We have a 2 year old!

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Monday, January 30, 2012

21 Weeks Old!

At 21 weeks old, Cael wants to "eat" and grab everything in his sight. He's very adventurous, and interested in everything. If I have him in my lap while I'm eating or drinking, he'll reach for my food or my glass. He also needs to keep moving, more than even before. He's definitely developing and growing more each day.

I think my supply is starting to get better. Slowly. I get about 2 ounces combined from both breasts now at one pumping session. Plus, Cael seems to be more satisfied after eating, and is taking more gulps at the breast. I've increased my water intake, which has helped, and I'm waiting for some supplements in the mail. A kind and generous mom from the September Sweet Pea group had some left over More Milk Plus and Fenugreek, so she mailed them to me. I should be getting them on Tuesday, and I'm looking forward to taking them. Hopefully it will boost my supply to what it used to be (4-5 ounces in one pumping session). I'm pumping about 4-5 times a day, so I'm also building up my freezer stash.

I should probably be building up my freezer stash, anyway, for in case I find work. The hospital up the road from us posted a per diem position for a general ultrasound position. I called on Friday and left a message for the director of the department, whom I spoke to in November when I first applied there. I'm hoping she'll call me back on Monday or Tuesday, but I'll probably just re-submit my application and apply for that position. While I hope that I get it, I would still love to continue staying home with Cael. However, if I lose my unemployment, and we have just Matt working, there's no way we'd be able to make it. We've already had to go 6 weeks with just Matt's pay, and we had negative money in the bank. It will all work out, one way or another.

Finally, I got Cael's fluffy mail. I'm so excited about it. We got a Blue Berry cover, Kawaii pocket diaper, 2 BumGenius 4.0 pocket diapers, and a GroVia cover. I can't wait to wash them all, and start using them. I've mentioned before that I won't have to do laundry as much. I'm also excited about that, too. I love the colors and prints that I got. Here's a picture of my fluffy mail. I'm just waiting for one more diaper in the mail, that I ordered for $5 off the Cloth Diaper Swap group on Facebook. It's a red Babyland pocket diaper in excellent used condition with no stains. For $5, you can't go wrong.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Not Enough

I'm failing Cael. Period.

For the past week or so, Cael will eat for 4 minutes. Exactly 4 minutes. After that, he comes off the breast crying and screaming. I chalked it up to teething pain, but now I think it's something else. The amount of milk I'm producing is not enough for Cael. I came to that terrible conclusion tonight. I tried for a half hour (after feeding him on the breast) to desperately put him to sleep, but he just kept screaming. I tried Tylenol. Nothing. Then I decided to see if he was still hungry. I knew there wasn't anything left in my breasts, so I heated up some frozen milk I had from a while ago. Well, he sucked down 3 ounces no problem, and immediately fell asleep. I tried putting my son to sleep hungry, and I feel horribly guilty about it.

Add to that, I managed to only pump .5 ounce (yes, that's half an ounce) COMBINED from both breasts after the last feeding this evening. I didn't even think it was worth saving, but I did. Half an ounce wouldn't satisfy an ant. And now I just got done pumping 2 ounces. So that's a grand (pathetic) total of 4.5 ounces for the entire day. I used to get that amount from both breasts in one pumping session.

The biggest and most important fact is that Cael is supposed to be gaining weight. He has 2 weeks left until his weight check, and I'm dying to know if he's gained anything in these past 2 weeks. How am I supposed to help my son gain weight if I can't produce the milk he needs? It's really affecting me. I'm stressing, and having anxiety over it all. I'm so afraid that he's not going to gain enough in the next 2 weeks, and I'll have to give him formula. Or worse, he'll be labeled "failure to thrive." Nothing against formula fed babies, but I really just wanted Cael to be exclusively breast fed.

The lactation consultant I spoke to for a half hour gave me a lot of good advice. After going over everything that I was experiencing, we concluded that I'm having issues with my supply. The reason Cael comes off after 4 minutes, is because my letdown ends, and he doesn't get as much as he was, and therefore gets frustrated. She suggested doing a few things. Firstly, switch-feeding Cael. This means to immediately give Cael the other side when he comes off the first side, and then switch again. Secondly, pumping both sides right after feeding Cael. This will help trigger my breasts to produce more milk, even if I don't have any milk coming out. And thirdly, taking some herbal supplements, including alfalfa and More Milk Plus. These supplements, as well as Fenugreek, help your body to stimulate more milk production.

Hopefully with all this and determination, I can get my supply back and get Cael to gain some weight. That is my biggest concern, is that he is not gaining. I guess only time will tell. I'm planning on hooking up our Wii fit, and weighing me, and then weighing the both of us, so that I can see how much he weighs. It won't be exact, but it will let me know if he's reached the 14 pound mark yet. :::Fingers crossed:::


Over the last week, Matt and I have noticed an obvious change in Cael's personality. He's more adventurous and interested in the world around him. He's always reaching for things around him and in front of him, and is putting everything in his mouth. Or at least trying to. When I have my phone, food, etc in my hands in front of him, he just reaches for it and tries to hold it himself. It's definitely cool to see him wanting to explore the world around him with wide-eyes, and an open interest.


So the Lactation Consultant called me yesterday. I feel better and worse at the same time. Better because she gave me some suggestions; worse because the problem is most likely me.

She suggested "switch feeding" to see if that makes Cael happy. Meaning, let him eat on one side until he comes off crying, then immediately switch him to the other side. He's probably content during the first 4 minutes because of my letdown allowing him to get the milk he wants. Then it stops, and he isn't getting what he wants/needs anymore. Which is why switching immediately should help.

She thinks, based on everything I've told her, that the problem is with my supply. Basically, because Cael was sleeping through the night for such a long time, up until a week or so ago, my breasts got used to that, and I guess decreased my overall supply. Now that he's been awake at night (probably a combination of 4mw and teething) to eat, it's making a mess of my supply. So now I feel like I'm not adequate enough for my son, and I'm not giving him what he need.

She suggested some herbal supplements to help boost my supply. She also suggested pumping after each feeding session during the day to also try to boost my supply. Hopefully this will all help, and I can start giving Cael what he needs/wants again.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cloth Diapering Thus Far

We have been cloth diapering for well over a month now. We started on December 9th, and it has been going great! We haven't needed to buy any disposable diapers or wipes (since I made my own, and make my own wipe solution) since then. I absolutely love cloth diapering, and it's easier than I ever thought it would be. And it's not any messier than using disposables - there's still poop. If anything, it's cleaner than disposables, because cloth diapers are less likely to leak and mess everywhere. And I can attest to that after several pooplosions!

It's been tight with having only 5 diapers/covers to use, especially since Cael has been pooping close to every day. So fortunately, I was able to order a few more, and I'm just waiting for them to arrive any day now. I got two more BumGenius 4.0 OS pocket diapers, a Kawaii OS pocket diaper, a Blueberry OS cover, and a GroVia OS cover. I'm super excited to be getting these, and they're in different, fun colors. Plus, it will definitely help. I won't have to do laundry every day now.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

20 Weeks Old!

If this were a pregnancy, Cael would be "half-baked":) So where to start. How about at sleep. Or rather, lack of sleep. The past week has been absolutely horrible during the night. Cael has been getting up anywhere from 12:30 am to 1:30 am. Sometimes he'll fall back to sleep while eating, sometimes he screams, and fights going back to sleep. Then say he's back to sleep by 2 am, he's up again sometime between 4:30 am and 5:30 am. But at this point, he's awake for good. More than not, he's crying and fussing. So I leave the room so that he doesn't wake Matt up.

Fortunately, one good thing is that he's taking naps during the day. Usually, for around 2 hours. I desperately count on the fact that about 1-2 hours after he's awake, he'll take a 2.5 or so hour nap. That's when I sleep too, thankfully. If not for that little gift, I'd be a walking zombie all day long. I really hope that if this is the 4 month sleep regression/4 month wakeful, that it passes quickly. I really miss the days when he'd sleep through the night, until 7am. And even more so the days where we'd both sleep in until 9:30. I was foolish in believing that would last.

Another thing that is weighing greatly on my mind (pun intended), is Cael's eating and weight. It's really concerning me, because I'm afraid that he's not getting what he needs, and therefore not gaining the weight that he needs to in the next 2 weeks. Otherwise, I'm afraid that he'll be labeled "failure to thrive." At exactly 4 minutes after beginning to eat - just like clockwork - he'll pull off the breast, and start screaming and crying. I'll continue trying for the next 3 minutes or so to get him to keep eating, in which he'll take a few more suckles, then come off screaming again. It used to be that this would only happen on the left breast. However, now it doesn't matter which breast he's on. He used to eat longer on the right breast, but not anymore. And after his bath at night, he'd always fall right to sleep on the right breast. Again, not anymore. I really hope this is due to teething, and not me. I really feel like I'm failing Cael; that he doesn't like my milk anymore, and that I'm not good enough for him. Especially when he'll take a bottle with no problem.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Oh, He's Sitting Alright!

Cael is now able to sit up by himself. Unassisted!! I can't believe it! I was over a friend of a friend's house (and she has a 3 weeks old), just hanging out. Which, by the way, was nice to do and have girl time, and adult talk. So anyway, I was sitting on the floor with Cael, and sat him down in front of me, between my legs. He's been able to hold himself sitting while holding onto my fingers, for about a week or 2 now. But has never sat unassisted before. Well, I decided to let go of holding him, and see what happened. Lo and behold, instead of tipping over immediately, he continued to stay seated, by himself. He was little wobbly, and started to tip over a few times, but for the most part, he did excellent. He was able to hold himself sitting for at least a minute, maybe 2. I think that's pretty good for sitting for the first time.

When we got home later in the day today, I immediately put him on the floor to see if he would do it again. Of course he did, but for longer this time. He was able to hold himself sitting for a couple of minutes strait before toppling over. I was able to get a bunch of pictures (of course!) and a video of it. I'm so proud, but sad at the same time. My little man is growing before my very eyes. I just can't believe he's sitting already. I was so excited, that I decided to Skype my mom. I told her I had something to show her, so she called me on Skype. I answered, with Cael sitting in front of the computer. I had to snap a picture, it was so adorable. My mom loved it, and can't wait to see him again. We're aiming to get down again the first weekend in February.

When Matt came home from work, I told him that Cael and I wanted to show him something. I had Matt close his eyes, while I laid a blanket on the floor, and sat Cael down. I had him open his eyes, and there before him, was Cael sitting by himself. He was impressed! He asked me if he's supposed to be doing that yet. Honestly, I didn't know. I thought it was a little early, especially since I know of some babies that haven't been able to roll onto their backs yet (around the same age as Cael) - which is perfectly fine, because every baby develops differently. So I looked it up online, and it turns out babies can start sitting alone from 4-7 months. So I guess you can say he started early. I'm so impressed with my lil' munchkin!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Welcome To Hell

Otherwise known as the 4 Month Sleep Regression. Add to that teething, and you have a full-blown inferno. After doing some reading, and paying attention to signs that Cael is giving me, I'm pretty sure this combination is what he is going through. I found this website, and I feel it describes what Cael is going through. Here's a quote from said website:

Sleep regressions are phases that many children go through due to physical and/or cognitive developmental milestones; sometimes these milestones occur simultaneously which really does a number on their sleep. These milestones whether that be crawling, standing, walking, cruising or even talking causes sleep disruptions because when a new skill is learned, that’s all their little brains can think about. What we need to remember is that children learn everything; things that we often take for granted such as tying our shoe laces, stacking blocks, walking, running – these are things that children find fascinating once they learn how to do it which means they have to do them over and over and over again. It preoccupies every waking second and unfortunately, every second that they should be sleeping. Sleep regressions seem long and painful because your child turns into a shell of her former self – she will become clingy, whiny, fussy and cry a whole lot. Sleep a lot less. Your weapon against sleep regressions other than this article? Information and preparation for the likelihood that at some point, your child will encounter a sleep regression. Here’s the low-down of what you can expect.

Clingy, whiny, fussy - that describes Cael over the last week. To be completely honest, the night before last was the worst night since Cael was a newborn. And I will actually go as far as to say I think it was worse than the newborn stage. He was up most the night, and I probably gotmaybe 3 hours of sleep. We were up for the day at 4:15, even though I continually tried to put him back to sleep for 2 hours. I never laid in bed for more than 10 minutes from 4-6 am. It was really rough. During the day has been very similar for the last few days, too. Very fussy, clingy and grumpy.

However, last night and today weren't bad. Hopefully he's turning around? He was horrible before bed last night - screaming for 1.5 hours strait. Like bloody-murder screaming. So bad, that we started his bedtime routine 20 minutes early. He screamed the whole time Matt was unchanging him for his bath, during his bath, and after his bath. Up until I started feeding him. After 5 minutes of being on my right breast, he was out cold. Fortunately and thankfully, he slept from 9:15pm to 5am.

I'm also have issues feeding Cael on my left breast. Hence, 'right' is italicized above. He'll feed on my left side for no more than 5 minutes, and then pull off and start crying, like he's frustrated. He has been doing this for about a week now. He'll feed fine on my right breast. It makes me frustrated, too, like I'm inadequate on that side. I know it's not a supply issue, because I can squirt milk from that breast all over. So I really don't know what's going on with my left side. At least he doesn't mind feeding on the right side.

And finally, a quick update on the small lump I had in my right breast. It's an inflamed Montgomery Tuberacle. So basically, a plugged up oil duct. Some calamine lotion to help dry it out, and I should be good. Seeing everyone in the BCC wasn't as bad or as uncomfortable as I thought it would be either. Everyone was nice, and actually helpful with Cael during my appointment. He was fussing a lot, so Cael was passed around the BCC, so that he wouldn't cry in the exam room with me. It was nice of them to help out.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Just Some Photos

I took these pictures with my Nikon, and I really love the way they came out. So I figured I'd share.

This one is of Killian, our Chocolate Lab. I LOVE this picture because his nose and whiskers are so in focus, while the further away parts of the photo are blurry.

And this one of Cael melts my heart. I love how he's looking away here, his expression, and how blue his eyes are. I also like the color of the image. However, I had my ISO up too high (I believe 1600), so there is a lot of "noise", or graininess in the picture. Especially in the darker parts. I also had my white balance on the wrong setting. It was on white-cool Fluorescent. I don't think the white balance affected the picture as much as the ISO. Considering all this, and the fact that I just really started learning about my camera about a month ago, it's a pretty good picture.

And finally, this picture. Z is for Zachary. This was taken in memory of Zachary, the Sweet Pea gone too soon. I'm not sure what else to say about this. It's incredibly heart-wrenching and sad. May you rest in peace, Angel Baby Zachary.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

19 Weeks Old!!

So at 19 weeks, I believe Cael has started teething. It's a very good possibility. He has been horribly fussy the last 2.5 days. Crying and whining when he's not eating or sleeping. So basically most of the day. And with naps, he fights sleep. Even more than normal. He's always fought naps. I don't understand what's so difficult about falling asleep - you're tired, you shut your eyes, you go to sleep. I know I have no problem falling asleep. Well, not with my kid. He fights so hard to stay awake, and always has.

I don't think the fussiness is a result of his shots 4 days ago. I think that would have passed by now. So I went out on Friday, and bought Infant's Tylenol. We've been giving it to him since last night, and it seems to be working. So he's in pain somewhere, I would imagine. It has to be his gums. He's also gnawing harder on my finger, wrist, Sofie, and pacifier. It's funny, because with the pacifier, he'll grab it, pull it out of his mouth, then put it back in his mouth, bite down on it, and rip it back out of his mouth; like he's biting it. So I would imagine this means his gums are bothering him. I don't see any teeth peeking through yet (my previous post about seeing a tooth was a false alarm), and I know it can be weeks or months before one does. I just can't believe my little man will be getting teeth soon! My nipples are hurting already thinking about it.

Speaking of nipples, I'm pretty sure I have an inflamed sebaceous cyst in my right breast, just on the edge of my areola. I'll be making a call to (my previous employer) the breast center tomorrow. After talking to a co-worker today, I decided that I should be seen. I was going to try and just talk to a NP over the phone, and she could tell me what to do. But since it's red and painful, it's probably inflamed, and on its' way to becoming infected. Which means antibiotics. Great. I hope not, but it's a possibility. I hope she could see me tomorrow or Tuesday, and I don't have to wait. It's becoming increasingly painful, especially when Cael latches and eats on that breast. First, I thought it was a plugged milk duct, because it's a superficial lump and painful. I tried heat and massage, and it didn't do anything but make it hurt more. It's getting bigger and more visually obvious each day (even though it's still only the size of a pea). But the clue that led to me thinking it's a sebaceous cyst, is that when I squeeze the opposite ends together (OUCH), I can see pus come to the surface, right under my skin, but not coming out. Oh well, I guess we'll see what they say tomorrow.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

4 Month Appointment!

We took Cael to his 4 month pediatrician appointment today for a physical and his second round of shots. We had to leave super early because the appointment was at 8:30, so we left the house at 7:15. Matt wasn't very happy about that, considering today was his day off, but he managed.

The appointment went well. However, his growth curve is slipping a bit. Our little peanut weighs 13 pounds 7 ounces, and is 25.5 inches long. Percentile-wise, that's the 5th percentile for weight and 75th percentile for height. Three weeks ago, he weighed 13 pounds 8 ounces, and was in the 25th percentile for weight. That means he lost 1 ounce in 3 weeks, and dropped from the 25th percentile to the 5th percentile. The doctor wasn't overly concerned, but he was a little concerned. He brought up the curve slipping, and said that he wanted us to bring him back in 1 month to recheck his weight.

He wants me to give Cael both breasts at one feeding, with 10 minutes on each side, instead of one breast at a time, which is what I was doing. He said that should hopefully help with him gaining weight. I did bring up that Cael has been eating for only 7-8 minutes on one side at a feeding, and will then play around with my nipple. He'll suckle for a few times, come off, cry, then re-latch. And repeat all that. Or sometimes, instead of crying, he'll smile. The pediatrician said that he could be becoming distracted or bored, which is why he's doing that. But he said to try and have him eat on both sides. Hopefully that will help him gain a little by next month.

The pediatrician also brought up giving Cael rice cereal. It is suggested to start between 4-6 months of age. I asked if we had to start giving cereal now, at 4 months, especially for weight gain. He said that we didn't need to, and that it's up to us for what we wanted to do. We could wait until 6 months if we wanted. He could tell that I wanted to exclusively breastfeed for the first 6 months, and then start solids and cereal (with breastfeeding, still, of course). I asked if we started cereal now, could we wait until 6 months for fruits and veggies. He said of course, that it's actually recommended to start solids at at least 6 months of age. That infants younger than 6 months old have an immature digestive tract, and that actually giving fruits and veggies prior to 6 months can cause problems, including infections. I knew that, but wanted to see what he was going to tell me. I'm glad that we're on the same page.

That all being said, I think that Matt and I might start introducing cereal at around 5 months old. It makes me sad to think that he'll be getting nutrition from somewhere else other than just me, but it's what he will need. He's growing up, and I need to come to terms with that.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

"I Know"

I cried myself to sleep last night. The death of a Pea 2 days ago is still throbbing in my heart. I know he's not my child to grieve, but I can't help but feel so sad for her and her loss. I haven't really been able to keep Cael out of my sight. I've been letting him sleep on me more than usual, and have been giving him way more cuddles, hugs and kisses than usual, too.

Considering it all, I was ok yesterday. I was sad and couldn't get it out of my head, but I was ok. However, last night, I just broke down. I was laying in bed, resting my head on Matt's arm, and just started crying. This was after I spent a few minutes with my hand on Cael's sleeping body, to reassure myself. Mind you, this is something I've done every night before going to bed, except, last night, I did it for a longer amount of time. My tears were running down my face, and onto Matt's arm. I was trying not to stir Matt, but after a few minutes, he asked me why I was crying. I told him that I was thinking about the baby and his mother. And that I could not imagine the pain and suffering she is feeling. Matt replied with, "I know."

It's only 2 words, but it's not exactly what I expected him to say. Matt is not a mean, heartless person, but most times he can't understand why I cry for "complete strangers." Like the time I came upon a guy who was struck by a car crossing the street. I'll never get that image - him laying all contorted in the middle of the road, a shoe here, a sock there, his pants down to his hips, laying motionless and bloody - out of my head. I went home after doing what I could, and cried. Matt thought it was silly that I was crying for someone I didn't know. He wasn't mean about it, but just didn't understand.

Same thing with patients that I've scanned in the past. Patient's whose baby died inutero, and it was discovered for the first time with my scanning; patients who I found an ugly, cancerous tumor in. And other horrible occurrences, such as when baby D passed away. He never understood why I would get upset for them, when I didn't know them. He wouldn't put me down for it, but just didn't get it. I guess it's just the type of person I am.

But he was different this time. I was on Facebook on my phone, while Matt was on computer. I was keeping up with all the drama on the board, when I saw the post that a baby Pea passed away. I immediately said, "Oh my God. I need the computer now." Mind you, he just got the computer from me, and I was on it for a while before I gave it to him. He asked me why, sounding a little annoyed. I told him that I think a baby in my group died, and he immediately handed the computer over and said (nicely and concerned), "here, take the whole thing."

When I read what happened and told him, he was genuinely concerned. He wasn't upset, but he could tell I was upset, and I could tell it bothered him too. Not as much as me, but it bothered him. And that's not something that usually happens with Matt.

So when Matt said, "I know", when I was telling him why I was crying, I was pleasantly surprised (for lack of a better phrase. I didn't feel pleasant). He didn't tell me I was upset for no reason, and he didn't ask me why I cared so much for a stranger. I loved him more for that, oddly enough. And I know it's something that is bothering him too, because in all reality, SIDS can happen to anyone. He's been also genuinely listening to me give him updates on the situation with the baby, and he too can't believe that it happened the way it did. I just feels so nice to not have to worry about grieving for someone without feeling guilty about it.

Monday, January 9, 2012

What Really Matters

I don't know where to start. A fellow September Sweet Pea mama lost her baby Pea today. He was 3.5 months old. I cannot even begin to imagine what her and her husband are going through. I cried, and I cried, and I didn't want to put Cael down in his crib tonight, but I did. You always think it can't happen to you. As of right now, they're calling it SIDS.

For the past year, a whole group of us due in September 2011 have gotten to know each other through The Bump. At some point during our pregnancies, a bunch of us (around 300) made the move over to Facebook, where a private group was started. From there, relationships grew, and the support we gave each other became stronger. We now had names and faces to go with the screen names we've been talking to.

However, over the past week, the whole dynamic of the group has changed. Tempers flared, names were called, people were rude, and some ladies left our group. I'll spare the details, but basically, it got real ugly real quick. Especially today, when information from a private spin-off group (which I'm also a member of) became known in the main Sweet Pea group. I joined this spin-off group to keep in touch with those who decided to leave the main group for whatever reason. Shit hit the fan really fast, and people were quick to point fingers and name names, and some were even right in apologizing. This has going on since about noon.

In the midst of all this controversy; in the midst of watching our group fall to pieces; in the midst of seeing our group of 293 strong drop down to 280-something - this Sweet Pea posted that her sweet baby boy died today. It was a slap in the face. It was more than a slap in the face. It was not expected. It seemed that all the petty bullshit, all the name calling, all the high-school drama came to a screeching halt. We were all in a state of utter shock.

A lot of Sweet Peas were bickering, fighting, defending themselves, defending others, and forgetting what was really important. What really mattered, and what made us all get together in the first place. Our Sweet Peas. While all of this was going on, while some of us (myself included) were "ignoring" our Peas, or having our husbands, mothers, fathers, etc watch our Peas while we intensely watched the drama unfold on our computer screens, a fellow Pea passed away.

It's not internet relationships that matter. It's not he-said-she-said, high school drama crap that matters. It's my son that matters. It's their daughter, and their son that matter. It's our Sweet Peas that matter, and I think for a while, we all forgot that. It's easy to lose sight of what really matters in your life. It's easy to take things for granted; things you think you will always have. I cuddled Cael a little longer tonight because I realized this. I will probably not be able to sleep because of this tonight. Or tomorrow night. Or the night after. And the fact of the matter is that it's very unfortunate that it took a tragedy to yank myself and others out of this la-la land we were in, and snap back to reality.

Unfortunately, this isn't the first Pea that has passed away. We had two other Pea's pass away. Sweet Pea, D, passed away in October at 2 months old. His passing shook our group to the core, and everyone was affected greatly by his passing. We all cried, and we all hurt for his family. We all pulled together to raise money and support our fellow Sweet Pea and her husband. And we're all still there for her when she needs it. She still remains a part of our group, and I am so happy about that. Although I cannot imagine how difficult it is for her to see us all talking about our babies.

And Sweet Pea A passed away in June. He was stillborn at 25-26 weeks. That was another passing that shook us all, and we all pulled together and raised money for her as well. She's not part of our group on Facebook anymore, but I will never forget her. I think about her constantly, and I wish her and her husband the best of luck.

This is all so sad, and I just felt the need to write about it. It's very unfortunate that it took such a horrible tragedy to pull our heads out of our asses, and see what really matters in life. Yes, friendships and relationships are important, and to be honest, if it wasn't for all my fellow Sweet Peas, I'd be completely lost. They have been my rock throughout my pregnancy and after Cael was born. They're my go-to people with questions I have, and I always get answers from them. BUT, my family and my son are the most important things in my life. Not drama, and not petty nothingness. My son, my husband, my family. They are what really matter.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

18 Weeks Old!!

My lil' munchkin is 18 weeks already! For the last few days, Cael has been developing so much! He's been semi-reaching for things and bringing them to his face. He has a little blankie that grandma gave him, and if you put it in front of his face, he reaches for it, and brings it to his face, and snuggles it. It is so cute! He was also playing with a mailing envelope today, and was trying to eat it. Luckily, he had a pacifier in his mouth and couldn't put it in his mouth (yuck! Germy!). We made sure to wipe his hands down after he was done playing with it.

It was my first birthday with Cael yesterday. I turned 26! My mom keeps teasing me that in 4 years, I'll be 30. One year at a time, mom. One year at a time. It was a good day yesterday for the most part. Cael was up really early, and was cranky. He got up at 2am, and wouldn't stop crying or fall sleep until 4am. Then he was up again at 7, ate, and did the same thing. I was exhausted and couldn't take anymore, so at 9am, I went out and asked if Laureen if she could watch him so I could get some sleep.

I knew he was overtired and needed to sleep himself, so I was hoping he would sleep for Laureen. Well, I fell right to sleep, and 3 HOURS later, woke up, and realized that Laureen hadn't come back with him. I went upstairs, and found out Cael was sleeping on Laureen, so I went back in our bedroom, and slept for another hour. It was A.Maze.Ing! I was so appreciative, and felt so much better after the sleep.

Matt and I also had plans to go out after he got home from work. Without Cael. Yes, for the first time ever, we went out together, and left Cael home with Laureen and Rick. For more than 10 minutes! Ten minutes is the longest I've ever left Cael with anyone. So needless to say, I was quite nervous and anxious about it. But in the end, it turned out fine, and Matt and I had a great time together. He took me shopping for some new clothes, which I really needed. Most of my shirts have holes in them, and they're just t-shirts. So I got a bunch of shirts that I would have never bought before. They're more "grown-up", and much different than my regular boring t-shirts I always wear. I also got ultra-skinny jeans, and a pair of awesome boots. As it turns out, Matt saved up a bunch of gift cards that he got as bonuses from work, and used them on me. So we didn't even have to touch the bank account, which is good. We also went out to dinner after shopping, and then went home. It was a great day, and I can't wait to wear my new clothes, and be a sexy mama! :)

Today, Matt's family made me a birthday cake, and I went up and ate dinner with them. After dinner, we had my birthday cake, and it was really good. Matt wasn't there because he was bowling, but that was ok with me. Cael loved staring at the lit candles, but once the lights went off, they sang to me and everyone cheered when I blew them out, Cael got terrified. He cried hysterical and I felt so bad. But the lights came back on, I cuddled him and he was fine. As part of Matt's family tradition, everyone usually puts the letter/number candies on their forehead with icing. Laureen put a "C" on Cael's forehead for the first time, and it was so cute!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Ah Poop!

We have a pooper! After 7 days of not pooping, Cael pooped twice this evening. However, this was not without havoc today. I drove up to Binghamton early this morning to get to the bank, this way I could meet a friend for lunch at 12:30. Unfortunately, she had to cancel, so I took my time up there. I called Cael's pediatrician at 9 this morning to find out if I should be concerned about his lack of poop for a week strait, so I was waiting for a call back. I was honestly not concerned at all, because of everything I've read. It's all said it's normal for a breastfed baby to go that long. So I left Binghamton, and headed home.

Wouldn't you know that while I didn't have service, they called me back. I returned their call by leaving a message, and they called me back within 20 minutes (confusing, right?!). After some questions, being put on hold so that the nurse can talk to the doctor, being hung up on (accidentally) and called right back, they said they wanted to see Cael in the office today. They asked if I could come in at 2:00. Mind you, it was 12:40 when they asked me this, and I had only been home for 10 minutes. I sighed, and said yes, I could be there. Off I went to re-pack Cael up, get him in the car, and start the drive up there again. By the end of all my driving today, it was in the car for a total of 5 hours.

Long story short, the appointment went fine, and Cael is fine. The doctor said as long as he's eating normally, not showing signs of distress or discomfort, and is having regular wet diapers, he's fine. He probably has a slower metabolism, and therefore a slower digestive tract. Therefore, Cael is fine.

Twenty dollars later, we were on our way home. Again. I was exhausted, and had a hard time keeping my eyes open. But I was happy that there was nothing I needed to worry about. I knew it, and I wasn't concerned in the first place. I was actually shocked when they said to come in. This is why I left Binghamton after my first trip up there, or I would have stayed around waiting for the call.

So we were home for 3 hours, and I had Cael sitting on my lap on the couch. And wouldn't you know, he let out the noisiest poop yet! Go figure! Two-hundred miles on my jeep, 5 hours on the road, and a $20 copay later, and he pooped. It's just like the time we had him in the ER at 4 days old for not peeing. We paid a $100 copay, got home and he peed everywhere. Two hours later, he had another bowel movement; this one bigger and leakier than the last. I'm relieved he finally pooped, and I'm sure Cael is too.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Let me start out by saying that, Motherhood isn't what I thought it would be. In both positive and negative ways. I thought motherhood would come easily and naturally to me, and I was caught by surprise when it didn't. The first three weeks (at least) after Cael was born were horrible, difficult, and nothing like I imagined.

I never thought in a million years that it would take time for me to bond with my son, and have feelings for him. I also never thought that it would take me so long to recover, and be able to actually move around and do things normally again. I thought that with the bed rest and being taken out of work early, that something would have to go easy for me after he was born. Nope. Even breast feeding wasn't what I thought it would be (though it's going much better now), and add to that the infections I had and post-partum depression, it was not fun.

The idea of getting out of the house and running errands with Cael seemed like a figment of my imagination. The reason for this, is because I felt I needed to time and plan everything. But that too got much better after a few weeks. I learned that if I feed him right before we got out, even if it's to "top him off", he'll be good for at least 2 hours. Looking back now, at those first couple of weeks, I wish I knew then, what I know now. That it does get better, everything will fall into place, and to make sure to cherish all those moments when he was oh-so-tiny, because it does go by fast. Even with the complications and difficulties.

With all that being said, I couldn't be any happier with where I am right now. I love my son with all my heart, and then some. And I wouldn't trade being a mother for anything in the world. Even if it meant trading it for a job and money. I'd rather be jobless, than not be a mother. He brings me such joy and happiness. I love seeing him smile at me in the morning when he wakes up, and sees me for the first time. I love how he laughs at the silly things I do. I love how he holds onto my finger. I love how he suckles at my breast when he eats, and how he cuddles into my chest. I love it all. All the bed rest, complications, depression, lack of sleep, ongoing dizziness, etc is all worth it. For Cael.

Motherhood is an ongoing battle, and an ongoing learning experience. It tests the limits of your mind and body. It forces you to be a better person, and most of all, it makes you open your heart up wider than it can ever go, and love more than you ever thought imaginable.

I love being a mother, and love this journey of Motherhood that I am now on.


In other news

I had my appointment at the WIC center today. AND, I also got a phone call from NYS Unemployment yesterday. The employer representative confirmed what I told my NYS claim's representative, and NYS released my unemployment payments from the last 6 WEEKS! Do you know how helpful this will be?! It was supposed to be in our account today, but since it was only released yesterday, it can take up to 3 days to show up in your account. This couldn't have come at a better time. To be honest, we currently have $.32 in our bank. Yes, thirty-two cents. It is an absolutely horrible and disgusting feeling to feel poor. Especially when you're looking for a job.

Given the fact that my unemployment benefits have been reinstated, we no longer qualify for WIC. This is perfectly ok with us, because if we were given the choice, we'd rather have the money from my UI to pay bills, than have checks for food only. The money from my UI will be able to go towards food and bills.

Another good thing, is that Matt will now be able to get direct deposit of his pay check into our bank account. This is huge, because it means I no longer have to make weekly trips up to Binghamton, just to go to the bank. The money will be automatically put in there, which saves us tremendously on gas. I have to make the trip up there tomorrow, because the UI money isn't in there yet, and, obviously, we need the money. $.32 won't cut it for the next 2 days. But if that's the last time, or second to last time, that I have to drive up there for the bank only, I'm fine with it. Finally, things are getting better financially for us. For now, anyway.

Finally, Cael has reached a record for how many days he's gone without pooping. At 9am tomorrow morning, it will be exactly 7 days since the last time he pooped! Poor Cael. Although, he doesn't seem uncomfortable, or unhappy because of it. He's actually been doing really well the last 2 days. Including taking naps in his crib. Putting himself to sleep, nonetheless! Yesterday he took a 2.5 hour nap in the crib (woke up once, and fell back to sleep), and today, he took a nap for just under 1.5 hours. Matt was off today, so while Cael napped, he burned all the cardboard, and I took the tree down. We're so happy to have our living room back. We have so much more room now. But anyway, back to the lack of pooping. I'll be calling the pediatrician tomorrow morning to see if I should be worried about his lack of pooping, and if there is anything I have to do.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

4 Months Old!

My lil' munchkin is 4 months old today! Time is a flyin' by! I posted yesterday about there being a possible tooth coming in. Upon looking at it further, I'm now thinking that it isn't a tooth, but maybe a small blister. The area that I thought was a tooth isn't very big, but really only a small dot really. I guess we'll have to wait and see if it gets bigger.

And right now, I have to report that I am typing this with 2 hands, as opposed to the normal 1 hand. That is because Cael is napping. Not on me (like usual) and not in his swing, but in his crib! He was tired, so I fed him, and tried putting him in the swing to sleep. But he was fussing and crying, but you can see he needed a nap. So I picked him up, and put him in his crib and tucked him in. After only about 10 minutes (at the most), he was asleep. He slept for about 25 minutes, and then woke up about 10 minutes ago. I went in, and could see he was still tired, so I tucked him back in, gave him his pacifier, and turned the Seahorse back on. And as of right now, I don't hear anything on the monitor, so I'm assuming he feel back to sleep. This is HUGE!

I guess this is what's called "Sleep Training". ST is when a baby can fall asleep on their own, without being held or soothed. A lot of ladies on my Facebump group were talking about this. I had no idea what it was until yesterday. They say that you don't have to start ST until 6 months. I'm not trying to enforce ST by any means, but I needed a break from him sleeping on me, so I figured I'd give it a shot. And wouldn't you know, it worked!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Time For A {Blog} Name Change

I was getting bored with my original blog name, Even Miracles Take A Little Time, so I wanted to come up with a new, creative name. I wanted it to revolve around the idea that my life is surrounded mostly by men - my husband, our son and our 2 male dogs. So I enlisted the help of Matt, who is far more creative than I am. He came up with Life In The Men's Room, which I thought was pretty clever. So now, that is my new blog name, and the theory behind it. :)

Is that a toof?!?

I think it may be. Last night, I stuck my finger in Cael's mouth and felt along his gums. I was astonished to feel that his gums weren't completely smooth anymore. On his lower gums, to his left, it feels like something is there. I looked in his mouth, and saw this little white area in his gum. I'm pretty sure it's a tooth starting to come in. I'm really upset over it, because it means that he's growing up even more. But I'm happy because it means he's developing at just the right pace. If I can get a picture of his gums, I will, but
it's hard to even just look in his mouth without him moving around a lot.

In other news, Cael is rolling over so much now. It's like a piece of cake for him now. I had him in the crib this morning on his back, turned around for a minute, then turned back, and he was on his belly with this huge grin on his face. And I would roll him back onto his back, and within a second, he'd be back on his belly. Same thing as on the floor. I had him on his playmat this afternoon, and he would roll over so fast. For three times in a row, I put him back on his back, and he'd roll right onto his belly. He's getting so big. He'll be 4 months old tomorrow. I can't take this.

He's also eating his feet a lot more now. Every time I change his diaper, he pulls his legs up with his hands, and then pulls his foot into his mouth. It is *so cute*. Matt hates feet, so he thinks it's gross, but I think it's the cutest thing ever. It's baby feet - what's so gross about that?

One last thing. I have an appointment on Thursday with the WIC center right in town, to apply for WIC. With just Matt's salary, we are eligible and meet the financial requirements. But then there's my unemployment. Which, by the way, is still in the process of being resolved. I did speak to NYS today to give them the true facts (as opposed to the information that my previous employer gave them), but the representative said it still needs to be reviewed, and I should have an answer within 7-10 working days. So therefore, I have no idea if I can count that as income. If we include unemployment, we wouldn't qualify for WIC. I am going to fully disclose all this information to the WIC office, and hopefully something good with come out of this.

Top 11 of 2011

The following 11 photos are ones I've taken in 2011 which I feel are my best pictures. They were all taken with my Nikon D3000. I have several other pictures that I feel would be worthy, but unfortunately, they're on my other computer. And that computer stays on for only about 5 minutes, due to overheating. So, without further ado, here are my top 11 of 2011.

Click It Up A Notch

Sunday, January 1, 2012

17 Weeks Old & Happy New Year!!

Cael's first New Years! And he's 17 weeks old today, too! That's two holiday's that Cael turned a new week older on, in a row. We spent New Years Eve at our friend's house, and spent the night there. It took a lot of encouraging on our part to get Matt to agree, but he ended up having fun in the end. It was a great night!

I ended up drinking more than I wanted to. I didn't get "trashed", but I definitely had a nice buzz going. Which makes me feel like a horrible mother. It was well after Cael was in bed, but when I think back on it, he could have waken up at any point to eat, and I would have been in no shape to feed him. I hoped he would have slept until 7 in the morning, but we had no such luck. As soon as Matt and I went into bed at 3am, wouldn't you know that he woke up to eat. Oh well, the last time I had a drink was around 12:30am or so, so I was fine.

As more time goes on, the better Cael is getting throughout the day. He no longer cries all day long, but only a few times a day. And that's usually when he's overtired and needs to sleep. He will also fall asleep in his swing now too. He still only sleeps for about 30 minutes, but it still gives me 30 minutes to get what I can done, as opposed to laying on the couch for 2 hours while he sleeps on me. Although I do love the cuddle time.

I finally went through Cael's drawers, too. I packed up most of his 0-3 month clothes that didn't fit. Depending on the brand, there are some 0-3 month clothes that still fit, so I've left them out. But boy does he have A LOT of 3-6 month clothes! Hopefully he'll get to wear them all at least once.

The cloth diapering is also going very well. I can say I'm thoroughly enjoying it, even though I do an extra load of laundry a day. He hasn't had any leaks, and he had a horrendous poop the other day that definitely would have leaked out of a disposable. I'm quite satisfied with the decision to cloth diaper, and my only regret is that we didn't start it sooner.

Finally, I have to report that Cael was able to put his foot into his mouth after his bath tonight. He discovered his feet the other day, and pulled his feet up to his face, but didn't actually put them into his mouth. Tonight, he did this. It was so adorable. Although, Matt was disgusted by it. He hates feet, even cute little baby feet. Oh well, it's his loss. It was cute!

(Oh, and PS: There's water in the beer pong cups :) )