Thursday, April 30, 2009

new bouncer

bought this baby bjorn baby sitter 1-2-3 (now discontinued) at a children's consignment shop for $30. they usually go for $60-90 on ebay and craigslist, so i've been feeling inordinately pleased with myself. sometimes leon loves his bouncer, sometimes not so much. but i can bring it into the bathroom when i'm showering so he won't become upset. huge brownie points for whoever came up with the design! he also loves his aden+anais muslin wraps. they're so soft and cuddly, i wish they came in grown up sizes--perfect as summer bedding.

vaccines and colic

leon had his first DTaP vaccine on friday. now, i'm not an anti-vaccine person, although i hate seeing my baby in pain even for a tiny moment, but there is something strange about his behavior since then.

4 hours after the vaccine, leon woke up from a nap screaming at the top of his lungs. i tried feeding him, but he was super unhappy. he continued to wail for over 2 hours before matthew called the doctor. they told us to give him infant tylenol because he had a low fever (99-100 degrees) and was crying. he continued crying for another hour, no matter how hard we tried to soothe him. the vaccine info sheet says that inconsolable crying for more than 3 hours is considered a severe reaction and may result in him not continuing the booster shots. well, we'll see what the pediatrician has to say about that.

the next day his fever persisted, and the crying kept on going. we gave him more tylenol throughout the day. now, leon is an intense baby, but whenever he cries, i can usually localize the problem. there's the whine-cry that comes when he's sleepy but can't quite fall asleep. the sharp, sudden high-pitched cry means a diaper change (i.e., he just wet the diaper and needs it changed RIGHT NOW). there's also the hunger cry, which takes on a funny rhythm, almost like a cry-grunt. and when he's bored, well, that's a less severe cry.

but this new cry is really something else. it keeps going and going, he whips himself into a frenzy and starts choking because he's taking sharp fast breaths. his face and body turn red, and he seems so furious.

the fever subsided by the end of the second day, but i've noticed that he cries like this beginning around 7pm now. i'll feed him, put him down so i can eat dinner, and the crying commences. matthew picks him up and tries to soothe him, but the cries only intensify. i wait for as long as i can take it, and then i stop eating my dinner, run to leon, scoop him up, and the crying stops. he looks at me, and my response is: can you possibly still be hungry after eating for a solid 15 minutes 20 minutes ago? the answer is yes. so i feed him again for another 20 minutes. and then, if i'm lucky like tonight, he drifts off to sleep. if i'm unlucky, the cycle starts all over again. a diaper is changed, happy gurgling, and then in a flash, screaming and wailing that comes out of nowhere.

is this colic? is this a side effect of the vaccine? i don't know, but it's wearing us out. we've tried giving him the pacifier, but he keeps spitting it out. he wants me. this means feeding for 15 minutes and then sleeping and sucking for 20 minutes more before my arms fall asleep.

can a baby develop colic after 9 weeks? i don't know. but i suspect this new crying has something to do with the vaccine. he's always been a difficult to soothe baby, but the ferocity of his cry has completely taken us by surprise. usually it's a constant pathetic whine that is punctuated by sharp cries. i don't know what to do, but it seems that something is not right with him. i wish i knew what it was. i can't tell if he's hurting, or if it's more of a psychological thing. maybe he's going through a major growth spurt and is mighty pissed with me because i'm not feeding him every 20 minutes? he's a lucky boy that his mama doesn't have a milk supply issue. i am hoping things will improve next week. evenings and nights are the toughest. the only thing that keeps us going is that he wakes up in the morning smiling and chuckling as if the past 12 hours were a dream. if it weren't for those moments, i would be in a sorry state right now.

Monday, April 27, 2009

9 weeks

a moment of calm....

the soundtrack to my life

Monday, April 20, 2009

8 weeks

march 28

april 7

april 15

is sophie getting smaller? i wish i had started taking photos with sophie earlier, but oh well. i'm not disciplined enough. i tried to take a belly photo every week, but i lost my resolve at about week 34. one of these days i'll make a collage of them for this blog.

leon is 8 weeks old now, and all i can say is that he is I-N-T-E-N-S-E. i don't want to say he's difficult, or 'bad,' because really, it's just that he's easily bored and very impatient (like his mom). things haven't gotten easier in terms of his personality, but we sleep more and breastfeeding is less difficult--although i had to pump the past two nights in order to prevent engorgement yet again.

maybe extra sleep makes his behavior more tolerable for me. or maybe i'm getting used to his outbursts. but what i thought was slow improvement 3 weeks ago has stalled, maybe even regressed. i've put him in a sling, jiggled, whooshed, sung, strolled, cuddled, danced, rocked, swaddled, tummy timed, bathed, walked away, counted to 10, and started all over again.

i'm not sure what to do about his intense need to suck. not a huge fan of pacifiers (they get dirty, cover his adorable face, etc...). i have this paranoid fear that he will become dependant on them for soothing. but at the same time, this human pacifier is becoming increasingly worn out. so, i'm basically waiting, hoping he'll start sucking his fist. in the meantime, a finger is offered when he's particularly inconsolable. for the most part, though, constant work on my part to keep the Gummi Bear amused has been successful.

this just means that i've done absolutely no work since he was born. 8 weeks of trying out various soothing methods, wondering whether my decision to postpone/forgoe the bottle and the pacifier is going to set my dissertation back. wondering whether i'll actually finish the thing and graduate in a year. receiving a letter from Sallie Mae about my undergrad loan deferment, worrying that i'm not doing enough for my career, for leon.

so, i have a guest lecture to give in 9 days for my adviser's class on suburbs. i'm going to present part of a chapter that i haphazardly wrote while in labor. it should be pretty lowkey, but i've procrastinated long enough. if the weather holds today, i might go to the nursery to buy plants for the deck with leon and my mom (she's leaving friday). but really, i need to get work done. it's just difficult to step away from leon when he's either crying or smiling. boy, i wish he would nap more during the day.

Monday, April 13, 2009

brunch outfit

nature baby singlet
nature baby footie
flora and henri lap tee
oeuf alpaca necktie

in the past week or so we've started venturing out in spite of this schizophrenic weather. nursing and diaper changes continue to be challenging, but having now nursed and changed diapers twice in the car (uncomfortable) and once at the saks womens' lounge (easy), we're starting to get the hang of it. leon definitely prefers being out in noisy places. he falls asleep pretty quickly and doesn't make a peep until he's hungry.

on saturday matthew, leon, and i went to sofra bakery to have brunch with stephanie and sean. leon had a great time getting dressed. that boy definitely loves his stripes.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

freedom is now!

in the p-sling, waiting to go outside

channeling robert mapplethorpe

delightful, scrumptious thighs

like me, his hair is curly when wet

this week has been so much better than the previous 5. thank you for all of your comments, i know every day is going to bring its own share of challenges and rewards, but i'm finally starting to feel that things are improving.

leon slept 4 hours twice this week, which was somewhat unnerving (but great). because i produce so much milk, i usually have to pump at least once every couple of days. otherwise, poor leon gets more than he can handle, and i'm a hormonal trainwreck. i'm hoping things will start settling down soon, but i'm grateful that i don't have to worry about not producing enough milk.

also, this week leon and i ventured outside twice! once in the p-sling, which he is starting to love. my shoulder isn't as happy, but i'm going to my local babywearing group in two weeks for advice. we also finally took the stroller out for a walk to school. i wanted to attend part of a conference, so matthew and i took turns watching leon. he slept pretty much the whole time, even when i kept running into trash cans (trash day...) he didn't seem to mind at all.

next thursday is my la leche league meeting, which will hopefully give me the support i need. leon never eats for longer than 15 minutes. i can't tell if he's just a super efficient eater or what, but he's certainly putting on the pounds without any problem. the main thing is, i think he has trouble latching on. i'm not sure if he's tongue-tied, but that could be one reason for the short, frequent feeding sessions. per catherine's suggestion, i've been feeding on the same side twice when they last for less than 5 minutes, but this is hard to do without serious engorgement issues. so, back to the pump i go.

i'm still pretty frustrated that i can't get any of my own work done. i've started back up on my adviser's book illustration project (yay for getting paid), but my chapters are sitting neglected. i know i should slow down and enjoy these early months with leon. he's growing so quickly, and there are so many emotions and thoughts running through my head that it seems silly to add extra stress. i'm already nostalgic for my scrawny little newborn, but i'm also enjoying his new facial expressions (smiles) and sounds (almost baby-like rather than dinosaur-like). it is so hard to juggle my desire to keep working on my dissertation with wanting to nap all day long next to his warm heavy weight, jerky movements, and pinchable chubby thighs.

six weeks today, and spring has yet to arrive. we are looking forward to sitting outside and sipping morrocan mint tea.