Tuesday, October 28, 2008

More worrying...

Here is a photo from Aunt Andrea's visit, Aaron being a sweet little snugglebug with A senior! (she calls him little A, but I will refrain from calling her Big A! Love you sis!)

Well, I debated about what to write about the difficulities we have been having as of late. I have decided to record how we are doing and how I am feeling now, so that HOPEFULLY it can all seem so overblown and remote in the future. Like how I use to worry if Aaron would ever sit unassisted, etc.

Anyway, Aaron weighed in last Friday at 16 lbs 13 ounces, a 7 oz gain in 2 weeks. It put him at the 13th percentile for weight, 90th for height. All in all, it was a nice gain, compared him only gaining 1 oz in the prior month. I really think it was due to the Duocal caloric supplement recommended by the allergist. So, I was ready to exhale and stop worrying so much about his eating. He was taking around 28 ounces a day, plus some solids, not great, but some. Since THE DAY of his weigh in, he has basically stopped taking more than 3 ounces a feed. (Before this, he was routinely taking 4-6 ounces, albeit with a lot of encouragement) He has a tiny cold, so maybe that will go away and his eating will get better. However, a big part of me fears that he has just now decided to stop taking his bottle. I worry that I pushed him too hard and caused his dislike of the bottle. I just don't know what to do. The feeding specialist won't return my calls, but initially had encouraged me to be persistent with his bottles. I am getting so tired of trying to coerce/coax him to eat every 3-4 hours. The only slight bright spot is that he seems to take solids slightly better lately (maybe because he is starving!) He really seems to like this "yogurt" made from coconut milk. At this point, I would feed him pina coladas if he would just take them! Again, maybe I am just worrying for nothing and he will turn the bend and start eating enough to grow. I feel like he just HAS to. So Aaron, if you are reading this when you are 10, and you are now big and strong and chunky, have a good laugh at your worrywart Mommy, OK??? And have a special treat snack with my blessing...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Say what?

Well, Aaron had his repeat hearing test today. He had passed his test as a newborn, but because of his history, he had a 6 month follow up, which he did not pass. They thought it was likely more due to behavior. Today, we repeated that. He passed the part of the test that does not require cooperation (beyond not crying, which he couldn't do last time). That means that any hearing loss would be mild at most. The second part of the test required him to look toward tones of varying degrees of intensity. He did better, but still didn't pass. I think he was bored by the "reward" of a flashing stuffed animal they get for looking to the sound! Due to that, he will need a visit at one year old.

His eating is about the same, maybe slightly better. I think he is teething, because he has not slept more than a 3 hour stretch all week and I see 3 little nubs on top.

Funny Sam story.... he pushed me after I had the audacity to beat him at basketball tonight ( I usually let him win, but he was ripping on the girls team, and my feminist leanings kicked in!). He actually surprised me enough to knock me over and Matt really got after him. He had story hour taken away, which was very upsetting to him. However, after he calmed down, he changed his tune, saying that he needed a "break" from story anyway.Anything to end up in the right...can't imagine where that comes from :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Feeling defeated

Aaron in the forbidden exersaucer, but just for a few minutes, out in the yard!
Sam still wears M despite the humiliation that is this season.

It has been a very hard week. Aaron's eating continues to be a struggle. I have had to start getting up in the middle of the night to pump again, but MAYBE it is helping and he is eating a tiny bit more of his bottle. However, he gets less interested in baby food everyday. I just don't see how he is going to grow like this. I keep waiting for the day that he turns the corner, but it is so frustrating. He seems to like to feed himself (though he is too young to really do it successfully) so maybe if we can just hang on a little longer...

I just don't have any more ideas left. I always felt I could get him to eat if I just tried hard enough, was enthusiastic enough, etc. Now, I am starting to think I just have to see what he does without all the prodding. But, it is so hard to watch him stop after 2 ounces. How can MY KID not like to eat?? We seem to have opposite problems, my weight goes up as his goes down.

We are weighing in again Friday. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fabulous 4 year old

This is a recent letter excerpt from Sam's teacher...

I'm writing this note to let you know how helpful Sam has been at school lately. He is always a very good listener. He has been working very hard at cleanup time especially. He tries to keep the children motivated during this difficult time of day. He has shown tremendous leadership with the younger children and is setting a fantastic example of how to behave...
His problem solving skills are also developing. When there is a conflict, Sam is always calm and uses his words. He also shares a lot of ideas about how to solve other problems in the classroom. He always treats other children in teh room with respect. He is a very good boy who makes good choices. We really enjoy having him.

We are so proud. It has been a trying time for Sam with all the attention focused on Aaron lately and he seems to be handling it really well.

Here are two golf videos. The putt was awesome but his celebration is just too much. Listen to my dh in the background. Too cute.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Aaron Unleashed

Well, my nickname for Aaron in the NICU was Cinderella Man, a reference to the great Russell Crowe movie where he is a boxer during the Depression who wins against all odds. Apparently, the fighter analogy fits! And it has served him well...he fought for his life...he fights to beat the odds stacked against him...

And he fights his MOTHER!

So, I have always felt that parenting required you to be a sort of benevolent dictator. With Sam, that is mainly the case (though he is feeling his oats lately too!) However, there is clearly someone in charge of Aaron's life and that person is, drumroll please, Aaron.
He sleeps when and where he wants to (generally hardly ever and in my arms) he eats when and how he wants, you get the drift. Today I tried to feed him in the highchair, no go. His Sabba tried to feed him, no go (and this man could feed the anorexic Olson) Then, I put him in Sam's booster, and he ate a really great meal. He is so independent. And a TEMPER. We have put up cushions in the living room to box him in, which he hates!! Hates. He now can fling himself over the cushion, headfirst.

So, quite a kid. I hope he is doing all his rebelling now. On a more troublesome note, he is not gaining weight. I took him to the office and he has only gained an ounce since his 6 month check.
His growth chart is not pretty. So, I spoke to his allergist and he has to stay on the Neocate formula (thus, I am still pumping and going soy/dairy/nut/egg free) and he advised us on some ways to get more calories to him. The general consensus seems to be to encourage more solids. Fine with me, but as I said...I am not running the show. I am trying really hard not to obsess over it.

In my next blog....I am going to excerpt a wonderful letter we got about Sam- he is also a superstar!!!!!!

Signing off...a dreary UM fan

Friday, October 3, 2008

Pumping woes...continued

After some initial gains in Aaron's feeding after discontinuing egg, milk, and soy in my diet, we went ahead and started soy formula, mixed with breast milk. (Aaron's allergy testing for soy was mildly elevated on one test, normal on another). At first, all was well...but after about 10 days, we started seeing some return of his gagging, feeding refusal, etc. So, now I am back to pumping more because he won't take the non-milk, non-soy formula well and back to not eating soy. It's getting a little old. Warning: the next paragraph is blatantly LaLeche league material, pro breast feeding. If you are going to roll your eyes or laugh, do so privately! If you are sensitive about not nursing, skip.

So, what I wanted to say is...I really, really enjoyed nursing Sam. It's hard to explain to those who haven't breastfed and plenty of nursing moms never feel this way, but I did. And because day in and day out I talk to moms about the pros of breast feeding, it never occured to me that I wouldn't be able to. I miss almost everything about it. I miss the snuggles, the milky smile, that mom-baby pair and exclusivity of being the one and only one to provide the baby's preferred feeds. I miss the ease of always having food available. I miss knowing that I am doing the best for my kid. I miss sitting at the mall with the other nursing moms, kind of an exclusive club of sorts. I miss feeding sitting indian style at the park with the baby in my lap. I miss the guilty pleasure of having to stop whatever I was doing to feed the baby, laying side by side in my bed or on the couch. So I think part of the reason I have kept pumping is that in addition to believing strongly that breast milk is best for Aaron, he and I didn't get to have that experience, and the minute I stop pumping, that chapter of my life is over. And I hadn't been ready to say goodbye.

But, recently, I finally was ready. And now....I can't stop. So, I am blogging now waiting for my date with the pump at midnight. A poor substitute for Mr. Baby Right...que sera...