I would be lying if I said it was in the blink of an eye. Because you know what? I wasn't it. The days were long. The nights were longer. Tears have been shed (by all members of the T household).. But here we are. 6.5 months in as a family of four and dare I say that I see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Are you ready for the biggest, backtrack, catch up post ever?
Because, I think I'm ready to type it.
I think some distance will allow me to write about the past few months with some reclaimed sanity, humor and touching sentiment. I think.
I left off with the scariest initials a mother of an infant who was born in the winter can hear. RSV. Man, that was bad. Tiny was so sick and he was just so tiny. There were all these things that we were trying to get a handle on. Acid Reflux, ear infections, RSV, explosive blow outs, crying. lots and lots of crying. I just kept saying to anyone that would listen that something wasn't right. Babies should not nap for 30 min at a time. Babies should not be jerking the knees up to their chins while they sleep. Babies should not cry for such extended periods of time.
We were at the doctor's office every week, sometimes twice a week. The Nutramigen formula cost a fortune (or so I thought). We tried to get coverage from the insurance company and we were denied. Tiny T was put on several medications to try and get his 'reflux' under control. Some days were so long and I was so overwhelmed. I am not going to use the phrase Post Partum depression, I'm going to use the word, reality. My reality was that I had a baby that was uncomfortable for large periods of the day, who did not sleep much and an active preschooler who needed my attention. Most of my mommy friends are done having children, so I felt isolated at times. It's impossible to go the bouncy castle place with a 2 month old during flu season. As a result, life was harder in a way that I wasn't expecting. There were days I felt ill-prepared to take on the task of two children and keep up with the house, and stay awake past 10pm to try an enjoy Dateline or The Voice with Mr. T. It was also FREEZING and bundling everyone up was just not fun!
So what happened...Time, Support, A Diagnosis, Time....
We all just needed a little more time to settle in. Tiny T needed some time to have his GI system mature. Toddler T needed some time to see that his routines may get bumped around a bit, but mostly life was the same around here. I needed some time to realize that I couldn't be as 'on the go' as I was with Toddler T. I needed some time to figure out what I could do, what I could not do and to learn to let go of any guilt in saying no.
As always, I have my support system. First and Foremost is Mr. T. I am quite sure that there were (are??) days where he pulls into the driveway and says a quick Hail Mary that he is not walking into a tornado. I am sure that on the days that he walked into said Tornado he had the fleeting thought to quietly ease out the door and take another lap around the block. But he hasn't, not that I wouldn't blame him. He is a hands on, down in the trenches, lets solve the problem dad. I may not always like that he rushes in with a solution... But sometimes they work out. Case in point - hiring a cleaning lady. Mr. T and I can do lots of things and usually work really well getting stuff done. Since the day we brought Toddler T home, we just never got on the same page with cleaning. Add in a crying baby, sleep deprived mom and a baby that did.not.sleep and the situation became embarrassing. The smell of fabuloso is the most heavenly scent I have ever smelled. And in time, when things stay calmer more consistently- Ms. Rosa and her girls will go. But for right now, I get giddy when I see her car pull in the driveway.
We also, had tons of support from our families and friends that took Toddler T on play dates and just helped how they could.
I also talked about it. Hopefully, not too much... But I tried not to just smile and say that things were going swimmingly when they weren't.
I am grateful everyday for my family and friends. Every.single.day
When Tiny was 6 weeks old, I told my mom that he had been diagnosed with Acid Reflux. She was not impressed. Furthermore, after 3 different medications to target reflux and little improvement and worsening symptoms, she became less impressed. It took me awhile to see where she was coming from. Acid Reflux is a very 'current' diagnosis. I am in no way trying to say that it doesn't exist and that it isn't awful. Because I do think that Tiny does, in fact, suffer with reflux. But, if a 'current' diagnosis is applied, then a physician can stop looking at alternate reasons for the discomfort. As in, sure he's still crying.. it's reflux. In our case, that line of thinking cost us two more months of increasing pain and discomfort for Tiny. After being on Nutramigen for almost 2 months, our pediatrician decided to do a repeat test on his stool to see if it still contained blood. It did. At this point, Tiny's weight was not great and he continued to have an allergic reaction to the trace amounts of milk/soy proteins in the the Nutramigen.
Well, if I had complained about the cost of that formula.. We were in for some serious sticker shock.
Tiny T was put on an elemental formula. An elemental formula has all of the milk and soy proteins broken down. If a child is reacting to the trace amounts, their symptoms should improve if their bodies do not have to process those irritating proteins. I knew it was expensive. I had been researching milk/soy protein intolerance and saw that a fair amount of kids wind up on it.
It is $48 for an 11 ounce can. Let me put that in perspective. A 20oz can of generic/ regular old baby formula is around $15.
But, before I go off on my insurance company crusade (that will be another post)... Let me go back to the point. We needed a correct diagnosis to get to Tiny T well. All of the reflux medications in the world would not have done one darn thing for the fact that his lower GI tract was recoiling with the milk/soy proteins and he was not able to take in the proper nutrition. Hence, the poor weight gain.
Today, he is six months old. He weighs 18.5 pounds and has gained four pounds in two months. His skin coloring is rosier, his eczema patches are clearing up. His stomach is not gurgling like percolating coffee pot at all times.
I said it before and I'll say it again. We just needed some time to find our footing and I think we are headed into sunnier days.
I have so much more to write and will try to do so shortly.. As I am typing, my FOUR year old is deep into serious Lego play with Mr. T. Tiny is upstairs sleeping and things are good.