Monday, May 12, 2008

Acid Reflux ???

The first three weeks of Ethan's life, he was a very fussy little guy. He had very few quiet alert periods and was usually fussing when he was awake (and not feeding).

After observing his behavior carefully for a few days, we concluded that he was probably hurting from acid reflux. I had been eating a lot of tomato-based foods those first few weeks because we were blessed with gift meals from other church families, and the majority of those meals included some type of tomato sauce. I also drank orange juice every day during those first weeks, just as I always have. After we zeroed in on reflux as a possible reason for Ethan's fussiness, I cut all acidic foods like this out of my diet. We also started keeping Ethan upright as much as possible, and putting him to sleep on his side at a slight incline.

Either these changes, or just his increasing strength, or a combination of both, caused a significant change in a matter of days. His fussiness continued to decrease during that fourth week of life, and he has been a reasonably happy little guy for the past 10 days or so. He is still needs more holding and help getting to sleep than Caleb did, but now we are blessed with many hours of quiet alert time and even several smiley periods each day. At this point, we're not entirely sure whether or not he has/had reflux, but we are very happy that he is feeling so much better, and I am continuing to stay away from acidic foods as much as possible. (I tried eating something with marinara sauce four days ago, and he was very fussy the next morning.)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Ethan's Sleeping

Ethan is 5 1/2 weeks old, and I am very, very tired.

I didn't think so at the time, but apparently Caleb was a pretty good sleeper as a newborn (though he was definitely a poor sleeper from 3 months to 10 months). The first few months, Caleb would get up 2 or 3 times each night, but he would almost always go right back to sleep. Ethan, on the other hand, is awake and alert for 2-4 hours every night between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am. He just doesn't see much difference between the day and the night yet. He "naps" all night as well as during the day. Last night, here is how he slept:

9:00 pm to 12:00 am--slept in Mommy's arms (30 min) and then in his bed
12:00 am to 12:30 am--nursed
12:30 am to 1:30 am--slept in his bed (restlessly)
1:30 am to 1:45 am--nursed and fussed
1:45 am to 2:30 am--slept in his bed
2:30 am to 4:30 am--happily awake while Mommy nursed, walked, bounced and rocked him
4:30 am to 7:00 am--slept in bed with Mommy

So he slept for 7 hours and 15 minutes, but it was so broken up and divided by longer periods of wakefulness, that I do not feel rested at all! Plus, I don't fall asleep at night until about an hour after he first goes down because I'm holding him the first 30 minutes and winding down for bed another 30 minutes. Last night I got about 5 hours of sleep in 3 different parts. The good news is, like the weather, anything with a newborn is bound to change in time. In a few weeks, I'll probably have a different sleep pattern to report...hopefully one that includes more nighttime snoozing :)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Caleb's Adjustment

Ethan is a month old now, and it has been quite an interesting month. Caleb has adjusted very well to the new addition and he ADORES "my baby brother". He gets excited every time Ethan wakes up from a nap and we go get "his baby." Whenever he notices Ethan in the room, he runs over and says "Hi, Baby!" in a super-excited voice and immediately attempts to smother Ethan with love...hugs, kisses, toys, blankets or anything else he thinks the baby will like. If I'm changing Ethan's diaper on the floor, Caleb will lie beside him, grinning from ear-to-ear and laughing at every little noise Ethan makes. He loves to help with Ethan. He brings us diapers, wipes, pacifiers, blankets and anything else I ask for. Today, he heard Ethan poop, said "Baby stinky poo-poo!" and then brought me a diaper without being asked. The only thing he doesn't like is Ethan crying. Several times he has covered his ears to the wails with a panicky look on his face. Sometimes he tries frantically to pacify the cries, saying "Baby happy? Baby happy?" the whole time.

It has been wonderful to have Marcus home so much since Ethan was born. He managed to manipulate his schedule in several creative ways, with trading, planning and paternity leave, Marcus has only gone to work about six days in the past month. Those six days have been spaced out, so I have time to recover each time I have both boys on my own. This situation has been a big contributing factor for Caleb's positive adjustment.

Daddy and Caleb have been on all sorts of adventures this month. Marcus bought a bike seat for Caleb and he and Caleb have been all over town together...3 different parks, McDonald's, Books-A-Million, the duck pond...they have explored the best that northwest Gainesville has to offer. Caleb loves biking with Daddy. Once, he even fell asleep in his bike seat! They've also gotten around in the car, including running errands, taking the dogs to the dog park, and playing soccer at the soccer park. And of course, they've spent plenty of time at home doing "guy stuff" like fixing things with their tools, playing ball in the backyard, building towers, dancing to music, looking at pictures, watching TV together, and on and on the list goes. Caleb has never had so much of his Daddy as he has been able to enjoy this month.