Originally due on July 30th, our little bundle as his daddy likes to call him decided to arrive a little early (with no complaints from me) on Wednesday, July 22nd at 3:48pm in an emergency c-section after 11 hours of labor with not much progress. I have always been somewhat of a hard person when it comes to emotions but when I heard the very first cry from my son, I couldn't hold back, I cried. Just listen to him - even his CRY is perfect!
We had to stay in the hospital until Saturday due to recovery from the c-section. I probably could have done with a few more days in the hospital with as slow as that recovery actually was! Nobody told me c-section recoveries were so painful, and I was expected to take care of a newborn as well? All I can say is thank God that I have a helpful and absolutely wonderful husband. He only left our side for a total of 4 hours or so the whole 3 days in the hospital, and that was to do things for US! I was breastfeeding but Talon would fall asleep every time he fed so he wasn't getting much nutrition, by the 3rd day we decided to supplement with formula.
So we finally got to take our little man home! Besides the everlasting pain of the c-section, everything else was cake. Frequent diaper changes were a breeze and he slept about 20-22 hours out of every day! Loved his swing that my dad had bought him before he was born. This whole parenting thing was going to be a piece of cake. We were ecstatic that we could spend a day together as our own little unit before my family arrived so that we could get to know eachother without all the hustle and bustle that visitors usually means. Breastfeeding was still not really working out for us, I had to get shields to help with the latch and it would take both Ryan and I to get him to eat plus he was still falling asleep midmeal and I'd have to wake him up several times to remind him to keep eating.
My grandparents arrived the next day and my dad, sister, niece, and mother arrived on Monday. The whole week was bustling with activity which Talon slept through the majority of. The little guy was impossible to wake up unless he was absolutely ready to be awake. Even being passed from family member to family member or being taken with us out to loud restaurants in his carseat would not wake him. He wasn't sleeping through the night but he was sleeping long stretches that first week and so we were still under the impression life would be easy with this little guy. Breastfeeding was just not working out for us but my sister brought me a Medela Pump-In-Style so I started pumping whenever we had to supplement so that I wouldn't be engorged but finally I decided to just feed expressed milk. It was just too stressful for me to not be able to provide for my son naturally and we weren't getting that "bond" that everyone kept talking about so I figured expressed was the next best thing. I'm still expressing to this day and feeding 100% breast milk... in a bottle.
Little man's second week of life wasn't much more difficult. He was sleeping a little less but still barely cried at all. Towards the end of that second week we started to see what people referred to as the "witching hours." Ouch, we were taken aback. His witching hours only lasted from about 6:30pm til 9pm so I didn't think much of it. Everything pointed to normal as it seemed this was the perfect time for the unexplained fussiness to ensue. I was starting to feel a lot better from my c-section and didn't have to take so many pain pills to get through the day so all in all it was a happy week with the normal bumps. Nothing couldprepare us for what came next...
Remember that cry that was so perfect to my ears that very first day? Well, I guess he decided it was high time I heard more of it. Towards the middle of week 3, my little angel decided he wanted to cry night and day, every waking hour. The only thing that would make him stop crying was the vacuum cleaner. He was running elevated temperatures (turned out to be his normal body temp) in the 99 degree zone but never a fever. I didn't know what was going on with him. We ran the vacuum lots during that week but we didn't take him to the pediatrician because we just figured they'd tell us, "Hey guess what? Babies cry! Welcome to parenthood." Mr. Hoover - my vacuum cleaner - and I became very good buddies during that week and the next few weeks that followed. Some nights we had to run the vacuum for 2 hours at a time just so we could get a little bit of sleep because little Talon would only sleep with the vacuum on.
We took him to the pediatrician in the middle of week 4 because his "elevated temperature" never went away (duh, he still has a 99 degree temperature now that doesn't go away,) and I just could not fathom that any baby could cry this much. I knew he just HAD to be in pain to cry this much so I wanted them to check his ears for any type of infection and his mouth for any type of thrush to make sure he wasn't in pain. The pediatrician checked him over and she said what we had on our hands was just a colic baby. She said he obviously wasn't in any pain because he would quiet down when he heard the vacuum running. She told us we were doing everything right and we should expect to see him improve by 12 weeks of age (*GASP* 12 WEEKS?!.)
We dealt with the colic for the next couple weeks one day at a time. We had many sleepless nights and some nights we even had to sleep in the living room on the futon with the baby monitor because the vacuum cleaner was just not something WE could sleep through and it was still the only way little boy would get any sleep. I heard screaming in my ears even when he was sleeping because it was just something I was hearing day in and day out and it was a tinnitus of sorts. When my husband got home from work every day I would hand him the baby and dash out the door to just get away; I was going insane. At the end of week 5, beginning of week 6, while I was browsing colic support group forums with the vacuum going on behind me and the baby sleeping on my chest in his moby wrap (did I mention we bought every single thing we could find to help with colic?!) I stumbled across a post that mentioned a gripe water called colic calm. I decided to try it out since it had some different ingredients than the other gripe waters we had tried. It came in a few days later and we tried and seriously he stopped crying while the dosing syringe was still in his mouth. It helped ALOT (enough so that I decided to start telling EVERYONE I knew with babies about it - I'm even going to give it at baby showers as a gift) and the thing is, this gripe water was supposed to help with colic based on the idea that part of the colic is caused by some sort of digestion issue. Since the gripe water worked so well, I decided to try a different route.
The middle of week 6, I started giving my son a formula instead of breast milk (but I kept pumping in case it wasn't the milk.) I chose a formula that did not have cow's milk protein in it to see if maybe his colic was due to a milk sensetivity. Surprisingly, it worked a little bit. I didn't have to give as many doses a day of the colic calm but I was still having to use it and I was almost out. I ordered more but I ended up running out a couple days before my next order came in (I waited too late to reorder, won't make that mistake again!) and I had a few theories as to what was really going on with my son (milk sensitivity or acid reflux) so I called and got an appointment to see the pediatrician the beginning of the following week. Week 6 we had alot less colic episodes thanks to the colic calm and the formula so we were able to take some "professional" looking pictures at home on our futon with some sheets and some cheap props bought at Walmart. They came out really well, we were really surprised and we've decided we won't be getting professional shots of him at 6 months old either. We're just going to do them ourselves.
Week 7 we saw the pediatrician. It was a different pediatrician at the clinic than the original one we saw and this one diagnosed little Talon with acid reflux (I WAS RIGHT!) but told me to go back to breast milk or cow's milk formula because he didn't think it was a milk sensitivity. He prescribed Zantac twice a day. We gave Talon his first dose when we got home and a few hours later we had results! The colic has been gone ever since. Now we have a baby that only cries when he is hungry, or needs a diaper change, or has gas.... but not every waking minute. It's wonderful! We still give the colic calm when he has gas though and it works wonderfully still. I'm so glad I can finally enjoy my little guy and I now have energy to take care of him during the day because he's sleeping so much better at night. I'm glad I stuck to my guns and went back to the Dr and didn't just take the first diagnosis of "colic" at face value or I'd still be dealing with a baby that is in excrutiating pain from the reflux.
Now you have our background information! Time for blogging to commence.