Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Even good babies have bad days

I feel bad. When I first started this blog it was all about pregnancy and then our amazing little Jack. I would quasi-faithfully post on every development and little cute things he did. It was all new and magical and sunshine and rainbows. And now I can hardly keep up with blogging about our family and all those trips we've been taking, and then throw in a few pictures of the boys. And Jude is going to grow up and learn how to read some day and wonder why there aren't any stories about him as a baby. I know this because I was a second child too. So this is for you grown-up-Jude. This post is all about you.

Our littlest guy is now 3 months.  Wow.  In some ways it seems so old.  In other ways, I can't believe he's only been out-of-the-womb and in our world for 3 months now.  It's hard to remember what life was like without Jude.  In fact, I just finished reading my last posts leading up to his birth.  I think those days took place ages ago.  In another life.  Now, Jude is a well-established member of the household.  I can't imagine life without him!

So yes, he's three months and hasn't had a check-up yet.  There's supposed to be a 2-month well-baby check but after we moved we had to submit paperwork to change to a local military clinic.  We just got assigned to new doctors, I called first thing the next day to make an appointment, and found out the earliest they can see Jude is mid-August.  "You do realize my son will be 4 months by the time he comes in for his 2 month check-up right?" I told the receptionist.  Oh well.  He appears to be a healthy little guy.  And by little I'm guessing somewhere between 13-14 pounds.  Much less than Jack but a good, average size.

Healthy, but stinky.  Jude's had gas issues since his second week of life.  When he was just a teeny-tiny lil' guy he'd scrunge his legs up, wriggle his tummy and wail in pain.  I tried every little trick I had heard of.  The gazillion different ways to burp, special massages (counter-clockwise for 30 seconds, rub up and down for 30 seconds, clockwise for 30 seconds, bicycle kick 15 times, and on and on), watching what I eat ... finally I just gave in to Mylicon and that seemed to make a little difference for a few weeks until I weaned him back off.  So the pain appears to be gone, but in it's wake we've been left with some major stink clouds.  I mean, it's embarassing.  I feel like I constantly need to qualify, "Oh sorry, that was my baby" because I certainly don't want people to think that scent came from me!  The worst is when I'm using my nursing cover.  I feel bad for the little guy, trapped under that with those gaseous fumes.  And the only air escape is at the top, right below my head, right under my nose.  It's enough to make your eyes water.  But hey, it could be worse right?  I'm super thankful for my healthy guy, gas and all!

Actually, we did have one health hiccup the other week while in Pennsylvania.  I noticed that Jude was sleeping very well on the trip up, too well.  He's not the happiest baby in his car seat so this was unusual.  And then I noticed he was really warm when we got to my parents.  Now as you know, he's typically a hot little thing.  But this was different.  He wasn't sweating and he wasn't very alert.  Jon went out and bought those special kinds of thermometers that work best on babies but yet make their mama's shudder to think about it, and we figured out he had a fever.  I'm not used to sick babies.  Jack had a fever once from his 12 month immunizations and, other than some coughs and runny noses, that's about the extent of his bad health.  Having a sick baby isn't fun, it grips your heart and makes you wish you could be ten times more sicker if it would be mean he'd feel better.  And it makes you nervous when you don't know why.  So we swaddled him up, put him to bed, tried to sleep ourselves and by morning he was back to his fever-free, smiling self.  The same thing happened again the second night.  And he was back to normal the next morning as well.  It hasn't happened again, and we still don't know what was going on.  Must've just been fighting something.  I actually cracked open "What To Expect the First Year" for the first time in forever and from what I read a slight fever isn't too much to be concerned about.  I would ask my doctor ... if I could get in before August!

Sorry, for some reason Blogger keeps rotating this picture!
Jude was great in Pennsylvania.  I mean, we took that baby all over the place and barely gave him a chance to relax.  He was constantly in someone's arms, which is his favorite place to nap anyway.  And if he did happen to get upset, he wasn't allowed to stay that way for long before someone scooped him up and made the world right again.  He was a good traveler, despite his car seat angst.  And made all the busy-ness just a tad easier on me.

And then we got home and things began to unravel.  He went from sleeping 9 hours at night to waking up 4-5 times.  He wouldn't take naps.  He'd fall asleep in your arms and wake up screaming as soon as you laid him in bed.  And the crying, oh the crying.  It tore my heart.  So unlike his typical unhappy sounds, and so much more like a frightened, confused little baby.  I was concerned that I'd allowed the past two weeks to ruin my perfectly wonderful baby, and then I realized that we'd hit 12 weeks and it could very well be a growth spurt.  So I gave him two days of unlimited access to the buffet.  Two days that he spent the greater part of his day occupying my arms.  Two days that made his big brother very jealous.  And I have to smile when I think about a book I read that suggested, during growth spurts or to increase your milk supply, to "take the baby to bed" with you so you can relax and nurse all day.  Haha!  I'm guessing the author only had one child.  Or maybe she did have a toddler, who was a girl.  Because I think I can safely say that Jack will never be interested in hanging out in Mommy's room, much less her bed, all day while I tend to his baby brother.  I can just picture us trying to relax while Jack jumps on the bed.  I digress.

By the end of the second day I had my Jude-bug back.  He's back to his 9 hour night stretches, back to napping in his bed during the day, but not back to his little clothes.  Nope, we're in to 3-6 month stuff now.  And I'm pretty sure all that nursing knocked another 3 pounds off my waist as well.  Not too shabby. 

We're also dealing with the 45-minute intruder again.  I hate that ugly beast!  Jude goes down beautifully for each nap, and just like clockwork starts fussing right at the 45 minute mark.  I don't have the energy, or time, to fight it right now.  Plus we're going out of town again soon so I'd rather not try to create good habits only to see them ruined again in another week or so.  So at this point, we just deal with it.  If I can get him back to sleep fairly quickly, fantastic.  If I can't (picture me, locking myself in the nursery, swaying my swaddled baby, humming softly, stroking his forehead until his eyeslids just can't fight it anymore ... now picture Jack a.k.a. Tarzan, on the other side of the locked door, pounding ferociously, rattling the doorknob, yelling for Mommy), so yes, if for some reason I can't get Jude back to sleep we give up and bring him back to the rest of us until his next naptime. 

And it's usually not a problem, because he's so stinkin' easygoing.  I'm almost afraid that someday we're going to have to help him stand up for himself.  I'll worry about that later though.  Because right now we're just enjoying who he is.  And although that 3 month heightened awareness stage drags along that dreaded 45-minute monster, it also brings fun smiles and heart-flipping coos.  Quite possibly my favorite sound in the whole world!  He's talking as well as he knows how.  And making that adorable sound that adorable babies do when no noise comes out until they suck the air back in.  The sound of babies swallowing pure joy and choking on summer bliss.

And that's Jude.  With his downy head of hair that someone actually called red this week.  With his teeny,tiny fingernails that seem to grow overnight.  With his blue-hued headlights, beaming back at the world.  With his heel-kicking, fist-pumping, swaddle-busting moves.  He's the sweetest thing.  Living proof that God's greatest blessing come in the smallest packages.  And we're so glad he's here!

1 comment:

Sally said...

thanks for sharing Janine! you write beautifully :) I know who to come to someday when we have a baby

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