Tag Archives: formula

Bonding

When I was pregnant with Felix, I had certain beliefs and expectations of becoming a new mom again.  I knew I would be tired and sleep deprived for a while, and sore from the c-section.  I knew I wanted to breastfeed, and I knew the baby would sleep in our bed at least part of the time.  I knew we had family and friends who were looking forward to not only meeting our baby, but helping with him for babysitting and such. And I knew I wanted to stay at home with the baby for about the first year or so, at least.

From the first day Felix was born, he gave me hell about breastfeeding, which continues today.  He has found new and unique ways to make nursing challenging just about every week.  From refusing, to not latching right, to blood sugars requiring supplementation, to LOTS of biting.  Its been crazy!

My expectations about sleep deprivation were very inaccurate.  It’s been nothing like I thought it would be.  Felix does not have typical sleep patterns.  For one, he doesn’t really nap.  He sleeps 20-30 minutes, 2-3 times per day while laying on one of us.  If he gets put down, he wakes up.  And at night, for the longest time he didn’t sleep much.  He was awake for 2-3 hours in the middle of the night, and nursed several times overnight.  He would be wide awake and happy, playing in the dark and keeping us awake.  I was getting 3-4 hours of sleep per night for months.  It has evolved a little over time.  Now he generally sleeps well overnight, but still wakes to eat 2-3 times, occasionally staying awake for an hour or two, or occasionally having a night where he doesn’t sleep much at all. On the flipside of that, he occasionally has nights where he sleeps 10 hours straight.  But its more on the sleeping side now.  Even though he’s still challenging to get to go to sleep.

Friends and family have been few and far between as far as visits.  No one babysits except Felix’s big sister Zoey.  And that’s only been a couple times.  But some of that is just because Felix had CMV and was grumpy and colicky until he was about 6 months old.

And that’s where the point of this post comes into play: illness and colic, and bonding with my baby. For the very tough, colicky period, I loved Felix of course, but I didn’t like him. I hated all the crying, particularly because there was nothing I could do to soothe him. I couldn’t make him feel better. He would look directly into my face and scream frantically as if pleading for me to make it better. It broke my heart every day, and I sobbed right along with him.

And after a while the helplessness made me feel like a shitty mom. It made me angry, not at Felix, but at the universe for making my poor innocent baby so uncomfortable and upset. It also made me angry with myself for being so completely unable to make it better. I didn’t understand why it was happening. I started to have feelings of regret and resentment towards myself and Jarrod for deciding to have another baby in the first place. I was desperately missing the time I had spent with my husband, my older kids, my other family, my friends, and even working. I was entirely consumed with the fact that I now had to take care of this little, helpless, miserable, screaming human that I could not comfort or make feel better. I knew it would be a temporary phase in the bigger picture, but every day felt like an eternity. I didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Then, as more time passed and Felix wasn’t improving, wasn’t getting past his colic, and now had obvious developmental delays… my already sleep-deprived, depressed and anxiety-ridden brain absolutely ran away with ideas of serious illness and disabilities. He wasn’t physically moving right, seemingly wasn’t seeing or hearing well, wasn’t responding to anything or looking at us at all, had no interest in toys or really anything. Our family doctor really didn’t know what to tell us, so he sent us onto specialists. But before we could meet with the specialists, I couldn’t help but worry myself sick. My brain just would not shut off, thinking he had some severe life-altering condition or issue.

When we met with the developmental specialist the first time, Felix had improved only slightly. That was in August. Genetic tests, body system function tests, and many imaging tests were ordered. Physical, occupational and speech/feeding therapy was ordered. The doc said he wanted to be super aggressive for the best outcome. But while we were waiting for all of these appointments, Felix started to improve on his own.

The only test that came back without a normal result was the one for CMV antibodies. Meaning at some point in Felix’s short life, he had been exposed to CMV and had gotten an infection. CMV is like mono, and it effects everyone differently. Apparently it had a very strong, long lasting effect on Felix in a very important developmental period of his life. So he felt like he had a cold/flu for likely 2-3 months, and that is what was delaying everything.

In October, Felix had his follow up, and by then he was like a whole new baby. And since then he has improved even more. He is babbling, playing, social, happy, communicative, and a complete joy to have in our lives. Physical therapy is helping him learn how to move his body the ways he should have learned when he was sick with CMV. It’s giving him the awareness and confidence to try new things and he’s really blossoming.

His illness and delays really drove a stake into my heart at first, and made me question our decision to have another baby. It was extremely tough, and looking back I’m not sure how we survived it. But now that things are coming closer to “normal,” speaking for myself, there’s an overwhelming sense of relief and joy in my life. Felix is an amazing little guy. I’m so incredibly grateful and blessed to be his mommy. He has taught me so very much already, and I’m sure he will continue to teach me more. The bond is strong now, as I feared it would never be. Thank goodness.

I’m so lucky to have been able to stay home with him and support his extra needs. If I’d had to work or if I wasn’t as involved as I am with him, we may have missed the issues and it could have had much more lasting effects on him overall.

I’m even luckier to have an amazing husband supporting not only Felix’s needs, but me, my needs, and my dedication to helping our son. Jarrod and I make a pretty phenomenal parenting team. There’s no one in the world I’d rather have as my partner in life. He has supported me through all the struggles, listened to all of my venting, and done everything he could do to help in every way. He’s shared in all the joys and triumphs, with just as much excitement. He’s the best husband, father, and man I’ve ever known.

Now the regret and resentment is completely gone, as it has transformed into bliss. We made the right decision to have a baby. Felix makes the most perfect addition to our family. All the older kids adore him, and I feel like his presence is bringing us closer as a family as well. Something we all have in common. I am enjoying watching his personality develop and shine, and I am hopeful and excited for the future with Felix in it.

Felix is 5 Months Old!

Felix is 5 months old, and boy is he growing and changing! He’s finally over his colic, though a few tummy troubles remain sometimes. Eliminating formula and giving him 100% breastmilk seems to have helped quite a lot, but sometimes whatever I eat affects him pretty strongly. He sees a specialist for his tummy troubles next week to see what we can do about it.

He finally smiles regularly, though I can’t often catch a picture. He giggles fairly regularly too, mostly at things that slightly startle him. He gets very bored sitting in the house, and has zero interest in TV or anything on a screen. He LOVES water now, and enjoys playing in his wading pool and the bathtub often. He would much rather be outside than anywhere else. He thinks the grass is cool, and likes kicking his feet in it.

He does very well with tummy time now, and has started rolling from front to back. He still needs some help with back to front, but he understands how to do it with a little help. He’s pretty good about sitting up with support, but he won’t always do it. He will “wilt” if he doesn’t feel like sitting up. He still doesn’t nap much or well, but he usually sleeps well overnight, as long as his tummy isn’t hurting.

He loves lots of direct attention by singing to him or playing with him. He still isn’t grabbing at toys or reaching for things much at all, but I work with him on it often. He babbles quite a lot, telling us lots of stories.

Overall, he’s doing a LOT this month compared to before. He’s his mom and dad’s little sidekick, and is so much fun to spend time with. His colic really made him miserable, and now that he’s turned a corner with it, his true personality is shining through. It’s a whole new world, and it’s a great one!

Felix is 4 Months Old!

Felix is 4 months old today! Heโ€™s still a big fan of baths. He loves being walked around outside and looking at the trees around dusk. He feels most comfortable being held by daddy, or in the wrap with mommy. He’s still breastfeeding with formula supplements, but shows a strong preference for the breast now. Also, he shares a bed with us most of the time still, but weโ€™re slowly transitioning him to his basinet, at least for part of the night.

He doesnโ€™t smile much and doesnโ€™t have too much interest in toys yet. We were a bit concerned about his motor and social development, and meeting milestones, but his doctor said he wasnโ€™t concerned just yet. Babies all develop and do things on their own time, not by dates on a calendar.

Heโ€™s still dealing with a little colic, but I think itโ€™s mostly because he doesnโ€™t nap much during the day. Only 15-20 minute naps rather than 60-90 minute naps. By the evening heโ€™s way too overtired and canโ€™t settle in, so he cries. Itโ€™s not every night anymore, but probly about 1/2 the time. Heโ€™s also had 3 colds now, with awful congestion. So all the colic, gas and congestion for most of his life could be contributing to him not being a super smiley baby.

Life has to get better from here, right?

Felix is 3 Months Old!

Today our big boy Felix is 3 months old! As of a couple days ago, he weighed 13 lbs 2 oz. He’s doing a darn good job of holding his own head up most of the time, and loves to watch all his surroundings. He enjoys kisses and tickles from mom and dad, and playing with his big brothers and sisters. He’s smiling fairly regularly, and has even let out a couple giggles. He is still breastfed, but still has a couple of supplemental bottles throughout each day. We’ve switched to soy formula and I have gone dairy-free, and it seems to have helped the gas pains considerably. He also now has reflux medication that has helped as well. He’s sleeping pretty well at night, but still wakes up every 2-4 hours to eat. This week he came down with his first cold, but seems to be getting over it quickly.

Felix is definitely a shining light in our life. He is such a good-natured and precious boy. He charms everyone he meets. We all love him so very much.

Tummy Troubles

So the last couple days have been extremely rough with Felix. His โ€œcolicโ€ has been unbearably bad this last two evenings. His bouts of it have been lasting six or seven hours at a time of intense, painful screaming. He screams and looks right in my eyes as if to ask me to fix it. He has not been sleeping peacefully in the evenings whatsoever either, doing lots of wiggling and grunting throughout the night, leaving Jarrod and I with about four hours of sleep a night the last couple nights. Of course that means Felix hasnโ€™t been getting the proper rest he needs either.

So today I decided to not accept that he โ€œonly has colic,โ€ and decided to take him to the doctor and push a little harder to see if we can get to the root of this little guyโ€™s pain, as Jarrod and I are fed up with seeing him in so much discomfort day after day. The doctor did a blood test and found that Felix has a viral infection, making whatever normal aches and pains he has, much worse.

So we are making a couple of changes to make him more comfortable in general. By doctorโ€™s orders weโ€™re:

โ€ข Giving Felix a little Tylenol for the next few days until this virus passes.

โ€ข Eliminating garlic, onions, and peppers from my diet. This will be very difficult as I eat garlic daily. But ANYTHING to make him feel better is worth it to me.

โ€ข Switching his supplemental formula to an easier one for his system.

Hopefully the diet changes for Felix and I will fix the majority of his โ€œcolic,โ€ and once the virus passes he will be a lot happier in general in the evenings.

As for the rest of today, he slept most of it away. The Tylenol helped so very much. Heโ€™s been peaceful and resting, exactly like he should be when heโ€™s recovering from a minor illness. I think weโ€™re finally on a good track for this part of his well-being!