Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Isabelle: 2 Months!

Dear Belle Belle Lady,

Whew, we made it through month 2!  Things have gotten slightly easier, but you certainly like to keep us on our toes!  This month you were diagnosed with hip dysplagia and you need to wear a Pavlik harness 23 hours a day.  It's not something that any parent wants for their child, but Daddy and I remind ourselves that it could be much, much worse.  The harness Velcros in place and we can take it off at night for baths (which you love!).  It's a pain changing your diaper with the harness on, but we've gotten used to it, and you don't seem to mind wearing it, so it is what it is.  We're not sure at this point how long you will need it.

The day you got your harness

Now, all of that being said, your one hour of "bracie-free" time a day is your favorite time.  You almost never cry, and you seem so relaxed.  We do that hour at night, before and during bath time, and even if you were a cranky mess prior to this time, you are so content during that hour.  I will be interested to see if your general demeanor changes at all once the brace is off.  

Your general demeanor, I hate to say, is cranky.  You are just not content with much.  You love to be held, but only if your holder is walking around.  You hate to be stationary, and you let that be known with your wails.  Aunt Tina termed your crazy cry "the machine gun".  I wish I had that on video (or at least audio) because it is intense... and kind of comical ;)  You never fail to let us know when life isn't suiting you.  When we drive in the car, you are OK unless we stop, or even slow down.  Then the machine gun begins.  "KEEP MOVING!",  you are shouting.  In general, you hate the car seat.  We can't figure that out, because it seems so comfy, but you scream every time we put you in it.

I am happy to report, however, that in your second month of life we have found some things that you like, which is lifesaving for our sanity.  You love, love, love the Moby wrap.  If you are snuggled in close to me, life is good (as long as I am moving).

We try hard with pacifiers, and you will occasionally take them if you are being held and you're tired, but that's about it.

You also have really taken a liking to our pal the activity mat.  That has been one of our favorite pieces of baby gear for all three of you girls.  By month two all three of you have loved lying under there.  You try to grab the toys, but we're not quite there yet.  You will sometimes occasionally bat one, and it always startles you :)

You also now like your mobile in the crib, and that will buy me 5 minutes or so to get something done if needed.  I remember Addy always loved her "morning mobile time" and you are following suit.  Sit you up in the boppy to let your food settle (we'll talk about that too) and watch the mobile for a few minutes and you're usually pretty content.

You still really enjoy lying on your changing mat too.  And it's pretty nice since you can't roll over yet, so we can just let you hang out there for awhile.

You have found your hands and you try hard to suck on them, but your haven't quite figured your thumb out yet.  You randomly found your thumb a time or two and LOVED it, but for the most part  you just ferociously suck on your fists.  And this usually occurs after you eat, as opposed to before, which left me thinking your were still hungry.  But I have since discovered it is just a soothing mechanism for you and it doesn't mean you are still hungry.  Because if I try to feed you any more while you are attacking your fists you scream and turn away.  

And speaking of feeding...sigh.  Feeding you is nothing short of exhausting.  I imagined that I would nurse you as I did your sisters with minimal, if any problems.  I should be a pro by now, right?  Well, you have shown me that "pro" or not, breastfeeding is NOT always easy.  And it is downright difficult with you.  You cannot seem to latch on right and therefore you swallow TONS of air while you eat.  You make that clicking noise with every suck which means you are swallowing air.  So I have been going to a breastfeeding support group, which is helpful, but certainly hasn't fixed anything.  You only transfer about 2 oz of milk at a time when you nurse.  ( I know this because at the groups we weigh the babies before and after eating.)  And you aren't much better with the bottle.  We can usually get you to eat 2.5-3oz, but you're still clicking away and swallowing tons of air.  So...

I did my research and discovered that you had a lip and tongue tie.  So we went to a plastic surgeon that came well recommended for infant lip and tongue tie revisions and he cauterized them.  I admit that I was hoping for a miracle with this.  I was hoping for more efficient eating and less gas and a happier baby.  That's not asking too much is it?  Ha ha.  Well, the revision was only a week before you turned two months, so it's still early post-revision, but unfortunately I haven't noticed a whole lot of improvement yet.  At this point I am almost exclusively pumping and giving you milk via the bottle.  And if I'm being honest, that is a HUGE pain in the butt.  Because I have to find the time to pump (usually with you screaming and your sisters getting into mischief) and then wash all of the pump parts, and then feed you the bottle, and then wash that.  It's a lot of extra steps and extra time (that I DON'T have)  that could be avoided if you would just be able to nurse effectively.  So we will keep working on it.  Some people wonder why I don't just give up on nursing.  Well, here is the thing: you are just as uncomfortable with the bottle.  If you ate from the bottle without swallowing tons of air and you were content after eating that way, then maybe I would give up on nursing.  But you don't and you aren't.  So I figure I might as well keep trying to fix the nursing issues in hopes that someday you will do what is easiest and best for both of us.  

Something that has not helped with your eating situation is the fact that you got your first cold at 7 weeks of life.  The same thing happened to Emma as a baby.  She was sick more often than she wasn't in her first 6 months.  Such is life with older siblings I suppose.  But with your cold you pretty much flat out refused to nurse, screaming every time I tried.  And then you were fussy with bottles too, but at least we could get you to drink them.

At your two month doctor visit you got a series of vaccines (3 shots, one oral), and you took them like a champ.  You screamed of course, but didn't seem any worse for the wear afterwards.  No additional crankiness that I noticed.  Now that being said, I did keep your brace off for most of the day so that you could move your legs around (since you get your shots in your legs), so I'm sure you loved that :)

Here are your two month stats:

Weight: 10lbs 13oz (37th percentile)
Length: 23 inches (74th percentile)
Head Circumference: 40.5cm (97th percentile)

Your weight is still not exactly where they want it, but you are gaining better now than you did in your first month of life.  Probably because you are crying slightly less, but you still hardly sleep during the day!  You are sleeping better at night, but napping is at times almost nonexistent.  So you are still expending lots of calories, making it harder to gain weight.  The doctor prescribed Zantac, just in case you have reflux that is bothering you.  You are always so fussy after eating so we're going to give it a try.  I have a hunch though that it's gas and not reflux that's bothering you.  We will see if this Zantac seems to help anything.

So sleeping.... it's getting better!  I wouldn't say that we have a "schedule" at this point, but we're getting there.  We usually put you to bed between 9-10PM and that becomes your longest stretch of sleep.  You will often sleep until about 2-3AM and then eat, and then... who knows.  Sometimes you go back to sleep within 30 minutes, other times you decide to stay awake for hours.  We never quite know what we're going to get.  It's tiring for sure, and Daddy and I now know what sleep deprivation is really like, but you are improving, so we are thankful for that.  I think you are starting to figure out that night time is for sleeping, so whenever you eat and go right back to sleep I do a little silent cheer that we are moving in the right direction.

And when you sleep well at night you are so much happier!  Imagine that.  Daddy and I always tell you that if you would just sleep, life would be a whole lot more pleasant.  By the end of the day, you have often only taken 2 20 minute naps and you are a MESS!  But we dusted off the old "Babywise" book that we used to sleep train your sisters and we're going to start implementing some of the tactics with you in hopes that more sleep = happier Izzy.

Now that I've made you sound like you are totally miserable, let me clarify that you really are happier than you were last month.  You make a few happy little noises now and then and you have started smiling responsively to us.  It is THE BEST!  And you are so. darn. cute!

I adore this picture...check out that hair!

Izzy Leigh, your hair is unreal!  It is ALWAYS the first thing people comment on when they see you.  "She has sooooo much hair!"  "Wow look at the volume on her hair".  It's so true.  Your hair truly cracks me up.  There is no taming that mane, and it's only gotten higher and crazier as time goes on!

Here you are at the beginning of your second month.  Kinda wild in the back but not too bad....

And then by the end of your second month we have this...

"Yikes!  Is that what my hair looks like?"  Yes, it is wild, and we LOVE it!  Your hair totally suits you Izzers :)

Now, the big debate.  Who do you look like?  To be honest, I think you look  I dont' see me or Daddy or Addy or Emma.  But we hear from different people that you look like all four of us.  The thing we hear most often is that you look like Daddy and Addy.  I suppose I kind of see that, but Grandma with Kayla sent me this picture of me as a baby and I put it next to one of you....

Now maybe I'm seeing things, but I feel like we look alike!  Yes?  No?  Only time will tell.  For now your eyes are still "baby gray".  Maybe a hint of blue, but if I had to guess, I'd say you're going to end up with hazel eyes like Mommy and Emma.

And speaking of eyes... I cannot resist putting some pics of the "stink eye" that you give us from time to time.  You have the furrowed brow look down pat:

And then you crack the half smile.  It's like you're thinking, "Fine, I'll throw you a bone and give you a smile, but only a partial one."
This pic is one of my favorites... classic Izzy :)

Your sisters both still absolutely adore you!  I must admit I'm shocked that the novelty of having a "new baby sister" hasn't worn off yet.  But it hasn't.  They want to hold you and feed you and play with you all of the time.

And your sisters were so very "helpful" with getting your two month photos.  They tried to make you laugh, not realizing that you don't laugh yet.  But they tried and it was cute :)  

Well, there is your 2 month update Isabelle!  It has been a roller coaster, that's for sure, but we all love you to pieces!  We are even able to get out of the house as a family every now and again.  Here we are at the CV football game and this was our first family of five photo (other than your newborn pics):

Your face says it all!  You get showered with love every day.  Lots and lots of love.  Sometimes (most of the time) it's a little "in your face", and we are always reminding your sisters about personal space, but it's all in the name of love :)

Happy 2 months to our littlest lady.  We all love you so very much!