long enough to smile. She loves animals already--smiling and babbling at her mobile pals, always locking eyes with the turtle the longest. She loves her bouncy seat and has figured out how to make the toy bar move by kicking her feet to make it shake. A riot when she eats, Amelia loooooves her some food. She moans and smiles and sighs while eating. If you stop feeding her before she's done, she has a piercing shriek used just for the occasion. She's becoming a new girl every day and while it's tiring to keep up with her, it's great fun to hang out and see things through her spirit as well.

Some pics to mark the day! I've been just waiting to put her in this beautiful dress since she was born. It's from our friends Megan and Molly and I love, love, love it!! Now that I've seen her in it, I think we need some fancy schmancy occasion so she can wear it out in public. She loved it too-as evidenced below. Hmmm maybe we should get some prof photos taken soon. . .

And a Happy Birthday to the *Original* Babygirl in our house-Miss Mollie!! I can't believe she's three--my sweet puppy.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy Friday!

It's been a great few days and I couldn't resist an impromptu photo session this morning with my little sunshine. Oh--and I finally got the video camera out today so hopefully, I will figure out how to upload footage VERY soon.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Could it be?

The last couple days have shown real improvement. It's obvious that Amelia is feeling better. She's eating well and happy and, well, not screaming, so that's a huge leap for us. She struggled with her sleep over the weekend again. I am convinced that it's the Prevacid because she never had trouble before and even when babies struggle with sleep, they don't stay awake for TWELVE hours like she did twice over the weekend. She gets so tired that it hurts her and she cries and cries. It's as if something out of her control keeps her awake until she's miserable.

That being said, yesterday was easily the best day we've ever had. She slept through the night Tuesday (after being awake for 11 hours) and went down for naps several times throughout the day--not in her swing, but in her crib--you know, like a normal baby does. When she struggled in the afternoon, I thought that we were in for another long night . . .and then she went down at 7. We ate dinner cautiously, waiting for the wails. . . and nothing! Then we went to bed early thinking we'd (and I mean I'd) be up again as soon as we fell asleep. . . nothing! I finally drifted off at midnight, tired of waiting and again, NOTHING. She slept until 3:45! From 7! Then she ate and was back in bed by 5 until 8:30! It was amazing!

I'm too afraid to think it might be anything other than a fluke, but today has gone well so far too. And truly, even with the sleeping thing, things are looking up. Our babygirl doesn't seem to be in pain anymore (she gained 2.5 lbs in the first 10 days on her meds!) so the struggles we have with her have been more along the lines of the normal parenting incidents. Although the wakefulness has been extreme at times, we'll take it as part of the process. Yesterday, I gave her her medicine in two half-doses rather than one big one and wonder if that helped with the sleep too. So maybe we're working it all out. Either way, I am beginning to feel more along the lines of a normal mom with a normal baby and it feels so.much.better.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Every flower begins with a seed . . .

Taking a little break from the fascinating Amelia news to celebrate the beginning of our little family. Today is the anniversary of the day Mommy and Daddy got engaged! We may have been together for 5 years prior to that day on the beach, but it all officially began with the setting sun on Friday the 13th 4 years ago. It was, I believe, the day we planted the seed for our futures together.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Weekend Times

Grammy doesn't love her or anything. . .

I think it's official--Miss Mia looks exactly like her father!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Just for fun. . .

Getting a picture of this child smiling is a real feat. It's not because there is a shortage of smiles--she throws them around casually these days--but because as soon as the camera begins to click, this is what she does:

So I have to sit and click, click, click away until I get something that actually captures this:

It's worth it, no?

"I'm totally freaking out--911's on the way."

This is the phone call I got on my way home from the grocery store on Wednesday night. Justin had to call paramedics when Amelia turned blue, went stiff, and stopped breathing--with her eyes open. The rest is somewhat of a blur and no fun retelling. In any case, she went via ambulance to the ER where they told us that more than likely, her reflux caused her to have an "episode." (For lack of a better word.) Though it could have been a seizure, her pediatrician later said that she would put her money on Sandifer's Syndrome (Blogger won't let me link it today, but here it is: Reflux babies always have a rattling, phlegmy sound to them because their food comes back up and they don't know what to do with it. As non-infants, we would spit/swallow it--but babies don't know how to go about any of this so it sits. When the throat is irritated from reflux, this can be a disaster of a combination and periods of apnea are common in these poor infants.

The good news is that she is fine now and has been fine since. She continues to get better each day--with minor set backs here and there--but no more scary scenes since that night. I'm not sure we can handle that again, so let's all hope that it was a one-time thing--and most certainly NOT a seizure (which we still can't rule out). Poor daddy had to retell his experience to the paramedics, the attending ER nurse, the ER doc and Dr. Emge the next day and each time, he fell apart. It must have been so awful for him to have dealt with that alone! And then there's me--enjoying my "break" at the grocery store for an hour a week and having to race home in time for the paramedics to show up. Awful all around.

While we cried and clung to each other in desperate fear, this is what the patient did for the 4 hours we spent in the ER while the doctors "observed" her:

It wasn't supposed to be like this. . .

When the doctor came in to see us, it was 9:30 pm and he said that he wanted to observe her for an hour or so after her next feeding. He assumed that would be in a couple hours until I told him that it was bed time and she would be out for the night at that point. He was mightily impressed. And though she wasn't in her crib all swaddled and cozy, she did sleep for the rest of the night. We got home at 1 or 2 (who knows) and she never woke up until 5 am. Of course, the same cannot be said for her parents. . .

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Day 10

Today is the tenth day of Amelia's Prevacid treatment. I am hoping to see real improvement in the next few days. It would be ideal if this treatment worked and we could move on. I do believe things seem a bit better. We haven't had a screamer in a while--and that is huge. Mommy and Daddy's mental health improves quite a bit with this change. Amelia is still sleeping great and sometimes I even think that eating is going better. Time will tell I suppose.

Yesterday we got to visit with Jessie and Baby Ian, 6 mos. He is very grown up compared to Amelia--he can sit up and roll over and eat solid foods--and is twice her size! It's funny to think that when they are 10, they will be the same age, born the same year, but that right now, they are world's apart in their ages.

Otherwise, not much to report today! Might as well get right to the gratuitous pics!

The evolution of Tummy Time: A roller coaster of emotion in only 6 minutes!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The sweetest thing

You know, with all of her pain, Amelia is a pretty tolerant baby. For a while there, we lost sight of this when she cried for days on end. It seemed as if she was just a miserable child. We really should have given her more credit. . . but then, when a baby is screaming in your ear and you're exhausted, it's hard to remain positive! In any case, now that her pain has lessened, it's so much easier to see her spirit. Yesterday, she was eating (one of her favorite things to do before this stupid reflux ruined it for her!) and she ate well for about 20 mins before it started to hurt. I could tell because I could hear her struggling to swallow the acid as it came back up her throat (can you imagine?!). She cried and pulled away. Then she just dropped her head on my chest and whimpered in frustration. She just wants to feel better. Only two minutes later, I had her on the changing table (mysteriously one of her favorite places) and she was all smiles--the feeding incident forgotten. Now that she is not in pain ALL the time, she cries when it hurts and smiles for much of the remainder.

Despite the urge of everyone to think/say that she is a "difficult baby," she really is the sweetest thing. Here's the proof:

Monday, August 4, 2008

She sleeps

Last week was rough. Miss Amelia went through a very wakeful period unlike any before. Maybe from the Prevacid, but either way, she slept for less than 8 hours TOTAL in a 24 hour period for about three days. Total. Nightmare. And just when we were all about to wither away from exhaustion, she slept. She slept through the night Saturday and Sunday nights. Thank heavens!

After her first real night's sleep in about a week, her Sunday was amazing. She smiled and cooed and didn't cry much at all. We were hesitant to call it a breakthrough, but enjoyed it all the same.

This morning has been different. She has cried a lot, but it's hard to tell why. She went down for a nap with Dad's magic put-baby-to-sleep skills so we are hoping for a rosier baby when she awakes.

All told, we are feeling so much better now that she appears to be back in her sleep routine. Above all else, she has always been a champion sleeper, so we panicked when that went away too! So we will take progress as it comes, even if in the tiniest incriments.

In case you were wondering, this is what happiness looks like:

Other news: Baby Amelia got to see both grandma and grandpa last week! She also got to meet lots of our friends at a "Weenies and Wine" party at Bernd and Rosemary's house! She even met a couple little boys--Charlie 13 mos and Barrett 7 mos. They were much bigger than her, but they are all each others' people nonetheless. Lastly, I officially dropped my fall classes this morning with an email to my dean. It was a tough decision, but one without regret as well. Our family needs to be much more healthy and happy before mommy can return to work. My baby, husband, and students are better off if I wait until spring to resume teaching. Part of me will miss my job this semester, but most of me is thrilled to have more time at home.


And the journey continues. . .

Friday, August 1, 2008

Don't count your chickens before Prevacid kicks in!

I guess I spoke too soon. Turns out that the mellow, quiet, happy baby on Tuesday was probably due to her vaccinations the day before. The screaming continues. . . All of my research indicates that it takes about 2-3 week to see marked improvement once Prevacid has been prescribed. We should have known. You might be thinking "Well, what's two more weeks of a screaming baby when you've already survived 7?" And to that I would respond, "TWO MORE WEEKS!" What's more--in the last couple days, our little colic bomb has forgotten how to sleep. Last night, she was up from 1-2, 2:45-3:30, 4-well, now--1015am. It appears that all of our work on creating good sleep habits are out the window. We've been having to put her down with a pacifier and most often, in her swing. She slept so soundly in it last night, we let her stay there for hours. Just to hear the silence. I keep telling myself that she is only a couple months old and we will work out all the sleep habit stuff when she is feeling better, but I still worry at the thought of having to teach in the morning and being up all night. yikes! In any case, this is how she has been spending her time:

Justin has been taking some time off work to come home early and relieve me. I think he's afraid to come home and find a headline scenario if he leaves me home alone with a screaming baby too many more times. It's definitely taking its toll and we are all exhausted. I have no doubt (okay, some doubt) that we'll survive this time, but I am starting to wonder what kind of shape we'll all be in by the time we get to the other side. . . that is, if the 'other side' that everyone keeps talking about actually exists.

In more light news. . .
Even with the tears, we have time for cuteness in our house.