Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Computer Crazy

Whenever I get out the laptop and Micah is in the room, he hurries directly over to touch it.  It is hard to get it out of his reach.  Pretty soon I will see his little fingers reach around.  He now understands that he is not supposed to touch the computer, so he gives me the "uh-oh" or mischievous look like "I'm too cute to tell no".  And sometimes it works for a second or two. :)

uh-oh look

See I did it

Mischievous all the way!!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Poor Baby!

I can't seem to keep this boy well since quitting breastfeeding.  He has been almost constantly sick.  I was continually wiping his nose all day today and this is how it looked at one point.  UGH!  I have always had a hang-up with kids who have runny noses and dirty faces.  It seems an easy enough thing to fix, but this particular day it was hard to keep up with.  

One of my hometown neighbors that I used to babysit for would tell my mom that whenever I babysat, the first thing I did was go wash all the kids faces.  :)  I'm sure it was probably true.

Monday, January 13, 2014

11 Months Old

Showing his personality and holding one of his favorite books

I love those big blue puppy dog eyes

Micah has progressed in his development a lot this month.  He can now crawl well and stand next to furniture.  He has really developed his personality this month.  He is now very active and vibrant and is starting to have his own opinions about things.  He wants to talk.  He finally said, "mama".  He knows dada and can say, "Tessa" and "Jesikah".  He also says, "light" and "Jesus".

His favorite food is cheese.  He likes all fruits and most vegetables.  He doesn't like formula. :)

He loves books.  He also likes to play with cars.  One of his favorite things to do is look at the pictures of his family while they are gone to school and work.

He is sleeping pretty well at night and he is great at putting himself to sleep for naps.

He has 7 teeth. (4 bottom, 3 top)

Micah's 11th month (meaning between 10-11 months) was kind of a hard one.  The morning after we got home from Idaho, he woke up with a fever.  He had a fever that didn't let-up except with medicine for a solid 3 days.  The day after he came down with it, I did too, so we were both sick.  Then he started in with a runny nose, cough, ear pain, etc. etc.  I finally took him into the doctor where they diagnosed him with an ear infection after some sleep less nights.  He was sick for 2 weeks, then he was better for a few days and got sick again for another 2 weeks. 

Poor sick baby

So lethargic

In addition and probably contributing to his lower immune system was the fact that I was trying to wean him from breast-feeding between 10 and 11 months.  (See my breast-feeding post for more details) :)   This was heart-breaking for us both.  I wanted to continue nursing and so did he, but due to some problems I was having with breast-feeding, I couldn't continue.  By the day he turned 11 months, he was completely weaned.  He was very unhappy about it.  He refused formula most of the time and would only take 4-8 oz a day and that was me offering it to him all day long.  He did eat solid food really well, but he still lost a little weight.  He would still nestle into me when he wanted to nurse and cry.  I was so sad that I couldn't give him what he wanted.  I couldn't sit with him in the rocking chair where I usually nursed him or he would try to nurse and cry.  It was a hard transition for both of us.  It broke by heart that I couldn't provide him with that nutrition and comfort anymore.

 He would so sick and feverish that he would just fall asleep in our arms.  This is not like him at all.  Rarely, will he ever fall asleep in our arms.  He fell asleep with Eric, Tessa, and I at different times.

 He learned to stand up and peek out the side of his crib when he wakes up

He learned to pat-a-cake this month

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Breast-feeding Struggles

Warning:  If hearing about breast-feeding makes you uncomfortable, this may be too much information for you.  You may not want to read this post. :)

Breast-feeding can be very hard and time-consuming, but it can also be very rewarding.  Breast-feeding has not come easy for me.  With Alex, I had cracked nipples and excruciating pain every time I nursed him for the first 6 weeks.  I mean, my toes curled with the intensity of the pain every time he latched on.  I hated nursing.  Around 5 weeks, I got mastitis, which in turn lead to an abscess which had to be surgically drained. The infection spread to my joints.  I could barely move.  The incision was deep and had to heal from the inside out.  This meant it had to be packed with gauze twice a day for two months until it finally closed completely.  This was intensely painful and so difficult for a young 21-year old mom to deal with.  Now 18 years later, that experience still stands out as one of the worst things I've ever been through.

When I got pregnant with Jesikah, I decided that if I was to attempt breast-feeding again, I had to know all there was to know so that this wouldn't happen again.  I really wanted to give my child the best food I could which to me meant breast-feeding.  I researched, talked to people, and read about breast-feeding the entire 9 months that I was pregnant.  When I gave birth, I felt pretty confident that I could do it again.  It was a little struggle the first few days, but after that, things went smooth, and I breastfed her without issue for 9 months. Tessa and Jarem both breastfed for a year without incident.  In fact, I might have nursed Jarem longer, but he did not want to breastfeed anymore, so he pretty much weaned himself.

Then 8 years later, Micah came along.  Initially he didn't gain weight.  This scared me cause my other kids were all chubby babies.  Was my milk not rich enough?  Was I not producing enough?  Anyway, I finally figured out that he was just falling asleep and still sucking but not getting anything which was why he was constantly hungry.  Once we got over that hump around 6-8 weeks, things were smooth and I didn't anticipate any further breastfeeding issues.  My plan was to breastfeed Micah for one year.  But, to my surprise, this was not the end of my troubles.

At about 7 months, I got a milk blister.  This was something I had never experienced before.  It is excruciatingly painful while nursing and it causes clogged ducts because milk gets backed up behind the blister.  I read online about it, did the procedure to open the blister, and resolved the problem.  Things were fine for about a month, and then it happened again.  Same place, same problem.  I again repeated what I had done before.  It didn't work as well this time, but I finally resolved it.  This continued to happen every week or two, each time getting worse.  I went to the doctor which was no help at all.  I researched online and tried all kinds of different things.  Some worked temporarily, but it kept coming back.  Finally, when I wasn't able to get the duct unclogged for 3 days, it turned into mastitis and I was in fear of another abscess.  I took a course of antibiotics and hoped that this would solve it.  I was determined to get through this.  

Things would get a little better and then the same place would get clogged again and again.  I'd go through the same ordeal trying to get the milk to drain before infection set in.  It was very stressful for me and painful too.  I did find some essential oils that really helped with the clogged ducts and I thought I may be able to make it to one year.  However, the problems did not go away, they got worse.  I started having excruciating shooting pains through my breast after every time I nursed that would last sometimes 2-3 hours without letting up and a strange type of growth looking thing appeared on my nipple on the place that kept getting blisters.  I was nervous.  Was this some sort of cancer growing inside my duct or what was going on? 

More reading made me confident that it was either a cancer or it was a fungal infection.  I had signs for both.  Fungal infections are extremely hard to get rid of because you and your baby constantly pass it back and forth to each other and being a most sugary environment, it just breeds fungus once it starts.  I read multiple stories of women going for months without being able to get rid of fungal infections.  If it was cancer, I would have to have a nipple biopsy, which would mean I would have to be done breastfeeding.  Either way, it seemed to me that the only way to get to the bottom of this was to wean him.  I told myself that 10 months is pretty close to a year, so I just as well wean him.  So around 10 months, I started to slowly cut down feedings to twice a day.  When he got sick and refused all food except breastmilk, I nursed him more, but I still knew that weaning had to be the answer.  

I didn't expect to feel this way, but it was heartbreaking for me to wean him.  Micah wanted to continue nursing. Not only did he like breast milk, but it was a source of comfort for him.  He's never been much of a cuddler, so breastfeeding was my cuddle-time with him and I enjoyed it.  I'm not much of a crier, but I even cried a couple of times knowing that this would be my last time nursing him.  I had nursed him to sleep at night since he was a baby and he liked that.  Anyway, by the day he turned 11 months, he was completely weaned.  What hurt the most was when he would still nestle into me and cry when he wanted to nurse.  I was so sad that I couldn't give him what he wanted.  The first night I put him to bed without nursing, he was so sad, and it hurt my heart.  I couldn't even sit with him in the rocking chair where I usually nursed him or he would try to nurse and cry.  It was a hard transition for both of us.  It broke my heart that I couldn't provide him with that nutrition and comfort anymore.

The good news is, once he was weaned, the growth looking thing dried up and fell off and the pains went away.  This means it was the fungal infection that I suspected.  It took about a month, but he has now adjusted and doesn't really remember nursing anymore.  I moved the rocking chair back into my room.  I can read to him or cuddle him in the rocking chair now and he is happy.