Monday, September 12, 2011
OK, so something is up with Sir Finn and I can't figure out what it is. All of a sudden over the last week, he's had a really hard time sleeping at night, which is coinciding with him swallowing LOADS of air when he's nursing. I have a distinct feeling that the two are related and that he's super uncomfortable when he tries to lay back down after a meal. I've tried burping him for upwards of 45 minutes after he eats, but more often than not, I can't get a single burp out of the little stinker. It's SO frustrating to be able to hear the air being sucked like a vacuum into his little belly and to be able to do nothing to help. I've tried burping him immediately after he swallows it, but to no avail. This week has also heralded the onset of a new talent by the little man - projectile vomiting. All of this has occurred during a week bookended by two weekends full of unfamiliar people and places, so I wonder if that has anything to do with it.
I also have another hunch that I think may be playing a part in his ongoing digestive dilemma...his belly button. This little dude has one heck of an umbiculus. For the first few weeks after he was born, it was "normal" - the little stump fell off all on its own (and was then consumed by our dog, but that's another story), and then all of a sudden, kaboom! It explodes into what Chad is calling "Ziggy's nose" after the comic strip character. It completely dwarfs his poor little penis, and I would totally post a photo here, but man this poor kid is already going to have to go to therapy for me blogging about him on a national stage. I don't need to put him through that, too. After googling umbilical hernias (what did we ever do before google???), we realized that it's totally normal and will likely resolve itself within a year. We asked around, we actually know a mom who's son had one that went away at 3 months and another who still has one. Our medical provider assured us that it's no big deal unless it becomes hot, hard, and oozy. So far, so good. But you know, the more I think about it, the more I think it must disrupt his little digestion. I mean, think about it - you're a brand new person in the world and that's hard enough, but then to have some of your intestines bulging into a little space that they're not supposed to be in...I don't know, I think that would bother me. Sometimes, I notice that when I push in his belly button, it seems to relieve his crying and sometimes he lets some gas out. Now, this may just be coincidence, but I find it really hard to believe that it's not causing some sort of hiccup in his digestion. I certainly don't think this happens to every child who has a herniated belly button, but I really, really think it's the case with Finn. Not that there's anything we can do about it - it just gives me a little bit of comfort that maybe we have an answer for SOMEthing.
In the meantime, I think I'm going to call a lactation consultant to try to solve the mystery of the sudden penchant for swallowing huge amounts of air. It's not a good time for mommy when, after a blissful five hours of continuous sleep, the rest of the night is broken up into 1 hour unhappy chunks.
I'm pretty sure that he may also have some allergies brewing, but I'm going to take one step at a time for now and hope that his watery eyes, sneezing, and stuffy nose are all figments of my imagination.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
First published on NPR's Baby Project
It's so hard to believe that Finn has only been a part of our lives for a little over 8 weeks, and even harder to believe it's been 8 weeks already! I sometimes find it impossible to remember what I did with my days before he was born — but then I catch myself strategizing how to put him down for a second, just to do the dishes or run the vacuum.
During these past 8 weeks, I feel like we've learned the basics of what it takes to be a parent — and then relearned them all again as things change over and over. And that what worked yesterday is not going to work tomorrow (that was Lesson Numero Uno). I've also learned just how little sleep I can survive on, what a kick-ass partner I have, and that I just shouldn't count how many bodily fluids I have gotten on myself in any given day.
I've learned the Happiest Baby 5 S's, how to swaddle with the best of them, exactly how long Finn will tolerate the Moby Wrap, and how to do almost everything while holding a screaming or nursing baby.
I've learned something from every woman on this blog, as well as those who have taken the time to leave comments. I read every single comment on my colic postand tried most of the suggestions (which is just about the time I learned Lesson Numero Uno).
I've learned how little sleep I can function on, where my breaking point is, and how to be gentle with myself when I've reached it. I've learned that I had no idea how fiercely I could love until I met Finn.
I've learned to forgive myself and Chad for not having all the answers, and I've learned to listen to others when they might have an answer that works.
I've learned that it drives me CRAZY when people smile or laugh when they hear Finn crying, but that I totally do the same thing with other people's children. I've learned that I am a walking, talking contradiction every day, and dread the day when Finn realizes and calls me on it.
I've learned that I'm not perfect, that I can be resentful, and that sometimes I wish I could just go for a bike ride or spend a few minutes alone without advanced planning. But I know, I KNOW that this will all be worth it.
I've learned how to look forward to every single day that I get to spend with this little miracle, and I've learned to remind myself to cherish every moment, though I know I won't.
Finally, I've learned how much I like writing about this experience, and how taking the time to reflect on what's going on helps to put it all into perspective. I've realized how much I look forward to sitting down and writing, no matter how little time I have, and how I compose when I'm nursing at 3 a.m. or walking the dog. I've realized that I have a lot to say, and whether or not it's on a nationally publicized blog, I want to keep doing it ...
... so I created a blog, Growing up Vinalhaven. I hope I can stay as true to it as I have to this one — I have not been the most consistent blogger in the past. Either way, this has been one hell of a trip, and I'm grateful to NPR, to the blog hosts, to the other moms, and to the readership who has been so supportive. It's been a pleasure to have been a part of the Baby Project.