Monday, March 03, 2008

Keeping me on my toes

Things started to get ridiculous at the beginning of last week. Alex's fussy periods lengthened and became more numerous, Michale started becoming hysterical about going to school, and I'm pretty sure I broke my pinkie toe last Monday. By Wednesday, the second day of complete hysterics on the way to the bus for school, I knew I had to do some serious work with Michael. That day I was able to get them both settled down for a nap at the same time. While they were sleeping I was able to get some housework done and most importantly I was able to get Michael's afternoon snack all set up and good to go for when he woke - amazing what it did for him. After Alex was fed and had some quiet alert time, I got him back to sleep and was able to have a few hours of one-on-one time with Michael. We ate dinner together, played video games, and I stayed with him in his room until he fell asleep without juggling Alex. Thursday he got to spend some special time with John while I was out with Alex at my OB appointment. On Friday we made the trek into tow to meet up with J and her daughter A for a play date of sorts. Saturday my sister came over and took him to the library and then to McDonald's for lunch. Today I took both of them to the park while John straightened for a visit from my in-laws. All of this has really paid off. He is much happier and we have been able to break the any attention equals good attention cycle and it's been wonderful. I've also seen his eating habits improve greatly - he ate fish sticks and had a few bites of cheeseburger on Saturday and Sunday he happily ate an apple and a few slices of cheese for lunch.

For myself I was able to get out of the house on Tuesday evening for my knitting circle. Listening to my new ipod with the volume cranked while I rode Septa by myself was heavenly even though it took me a while to fully relax. Depending on Alex, I'm hoping to get out again this Tuesday evening as well.

All that really leaves is Alex, and since he hasn't been seeing much action he's doing his level best to remedy it. He's been increasingly fussy in the evenings - having episodes where he is screaming angrily and no amount of juggling, swaddling or nursing seems to help. It wasn't happening every evening, but it was getting a lot more frequent. Then his sleep started getting wonky. On Monday morning he could not settle back into a deep sleep. Usually he sleeps for 3 hours, we nurse and whatnot for an hour and a half or so, and then he sleeps for another three hours until it's time to get up for the day. His first chunk of sleep on Sunday night was way shorter than usual and it took a hell of a lot longer to get him settled in the first place. The after he woke he couldn't settle back down - every time I thought he was in a good deep sleep he'd wake right back up. This is becoming the new normal for him. I am writing this now at almost 3 and he has just fallen asleep for real for the first time since a cat nap at 9. After going through this on Saturday night, I remembered something I read, did some searching, and we think we know what's going on.

Since birth, Alex has always had noisy inhalations, in fact they kept him in the nursery for observation for four hours on his birthday because of it. I've had my suspicions for a while now, but holding him last night and watching him be unable to settle into a deep sleep because of the stridor, I finally read up on laryngomalacia and it looks like it's a fit. In addition, all those little behaviors that by themselves don't mean much, are finally adding up and I'm pretty sure he has reflux as well. Not that angry, screaming baby is fun in any way, knowing that it's because he's most likely in pain just makes it all the worse. I'm starting a food diary/behavior log to see if there is any pattern, but my gut is saying it's not dietary on my part but I'm still going to explore it. H gave me some great resources, so I'll be making some phone calls today to get him on wait lists for some docs out at CHOP. Here's a small video clip I shot last night while he was trying to settle that has a good example of the stridor.

Here's hoping that we can get him feeling better soon. I'm off to bed myself. Michael woke while I was writing and has settled on my side of the bed so I have to nudge him off my pillows so I can get to sleep too. 'night all.

P.S. - Alex is back up and over his birth weight. He weighs 10lbs 5 oz and is just shy of 22 inches long. It's really cool that he gained just shy of a pound in 17 days on just my milk.