Ears, Nose and Butt Update – part II (8m1w)

What a difference a week makes!!  Last weekend was a blur of temperatures, Tylenol, cold bottles and worries.  This weekend was relaxed and full of hanging out at home, playing on the living room floor while Daddy was at work installing a new server.

Ears: The procedure on Wednesday went GREAT.  Other than having a hungry, fussy baby in the pre-op area, there was no troubles at all.  In and out in about 25 minutes.  Kieran was awake and happy to see us when we got back into the post-op area (which happened to be the same as the pre-op area) and nommed his bottle like a good boy.  The doctor described Kieran’s left ear as “a terrible mess” and his right as just completely full of fluid, but not nearly as infected.  He said the powerful antibiotics we’d been giving Kieran were just “barely holding things at bay.”  So we’re very glad we went ahead with the procedure, even with as young as Kieran is.

He’s doing great now.  He obviously hears much better – he spent all day Thursday in wide-eyed fascination of EVERYTHING.  There’s been a tiny bit of drainage from his left ear, but that stopped already.  He finished out his Cefdinir oral antibiotics, and is still getting ear drops for a few more days.  We don’t need to worry about getting water in his ears now – although I’m not 100% clear if we’ll always need to have ear drops on hand in the future or not.  I’ll be sure to confirm that with the ENT at our follow up appointment on the 17th.

Nose: Still congested, but not nearly as much as he was.  I don’t know if it actually has anything to do with getting his ears drained out, but I’d like to think the general pressure in his head has been reduced.  We haven’t had to suck out his nose since Wednesday morning, so I’m calling this a success as well.

Butt:  Kieran was still on the Cefdinir, but diligent use of the new, gentle diaper care products has produced amazing results.  Plain water with baby washcloths, the California Baby Gentle Diaper Wash spray, and when dry, a spritz of the Boudreaux’s Rash Protector.  The damage from the fire poos has been abated, and I think the probiotics that Dr. Meghan recommended have worked their magic, as the fire poos themselves seem to have abated as well.  We’ll be back to our regular Up & Up  sensitive skin wipes in another few days I’m sure.  But it’s nice to have a go-to regimen to clear things up in the future.  The Boudreaux’s Rash Protector really was great in place of diaper cream – nothing to rub/wipe onto red, irritated skin.

Again, thanks to everyone for their kind words, prayers, good thoughts and suggestions over the last week or two.  Paul and I are so grateful to have such amazing friends and family.

Ears, Nose and Butt Update (8m)

Ears:  Kieran’s surgery is scheduled for 8:30 tomorrow morning.  (March 2.)  We have to check in between 7:00 – 7:15am.  Kieran can have food until midnight, formula until 1:00am and clear liquids (in our case, Pedialyte) until 5:30am.  We’re excited and anxious for tomorrow – but we’re convinced that Kieran will reap such huge benefits from this procedure that we’re eager to have it done.  (His teacher told me this afternoon that he had a rough day of patting at his ears.)  I just want my baby to feel better.

We should be home by noon or so tomorrow, I assume.  We will be updating on Facebook before, during and after I’m sure.  Prayers for Kieran’s health, our peace, and focus and calm for the doctors would be appreciated.  I know this is supposed to be a super simple procedure, but it’s still scary as heck to this first-time Mama.

Nose:  Kieran is still SUPER congested – two months and counting.  The anesthesiologist wasn’t happy to hear it this evening when I spoke with him, but it shouldn’t be a problem.  He even agreed to try to suction out Kieran’s sinuses while he’s under tomorrow.  (We’re hoping that once the pressure equalizes inside his little head, that Kieran’s sinuses will finally drain as well.)  In the meantime, the snore wafting up from the crib matches the one rumbling from Paul’s side of the bed in tone and pitch, if not volume.  On the whole, it’s quite adorable.  (That said, I’ve had quite enough of having a literally snot-nosed kid, and I’m sure he’s sick and tired of me attacking him with the battery-powered nose sucker.)

Butt:  I asked my friends and family on Facebook for suggestions today on how to deal with Kieran’s little bum, having suffered through a month of progressively stronger antibiotics.  He looks like a little baboon, and screams like a Banshee during diaper changes these last few days.  I’m frustrated that all diaper rash creams seem to be geared towards protecting his bum from moisture – but nothing seems to address the honest-to-goodness pain my little guy is in until the antibiotics stop and he stops pooing fire. * After wading through a plethora of great suggestions, Kieran and I hit up Target this evening and made a few purchases.  (The top three creams I was looking for are apparently hard to find locally:  Mustela, L’il Goat’s Milk, and Triple Paste.  I called around to several places looking.)

So I ended up with a gentle diaper area wash spray from California Baby (with calendula, witch hazel, and aloe vera – all of which I was hoping to find in a gentle cream or something) and a spray rash protector from Bourdreaux’s.  I really like that both of these are sprays, limiting the amount of touching/rubbing/applying necessary.  I’m using cotton cloths and cool water with the spray wash, and once dry spraying the protector.  So far, one diaper change down – and no tears.  I picked up a little plastic bin to make a baby sitz bath with some baking soda as well.  We’ll put that to use tomorrow if necessary – but Kieran was so sleepy when we got home this evening, that I didn’t want to put him through it.

So THANK YOU to all my friends and family who answered the call of Kieran’s red butt:  Tricia, Claudia, Nina, Heather, Kelly, Grandma Dee, Patrick, Cousin Glenn, Linda, Kym, Cousin Eowyn, London, Jessica, Rachel, Teri, Aunt Nita, Barb, Kelley, Mia, Amy, and Kristy.  It takes a village sometimes.  I am grateful for your willingness to offer suggestions, if nothing else.  :)

*  At the suggestion of family friend and pediatrician, Dr. Meghan – Kieran is taking probiotics with this course of antibiotics.  The diarrhea isn’t as bad as it has been with some of the other meds, so I assume they’re helping.  Dr. Meghan has been such a blessing to us this past week, calming Paul and I as Kieran cruised through last weekend with a nearly 104 degree temperature while on the max dose of tylenol.  So if you’re reading this, THANK YOU again Dr. Meghan.  <3

5 month update (5m1w)

I cannot believe how much Kieran has changed in the last month!! It’s like he went from ‘infant’ to BABY.  He’s so solid and sturdy now.  When he’s doing his happy baby kick & flail spaz-out on our knee thing – you’d swear he’s about to leap off and just go run around.

He talks to us now.  Not just mono-syllabic cooing anymore – but  multi-syllable sounds.  And a WHOLE BUNCH OF THEM.   Unfortunately, he likes to chatter up a storm at his overnight feedings.  Tells me about his day and what he dreamed – or tries to at least.  I spend a lot of our overnight visits shushing him.   We still have a good time on the changing table though – lots of discussions, usually involving blowing raspberries at each other and then cracking up. His little baby belly laugh is such a joy.  He’s gone from being a growly Baby Bear to our laughing happy little guy.

Kieran can now sit up with almost no assistance.  He can sit unassisted, but not for terribly long.  He’s had quite enough of his Bumpo for the most part though – he doesn’t seem to mind toppling over.  Paul works with him every day on little baby calisthenics – getting strong and stronger every day.  It’s only a matter of time before he’s sitting up on his own, and rolling over.  He keeps trying, and almost did it this past weekend.  We know as soon as he figures it out, everything changes.  We’re relishing these last days (weeks?) of assuming he’ll be in the same place we put him down when we turn around.

Kieran is getting easier to entertain – mostly because he can entertain himself more now.  He likes to hang out in his exersaucer – and is starting to figure out that he can spin around to get to the toy he wants.  It’s incredible to watch him interact with his toys.  It’s obvious he remembers what he likes now, and can ‘work’ his toys.  Like the push button on the talking mirror or the froggy spinning top on his exersaucer – he remembers how to make them go!  It’s incredible to watch him figure things out.  He’s SO smart!  (Not that I’m biased at all…)

Growth wise, Kieran is on fire!  We’re pretty sure we can hear him creaking in his crib overnight.  He’s kissing 16 pounds and is filling out his 6 month footie sleepers really well.  His little Charlie Brown head is getting bigger and bigger – and fortunately his hair seems to be keeping up.  He’s got a pleasant amount of baby chunk on his fat little thighs and arms.  We know he’s growing taller because his infant size cloth diapers are starting to get too small – he is sporting the occasional plumber’s crack.  Looks like I’ll be boiling the next size diapers this month!

If you can’t tell yet – we are just SO in love with this little guy.  He is the light of our lives and such a joy!

The Monthly Comparison gallery has been updated with 5 month pics.  (It’s getting harder to take these pictures because Kieran grabs the stuffed animals and flails them around like mad – so catching a picture with the stuffed animal in place is a matter of timing!)

It's getting harder to get a still shot with the Stegosaurus! (5mo)Self portrait before going for a ride on Air Mommy! (5mo)Sitting around with Eeyore!  (5mo)

Crunchy Granola Update (16w5d)

I never expected to want to be a Crunchy Granola Mama.  (Well, I never quite met the full CGM classification, I never had any intention of co-sleeping or having a home-birth or delaying/refusing vaccinations.)  But as my pregnancy progressed, the things I found I cared about and the ways I intended to care for my son fell pretty well in line with the Crunchy Granola way.  Some folks thought I was nuts for the things I wanted to do, but it feels right for us.  So, here’s how it’s going:

1)  Exclusive Breastfeeding: yeah.  Um, kind of a non-starter there.  I’ve made as much peace with this as I can, but it still is a cold dagger in my heart that I couldn’t breastfeed Kieran.  That was *the* thing I wanted most of all in this whole pregnancy/birth/parenting experience for myriad reasons.  (Aside from a healthy baby, of course.)  Fortunately, Kieran is thriving on his formula – that makes this bitter pill a little easier to swallow.

2)  Cloth Diapering: GOING GREAT.  Kieran has been in his cloth diapers full time since about 6 weeks.  (Prior to that, he was in cloth & paper diapers because he was just too tiny to use our regular stash of cloth.)

We had Kieran in paper diapers at the Pumpkin Patch so that he could fit into his size 6 overalls last weekend, and neither Paul or I were happy about it.  They smell funny to us now.  They don’t fit *nearly* as well as Kieran’s cloth.  Kieran himself doesn’t seem to like them.  Their only perk for us seems to be a less-fluffy butt.  We have a stash of paper diapers from friends around for emergencies, but we’ll be offloading those onto Paul’s sister when she’s here for the holidays with her little man.Cloth Diapered Baby

Our decision to use Prefold diapers and covers has been a great one for us.  Our wash routine is set: a cold double rinse-only cycle and then a warm/warm wash cycle with a soak and an extra rinse using half the customary amount of dye & perfume free laundry detergent followed by a whirl in the dryer on high. Diaper laundry happens every other day or so, but we never go more than 2 days.  Our diaper pail is a lidded step-on stainless steel trashcan that we use a large moisture-proof bag in to facilitate easy removal of the diapers.  Smells are not an issue.  Really.  The lid on the diaper pail keeps the smell down so that it’s only noticeable when you open the lid to insert another dirty diaper.  Yes, the short walk to the laundry room isn’t exactly pleasant, but there’s no need to hold your nose.

Leaks don’t happen.  (OK, there’s been maybe 5 leaks in nearly 4 months.)  Diaper rash hasn’t happened.   We LOVE our cloth diapers, and the cost savings they bring versus paying for disposables.  (Our power and water bills are comparable to this time last year, so the increase in laundry overall hasn’t been a thing either.)

3) Baby-Wearing: Going much better now that Kieran is a little older.  Kieran hasn’t ever been a fan of the chest-to-chest “cuddle hold”, in or out of a carrier.  He always wants to face out, or be held sitting up sideways in your arms.  This made using our carriers a non-starter until he could hold himself up better and take advantage of non-cuddle-hold options.

Second try forward facing in the MaiTei with feet out, 12 weeksIn the last 3-4 weeks though, I’ve brought out the carriers again, with good results.  The MeiTai style carrier and the SleepyWrap have been the best options.  (I have fears that I never will get to use my RingSling, as Kieran freaks every time we try with that one.  Boo.)  The only limiting factor seems to be that Kieran is a little furnace and gets too warm eventually – which can be as quickly as 30 minutes sometimes.  I try to have him in just a onesie or diaper when I put him in the carrier, Solution for hot baby in the wrap: diaper only!but that’s not always feasible.  Regardless, the carriers have helped us get naps in, get chores done, comforted Mr. Crankypants when nothing else will, and allowed Mama to have some needed cuddle-time with her little man.  I’m happy that carriers are working better for us now, because as he gets heavier, my arthritic elbows are really starting to complain.  I hope to be able to carry Kieran even more as his ability to sit up on his own increases.  Hands-free parenting at 16 weeks!I still haven’t convinced Paul to strap one on during the day – but I think he’s almost there after seeing how Kieran has been calmed by flying on Air Mama this weekend.  (Although they might have even more heat issues, since Kieran gets his furnace-like talents from his Daddy.)

Paul and I are making our own way with our son, and while it’s never what I’d call easy – it’s a life we honestly never expected to live.  And we’re loving the opportunity.

Cleared for the Weekend, take II (35w6d)

Wow. Possibly our last kid-free weekend. EVER. This is kinda hitting me all right now.

Today’s monitoring was pretty routine. The office was INSANE busy, but they were kind enough to squeeze me in early as Paul’s cousin Mike came in for a surprise visit this morning. (My 2:30 appointment wouldn’t have worked so well today.) My fluid was up to 7.4 – which is still crappy, but better than it has been in over a week; so maybe forcing fluids is helping the teeniest bit? Baby showed off his breathing skills and happily kicked at the monitor, so he didn’t have to get buzzed today. (He was doing some serious headspins on my bladder while I was on the monitor though – I actually thought I was gonna wet my pants at one point!!) My BP was not so hot though, 147/97 and 165/103. They took more blood to run my PIH levels, but since I’m scheduled for the amniocentesis on Monday they didn’t feel the need to get uppity about the BP.

So we’re in the clear for Monday morning. No change to the usual routine for this weekend – stay off my feet as much as I can (ha!) and force fluids. The better my fluid is on Monday, the easier it is for Dr. Schwartz to do the amnio. He says he likes a challenge, but I’d prefer that my son not get poked if possible. :)

This weekend…. I dunno. Paul and I still need to pack our hospital bags (I just *hate* packing for anything…) but other than that we’re pretty good. Oh, I need to prep/boil the premie-sized prefolds that Kelly sent us. I’ll boil the hell outta them and then throw them in the wash with the other infant-sized prefolds to make a full load. (At least the half-dozen premie PFs will easily fit into my regular stock pot!) I’m hoping Paul and I can spend some “quality” time together – not that we haven’t been enjoying our time together anyway. But maybe just spend some time together where we’re not running any errands or putting something together – no agenda. Gonna be a long time before we have the opportunity again, methinks.

Paul’s cousin Mike is out for a visit, so Sunday (Father’s Day) will be spent at Paul’s parent’s place. I’m writing this from their patio on Friday evening actually. Paul is on his laptop, Jeanne’s on her iPad and Mike is doing his insane-O workout routine for our comedy enjoyment. The dogs are happily racing around our feet and the breeze is blowing. Ya know, adding a baby to this mix isn’t gonna be a problem at all. :)