27 November 2009

A BIG reward for Mom

So I may have jinxed myself because yesterday didn’t go as well as the two previous days. Drew was back to his old tricks – hard to settle, over-tired, fussy and insatiable during feed times….damn! I’m leery about feeding him more because he is already taking a good 4-5 oz every 3-4 hours, which should be more than enough at his age. I don’t want to overfeed and then have to scale back because he would be even more of a devil then.

All complaints aside, I am happy to report that my little dude does bestow me with a smile and a coo from time to time. This was the result of me acting like an idiot this morning, making funny faces and noises – amazing what a parent will do to make their kid smile! It reminds me that there is a happy boy in there and that there is light at the end of the colicky tunnel.

26 November 2009

Fingers crossed

By writing this post I hope that I’m not totally jinxing myself!

Drew has been behaving really well for the past two days. All of a sudden he is very eager to take naps during the day and his disposition has improved quite a bit, probably because he isn’t overtired. So far three out of six days on the soy formula have gone very well. While it still takes some coaxing and cuddling to get the little guy down for a nap, I’m able to transfer him off of me once he’s drowsy enough. So long as he’s not crying or screaming, I’m not going to complain.

I still don’t want to read too much into the soy formula switch because he could still have a case of the “Mondays”. I’m wondering if he is simply going through a growth spurt – acting like a madman one day and snoozing for the next few days. Keep those fingers crossed folks! I feel much more human when I can actually catch a little bit of downtime during the day. The fact that I am even able to blog right now seems like a miracle.

24 November 2009

Eau de bébé

You know the sad part about having Drew on soy formula…other than the poop issues? Not only does he smell, but I also go around with the distinct odor of veggie burger on me. I have pretty much given up on looking decent for the foreseeable future because Drew has gotten into the habit of ripping the burp cloth from my shoulder and conveniently spitting up down my cleavage. By the end of the day I’m a stinky, sticky mess!

Yesterday was an absolute nightmare. Andrew decided that it was going to be a grumpy day and was bound and determined to lower my spirits (because newborns are clearly smart enough to be conniving). Poor hubby returned home to two basket cases. Last evening was one of those nights that I just had to take a deep breath, walk away and let Dan get things under control.

I am still undecided as to whether the soy is making a difference on Drew’s demeanor or not. He was beyond fantastic on Sunday and slept most of the day and evening too but yesterday was pure hell…one of his very worst. Today I have a sleepy boy again that has been very easy to settle. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed this much “me” time since before he was born.

This flip flop in attitude makes the formula decision a bit tricky. I’m running out and only have enough soy formula for one more day. I don’t’ want to buy another expensive can if it doesn’t make a difference. I could start him on a hypoallergenic formula that got from my pediatrician to see if things become consistently better. I’m reluctant to switch again and risk hurting his little tummy. Right now I still have to give Drew sugar water to help soften his stools. Maybe the hypoallergenic stuff will make him a little more “regular”. It’s all about trial and error right now. Perhaps he is simply one of those little guys that really misses the womb and hasn’t adjusted well to the world; maybe it’s more psychological than physical. It’s a shame that there aren’t instruction manuals for babies.

For now, I’ll continue to play the guessing game in my quest to “fix” my little guy. Either way, I know that I’ll be wearing some rank form of “Eau de bébé” no matter what he eats.

22 November 2009

Finding the right mix

It has been a while since I’ve posted and, to reward you for your patience and understanding, today’s long-awaited update will be on the topic of POOP…aren’t you glad to checked in?

Last week I brought Drew to the pediatrician for his 1-month checkup. Because he has been acting like psycho baby for several weeks now I decided to mention his fussiness to the doctor. In short, she suggested that I try switching him over to soy-based formula because hubby had a bad allergy to cow’s milk protein when he was a baby and could only take soy. Of course, as luck would have it, I also had a tummy that wouldn’t settle as a newborn; my poor mother must have tried every formula on the market to no avail. It looks like history may be about to repeat itself.

We are now starting day two of the soy trial and it’s difficult to say whether this will be the solution to Drew’s colic. I have noticed that he is far less gassy after feedings however yesterday he was whining and crying due to constipation…I’ve seen my guinea pigs produce heartier poops. While things softened up did a bit better today (thanks to the help of sugar water), he’s letting out a pained high-pitched squeal and seems generally fussy. I have to give the new formula a try for at least a week to determine whether it will help us but I’m not holding out much hope.

I’m beyond frustrated and wish I could find a way to make my boy happy. I could try some other formulas but that would also put his poor little tummy through an uncomfortable adjustment period. My heart truly goes out to any parent that has had to deal with colic; it really is hell.

Please cross your fingers for this tired Momma and for little Drew. If we can’t find a “fix” through new formula, let’s hope he at least outgrows this soon. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – he has far too much of his mother in him!

15 November 2009

Yummy Mummy

I used to laugh at the term “yummy mummy;” now I find myself aspiring to be one. With my c-section scar, flabby belly and extra pounds, I feel about as attractive and appealing as a bucket these days. I’m chomping at the bit to get back to the gym and start whipping my large butt into gear but I still have two more weeks until I can meet with the OB for a post-operative follow-up. Some days I feel ready to run a marathon but, after a few hours spent walking around the mall on the weekend, it’s clear that I’m not even close to healed on the inside.

In an effort to regain at least piece of the “old me,” I had my hair cut in a funky, choppy bob with dark brown lowlights this weekend. I also treated myself to a new outfit which, I am sad to admit, is a good three to four sizes larger than my pre-pregnancy body. I know that it has only been a month since delivery but patience never was my virtue; I want results now!

Despite my less than favourable body image, I did manage to doll myself up this weekend to head out on my first dinner date with hubby since Drew was born. Mom and Dad watched the little “monster” while Dan and I went out to the Byward Market for some yummy Italian food, desert and some early Christmas shopping. It was nice to get out, have adult conversation and split some decent wine. However, despite my best intentions, my mind always kept wandering back to Drew and wondering how he was faring. Of course, he turned out to be a perfect angel for Mom and Dad…just after I have been telling everyone how colicky he is - go figure!

All in all, it was a decent weekend. Despite a few cranky periods with Drew, I also realized that hubs and I can get out and live some of the old life from time to time. Having a baby really does make you appreciate your spouse and quality time together that much more. I also look forward to the age where Drew is a little more settled and calmer to start bringing out with us to enjoy family activities.

13 November 2009

The ladies man

Yesterday Drew had some very special visitors come over – two sweet little gals that are five and six months old. While I was hoping to present a polite little gentleman, sadly he was going through one of his afternoon cranky spells and spent the entire time in my arms with a pacifier. It was wonderful having some adult company during the day and being able to talk to other Moms who have already gone through the confusing newborn stage. I have a feeling I’m going to have to get out more to avoid going stir crazy. Sadly the lack of car in the winter makes getting around a little complicated but hopefully I’ll work something out. Once Drew is three months old and has adjusted to his first round of immunizations I want to start getting him a little more socialized.

I am certainly starting to notice a few trends in our daily activities, although I’m sure these can change on a dime. Right now, as I’m typing, Drew in sitting in swing waving his arms and crossing his eyes. He tends to have a very active period in the morning after he wakes from his nap, he also has regular hiccups during this time which makes it near impossible to settle him back to sleep. It’s only in the past few days that I realized that I should probably introduce playtime while he’s bright eyed and bushy tailed. Yesterday I tried him out on his playmat and he seemed to have a blast…at least I think that’s what the flailing arms and pumping legs mean. As a general rule of thumb, if he isn’t crying than I assume that he’s doing just fine. I don’t want to over-stimulate him at an early age, but I want to make sure that he discovers the world around him and has time to develop. This parenting thing is certainly a work in progress; like Drew, I’m learning and growing each week.

It’s hard to believe that Andrew will be a whole month old on Monday. In some ways I feel like he’s been here much longer as I can’t really remember what life was like before he arrived. The fact that I had two whole weeks off from work before he arrived probably makes the time seem longer. People keep telling me how quickly kids grow and I’m certain I’ll probably feel the same way when I’m heading back to work next year. As he becomes a little more ‘exciting’ I’m sure that time will speed up…go figure. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could simply select how long each stage of our child’s life would last? I think the key is trying to find the good in every stage, even on those days where you think you’ll go bonkers. All Drew has to do is smile at me and I’m a goner.

12 November 2009

My high maintenance man…

I thought women were supposed to be high maintenance, but boys?!?

This week has been a bit of a rollercoaster. Monday and Tuesday could only be described as hell! I was convinced that Andrew has colic as he wailed like a banshee from about 11:00 AM to 9:30 PM. We tried to head out to the mall on Tuesday evening to do a little early Christmas shopping and the excursion ended with both Drew and I in tears. Despite the fact that I managed to successfully feed him at the mall, all thanks to a super duper parenting room, he would not settle afterwards and kept screaming in his stroller. I was so embarrassed as I got those pitying looks from other parents and, I’m sure, eye rolls from others. No folks I don’t hit my baby, he’s just unhappy for no apparent reason.

Yesterday was a complete 180º. Drew slept for most of the day after some pro swaddling, shushing and rocking from Mom. My day pretty much ran on a perfect 3-4 hour cycle: feed for 20 minutes, burp and change for 10 minutes, sooth to sleep for 30 minutes and “me time” for 2 hours. I kept holding my breath and waiting for storm to arrive but it never really did. It’s amazing how a good day makes you feel on top of the world. I was calm, happy and rested. I even managed to go out to dinner at my parents’ place and Andrew was a complete angel, albeit one that still needed soothing and attention. Anything is great in my books, so long as I don’t have to listen to the pained wailing of Monday and Tuesday.

So far today Andrew has had a near carbon copy schedule of yesterday but I don’t want to jinx myself by getting too optimistic. I’d be thrilled if this turns into his actual temperament, however I know that newborns can change on a dime. I’m really hoping that this week’s earlier psycho behavior might be linked to a growth-spurt rather than the onset of colic. For now I’ll simply enjoy the quiet and hope it lasts a while longer. Andrew and I are expecting a visit from some friends and their babies early this afternoon. I’m hoping he behaves like a gentleman for these two little ladies; might as well start early and make a good impression on the gals while he’s young. I’m bound and determined to make him the perfect catch – the quintessential role of all meddling mothers. Some day he’ll be some other woman’s baby ; )

09 November 2009

Does this hazmat suit make me look fat?

Whoever came up with the old “luck of the Irish” adage must have been talking blarney. Maybe I just have a target on my back but I seem to have encountered one annoying setback after another ever since little Andrew came into the world.

This week’s “fun” involved having to be taken care of by my mother on Friday due to either (a) a horrible reaction to the H1N1 vaccination or (b) the possible onset of mastitis. Twenty-four hours after I woke up on Friday, I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I ran a temperature the entire day, accompanied by chills, sweats, shakes, dizziness and fatigue. I could barely take care of myself let alone poor little Drew. Just to make the diagnosis a little more complicated (because I can never keep things simple), I also had a very sore right breast. I knew that mastitis could also cause flu-like symptoms, so it was hard to know whether I was reaction to the previous night’s vaccination or the onset of infection. After 24 hours in bed I thankfully started to feel a little more human, albeit still very rundown. I was terrified of going to a clinic to be assessed due to the big flu scare; instead I called Tele-Health and spent a few hours on the phone only to be told to go to a clinic – sadly my physician’s office had closed for the day by then.

This morning I awoke feeling slightly better than yesterday, although my breast remained sore. I also started to feel a slight tightness or wheezing in my chest. Off to the clinic I went to wait 45 minutes to see doctor for a total of 5 minutes. I was terrified of catching anything from the other patients so I sat like a loner in the corner feeling slightly Darth Vader-esque with my surgical mask on. As I predicted, the doctor simply wrote me out a prescription for some antibiotics and seemed generally apathetic towards my other symptoms or tight chest; he didn’t even listen to my breathing. I also had to persist in asking for the second set of results from a thyroid ultrasound that was taken over a month ago. He totally forgot that I even had been diagnosed with thyroid nodules before my pregnancy….grumble.

While I’m not one to typically knock the medical profession, I’m getting the distinct impression that my doctor just doesn’t have enough time for his patients anymore. It’s not like I’m a hypochondriac either; having a Mom as a nurse I’d like to think that I’m somewhat better informed than the average Joe. I don’t enjoy going to the Doctor, especially in the height of the H1N1 scare; at least take the time to hear my concerns rather than letting me simply self-diagnose and throwing drugs at me….double grumble.

Here’s hoping that this is the last medical setback I encounter for a loooooong time. I’m tired of feeling like a rundown piece of junk! On a more positive note – I’m getting my hair cut and highlighted next Saturday and hubby and I are heading out on the town while Andrew gets babysat. I’m excited as hell for a night off but I’ll probably end up thinking about the little stinker the whole time I’m away.

05 November 2009

The things we do for our children…

Hubby lined up for 90 minutes this morning to get our bracelets for the H1N1 vaccine. It’s sad that he actually had to take time off work to get this accomplished but people have really given in to media fear mongering in Ottawa. Despite the fact that the clinics were “supposed” to only administer the first wave of vaccines to priority groups, they didn’t bother to turn away low-risk candidates. Once the word got out, everyone and their dog was waiting in line to receive their shot.

I am very leery about getting this shot as I tend to react poorly to certain vaccines and some previous flu shots. My only reason for biting the bullet is Andrew. Because he is so little and his immune system isn’t developed, hubs and I are doing this to protect him from coming into contact with the flu. Being that I am also under four weeks post-natal, I am also at increased risk; my body is still trying to heal from the cesarian and I’m running on little sleep.

Please cross your fingers for me. I hope my arm isn’t so sore and swollen that I won’t be able to pick up Drew tomorrow. I already find that the weight of him is starting to put more strain on my body; he’s turning into quite the chunky monkey and can’t seem to eat enough these days.

02 November 2009

Baptism by fire

Dan is back to work today and I have to admit that I was feeling slightly nervous this morning. While I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to stay home for a year with Andrew, the newborn phase isn’t exactly my forte. I find it difficult not always knowing what he wants or rather the fact that he seems to view me as his eternal dance partner. I’ve gotten into the habit of putting on Bob Marley and dancing around the nursery with him which he seems to enjoy – the only problem, now he wants to dance with Mommy all the time! I suppose I should enjoy it while it lasts because one day he won’t want to dance with me anymore and the thought actually breaks my heart.

My first day at home alone has not been without its difficulties. Of course, Andrew decided to play “psycho baby” while Dad is away and has been fussing, crying and demanding more food on an hourly basis. I don’t want to overfeed, so I’m trying every trick in the book to get him to settle and hold out until the two-hour mark. The sheet for Ottawa Public Health suggests feeding formula every 3-4 hours but Andrew is having none of that today; I’m starting to think he’s going through an early growth spurt but I was under the impression that was supposed to happen at three weeks of age, not two. My little piggy is already eating about eight to ten 3 oz feedings in a 24 hour period…got to go now, he is crying...again!


And here I am about six hours later completing my post; this should give you some indication of just how challenging Drew has been today. M little angel tuned into the bloody devil! I have never been so happy to see Dan home from work. I survived but it certainly was a lesson in patience. I’ve got to just keep lovin' on the little guy and I hope that this uber bad mood is just a passing phase or growth spurt and not the onset of colic.

P.S. The above picture is of happier happier days (AKA yesterday) when Andrew went for his first spin in the stroller. Sadly, I look far less serene today!

01 November 2009

Wine time!

Tonight I have decided to return to my long-anticipated treat – drinking wine!

One of the benefits of being on formula now is that I can actually enjoy a glass of the good stuff without having to worry about it leeching into my breast milk. While I hope Andrew can one day appreciate wine as much as his father and I do but I’m certainly not willing to give him his first taste just yet!

For roughly 10 months I have been staring at my wine rack and whimpering over an old bottle of Chianti. As luck would have it, hubby and I received a few very nice bottles only a few weeks before I got pregnant. To add insult to injury, my brother, not really thinking, purchased a $50 LCBO gift certificate for my birthday…sigh.

So tonight I will make my triumphant return to the world of vino, provided that Andrew lets me have some down time. I’m sure that one glass will have me feeling tipsy after my long hiatus; it will undoubtedly be the best darn glass of wine I have ever tasted!


Andrew was acting a little cranky during dinner so I did what any other desperate new Mom would do...multitask! Nothing litle a good snuggle and some wine at the same time.