Monday, September 29, 2008

All Hail The Magic Boobies!

We went to the doctor today for Amelia's 4 month well baby checkup. It was the first time that we've been to the pedi's office without major problems to discuss in the past three months. It was also the end of the longest stretch of time that we've gone without going to see the doc. All good things. Dr. Emge greeted us with "How's my favorite family doing?" It was so nice to see her and to have good news for her. We've developed a close relationship with her and she's personally interested in the well-being of Miss Amelia, which is super fab.
Anyway, the stats from today: 15.5 lbs, 24 in. She is in the 75th percentile for weight and 50th for height and head size. Since her height has leveled off, it looks like she is in for a growth spurt very soon. Considering she started at 5th percentile in weight and 25th for height, we are doing great! I can't believe that she has not only caught up, but grown past others in her age group. "That's a nursing baby" the doctor said. She told us that she loves Amelia's chubby thighs and cheeks and that she looks like the picture of health. She even had a negative diaper test, indicating no blood in her stool. . . and I can't help but feel a personal victory over the whole shabang. All of the hard work and commitment to go dairy free, to nurse through the mastitis, and miss hours of sleep have paid off--and even Dr. Emge remarked that she is proud of us for continuing to pursue breast feeding through all of our hardships. Maybe they are magic boobies like Daddy says (in regards to breast feeding and nothing else for you pervs out there!).
The doctor also confirmed my instincts that there is NOT a tooth in babygirl's gums--that it is a dental calcium buildup or something like that but not a tooth. I didn't think so despite that every mom I know said otherwise. It just didn't add up for me, but now I can breathe a sigh of relief. Maybe a couple more months to go on that. Hopefully anyway.

We also had a very busy weekend taking our little one out. We actually attended social events with success, which was a relief and just plain fun. Amelia really hasn't met a lot of our friends. At a BBQ Saturday, several people remarked what a mellow baby she is. I almost spit out my drink. If only they knew how we got here! She's done so great with sleep training that we paid the price for keeping her out a little past her bedtime and vowed to not do that anymore. It's not fair since she is so successful with her schedule to mess it up on her. yuck. But we learned, so that's good. We also had visits from both of my parents this weekend (twice from Grammy), so everyone is getting a slice of this happy baby. So fun.

We visited with Jessie and cutie pie Ian this week. She checked him out but wasn't that into it and I understand. Boys will only lead to trouble! lol Here she is thinking, "You know, I'm going to have a career!"

Here she is at the doctor's office in her newest duds. Yes, that's argyle and dark denim. Yes she looks effortlessly preppy. Yes I have problems.

And on the way home after stoooopid shots. My sweet precious holding on to her blankie. I love how her cheeks sag when she sleeps.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Like a Rolling Stone. . .

My baby gathers no moss!

That's right, she ROLLED! It happened yesterday. She was smiley and happy all day--even in the evening--so a good day for a major event. Anyway, I put her on her tummy and immediately knew that we were on the verge of a breakthrough. I didn't want to grab the camera in case I missed it. So she teetered . . . and tottered . . . to her right with the left arm coming off the ground until the left leg kicked up and she just . . . leaned. . . and PLOP! She was on her back! WOOT WOOT! She just blinked really fast and opened her eyes wide and then let out the biggest grin! I thought she might cry from surprise but she was so proud of herself and relieved to not be on her belly anymore. The puppies heard me yelling and clapping and ran in to join the celebration, dancing around us and licking Amelia's toes. It was a big moment for all of us!

Then milestone Tuesday continued. I decided to peek in at her gums because she's had an inordinate amount of drool this week. When she got off her tummy, her little mat was soaked through, so I looked. On the bottom gum, not quite in the center, I saw it--a white dot. I felt it and it wasn't sharp, but hard. I am still at a loss a bit on this one. It doesn't look like a middle tooth, which is where they come in first--and she hasn't had any other symptoms besides the drooling and hand chomping (which are both common for this age). And hello! She's only FOUR months old!! And technically, she is closer to three months since she was early, so WTH?! I am still choosing to be in denial. I'm not ready for teeth and it simply can't be one. She's too young and hasn't shown any other signs that this was coming. I figured she would be sick with teeth since 1) I was sick with teeth and 2) she's been sick with everything else. So that's that. I like her gummy grin and we are only just now getting to see it more often, so boo on teeth.

Later, on the phone with my mom/Amelia's grammy, discussing the-thing-that-we-aren't-calling-a-tooth, I realized that Babygirl was smiling big and making noise. Then I realized that she was laughing! She's done a tiny chuckle here and there, but this was a real laugh! I think she was laughing at me trying to see into her mouth because I am sure I looked like an idiot. She definitely won that game because her tongue was like the goalie, keeping me out at all costs.

All on a single Tuesday. phew. Now that she is 4 months, I think she is really going to be learning new things every day. She'll be scooting and sitting and crawling before we know it. And unlike a tooth, I won't be able to deny any of that.

I don't have any pics of my girl's new tricks (but will soon!), so here is one from the weekend that I forgot to post last time. She'll either love it and take it away to college with her or hate it and stuff it into the I-can't-believe-how-embarrassing-my-parents-are-box when she gets older.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Gratuitous pics

Not much new to report today. The new medication appears to be working (fingers crossed!) and we are really working on sleep training Amelia. Getting a good night's sleep makes her a happier baby--no matter how hard the process is to get her there. So far so good on that front.
She has discovered her thumb in the last couple days too. She has a hard time getting it into her mouth just right, but when she does, it's like magic! Most of the time though, she gags herself or pokes her eyes out with the other fingers. Such is the life of a 4 month old!

I don't know this lady who looks nothing like me!

Bon jour! And how would you like that cooked?

FINALLY! A pic that shows those lashes (they're much better in person!)

All the G girls

It's a framer! Our family.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I have a 4-month old

I can't even believe it. Though I have often sat and cried and wished for Amelia to get bigger and older and wondered if she would be a newborn forever, I now find myself in awe that four months have passed since she was born. It's so paradoxical in that it seems in some ways like it was just yesterday. Let's face it, four months is not that long of a time. . . and yet in other ways, it's been a lifetime already.

We have some good things in the works these days, but will not speak of them for fear of the blog curse. Everytime we gush here on the Amelia blog, we get slapped in the face with our own hopeful ignorance. Maybe a month from now, we'll have something to gush about.

At four months, our baby is getting bigger and bigger every day. She's huge! Can't wait to get the official stats at Dr. Emge's office next week. She is beginning to unclench her little fists to touch things--or more accurately, to grab things and slam them into her mouth. She isn't really chewing anything (good thing cuz momma is not ready for teeth!) or even sucking. She just likes to lick everything and feel her way around through her tastes. This means more and more drool too. . . All of her weight appears to go straight to her thighs, the poor girl. She is skinny in the tummy, but wide in the thighs, lol. She is eating less often but more at a time and has become more selective about her smile. Every little toy and face made her smile a month ago, but now she is more skeptical and really has to feel you to pass it around. It's like she understands that it's gold to everyone who talks to her and doesn't want to be haphazard with something so precious.

Our baby girl is also this close ----------| |------------ to rolling over. We thought for sure it was happening today, but not quite. Soon enough for sure! Can't wait to catch it on film!!

So that's us today, four months after rushing to the hospital in a bewildered panic at 230 in the morning.

Some pics to celebrate the 1/3 birthday!

I can hold my own sign this month!

I can eat my own sign this month!. Oh and I can kick off my shoes too!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


There is a website called that makes visual images of your words. I plugged in Amelia's blog and this is what it made. Thought it was poignant in a way. Am hoping that a month from now, we can have more fun words like, "giggle" "love" "play" in there. lol. Anyway, check out the site--and here's our story board--just click on it to see!

title="Wordle: Amelia's blog 2">

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Week 1: New Meds

Lots of things to update this week.

After many a phone conversation with our pediatrician (who calls us from her own home during off hours), we decided that Prevacid was NOT worth the trouble it was causing with Amelia's sleep. It took a while for me to convince her doctor that it was in fact the medicine disrupting her sleep, but we finally got her on board. After this, she referred us to a Pediatric Upper Gastrointestinal (GI) Specialist. She was at a loss as to where to go from here, so it makes sense to send us to someone who specializes in these very issues with babies/kids. Since it can take months to get into these specialists, it was awesome that our Pedi, Dr. Emge was able to convince them to see us right away. In fact, they called on Thursday morning with an appointment for that afternoon.

The Specialist visit was reassuring in several ways:

1) There was no blood in Amelia's diaper when he tested it. WAHOO! This means that my dairy-free diet is doing the trick for her colon. Since the next step was to eliminate nuts, soy, fish, and strawberries too, I am pleased (you have no idea) that it appears that being dairy-free is enough. phew. This test always gets me on edge because I am personally accountable for its results and when it's clean, I feel a personal victory!

2) Dr. Quan seemed completely assured that he could fix us. He didn't even do any invasive testing on Amelia because her story is run-of-the-mill to him. When he asked us if she is our first baby, we told him yes and that she will probably be our last as well. He claimed, "Well, when I fix her up, you'll have more." That sounds reassuring. . . that he is confident, not necessarily that we will want more kids. (see all below posts)

3) When we discussed the effects of Prevacid on Amelia's sleep, he absolutely knew what we were talking about. He said that the drug affects the nervous system and for such tiny babies, it can wreak havoc on them. I wanted to run to the rooftop and shout, "I KNEW IT!" It was so obvious, but really, when your baby is suffering in pain, you will try anything. Now I am just kicking myself that we let her stay on that medication for 7 very long weeks. Now we have all kinds of sleep issues that we will be dealing with for months, I am sure because she was so difficult to put to sleep for so long.

4) He put Amelia on a different class of medication that has less strength against the reflux, but is easier to handle. It does not take two weeks to take affect (thank heavens) like Prevacid and should show immediate relief.

We left the specialist's office feeling cautiously optimistic. At least we were on a new path and working with someone who has lots of options. But like someone who has fallen in love too many times, we felt guarded and scared too.

Since she's been on the Pepcid (new med), she is definitely falling asleep easier. It's crazy, the difference in her sleeping. We still have sleep issues that will need to be addressed, but that will come in time if we can arrange some sort of predictability in her day. The test will be whether or not it works against her reflux. So far, so good--but we are hesitant to get excited for obvious reasons. How many times have we thought we'd turned a corner already?! The first few days were a total nightmare and she screamed for upwards of 4 hours a night. We'd been so hopeful that we were devastated. Things have since been better. I read that going off Prevacid can cause a reflux rebound, where acid production comes back with a vengeance after the meds have stopped. Maybe that was our trouble.

In other news, Amelia is definitely in the midst of a growth spurt. She is waking every few hours in the night starving and I am feeling more and more hungry too as she takes more calories from me. Let's hope it passes quickly since we just got her to a place where sleep should be easier.

She is also totally in control of her head and neck, making her much easier to tote around--and giving us a lot more options for toys and whatnot. Just yesterday, we put her in her little exersaucer and she actually unclenched her little fist to touch one of the toys on there. It was so exciting! We were beginning to wonder if she would have to become a boxer just so she could have a reason for those fists as an adult. She smiles at everyone who talks to her and squeals every time she sees her favorite toy, a stuffed cow we named Moolah. Her little thighs are almost as big as mine I think and she seems looooong. At the Specialist's office last week, she weighed in at 14.5 lbs. Not bad for a (technically) preemie!

I am feeling better too. The Urgent Care follow up declared that I didn't just have mastitis, but a staph infection. Oops. Guess that is why I was so sick! Trying to take better care of myself, though it's difficult to find the time in the day. Still taking antibiotics and paying more attention to how I feel. Apparently, exhaustion is the precursor to many ailments.

Keep your fingers crossed for us!!

Here are some of her most recent pics. She really is the cutest thing.

She luuuuuurves her froggie carseat toy!!

Look at her sit!

And in her newest cool thing. . .

I really can't figure out who she looks like. What do YOU think?!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Did someone turn the light out in this tunnel?

I haven't updated Amelia's blog in more than a week because I 1) haven't had a spare second and 2) have been too down.

The very day that I posted last, Amelia began showing signs of reflux again. They came on slowly each day until she was screaming at every feed again. Again. We immediately switched her back to a full dose of Prevacid since we'd been giving her two half-doses for the past 10 days. Within 24 hours, she was suffering from extreme insomnia again. She was awake for 17 hours last Tuesday, screaming for about 5 or so of them. She doesn't sleep at all during the day and then wakes every couple of hours at night. It's not a normal baby-having-sleep-issues problem. She is so exhausted that she has dark circles under her eyes and she is miserable. In a 24 hour span, she slept less than 6 hours total and only in 45 min increments. Her body reacts poorly to this medication--the medication that allows her to eat without pain.

All of last week went like this. Not only was she exhausted, but we were too. I was such a zombie that I wasn't eating enough, drinking enough water, and had mush for brains. In my exhaustion, I contracted Mastitis--a painful infection of the breast tissue. It came on suddenly on Friday afternoon, with my fever jumping to 103.4 in an hour and a half. I was shivering uncontrollably, could barely walk, and felt pain throughout my body. Thankfully, the Urgent Care clinic gave me an antibiotic shot rather than admitting me to the hospital. In any case, the best treatment of mastitis is bedrest, which I could ill afford. We made it through the weekend with Justin essentially taking care of all of us and me trying to sleep at least a couple hours here and there.

And here we are today. Our pediatrician, Dr. Emge now calls us on her own time from home and without us prompting. We are going to try new meds soon and go from there. Even Dr. Emge no longer says "It will get better soon" like she used to. I think we are all stumped and frustrated.

I always try to post with positivity because I know that our loved ones are just waiting for good news, but the truth is that we are struggling, all of us. This is the hardest time of my life and there is no end in sight. I feel my friends fading into the shadows with more and more unreturned messages and a lack of understanding. My work is nowhere in my consciousness, even though I love it. There is eternal guilt between Justin and I as he has to work all day and come home to a crisis--that is, when he can actually go to work for a full day--and I know he feels terrible leaving me home alone each day with no rest and more of the same. I can never go anywhere because no two days are alike or predictable or easy. I barely get to shower, much less nap or catch up with life on the outside--which is exactly as it feels, outside and nowhere near here. It's hard. And there isn't a lot of positive spin to put on it at the moment, even though I know everyone wants to hear it. But this is our truth/reality. Of course we have moments of pure joy in our house and we adore our daughter in a way that is indescribable, but parenthood in general is failing us. Or maybe we're just failing at it. Either way, this is our update.