Counters

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Nearly half a million babies (1 in 10) are born premature in the US each year which is higher than that of most other developed nations. This is the journeys of our first born son, Finnegan, who was born 14 weeks early and weighed only 1 pound 15 ounces at birth. Of our daugher, Korrigan, who was born a healthy 7 pounds, 7 ounces at 37 weeks. And of our second son, MacKeegan, who was also born at 37 weeks at a whopping 8 pounds, 13 ounces. Our continued adventures reminds us daily how good God is.

Thursday, April 30

Cooing and smiling

Two things before I forget them. Finn cooed. I don't know when babies are supposed to start actually cooing instead of just grunting and making noise, but he did it twice. It was so cute. I was holding him on Tuesday night and he made some noise with his voice. Jim asked what "cooing" was, not really getting the difference. It is a small thing, but so fun to hear!

And Finn smiled. Okay, I can't guarantee it was an genuine smile, but it sure seemed to be. I was holding him Monday night (I think) and making noises and faces at him. All of a sudden he took a big breath in and made the biggest smile. I looked at Jim and he saw it too. I was like...was that a smile? Jim said he wasn't sure, but even if it was gas, but made our night. There seemed to be more purpose behind it than when it is gas. Of course, it was too fleeting to get a picture. Darn.

Our baby is growing up already. It is really hard for us to know when Finn is or should be doing things. The ECFE facilitator said that preemies can do some developmental things at their true age and some at their adjusted age. So, it will be a guessing game...but than isn't that what parenthood is anyway?!?!

Wednesday, April 29

What we learned from the Dr appt

Finn's doctor appointment went really well today. He was 6 lbs 13 oz, so that was a nice improvement (I guessed 6 lbs 13.5 oz this morning before we left!). Jim and I obviously had a lot of questions about what happened regarding Finn's weight over the last week. The bottom line is that his doctor isn't concerned necessarily about what percentage he is at...just that he maintains or increases that percentage and certainly doesn't lose any weight at any point. Does that make sense? So it doesn't matter than he is at 7% as long as he continues to trend at the same or better. She said that full term newborns gain about an ounce a day, I think (seems like a lot, but my perception is out of whack).

I talked to her about my milk supply and pumping. Basically, she said there isn't any product out there what will artificially increase my supply (even though they claim they will). She said to pump every time Finn gets a bottle and that should keep my body regularly producing milk. I'd been pretty down because I've been getting so little (between 10 and 30 ml total each time), but then this afternoon I got 60ml! I'm hoping it is a trend. She said I'm not selfish for wanting to continue nursing him because it is the best thing for both of us. But if I were to have to quit, he would still get breast milk, so that is still good.

Because there was a case of the swine flu in Cold Springs and Austin was in that area for three days over the weekend AND because we were all so sick, we asked Finn's doctor a little bit about it. The swine flu is a respirator flu, not intestinal. We has the intestinal flu. She said Finn will most likely not get the flu we had because of the antibodies in my milk. Yeah, one less thing to worry about. If he did, we'd have to bring him straight to the hospital, so hopefully it doesn't come to that. She said not to even worry about the possibility of the swine flu. We are already washing hands and being careful, so it isn't a huge threat. I personally don't get the big hype with the whole swine flu thing. I mean, at this point, seriously!

Finn's doctor ordered more home health nurse visits (our insurance only covered the first three without doctor's instruction). The purpose is to keep a close eye on him (especially his weight obviously) without having to go to the doctor office all the time. He has his four month well-child appointment next Thursday (can he be four months already?), so I think I will schedule her to come on Monday (half way between both doctor visits).

Finn's monitor had to be downloaded today, so I went over to Children's after his appointment. I wanted to check in on my friend Becky and the girls, but she was busy feeding one of them, so it didn't work. Plus, I wasn't sure how it would work since Finn was with me and he can't go in to the ICC. Oh, well, Maybe next time. I did get to see Finn's ICC nurse Joann, though! She happened to be working and came out to see little Finn. She said how big he is getting, of course. It was good to see her. Seems like a life time ago already!

Recovering slowly

I think it is safe to life the quarantine flag outside our house! We are definitely recovering. I was still a little under that weather yesterday and just had to take it slow. I feel much better today and actually had the strength to take a shower (you KNOW you're better then!). Jim seemed to be better, but today is a little queasy again. It must take a little while to get over.

We are on our way to the doctor's this afternoon. Hopefully to figure some thing out about Finn's weight gain, or the lack there of. Also, hopefully I can talk to somebody about my milk production. I've been pumping for three days and nothing has happened. I think it can take longer, but I just want to be sure I'm doing whatever I need to do to get it to come back. Maybe she can refer me to a lactation consultant or something.

Anyway, that's all for now. I'll update after the doctor's visit.

Monday, April 27

Sick as a dog

Where did that phrase come from anyway? Weird when you think about it. I think we needed a quarantine flag outside our house yesterday. All three of us (me, Jim and Becky...thankfully not Finn) were sick yesterday. And not just sick, but SICK! It started with me around 5am and we all went to bed last night still not feeling well. I think Jim was hit the hardest and is taking the longest to get over it. Yuck. I'm so glad for two things: 1. Finn is little enough that laying in bed with mom and dad all day is fine with him and 2. Auntie NaeNae came over in the afternoon and stayed over night so she could watch Finn and get him out of bed for a while (even changed a poopy diaper!). We are on the up swing today, but yesterday was touch and go!

I started pumping again. Finn just wasn't getting enough from me, so we are hoping that by me pumping after he eats every time will tell my body to make more milk. I'm only getting around 25 ml total when I pump (less than 1 oz), but hopefully he got a lot when he ate and hopefully it will start to increase. I don't mind, but now it seems all I do is clean bottles/pumping parts, feed Finn or pump! Oh, the life of a mom!

Saturday, April 25

Finn likes medium, not slow

We got some medium flow nipples yesterday and I think they might be magic! Last night Finn ate 60 ml without stopping in about 10 minutes. Now, that isn't the best for him either, but my point is that he ate it all without any fighting! Jim said he ate 70 ml this morning, with a little coxing. I'm really hoping we've turned the corner and Finn will be eating enough of fortified bottles to gain adequate weight.

The other thing is that he seemed to be starving all of last night. He wanted to eat from 1am - 5:30am (yeah, again no sleep for mom...oh, well!). I don't know what his deal is...maybe he isn't getting enough from me or isn't sucking hard enough (not likely) or something. Anyway, at least he is eating. I will be very interested to see what his weight is next week (and see it on the weight chart, too).

Have you seen the Huggies commercial where the baby boy is peeing all over the room and then dad put a Huggies on him? Well, Finn practically did that yesterday! I was just thinking how he hasn't peed on me in a while and then I looked away to get a wipe and felt something on my hand. I looked over and there was a solid stream going all over the place (on him, the changing pad, his clothes, the rug and carpet, etc!). I couldn't believe it. It made me laugh because the first thing I thought of was the commercial!

Friday, April 24

Better solution for eating

Jim talked to our doctor last night. Jim plotted Finn's weight gain on the preemie chart they gave us and he was concerned that Finn had been trending in this direction for several weeks and nothing was mentioned at either of our appointments. The first thing that my doctor said was that this isn't a "serious" issue, but one that needs to be monitored closely. So, I don't know how her assistant miscommunicated that to me, but right there, I felt a little better.

I talked with the nutritionist, Dixie, at Children's this morning and am now feeling better about Finn's weight situation. She really listened to me, which I felt was the problem with his regular doctor (or rather the person who I talked to who relayed the message from his regular doctor). Anyway, Dixie agreed that going to 4 bottles a day isn't probably the best solution (given that I want to keep breastfeeding and that is what is ultimately best for Finn). So, we are going to switch Finn to a medium flow nipple first to see if he is able to get more when he eats. He currently uses a slow flow and it seems like he sucks and sucks and doesn't get very much. Hopefully this solves the problem. Finn should be getting around 60 ml (2 oz) at each feeding and we are lucky if he takes 40ml.

If that doesn't really work, then Dixie suggested going to 26 calorie fortifier instead of just 24 cal after a few days of using the medium flow. At least then he will get more nutrition, even if he is only taking 40 ml each time. Hopefully one of these solutions will work and Finn will have gained significant weight by his doctor appointment next week.

Thursday, April 23

Finn's (non) weight gain

Okay, so I couldn't wait until our next doctor appointment to talk to Finn's doctor about his weight issue, so I called and left a message last night. They called me back today with not so good news. It apparently is a lot more serious than the home health nurse let on. He had been trending in the 30th percentile for weight gain (adjusted age), but now is in the 7th percentile. So we have a doctor appointment next week (instead of waiting for two weeks until his 4 month well-child appt). In the meantime, we have to increase his bottling to four bottles a day so he gets the extra calories from the fortifier we have to add to my breast milk.

I'm really actually upset. My milk already seems to be decreasing (which might explain why he isn't gaining weight...if I don't have enough for him) and if we go to 4 bottles a day, that means every other time he eats will be from a bottle. That probably means that either I let my milk stop or I have to go back to pumping every 6 hours (with a baby to care for, that doesn't seem practical). I'm sure we will figure this out, but right now, I just feel like we figure one thing out (getting him to poop regularly) and then another things comes up (two steps forward, one step back). I know parenting is like that with any child, but with Finn it is just a little more critical. I just want him to be okay and to get big. And I want to keep breast feeding him. Is that selfish? Am I wrong to be upset that I may have to stop? It is the one thing I wanted so badly when all this happened with Finn and my one thing that was "normal." I'll be fine. Like I said, I'm just a little upset right now. We'll obviously know more next week and I think I'm going to call the nutritionist at Children's and talk to her about it.

Wednesday, April 22

ROP is on the way out

Finn had an eye appointment yesterday. After waiting over an hour (don't even ask!), I stayed in for the exam this time. It was a lot harder on me to leave like we did last time because then I can just hear my baby screaming and not do anything about it. As it turned out, my imagination was far worse than reality. He cried a lot again, but since I could see what was going on, it didn't seem as bad as before. Plus, then I could pick him up immediately when the exam was over to comfort him. The doctor had good news. The ROP is still there (not the good news!), but it has greatly improved and he believes we are beyond the point where it could cause him major problems like blindness! Yeah! We have another exam in four weeks because it has to be closely monitored until it is completely gone. I asked what long term effects having ROP might have on Finn and the doctor said most babies with ROP are near sighted and eventually might need glasses (which, with Jim for his dad, Finn was bound to need glasses anyway!) and lazy eye is more common as well. Both things they will continue to watch for and we'll cross those bridges when we get to them.

Finn's home health nurse came this afternoon for her last visit. Insurance would only allow three visits total. I liked having her come, so that is a little sad (just reassuring to have somebody check on Finn in between doctor appointments). She did her usual thing and weighed him (6 lbs 7.5 oz) and measured him and took his temperature. We talked about any issues he is having and she tried to give suggestions on a few things. She commented that Finn is not gaining weight as fast as they would like him to. She said it isn't alarming yet, but something we need to watch very closely. I was surprised by that because I felt he was getting plenty to eat, even if he doesn't eat well each time. I asked if there was anything we had to do right away. She said that he should be fine until our next doctor appointment, but to be sure to talk to his doctor about it. Argh...hopefully he was just having a skinny day (you know, like how women have fat days?!?!). Hopefully it is nothing.

Oh, and today was the first officialy day for Finn with no caffeine. There was more in the bottle than I thought because I thought we would run out on Sunday. So far so good. He has been a little fussier than normal today and the home health nurse said it could be withdrawal (just like we would be if we stopped drinking coffee or something). Interesting. No spells or alarms, so my fingers are crossed that continues!

Tuesday, April 21

Finn's 3 month pics

Okay, if you're interested, here is how you can take a peek at Finn's 3 months pictures:

1) Go to www.jessicahislop.com and click on "proofing"

username: Thomas
password: finn3months (you just need this to log in)

2) Select a gallery (Finn's is the only one that will show up)

3) Go through your slideshow.

If you find a picture or two you can't live without, please feel free to place your own order (as small as one picture or as large as you want!). Just type in the "special message" area who you are so we can keep the orders separate. All the pricing is listed when you "add to cart" and also on her website under "pricing" (go figure!). They will be available online until 4/30/09, so take a look now before you forget! Please let me know if you have any questions.

I have no idea what we are going to order. Maybe the proofs of each picture, so we have them all. Argh! The trials and tribulations of having an adorable son! (hee, hee)

Oh and here is the picture of Jim and Finn that I love (I obviously took it, not Jessica!):

There's two Finnegans?

Finn and I had our first Infant Massage class yesterday. We actually didn't do a lot of massaging, which was a little disappointing, but there was a lot of discussion amongst the moms, so that was very good. The facilitator gave me some instruction sheets on how to do the massage, so if I practice them before next time, I will be able to do the massage while we discuss parenting issues. This class is not geared just toward preemies, so that was a little different. They all wanted to know all the details and asked a lot of questions, which I don't mind. I'm a little nervous about going in the future, however, because these babies are full term and their parents aren't concerned about germs like they were in the preemie class (one of the babies was getting over an ear infection and had a cough). I don't know...it is so hard to know what is okay and how careful we need to be. I just did not bring Finn by that baby.

Small world: one of the babies in the class is names Finnegan...okay, two babies if you count our Finnegan! Here, I thought we picked an unusual enough name for that not to happen. What is even weirder is a couple months ago at church during announcements, they say who is getting baptized that week and they said the baby's name was Finnegan something. So, because this class is very close to our home and church, I asked the mom if they go to my church...and they do and that was the same baby! Such a small world. I mean, with all the people and churches in Minneapolis, what are the chances?!?!

Finn is doing much better at night. He isn't nearly as fussing as he had been (I think it is because he is going poop regularly now!). He still thinks he needs to wake up and eat every 2 hours, but that is far better than needing his pacifier every 20 minutes! And last night he seemed to be able to go about 2.5 hours between feedings, so I think he is slowly "getting it." Yeah for mom and sleep!

Monday, April 20

Going never seemed so good

Looking back, I realize that I talk about Finn's pooping habits a lot. Sorry...but that is what our life revolves around right now! On that note, I think we finally figured out something that works to make Finn poop regularly. I started using Miralax two days ago (upon approval from his doctor) and he went three times yesterday without a suppository! You don't understand how happy this makes me. He is such a happier, more content kid when he poops regularly. He still has gas and when he has to go, it takes a lot out of him...but at least he is going!

My dad came to visit yesterday for a combination of Austin's birthday, my dad's birthday and Easter. Oh, and to see Finn, too, of course! The whole family came over (Kristine, Alex, Jordan, Grace, Renae, Dad and of course Becky, Austin, Pete, Jim, Finn and me). It was nice to spend time all together. Then, Jim had to leave for his flight to Chicago. He is gone until Tuesday. I told him not to gorge himself on pizza!

Oh, I have the cutest picture of Jim and Finn sleeping together, but haven't uploaded it yet. I will try to do that today. Finn's three month pictures are ready and man, did they turn out well. Not sure if I should post the information to log in and view them on here, I'll ask Jessica. She is an amazing photographer. I don't know how she does it, but she catches the little moments that aren't posed, but capture the spirit of her subject. Plug: if you need pictures taken for ANYTHING, you have to contact her (www.jessicahislop.com). I know Finn is cute (duh!), but they turned out beyond our wildest dreams. Thanks again, Jess!! Now we have to narrow it down and order...the hard part!

Saturday, April 18

Blog list

Okay, some how our list of family and friend blogs was deleted. Since we didn't have the addresses listed anywhere else, we're kind of stuck. So, if you have a blog and are a family or friend, please give us your blog address and we'll add it to our list. We want to know what is going on with you and we can't do that if we don't have your blog address. Thanks!

Friday, April 17

Bye bye caffeine!

I received unexpected and wonderfulnews today! The apnea program from Children's called me today to see how things are going. I told her that we only have about one more day's worth of caffeine left, so she suggested I bring the monitor in to download the data and see how Finn is doing. Well, I did that and she called me this afternoon. He had three fewer apnea (stop breathing) alarms than two weeks ago when it was last downloaded (10 in 11 days compared to 13 in 12 and I know at least 2 of the 10 were false alarms because I was holding him and he was breathing) and his low heart rate alarm went from 100 alarms in 11 days down to 60 in 12! The doctor isn't in today to make a final decision, but based on Finn's improvement, she said to use up the rest of the caffeine we have and unless we hear from her next week, Finn won't need it any more! I'm sure this seems like a small thing, but it is one step closer to getting rid of the monitor and more importantly, one step closer to Finn not NEEDING the monitor. I think they will monitor him for about two weeks once he is off the caffeine just to make sure he is doing okay without it. Then...bye, bye Mr. Monitor!!

Last night Finn and I went to a Parent & Preemie Play & Learn class facilitated by Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE). I didn't know what to expect...heck, I didn't even know anything about it or intend on signing up for it. I was calling to register for an Infant Massage class and the lady was chatty and found out Finn was a preemie and suggested this class, too. It meets every Thursday night from 6-7:30pm. This six week class is designed to inform and support the parents of prematurely born infants. We will learn how to enhance baby’s development through play and meet other parents who share similar experiences. There were three families there last night. It was good to talk to people who understand what we have been through, even if their journey was different. I think I'm going to get a lot out of this class and hopefully Jim can come with us next week.

I did sign up for the Infant Massage class, too, which is on Mondays from 1-3pm. According to the brochure, a parent's gentle touch relaxes baby and they sleep better. Massage helps baby relieve gas [yeah!], and it’s a fun way to interact with baby. This class offers support and education in a relaxed atmosphere with soft music and dim lighting. We will also discuss topics such as sleep patterns, calming methods/techniques, and adjustments to baby. So I'm looking forward to that next week.

Oh, and daddy comes home tonight. Yay! We both missed him.

Thursday, April 16

Sleep is for the weak

If that is true and sleep is for the weak, I must be Hercules. I'm not saying this to complain, just to share my night with all of you. Finn did not sleep last night. When I say that, I don't mean, he didn't sleep very much...I mean AT ALL! Maybe he was missing daddy? I finally brought him into my bed around 2am because I was getting up every 15 minutes to put his pacifier back in and listening to him for five minutes before getting up each time! I was able to get some sleep between 4am and 6am but that was about it. Not sure what was wrong, but he was grunting a lot and moving his body around. That usually means he has gas or needs to poop (or both!). He hasn't pooped today but has lots of toots. I drugged him up with everything we have at 9am, so he should be good to go for a while!

I also suctioned his nose out when we got up. He always sounds stuffy and congested, so I don't usually pay attention to it. But I noticed a little accumulation in his nose, so thought I'd try to get it out. Well, there was more in there than I thought and I was actually able to get a lot out with the bulb suction. Usually we aren't successful when we use it, so that was good. He HATED it (as I'm sure most babies do) but seems much calmer afterward. So, maybe he was having a little problem breathing last night or maybe he just finally wore himself out...not sure. He is sitting in his bouncy seat right now just staring up at the ceiling (with no pacifier), but I think trying not to go to sleep. Little bugger.

We have Preemie class tonight. I have no idea what it is, but I called about taking an Infant Massage class and through talking with the lady, she suggested I go to this class, too. It is every Thursday night from 6-7:30 and is located over by Children's (or at least in that direction). Hopefully Finn is feeling better and I've been able to get a nap in...or I might have to wait until next week!

Wednesday, April 15

Happy Due Date!

I have to say, I'm a little melancholy today. I think that is the word I'm thinking of. Because today was my due date, it forces me to think back over the last three months a little bit. Don't get me wrong, as it has turned out, I don't think I would have changed anything...honestly. But still, I should be having Finnegan today. I should be huge and uncomfortable and sick of being pregnant. I should be looking forward to meeting my baby and wondering if the ultrasound was right and he really is a boy...and what he'll look like and be like. Hmmm...how different things could have been. But like I said, I honestly don't think I would change one thing about our journey together so far. Hey, I get three and a half months extra with my baby that most parents don't get. I already KNOW him and his little personality. Still...just a little melancholy. We can now officially (I realize I use "officially" a lot!) start counting Finn's adjusted age. He is zero today!

Fittingly, we had a doctor appointment today. When the doctor walked in she said, well, today is your due date. Just so weird. Little Finnegan is 6 pounds, 3.5 ounces on the day he should have been born. A very respectable weight for any full term baby. I can't imagine how big he would have been if his birthday were today! Our major concern is Finn's constipation. The doctor really wasn't too concerned about it because he hasn't gone more than two days without going (with the help of a suppository, though). She suggested corn syrup and if that doesn't work, Myralax. So, hopefully something will work for the little guy. It sounds like he will be on the caffeine for a few more weeks (darn it!). They will draw labs for his next appointment to check his iron levels. We really hope they are such that he can go off the iron supplement (we think it is the major cause of Finn's constipation). His formula supplement is iron fortified, so hopefully that will be enough to keep him from being anemic (fingers are crossed!). That appointment will be his four month appointment...including shots! Poor guy.

Another first today...Finn actually spit up on me! I realize three months is a long time for this to happen, but he just doesn't spit up that much...and not usually when I breast feed him. Well, daddy is out of town and I'm doing bottle duty, too. Plus, he can be a bugger to burp and I've noticed that if he doesn't get that last burp out, he usually spits up a little bit. He just got a little on the front of my shirt today. I didn't even change after...I wore it like a badge of honor (and I wasn't going any where so who cares?!?!).

Another first...Finn went to the store today! I probably shouldn't have (I know, I know!), but his doctor's office is just across the street from a Michael's and I've been wanting to do a certain craft project for his room (I'll take a picture when I'm done to show you what I'm doing!). I figured of all stores to go to, Michael's probably wouldn't be very busy and certainly not have a lot of kids (i.e. germs). It was my first experience of a normal mom...the cashier commented on how little he was and asked how old. Then I had to explain about why he was so small...it felt "normal". Like if he had been born around now, I'd be taking him out and people would be making those exact same comments. What mom doesn't like talking about her kid for a minute or two? The lady behind me in line heard me say he was a preemie and asked how early he was. Then she said her daughter was born at 26 weeks, too. Small world. The lady in the other lane heard me say his birth weight and she kept asking me, "one pound?" English was not her first language and I think she thought she was misunderstanding me!

I've been slacking on the camera front lately. I was taking pictures every day for so long and now I'm like, "where is my camera, anyway?!?!"

Tuesday, April 14

Finn's first walk

Yesterday, Jim, Finn and I went for our first walk as a family (Austin joined us, too!). It was the first time we got to use Finn's amazing stroller. It handles very nicely and the handle bar is high enough that it works for both Jim and me. I was a little tired when Jim suggested it, but we've been wanting to go and Finn's doctor said we could as soon as it was around 50 or 60 degrees outside. It was around 55 yesterday, so we went. I think we are going to be going for a lot of walks this summer! Finn loved it. He shut his eye because of the sun, but was very wide eyed when we had the cover over him. He didn't even mind that it was a little windy.

We want to congratulate our friends Steph and Steve on the birth of their baby girl! Carley Lynn was born on Finn's uncle John's birthday (April 10). How special (hopefully we won't forget that birthday!). She was two and a half weeks early, but is home and doing well. You guys will be amazing parents! Congratulations.

Monday, April 13

Just mommy and Finn today

Today is Finn and my first day alone together for all day. It is nice (and quiet...we need Austin around!). We stayed upstairs in my bedroom for all of the morning. He was sleeping on daddy's side of the bed and looked so small in our huge bed! It was easier for me to get ready for the day having him in my room with me. Plus, so far he really likes being in the bathroom when I take a shower...does he like a mini steam facial perhaps? I think it is the noise, too.

We had a good weekend, too. Saturday at my sister Kristine's house went really well. It might have been a little tight if it weren't for the gorgeous weather. Then on Sunday we had a few people over (uncle John, Auntie Kelsie, Pete and his parents, DeAnn and Les, and my aunt Karen and her family) and watched the Master's golf tournament (fun, fun...okay, it wasn't as bad as it sounds!). Oh and Becky made Molten Lava cakes for dessert...OMG to die for! I said Finn would have his Easter outfit on yesterday and he did:These are the ears that Austin had when he was in the NICU right after he was born. You can't see the bunny feet and the cotton tail. The outfit was too big, but they didn't have an extra small. We forgot to take his picture in an Easter basket so we might do that tonight when Austin gets home.

Finn is still having constipation issues. While it doesn't say so on the bottle, we were wondering if the Mylicon drops could be making it worse, so we took him off them yesterday. He needed a suppository last night and did end up going (yeah!). This morning he went without any assistance, so that made mommy really happy. Oh, the joys of being a parent and obsessing about your child's poop! If you don't have kids, you just wait!!!

Daddy has his first over night business trip since Finn has been home later this week. I'm sure it will be fine...just no help at night for mommy!

Did you get your taxes done yet? Don't forget!

Saturday, April 11

Finn got shot yesterday

Finn had his first official photo shoot yesterday! Our friend Jessica came over to take his three month pictures. Okay, I knew he was cute (I mean, EVERYBODY says so!), but these are going to be beyond cute! She is really good. She thought it would take about a week to get them posted online. I honestly can't wait! Not sure how/if we will be able to narrow them down.

Jim and I went out for dinner last night and Auntie Becca and Pete watched Finn. It was uncle John's birthday, so we (plus auntie Kelsie) went to Dave and Busters. Okay, honestly, I was not looking forward to going. I don't like playing those kind of games (it is like a restaurant and adult Chuck E Cheese)...but ended up having a total blast! Jim and John are completely obsessed with these kinds of games. I have a feeling we'll be back! Finn was sleeping on auntie Becca's chest when we got home...I'm pretty sure he wasn't put down the whole time we were gone (which he loves, so who cares?!?!)!

Today my sisters and I are hosting the Smith family Easter at Kristine's house. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but at last count, there were going to be over 40 people there! Yikes. At least the weather is supposed to be really nice today so people (and the kids!) can be outside. We decided that it would be best for Finn's health for him not to go. It was a hard decision (hello, I want to show off my baby and my relatives want to meet him!), but with so many people, it would be very difficult to enforce the hand washing policy and no touching his face, etc (not to mention germs in general). So daddy and Finn are staying home today. I think uncle John is coming over to hang out, so I'm sure the three of them will have fun together.

Also, thanks to my mom for coming to help me/us out this week. We (okay, she) got a lot done, which helps out a ton (I didn't have to do dishes for three days straight!). Plus, she got a lot of Finn time, which I know she loved. Next week will be Finn and my first time alone together (well, I mean with nobody visiting during the day). I probably won't get anything done, as I tend to just sit on the couch and hold him. I guess that is fine for now!

Happy Easter to everybody. We hope you all have a wonderful day and are able to spend it with your loved ones. Travel safely!

Thursday, April 9

We left Finn

Finn had his first baby sitter! (it's not like we left him somewhere...what kind of parents do you think we are?!?! ha, ha) Jim and I had an appointment today after work so my mom stayed home with Finn (we had to twist her arm and beg her...yeah right!). It felt weird leaving him, but it also felt like old times when Jim and I would run errands together. We'll be able to do that again once Finn is bigger and the risk of infection/sickness isn't so high.

Finn is doing well. He still has problems with gas and constipation. We decided to take him off the Zantac because his acid reflux doesn't seem severe and we think the Zantac was causing some of the constipation. Who knows?!?! I talked with his nutritionist at Children's this morning and she said we could slowly up the amount he is getting of prune juice, so hopefully that will help, too. He was so uncomfortable all of last night (all three of us didn't sleep much!) and this morning, that I finally broke down and gave him some Tylenol. Wow, what a different kid after that! I don't believe in drugging your children just to make taking care of them easier, but this clearly was a case of him needing it to relax and calm down. Maybe we'll try some around bed time, too so we can get a little bit of sleep tonight!

I have definitely turned into a "real" mom. I received some baby coupons in the mail for Target. So we stopped there after our appointment to get a few things and to use the coupons. You have to understand that I always intend to use coupons, but either forget them at home or forget to give them to the cashier when I check out (am I the only one who does that?!?!). Well, I guess when it is for Finn, I do neither! So, we bought our first package of wipes (2 actually) and diapers! We don't need either right now, but hey, we had a coupon and know we would use them. How long do you think 800 wipes will last?!?! I guess I am the perfect consumer for the marketers at Target!

We colored Easter eggs last night! My mom was already here and Auntie Kristine came over. It was a lot of fun. Last year, Austin wasn't too sure what was going on other than just wanting to put all the eggs in the dye at the same time. This year, he knew how to do it and made one for everybody (even Auntie NaeNae who wasn't here)! So cute. Finn even put on his so very cute Easter outfit (he'll be sporting it again on Easter of course).

Tuesday, April 7

Cuddly baby

Finn and I had a good day together. He is still having constipation and gas issues, so he was pretty cuddly today...which I don't obviously mind. I just didn't get anything done. Ah, it can wait. I ordered some of the Gripe Water today, so we can give that a try when it gets here.

Today was daddy's first day back to work. He has to work late (of course!), so I'm not sure how it went. Probably not good. Jim told me this morning that I should go to work for him so he could stay home with Finn! Um, I don't think his boss would appreciate that very much ;)

We are trying to remember to video tape Finn on this month anniversaries every month. So yesterday was his 3 month mark so we video taped his bath. I figured that would be better than video taping him sleeping or something! Here is a cute picture of "naked baby" (look at that beautiful double chin!):
Other than that, a pretty slow day. Memere and Grandpa Ron were here Sunday night through this morning, so they got plenty of Finn time. I think Becky will be happy to get her Finn fix tonight! It is so hard to share him since he is so darn cute and cuddly. Grandma Kathy is coming tomorrow to spend a few days with Finn and me. That will be nice and maybe I (okay SHE) can get some things done!

Monday, April 6

3 months and 6 pounds

Well, our little guy is 3 months old today. I don't think that has really sunk in for me. He is still so small and has so much growing to do. Somebody pointed out that he was 5 pounds and 3 months old a week ago and that really hit me. I mean, aren't most 3 month olds double that weight?!?! Then, the proper perspective tells me that he is still negative one and a half weeks!

And the home health nurse stopped by today and weighed Finn. He is officially 6 pounds! 6 pounds 1/2 ounce to be exact. While it is still small, I feel like anything over 6 pounds is a "normal" newborn weight. And I was glad to see that he is gaining weight (he still doesn't always like to eat very well, especially from the bottle). We need to talk to his nutritionist at Children's because we think he doesn't like the NeoSure formula we have to fortify my milk with. Who knew babies could be so particular (like father like son!).

We talked to the nurse about Finn's gas and constipation issues (that has developed over the last couple of days...fun!). She gave us some tips and told us it was okay to use Tylenol as needed. We think the caffeine he is on is also contributing to the problem, but he still needs that to remind him to breathe, especially when he is eating. She also said that most of these issues go away once a baby is around 10 pounds! Yikes...that might be a while considering he has gained a little over 4 pounds since birth and needs to gain another 4 pounds to reach 10 pounds! Hopefully it won't take another three months! Eat, baby eat!

I wasn't feeling well this morning (those darn migraines!) and we had a few things going on today, so Jim decided to take one more day off for paternity leave. I'm not sure what we are going to do tomorrow when daddy actually goes back to work (or what HE will do all day without Finn!). It will be interesting for sure. It will be nice to get into a routine as well.

Sunday, April 5

Dance recital, birthday party and gas!

We had a busy Saturday. It started out with my god daughter Emma's dance recital. She is 5, so obviously it was adorable. I swear she is going to be an actress when she grows up!

Then we had Austin's birthday party. I still can't believe he is three already! We decided that it was best for Finn to stay home with daddy, even though it was a hard decision. There is just no way for a Chuck E Cheese to be clean and germ free with a million kids running around! I know Jim was bummed to miss the party and the opportunity to play at Chuck E Cheese, but there is always next year! Plus, we had Austin open his presents from us when we got home, so that was a special time. We got him a big boy (not fully regulation sized, though) basketball hoop for outside! I'm not sure if it was for Austin or Jim....hmmmm! I'm sure it will get put to good use!

I HAVE to show you Austin's birthday cake:My sister Kristine made that! It totally looks professional. She is so good at making really cute cakes. She made my baby shower cake that looked like a cute, fat baby and she made Austin's cakes for his other two birthdays (a basketball and a baseball!). Note: black frosting makes for very interesting eating! It stains everything!

I hate having to leave Finn at home for these events, but there really isn't any other option. We are trying to decide if we can take him with us to church on Sunday for Easter service. The potential for him getting sick or an infection is so high, that we really have to decide what is worth it or not. Argh. This is just another thing we'll have to deal with for the next year. It could be far worse!

Finn is doing really well. He still has moderate to severe bouts with gas, but the Mylicon drops seem to be helping with that most of the time. Our friend Holly suggested Gripe Water, so I think I'll get some of that when the Mylicon drops are gone. It is all natural, so it can't hurt to try it! The Zantac really seems to help with his acid reflux...doesn't seem to be a problem any more and the spitting up is practially nonexistant.

Thursday, April 2

Nice and quiet

Today was a quieter day than yesterday. Finn kept daddy up pretty much all night. So mommy kept Finn busy all morning and daddy slept in until 2:30! We got some cuddle time and he helped me while I was on the computer (I didn't know I could type with one hand as quickly as I did!). Now daddy is picking some stuff up at Target (yeah for gas drops!) and getting an oil change for mommy's car. What a guy!

So, the breastfeeding/pumping thing is going MUCH better. When we first came home, I was in considerable pain because Finn wasn't eating enough to give me relief plus his three bottles a day limited how much I could feed him anyway. However, yesterday I only had to pump twice (once I pumped until they were empty because they were still hard!) and today I haven't had to pump at all! I think that means my milk supply is adjusting to Finn's needs (I hope so and not just that it is going away completely!). I over think everything, can you tell? Now that I'm not pumping (regularly at least), hopefully we can start to get rid of some of our milk supply in the freezer!

Auntie Kelsie and uncle John came over to spend some time with Finn and have dinner last night. Auntie Kelsie jumped right in to hold Finn (what woman wouldn't, right?!?!), but uncle John was a little more hesitant (very much like daddy is with babies). Eventually, John decided he wouldn't cause Finn any harm by holding him just on his legs. By the end of the evening, John was a natural and was cuddling with Finn on his chest. I'm so glad he decided to hold him because it was very cute to see them together.

Not much else going on today. Another migraine day for me. It is frustrating because I asked my doctor again yesterday to double check if I could take my migraine medicine and she still said no (I was hoping some crazy new research has suddenly surfaced telling her otherwise or something!). And today, the Aleve and ibuprofen are not cutting it. Ugh. Just another day!

Wednesday, April 1

Lots going on today

Today was kind of busy, but not in a bad way. Finn was a little out of sorts over night and this morning, which meant mommy didn't get much sleep. It wasn't bad, but he just needed some attention and was grunting and seemed in pain. It was probably gas, but there isn't much we can do.

Then mommy headed to Children's hospital! I know...why would I go there when I don't HAVE to?!?! My friend Becky's little girl was having a PDA ligation (the same heart surgery Finn had) and I wanted to be there for support. Unfortunately, her surgery was about the same time as Finn's doctor appointment, so I couldn't be there while it was going on. Darn it. But she promised to send an update as soon as she had time.

Then I had to head back home to pick up my boys for Finn's first doctor appointment. When I got home, Finn was agitated and Jim said he had hardly eaten anything when he fed him (we thought maybe a gassy tummy). So we went to the appointment and got roomed right away to avoid any germs in the waiting room (all these things you never had to think about before you had a preemie!). They weighed and measured him (5 lb 15 oz, 18.5") and checked him out all over.

We had been putting together a list of questions and concerns we had, so we went over them. One was the gas issue, which we know is a very common problem with any baby, but wanted to know if there was anything we could do. She suggested the Mylicon gas drops, so we need to get some of them. Hopefully that will help. She also suggested tummy rubs, which we were already doing. She also gave him a prescription for Zantac for his acid reflux. It isn't terribly bad right now, but we want to prevent it from getting worse (it is nothing like my cousin Erica's was and I hope it doesn't get that bad!!). She also gave us some tips to try to get his nights and days switched around. Hopefully they will work! We have a follow up appointment in two weeks (we need to keep a close eye on his weight).

Then Auntie Kristine was at our house when we got back. She took the afternoon off...no, not to spend time with Finn, but that was a convenient side effect! Uncle John and auntie Kelsie are on their way over for dinner and some Finn time. Should be fun!

Finn is 38 weeks gestational age today, which means he SHOULD have been born in two weeks. Crazy to think about. He turns three months on Monday, already. Again, that is crazy to me.