Cribs – Heaven or Hell?

My baby may have been spoiled. spoiled kid

Not by me, of course!!!  No, he is a great kid, but things happen, right?

While in the NICU, Bubbs (I think I need a new name) was propped up at an angle when he slept, due to what they said was acid re-flux   I believe them, but it still makes me question how they know.  I mean, it’s a baby. They can’t tell you if they are experiencing heartburn…  What they told me is that he spits up after eating.

Isn’t that normal?  Babies do that.  They Sleep, they poop, they eat and they spit up.  I have seen babies do that for years – and that was a bad thing?

They put him on a couple of medications for gas and re-flux, which we did not care for.  The pediatrician immediately took him off the gas meds, but kept him on Zantac.  We have slowly switched out the harsher Zantac for a softer Gripe Water – which has worked just fine so far!  Not that I condone the change, or disobeying a doctor…  We just couldn’t keep him on a medication that didn’t seem to help any more or less than the over the counter drug.

Okay, so to get back to the point – while in the NICU, Bubbs was propped up with receiving blankets and his little cubby thing was also at an angle, to keep him upright.  I guess he got comfortable with that.

When we brought him home that first night, we tried to put him into his crib – flat on his back.  This was not such a good idea.  (Yes, blonde moment!)  SOOO…  we got out the sleeper/rocker thing and put that together.  We put the car seat insert into it, so he couldn’t roll around so much, and he loved it!  He was cozy and secure and slept well with it all around him.  We were (and are, to a point) in heaven!  A baby that sleeps?  WOO HOO!!!!

But now, a month later, we want to transition him into his crib.  I mean, it’s a beautiful piece and cost a fair bit of money…  It’s something that we want to use, you know?

When we put him in there, he rolls to his side (usually the left) and sleeps for maybe thirty minutes to an hour.  Then he’s up and miserable.  Is this normal?  Should he be doing this?  I want him to get used to the crib, but not sure how.  I’m thinking I may have to roll some blankets up for him, but not sure if that’s smart.

Any advice?

 

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Is Sleep Possible?

To start off, I am going to start calling my Baby “Bubbs” but I have yet to come up with something to call my husband.  When I do, I am sure I will make an announcement.  Yeah, because it’s that important.

Bubbs has been home for three weeks, and will be four weeks old next week.  It seems to have flown by, but that could be because the days and nights seem to bleed together.  Monday becomes Thursday which becomes February…  It’s disorienting.  I have to keep asking myself, will it ever even out?  Will I get more than a couple of hours of sleep at a time EVER again???  My husband has been great at giving me time to rest, but at his own expense of rest.

For the first week or so, Bubbs was on a pretty good schedule – he’d be awake to eat every three hours or so.  But as he grows, he gets up about every two and wants to eat.  This would be fine and dandy if we wanted to feed strictly formula, but we are trying to breastfeed and I just don’t seem to have enough in me to satisfy his hunger every two hours.  It’s sad, so I’m doing my best to pump and try to ‘beef up’ my supply, but it’s hard to do…

What I do notice is that the more he eats, the longer he sleeps.  Not a bad thing to keep in mind, if I do say.  During the day, he’s really quite good about sleeping.  Sometimes up to four hours at a time!  But at night – not so much.  I’m not sure if it’s because it’s late and my body wants the sleep, but it feels like Bubbs is up way more often at night than during the day.  I just started a notebook to keep tabs on when I feed him and when I pump and whatnot.  I’m hoping that helps me understand the patterns and the supply/demand part of feeding.

 

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Life Changes Part 2

My baby seemed fine when he was first born, but that soon changed.

When I was admitted, my temperature was on the high side, so they tested my white blood cell count – which was also a little high.  For safety’s sake, I was given antibiotics.  The fever was passed on to the baby, so he was given antibiotics.

From what I was told, he was also breathing rapidly and the fever wasn’t going down as quickly as they had hoped.  I believe the discharge papers also say he was possibly septic.  Yikes!  They had him in the regular nursery for a while, but soon took him into the NICU.  I was still pretty out of it when I heard this, so I didn’t worry.  I knew he was OK and if anything was to happen, at least he would be in safe hands.

I was in a recovery room (still without any water or ice) for another few hours.  I’m not sure if they were waiting for me to pass the painkillers and stop shaking, or if they needed a room to clear out for me.  Either way, my husband and my mother in law kept me updated on how things were going while I tried to get sleep where and when I could.  The husband spent most of the time in the NICU keeping an eye on our son, taking pictures and making phone calls.  I tried talking to my dad, but the fogginess was pretty fierce.  It didn’t help that I didn’t get a very strong signal in a room full of computer equipment with concrete, hurricane safe walls!

Finally, I was placed in a room with another woman who had given birth to a daughter earlier that day, as well.  The difference was that she had a healthy baby girl and was allowed to keep her in the room with her to begin the bonding process.  I had to wait a bit to see my son.  It must have been nice to be able to have the little girl nearby, but when she cried at crazy times during the night, I admit I was a little annoyed.  However, it wasn’t her first baby, so she seemed to know exactly what to do and was able to handle most situations.  If she couldn’t she called the baby’s nurse to come get her.  Through the week we talked a bunch – she was a very nice woman!  She named her baby Scarlet, a name her husband chose (though she wasn’t very happy with it).  I got some tips and tricks from her – which have come in handy.

I finally had the energy to stand up and immediately sit down in a wheelchair (a Cesarean Section is no joke!).  I did try to walk, but it wasn’t happening!  My husband wheeled me down to the NICU and showed me the ropes on the entry procedure.  When finally in the room, I got to see my son.  I have to say, it was a little strange to know that he was mine.  Nobody else’s.  Well, mine and my husband’s, of course!

He was beautiful.  He was red and bundled up and hooked to a bunch of wires, but he was amazing.  I was afraid to touch him, for fear of knocking out an IV or pulling off one of those sensor sticker things.  So this time, I just watched him and let him sleep.

The rest of the week was a learning process.  I got to feed him and learn to burp him and give him medicine for his acid reflux and gas – all while learning to take care of myself and recover from what I realized was actually major surgery!  I began walking small distances as soon as I was allowed, which seemed to impress the nurses on the floor.  I’m not completely sure why, but it felt good.  Comforting.

It seemed to take forever, but eventually our son was cleared to go home.  He was still a bit yellow, but I was reassured that he could only get better.  He would have to take his medications for a while, which my husband and I were not thrilled with.  He seems to be too young to be on Zantac, if you ask me.  I am not going to lie, we gave it to him for the first few days, and then slowly took him off.  He doesn’t seem to exhibit any changes.  He spits up a little, but that’s been it.  From what I have known – that’s what babies do.  They sleep, poop, eat and spit up.  I’m not a doctor, though…

Anyway, it’s been three weeks since we were able to bring the baby home, and it’s been an absolute crazy mess ever since.  It has been fun, exciting, stressful, scary and just about any and ever other emotion you would ever want experience.  I cannot believe just how things have changed in less than a month.  He has grown and begun to show little signs of personality, life with my husband has been strained, my mother in law has been amazing, though it has taken me a while to realize that…  Life is just completely different.  I’m still getting used to it, and continuing to hope it gets better…

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2013 – A Whole New Life Begins

Three weeks ago this past Tuesday, my life changed.  I’m pretty sure for the better, but it’s still so new that the jury is still out.

On the 21st of January, I had an appointment with my Obstetrician.  My doctor was not in the office, so an associate took her place for the day.  It was no big deal, as I had met the doctor earlier in my pregnancy.  Since I was at 39 weeks, she did a quick exam to see if I was dilated.  I guess I was, because I was asked if I wanted to go to L&D, or Labor and Delivery.  I asked, “When?”  Doc’s answer – “Right Now.”

I’m pretty sure my husband’s eyes would have rolled out of his head if his eyelids had gotten any wider.

I said no thanks.  I would wait until the little guy was ready and go from there.  After all, I had about a week to go, and we still had to complete the crib and the minor details of the makeshift nursery!  We left the office and went to have a nice Cuban meal for lunch (oddly enough, I was in the mood for Ropa Vieja, or however it’s spelled…) and giggled about the situation.  It was odd to think that we could have gone in to have the baby that morning.  We laughed about it more than a few times.  Little did I know….

At about 9 o’clock that evening, I started feeling like I had some gas.  It wouldn’t have surprised me, since the food we ate all day had been on the greasy side.  As the night went on, the feeling got stronger.  Not once did I think it was contractions.  I had never felt one before, but I had the idea that it would feel like cramping throughout my stomach area.  At about midnight, I tried to lie down and sleep.  That was not happening.  I would get up every few minutes to use the bathroom.  It actually got to the point where I felt like I had to vomit.  When I finally did vomit around 2 in the morning, it woke my husband.  I looked at him with watery eyes and said, “I think this is it.”

We took a walk around the block to see if that helped alleviate some of the pain.  It didn’t.  But when it got bad, my husband would counteract the pressure with a lower back rub.  I’m not sure if it felt so good because he was doing so well with it, or because the slightest bit of relief felt like Heaven.  Either way, I wasn’t going to argue.

After a shower, I got my overnight bag (which I had *just* put together that day!), grabbed some odds and ends, gripped a pillow and loaded into the car.  At 3am on a Tuesday morning there is very little traffic in Miami and Miami Beach, so we got to the hospital pretty quickly.  The ER was quiet as well.  I got dropped off while hubs parked the car.  I checked in and told the security guards and the lady behind the desk that I thought I was in labor and they couldn’t believe it.  They told me that most of the ladies that come in are wreck and that they couldn’t believe how calm I was.  It was surprising to hear, since it wasn’t all that painful in comparison to what I had imagined.

To make a long story short (TOO LATE), we got to our room and settled in.  I was very thankful that I had the foresight to drink some water before we left the house, because from that point I was not allowed to drink anything.  As time went on, my mouth felt like it was growing cotton at an alarming rate.  I was able to have one small dixie cup of ice chips and enjoyed every little chip that I could!

I was given some pain meds and an epidural (which took four sticks to get right!  ouch!) which helped me to sleep a bit.  I almost felt guilty about it, because my husband only had an armchair to ‘rest’ in.  He did try to sleep, but I don’t think he got much of it.  Later in the morning, they did their exams and I seemed ready to go.

Baby wasn’t.

He didn’t seem to want to drop, for whatever reason.  Because of the epidural, I couldn’t walk around to see if he dropped, so they tried to break my water.  I guess since the lack of fluid makes for an uncomfortable situation for the baby, it usually will try to make it’s way out.  Mine did not.

Somewhere around 11 am, my doctor came into the room and apologized to me.  I wasn’t sure why.  It turns out that since she knew I had wanted to go natural (as in vaginal, not without painkillers, lol) she felt like telling me I had to have a cesarean would be horrible news.  Sure, I wasn’t thrilled about it, but I wasn’t completely unhappy, either.  I just wanted what was best for the baby.  When we found this out, hubs went to make some phone calls to let some family and friends know what was going on, and that our son would be making an appearance a bit sooner than we thought!

By noon, I was being wheeled into the OR and given more pain medication.  I was surprised at how quickly they worked.  I went from being able to wiggle my toes to not being able to move my legs or hips – all in about a minute!  It was crazy.  The drawback to the quick relief was the fact that I could not stop shaking!  My arms actually had to be bound down, so that I could be a bit more stable, and they wouldn’t have to worry about me trying to touch my stomach.  (Not sure why I would, though…)

My husband was nowhere to be found.  We had assumed he had been in the waiting room around the corner from the room I was in, but he was not.  I called and texted him like a madman as the gurney was headed down the hall, but no answer.  Finally I got through – even the nurses were all about him getting there ASAP, so he didn’t miss anything.

He made it, just under the gun.  He sat by me the entire time, which really wasn’t very long.  He really could have missed it if he had taken any longer to get there!  He held my hand and was very quiet.  I’m pretty sure we told each other how crazy the situation was, in between the checks the anesthesiologist was making, and the warnings about feeling ‘tugging’ and ‘pulling’ sensations.  I did feel them, but they were barely noticeable in all the hoopla!

Finally the time came and we got very quiet.  It felt like forever, but then we heard it.  Our son cried.  It was great!  He went and cut the cord.  I’m pretty sure he had tears in his eyes..  It was sweet.  I wish he had someone take pictures of that, but we didn’t.  We do have a lot of pictures from right afterwards, but it’s not quite the same.  However, he’s here and that is good for me!

I know this was already a long post, but there will be a continuation for the rest of the week we were in the hospital!  Excited?  I know you are!   =)

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