Friday, August 26, 2011

After the Fact

I had written back in another blog that I was going to try to write a blog each week about something that I hadn't thought of or expected before the baby got here.  However, I was delinquent last week as my little one was wanting some extra attention.  But now, I am getting around to the next topic! 

The hormonal and emotional experiences after the baby arrives are hard to describe and something that hadn't crossed my mind much.  Yes, I'd heard of postpartum depression, the "baby blues," etc. and I was prepared to deal with that if possible.  However, even without those things, there are other hormonal and emotional experiences that do not happen until the baby arrives.

1.) Bonded by Crying?
The first night after Gordon Lee arrived up through the first week, his crying actually had a physical impact on me.  I had NO idea this would happen and it was actually quite an incredible experience.  Every time he cried at night, I literally felt as though there was a cord connected from me to him and it pulled at me when he cried.  I actually could not just listen to him cry because my body physically would not let me do it! It is the strangest feeling, and even the description I'm giving isn't enough.  However, it was truly remarkable and unexpected to feel a "pull" when he cried.  This did go away.  But I suppose we are made this way for a reason!

2.) My Baby is the Only One
One night, when Gordon Lee was about 2 weeks old, he was not in the mood to sleep.  We didn't know what was wrong at the time, but he was just crying continuously and seemed impossible to soothe.  I was rocking him in an attempt to get him to sleep and I looked at him and said, "I bet you Jericho is sleeping right now."  I do not know why I felt that way, but I had this idea in my head that things were quiet and peaceful next door while chaos ruled my house.  When my neighbors asked me how he was sleeping, I actually shared that story with them only to discover that Jericho wasn't sleeping either! He was up every 2 hours every single night, apparently.  At this, I realized  that our house was usually calmer during the night because Gordon Lee slept 4 hour stretches at a time at night! 

Something made me think that everybody else out there with a baby was having it so easy.  You see pictures of quiet, adorable little babies and then think something is wrong with yours! Granted, nobody really wants to share a picture of their upset child.  But it's weird how these thoughts that yours is the only one seem to take control.  The more I have shared the challenges we've faced with him with others, the more I've found out he's not "the only one." As I write, he is beginning to pitch a fit because he just filled up his pants. ;) I'll have to come back to this blog later.

3.) Not Me
Another thing I discover based on sharing my experiences with others is that, for some reason, it is very common to feel like you can't take care of your baby.  There have been so many times where I've felt I'm just "not fit" to take care of Gordon Lee.  Even if this is far from the truth, it appears to be a very common feeling.  My mom shared with me that she was afraid to give my sister a bath when she was born.  I'm not sure if it's the feeling that you think you should be able to know everything that will help the baby because you are his/her mother.  Or maybe it's just one of those emotional things that is a part of having a baby.  But, it seems that many people experience these feelings like you just can't do it sometimes.  I think I expected  him to calm down with me because he knew I was his mother (even if that is ridiculous).  But all babies will have periods when they just cry and it seems like nothing you do can make them stop.  

So, if there are new moms out there who feel like I did,  you are not alone.  It's likely that the person posting pictures of an adorable, contented baby is also feeling caught in a tornado of tears from time to time themselves.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What a Blessing

For a long time, I've been wanting to write this blog.  And I've had so much to say about it that I've taken a long time to get it started because I'm worried I'm going to end up rambling.  But, after today, I felt that this blog can't wait any longer.  I was blessed with a truly amazing doctor, and I really cannot even do justice to how incredible she is in a blog.  Dr. G (as I shall refer to her) is caring, kind, gentle, and very thorough.  I have to share all of the great things she has done for my baby and me.

First of all, she was my obstetrician throughout the pregnancy.  When my water broke and I went into the hospital in the wee hours of July 8th, she was not on duty.  Instead, I initially had to be seen by a younger, much more inexperienced doctor who immediately tried pushing drugs on me.  My doctor had all 4 of her children without drugs and was trying to encourage me that I could do it as well.  So, when the doctor on duty told me that he talked to my doctor and she wanted to start piton right away, I knew something was  up.  I told him that I didn't want to make any decisions until Dr. G arrived herself.  He was making me feel like they were going to make a choice for me and I knew my doctor wasn't going to do that.  Well, sure enough, when she arrived, things got a lot better and nobody was trying to push me to do anything.  I did go on piton because my contractions were irregular and despite hours of walking, stayed that way.  Still, nobody pushed the decision on me.

Once my doctor arrived, a sense of calm came with her.  She actually wouldn't allow any other doctor to check how far I was progressing as she didn't trust their judgment.   Since I was in labor for 24 hours, there was one time when she was unable to come up and check my progression.  Instead, she sent a midwife she trusted.  As it turned out, she was taking great lengths to ensure that I wasn't pushed into a c-section.  Apparently, there was a doctor who was tired of me being there for as long as I was and kept suggesting a c-section.  Looking out for my best interest, she said that if I progressed at all, we'd keep going.  Even though I only dilated 1 centimeter over a period of 4 or more hours, she still called it progression.  I was SO thankful that she was there for me and didn't allow some doctor to "hurry up" the process for his own convenience.  Granted, if it had gone too long, we may have had to take other measures.  But she was there for me all the way intervening for me.  What a blessing!

While in the hospital, she came and visited me quite a few times.  She offered breastfeeding support, told me that I was doing a great job, and said that little Gordon Lee looked great.  In fact, she set up his pediatric appointments with her.  And I was again so grateful.  Every other doctor he has seen has been nothing like her.  

Last week, I took him in to the doctor because he was having some problems.  He was constantly wanting to eat literally all the time for days on end.  And when not eating, he was crying like he'd had nothing.  His weight gain and output showed he was getting plenty.  So, concerned, I booked an appointment.  But they couldn't make one with Dr. G because they said she was booked.  So, they gave me another doctor who didn't even examine him well and said that she thought he had colic and acid reflux and gave us medicine for both.   Still, last week, I noticed he developed a rash and so I made another appointment and this had to be with yet another doctor.  She said the rash was normal from hormones, and that she thought he had colic.

I REALLY wanted to see Dr. G.  The other doctors just didn't make me feel at ease.  Plus, the second doctor talked to me like I knew nothing.  When I told her he wanted to eat all of the time, she responded with, "Babies aren't hungry every time they cry; you need to try other things." Well NO KIDDING! I think I know my baby's cues at this point and I do not resort to food immediately.  

So, today, I had my own follow-up visit with Dr. G and she graciously examined little Gordon Lee for me as well.  And it was just such a breath of fresh air! She told me that his rash was not a hormonal thing and that she could tell it was a result of a virus that had passed.  That would explain his crankiness and why he was nursing so much.  She said that the type of rash was unmistakable.  She was also the first doctor to really examine him carefully and listen to what I had to say--instead of assuming I was ignorant of everything.  

He actually got hungry during the visit, so I had to feed him.  She got to witness him spitting up and did not feel he had reflux.  She told me not to give him the medicine for it and that babies sometimes just have a number of things happening at once.  From her gentle manner to her calming voice, she always makes me feel so good after a visit.  

I wish there were more doctors like her out there!

Monday, August 22, 2011


One night while my mother was here, she was holding Gordon Lee and excitedly called me over to see his new "trick." He had started turning his head from side to side.  He wouldn't do it for me at the time, but I did see it later.  I thought it was so cute that she called it a "trick."

So far, at 6 weeks old, Gordon Lee has picked up the following "tricks."

1.) Head Swivels
As I said before, turning his head from side to side.  He seems to be a big fan of this one.  I do not have much footage of this as it is hard to video tape him while he does it.  I have to hold him upright in my lap for him to do it.  But here is a photo from when he was doing it.  I promise I'm not choking him...just supporting his head/neck.

2.) Lifting his head
For short periods of time, he can pick his head up and turn his head to look around! I couldn't believe it when he just suddenly did it one morning.  All of my photos are blurry because he moves so quickly when he does it.  But here's the proof!

(In this one, he was actually picking his head up to see his daddy who was standing behind me talking to him!)

3.) Staring Contest
He will make eye contact and just stare now.  He started this one about a week or two ago when he would fixate on certain things.  But he is doing it a lot more.  He seems to prefer to stare at our faces :)

4.) Smiling and Cooing
He will smile for very fleeting moments, and he will coo as well.  Since he isn't much of a performer, I don't have much footage of this.  In this one video, there is a small coo.  I tried to repeat it to him to get him to do it again, but he just wouldn't.

Unless there is anything else that I just can't think of right now, those are the major developmental milestones he has hit so far.