Sunday, January 25, 2009

A rough week. . .

This is our only photo from the week. I could have taken more, but they would have just been of a screaming baby. Graydon, and therefore the rest of us, have had a tough week. I noticed an increase in his fussiness last week, but it wasn't until the beginning of this week that I realized that it had been days since he's had any happy awake time. Literally, if he was awake then he was crying. I started to think that he might have colic except that colic symptoms seem to peek at a certain time in the day whereas Graydon was upset ALL day. Here are some other symptoms of his:
* arching his neck/back when eating or being held
* lots of spitting up
* wakes up with an intense cry
* pretty gassy
* lots of hiccups that seem to bother him
By Thursday, I decided that he needed to be seen by the doctor to rule out anything major. Not only was Graydon in misery, but I was starting to lose it. I cried every time he did, sometimes out of compassion for Graydon and many times out of feeling overwhelmed and tired. At times I thought it'd be easier if he was my first child because I could give him undivided attention. . . but then I decided it's probably good that he wasn't my first because I would have felt like a total failure as a mother - unable to keep my baby happy. Anyway, we got in to the doctor right away and it turns out that Graydon has reflux. She prescribed Zantac and told us that if it's going to help, we'll see results in 2-3 days. That was three days ago. Thankfully, it does seem to be helping. There are still some fussy times, but Graydon is much easier to console. And, we're seeing more happy awake times again. I pray that things continue to get better.

Onto some good news. . . I think that Graydon smiled at me today - twice! It's a little early and I guess I'm not postive that they were deliberate, but the first one occurred when I was playing with him and clapping his hands. The second time while I was talking to him. Very cute! And, he did really well in his bath tonight. No crying! After I got him dried off and dressed, I propped him up on his boppy and watched as Bella entertained him. It was a lovely way to end the evening.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hanging in there. . .

Graydon seems to have made some good progress in figuring out his days and nights. He pretty consistently goes back to sleep after each night feeding - which I'm very grateful for. He's still waking up every 2.5 to 3.5 hours, but he's still a newborn, so I'll cut him some slack. :) I think that keeping up with this blog is a good thing for me or else these early days would fade into one big blur if I didn't take time to document some of this stuff.

With more wakeful times during the day, we've also noticed more fussiness from Graydon this week. He's also been nursing pretty frequently. I did a little research and have decided that he's in a growth spurt. I thought that the first one didn't occur until around 6 weeks; but I read that there is actually one between 2 and 3 weeks. Looks like we're right on schedule for that. I keep thinking that Graydon is older than 18 days. Time has been moving pretty slowly for me with each day blurring into the next. Without any big chunks of sleep at night, I really feel how long a 24 hr. period is. I'm hoping that our next child is born in the spring/summer when the days last longer and you can go outside. I haven't gotten out much lately, though we did take a trip to the mall. Next week, I do have plans to get out of the house. . . with both kids. I think I'm ready.

We had another doctor check-up on Monday. Everything is still great. Graydon is up to 7 lbs. 12 oz. Our doctor put him on his belly and Graydon looked like he was trying to do the worm across the table!
Onto this week's photos. . .

Here's Bella and Daddy doing tummy time with Graydon.
Content on the floor during what we refer to as "happy awake time". "Take a picture of me!" It is still easier than ever to get pics of Bella lately. I love it!Me and my little guy! I'm always the one taking the photos, but I didn't want to forget to get pics of me with Graydon while he's still so little. And yes, those circles under my eyes are there to stay until I start getting more sleep. Another 'happy awake time' in the pack n' play. Bella - post bath, pre getting dressed. Of course, she wanted her picture taken again. Bella loves her little brother!
He's mesmerized by something that Bella is doing.
Graydon's umbilical cord stump fell off on Friday which made him officially ready for a real bath in the tub. We took a little too long in getting Graydon in and he ended up peeing all over me, Andy, and the bathroom. Got me straight in the back as I was leaning over the tub to check the water temperature. Should have known better. As you can see from this photo, Graydon did not enjoy this experience. Poor baby. Bella didn't like baths at first either but soon enough she grew to love them. I think that Graydon will too. . . eventually.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A big sister is born. . .

Bella has definitely embraced her role as big sister. She has a lot of love for her little brother and is quite the helper to me. When it's diaper changing time, she likes to push her step stool over to the changing table so that she can get me a diaper and then hold Graydon's hand during the change. He's still not the greatest fan of diaper changes, so she will sometimes rub his head and tell him it's OK. Very sweet. I haven't really noticed much jealousy yet, but there are times when I am feeding Graydon and Bella wants me to do something with her and I just can't. She's learning some lessons in patience. As soon as I'm done with Graydon though, I really try to give her some undivided attention. So far, I think that things are going as well as can be expected.

Here are some photos of Bella and Graydon from the week.
We had Graydon's five-day check-up on Monday. Everything looks great! We were pretty shocked by his weight. He was 7 lbs. 1 oz. at birth. By the time we left the hospital on Friday, he was 6 lbs. 12 oz. This appt. was three days later and his new weight was 7 lbs. 8 oz. That's a 12 oz. gain in 3 days! Our doctor said that for breastfed babies, they usually like to see them regain their birthweight by two weeks. Clearly, that is not an issue for Graydon!

Bella took this photo from Graydon's first doctor visit.Daddy giving Graydon his first bottle. I initially intended to wait on giving Graydon a bottle until he was 2-3 weeks old, but by the time he was 5 days old, I really needed a break. Up until that point, he would not take any pacifiers. . . he just wanted me. When it started to become painful for me, I knew that we needed to give him a bottle. So I pumped. I am very relieved that he can go back and forth with no problem. We'll probably give him one bottle a day now. This also gives Andy the chance to feed Graydon once in a while.
And, we can't forget about Bella. Before Graydon was even born, she told me several times how much she wanted to feed the baby. She's a natural little mommy.We said goodbye to Kristen on Tuesday. That evening, Andy had two meetings at church. I was on my own for the first time. It went well. Bella fell asleep on the couch at 7pm and Graydon was pretty laidback as well.Here is Graydon in one of his rare awake moments during the day. He seems to have gotten his days and nights flipped. He sleeps like a rock during the day. At night, he'll still sleep, but it's a little more restless and he doesn't always fall asleep right away after each feeding. Some nights have been better than others. Since he is such a great day sleeper, I feel pretty confident that, once we get the days and nights straightened out, he'll become a good night sleeper. Hopefully.Here are a couple of unsuccessful attempts to keep him awake during the day.

Attempt #1: Prop him up on the couch. Attempt #2: Tummy time on the activity mat.I'll keep trying. Eventually, we'll get there.

Here he is awake in my arms one evening. He seems to begin to perk up around 6pm. . . just as I'm starting to feel pretty tired. Bella posing for a picture. Now that Bella sees us taking so many photos of Graydon, she actually wants us to take her picture too. I guess having another child is the secret to getting your kid to cooperate with picture-taking.Just like with Bella, I'm taking a photo of Graydon next to his bear each month. It will be fun to watch the progression of his growth. And of course, Bella wanted to get her picture taken with Graydon. I lost count of how many times she took the bear off the chair.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

It's a BOY!!!

We are home from the hospital and enjoying life as a family of four! Here's a little recap of the day Graydon was born.

Before heading off to the hospital, we decided to take one last photo of the belly. Here I am on the morning of December 31st. 41 weeks pregnant.We arrived at the hospital around 5:20am. They immediately put us in a room and gave me a robe to change in to. Once I was settled in, I was given an IV and hooked up to a fetal monitor. I loved having that monitor. I could look over and see the baby's heartrate any time I wanted, which really helped me to relax - knowing that everything was fine in there. Shortly after 7am, Andy got changed into his scrubs.Around 7:45am, I walked with the nurses to the OR and got prepped for surgery. For whatever reason, it took a little while to administer my spinal. I knew that it had taken effect when I felt that warm wave rush down my legs. They laid me down, pulled the curtain up, and then brought Andy in. I got a little emotional at this point as it really hit me how close we were to the birth of our next child. A few minutes later, the doctor said that he could see the baby's right ear. Soon the head was out and I heard those first beautiful cries. After a big push on my belly, our little one was officially born. Within moments, I heard the doctors and Andy all saying, "It's a boy!" I was filled with so much joy and just started crying. There are some moments in life that are just monumental. You want to remember every last detail about them. That is how I feel about hearing each of my kids' first cries and learning if they were a boy or girl. I wouldn't trade these moments and memories for anything.

Here's Graydon! 7 lbs. 1 oz. and 20 inches long. It's a good thing he had that extra week in there as he's still a peanut. I guess we just cook them little! The nurses took him and cleaned him up and then brought him over to me. I loved looking at this sweet face for the first time.Andy went with Graydon to the nursery while I stayed back and got stitched up. The anesthesiologist administered some sort of sedative to me that brought me into a very relaxing dream-like state while the doctors worked on me. I remember being able to hear their conversation but also drifting off into la la land. This did give me some much needed rest. Soon enough, I was able to go to the recovery room. After being there for a few minutes, they brought Graydon to me! Being with my baby in recovery was such a new experience for me as Bella had to go straight to the NICU. I got to hold Graydon right away and tried to nurse him. He ended up being too sleepy during that time so we tried again later. They have me all bundled up here as my body temp dropped down to 94. Andy eventually had to take Graydon from me as my low body temp. was starting to bring his down. Once my body temp reached 97.1, I was able to go to the Mother/Baby room where we stayed for the rest of our time at the hospital. After being settled in for a bit, Andy went to pick up Auntie Kristen and Bella so they could meet Graydon. While they were gone, I was treated to a half hour massage. It was heavenly! The first photo of our new family of four!!!Me and my kidS! I have KIDS! Plural! I love saying 'my kids.' Bella got this new t-shirt from her baby brother. After my surgery, I was on a liquid diet for 24 hours. Bella thought my italian ice looked pretty good.She saved the JELL-O for me. It's been fun to watch Bella's interactions with her little brother. At first, she was a little timid around him - not too sure if she wanted to hold him or give him a kiss. But after a short while, she forgot all of that. Now, she likes to hold him as often as she can and even gets a little territorial - not wanting to share him with others. I'm looking forward to watching their relationship grow over time. My Loves!A few more of Graydon at the hospital:I woke up on Friday morning feeling pretty emotional. The previous night had been a rough one for me. I was in a lot of pain and feeling a bit overwhelmed. I think that some of the postpartum hormones were starting to kick in as well - making every emotion a bit amplified. Andy got a call that Bella was not doing well at home, so he had to leave. I cried a little when he left and just really wished that my mom could be out here. Later that afternoon when Andy returned to the hospital, he asked if I was up for a couple of visitors. Right behind him was my sister Lori and my mom. Words can't express how happy I was to see them. I started crying again. This was the best gift. They already had to leave today; but they were here for exactly the time that I needed them most. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos from their visit on my camera. I'll have to get them from Lori.

On Friday evening, Graydon and I got to go home! I was so ready to leave the hospital. Here's Graydon getting dressed for the first time. He wore the Jelly Belly socks that Andy bought last month (in honor of his nickname).Strapped in and ready to go!Our first few days at home have been going well. Graydon is a pretty good baby. In his short life so far, we have learned a few things about this little boy:
1. He hates getting his diaper changed. You will hear the most traumatic, shrill cry ever during each change.
2. He's a great pooper. On Day 2, they hoped to see 2 wet diapers and 2 poopy ones. I'd say that he easily had at least 7 poopy diapers on Day 2.
3. He loves to eat. I think he'd be content to eat 24/7.

A few times today, I had a moment of panic when I realized that I haven't felt the baby move in a while. The panic would last just a split second as I remembered that I'm not pregnant anymore. Guess I got so used to being pregnant that it feels weird not to be. I'm just so grateful that Graydon is here and is healthy!