Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Four Months Old

Dear Will,

The months go by way too fast. I feel like I can barely remember when you were a fresh-faced, tiny newborn. Now you're my big boy, discovering new things each and every day.

The official stats from your four month check-up are 14 pounds and 25 inches. That's a little light in weight and about average in height. Of course to Mama, you're absolutely perfect in every way.

You found your hands this month, and now have no trouble clasping them together and sucking on your fingers. Grasping toys is still a little difficult, but you love to try and get them up to your mouth.

You started pre-teething, which means lots of drool and sore gums. You love to gnaw on Sophie the Giraffe or any of your refrigerated teethers. Daddy's fingers are also a favorite.

Your sore mouth makes for some pretty brutal nights. You've been waking every hour or so in pain (poor little guy). You just need your pacifier and a little soothing to go back asleep, but Mama and Daddy are even more tired than usual (if that's even possible).

You recently realized that Stella exists. Whenever she's in the room, you follow her intently. I can't wait until I can take you both outside to play in the spring. You will love watching her run around.

You used to nap whenever we were out and about, but now you stay awake for most of our outings. You (usually) sit quietly in your car seat taking in the lights, sights and sounds. To Mama's delight, you seem to really enjoy Target.

We introduced you to your high chair and Bumbo seat this month. You still don't have a ton of core strength, so you tend to get frustrated after 5 or 10 minutes. But you seem to enjoy seeing the world from a new vantage point (and Mama appreciates having both hands free for a bit).

You're Mama's sensitive boy, a little fussy and prone to overstimulation. If you don't like something, you're not afraid to let us know it. Sometimes when you're really upset, only Mama will do. It just warms my heart to know how much you need me.

I love you, my darling boy.

Hugs and kisses,


Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Miracle

Christmas Eve turned out to be a big day for our little guy. First, Will slept through the night (9PM to 7AM). Then he rolled over.

Merry Christmas to all!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Helmet head

We see a specialist next Wednesday regarding Will's flat head and whether or not he'll need a corrective helmet. Even though the doctor assures me I did nothing wrong, I feel an incredible amount of guilt about it. I should have done more tummy time, I shouldn't have let him nap in his car seat, etc.

I've been reaching out to friends of friends recently to talk to them about their kids' experiences with helmet therapy. The consensus is that it sucks. People will stare. People will make rude comments. But your kid's head will get better. And really, that's what's most important.

Here's the thing: I know this is fixable, and that we'll barely remember it in a few years. But right now it feels really major. Not that I expect Will to be perfect, but you don't want even the slightest thing to be wrong with your kid. Picturing him in a helmet 23 hours a day just breaks my heart. I can't imagine not being able to kiss and smell his sweet little baby head whenever I want (I'm crying as I'm typing this).

I know I should just relax until we see the specialist, but it's so hard. I continue to read and research everything I can get my hands on. This is one of the better articles I've found (it wasn't loading correctly on my computer, but just scroll down to read the text).

Monday, December 20, 2010

Good Things

  1. Will was a champion napper today! And he was smiley and happy all day. Coincidence? I think not.
  2. I finished all our Christmas shopping. Presents are wrapped and ready to go.
  3. A dear friend shared that she's pregnant! Yippee!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Good Things

  1. Christmas pageant at church. I actually teared up thinking about how Will will be in one some day.
  2. Frosting cookies with the fam. I love holiday traditions.
  3. Having 20 minutes to myself to take Stella for a walk.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Good Things

  1. The doctor said Will may not need a helmet! He said even seriously flat heads can round out on their own, so we're going to re-evaluate in a few weeks (I'm cautiously optimistic).
  2. Will did 45 minutes of tummy time today.
  3. I took Stella for a walk (good for both of us).

Monday, December 13, 2010

Good Things

  1. Big, slobbery kisses from Stella after being gone for four days.
  2. A child who enjoys the car. It makes travel so much easier.
  3. An unexpected day off with Ben. The simplest, most ordinary days are often the best.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Good Things

  1. The Minneapolis skyway system. We shopped all day without having to head out into the blizzard!
  2. Grandparents. They love to change diapers and soothe crying babies.
  3. Christmas carols. It's been nice to sing a few new songs to Will.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Good Things

  1. Leisurely road trip with Ben and Will (I so appreciate that my child loves the car).
  2. Lounging in a hotel room in downtown Minneapolis with my mom and sister.
  3. Catching up with a few of my oldest friends, and finding inspiration that Will's fussiness will too subside.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Good Things

  1. I read four books to Will today.
  2. I exhibited exceptional patience during a especially trying bedtime fit.
  3. I had coffee with a dear friend who just "gets it" (and always shares husband stories that make me laugh).

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Good Things

My therapist wants me to keep a gratitude journal, in which I identify a few things that I'm thankful for or proud of every day. And since I enjoy oversharing online, I thought I'd just keep it here. Enjoy...
  1. A massage appointment, courtesy of the best husband ever.
  2. Lunch (and time to vent) with a friend and fellow new-mom.
  3. Enjoying a beer in the name of increased milk production.
  4. Celebrating Will's four month birth day.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


So I'm seeing a therapist. And I'm on a waiting list to see a shrink that specializes in postpartum depression. She books three months out. Apparently there are a lot of crazy moms out there.

Simply put: postpartum depression is kicking my ass. After my original post a few months ago, things got a little bit better. I was still sad some days, but I didn't feel the crushing sadness that plagued me during Will's first few weeks. I started my grad program, and even aced my first class. Will wasn't (and still isn't) sleeping great, but Ben and I worked out a sleep schedule that allowed me to get two 3-4 hour stretches a night. Not ideal, but manageable.

Then a few weeks before Thanksgiving everything changed. I couldn't concentrate. My insomnia was back. I was extremely weepy and emotional. The smallest things would send me over the edge. I had to drop my second graduate class. I started pulling away from Ben, and stumbling through my days with Will. I was barely present in my own life.

I still don't want to be on medication, but I know something has to give. My therapist and I are working on holistic and homeopathic alternatives for wellness, like diet, exercise and positive self-talk. But if I'm not seeing improvement by the time I see the psychiatrist in January, medication may be my only option.

I hate that I have this. I hate that I'm sad all the time. I hate that I can't just "snap out of it". I hate that I'm pushing my loved ones away. I hate that I'm not fully present for Will. I hate that I haven't been able to fully enjoy the first few months of his life.

But I'm proud of myself for seeking help, and I believe I can and will get better. I want to be the best I can be for my partner, my child and myself. I want to feel like "me" again.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The writing on the wall

Sigh. We're a few weeks from having to supplement with formula. This makes me so sad, but the reality is that Will eats more breastmilk than I produce, and our frozen supply is beginning to dwindle.

If you recall, I've been pumping full-time since Will was 3 weeks old. This is terribly difficult, but I think breastmilk is so important. At first, I made more milk than Will needed to eat, so we were able to freeze a fair amount. But my supply has started to dip, and we've been using frozen milk nearly every day for the past month. I only have 21 ounces of frozen milk remaining (we had nearly 3 times that at one point), so Will will probably have his first taste of formula before Christmas.

I found an organic formula that I like (Earth's Best), but it's just not as good as breastmilk. Supplementing with formula is really hard for me to swallow (pun intended), but we weren't very good at nursing and the pump simply can't maintain my supply like a suckling baby can. I will pump as long as my body wants to make milk, so it's not that he won't be getting any breastmilk. But I believe in the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, and I'm bummed we won't make it.

I'm trying to remember that any breastmilk is better than no breastmilk, and four months of exclusive feeding is a darn long time. But still, I'm disappointed.