Feb 1, 2013

Baby Croft Chronicles Vol 1

     Weighing in at 12.6 lbs and 23 inches, James Paddy-Whack is 10 weeks old this past Monday.  Known around these parts as sweet baby James, little J.P,  Pookie the potbellied pig, Grunty McGrunterson, and little man, we like this little baby boy an awful lot. 

January 165 

     He spends his days nursing, very distractedly & wiggly-like I might add, dominating tummy time, smiling and cooing at anything smiley faced, coughing dramatically {not sure if this is reflux related or just to stress me out… He will cough hard twice and then go UUUAHHH!} kicking his legs and pumping his feet while blowing spit bubbles.  Hiccups are a daily occurrence and he had his first belly laugh just yesterday.  He has discovered his hands and loves nothing more than to gnaw at them to his slobbery delight.  His little hands are always trying to grab and feel things and he loves to look around the room at rapid speeds, but always stops to ponder the coats hanging by the front door.  He loves a tight swaddle and tolerates his acid reflux medicine, especially now that it is grape flavored.  His favorite people, besides yours truly of course, would be daddy and Nana. Those two know how to get him talking and cooing.  Little man spends a lot of time sticking out his tongue {more on that later} and burying his face/eyes into my shoulder or his daddy’s bicep when he is sleepy.  If he is really sleepy he’ll thrash his head back & forth trying to fight it. He loves sleep though and pretty much always gives us a 5 or 6 hour stretch.  This week he gave us 8 hours. He takes a long time to wake up from his naps which totally reminds me of his father! Baby listens to a lot of music, whether it is Marcus’ playing the guitar, The Lumineers pandora station, Motown during the witching hours or classical music during tummy time, hoping he’ll be more cultured than I am ;)

January 008 January 007

 

     His dark blue eyes are slowly making there way to a deep chocolate color with some blue/green streaks in the middle.  That dark ring of hair around his ears and back of head is thinning as the hair on the top of his head catches up. We see his dimples many, many times a day now!  He’s got perfectly dark eyebrows and eyelashes with squinty eyes.  He appears to be holding ping pong balls in each of his chubby cheeks since they hang plumply over his lips. Those. kissable. little. rosebud. lips. Yum!  Like any brand new Mama, I relish in the adoring public’s comments anytime we go somewhere.  Most common are “Big Boy!” or the generic but just as welcome “What a CUTE baby”  Everybody says he looks like somebody different, but I see my father-in-law in him a a lot, as well as my older brother Chris. He definitely has my eyes and nose, but he has his daddy’s lips.

January 003 

    James has had an incredibly busy January. We take a walk everyday..Mama doesn’t care how cold it is- the fresh air is vital to sanity.  We had a visit from the Florida Danleys so James tagged along for an ice skating trip but decided just to watch this time.  His favorite outings are to Bergys and the Fun Forest at Chesapeake City Park with Cecilia, Thomas & Rosemary, as well as the Derbys & the Munden little ones.  He experienced his first snow to be quickly followed up with his first 70 degree January day.  Impressively, James has also managed to avoid his 2 month shots. I think he is paying the nurse to keep putting them off.  It started with mixed up Dr. Appt days {mom & dad’s fault}, then a wrong appt time {Doc’s fault} so two weeks later he finally made it to his 2 month appt.  When the fateful moment for the shots arrived, the nurse said we’d have to come back since the drug rep hadn’t come this week {snows fault}. James got a reprieve! We were supposed to go get them today but since Daddy got hit with a 24 hour stomach bug & James & Mama are a little off too we decided to put them off until we are all healthy.

January 153January 078 

 

     I spend my days nursing, reading Sandra Boyton & Eric Carle books, singing some favorites {He’s got the Whole World in His Hands, You are My Sunshine, Jesus Loves Me and other oldies but goodies}, having my hair grabbed and pulled out, being spit up on {but only when I just put on fresh clothes}, living for our daily walks and playdates with friends, sticking out my tongue at the baby {more on that below} calling my mom to ask about anything/everything,  making and eating food with one hand, taking quick showers, stuffing cloth diapers, taking pictures, praying the rosary one decade at a time throughout the day, hoping the baby will sleep juuuuust 15 minutes longer, and complaining that I need a hair cut. I eagerly eat up every smile, laugh, stare and wiggle from him.

January 428

     It has not been all rainbows and baby giggles over here though- we’ve had some seriously trying times here too.  It probably started when we realized James had a tongue tie.  No big deal, we had a lactation consultant come out, verify it, check over our nursing and told us after it was clipped we would have no more problems nursing.  We did the tongue tie clipping when he was about a week and a half old.  It was easy enough and the ENT ensured us he would probably start nursing better that day.  Well he didn’t at all but he was gaining weight and I was not in pain so I tried to ignore it.  Around 6 weeks I had enough and just KNEW something was off. I called my childbirth instructor since she was also training to be a lactation consultant.  After talking to her on the phone and describing how James’ was eating, she assured me it was Acid Reflux. So, we headed to the pediatrician and left with a handy dandy prescription for an acid blocker {which every pharmacy in the Hampton Roads area seemed to be unable to fill but that is another story…} After a couple days on the acid blocker, James was a much happier, calmer baby. Except his nursing still was not right!! I called my childbirth instructor back and begged her to come watch.  She was not here for more than 5 minutes before she assured me I was right, that James could not figure out how to suck. Not when I pumped and used a bottle or with a pacifier either.  I cried tears of validation as I was actually relieved to hear there was something wrong and I was not crazy! Fast forward to lactation consultant number 3, a rather abrupt and less than friendly one, but one that had come highly recommended, she confirmed James’ inability to suck well/effectively/at all but assured us that a simple tongue exercise he could build the muscle tone and should be resolved in a week.  So I  went home and did that tongue exercise religiously.  As well as any other ones I googled under ‘suck training’  I also stick out my tongue at him nearly 24/7 and show him how to wiggle it around.  Amazingly, he copies me and is constantly sticking out and moving his little tongue around. I wish I could say that was the end of the story and that he is all better.  Unfortunately, some days he nurses okay, only to be followed by a couple days of back to lousy nursing.  If you are wondering what that looks like..he basically ‘slurps’ onto my nipple, but can’t maintain any suction. So along with sounding like a squeaky toy, he has zero latch, resulting in lots of air going in and lots of milk dripping out.  This means hours of uncomfortable gas for baby James. And that means misery for Marcus & I. 

January 345

     God has been very present through these little trials.  For starters, most babies with suck disorders are failure to thrive and are unable to gain weight.  So I am thankful for a great milk supply and strong letdown.  And another not-so-small miracle in my book is the lack of pain on my part even though he has a very poor {yes that means RIGHT on my nipple latch..ouch!}  And finally, it was no coincidence when the family I used to nanny for had me over for dinner last week - I remembered that their mama was a Occupational Therapist and so would have to know something about suck training! Sure enough she did, and poured through her textbooks to show me images and ideas to help James. AND wrote down the number for Chesapeake Early Intervention so James can have an OT of his very own come to the house and help him out. I’ve been surrounded my support and encouragement and I know now that it takes a village to help a nursing mama. My sister and brother-in-law are always eager to have me over when Marcus is working, and my mom’s door and upstairs bedroom has been a welcome help during Marcus’ 24 hour shifts as well.  Overall, I know I am so blessed that the only issues we have are so small. Trying, but so so so so small.  Thank you God!

January 011 

     And if you are wondering what a Mama with a baby with a sucking disorder & a firefighter husband look like, I will tell you it has involved a lot of tears.  And maybe the eeeensy weeensy bit of resentment towards to whole stinking Virginia Beach Fire Department when Marcus comes home from work only to go to bed for most of his day off to catch up.  That is hard when we are so eager to have him home and have a little help.  And I am pretty sure Marcus is not getting a kick out of the whole whiney, sleep deprived wife routine but it IS GETTING BETTER!  We are thankful for Marcus’ job no matter how much it throws his sleep outta whack.  Most days I am learning it is all about perspective and being grateful.

January 264 

     So that is the baby update in a {very} small nutshell.  For now, we will continue to work on suck training.  I also do a little mind-over-matter training with my sweet son.  When he is nursing, or anytime he is looking at me.  I smile at him and tell him… you CAN suck. God gave you a PERFECT mouth & tongue. You CAN nurse. Then I go on to tell him “You are kind. You are holy. You are perfect. You are important. You are loved. You are special.  You know, The Help style. Perhaps it is in my head, but I truly believe this is helping his suck, and his overall mood. Maybe it’s because it is helping me to be more positive. 

January 267

    But it is so true. He CAN suck. He is perfect. He is loved. He is precious. He is special. He is important. I love you, James Patrick.

2 comments:

theheartoflifeblog said...

Bubububuhoohoo...sniiiiiffff, whew! I just cried as I was reading this post. What a sweet update on your baby boy! You are a great Mama, Laura. And James is such a blessed little man. Just as soon as my kiddos are over their snotty nose head cold (you definitely do NOT want to add "blow nose 100 times a day" to your workload) we will be all about some playdates and parks and walks and such :) Love you!

Laura said...

Thanks Emily...I am missing the Thompson clan and can't wait to come over. Hope you are not catching the snotties too. Let me know if you need anything! I can drop off tissues and love anytime :)

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