Friday, December 18, 2015

Isabelle:4 Months!

Dear Leigh Leigh Lady,

Well, I just wrote your entire letter and somehow it deleted, so now I must begin again.  Ugh!  Computers drive me CRAZY sometimes.

Anyway, the past 4 months have been a total whirlwind.  You have had such a plethora of appointments and therapies, it's all becoming kind of a blur.  (The sleep deprivation doesn't help either.  More on that later.)  But between the pediatrician, orthopedic doctor, radiologist, occupational therapist, and craniosacral therapist, you have at least one (often two or three) appointments per week.  I am so glad at this moment in time that I am able to be a stay at home mom, so that I can get you to all of your therapies and appointments.  I have no idea how we'd do it if I worked outside the home.

OT and CST are working with you to help improve your feeding.  Your latch on both breast and bottle is poor, causing you to have tons of gas and general discomfort.  I wish I could say I've seen some major improvement, but I can't say that I have yet.  You nurse at night and take bottles during the day because you flat out refuse to nurse during the day.  I can't quite figure it out, but it's like you know when 6am hits and you WILL NOT nurse after that point in the day.  Despite the fact that it is still dark and quiet in your room.  So I pump and give you bottles of that during the day.  And it's exhausting.  Breastfeeding is hard, but in my opinion, pumping is way harder.  Or at least way more annoying and time consuming.  Yes you don't have to worry about latch with pumping.  And others can feed your baby.  But pumping for 20 minutes, then washing that stuff, then feeding the bottle for 20+ minutes, and then washing that.... only to do it all again in 2 hours.  Pure exhaustion.  I would choose nursing any day over all of those shenanigans that come with pumping.  But, you won't do it, so pumping it is.  At least you nurse at night so I don't have to pump overnight.  I am very thankful for that!

 But all in all, you still aren't gaining enough weight, and that fact weighs heavily on my heart.  There is little that makes a mama feel more inadequate than not being able to feed her baby well enough.  We have such a hard time getting you to even eat 3 ounces every 3 hours during the day.  After an ounce or two you decide that you are done and we have to walk around, bounce, distract, and in essence force you to finish your bottles.  Or at least take three ounces.  We make every bottle 4oz, but make sure you get at least 3oz before giving up.  Feeding you is so exhausting.

So at your 4 month doctor appointment I brought this up again, and we decided to set up a swallow study for two reasons.  Number one: to see if you do indeed have reflux.  You've been on Zantac for awhile and we don't even really know if you have reflux or not.  Number two: to make sure you aren't aspirating your feeds.  You have had a persistent cough for over a month and the pediatricians are attributing it to your reflux, so we want to be sure you are swallowing effectively.  Maybe the swallow study will give us more answers.

In the meantime we are going to start fortifying your milk with Neosure to increase the calories.  Because once again your weight dropped in percentile and you are now in the 14th percentile for weight.  You started life around the 85th percentile.  It's so frustrating.  If we could just figure out your latch I believe that all of these issues would correct themselves.  As it is right now, you swallow so much air, which makes you too uncomfortable to continue eating.  Hopefully one of these days something will click and things will get easier in that department.

Here are your stats from your 4 month checkup:

Length: 25.75 inches (93rd percentile)
Weight: 12 lbs 7 oz (14th percentile)
HC 42.5 cm (93rd percentile)

So you are long and lean... with a large noggin, just like your sisters :)

Here are your 4 month pics:

Let's talk about your hips.  They are getting better and developing as they should, so hopefully you'll get your brace off by Christmas.  Fingers crossed!  We were initially hoping to have it off by Thanksgiving, but that unfortunately didn't happen.  The older you get the more aware you are becoming, and the more you HATE having your Pavlik harness on.  You smile every time we take it off and cry when we put it back on after your measly hour a day of "brace-free" time.  You have a little bit of low muscular tone throughout, so once that brace is off we can really start to try to help your tone with some weight bearing.  You may need physical therapy in that department, we'll see.

OK, onto more positive things!  You are giving us some smiles lately, although no one gets more smiles than Addy.  She adores you and you clearly adore her.  Emma adores you too...perhaps a bit too intensely.  You tend to cringe when Emma comes close, ha ha!  But you are starting to smile whenever we look at you and it's fabulous :)  You have laughed a very few times (first time for Meemaw!), but you are still very stingy with your laughs and at times with your smiles too.  You make us work for it, ha ha!

Here are some recent photos of you:

Your first Thanksgiving:

A little late in getting these this year... but the pumpkin photos were finally taken!

No smiles, but no crying either, so I'll take it ;)

You love your activity mat, and I'll say that thing has been worth it's weight in gold to our family.  All three of you girls have LOVED it!  It's so nice to find things that keep you content so that we don't have to hold you all of the time!  It's tough to hold you all day while running after your older sisters.

You and Elliot under your mat :)

You've started to like the car, which is great because we spend a lot of time in it.  No more crying the whole time we're in car.  Now you save your crying for whenever the car is stopped, ha ha.  But you are even getting better about that, and you often fall asleep while we're driving, which is wonderful.

Speaking of sleep...Izzy what happened???  You were sleeping so well at night, getting up only once or NOT AT ALL.  And now we've reverted back to newborn status of getting up three times a night!  I thought it might be a growth spurt at first, but the problem is that you aren't eating very much during the day.  It's like your clock is backwards.  You eat all night and then once daytime hits, we have a hard time getting you to eat anything before noon.  I'm just not sure how to tackle this since your weight has been such an issue.  "Cry it out" just doesn't seem right when food is what you need the most.  So we will likely just persevere for another month or so and then re-evaluate.  We put you to bed around 8 and then you are up between 11-12, 2am, and 4-5am.  It is truly exhausting and I am sleep deprived beyond words.  So hopefully someday soon we'll figure this whole thing out.  Until then, coffee, coffee, and more coffee for this mama!

You are taking about 3 naps a day (sometimes 4) and I usually have to bounce you around your room for awhile to get you ready for your nap.  You aren't terrible at falling asleep, but you aren't Emma either.  We could just walk in the room with Emma, lay her down and she'd put herself to sleep.  You require a bit more of us.  Bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce.  But we seem to be getting into at least some semblance of a routine.

You are becoming more vocal and your noise of choice is growling.  You growl and grumble more than any baby I've ever met.  Especially at bedtime.  Your "sleepy song" is a low grumble that you sing into my ear until you give up and fall asleep.  One of these days I'll try to get a video of that :)

You've found your hands and they are now constantly in your mouth, with lots of drooling to go with it.  Your sisters did the same thing around this age and I was convinced that they must be teething, but it was several more months until either of them got teeth, so I'm sure it'll be the same for you.

You've also started grabbing for and "playing" with toys which is fun!  At first the OT was concerned that your hands were always fisted and you weren't bringing your arms to midline, but you've since proven them wrong, just like we knew you would.  Your hands have relaxed a lot and you've started grabbing for toys and shoving them in your mouth, which is exactly what you should be doing.  So we're giving you lots of toys of different shapes and textures for you to explore.

Your hair is as long as ever, and you still aren't losing it, but it has calmed down a lot.  It still sticks up and waves back in the back, but the top is pretty lame, which makes me kind of sad.  I loved your wild mane!  Your hair is also getting a lot lighter and taking a reddish hue, which reminds me of Meemaw and Aunt Lauren's hair.  I'll be curious to see if it keeps getting lighter.

November 14th: hair is still pretty wild....

December 6th: hair has really started taming down

This month we celebrated your baptism, which was such a joyous occasion!  The whole family came to church and then back to our house for lunch afterwards.  It was such a great day and I'm very glad so many of our family members could come and celebrate with us.  And you were soooo good during the church service.  You didn't cry at all!

Same baptism outfit that Grandma D, Mommy, Aunt Tina, and your sisters wore :)

Typical stoic Izzy Leigh ;)

Our crazy crew at church

Passed out on mama at church :)

Here are a few videos from this past month:

This first one is just a little glimpse into the zoo that is our house these days.  Brace-free time!  We were hoping you would be getting your brace off the next morning, but that didn't end up happening :(

And I love how you are just chillin' under your activity mat during this next song....

All in all, I'd say life is getting a little bit easier every day.  There is still a lot going on with you and a lot left to "figure out", but we're getting there.  The older you get the happier you get, which is such a stress relief in and of itself.  There is nothing like a crying baby to really work on the nerves.  I'm just so glad that we are seeing more smiles out of you and that you are relaxing more and seem more comfortable lately.  Once your brace is off I'm hoping things get even better!  As difficult as these past few months have been, you are such a blessing to our family and we love you more than you could ever know.  Your big eyes, your gummy grin, when you clasp your hand around my finger... all of these things melt my heart.  I adore you Izzy Leigh!  Happy 4 months!!



1 comment:

  1. Love this blog, especially the videos! I give you a lot of credit for keeping at it!