Today, I'm doing a "catch up" post. Since one of the main reasons for me starting this blog is to chronicle our new family of three, I'm feeling about three months behind. So, please beware that the following post is going to be extra long.... Here we go.
This is Cale's birth announcement. I had already picked out a general design, so when Cale arrived, all I had to do was fill in the information. I just love the sweet picture of him. It looks like he is praying so hard! :)
The night we got home from the hospital, I was ready to be out in some sort of social environment (imagine that). We loaded up Cale and took him to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants. Of course we covered his car seat so that he would not be exposed to all of the germies!
The second night he was home with us, we decided to get brave and bathe him. We had to basically give him a sponge bath (because of his umbilical cord), and I think he got really cold. Clearly, he was not a happy boy.
As soon as we wrapped him in a towel, he was MUCH better!
Adam and I celebrated our 6 year anniversary on April 2nd. We thought it would be fun to take Cale with us on a date - all he did was sleep the whole time.
A few days later, we decided to try out the Baby Bjorn. We knew it might swallow him, but we thought we'd go on a walk and see how he would do. We got to the end of our street, and Cale completely zonked out on us! I know he doesn't look to comfortable, but clearly that doesn't bother him!
Next on the agenda (well, about 3 weeks later) was a haircut. Now, I know that this seems absurd to think about cutting a 3.5 week old little boy's hair. In most cases, it is absurd.
In our case, it was SO necessary.
Check out the before pic...
Yes, there is a mullet starting to form! We had to take some off the back of his neck and around his ears.
Now, the next thing most people ask is if I cut his hair myself. My response is, "Are you CRAZY?" I don't trust myself to cut hair in the first place - much less, my sweet little boy's hair! I called the girl who does my hair and told her our situation. She was SO excited. He was her youngest client ever (not really hard to take that title)! It was so sweet - he slept on Adam's chest the whole time!
Brace yourself. The picture you are about to see is of the same 3.5 week old. Although he does look like a 5 month old, I promise I took this picture the next day!
Road Bump #1:
It was about week four (right after his haircut) when things started to go down hill. Because of some milk supply issues I was having, we were having to supplement with formula. After I had bathed him one night and was getting him dressed, I noticed a red rash all over his neck and chest. I didn't think too much of it since I had just bathed him. It didn't go away for several days, and I finally decided to call the doctor. The nurse told me to watch it and if in two weeks it had not gone away, call back. A few nights later, Cale started screaming...and wouldn't stop. The next morning we called the doctor. She suggested it might be colic, and assured me that he would grow out of it. In the meantime, we could try and feed him a hypo-allergenic formula. She suspected that he could be allergic to cow's milk protein, which also goes hand-in-hand with a soy milk protein allergy. The good news is, there is hope this allergy would disappear around 3 or 4 months of age. We did start to notice a bit of a difference, but he still screamed a lot. It was the kind of scream that is so alarming, we just knew something was NOT right. After a week of lots of screaming, Adam decided we needed to take him in to see the doctor.
Road Bump #2:
We spent an hour discussing Cale's symtoms with the doctor. She told us that she would like to start him on Prevacid and see if we notice a difference. Adam, who is one year away from being a pharmacist, was tracking with her and immediately began to ask questions about reflux. I was so confused - I thought reflux was when babies actually spit up. Cale never was a big spitter-upper. Who knew there was something called "silent reflux". The doctor said that sometimes, babies stomach acid will come back up into their throat and stop there. Therefore, these babies would still be in a lot of pain, but we wouldn't see any spit up to help us diagnose common reflux. Hopeful the medicine would work, we decided to give it a shot.
Now, 8 weeks later, we are praising the Lord for medicine. Prevacid has been the miracle drug in Cale's life. After one week of being on Prevacid, we had a different baby on our hands.
Road Bump #3:
Adam and I spent a lot of time "preparing" to become parents. I'm smiling as I type this, because I have learned (and I'm sure I will continue to learn) that you can't really ever be prepared to be a parent. Well, if I there was such a thing as being a prepared parent, I was determined to be one. We read the books, we listed to the tapes, we went to the classes, we met with couples who were one step ahead of us in the parenting process. Yep, we were going to be pros...ha, ha, ha!
I was sold on on the Babywise method (I know there are mixed opinions out there). Being a type A person, I thrive on schedules, and knew that in order for me to function well, I would need to implement a schedule for my child. This is great in theory and works well for many families - families whose children don't have reflux.
One thing the Babywise series emphasizes is sleep training and developing good sleep habits. They are advocates of letting babies learn to self-soothe by crying-it-out. I had seen this work many times with many families - I knew it worked. But, because Cale had reflux, extended periods of crying would aggravate his reflux pain and it would be a slippery slope from there. So, not only were we not able to sleep train, but we were having to use "sleep props" to get Cale to sleep! I was panicking! I just knew that this is what we would be doing to get him to sleep until he went off to college :) Dramatic, I know, but it did cross my mind.
Last week, we got the "okay" from the doctor to go ahead and start letting him learn to self-soothe. I'm proud to say that one week into it, if he cries at all, he only cries for 2-5 minutes max before falling asleep. Victory! Now, if I could only get him to nap longer than 45 minutes at a time. I guess there is time to work on that!