Sunday, March 29, 2009

A few steps back

It's been a LONG weekend. Usually those are good, right? Not exactly the case here. Matt went away on a golf weekend so it was my first time alone with Ethan for that length of time. We survived and pretty well (patting myself on the back). The first night was scary but Ethan must have known I was on my own b/c he was a champion sleeper. The second night was a little less sleep but still good.

The hardest part ... he was SUPER fussy last night. The only thing that helped him was me bouncing up a storm while holding him tight. Poor guy. He wasn't feeling well. We are back to some really bad diapers (I'll spare you the gross details this time). I was concerned that it was the Lender's Frozen Bagels that I've been eating. I was questioning them because guar gum is one of the ingredients. On one site guar gum is listed as soy derivative but I haven't found any other info to support that. Vegetable gum is listed on my do not eat list. So, does guar gum = vegetable gum? I have no idea! What about Xanthan gum? See how confusing this can get?

I'm also wondering if caramel coloring is dairy? I know to avoid caramel flavoring.

Anyway, I was ready to give up the bagels, which I may still do if I can't get these questions answered. I'm reluctant to give them up if they are safe to eat b/c they are really the only kind of bread that I've been eating.

After some more gross diapers I started thinking that it probably isn't the bagels. I've been eating them for weeks and this is more of a flare up. What could it be? EGGS! Just in time for Easter, poor Ethan seems to be having a reaction to eggs. I ate several of them 2 days in a row so I'm thinking eggs might be the culprit. I'd much rather give eggs up than the bagels. Hopefully it will help.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tummy Time

This sequence of photos cracked me up so I had to post them:

He doesn't think it's too bad.

He changed his mind and thinks tummy time is tough!

Begging me to PLEASE get him off his belly since he lifted his heavy head!

The angle of these photos makes his head look GIANT :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A beautiful story

I read a post about this story and it touched my heart. I had to post it here too. A heartbreaking loss for father and son but what wonderful, giving women who are able and willing to help.

Motherless Baby Breastfed By Six Women Each Day
Posted by JeanneSager

A baby without a mom. A bunch of moms still breastfeeding their own babies. It was just meant to be.

You don't hear about death during childbirth much anymore, (and thank goodness for that), but when Susan Goodrich lost her life shortly after giving birth to her son, one of her most important wishes for her child was fulfilled by a band of impromptu wet nurses, moms who heard a baby needed their help.

Charles Moses Martin Goodrich was born on Jan. 11, but when his dad said he wanted the boy to receive breastmilk right off the bat, he was told the hospital didn't have a milkbank. A delivery could come in from elsewhere in Michigan, but it would take several days to ship.

Then Robbie Goodrich got a call of condolence from a friend, a mom who was still nursing her one-year-old daughter. Anything the family needed, she said, anything. . . even her breastmilk. It's when Robbie told his hometown paper that things clicked - he realized other moms might want to help him in his plight, and he called on a family friend to help him round up moms with something to give.

The found twenty total women who set up a schedule - six times a day, Charles has been fed by a different woman (that's one of the volunteers pictured). And by fed, I mean actually suckling at the breast.That is the most incredible part of the story to me - that these women don't just pump their milk and ship it over. With children at home (obviously), they drop everything to drive to the Goodrich home and allow a stranger's baby to nurse. It's the kind of love only a parent could muster for a child - but these aren't his parents!

At night, his father feeds him with bottles of milk pumped by the volunteers, and Charles is a happy, healthy baby despite his rough start to life.

The subject became controversial recently with Salma Hayek's highly publicized feeding of another woman's child, which some called a publicity stunt. There's no way these nameless women could be accused of the same thing. More to the point, what they're doing is life-sustaining while Hayek's one-off feeding was not going to drastically change a child's life.

What do you think of this? Would you do it? Or would you just pump your milk and send it over?

Image/Source: The Mining Journal

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

No more sleep talk

I've seen it happen over and over again yet I did it too...Blogs where moms rave about their babies' sleeping milestones and then post about how it didn't last. Ethan went back to three hour stretches last night. I missed that five hour stretch but I know I'll experience it again someday.

I forgot to include BATH TIME in my post about Ethan turning 2 months. He loves bath time! He lounges in his tub and lets out what sound like sighs of relief/relaxation.

He also still loves his room and the ceiling fan in there. We joke that the ceiling fan is his best friend. He is happiest when he's naked, or during "air time" as we call it.

I'm sitting here watching Ethan sleep in his swing and feel like smacking myself in the head. When we bought the swing I was so impressed with it's features, especially that it had 2 or more settings for the angle of the seat and that it could swing either front to back or side to side. Ethan has liked his swing for more than a month. I've been adjusting his head in it for more than a month. I didn't want to leave the room while he was in it b/c I didn't like the way his head would fall when he was asleep. I THOUGHT that the seat was in the furthest laying back position. I was WRONG. DUH! I was sitting in the floor next to him while he was in it today and noticed that the seat could go back one more notch! UGH! A month of worry wasted. He's so much cozier now. He's a little fussy this afternoon but cozy.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

2 Months!!

Ethan is two months old today and it keeps getting better. He has given us 5 hour stretches of sleep for the past 2 nights!! So wonderful! He is smiling, cooing, gurgling, and looks excited to see us! It's amazing. Sometimes it seems like he's about to laugh. It looks like he could roll over soon. He kicks his legs to the side with force when he's on his back. He doesn't mind tummy time for brief periods. I'm wondering if he'll roll from back to belly first or belly to back.

He still likes his swing for down time but I try not to put him in it too much since his head falls forward when he falls asleep in it. He prefers to sleep with his head facing his right side. He also looks to his right more often when he is awake. We're worried that his head is getting flatter on that side. We've been working on trying to get him to look towards his left side more often. He has started to enjoy sitting in his bouncer over the past month. This has been so helpful in the mornings. I can actually dry my hair and put makeup on now! He also likes his Soothie pacifiers. He's getting better at keeping it in for longer periods of time too. Since he's been feeling better he has been MUCH less fussy and even a little more cuddly, which of course we've been soaking up! He enjoys the songs Matt makes up and sings to him. Sometimes he likes when I sing You are my Sunshine but lately Wheels on the Bus has been a bigger hit with him.

We received a call from the pedi today. They tested his stool sample for infection and it came back normal. What a relief. I'll stick with the dairy and soy free diet and hope to see his symptoms clear completely.

Today he weighed 12 pounds 7 ounces!

Some pics:
I love these plaid pants

Having a serious conversation with his bears

During one of our talks

He LOVES to kick

Monday, March 23, 2009


We've been dealing with Ethan's food allergies and things are improving. Ethan's symptoms were still present after eliminating all dairy and nearly all soy from my diet for two weeks. Studies show that most soy allergic individuals can safely tolerate soy oil and soy lecithin so I didn't completely eliminate those two soy products. When it seemed like he had a flare up two weeks into the elimination, I decided to eliminate soy oil and soy lecithin too. It has been difficult because soy lecithin REALLY is in almost everything. I was surprised to see it in my prenatal vitamin, cooking spray, and gum!

I called the pediatrician who stated that he could be allergic to one or both of those soy products OR it could be that it's taking longer for the dairy and soy to get out of his system. I eliminated the final two soy products from my diet and will mildly reintroduce them at some point in the future to see if he is allergic or not. The pedi also said that it could take three weeks to see symptoms improve.

The symptoms improved for a day or two then the orange juice poop, which I now know is diarrhea, came back. At that point the pedi asked for a stool sample. His sample tested mildly positive for blood, which leads us to believe that we're on the right track as far as his allergies and hopeful that because the results were only mildly positive, it means that he's improving. They sent another sample away to be tested for infection. We're praying that we don't have to worry about that.

I've been reading about the experiences of some other moms who are dealing with similar allergies. I've learned that it's not uncommon for symptoms to improve then return. I also read that it took a month or more for some babies' symptoms to clear.

After reading those experiences and evaluating Ethan's progress, I realize that I need to be more patient. In the past three weeks Ethan's congestion has cleared up, the rash on his chest is improving, he's not nearly as gassy or fussy, and his open sore diaper rash has cleared up. I have to say that the diaper rash has cleared thanks to Lillian for sending this. It's an all natural diaper rash salve and has done wonders! Bonus that it's safe to use with cloth diapers (I'll post about those another time).

So... the only symptom that we're left to be concerned with is in his diapers. I feel like I've spent so much of my maternity leave examining his bowel movements but also feel that we're getting this issue figured out!

I was feeling incredibly frustrated because I was making so many changes to my diet and wanted to see results ... my son feeling better. After stressing about it then taking time to reevaluate, I realized that he IS feeling better. He's not symptom free but we ARE seeing improvements. I need to be more patient. I've continued to learn that over the past two years and I'm sure my son will continue to teach me even more patience in the years to come :)

Monday, March 9, 2009

His first smile

Of all the firsts, this one was one of the most anticipated for me... and it was BEAUTIFUL! He smiled for the first time on Friday, March 6th. Matt and I were talking to him and all of the sudden, there it was! A REAL smile. I'm really glad that we were both home to see it.

In honor of his first smile here are some pics that make me smile. I think they are funny pics of my little guy.

This one makes me laugh b/c he's just so tiny. We were getting ready to leave the hospital. I think he grew out of that outfit when he was about 2 weeks old!

His first "bed head"

He's telling me to get that hat off of him! Little does he know that his Great-Great Aunt knit it for him!

Upset about another hat

Do you think this is how he'll dance at middle school dances? :)

He's FREEZING here

Smiling in his sleep. He likes to have his hands by his face.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

My heart could just burst

It is so full of love that I feel it could just burst open at any moment. Ethan has been in our lives for nearly 6 weeks and it keeps getting better. Some of my favorite moments are
-when he's snuggled up, sleeping on my chest
-when he lays his head on my shoulder
-when he looks up at me and I can tell that he recognizes me
-the clicking noise he makes when he knows he's about to eat (like he smacking his lips) ... it's hysterical!
-watching him grow and develop
-when he's just waking up and stretches he makes the SAME faces as Matt does
-when I watch Ethan and Matt interacting...this is one of the BEST parts!

He is starting to 'talk'/ coo and is this.close to smiling. I think I've seen a couple open mouth smiles when he's talking but nothing definite yet.

My diet change is still tough but it seems to be helping him. I miss too many foods to list, plus it will just make me hungry.

The hairdryer was a miracle worker this week. I took a shower for the first time while home alone with Ethan. Usually I try to get one before Matt leaves for work. Ethan likes the sound of running water & decided that he finally likes his bouncer so I thought I could put him in there and take a quick shower. That lasted 2 minutes. He screamed and I had possibly the quickest shower of my life. He wouldn't calm down and I remembered the hairdryer sound from Happiest Baby on the Block. I turned the hairdryer on cool and just let it run. He went from screaming his head off, to looking around and very calm, to SLEEPING in about 2 minutes! It was a miracle. I was able to put lotion on AND dry my hair! I haven't worn make up in nearly 6 weeks but we'll get there.

On Sunday we're going on our first road trip with him. It's a short one ... only 1.5 hours to the Philly area and back the same day. We're going for the Christening of our dear friend's little girl. She is just 2 weeks older than Ethan. I'm so excited to meet her, see our friends, and introduce Ethan to everyone!

He found his hands too!

Here is a pic of Ethan at ONE month in a 12 month onesie. It will be fun to see the difference when he's a year old.

I wish this one wasn't so grainy. I love it!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Momma and her baby bird

Are sick :( We've come down with colds. Matt had it last week, I started feeling sick on Friday, and last night Ethan was even more congested. The poor baby -- only 5 weeks old and has his first cold.

I love this picture of us. I'm exhausted and look terrible but he's so sweet. It was taken on one of the first days home with him. He reminds me of a little baby bird looking up to his momma for food.

No matter what, there are ups and downs. Easy days and more difficult days. We thought we had a handle on Ethan's digestive issues but we were WRONG.

Before you read any further, be warned that this post may be TMI as I describe my son's poop. Sorry, but it's a part of the job.

Last Thursday afternoon Ethan was terribly fussy. We had a difficult night and by Friday morning I noticed that his poop was mucous-y and almost green. His diaper rash was back. He was still randomly congested (on and off since he was 2 weeks old). His gas was worse than it had been before. He was miserable.

I called the pediatrician. They suggested that I eliminate diary from my diet. When I told them that I had already eliminated most dairy they asked if I was consuming soy. I had been using soy milk for my cereal every morning. They suggested that I eliminate all dairy and soy since it seemed like his symptoms were those of an allergy/intolerance.

Also, the symptoms that we thought could be signs of reflux may be symptoms of a food allergy/intolerance.

We won't really know if that IS the issue unless I eliminate all of the dairy and soy in my diet and wait. They can stay in his system for up to two weeks! We're hoping we figured it out and that he'll grow out of it. Matt had a dairy intolerance when he was a baby as well so it could be likely that Ethan has it too. We'll see.

I started my search for dairy and soy free foods & recipes. Let me tell you, there aren't many. Dairy and soy are in EVERYTHING. Even in my prenatal vitamin! We bought ALL new food this weekend and are adjusting.

Here are some helpful resources in case any one else is facing this challenge.
This link is to where I found a lot of helpful info.

Here is a list of ingredients to look for if you are eliminating dairy.

And here are lists of ingredients to look for if you are eliminating other things such as soy.

Another for more dairy terminology.

Now I know that all babies are fussy and gassy but honestly, because of his other symptoms and because I feel this is worse than the 'norm', I'm going to try these eliminations. We'll just wait to see if there is a difference.

Wish us luck!