Today we really decided to do nothing. In fact we did not leave the house at all. I am sure that E appreciated it although he did still have a few grizzly periods. He ended the day as he started it, gurgly, cute and adorable.
Today we really decided to do nothing. In fact we did not leave the house at all. I am sure that E appreciated it although he did still have a few grizzly periods. He ended the day as he started it, gurgly, cute and adorable.
I had decided on just the one outing and so after his 12’o clock feed (4 hours after his last feed), we went for a walk in the pram to do some shopping. He was really good although he did not sleep at all and by the end of the walk was beginning to cry. I managed to stave off the hysteria by rocking him in his pram while I prepared dinner. All was well and I believed that the one outing rule was making all the difference. He had his 3pm feed and went to sleep at about 4. I tidied the house, did some washing etc and decided that a bit of a rest would not go astray and so I lay on my bed next to E’s cot. As I lay down he started to whinge and then cry. It was then that full on hysteria set in and I questioned my one outing rule. He was really quite beside himself and I was getting there too. He looks so sad and so scared when he gets hysterical like that but nothing that I do consoles him. I try to hold him securely and stay calm and repeat the same movement over and over while “shhhhhoooing” him (the “shhhhoooooing” sound usually does wonders for him) but sometimes, like tonight, he just fights me. He pouts his bottom lip and screams and his fists beat against my chest. I really became quite impatient and almost shouted at him. I pleaded with him to stop screaming at me and I did everything I knew to calm him. It is the most terrible feeling not being able to do anything constructive for your crying baby and I feel so helpless. I was on the verge of being really angry with him and I kept having to remind myself that he is only a tiny baby, he is not being naughty, he is not fighting me he is just a baby and that is the way he communicates what is happening for him. Having had Dr C explain about the brain connections and the stimulation overload etc really helps me to try and understand what E is going through but my patience wears very thin. I phoned M just to hear his voice to help ground me and I found a way to calm E and get in shape at the same time. It seems that he likes the movement of going up and down the stairs. He cannot be fooled into being in your arms and walking on the spot. He knows when you are actually going up the stairs and that is what he likes. I climbed the 15 stairs to the spare bedroom about 20 times and he “magically” calmed and was able to eat. It took a while to get him to sleep but these little screaming sessions tire him out so that when he does sleep it is usually a long sleep.
I think the lack of sleep is getting to me, the lack of sleep and the crying and crying and crying, oh and the lack of sleep.
We went home and he had a good sleep and then woke for a feed and a visit to the paediatrician. Dr C was happy with E’s progress. He wrote in his blue book “doing very well” which I am sure was more for me than for anyone else. He weighed E without clothes on a proper digital scale and he weighs 2.325, his length is 49cm and his head circumference is 39cm so he is growing well. He explained that the head circumference is the most important gain we are looking at and on the percentage charts E is on the 50th percentile for his corrected age which is brilliant considering he was small for his gestation at birth. His length and weight are coming along well. Dr C also explained how the brain is developing at quite a rapid rate and so too much stimulation can bewilder him and make him very unsettled as it is too much to cope with. He suggested that we do not play with E or over stimulate him in any way but just allow him to grow and develop in a secure environment. He said that the screaming that E is doing at feed time is probably in response to having to work to hard for his food once the let down has slowed. M says that he thinks Dr C is very happy with us as parents. I am sure that he is – so am I.
We came home after the appointment and E started to cry. We lay down on the bed and had a little rest but he soon woke up and wanted to eat. I fed him and he started off really well but then he started to scream. He kept screaming and worked himself up into such a state that we could not calm him at all. M quickly ran a bath and jumped in and En joined him. He was particularly gorgeous in the bath and settled but then he threw us a curve ball and started screaming in the bath. We quickly dried him and dressed him and I tried to feed him but he was not eating very well and I think he wore himself out crying and fell asleep. I decided to quickly try and do some grocery shopping. Ha ha ha - I can now laugh to myself.
Tonight E paid me back for driving him around Sydney. He was very unsettled and screamed a lot. He woke every two hours and never really fed properly so he could not sleep properly. I cannot think properly
He is also behaving much better today. Perhaps taking him out and about too much is too much for him to handle at this stage. I am going to try and take it a bit easier for his sake and we will see how he goes. We did go for a marathon walk this morning but it was quiet and peaceful, no noisy crowds and malls full of people.
In the afternoon Rene came round and E spent a fair while showing her how good his lungs are and in the end it worked because he got to spend a fair bit of time in her arms.
The relaxing day did E well and he slept four hour stints the whole night. What a man !!!!
Maybe we have had too hectic a day. The morning started with a walk to Coles, where I discovered that I could not find my purse so we walked back home to look for the purse and found it in the pram!!! Walked back to Coles but I am sure this did not distress E too much as he slept through the ordeal.
We came home and grandpa and P were here and so we went for a drive through the suburbs of Sydney with them (should probably explain at this point that they were visiting from South Africa - just in case any of you readers thought that they spent an unreasonable amount of time popping up at our front door) . few little screams from Ethan along the way acted as a non soothing accompaniment. We then went to Double Bay for a relaxing lunch and I decided to take E to the park and feed him there. Big mistake. I think I can trace today’s problems back to there. We sat on a bench by the water and it was only afterwards that I realised that that was a really stupid place to sit as the breeze off the water was a little cold. %^&%ing freezing actually. E did not have a good meal but that did not stop me from lugging off to the shopping centre to buy him some clothes. When we eventually got home he started to whinge and basically spent most of the night screaming.
At 9pm we decided to bath him to relax him but even that did not work for long. I wish I knew what was happening. I am glad that we are going to the doctor on Thursday because I think I am very close to the end of my tether and I just want my happy baby back.
He isvery cold to the touch and although I warmed blankets to wrap him in and layered him up he was still chilly. I put him to sleep in our bed because I thought it was way warmer than his cot. The boy is not a happy camper.
The rest of the day was spent at home with just M, grandpa and I. I think that E really appreciated that because his behaviour was so much more settled. He ate really well at all feeds and was alert and really peaced out and happy. I also started reading “The Faraway Tree” to him during his feeds and this seemed to really relax him and he sucked for longer at each feed today than he has at all his others. Maybe it is the constant drone of my voice, maybe it is just a fluke today, maybe the rain outside calms him but whatever it was this baby was like an angel today.
Everyday he is just more magnificent than the next.
Eventually after not being able to calm him any other way I decided to bath E, not an easy task on my own considering that the bath doubles as his cot which was fully made at the time. I was still not dressed or showered or anything but we managed the bath and shortly after that E was asleep and I was getting the house cleaned for the onslaught of guests.
Karen and Romy, Jody and Joshua, Kim and Tiffany and Gabriele all came to visit E today. He got totally spoilt in terms of presents and adoration from his friend’s mothers. He was really not on his very best behaviour while they were there and was quite unsettled. He did however have a few sleeps and considering the pressure on him to perform and the terrible night the night before, I think he was excellent. Of course there were many comments on his tiny size bit everyone agreed that he is a very precious little boy and a real fighter.
This morning after his 9am feed he was just adorable again (not that he isn’t adorable all the time) but he was really rather playful, kicking his legs about and cooing and looking around. I am so proud of him I could burst.
I bundled him into his car seat, complete with new head support so that he is more comfortable in the car and we have none of that previous screaming stuff. He was really patient while I went about doing my stuff and then I went to put him in the car and I got the safety belts confused and I became quite hysterical as I could not fasten the car seat into the car. E started to scream and I started to sweat. By the time I got the whole thing sorted out, with a few encouraging words from M down the phone, I felt like I had lost 2kilos in sweat. We drove to Surry Hills where we met grandpa et al for breakfast. E slept and I worried that he was too cold in the air conditioning. I seem to do an awful lot of worrying about his temperature.
We raced home after our breakfast for E to have lunch and then it was back into the car, this time for a really special outing – to see daddy at work. We went to M’s office and everyone that was there oohed and aahed appropriately. Unfortunately most of the most gushy people were not there but I am sure E will get plenty of opportunity to meet them soon. We got to have adult lunch with his dad and then it was time to go home again and have baby lunch (or tea or snack or whatever).
E has been so good today. So content and so alert . He does seem to spend a lot of time awake after a feed, just lying there and looking at nothing in particular. Neurotic me looked it up in the book, I started worrying that he was not getting enough sleep. He is perfect though and the book says that some babies just don’t need as much sleep as others. He is also growing up so I guess he will spend more time awake. However saying that I guess he does sleep quite a bit when he gets down to it. He just does not fall asleep very fast. God I am confused
I spoke to my mom today and when I told her how happy I was I think it really hit home within me. I love being E’s mom, I just love spending time with him, I love looking at him, talking to him, singing to him and playing with him. I love the way he looks at me and the way he makes me feel, I love everything about him. I thank God for him and for M, I really count myself truly blessed.
In the morning I took him for a walk in the pram to try and calm him back to sleep. We walked to Coogee where we "bumped into" his grandpa. We went to eat at grandpa’s flat and E was just delightful. He was wide awake after the feed and playing like a real baby, lying on the couch, looking around and seeming to smile. He also made some real cooing noises which I read that full term babies do at a couple of weeks. God he's advanced!!!
When we got home he ate and that was that for the rest of the day. I tried to go back to the shops after that meal but E would have none of that, he screamed in his pram so much that eventually I had to pick him up and carry him through the streets and into the shops plus we had to turn around from the shops that we were going to go to and go up the road to get essential items only. E was calm in my arms but was frenzied when I put him down. Eventually he fell asleep in his pram but not for very long. He seemed to spend the day snacking and then screaming.
Sandy from Level 1 in the NCC came around to do a follow up home visit. She was really happy with E’s weight etc and said that he looks real good. He did not do his best to show off in front of her and was very unsettled and did not do his best feeding job. It seemed to me that as I put him down so he woke up. He was really quite hysterical and seemed to be red in the face and really hot. I took his temperature and although he did not have a fever it was a high temperature for him – 36.7. This whole parenting thing is taking some getting use to – I just pray he never gets sick. I started to worry that I am taking him out to much and perhaps he is overdoing it but he just sleeps through most of our activities.
M and I sat down to dinner and E wanted a piece of that so I fed him as M ate. When he was finished eating M took him to settle him and I tried to eat. It was about then that E decided that hysteria was the only way to get his parents not to eat dinner at all. He screamed really badly again so much so that we pulled out the old bath trick again. It worked for the duration of the bath and then the hysteria returned. He was just plain exhausted after not settling properly all day. Eventually we lay him down in his cot and he seemed happy to be free of the inteference and the touching and he calmed and went to sleep. Whew what a day!!
Today we ventured out for our first visit to the clinic. I was so organised to get there on time and thankfully it only took me about 15 minutes to work out how to open the pram. Mmmm I’m not a natural quite yet. The clinic was a bit revolting, the scales are so antiquated that I thought that they were museum pieces – even the greengrocer has more up to date and sophisticated weighing equipment. E weighed 2.1kg on their scale, however there is no real definition on the scale so he could be anything between 2.0 and 2.2 – I prefer the hospital scales. They measured his length on this piece of old wood and literally demanded that E lie straight – yeah right. Anyway he measured 44.5cm in length. The nurse told me that E is very strong and there is no problem with his muscle tone (from fighting off doctors his whole life is my reckoning). She also said that he is very alert. This after she tried to straighten his poor body up against a piece of wood - wouldn't you be alert?
The afternoon was rather boring really, he was so well behaved. Not that this is a bad thing mind you. We went for a drive to fetch the house key’s for grandpa’s flat and E loved the car seat for today and was as good as gold in it. He fell asleep and I decided that it would be clever to take him out of it once we were home because it is bad for his back to be in it for too long. Who am I kidding? What kind of crack am I smoking? Half an hour is not too long and I will not take a sleeping baby out of a capsule in a hurry again. EVER AGAIN!!!! He screamed and screamed and screamed.
We decided that E is definitely starting to smile. He is looking so beautiful and so calm and gorgeous, except when his bottom lip curls and he screams blue murder.
Mattie was born five weeks prior to E and also did some time in the NCC. He and E became first and firm friends. Today is Mattie’s due date and his parents were throwing a “0” birthday party. We expected that E would love the long trip to Narrabeen but boy were we wrong. He hated the car seat and I ended up having to sit in the back with him to settle him. I am sure that the car seat is too uncomfortable for him – he is really to small to try and sit up in that position.
E was the star child at the party. He slept in his pram amidst all the noise and the chaos and seemed very content. He woke for his feed right on time and ate really well. He settled soon after and went back to his pram. He woke up just in time for me not to have to help clear the dishes, handy that! We stayed through the cake and to sing happy birthday and then we left on his next adventure – to visit T and her new baby in the hospital.
Before I begin I think that my lesson for today is that one outing a day is more than enough. He screamed again when put into his car seat and took quite some time to settle. His little arms were thrashing about wildly and he was screaming blue murder. He fell asleep soon before we got to the hospital and we thought we would just run in, say a quick hello and welcome to the world and get going again so that he could be home for his 6pm feed.
We went upstairs and three minutes into the visit he began to cry. I picked him up and he tried to eat my shirt. I was really quite uncomfortable with the idea of feeding him in front of all T’s guests so got one of the midwives to find me a quiet room to feed in. He fed well for about 15 minutes and I thought that I could fool him into going to sleep and getting a top up when we got home. I was wrong. We went back to T’s room and he began to cry, we put him in the car seat and he began to scream. We decided to leave. M rocked him and he began to settle and then he got into the car. As we drove E screamed so loudly and for so long that his voice sounded hoarse, he began to whimper from screaming. I felt so terrible and so helpless, here I was sitting right next to him and I could not hold him in my arms and settle him, how was he meant to understand what was happening. Eventually we decided to stop at the side of the road. I picked him up out of the seat and saw the reason for his hysteria. The poor angel was in pain, the seat belt must have been resting under his eye as there was a big mark on his face. I feel so terrible that the child was crying in pain and we took so long to respond. Now I really believe all that I have read that says that babies do not cry for no reason. When they cry that is their way of communicating something to us. He settled after a bit of a hug and we reseated him more comfortably. He slept the rest of the journey. Poor M had been feeling quite ill and had a really bad headache, the crying and the stress of the journey did nothing to help and as we got home M vomited. Next time – just the one outing for us.
En had a good night and was quite settled this morning. I woke up thinking that he was ready to get up at about , I was ready to take him for a nice relaxing walk in the pram to the shops but by the time I got my shit together he was asleep again. I went without him and when I came back he was very relaxed indeed lying next to his dad on the bed.
Grandpa R came for breakfast and E was really in a good mood, very relaxed and alert and not at all interested in going to sleep after his mid-morning snack. I think that the morning is definitely his time. He lay on the couch for quite a while just looking around and being very content.
I received a phone call this morning from the hospital saying that there was some frozen breast milk of mine that I could come and collect. I jumped at the opportunity to go back so that maybe we could sneak in a quick weigh of E. We went to the hospital, chatted with some of the mums and calmly suggested to Jo (the nurse in charge) that we were worried as we did not know if E was putting on weight. She told us to indulge our neuroses and weigh him. He was sleeping and we were loathe to wake him but I picked him up out of his cot and as luck would have it (I prefer to call it luck rather than forceful manipulation) his nappy came off (we were told to weigh him with his clothes on so as not to fuss him too much). We weighed him with just his spencer and he weighed 2.060kg. We have finally hit the magic 2kg mark!!!. M weighed a spencer and it weighed 30g so we are confident that E weighs about 2.030kg. And No! We are not at all obsessed with every single gram.
This afternoon he had his uncle D come round to visit him. D was amazed by the fact that all E does is sleep. I guess he should spend a night here. C also came by but E slept through that as well. By the time everybody lefty E woke up and I was exhausted. I went to feed him and then handed him over to M while I had a quick sleep. I did not manage to sleep very long but M took E out for a walk and they had a great time and E came back fast asleep.
He woke up an hour before his next feed was due and M rocked him on his lap for about an hour. E loves the rocking chair!!! During this time we were reading in the “Baby Bible” about smiling and we are both convinced that E has definitely given some communicative smiles. It is sometimes so frustrating to have to age correct for him. We know that he has been alive for a full 9 weeks already but he is still only due next week so in essence is not born or at best a new born. This is something that is going to take a long time to get used to but I am sure that just as we get used to it so it will matter less and less as E grows up and his developmental milestones become less important. For now he is beautiful, he is putting on weight and is healthy and magnificent. His milestones will come. We will not compare him to other babies but will always appreciate his uniqueness and revel in the fact that he has completed such a long journey and has done so well. I still cry when I look at the photos of him as a newborn in Level 3 but I know that that is behind us and I am so grateful that he is such a fighter and that he has done so well. I cannot begin to express my love for him and my awe for his strength and perseverance.
M fed E his feed from a bottle and he slurped it down amazingly. He really seems to handle that bottle so easily I wonder if he does not prefer it to the breast. J arrived as he was preparing for sleep and we sat in his room chatting with E on my chest on the rocking chair. He loves that and was soon sound asleep.
The late start to the morning did not suit my boy and he was rather unsettled and certainly did not follow yesterday’s routine of settling in his cot so we tried him in the hug-a-bub and he was really happy and well settled in that (not to mention particularly cute).
R and D came to visit him and he slept in the hug-a-bub throughout the visit. Granny C also came by and he was really good – he just slept. I am sure that they think we are making a mountain out of a mole-hill when we tell them how much he can cry when he is hungry or tired.
He woke up on cue as C left and had a good lunch. We then put him in his pram and walked up to Randwick. He LOVES the pram and loves being walked. He did not stir at all and really seemed to be smiling as we set off. We walked up to the park, bought a take-away and had our first family picnic in the park. Chicken Yakitori and Sushi are not the most conventional picnic foods but we enjoyed it all the same.
I am trying to keep E awake for a little longer during the day so that he sleeps at night and so today after the 3pm feed we lay on the pillow and sang songs about chocolate. It is amazing how he likes being sung to and it is amazing the amount of crap that I come up with to sing about. I am constantly talking or singing to him during his daytime feeds. This makes him quite relaxed and I think it is great bonding time. M also sings to him and although I have to cover my ears E loves it. We all tried to have a sleep this afternoon but after an hour E had other ideas and so had another early feed. I read that babies of this age do not know or necessarily need routine and I am certainly glad about that.
Tonight E slept past his normal three hourly feed so after four hours I woke him up and we faced his wrath. I can safely say that he was in a foul mood. He screamed – not like the normal crying scream but he yelled as if he was furious. I tried to feed him but he was too tired and angry to eat. Eventually M ran a bath and E and I had a calm relaxing bath – until we took him out and tried to dress him. I cannot believe how angry he seems to be, maybe he is just too tired to know how to deal with anything. I fed him after M dressed him and eventually he fell asleep. We vowed to him that we would not wake him for any reason ever again. I wonder how long it will last till I decide that he is sleeping too much and needs to be woken to eat again.
We went for our very first drive today accompanied by aunt C. E loved his capsule and was delighted to drive all the way to the Airport Hotel to have his first meeting with grandpa W. Needless to day Grandpa loved him to pieces and got quite teary. E slept through.
Grandpa and C came to us for dinner but En had ideas other than socialising so half way through dinner I went to feed him and try and put him to bed. This was only two hours after his last feed but if it makes him happy I am more than prepared to do it. Grandpa and C left amidst the screaming.
The night turned out to be a little more hectic than the day had been with E becoming quite upset and wanting to eat every hour or so. He is really a good boy though and does not cry for ages although at 3am it seems like a long time. He can certainly scream though and has this habit of almost throwing his head back and opening his mouth at full capacity, his bottom lip quivers and his face contorts – not his prettiest look. The twin style feeding has been replaced by the “whatever makes E happy” style feeding.
At about 5pm I woke E for a feed and that was the end of that. He did not take kindly to being woken and would not feed properly. M and I also started to become obsessed with his tiny size and got ourselves in a terrible state of worry that he is not eating enough. Out came the trusty books and in we lurched looking for signs and signals that ours was a well fed baby. We even toyed with the idea of taking him to the hospital to weigh him and if I had my way and a lot of money I would buy some hospital type scales for him to sleep on. Not half paranoid. Basically E cried every time we put him in his cot. We bathed him and as usual he loved that but then we had to take him out. We read that you cannot overfeed breastfed babies and so we kept putting him to the breast. Still he cried. We sang to him, patted him and many long hours later (at about 11pm) he fell asleep in M’s arms watching the footy show.
I guess that he was so tired that the whole night he was a gem, he woke up at 1;15 and 5:20 for his feeds almost back to his old hospital routine. I put him in his cot straight after his feed with a sound maker playing the sound of the ocean and he slept right through with no fuss. We had spent so much time before (in the last few days) trying to burp him and then we read that it is not necessary it is just one of those myths that babies need to burp (plus it is a satisfying sound for the parents). So instead of putting him over my shoulder and winding him after every meal I simply put him in the cot and for now it seems to work. He still gets furious with his nappy changes but is much calmer through the feed, unless he has trouble latching in which case he stiffens his head and pulls back and I am amazed at his strength and flummoxed as to what I have to do to bring him closer to me.
We are still counting wet nappies and looking for the signs that he is putting on weight but I have decided to change my breast feeding style and feed him “twin style” all the time and it seems to make him happy so….
In the afternoon we had to take him to the GP for the last of his 2 month immunisations – his polio drops. These are a live vaccine so they cannot be given in the hospital. I had been a bit nervous about these as I had heard that they were very bitter but no fear E loved them and gulped them down with relish. Dr T told me that he adds syrup to the drops. What a doctor! This was Ethan’s first public showing outside of NCC and the reaction was as expected. No one could believe how small he is. When Dr T looked at him his first words were ”Sies Tog” (a South African expression for... well for sies tog, kind of like nothing I can translate but basically the doctor thought he was tiny) and the ladies in the waiting room were positively stunned at his small size. He is very special!! My first experience out showed me that I was a bit disorganised, I had forgotten to bring along all his medical records, blue book etc – I guess I just have to get used to being a mom.
I do not remember the night too well so it could not have been to bad but I am sure that M will differ with me on that. I do however know for certain that relaxing music (most specifically “Music for Dreaming”) calms E (and M and I) well and it is constantly playing in our room (his room for the moment). Our other favourite trump is the bath. We gave him a bath and then had a hard time waking him for food. Next time it will have to be food and then a bath.