Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Wee One's Wee One

At Jack's last pediatrician appointment it was discovered that he might have urethral stenosis. While his pediatrician doesn't specialize in urology, she found it concerning that his urethra opening (is that the correct term?) was as small as it was. Dr. D gave me two names of pediatric urologists and when I asked what the treatment for such a situation was, I was surprised by the answer.

Either a steroid cream can be applied to his foreskin to soften it and hopefully help the urethra open up, or he needs to be circumcised. Now, I spelled that word wrong in other blog posts, so I am slightly embarrassed. Probably because he isn't, I haven't felt the need to spell it right, hee hee.

My husband and I opted not to have our son circumcised, so the thought of having to do it months later was disheartening. Slightly concerning, slightly scary and sad at the thought of my baby having surgery. It was a personal choice that we made and felt that circumcision was unnecessary for our son, so it pained us to think our choice may have been the wrong one.

Jack has been able to pee just fine since birth. When we change his diaper in the morning, it's always heavy and soaked with pee. Judging on how often he has peed on Jason and I during diaper changes, I didn't feel that concerned that anything was wrong but it's always better to err on the side of caution.

The pediatric urologist was extremely nice. He was very good with Jack too. I suppose you need to be when you are a pediatric urologist! In the waiting room, it was mostly old men and then our wee one. A sight to be seen for sure.

The urologist explained that it's very rare in uncircumcised boys that urethral stenosis occurs, but he would check him anyways. Seriously, the appointment lasted all of 15 minutes. Jack was disrobed, dis-diapered and then inspected. His testicles were squeezed (no joke) and his foreskin gently pulled back. All is well in the land of penises. Jack won't need to be circumcised after all!

We left the appointment feeling encouraged. Hopefully the doctor visits are going to be few and far between from now on.


My poor kiddo’s ears. He had an ear infection over Labor Day weekend. A round of antibiotics and much cuddling later, we thought his ear was better. Fast forward to this weekend. I was mentioning to my mother-in-law that I thought something was up because Jack kept playing with his ear. Not tugging or pulling or seemingly in pain, but it just seemed odd behavior for him. On Sunday, he was sleeping more than normal too. He would be awake for an hour and then need to nap. I kept saying to my husband and my mother-in-law that I thought his ear infection was back. “No, no” was Lynn’s response.

Momma knows best.

Sunday evening, Jack slept pretty well. He woke up around 1:00am for a feeding and something wasn’t right. He was crying quite a bit. I brought him out into the living room where my husband was playing a video game and we both looked at each other and said “It’s back”. Crying is not typically in the middle of the night for Jack. The rest of the night was spent sleeping on the couch upright so he didn’t have the extra pressure on his ear.

I brought Jack to the sitter’s as normal and as soon as the pediatrician’s office opened, I called. Thankfully, they were able to see Jack early that morning.

Sure enough, his ear infection never healed. It lingered in the left ear even after the antibiotic, and now, he has an infection in the right ear as well. The pediatrician’s exact words were “He has a pus pocket in the right ear”. My poor kid. Since the last medicine didn’t work and Jack is limited to what he can take (because of his gag and puking issues), she prescribed a stronger antibiotic that he only needs to take once a day. Hopefully, this one works.

The rest of the day was spent at home, snuggling my sleepy baby. He felt fine, not fussy or grumpy. I did make sure he had some Tylenol since he had a slight fever. Sleeping was a little bit of an issue because Jack was only comfortable upright. Which means I had to sleep upright with him on the couch. You gotta do what you gotta do.

My sweet boy is doing much better Whether or not he is going to have chronic ear infections remains to be seen. Both my husband and I had chronic ear infections as children. I worry that we have doomed him to the same fate. If his ear infections continue or don’t seem to clear up, we might need to consider having tubes put in. Medication after medication and my child being in constant pain seems much more stressful on Jack than a minor surgical procedure that could help him for years.

Having a baby really has kicked my instincts into high gear. I never thought I would have the “mommy” feelings and know when something is wrong with my child, but I surprised myself. I know when something is wrong with Jack and have to often convince others of this. So next time I think something is wrong with my boy, back off folks. Because likely, Momma is right.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

You Sleep With Your Baby?!?

Yup, I do. What's it to ya? This is not information that should be shared with the "normal" world because, let's face it, people give you the side-eye.

I admit, before I was a mom, I thought it strange that people slept with their kids. Then I had Jack and realized just how necessary it was for our situation.

"You are setting a bad precedence".

Thanks, but my child wakes every 90 minutes to eat. If he's in his crib, he wakes every 30. What is worse? Having an exhausted child or doing what's best for both of us? We both get some sleep this way.

"Aren't you afraid of rolling over on to him?"

I was at first, but after a couple of nights, I realized that as soon as he starts to move or stir, I am instantly awake. I don't move a muscle at all during our sleep time. I am confident I am not going to roll over or smother him.

"How do you and Jason have sex?"

Well since we don't sleep in bed together anyways, this isn't an issue. We find other times. My husband works swing and when he's sleeping, I am awake and vice versa. People can have sex at other times than at night. Gasp! Imagine that!

"What are you going to do when you have another baby? He can't sleep with you forever!".

I am pretty sure by the time he's a teenager, he will have transitioned to his own bed. And another baby? Ya'll are nuts. No baby fever here. At least not until my child sleeps.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Jack got his first tooth on Friday! It's the bottom left-hand front incisor. It is just poking through. Poor little guy, getting over an ear infection and teething.

Oh, and what they say about diaper rash, diarrhea and teeth? Apparently true for my little man. He has a red bum and pooped no fewer than 6 times yesterday. I had to give him a bath in his oatmeal soap so I wouldn't irritate his heiney.

I wish I could get a good picture of his toofer, but he refuses to let me open his mouth. Come to think of it, don't even try and touch his face. He hates it!

A better picture to come as soon as I can get my little piranha to open up.

Until then, here is the only one I have. Can you see the little nubbin?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Urologist

In my haste of posting last night, I realized that I forgot to mention that even though Jack's penis is fine (saying penis is really funny to me for some reason), the pediatrician did find something unrelated but still problematic.

During the exam, she determined that his urethral opening is too small. While he is able to pee fine and hasn't had a problem, since he is not snipped, this could pose a problem later in life.

I made an appointment today with a children's urologist for an evaluation. In two weeks, we should find out if Jack's urethra will need "help". Apparently they can try a steroid cream and if that doesn't work to help soften the foreskin, they might need to circumsize him after all.

Wow, a whole post dedicated to my son's penis. He is going to love me when he gets older!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Baby on the Mend

I knew something was wrong on Sunday when Jack screamed from about 2:00am to 4:00 nonstop. He would calm down for a couple of minutes and then start up again. My baby never cries. I chalked it up to teething because he would get the paci in his mouth, suck for a couple of minutes and then cry. I thought maybe his teeth hurt.

Monday, he was a good natured baby. The rough night didn't seem to affect him (although it did me since I was up with him for those two hours). He took normal naps, played with toys and was in a good mood. Monday night, he was back to his screaming, but this time, right after I put him down for bed. From 8:00 to 9:30 he screamed inconsolably. Two nights in a row so I wasn't going to wait any longer. I called my husband and he and I both agreed I would take Jack in to the ER. Jason was still working and I didn't want to wait for him.

I had to listen to my baby scream for what seemed like ages so I could get his diaper bag packed, a couple of bottles ready since I had no idea how long we were going to be gone. I had to put some clothes on him since he was only dressed in a onesie for bed. It was awful. He cried so hard that he pooped. So I had to change him, which just further upset him.

He cried the whole way in the car, which is also unlike him. Once we got into the ER, he calmed down. I had called my mother-in-law so she was on her way to help me and be my support until Jason got off of work. The ER was gross. Not to go into detail, but even with a sick baby, we were still the most normal looking people there.

The triage nurse was so nice. Even though I am sure she was rolling her eyes at me and thinking "stupid new mom, of course babies cry", she was sweet. Jack's vitals were good. He didn't have a fever, which I questioned. He felt very warm to me. He did so great during the exam, even smiling at the nurses.

Lynn came very quickly and she was such a godsend. She was able to distract me from worrying sick and she held Jack most of the time. We had to wait for about 45 minutes for an actual doctor and exam room. While the doctor was nice, I felt like he was just trying to get us out quickly. I talked about Jack's symptoms and explained that although they sounded weird, something was wrong with my baby. His pee has smelled stronger the last few days. Not bad, just stronger. He has been screaming at night, spitting up more than normal, crying and getting angry at his paci after a few sucks and while completely unrelated, the end of his penis was slightly red (he isn't circumsized).

They checked his ears (fine), his belly (gassy sounding), and thought maybe his symptoms were all related to his reflux. Oh, and his penis apparently had an infection. The way the doctor manhandled Jack's boy parts really concerned me. You aren't supposed to pull back the foreskin of a baby who isn't circumsized. He was pulled and tugging and squeezing. My poor baby screamed the entire time.

I left with a very tired baby, two prescriptions and not many answers. We were instructed to follow up with Jack's pediatrician some time this week.

It was a rough night. Jack and I got home at the same time as Jason and the baby didn't sleep hardly at all Monday night. I called into work and spent the night with my baby on the couch. We would get him calmed down, he would fall asleep for about three minutes and than wail again. Jack slept MAYBE three hours from 7:30 Monday night until 7:00 am Tuesday morning. It was awful.

I didn't waste any time calling Jack's pediatrician. As soon as they opened on Tuesday I called. We got an appointment for that morning. Jack was very tired, fatigued and felt rotten as we went to the pediatrician. He slept in he car thankfully.

I love Jack's pediatrician. She sometimes is the only person that listens to me and understands a mommy's instinct. I didn't think the diagnoses Jack had been given were right and I am glad I questioned them.

Jack's ears were plugged with wax so she cleaned them. He screamed which was a sign. I literally had to hold him down so she could clean them and then look in his ears. Turns out, he has a raging ear infection in his left ear. No wonder he isn't feeling good! Dr. D was really mad that they had missed that at the ER. She also checked his penis. No infection. AND, I was right about the foreskin being pulled back. She checked and thankfully it hadn't torn but she told me it should never be pulled back. Not until he's much older.

An ear infection can act like other illnesses. Jack was spitting up more than normal, which is attributed to the fact that he is probably dizzy from the fluid in his ear. He screams at night, which is because it hurts to lay down. He cries when he sucks on his paci because it hurts to suck.

I left her office glad to have some answers but upset that Jack had been misdiagnosed and had to suffer unnecessarily for another twelve hours.

For the rest of the day, Jack was so sick. He threw up almost every time I fed him. This was concerning to me because his antibiotics and Tylenol are oral and he needs to take them in his bottle (he gags and throws up otherwise). If he wasn't able to keep any food down, how would he be able to get healthy and take his medicine?

All day, he slept. He would whimper and cry in his sleep. It was absolutely heartbreaking. I am glad he was finally resting, but he probably was sleeping very fitfully. I held him all day. If I ever tried putting him down, either in his crib to sleep or to change him, he would wake up and cry.

My mother-in-law came over in the evening to relieve me. I needed to get some dishes done, a load of laundry done (I had no clean pants since the Bug kept throwing up), and maybe actually eat something. She held Jack while he slept. Around 7:00, he woke up and finally was feeling better. By that time, he had had his first round of Amoxicillin and some Tylenol and was probably starting to feel more normal. His fever had broken and he wasn't so warm. He was smiling and wanting to play with some toys.

I have to tell you, it is absolutely the worst feeling in the world to watch your baby in pain and sick. I could do nothing to help him feel better except hold him and comfort him. This morning, when he woke up after sleeping for nearly 24 hours straight, only waking to eat, he was a little bit back to his old self. He did sleep most of the morning, but he was finally awake for longer than a few minutes at a time.

I still haven't slept much, or eaten much, but I am hoping since Jack is feeling a little better tonight, that we both sleep a little bit better.

He is going back to Karen's tomorrow and I am going back to work so life is going to return to normal. Jack's first illness is slowly receding. I am thankful that he is now able to keep food and his medicine down. He is still only eating about an ounce of milk at a time, but he has dirty and wet diapers, so I know he's getting enough to eat.

Let's hope that my wee one gets better soon and starts feeling 100%.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

7 Months

My baby is seven months old today. Last night, because I was partially in denial and feeling sentimental, I went back and read my birth story and looked at old pictures. While I miss those days of having a tiny baby, I prefer the present. Jack is more interactive, "talking", and while still a baby, he has such a big person's personality.

Some things about the wee one:

* He is still solidly in 6 month clothing and size 3 diapers.

* He is almost exclusively on formula now, and we are all okay with it. As a matter of fact, his feeding schedule is now very predictable, which is good for all of us!

* While he doesn't nap very well, he sleeps a total of 10 hours or so every night, waking about 6 times. He sleeps with me so waking isn't so bad. I do look forward to the time that he sleeps through the night though!

* Jack now sits up on his own. He can sit for a long time before toppling over.

* Let's talk scooting and crawling. My child can turn in circles when he's on his stomach. He can get up on his hands and knees and go about half a crawl before falling back onto his belly. You can tell that he gets really frustrated and wants to move because he grunts and makes this sound like "oooh, oooh, oooh". It's kind of sad but cute at the same time. I bet next month at his 8 month post, he will have crawling down.

* Jack eats solids, but he still hasn't found his groove. He gets about a tablespoon of any one food a day. He tends to eat more when he's allowed to feed himself, so I either put some whole fruit in his mesh feeder, or get some food on a spoon and hand it to him.

* He is SO independent. He wants everything that you have. Whether it be the remote control, your cell phone or a water bottle. If it's in your hands, he wants it. And when he wants to move, he will squirm out of your arms.

* My boy is strong. He stands up and jumps like a kangaroo. I swear, he is going to be a bodybuilder or an Olympic swimmer.

Jack, we love you so much! I am starting to feel better and while I missed so much with you, I look forward to seeing you and spending time with you. Every day when I pick you up, you give me the biggest smile. It is hands down the best part of my day. Everyone that meets you say how happy and gorgeous you are. Your daddy and I can't help but think it's true and that you are the best baby in the whole world. While you can be fussy, we just know that is part of your independence and strong will.

I love you Bug. You are the best thing I ever did with my life.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Two posts in one day! Wow! That hasn't happened in a very long time.

I had my first counseling session today. I really like the therapist I picked. I specifically found someone that specializes in post partum depression. It's almost embarrassing to admit, as a woman and a mother, that you have a problem to another woman. Finding a person to talk to that deals with other moms going through the same thing is very encouraging. I didn't feel like I needed to hide my feelings or worry what I was saying would offend or disgust her.

I unloaded. I said things outloud that I never thought I would imagine saying. This might be hard for some of you to read, but I often wonder if I ruined my life by having a baby. Jason and I wanted Jack very badly. We tried for 18 months to get pregnant so it wasn't like I was surprised or out of touch when it came to the needs of having a child. Did I ruin my life? I sometimes wish I could go back in time. The hardest thing that I said outloud today was that I often dread picking him up from daycare because I know he is going to be so fussy and I can't deal with it.

How horrible am I?

We also discussed the fact that I have intrusive thoughts. Not about harming myself or Jack but about terrible things happening. Like someone is going to break into the house at night and I won't be able to protect my baby. But usually the thoughts are much more terrible than that. And they scare me. Lindsay says this is anxiety, which surprised me. I thought these thoughts were normal, but I guess not.

I really felt good leaving her office. She validated me by telling me I made the right decision by seeking help. Most women don't because they are too ashamed.

In terms of my medication (I am on Celexa), I think it's helping. I still have some gross side effects, but I am noticing a difference. First, I don't dread picking Jack up every day. I actually look forward to it, fussiness and all. This weekend when he was crying and wouldn't nap anywhere but my arms, I normally would have gotten overwhelmed and frustrated with myself. This time, I relished holding and snuggling him and trying to make him feel better. I got a whole weekend of snuggle time with my baby. What could be better than that?

I realy do hope that I continue to feel better. Writing and talking has definitely helped.

All Dried Up

Well, it's official. I have stopped pumping. It became necessary for two reasons: I was not able to put Jack down at all this weekend because he was so fussy. Second, I am not able to maintain a supply anymore. Between medication messing up my supply and my body just not being able to, I was not making enough milk. Jack was being supplemented more and more with formula, so it was not worth pumping 5 times a day only to get 8 ounces of milk (if I was lucky).

Sunday at 6:30 I pumped for the last time. It hasn't been too hard to make the transition. It's actually nice not to have to lug my pump back and forth to work. It's nice not to have to worry about storing milk or having enough bottles or washing my pump parts.

What isn't nice? The pain, engorgement and tenderness. Even though I wasn't producing, my body is still revolting. I went cold turkey which I wouldn't recommend. But again, I couldn't put Jack down on Sunday so I didn't have a chance to pump.

I am wearing a sports bra day and night so hopefully my issues will resolve themselves soon. I refuse to put cabbage leaves in my bra, which I heard helps. I don't want to smell like coleslaw people.

So, it's the end of an era. I am a little sad, but I know I couldn't keep forcing something that wasn't meant to be. Some women are just not made for breastfeeding and I am one of those women.