Health and Growth
At the beginning of this month we traveled to Dalton for Christmas with the family. During the first few days there Owen's cold went from bad to worse. Of course this would happen smack dab in the middle of the holidays. My dad ended up talking with a neonatologist who basically said that we were doing all we could do and to just make sure he didn't start to run a fever. I took his temperature a couple of times while we were there, but he never had one.
|5 weeks old and meeting his great grandaddy|
A couple days later we were contacted with the results... His left kidney was still holding urine in it. My heart kind of sank a bit as I listened to our pediatrician explain what that meant and that she wanted Owen to be seen by a pediatric nephrologist. I understood then that Owen was really okay and that usually these things sort themselves out, but I had been hoping that they would say it was all better. I have called and we now have an appointment with the nephrologist.
Two weeks later we were back at the pediatrician for our two month checkup. We then learned that our little man isn't so little anymore. He was 11 pounds! He then received his shots while we were there. It was hard to see him cry out in pain, but as soon as it was over and we could pick him up he stopped crying. I was amazed. We have a tough little bug on our hands.
|Taken before we left the house for my 6 week checkup|
Owen has gotten so much more interactive this month. His waketime has extended so that he now stays awake for a little while after every feeding. It's fun to watch him begin to track things with his eyes. Towards the end of this month he began to coo and squeal a lot more. It's really cute! We try and give him tummy time every day, but he's not really a big fan of it right now. He lifts his head for about two or three seconds and then fusses. His smiles have also started to make their appearance a little more frequently.
Owen still eats 7-8 times a day. He had made 7 times a day his normal until he hit his six week growth spurt. It was terrible. He went from being a content eater and good napper to being cranky, clingy, fussy, and hungry. He wanted to be held, he didn't want to sleep anymore, and he nursed 12 times one day. I felt like he was permanently attached to me. The worst part was that Patrick was out of town when this all started. Thankfully, my sister was here to help. I would have starved if she hadn't been here. She was able to keep me sane- not an easy thing sometimes.
I promise that Owen outgrew his newborn clothes in a night. I tried putting him in an outfit he'd worn two days prior and there was just no way he was going to comfortably fit. I was amazed. I don't think I can fully describe how draining those few days were. Week 6 will not easily be forgotten. When Patrick returned from his trip I burst into tears, handed him Owen, and declared that we were never going to have more children. That is the honest truth. So for any soon-to-be moms out there, you have been warned. My advice? Don't let your husband leave town, pump like a crazy person (I think it helped communicate to my body faster that Owen needed more milk), sleep whenever baby is asleep (if he or she sleeps at all), and hang on for dear life! Lastly, go read this post that I found. I will never forget sitting up in the middle of the night feeding Owen with bleary eyes (swollen from tears), frustration brimming, and all the while doubting my capability. I read that post through tears, but it was my light bulb moment. She spoke to my soul through her planned encouragement for her daughter. The motherly tone was exactly what my heart needed.
Luckily, it got way better after those three days of crazy, around-the-clock feeding. We survived and I didn't give up on breastfeeding. The following week, we discovered that he was 10 lbs and then 11 lbs at our 2 month visit. I beamed with a sense of accomplishment. I can feed my baby!
We still have Owen sleeping in his crib. When we were in Dalton he slept in his cradle at night. We discovered that he slept a lot better in it. He only woke up once to eat several times when we were there. It was amazing. Unfortunately, he didn't start making that a habit until about 8 weeks. It was during that week that he made it 5 out of the 7 nights with only one feeding. I think we are headed in the right direction. I also started moving Owen to his crib during the day for his naps around the end of his 6th week. It was a tough transition because he started napping really poorly for a while. However, I noticed that he was starting to prefer the cradle and fussing at night when we put him in the crib. I wanted to make sure we didn't create a bad habit. I think it helped a lot. It took a few days, but he adjusted. Now he just sits in the cradle during the day when I need to do things like cook or take a shower. It's nice and portable for that kind of thing. Plus, I think he appreciates the incline.
As you can see in the picture he still sleeps on his back (duh, let's help prevent SIDS) and in a swaddle blanket made by Summer Infant. I love these blankets. They are idiot proof.
Owen has started to enjoy his swing. He spends about 30min-1hr in it every day. There have been a few times (and I mean few) that he has managed to fall asleep in it. It's funny, because it used to keep him awake. He also still loves his activity mat and I love it too. It's one of my favorite things to watch him do. I could sit for hours watching him coo and bat at things on it. I would say that the other main activity that Owen enjoys is bath time. In Dalton, we discovered that he really likes taking baths with me. Thanks to the advice of my sister-in-law, we tried it out because we thought it might help him nurse better if the steam cleared his nose. I think it worked. Plus, I could bathe him really quickly once he was finished, pass him off to daddy, and take a shower.
Out and about
Our major accomplishment for this month was making it back to church and Sunday school as a family. For some reason that had seemed like a huge hurdle. At this point, he is still sitting with us in church, but I plan to move him to the nursery once he's out of the newborn stage. Our pediatrician really wanted us to make it until March, but I don't think that is going to happen. I would say that our second accomplishment has been the return to Thursday night Mexican. We just cart him along with us and he does fine. It's been such a blessing to get out of the house for adult time a couple of times a week. Even if I've had a rough day with Owen, I leave in a really good mood afterwards.
I'm so glad that I didn't give you away during your six week growth spurt. Thankfully, daddy came home and gave me relief and you returned to your content self. We recovered from our lost sleep and are back to enjoying each others' company.
I can't believe how fast you are growing. These days are passing us by so quickly and I wish so badly that I could bottle them up. However, each stage that you move into brings more joy. Your smiles truly melt my heart. Hearing you squeal for the first time had me laughing out loud. It also seemed to startle you that you could produce such a sound! I love the way your forehead wrinkles up. I've kissed those wrinkles too many times to count. I've spent countless hours holding you, watching you, singing (a little off key) to you, and rocking you. You are deeply loved. I hope that you can somehow sense that even now.
You are not just loved by your parents though. You are deeply loved by your Creator. He loves you in a way that surpasses our love for you. His love is better. He loves you perfectly which is something we cannot do. He loves you in the midst of your brokenness. He also loved you first. He knew you first. You were first born in His thoughts and then made by Him. I cannot stress these truths to you enough. For now, you don't understand these truths. You are just now discovering that you have arms and legs that move. However, one day, I pray that all of these things I've just said will become truth to your heart.
I love you, Owen. I will always love you!