Friday, March 15, 2013

One Month

It's hard to believe, but Carter turns one month old today!  Granted, it's a bit of a cheat since February is shorter and his "one month" is two or three days less than it would be had he been born in any other month, but in any event, he's still four weeks old at the very least!  And now, officially, here is his one-month shot...

I didn't do these monthly shots with Jacob, probably because that was pre-Facebook, pre-Pinterest, pre-mommy blog reading, so I don't think I was even really aware of that trend at the time.  As the first-born, there are a lot of advantages Jacob has had...but I suppose the second-born gets the benefit of anything we think we need to do better, and this is one of those instances!  I had him in his adorable coming-home outfit today, partly in preparation for this picture, but he was too sleepy earlier in the day so I didn't have a chance to take it.  We went out this afternoon to pick up Jacob and take a trip to Target, and the second we got home, he did a massive blowout up his back.  I did snap a few pictures quickly before I changed the outfit, but he was miserable so we did a re-take later in the outfit I hurriedly picked out while cleaning up the disaster that is currently soaking in OxyClean in the stationary tub.  Perhaps some of the outtakes will show up in another post, since I'm way overdue for some photos on here.  Sorry about that.

Anyway...If you would have asked me at any point in the last few weeks how I felt the first month had gone, I would have told you that it went really, really well.  Obviously he started out healthier than Jacob, and the sleep deprivation and overall frustration with having a helpless, new baby was minimal compared to what we experienced last time.  Aside from Jacob's lackluster response to his little brother, I couldn't have asked for anything more.

However, the past few days have been challenging, to say the least.  I don't know what changed, but all of a sudden the minor discomfort that Carter had been having turned into a major problem.  Previously he'd just be upset if he was hungry or if he was having one of his twice daily gassy periods, but suddenly he was miserable most of the time--including during feedings and when he was trying to nap.  He was spitting up a lot, as well, which was getting to be awfully frustrating for both of us.  Since his next doctor's appointment wasn't until next Friday, I called the doctor yesterday morning to see if they would be willing to get him going on reflux meds now, so we'd have some idea of how things were working by next week.  They asked me to bring him in, and while he looks good and is still gaining weight (he's up to eight pounds--big enough for the Baby Bjorn and the Moby wrap!), all of the symptoms I described indicate he's not comfortable, so they started him on Zantac.  Jacob was on that for quite a while, as well, though he didn't start it until he was probably around eight months, as I recall.

Jacob was miserable pretty early on, but I think at the time we thought it might be a cow's milk protein sensitivity, and maybe a touch of colic.  We used gripe water back then, which seemed to help, but the reflux didn't get diagnosed until far later.  A bout of bronchiolitis around eight weeks started a cough that lasted from August until May.  They kept telling us the cough would hang out for a while, but it never did go away.    I think we went to the specialist and did all the testing in February, and that's when they told us he had slow stomach emptying and reflux, which was causing the irritation in his throat that caused the cough.  That led to a couple years of medication, and he still has issues with coughs lasting longer than usual.  Hopefully this time around we're just dealing with reflux (and not all of the respiratory issues), but there's a chance it could be the cow's milk protein sensitivity, which means that I'd have to give up dairy so it stops showing up in my breastmilk.  The thought of that kills me, though I have already switched to rice milk and I'm trying to avoid ice cream, yogurt, and other dairy in large doses for the time being.  We'll see how things go with the medication before I go nuts with that, though.

The first couple doses of Zantac have been hard to get down.  I don't know if it's the taste or if it's just that he's not used to swallowing anything that he didn't suck out himself.  He spit up right after this morning's dose, and last night was horrible, so I decided to give him some gripe water, which I've used a couple times already in the past few days, just to try to maintain some sort of sanity today.  Hard to tell if anything's making a difference, but he did seem a little more peaceful while eating after the gripe water.  I know that I can't rely on that, at least not yet, since we need to see how the Zantac does by itself, but it can't do any good if it's not in his body.  So, gripe water it is.

As I said, last night was pretty horrible.  I made the mistake of staying up a little later than usual, and he woke up a little while after I went to bed.  So, I probably didn't get to bed until around 1am, and then he was up at 3:45, and again at 6, and again at 7:30.  I tried to sneak in a little more sleep after that feeding, but managed maybe an hour before he was up again.  Each time it got harder to get up and get him, and I'll admit by the feeding after my little nap, I was miserable.  Hence the gripe water.

He spent some time the last couple days snoozing away in the Moby wrap.  I seem to have mostly gotten the hang of tying it (in case you're unaware, it's one GIANT strip of fabric that you tie into a carrying apparatus), and so far he seems nice and cozy in it.  I feel sort of "earth mothery" in it--baby wearing is a very granola thing to do--but I can see it coming in very handy.  I still have the Bjorn and will probably feel better using that for certain things since it's a bit more structurally sound, but the Moby is a little comfier for hanging out around the house.  I even made some simple three ingredient cookies this afternoon while wearing him.

Anyway, I'm coming off the first month feeling a little (or a lot) discouraged by the last few days.  It's such a shame, because the first month really was pretty great, all things considered.  It's just hard when you felt like you actually had a pretty decent handle on your newborn, and suddenly you feel like you don't know him at all.  I know that's the nature of parenthood--that things are always changing and everything is just a phase--but it pains me to see Carter so miserable, and I feel so powerless to help him.   We'll see if the Zantac and/or gripe water continue to do the trick, and hopefully month two can be just as successful as month one.

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