Wednesday, May 28, 2008

One Tough Week

Well there is good news and there is bad news. The good news is that the Zantac Christopher's doctor prescribed him is working like magic. From the very first dose, we have a whole new baby on our hands. Our days are filled with tons of smiles and coos, leaving little time for fussing or crying. Christopher has a veracious appetite as he catches up for loss time. In a mere four days he gained 10 ounces! He naps like a champ. We no longer cringe at the thought of being around company, worrying how Christopher will behave. Both Ryan and I feel bad that our son had to go through a rough patch in these past weeks. But all's well that ends well. We are so grateful he his healthy and happy.
So, you ask: what is the bad news? My milk supply is too low for our hungry little boy. How did this happen when things seemed ok in the breastfeeding department? Well its a matter of supply and demand. Mommy's milk is made quicker when the breast is emptied fully and often. Since Christopher was not feeling well with the reflux, he repeatedly cut his meal short, which in turn told my body to slow down milk production. Now that Christopher is chompin' at the bit, my production line is sooooo slow. So last week we had to supplement with formula. (ugh) I hit an ultimate low last Thursday. I couldn't keep the tears back as I watched Christopher hungrily gulp down bottles of formula. I felt unneeded, insufficient. But worst of all, I felt so distant from my little baby and very lonely. I mourned our nursing relationship. I had no idea it would ever hit me this hard. It snuck up on me, I was no where near ready to stop nursing Christopher. But this low point was what I needed to make a resolution: I would build my supply, and re-establish a nursing relationship, no matter what form it took. So began an intense time of pumping and frequent feeding. By pumping every two hours (even through the night), I am telling my body "production is up, kick it into high gear". It has been rough, but I am so very determined to make this work. Our days are a dance of nursing, supplementing (at first with formula then with breast milk) and pumping. Then there is the washing of the bottles and pump equipment, after which it is time to start the whole process over again. It is very taxing. It is also worth it, since everyday I see slight improvements. I am grateful that I am still able to nurse Christopher, even if it isn't exactly how I imagined it. I will continue this routine until next week, at which point I will re-evaluate the situation. Wish us luck!
Mmmmmm, I love my bottle

Breast milk: bottled at the source

Chilling out with Daddy

Talking to Papa. "How big was the fish?"

Made in the shade

Monday, May 19, 2008

Happy Three Months Christopher!

We left Christopher alone on the couch for just a couple minutes... ...and look what he got into!
The Euler and Klaben families after Brandon and Matthew's Baptism

Matchulats munchin'

Sarah holding Christopher, she did a great job!

Cyndi and her daughter Alicia. Alicia is getting so big, and she is really cute.

Punk rocker Jake, who was heading out to a concert. Too cute.

Matthew and Christopher, third cousins. I think?

Alicia loving on Christopher

Sarah giving her share of love.

Pheww, time flies! We made it through the notorious rough 3 months, with smiles still on our faces. For any of you who have had the pleasure of meeting Christopher, you may recall that he spends half his time in a fussy state of mind. Not enough fussiness for us to admit colic, but just enough to think something must be a little off. Last week, Ryan and I were quite frustrated, as Christopher's temperment was getting worse instead of improving as he approached 12 weeks. I had a hunch that he wasn't as chubby as he should be, and he seemed to have a difficult time handling the amount of breastmilk at each feeding. So I took him to a lactation consultation, where I learned he had lost weight in the last three weeks. I didn't panic though, because in so many ways I see a healthy baby boy. I gave it a few days, then decided today that I better take him to the doctor. All the symptoms I listed painted a clear picture for the pediatrician. It was what I had suspected: reflux. Yup, baby heartburn. Turns out that everytime Christopher tried to eat, he was having pain, so he'd cut the meal short. He then would fuss alot because of both hunger and pain. And as most of you know, because I talk about it incessantly, he naps horribly because laying flat exacerbates the problem. So it is baby Zantac to the rescue! Ryan picked up the prescription on his way home today and gave him his first dose. He also fed Christopher a bottle of breastmilk, which the doctor suggested for the next day or two, just until things smooth over. Well, I don't want to celebrate prematurely, but he was a different baby this evening! He was very pleasant and went to bed with a brief 4 minute cry. I hope success continues this week. We will return to the pediatrician to do a weight check at this week's end. Say a prayer that this is the answer!
Anyway, we had yet another baptism this weekend. We welcome Brandon and Matthew into God's family! It was great to see everyone on Sunday. Matthew is getting so big! Saturday was Amy's birthday, Happy Birthday Amy!
We are looking forward to next weekend, which we will have all to ourselves, a rarity since Chrisopher's arrival. Yay, family weekend!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Another Busy Weekend!

With the blessing of two large happy families, comes pre-filled weekend calendars. On Saturday we celebrated Aunt Cheryl's 60th birthday, Silsley style. That is, with as many kids a house can hold. Again, the day was filled with kids playing in every corner, and babies crawling or crying. I am beginning to think that rowdy family gatherings are not up Christopher's ally. The commotion is maybe too much for him, or maybe its the interruption of his routine. Either way, he tends to be moody in a large social situation. This bums me out, because I want everyone to see how much fun he can be. Oh well, hopefully his happy times will grow as his grouchiness ebbs.
Mother's Day was celebrated at our house. My first Mother's Day was great, Ryan made me a yummy breakfast, then we prepped for company. Christopher cooperated by taking two short naps. During each of Christopher's nursing sessions, I stowed away to his quiet room and savored every moment, reflecting on all the joys motherhood has brought me. It is true that motherhood can not be described fully until you experience it. I am even more grateful now for my terrific mom, for marrying a man with such a loving accepting mom and for the grandmothers who have truly added richness to my life.
Down Bayside...
Last Tuesday we spent in Bayside with my Mom.

Christopher loves being held by Grandma.

At Kevin and Sarah's house...

In Aunt Amy's arms.

This was supposed to be a picture of Leif giving Christopher a kiss, but I caught it too late.

Lat Tuesday was Kevin's birthday. Sarah took him out to dinner and had arranged for all of us to go to their house for a Surprise birthday cake celebration. He was surprised!

I can explain. When Kevin was little he loved Spiderman. He loved him so much he dressed up as Spidy for Halloween four years straight. Mom was cleaning out the attic and came across the costume. For fun, she included it in his birthday gift bag along with the Spiderman series on DVD.

Christopher hanging out with Uncle Jason and Aunt Lisa.

I know this is a terrible picture but it is the first time I noticed Christopher playing actively with the toys on his bouncy chair. He keeps it up for 20+ minutes. I am in awe at his development this week. Time for more toys.

Ryan still comes home to a fussy Christopher sometimes. Thank goodness he is good at comforting him.

Aunt Cheryl's Birthday Party...

These next pics are of Aunt Cheryl's Birthday party. This is Jennifer playing with her Grandpa.

Kim and Zachary
Aunt Donna playing with Grant.

Nothing like being sung "Happy Birthday" to by a room full of kiddies!

The youngest of Jeff and Lisa's kids, this is Jessica. Isn't she beautiful?

Big Boy Christopher!
Playing with his grandparents.
Mother's Day...

This picture is for Matt. Go Longhorns! Christopher's new hand positioning for sucking looks like he's rooting for the Texas Longhorns.
Smiling at Oma W.

Being entertained by Aunt Lisa.

Chilling with Aunt Kristi.

Lisa has the magic touch with Christopher.

This is Christopher's new toy from Lulu. He is really into it. It is a frog with lots of different textures and crinkle sounds. I am amazed at how fast his dexterity is developing.

Wow, what a handsome husband and adorable baby, it is truly a happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 5, 2008

A Weekend at the Beach with Cousin Leif

This was the first time Leif was able to really run around and play at the beach. He had a ball. While running along the shore line, he tripped and did a face plant in the water. This didn't slow Leif down any, but we did cut the visit a little short, since the wet clothes made him chilly.
He really enjoyed his new sand toys.
Like his new Oriole hat? Laura, Jason and Amy took Leif to an Oriole game last week. He really enjoyed it, cheering and clapping for the O's.
Silly boy, eating cheerios Saturday morning. Hmmm, I see where Mr. Potato head left his glasses.
Riding a Pony on the Boardwalk.
Walking around Rehobeth.

Leif was so good with Christopher. Whenever he cried, he came to me saying "baby". He was very interested with the little guy. He helped start up his swing. (Leif loves buttons and switches)

Sammy boy loving life.

Mom and Dad working in their backyard. It looks marvelous.

Spreadin' sod.

I took this picture because this was the first time Christopher grabbed the ring by himself. Hurray Christopher!

Sorry for the lack of CRW pictures. This past weekend was such fun. Jason, Laura and Leif joined Mom, Dad, Christopher and me in Milford on Friday night. I read an entire book (Water for Elephants I highly recommend it). I played lots with Leif, he had been almost ignored by me since Christophers arrival. And I jump-started summer by going to the beach both Saturday and Sunday. It was great fun. We ate Grottos Pizza, Fishers Popcorn and yummy gelato. My diet starts today!

Ryan placed second in his fishing tournament; congrats!