Thursday, March 21, 2013

Current State of Affairs

I guess it's been a while since I've done a general update.  I'm nearly five weeks through my maternity leave, which is crazy.  I have one more week of leave plus I'm taking one week of vacation.  Hard to believe that in two weeks I'll be handing my sweet baby over and spending my days at work. I had a little panic moment yesterday thinking about it, with the fear of losing my spot as the center of Carter's world.  I am pretty much it right now, particularly since Craig has been sick with a cold and eye infection for the last few days so he's been keeping his distance.  The thought of someone else spending all day with him, the thought of someone else potentially getting that first smile, that's the stuff that bothers me about daycare.  I know that in the end it's cool to have other people that love your kid nearly as much as you do, but making that transition is tough.  I'm also not looking forward to the added stress of having to be up extra early despite being up a couple hours in the night, then spending all day trying to focus on my work in between pumping sessions and sleepy moments, then coming home to make dinner and squeeze out a little time with my boys.  Yuck.

Carter is adorable as ever, but he's a challenge at times.  He's been on the Zantac for nearly a week now, and he can almost get it down without gagging.  It's hard to tell if it's working.  For a few days he seemed pretty good--less spitting up, more comfortable while nursing--but since yesterday he's been a little off again.  I did have some rather cheesy mac and cheese for lunch yesterday, so perhaps it is the cow's milk protein issue.  Boo.  But still, when he's bothered, the symptoms match reflux.  I'm trying not to do the gripe water at least until tomorrow's doctor's appointment, but depending on the results there, I'll be tempted to go back to using it more and see if we can find a good mix of treatments that make even the reduced amount of dairy I take in less of an issue.  It's hard to pull it all out of my diet, and I know eventually with Jacob we found a good happy medium where I didn't have to give everything up, so I'm hopeful. 

He has a couple gassy periods a day, and a couple periods where I think he's just extra tired.  He eats every couple hours on average during the day, but periodically naps long enough to push off to three hours, especially if we go out somewhere and he sleeps through it.  At night he's usually going 3-4 hours between feedings, which means I average about 5-6 hours of sleep per night.  It's manageable, but night feedings are still hard and I need to force myself to bed around 10pm if I want any shot of feeling decent by the time he first wakes up.  I'm hoping for a miracle by the time I go back to work, that he'll drop a feeding so I can get a good span of sleep in there somewhere.  I'm still convinced that longer spans of uninterrupted sleep are as important as extra hours of sleep. I'd also like him to eat less frequently during the day because I know I can't pump nearly enough for five (!) feedings.  I don't even think I have enough for three.  We have to consider working formula into the mix at some point soon, but I feel very conflicted about it for some reason (hello, did I learn nothing from last time around?), and the cow's milk protein issue makes formula feeding a little more complicated and potentially a lot more expensive.

Napping during the day is a bit of a challenge for him at times.  He'll sleep on me, or sometimes in the Boppy next to me.  He will fall asleep in his swing or vibrating seat, and usually his car seat knocks him out hardcore.  He sleeps like a log when we're out, most of the time.  He doesn't usually sleep well in the pack and play, which I think is a reflux thing since he has to lay flat.  I think swaddling offsets that a bit at night, but I choose not to do that during the day because I want the swaddle and his crib to signal night for him, so he sleeps best then.  He's sleeping on me in the Moby wrap right now, and he did a whole outing to Craig's big fundraising event in the Baby Bjorn the other night, waking up only at the end.

An issue that surfaced in the last couple days is that I think he has a blocked tear duct.  His eye looked a little extra watery and yesterday it got a little goopy, too.  We were a little nervous because of Craig's eye infection, but the blocked tear duct makes sense.  Hopefully we can massage the duct and use a warm washcloth on it and it will clear up.  I feel like Jacob might have had one of these, but I don't think I ever blogged about it to know when it was or how long it lasted.  Between that and the constant peeling of skin on his forehead, he's a bit of a mess at times.  But he's so sweet.  Exhibit A...

Seriously...does it get any better than this?
He's still a tiny little peanut, but I can definitely tell he's getting bigger.  His face is fuller and his diapers are definitely not having to be cinched as tight.  However, he still doesn't fit in his 0-3 month clothes, aside from the Gerber onesies that he's been wearing from the beginning under his newborn outfits.  The newborn stuff is starting to get a little tighter in the length and the sleeves are getting shorter.  The transition into the bigger clothes might be a little awkward since his pants are still so big!

The other issue right now is that he cluster feeds at night.  From about 6-9pm, he usually eats every hour or so, which makes dinner and Jacob's bedtime a little challenging.  Nursing in general is better, at least when he's not having trouble with reflux or whatever.  His latch is improving and he is getting downright cute at times when he's eating.  He'll sort of attack it sometimes with this eager face, and it totally makes me laugh.  He'll suck away contentedly with his eyes wide open, and it's moments like that that remind me why I did this for 14 months last time.  But the cluster feeding is exhausting, and when he's not nursing well, it's hard to sit there for a half hour of putting him on, taking him off, burping him, and catching spit-up.  I keep myself occupied with my iPod Touch--lots of games and social media--and my laptop and TV during the day, but it's still a challenge.

Jacob is ever-so-slightly better.  He's still pretty much ignoring Carter and we're still getting some questionable reports from daycare, but once in a while he'll at least refer to Carter in conversation or ask a question about him.  He's still battling us on things, but I feel like he's a little better than he was about everything.  I still think he'll get there once Carter can respond to him, and hopefully a few years from now they will be best of friends and we'll be laughing at how brutal he was when Carter first arrived.

Overall, things are good.  We're looking forward to Easter in another week and wishing that the weather would start improving.  Spring started yesterday but it's not going to feel like it anytime soon, which is a huge departure from this time of year the last couple years, when we had great weather right around Easter time.  We're managing the sleep deprivation and dealing with the challenges of life with two kids.  I'm trying to savor these last couple weeks off and appreciate this precious time alone with Carter, despite the issues he's having.  He's still an adorable, amazing little man in spite of those issues, and I'm so grateful for this time, because before we know it, he's going to be running around and we'll wonder where this time went!

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