Monday, April 28, 2008

Sleepless Study II - results


Happy Parents.

'nuf said.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sleepless Study, Part Two

Well, tonight is the big night - Jim is going in for his follow-up sleep study! If he is given the green light my boy will officially be WIRELESS!!! YAY!!! Also, I will be sending back all this medical equipment that has been clogging-up my house. BONUS!

So, while I know that it might not turn out like I want, I am very hopeful that all goes well tonight and my little Jim sleeps wonderfully well for the technicians.

I am looking forward to seeing my baby without all the cords and wires. I am looking forward to him sleeping without my having to wake him up by putting the cannula back in his nose for the 3rd time in one nap (he pulls the thing off and it ends up in his eyes!). I want to have more pictures without a white plastic line running across his mouth. Mostly, I just want him to be better, for him of course, but really for all of us.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Today little Jim was sleeping it off. What you ask? Oh, he was exhausted from the PooooPaloosa we had yesterday.

He woke yesterday morning straining and straining for all he was worth. He was getting quite upset after about 10 to 15 mins of pushing, so I decided to go see if I could help in any way. I removed his diaper, which revealed a dollop of poo so thick you could spackle with it. I was instantly thankful that he isn't a toddler yet, or I'm sure he'd have tried it!

I called the nurses line and went through this exchange:

Nurse: What seems to be the problem?

Me: Jim is constipated, what do I need to do to help him?

Nurse: How long has he been like this? What do his stools look like?

Me: (not sure why it matters, but...) It started yesterday, with a stool like thick toothpaste, and today it is more like very, very thick cake icing. (I couldn't think of anything else at the time).

Nurse: Then he isn't constipated. Have you tried rectal stimulation yet?

Me: No, he can poo.

Nurse: If his stools aren't in hard pellets then he isn't constipated. You should try rectal stimulation!

Me: Why should we wait for "hard pellets"? It is already taking him 20 mins to move a poo the size of a marshmallow.

Nurse: Oh, then he is constipated. You need to give him 1/2 of a child's size glycerin suppository.

Me: Thanks. (Like I didn't know what constipation was lady - I HAVE BEEN PREGNANT recently!!! Idiot!)

SO, Mommy traipses off to the bathroom and inserts said suppository... And we wait... And we wait... PPPPPPPPPPPLLLBBBBBBBBBTTTTTTTTT! Happy baby!

We eat a little, spitup about 1/2, and then Squuuuuiiiiiiish! A full load again!

We eat a little and rest a little for the rest of the day, with multiple poots and poos thrown in for good measure. By the time Daddy got home the WHOLE HOUSE smelled like poo, but our little man seemed to be happy again.

However, by the end of the night his poor tummy was terribly torn up and his stomach was so distended and hard that we placed a call to the Pedi. All was well though, so no trips to the ER.

He was able to get some real sleep last night and slept almost all day today.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Happy Days Are Here Again!

So, my boy Jim seems to have learned how to be happy. The speed of his change has been like a light switch turning on! At exactly 6 wks to the day he figured out how to be happier!

He no longer cries and screams inconsolably - and when he does cry there is almost always an obvious reason! So, you CAN make him feel better. Whew!

He has learned to whine instead of cry when the situation is just frustrating. He's about 1/2 as loud and not nearly so frantic.

Gas pains make him strain, but not scream.

Going poo doesn't make him cry and scream. Well, unless like today where he really was constipated, so he had something to scream about.

Wanting a bottle still causes a cry, but he gives fair warning that he's hungry first. So, the screaming really is your own damned fault for not listening.

And last, but certainly not the least, he smiles at me several times a day!!!! He smiles from simple games sometimes. But the bestest most wonderful think is when he smiles just because he notices me. It is really, really wonderful.

Happy days are certainly here! I hope they last a good long while.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

6 Wks and All's... Well?

Our boy Jim is 6 wks old today. Can you believe it? 6 wks!

Thank you all for your suggestions and offers of "that's kinda normal" support on my last post. Sorry I didn't let you know how it was going sooner. We've been so busy just managing him that I forgot to post... I didn't forget to read YOUR blogs, but then again that is something I can do while I'm feeding the boy. :)

He is still on oxygen and a monitor, which sucks, but we are hopefully nearing the end of needing it. We sent his monitor results to the lab today (they are recorded and downloaded every few weeks), so we are waiting for news of his progress. If all goes well we have about another week and a half before he's done.

My poor baby has a cold though... MAN is it scary to have a stuffed-up newborn!!! You see, he didn't get that he just had to open his mouth, so he choked and sputtered and turned colors. THEN he started crying in a way I'd never heard - it was very clearly a FEAR cry. I didn't know what to do at first, which terrified me, and it was 3 AM, which terrified me, and my baby was choking on snot, which terrified me! Eventually he figured out how to breathe through his mouth and snuffle the snot down. It was a very tense 30 mins before he was calm enough to return to sleep - I was up another 30 trying not to cry from the fear.

For the new Moms out there...
1. Once they start to cry the snot breaks up some, and they will be FINE! So, crying = good.
2. No, he DOES NOT want the pacifier - he can't breathe through his nose IDIOT!
3. Find out what saline drops are and use them ASAP.
4. Don't use the bulb syringe before using the saline drops - you will both just end up frustrated and covered in snot.
5. The bouncy seat is now your best friend. Yes, he can sleep in it all night, and it will help the snot drain. He will breathe easier, and so will you.

OH, speaking of crying.... Jim is doing better at not screaming, we are getting a little more happy time each day. I am so very thankful.

We changed his formula to soy, and he seems to be having less gas. Also, passing his poots seem to hurt him MUCH less. He used to wake himself up crying needing to poot, but that is now the exception instead of the rule. As a result of less gas, he seems to be getting more/better sleep! So, I am getting more too. :) Happier Momma! YAY!

Oh, and speaking of happy... He gave me my first real SMILE this past week. I wasn't sure it was the "real thing", but I was hoping. He did it again yesterday, on cue, when I did a round of "Patty Cake" with him, using his little hands to make the motions. He actually GIGGLED folks!

Now, I have heard him giggle before, and I have seen him smile before, but having him do that, for me, on purpose, was just wonderful. I wanted him to do it again and again. I pulled out ALL my baby-giggling stops - I was ready to PLAY. No dice. He wasn't ready to play, but I'm waiting... watching... looking for playtime to begin in earnest.

Here's a happy photo his Daddy took last weekend - enjoy!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Our Favorite Household Question...

Our favorite household question these days is... Is this Normal?!?!?!

Our little one is changing so quickly. He is no longer a little baby - he is one very big baby. Oh, but is he still an angry baby? Oh my. Yes!

Actually, hubby and I both agree that if we could just see some basic happiness from him, just a little more often, we would certainly find this all very much more "worth it".

You see, we love our son, but he doesn't seem to love us so much yet. So, he is cranky, angry, grumpy, or screaming most of the day (when he is not asleep). I don't mean to be harsh - he is just cranky a lot. We keep asking ourselves and each other if all this crankiness is normal. Oh, and all the EATING! Damn, this boy LOVES to eat.

Essentially, our routine is this:
He wakes up from sleeping/napping and cries to be fed - NOW! DAMN YOU! NOW!!!! He cries like he is dying - sometimes he turns purple from crying so hard. You cannot make a bottle fast enough to avoid these cries - I've tried.

He is up to 4 oz every bottle - every 3 hrs or so. We checked with the Dr. WonderfulPed and she is OK with this level of feeding. Seems like a lot though.

About every 3rd bottle he decides he didn't get enough food, so he goes "snork, snork, snork", flails his arms and head, then tries to eat his hands, shirt, bib, my shirt, arm, or hand.

If I feel he really has had the limit already I will try to placate him a bit. Sometimes I can fool him out of it, but he is getting smarter about the pacifier and diversion tactics... Whaaaaaaaaaa! Feed me more NOW DAMN YOU! WHHHHHHAAAAAA! With arched back and everything...

He finishes eating and cries because he is wet, or has poo'd - Whaaaaa, change me! This cry isn't horrible, just whiny.

THEN - we might have 30 mins to 2 hrs of bouncy chair time where he is moderately calm - or asleep. 2 hrs is about his happy-time limit for the day.

Once he wakes up or gets bored we start the whole process over again.

Folks, I am seriously starting to dislike hearing my child cry. I love him, and I want to make him happy, but DAMN IT I NEED some happy time from him in return.

OK - so some moves I'm making to change things...

1. I'm getting out the more advanced toys and playmats, etc. I'm thinking he may be just a bit bored.

2. I'm trying to stay positive and upbeat in my tone of voice and body language - I want to show him what happy looks like, and reinforce that happy is good. He has started smiling and cooing this week, so this may be working somewhat.

3. I've setup our baby sling/carrier so I can take him with me during more of my household work. If he enjoys this it will be a win/win. I want to try to keep from him being a "hold me" baby, but right now I'd settle for a happy baby.

4. Working with hubby to have him mimmick these same behaviors and actions. He is WONDERFUL with Jim, and sings/plays with him lots. So this isn't really an issue - just needing a few tweaks so we are more consistent.

Anyone have any other ideas? We're trying to make this work, we really are. We need more happy.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Jim, Jim, JIM!!!! It's Bedtime Already!!!!

Yesterday... Well, last night... No, maybe you'd call it this morning... Whatever!?! It was really hard, particularly when it came to bedtime. Jim wakes up about 5 or 6 AM to be fed and have the oil changed, then he usually goes right back to sleep.

Well, Bo had the misfortune of having some bottle-making issues, which gave little Jim time to get fully awake and screaming. Let's just say that dark room, sleepy Daddy, screaming kid, and "cutsie" ounce measurements* on our new "decorative" Play.tex bottles do not a good combo make. So, even though Jim did get fed and changed, he decided to stay up and scream for another hour and a half to express his extreme displeasure at having to wait. Oy vey. Poor Daddy.

About 7 AM, a very frustrated and sleepy Daddy came into my room and asked if I could take over. He just couldn't do it anymore. Of course, I agreed, even though I was really scared this was going to be a BAD morning.

For once, I felt like I had the "Mommy gene" when I picked up my son, snuggled him into the big comfy glider, and he drifted off to sleep. Oh, and it pissed Daddy right off, but that's OK. He's rescued our boy from a day with me and snuggled him into a coma WAY more than I have. :)

Oh, and Daddy, he slept until Noon - for the first time in years!

*For the record, at 7AM, more awake and in better light, I COULD NOT MAKE OUT THE OUNCES markers either!!!! I'm planning on making a call to our friend Play.tex this week. They need to have pitty on us poor tired parents.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Jim Sleep Study...

I thought you all might like to see my boy during his sleep study last Friday...

I think in the 1st picture he kinda looks like he's thinking, "Hey, Sweetheart, wanna make some sparks?" And no, that is NOT my belly in the picture - that's the sleep tech.

This picture though, it really breaks my heart. He so looks like an accident victim. Seeing him like this made me want to cry, even though I knew the bandages were just to keep him from undoing his electrodes. Mama Bear wanted very much to save her little boy from this torture...

My boy now on oxygen at home - just .25 liters per hour (a low flow). We have him setup with a cannula up his nose, an oxygen enrichment machine, and backup tanks (in case of power failure).

He is also on an apnea monitor when he's sleeping. These darned things blare false alarms constantly! Last night I think I counted 10 false alarms - could have been 15. I've been told this is about right, as these machines are very sensitive, and they are known to go off at the slightest disturbance.

Um, so a newborn moving is considered "a disturbance" to a machine especially built to monitor infants? Wow, talk about touchy machines! Oh, or maybe a BAD DESIGN BY THE MANUFACTURER!!!!!

I've been told that putting up with the false alarms is what we must do to keep our child safe. So, I'll not be getting much unbroken sleep between now and the end of the month. I'm hoping I survive it...

Oh, before I forget... Orodemniades asked about what exactly little Jim is doing when he breathes...

He is breathing very shallow and quite fast when he is asleep. It sort-of looks like he is almost hyperventilating. Also, he fills his lungs from the diaphragm first, not his chest first like the rest of us do. This leads to a short shallow breath, which means he doesn't really take in enough oxygen during each breath. This leads to his oxygen stats dropping too low.

So, the real trouble is his respiration drive is too immature, and he breathes fast and shallow. The effect is that his oxygen gets too low. The cure is supplemental oxygen and time.