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5 Months!

My baby boy is 5 months old.

My baby boy is 5 months old.

This has been a very, very exciting month, so I’ll just jump in.

I’ll start with his ‘stats’ — He is 14.5lbs, and just shy of 24” long. He fitting comfortably in 3-6 month clothes, and size 2 diapers. His average bottle is between 5-6 ounces. I can still remember when I celebrated him taking 5 milliliters! I’m so impressed and proud of this little man. I know that I am incredibly lucky to be his mom.

Smiling all the time!

That smile and those arms!  

Other things this month:

I’ve noticed new hair growth. I’m sure he’s been growing it for awhile, but it’s long enough now that I paused to examine it. It’s soft, fluffy, and light brown. It’s actually a lot lighter than my husband or my own hair color, but I’m sure it’ll darken as he grows. So cute!

We also purchased a bumbo seat. We were told NOT to buy this by a physical therapist because it was just a ‘container’ that did nothing for development, but I disagree. When we started using it he lasted 1-2minutes before his strength would begin to waver and he’d lean over. Now he lasts 15-20 minutes. We get nervous about it, so we are never more than a few inches away while he’s in it, but we love to give him the time to practice strengthening his muscles.

In the bumbo.

In the bumbo.

We’re also given him more opportunity to work on reaching for things, but as of now he isn’t doing that consistently. He’ll push his bottle/pacifier away, and he’ll sometimes grab at toys and our hands so I know he’s got some coordination… But he’s not reaching out for things outside of his reach like other toys or us just yet. He did find his feet, and has grabbed and held on to them a few times. That’s exciting and progress. We’re getting there! His easter basket has a couple of things to help with this! I’ll do a post about that soon. 🙂

He is still not rolling over from front to back or back to front —- BUT! He is SO. CLOSE. I swear, he rolls over to his side and realizes if he puts any more force behind it he’ll be on his tummy (and he HATES tummy time), so he stops. Speaking of tummy time, he isn’t pushing himself up in a full arch from the floor, but he is now lifting his head with much more control and looking around. That is huge progress from last month.

 

His St. Patrick outfit, and you can see him holding his head up. :)

His St. Patrick outfit, and you can see him holding his head up. 🙂

SO. CLOSE.

SO. CLOSE.

Another cute thing is that he has really started to interact with us. Last month it was more he was fascinated with his environment, this month he’s interacting with it. He loves to ‘talk’ back to us, be read to, etc. We are loving this!

Also, this month somehow, and someway… Our little man has started sleeping through the night. What?! It came on suddenly, and we didn’t really change anything about his routine. At night he was sleeping longer at a time, 4-5 hours instead of his regular 3-4, and then those stretches kept expanding over about 2-weeks till he was sleeping 8-10 hours. Now, he sleeps 8-10 hours straight 85-90% of the time, and the days that he doesn’t sleep through the night is because…

He’s teething! My poor baby boy. 😦 He started stuffing his hands into his mouth and drooling a ton. That lasted about 2 weeks and then the discomfort kicked in and he morphed into a cranky baby. Now, my boy is not an ‘easy’ baby.  I mean… he isn’t all smiles all the time, but he’s always been easy to soothe when he was upset…. Teething changed that.

Now, he’ll cry for 30 minutes or longer and nothing we do works. We’ve bought at least 6 different ‘teethers’ and he hates all of them: The keys, the cold hand, the rings, the pacifier-looking teether, gum massagers, our own fingers, etc. He wants nothing to do with any of them. We’ve been alternating with tylenol and homeopathic teething tablets because nothing else soothes him. Right now his gums are just swollen and we see some white, but no breakage just yet. We know this won’t last forever, but it is definitely hard to see him upset and be powerless to soothe.

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Hands in the mouth at all times.

This month I also went back to work, and my husband has taken over as the primary care giver while I’m working. I love my hubby, but he had it too easy while I was home because I always wanted to be the one that took care of the baby. He always offered, but I usually declined because 1. I wanted to do it all 2. I felt like I had to do it all. First time mom naïvety?

I wish I had given him the opportunity to do more while I was home because he’s really had to go from 0-60 fast. I take full responsibility, because every time the baby was crying I would take him, every time he needed a bath I gave it, etc. —Because I wanted to, not because he wouldn’t. Sorry, I’m a type-A control freak and the NICU left me wanting to make up for lost time.

Regardless of all of this, he’s done great. We are incredibly lucky that he’s able to work from home and stay with the baby so we don’t have the expense of day-care. He also sends me pictures during the day and my coworkers love them as much as I do.

That about sums up month 5! It’s been exciting and great and I’m so in love with my tiny human. Every day is full of new challenges and new experiences and I am soaking all of it up!

He loves bath time! *I promise, he looks serious, but he's usually grinning.

He loves bath time! *I promise, he looks serious, but he’s usually grinning.

This kid is standing practically unassisted.

This kid is standing practically unassisted.

We live in KY. Big blue nation.

We live in KY. Big blue nation.

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4 Month Old Update!

Sleepy baby!

Sleepy baby!

This has been a big month for baby boy.

We have officially said goodbye to size 1 diapers, and 0-3 month clothes.

His size 2 diapers are a little big, but they never leak so it’s better than being too small. The 3-6 month clothes fit decently, but they are little big. He is 23.5″ inches long, and 13lbs 4 ounces long– So he’s hanging out around the 50th percentile for his adjusted age, and is making improvements in ‘catching up’.

We are waiting to introduce solids until he is 6months old adjusted, which will be around the time we go back for his 6 month shots and well baby visit. I’m both excited and terrified for April to get here.

He is still behind on many of his milestones for his ‘actual’ age. He can’t push himself up from the floor, grasp objects, or roll over. We’re supposed to be giving him tummy time to work on it. He HATES tummy time, so out sessions are usually brief. However, we have been doing baby exercises to help him gain upper and lower body strength. I have noticed some improvement with his endurance during the exercises, but not with his tummy time. I was really stressing out about it, but his pediatrician isn’t concerned. She told us that crawling is actually not considered a milestone anymore, because many babies skip crawling and go straight to talking.

He stands very well with minimal support. I’m basically just helping him keep his balance and he’s doing all the work. He really seems to love that.

We are still sleeping in the fisher price rock n’ play because he still needs the incline to help with his severe acid reflux. He can’t sit up on his own, or roll over so he’s still safe sleeping there. We still only swaddle at night. He’s been slowly working one of his arms out during the night, so I anticipate losing the swaddle soon. He sleeps from 8pm-8am, and wakes up to eat every 3-5 hours but goes right back to sleep. He takes 2-3 small naps during the day, and one 2-3 hour nap. The only problem, is the only way he’s taking that 3 hour nap is if I get him to sleep in my arms (like, completely asleep), and then lay him down. At night, I can lay him down when he is only 10% asleep, and he’ll go to sleep on his own, but not during the day.

He has started to get interested in his surroundings. He loves watching the TV. He also doesn’t like to be burped against my shoulder because he wants to look around.

Speaking of burping, he’s eating between 3.5-4oz 8 times a day. Now, his formula is mixed to 24kCal/oz, so he’s not ‘starving’– I assure you. 😉 Also, he’s still a once a day pooper. You can seriously set your clock by it because it’s so regular. We’ve been reassured on many occasions that as long as the consistency and color doesn’t change– he’s good.

He tolerated his 4 month shots decent. He doesn’t tolerate his RSV vaccine as well. My guess is it hurts more, because he cries for several minutes after that, but only for a minute or two for all 3 of his others. Poor guy. Good thing is he is almost done with the RSV shots because the season is almost over.

Also, we’re only a week in his 5th month, and I can’t wait to write that update because some big things have happened! haha.

Those cheeks!

Those cheeks!

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3 Month Update!

Three Months!

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I can not believe that our little rockstar has been here for 3 months! This has been a great month for him. ** We have an appointment with a NICU graduation clinic next week. It’s a service connected to his NICU where they monitor premature infants through their first years of life. So after that I will post another update about how he is doing.

Our biggest achievement this month is that our boy no longer needs his NG feeding tube. After a week of consistently taking his total volume by mouth, and exceeding his goal— It’s official!

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Finally NG free, and getting ready to go to grandma’s house to watch the UK Basketball team (#1 in the nation!) play.

As of yesterday we learned that we can feed him on demand. Previously we had been keeping him to a 3 hour schedule so he could really master eating. It was hard because during the day when he’s awake and alert he’s hungry about every 2 hours— You try keeping a hungry baby at bay for an hour! Then at night I would have to wake him up every 3 hours to eat because he sleeps so well. Now his pediatric surgeon is comfortable with us feeding him on command, so that means we can feed him more during the day and let him ‘sleep through the night’— We haven’t really had a chance to try this just yet— but I was excited to get the news!

This month was also huge in terms of his development. He’s so much more alert and interactive. He has officially masted the social smile. He loves to have his cheeks lightly tickled while you make eye contact and talk with him; he lights up every single time. He also has started to notice his toys. I lay him on his play mat and he looks at the animals and loves when I make them jingle. I also have a toy that goes across his car seat handle and it’s been great for the long car rides. Before now he really only focused on lights. He still loves to look at lights, but I’m loving how much more he’s getting interested in other things.

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Look at that baby smile!

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Hanging out on his play mat. He loves it.

He has also really strengthened his neck muscles and nearly has full control of his head. He loves to look around, and isn’t always content just being snuggled close to us. It’s so sad that he’s already starting to outgrow that, but I love seeing him enjoy his surroundings. He finally got a real bath, and he loves relaxing in the water and looking around.

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A picture from his first real bath. 12.31.14

He still loves to be swaddled, and we just went up to the large size in the summerinfant swaddleme. His others still fit, but it was a snug fit. He’s got plenty of room to grow in his new ones. He still hates having his diaper changed, and being dressed after a bath. We’re still sleeping in the Rock n’ Play because he needs the incline, but if he starts doing better sleeping through the night we might be making the transition to his crib soon. **With a device that will also keep him inclined.

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*A little blurry. Hanging out in his rock n play.

He is still in 0-3 and 3 month clothes. His carters brand sleeper outfits are starting to get tight in the length, but we’ve still got some time before I need to upgrade him to 6 month. — However, as soon as he’s ready he has So. Many. Clothes. in the next size up. I got a little panicked because he was starting to outgrow his clothes and we didn’t have much in the next size… So I may have went a little crazy shopping. Crazy as in… I just about purchased every single thing Target had in 6 months that was seasonally appropriate. On top of that we received a very large tote of his cousin’s old clothes. So!

He tipped the scales at 11 pounds 5 ounces, and is 21.5” long. Up 5 pounds 14 ounces, and 2.75” from birth.

He is going through a major mama’s boy period. Sometimes when he’s upset, no matter what my husband does for him he can not be consoled. All I do is pick him up and he instantly calms. I’m not really sure what that means, but it’s so sweet. I’m enjoying it because I know it will be short lived, but I admit it’s making it bit hard to get some sleep. This past month I finally started accepting help that I had previously (vehemently) refused. So when I’m feeling really worn down and my husband tells me to take a nap… I try to enjoy it, but when I hear the baby fussing I have to go calm him down. I hope he starts to take to being away from mommy better soon, because I’m starting to job hunt. 😥

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I love taking pictures when he’s sleeping.

We now have a pretty loose schedule. It’s hard to ‘stick’ with it because when we visit my husbands family everyone wants to hold him constantly and he falls asleep… And it throws off his night. Loosely what we have going on is:

I’m with the baby between 8pm-4am, and then my husband stays with the baby from 4am-noon (although I usually get up around 10am.) He’s been eating at 2-5-8-11. Our day ‘starts’ with the 11am bottle. I’ll change his diaper, dress him for the day, and feed him. Then we have about a solid 3 hours of good alert time. After his 2 o’clock bottle he usually naps for an hour or 2. He wakes up, eats, and has another period of alert time. Before his 8pm bottle I’ll dress him in his pajamas, and we’ll eat, be swaddled, dim the lights, and our nighttime routine begins. He sleeps pretty much through the night except when he’s up to eat, but around 5am he has another period of alert time until his 8am bottle and then he’ll sleep.

We started using the sound machine and it has really improved his sleep! I’m able to clean up the kitchen after I lay him down around 8 without him waking up, and his sleep is deeper and more peaceful. Before he seemed to sleep very lightly and was easily disturbed. So thank goodness for the sound machine.

I know I am forgetting things, but this is the bulk of how the last month has been. I’m excited to see what this next month will bring. Each month it gets better and better.

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My sweet baby boy.

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In 37 days…

In the first 37 days of motherhood I have felt every emotion from A to Z. In the beginning most days I spent crying, some days I felt no emotion, but now most days I feel so much love and joy it brings me to tears. My baby boy is a month old (and has been for 5 days!), and what a month it has been.

He is still in the NICU and it has been the roller coaster we were warned about– one step forward, one and a half steps back, two steps forward, three steps back, etc. If you want a more ‘detailed’ explanation of what happened with his first month medically click here.

Things we’ve learned about our son:

  • Getting his diaper changed with a cold wipe is probably the worst thing ever. He cries every time!
  • When he’s awake he wants to look around and be nosy, but a sleepy baby loves to cuddle up close to your cheek.
  • When he’s sleeping and we’ve got to wake him up for whatever reason he makes the cutest baby grunt.
  • He smiles so much in his sleep. We’ve tried to catch it with the camera and have only been semi successful!
  • Getting undressed is second to having his diaper changed in the list of things he hates.
  • Apparently the taste of the gas drops is equivalent to the sweet nectar of the gods.
  • When we turn the light off over his bed it startles him and he gets the most hilarious expression. I laugh out loud every time!
  • He has started really enjoying looking at his mobile, mirror, and his black and white zebra toy. He’ll stare at them so intently… you might even sneak a diaper change in while he’s mesmerized and he won’t have a total baby meltdown.
  • He had a very mild touch of torticollis and plagiocephaly, but his wonderful physical therapist showed us some awesome exercises to help, and he’s had a lot of improvement.
  • He loves his infant massage! We give it to him after his bath and when he’s relaxing in our laps.
  • We’ve affectionately named his left thumb with hypo plastic bones… floppy thumb. Every time we dress him we’re half worried we’re gonna rip it off. He doesn’t seem to mind.
  • He has this episodes where he grunts and his whole face will go red for a second or two, and then like a flash he’s back. We call it ‘squid-ing out
  • Hiccups used to scare the crap out of him and he would cry every time they came around, now he get them and he looks ‘unamused’ by them– the only way I can describe it.
  • He loves having his bottom patted, and we think it’s because I constantly patted his butt while he was still hanging out in my uterus.
  • He loves being swaddled, and if he’s upset it’s usually a 2 second fix to calm him down.

It’s been an exciting month! Hopefully when we break free of the NICU I can do better monthly updates. I want to take his picture with his monthly stickers and have a little ‘questionnaire’ to keep track of his milestones. For now this will have to do.

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A month old! (and a new blog…)

When I started to write about my son’s first month I realized that a lot of my post focused on his NICU ups and downs, and I decided his story was in need of it’s own blog.

Learning to Swallow: One baby’s journey learning to swallow– A EA/TEF Kid

This blog will continue to talk about what’s going on with our family, my career, etc. I’ll just skim over his EA/TEF fine details, and leave those for his own blog. I hope that this new blog will help others going through a similar journey connect with me (and for me to connect with them). It has been a crazy month, and this journey is just beginning for our son. I

I’m so in love with our little boy and I want to share some about with him you all soon. I’ll do a more ‘milestone’ type monthly update in the next few days.

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