Baby on Board!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Dreaded C-Word: Colic

You would never know by the precious sleeping baby on my chest right now that she has now been labeled as a "colicky" baby. We have her two-month appointment scheduled for Monday, but I couldn't wait that long and just had to take her to the doctor today. I was at my wits end. I'll confess that I have probably been slow to admit that Emerson is a fussy baby - probably because everyone told me to "watch out" for #2, told me to expect a nightmare since Ethan was so good, etc. I wanted to prove them wrong. But, after seven weeks of crying, soothing, crying, soothing, and more crying I didn't know what else to do but take her to the doctor. Last Tuesday was literally the worst day I've had with her in seven weeks - let alone the last couple months. I can officially say that was my "rock bottom" that all parents go through at some point with a newborn. She bounced right back though and finished the week off strong...she was textbook - eating every 2.5-3 hours, sleeping well, actually smiling after she was done nursing, seemed content, etc. But, we started this week off like last and she's back to major crying bouts and doesn't seem happy at all.

Taking her to the doctor today was probably more so for me because I knew nothing was "wrong" with her (fever, ear infection, etc.). But, I was in need of a major emotional pick-up and the doctors and nurses at our pediatrician's office are amazing. I've called three times in the last seven weeks to have one of the nurses talk me down from the ledge because she won't stop crying. We would go through all the checklists - is it gas? is she getting enough at each feeding? is she spitting up more than usual? does she like the car? does she like a paci? Every conversation would end with what I knew was already true - I just have a fussy baby, I'm doing everything right, and I just need to continue doing what I'm doing. I'm lucky in the fact that since we were at the doctor so much with Ethan these nurses literally feel like an extended part of my family. I walked in today and was greeted with nothing but hugs and encouraging words. They are so good at their job and reassure me that I'm not the only mommy who calls in desperate and looking for answers.

Like most people, I thought colic was when it was non-stop crying 24/7. However, the doctor today explained the true definition of colic is "fussy/crying three or more hours a day three times a week or more." There is no known cause of colic and there is no treatment either...the silver lining is colic magically disappears at four months (if not three months). I've had friends with colicky babies and I know how much they've struggled. I still don't think we have it that bad, but I guess I feel like my emotions are a little more justified knowing she can be thrown in the colic category. When she has a bad day, I feel like a complete lunatic. I absolutely lose the ability to make a sound assessment when dealing with the crying/fussiness all day - on top of taking care of Ethan, myself, the house, running errands, etc. All I needed today was just to talk it out with the doctor and she literally spent about 45 minutes with us (thankfully holding Emerson the whole time and even got her to sleep). It is so reassuring to voice my thoughts (good and bad) to someone who listens and understands and can provide encouraging feedback. I know all my feelings are "normal" and "it will get better" - but sometimes it's just nice to say out loud that this sucks right now!

I have said before that it's been a lot easier for me to keep perspective the second time around. I know she will grow out of this and that it's just a phase. I know I'm doing absolutely everything I can. I know I'm still being a good mommy to Ethan. And I know right now that if the only thing that soothes her and keeps her calm is me wearing her the majority of the day then that's what needs to happen. Looking at the big picture, we're lucky this behavior isn't every day. She has proven to us she has the ability to sleep through the night, be content, smile, and be a happy baby. The good news is, every really bad day is always followed by several good days and that's all I can hang on to right now.
"His mercies are new every morning..." - Lamentations 3:23

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Family Weekend!

We were so thrilled Emerson got to meet her Great Grandma Ann and Great Aunt Sharon last weekend when they were in town to visit. It was such a special weekend for our family and we're very thankful for the time we were able to spend together. Friday night we all met out at Papaw and Ginka's house and enjoyed some yummy Pizza Express. Great Grandma was so happy to finally get her newest great grandbaby in her arms. Her and Aunt Sharon just love Emerson to pieces and couldn't stop commenting on how beautiful she is =)

We headed back out on Saturday morning where it was a day full of cousin play time with Jayden and Kaleb. Kristen and I said one of our "dreams" finally came true when we peeked in on Jayden and Ethan playing trains in a room by quietly and so nicely!

We also loved seeing Ethan and Kaleb playing together in the pretend kitchen - they honestly look like twins from the back because they are the same height and Friday night we just so happened to dress them alike (without even knowing - swear)!!

It is always a blast seeing these boys together. Ethan follows Jayden around like a little puppy - even to the bathroom! He wants to do everything Jayden does. He's a great example to follow!

The girls decided to head to Oliver Winery Saturday afternoon which was quite a treat! We sat outside under the porch and enjoyed some crackers and dip and a bottle of red and white wine! Sister's first trip to the winery at six weeks old!!

Mom put together a nice birthday celebration for Aunt Sharon whose birthday was a couple days earlier. As always, she prepared a huge spread and we topped it off with cupcakes. Ethan literally helped himself to the cupcakes before we were even done singing "Happy Birthday"! He just grabbed one right off the tray and started licking all the sugar icing off...he thought he was pretty funny (and so did we!) =)

Can't beat a great family weekend!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Latest and Greatest!

Ethan wondering where the airplane went =)
I'm taking advantage of the couple free minutes I have sans baby to write a quick blog post! Things in the Graebe household have been going really well. Emerson continues to mellow out with each passing week and she's sleeping like an absolute champ. She is consistently sleeping from 9:30/10pm until 4am, wakes up to feed, and then goes back to sleep until 7/7:30am. It really makes all the difference in the world when we get a solid six hour stretch in the beginning of our night. It makes my 4am feeding so much more enjoyable =) Last night, she officially "slept through the night" and was asleep from 9:45pm-6:45am! We are excited to see if the trend continues and I think it will - she's been a great sleeper from the start!

She is still loving the wrap I put her in after each feeding. It is the only place she feels cozy and calm. I feel bad because grandparents come to visit or friends come over to see her and she's all wrapped up and on me the entire time. But, literally that's the only thing that makes her happy and puts her to sleep! I'm still living in the "do-whatever-it-takes-to-keep-the-peace" mindset so it's just easier for me to wear her in the wrap then deal with the crying!

We continue to get out every day and do things like go to the park, the library, run a quick errand, etc. If we go to the park or library, I usually take Emerson out of her car seat and wear her in the wrap because I know she'll sleep. If we're out running errands, it's a free for all whether or not she will cooperate. Today was a major success when I made it through a quick trip to Walmart without her crying =))) I definitely celebrate the small victories! We've also started to go for walks with the double stroller...quite different then just pushing Ethan! I just had my six week checkup and am cleared for 'regular activities/exercise' even though I was doing plenty of that before my appointment =) I've been chomping at the bit to get out and be active again. It's been hard going from walking two miles every day pregnant to being (somewhat) inactive for six weeks! I want to take advantage of the rest of summer as much as possible while the warm temperatures last.
Bulldozers at the County Fair
My serious face.
Ethan is doing great. He has a dentist appointment on Thursday which I'm excited about since he has so many more teeth now. He continues to be awesome and continually shows me how great he is...sometimes I feel so bad when I go in to wake him up in the mornings or from a nap and Emerson is screaming her head off - talk about a rude awakening! He has literally been eating nothing but vanilla greek yogurt for weeks now...we're talking it's a miracle if we can get him to eat a bite or two of meat, maybe a strawberry, and veggies...forget about it! He usually does this though when he's getting a new tooth.

His absolute favorite thing to do.
That's all to report from here - nothing too exciting! I feel like we're doing really well overall and I keep saying things are going better than I had expected with two under two! Wouldn't be possible though without a great husband, an amazing toddler, and an incredible support system like we have!

Friday, August 1, 2014

{One Month Old - Emerson!}


My name is Emerson Paige and this is my very first blog post! My big brother Ethan has told me all about this blog and how our family and friends like to read it and see our pictures. What a fast four weeks that was, huh? I've been busy getting to know my mommy, daddy, brother, and kitty and adjusting to life in the outside world. It was so cozy and warm in mommy's tummy, but this world seems pretty great too. As a brand new baby, most of my days consist of sleeping, diaper changes, eating, and crying. Lots.Of.Crying. I can't figure out if I'm happy or sad, hungry or full, tired or wide awake. So many emotions. I want to tell you about some of the things I do as a one month old:
  • I like to eat. If I'm awake, I'm usually rooting or sticking my tongue out. Eating is good for me though. My doctor is so happy with the way I'm gaining weight. At my one month weight check, I weighed 8 lbs. 5 oz. I'm still gaining over an ounce a day. I even have a double chin to prove it!
  • I have very long fingers and toes. That was the first thing the nurse noticed when I was born!
  • I've had a couple baths so far and overall I think I like it. My big brother helped me during one of my baths and poured water on me through his watering can.
  • Things I don't like: bouncy seats, swings, and anyone but mommy (although I'm starting to warm up to others).

  • I had a couple rough days during week three. Mommy and daddy said I had a "witching hour" which usually was from 7-10pm. I seem to have calmed down a bit since then...maybe it was my first growth spurt? Mommy is slowly learning how to soothe me and get me to sleep. After eating, she will swaddle me and then put me in her wrap. She then walks around, bounces, and pats my bottom which makes me sleepy. Once I'm officially asleep, she can then take me out of the wrap and put me either in the pack-n-play or rock-n-play.
  • I might have a birthmark on my left ring finger. It wasn't there when I was came a couple days later. It's just a small "strawberry" mark.
  • I sleep really well at night for being four weeks old. The first stretch of my night usually lasts 4-5 hours (sometimes even six)! When I wake up, daddy will change my diaper and then pass me off to mommy who feeds me. The second stretch of my night usually lasts 3-3.5 hours and I tend to wake up around 6:30am almost every morning.
  • I'm slowly starting to fall into a very loose 'schedule' and can notice a pattern with my naps. Right now, it's common for me to take two morning naps, a good nap during lunch (when we're out running errands - maybe 90ish min), a very long afternoon nap (2-3 hours), a early evening nap, and then it's bedtime.
  • I got my first bottle at four weeks old. Daddy fed it to me. I didn't know there was any other source of food other than mommy! I guzzled it down and shocked my parents at how quickly I drank it. Now daddy feeds me a bottle at 8:30pm every night before it's bedtime.
  • Everyone thinks I look just like my brother. That's a nice compliment because he's very handsome.

Mommy and daddy (and Ethan!) are doing such a great job taking care of me. I know I'm going to change so much in the next couple weeks so I hope you'll check back next month for another update!