Croup

We’ve had a week from absolute hell.  Poor Nate came down with the croup overnight Sunday last week.  We spent the majority of Monday in the ER.  We were back and forth twice because he wasn’t having any wet diapers.  Tuesday night I woke up because he was making strange gurgling noises in his sleep.  When I turned on the light his lips were blue.  A trip in an ambulance, another ER visit.  Basically he just has a really bad case of croup.  It’s been over a week now and the poor thing is still sick, but getting better.  Now he’s basically coughing and a bit snotty, so that’s a huge improvement.

Unfortunately by Tuesday I was sick as well…and I’m still sick.  I’m just glad he’s starting to feel better!

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Babywearing

I will never forget the first few weeks of my son’s life.  He cried.  I cried at least as much.  His doctor thought I was just a typical first time mom.  She told me that babies cry…it’s too soon for colic…etc.  And of course Nate was always on his best behavior when I took him for a check up.  After 3 maddening weeks they decided his spitting up and screaming weren’t normal-he had reflux.  They put him on medication and thought things would improve.

At 4 weeks old during an outing to the grocery store, my son stopped breathing, his eyes fixed in one spot, and he went limp in my arms.  He started breathing after about a minute but was listless.  A 9-1-1 call and ambulance ride later, he was admitted to the PICU.  He had numerous tests including a CT scan, ultrasound, blood tests, and a sleep study.  Long story short-his reflux is severe and interrupts his breathing and slows his heart rate on occasion.  He also has periods of apnea, mostly while he’s sleeping.  We left the hospital 4 days later on an apnea/heart rate monitor.

Fast forward two months and we’re back in the hospital.  This time Nate had a choking episode and turned white.  Needless to say he’s still on a monitor and medications.

How does this relate to babywearing you ask?  Simple.

I tried wearing Nate as a newborn.  He hated the sling, which was all I had at the time, and after he was placed on the monitor, he would always come unplugged and set the alarm off.  I purchased a moby wrap when he was about 7 weeks old and he loved it.  He has always had trouble sleeping with the reflux and being carried helps him spit up less and be more comfortable in general.  Both of us enjoy the closeness and cuddling time, and he cries much less when I wear him.

That isn’t the best part though.

My son has now been on the monitor for over 3 1/2 months.  Some days he sets it off 20 or more times, almost always when he is sleeping alone or not being held.  When he is cozy in his wrap with mommy he hardly ever sets it off!  I think it is similar to how preemies react to kangaroo time-his vital signs stabilize and his breathing is more normal.  I have also started cosleeping, and with the combination of the two we now have days without any alarms!

I always felt babywearing was important for both my son and myself, but I didn’t realize it would be LIFE CHANGING.

Happy International Babywearing Week!!!

Tongue-tied

When I was still pregnant, I started going to La Leche League meetings to learn more about breastfeeding.  After speaking with other moms I knew that the journey of breastfeeding is not always easy, and I didn’t expect it to go absolutely perfect.  But I also didn’t expect it to be quite as hard as it has been.

Right from the start we struggled.  Nate would latch but wasn’t getting enough.  Nobody knew why…they said he was a lazy eater.  It didn’t make sense to me, but not knowing much better I went with it.  The day came when we were to leave the hospital, and they told me until he wet two more diapers, he couldn’t leave.  The RN told me to give him formula…just a little bit to help him out.  After hours of crying on both Nate and my parts, I gave in.  He had 1/2 ounce of formula.  He wet his two diapers and we were allowed to leave.  I still feel bad about that formula on his tiny sensitive tummy.  But I guess it came down to either that or him being kept in the hospital and me being sent home.

By the second day after he was born I realized my soreness was no longer just soreness.  I cried every time he latched.  I dreaded feeding him.  The lactation consultant at the hospital said my nipples looked fine.  I swear she was looking at someone elses nipples!

The day after we came home I went to see another lactation consultant.  She told me I had severe damage to my nipples.  Then she looked at my son.  Within two seconds she found the problem.  He was tongue tied, and pretty severely.  How they didn’t catch that at the hospital I don’t know.

Fast forward 9 weeks.  We sit at the specialists office while they tell me what a simple procedure it is….no blood…just a pinch.  My poor son screamed hysterically, I was crying, and he was BLEEDING all over the place.  I was so glad when I could scoop him up and run from the office.  I couldn’t even nurse him for 20 minutes afterwards.

Nate had a swollen mouth for well over a week and had trouble latching for at least as long.  And because of the tongue tie causing problems for so long, my supply suffered as well…something we’re still working on.

All I know is despite the problems, it has been worth it!!!

Love

I never truly realized how deep my love would be for my son.  I mean, of course I knew I would love him.  I knew that the second I laid eyes on him I would fall in love.  But I thought I had been in love before, and what I felt when I saw my son for the first time, well, it just can’t be compared to anything else.

He makes my heart melt.   He takes my breath away.  When I see him the whole world stops and I see nothing but him.  It made me realize that I NEVER knew true love until Nathanial was in my life.

My heart breaks when I have to leave him.  I have moments of panic when I’m at work.  When I start my nearly hour long commute back home I have constant butterflies in my chest and belly.  I just can’t get there soon enough.  After parking my car I practically sprint inside so I can hold him and snuggle him and examine him to make sure he’s just as I left him.

I know someday he will not need me as deeply, and I am sad thinking of that day.  But for now, my little snuggle bunny thinks I am the best thing EVER, and I will cherish every moment I have with him, even the tear filled ones.