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.

Friday, July 31

Give it a few more days

I talked with the lactation consultant today. We've just been struggling on and off and I know bottling would just be easier. She said that Finn's behavior is very unusual and would like me to keep trying to nurse at least until my appointment with her on Tuesday. As far as my milk supply, she said it is really hard to tell if I'm getting more because if I am, Finn would be eating the extra! So, my diet of mangoes, avocadoes and oats is still on. Plus the supplement and vitamins. I'm definitely feeling better about the fact that in the near future, I will have to stop nursing, but the thought of never nursing him again, still makes me cry. Maybe I'll have Jim video a good session, so I can have that when I'm sad. I don't know if that would help or not, but it wouldn't hurt. So for now, I try to nurse him, give him his bottle, try to nurse him again and based on his results, pump or not pump.

On a different note, Finn is reaching out to things and "playing" with his toys! He was in his crib earlier this week and he had actively grabbed the little elephant on the side and was pulling it back and forth. He also reaches for my fingers when he is nursing/eating, I think it gives him comfort. He will also shake his rattle if we help put it in his hands. It is so fun to see these little developmental milestones. While I can't help wonder when he will be sitting, I don't stress about how old he will be when he does it. He will do it when he does and we will be so excited!!

Thursday, July 30

Good news all around

Finn was an excellent boy at physical therapy today! I always cringe when we walk in there because of his past behavior. But today we had a new therapist (Katie's schedule was full) and Finn did amazing both in temperament and activity. He held his head up for a prolonged period of time while on his tummy and didn't get mad at all and rolled over with limited help from both his tummy and back. He had full range of motion with his head (last week he wasn't looking all the way to the right). She was very pleased with him today. We have two new exercises to do this week that work on rolling over and working his trunk muscles (lower abdomen and upper legs). Overall, the best appointment he has had yet (and we didn't even need his pacifier)!

And, dare I say, I think Finn's colic is going away! He still gets upset but he hasn't had an atomic meltdown (other than when eating, but I don't think that is colic related and probably isn't at the atomic level) in several days. I think making sure he gets enough sleep during the day helps a lot or at least that is what I'm telling myself. I'm so hopeful that this stage is almost over.

The eating front is about the same as yesterday. Except now, he will barely latch on to my left side. I don't know why he doesn't like that side except that I do know it produces less than the other side, so maybe he knows that! We'll see how the weekend goes.

Life is about perspective. And the perspective that matters is the long term one. I'm trying to keep that in mind. Things could always be worse and I need to be grateful for what I have and appreciate where we've been.

Wednesday, July 29

So far, so good

Finn has been eating really good today. I got him up at 3:30 and he ate until I'm pretty sure I was dry. Then he woke up at 6:30 to eat and latched right now (and fell asleep at the breast, so I couldn't even get in his fortified bottle!). Then he ate at 10:30 with no problems and put up a mild resistance at 1:30, but ended up doing a full feeding both times (finished by fortified bottles). I know mornings are usually better for him, but I'll take four in a row. Nicki made some tea for me yesterday that is supposed to help with milk production and I wonder if that might be part of it too (I feel like I'm a little fuller). Regardless, I'm very pleased.

My friend Lorry's grandpa passed away last night after a long fight with cancer. While it is always sad to lose somebody you love, he is in such a better place, but will be greatly missed. My prayers are with her and her family today while they deal with this tremendous loss to their family. Lorry came over for a bit today to get away, so it was nice to catch up with her (and she brought me lunch...yum!) and she got lots of Finn time (nothing like a baby to help deal with a death, right? Works for me, anyway). Time heals all wounds.

Tuesday, July 28

Boy meets boy

Finn FINALLY has a friend that isn't a girl. I mean, don't get me wrong, he loves his girl-friends and one day I'm sure they will all break his heart, but a guy needs other guys! This was Finn and Dane's first play date. (Dane is the son of our friends Darren and Nicki, who is Jim's coworker.) The boys were fast friends, as you can kind of tell they were already holding hands in this picture! They were pretty comparable in size (Dane was born in May), but Dane was a little bigger. Oh, well. Hopefully Finn will catch up one day or at least be able to stick up for himself.

Today was a little tough with feeding. Finn did well this morning, but wouldn't really eat during our play date, so by the time we got home, he was in meltdown mode. I decided to just give him a bottle and put him to bed instead of trying to get him to nurse, too. Hopefully he will nurse well tonight after a good long nap. I'm doing all the tricks I've been told to do and I don't feel like I'm getting any more milk. I'm not sure how long it should take to see results. So, we'll see, I guess. Oh, I have a wonderful recipe for "Lactation Boosting Cookies" if anybody is interested! So yummy!

Monday, July 27

Baby steps to good eating

Finn just had a great feeding (well, great by our new standards) tonight before bed. It started out pretty hairy, but after "arguing with him" I gave him his 2 ounces of fortified bottle, then calmed him down and he ate from both sides! I was so happy, I almost cried. I kept telling him what a good job he was doing. We are trying the method of laying down to eat because then he is able to reposition himself without unlatching like he had been doing. I don't know. I'll take it. Baby steps.

Lactation appointment

I met with the lactation consultant today (a specialist who works with mothers who have difficulties with breastfeeding their babies). At the appointment, Finn was not latching on, which I guess was a "good" thing because then she was able to work first hand with him to see what tricks might work. By the end of the feeding session, he had eaten about an ounce. Since I didn't feel very full, I was actually pleased with that. She said he should be eating around 3.5 or 4 ounces a session and we usually supplement with 2 ounces. She gave me a new bottle to try and a prenatal vitamin designed for lactating mothers. I have an appointment next Monday (which I think I will have to change to either this Thursday or next Tuesday because I have Austin Mondays and Fridays). She was very optimistic and hopeful.

I was, but then Finn had his next feeding session at home and was very stubborn and fussy. I did get him to eat a little bit, but then had Becky watch him so I could pump the rest. It doesn't help that I've had a migraine all day and I'm sure my patience level is nonexistent. I think this new bottle is supposed to increase his sucking ability (he doesn't have a very strong suck, which is why his pacifier doesn't stay in!). I'm in the "we'll see" state of mind. If he doesn't get better, it just isn't worth it. But I SO want him to get better! And the weird thing is that he eats fine the first two or three feedings of the day and then progressively gets fussier during the day (maybe a side effect of colic?!?!). I don't know. Again, thank you so much for all the support. I just wish this weren't such an emotional thing for me and I wish I didn't want it so badly. But it is and I do, so again, we'll just have to see. I've sent prayers up to the Big Guy, so anything is possible, right?!?!

Sunday, July 26

Mixed results

So, I have mixed feelings about the nursing marathon. It started out really good. Finn was eating every hour to hour and a half and latching on well. But then he started getting tired (sleeping on me isn't the same as in his bed!) so I put him in his crib and he slept for 3 hours! After that, he wouldn't latch on and screamed constantly (keeping in mind, it was around 7pm and time for colic anyway!). So we went for a walk, which calmed him down. Then I tried feeding him before bed and he latched on for 5 minutes and started screaming again. So I just put him to bed and he was sleeping in one minute. Jim thought he was just tired from sucking all day. I don't know. I'll talk with the lactation consultant tomorrow to see what she suggests. On the bright side, he has eaten well twice today!

6 month picture reminder!That is a little teaser of his "oh so cute" pictures! If you are interested in ordering any of Finn's 6 month pictures, they will be available online for viewing/ordering until Friday, July 31. To order 1) Go to jessicahislop.com and click on "proofing" 2) type the password: smile 3) Select a gallery (Finn's is the only one that will show up) 4) Go through the slideshow and "add to cart" the pictures you want. Please let me or Jessica know if you have any questions.

Oh, Finn and I both wanted to thank Memere for visiting and helping out last week. It was a tough week for me and having the extra help and pair of hands was much appreciated. Finn is lucky to have such wonderful family that loves him so much.

We also wanted to send out well wishes to our friends Becky and Ben. Their twin preemie girls have the dreaded RSV (I didn't know you could get it in the summer!) and are at Children's hospital. If all goes well, it should run its course in the next few days and they should be able to come home. While they are already in our prayers, I'm sure a few extra wouldn't hurt!

Saturday, July 25

Finn's doing a marathon?

Finn is on a nursing marathon today. What that means is that Finn will be breastfeeding as much as possible today. Hopefully all that extra suckling time will send a message to my breasts to make more milk. It is worth a try. You are supposed to stay in bed all day, but that doesn't seem very practical to me. I also continue to take the fenugreek supplement and I must be getting used to it because it doesn't taste nearly as bad as it did the first time I took it.

Finn's colic seems to be getting somewhat better, too. Now that I say that, he will probably have a terrible night tonight...you know how babies are! But we've found that if we keep him on a consistent dose of Tylenol and if he gets plenty of sleep, his bouts of inconsolable screaming seem to be less often and less intense. He has had colic for three weeks now, so it is my hope that he is transitioning out of this phase as well.

Finn is SO close to rolling over (from tummy to back)! This is a huge step for us because even a week ago, he showed no signs of even attempting it, let alone almost doing it (he couldn't even lift his head to start the process of rolling over). I think it is in large part because he sleeps on his tummy for naps. I found him several times partially rolled over and just his arm was in the way. I wonder if I had let him lay there longer if he would have figured it out. Each time, I help him finish rolling over, so he starts to know what it feels like to do it. So, we'll see!

Friday, July 24

I have hope

I definitely felt like I had no hope about nursing yesterday (well, maybe for the last week). To be honest, I cried most of the day, which is definitely not like me. BUT, Finn's doctor returned my call and referred me to the lactation consultant at North Memorial Hospital. I called her right away and she reassured me there are things we can do to increase my milk supply. She immediately "prescribed" an herbal supplement called fenugreek or "more milk plus", which I picked up about half an hour later. I take this four times a day starting last night. On Monday, we will set up an appointment to go in when Finn is ready to eat. They will weigh him before and after he eats, so we know how much he is getting. Then, she will help to make a plan based on that information. She was actually at the desk when I picked it up and she again reassured me that we would figure this out. She also suggested avocados, mangoes and oatmeal. And she included a cookie recipe that has something in it because they call them "milk cookies" or something like that! Who knew?!?! So I need to run to the grocery store, I guess!

Now, keep in mind that this herbal supplement tastes AWFUL! But I can take 1-2 oz of liquid with it, so I've found that apple juice helps a little. But, whatever works, I will try. Hopefully between the feeding changes I'm making, the herbal supplement and the food, my milk will come in strong and little man can get the nourishment he needs from me! (my saving grace is that when I was pumping for the two months after Finn was born, I was over producing, which bodes well for my chances now!) I got up at 5am to feed Finn (he wasn't really awake, but I "encouraged" him to be so he could eat!) and there was definitely milk there, he didn't have issues latching on like he has the last several days and he got enough for a feeding. I was very happy. Thank you for all the support. Not being able to properly feed your baby definitely makes you feel like a failure. At least now I feel like I'm doing something about it!

Jim asked me last night why nursing was such an emotional issue for me and why it was such a big deal. It made me think a little bit. I think part of it is that it stems from a survival instinct (if you don't feed your baby, they won't survive). Now, obviously that isn't true today, with formula, but I think it is definitely instinctual. The other part I think for me is that I didn't get to "be" Finn's mom for the first three months of his life. I didn't get to hold him or bathe him or feed him or anything. Now that I can, I WANT to, maybe a little more than I would have if things had been different. I don't know, but he did make me think.

We (John, Sasha, Sonia, Becky, Austin, Pete, Jim, Finn and I) went to watch the River Rats last night. It is a ski show on the Mississippi River. They "practice" every Thursday night for their national competitions, so the show is free. While the announcer needed some work, the show was phenomenal. Finn was even a good boy, but then again, he was outside with lots to hear and see. We had a "small town moment" when we were there. We randomly ran into my aunt Angie, Erica and Gavin there! It is weird to run into people you know when you are in Minneapolis. Afterwards, Lynn offered to stay home to put Finn to bed, so we (John, Sasha, Sonia, Jim and I) went to El Loro for dinner (I ordered guacomole so I could eat some avocadoes!). I really needed the time out. I felt normal again and even had a margarita! Yummy.

Thursday, July 23

Progress and frustration

Finn had a wonderful physical therapy session today. I was bracing for it, considering last week he was in full meltdown mode the whole time. This week, he wasn't exactly happy, but he didn't meltdown and with the help of his trusty pacifier, keep him at least calm. He is improving in a lot of areas. So much so, in fact, that his torticollis has switched sides! Before he was looking to the right, tilting to the left and now he is major tilting to the right and somewhat looking to the left! Needless to say, we are stopping the exercises to get him to look left and tilt right! He also did a great job lifting his head and holding it midline when his body is at an angle. These are all things that he absolutely could not do before. So we are supposed to focus on exercises that strengthen his neck. Overall, a very good appointment.

On the flip side, I am struggling with some major nursing frustration. Now that Finn is taking two bottles a day, he just isn't nursing well and I feel like my milk is going away! Oh, and he wouldn't latch on last night, which complete broke my heart. I broached the subject with Finn's doctor yesterday and was basically told to not worry about it because he is gaining weight. Well, I'm worried. I'm just not ready to stop nursing. I went over to my friend Becky's this morning, and basically emotionally puked on her...which I felt terrible doing because she has her own struggles! But, she has been there and had some wonderful suggestions, lent me a book about nursing and gave great advice. The book said it is better to wake his up to eat than let him sleep through feedings. Yay...that is what I felt I should do, but needed somebody to tell me it was okay. The book also said that instead of giving Finn two full bottles a day, we should split that amount between each of his feedings, which I think will help with him latching on and feeling like he is getting enough. I just don't think Finn realizes when he is hungry because he sleeps 12 hours at night and goes 4 or 5 hours between feedings sometimes during the day! So, I am going to try to nurse him every 2 1/2 hours during the day and get up once during the night. Becky also suggested doing a nursing marathon where you basically "nurse" him all day long, so I think I'm going to try that on Saturday.

I don't know if any of this will work or not, but at least I feel like I'm doing something. I also called Finn's doctor and left a message to see if I could meet with a lactation consultant. I just need some help! I know this is "small" potatoes in the big scheme of life and in Finn's journey, but it is a very emotional subject and for whatever reason, I'm just not ready or willing to let it go yet. I just enjoy nursing him so much more than bottle feeding him.

Wednesday, July 22

Big bottle for a big boy

Finn is eating so much, we had to transition him over from his 5 oz bottles to the 9 oz bottles this morning:
This is Memere giving Finn his first big boy bottle. It looks like he is holding it, but he really isn't! Very cute, though. And he ate a full 6 oz. I'll take that any day.

Which brings me to the second part of the title...Finn is a big boy! We had a weight check today and he weighed 10 lbs 6 oz. Based on his weight from last week, he should have weighed 10 lbs 3 oz, so he gained even more than he "should" have. I was so pleasantly surprised (a big change from how I felt after his appointment last week!). His body must just need more calories than I can provide right now. Hopefully the bottles won't be forever (or maybe we can transition to one a day?!?!). Regardless, Finn is gaining weight again and it feels so good!!! Grow, baby, grow!

Tuesday, July 21

Far sided momma

Finn was a bad host last night. Laura and Matt came over and Finn slept practically the whole time they were here!Don't worry, though. Matt and Jim managed to keep occupied by playing Nintendo all night (Tecmo Bowl and Contra). It was funny to see two grown men get so into such an old game! I did finally wake Finn up a little after 8pm because he had to eat before going to bed for the night. Laura even gave him his bottle, which isn't an easy feat. Good job, Laura! Sorry he spit up on you a little bit!

Finn had his eye appointment this morning, which Memere joined us for. I was bracing for any bad news, just so I wasn't caught off guard like I was for Finn's last doctor appointment. But everything went well and they didn't have to use the retractors to look in his eyes, so he didn't even scream! Yeah for not screaming. They did several tests to see how Finn's eyes are in general (does he squint to light, can he follow objects, do his eye tear, etc). They also have a fancy way of checking to see if they are near or far sided (never knew you could do something other than the eye chart!). Finn is far sided, more so then they usually see. While this isn't necessarily reason for concern (I, too, was very far sided as a child), we have to watch to see if his eyes start to cross...a common side effect of being far sided. The ROP is inactive and fading away, which is what they told us at the last visit, but good to know that is still the case. Finn has another appointment in 6 months because of being so far sided, whereas usually they would wait for 12 months. So, yay! Overall, a successful appointment...and he didn't meltdown for the entire hour and a half appointment! Another yay! Now I just hope he doesn't meltdown at his next PT appointment on Thursday!

Monday, July 20

So nice to be home

We had a very nice and relaxing day yesterday. Jim brought his original Nintendo back from O-ville on Saturday, so he spent most of the day getting reaquainted. My aunt Karen came over with her three kids, one of which is my godson John. He lives and goes to school in Indiana, so I don't get to see him very often and he hadn't met Finn yet.It was a really nice visit and I really appreciate them coming to us! He leaves tomorrow to go back to school. I really miss him when he is gone.

At Finn's doctor appointment on Thursday, I talked to his doctor about Finn not being able to go out in public. I just feel like others think we are being too cautious and I wanted her opinion on it. She said that it is okay for Finn to go stores, as long as we are very careful about not touching him, letting others touch him or letting him touch the cart, etc. I'm not ready to go out by myself with him, but hopefully we can start taking family trips to Target and to get groceries so Jim doesn't have to keep doing it all by myself. The other thing is big crowds. She said that this if far more dangerous for Finn than going to a store (because we can't control the environment as easily). We were told he couldn't be around crowds for the first year, but she said because he turns one in January, which is during RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) season, he actually shouldn't be around people until he is ADJUSTED one year old! I was not expecting this. We will obviously do what is best for Finn's health, but next April is a LONG time away!

Finn continues to sleep in his crib. He sleeps on his tummy for naps and his back for night time. He occasionally falls asleep in the swing, but not very often. He is starting to tolerate tummy time a little better and loves to lay on his side (a developmental "exercise" we are supposed to do to encourage rolling over). He is able to hold onto his rattle and bring it to his mouth to suck on. Jim even got him to grab for it yesterday, which is a new thing for him. What else? Are there any other things I need to update or haven't talked about in a while? When I do these posts every day, I sometimes forget to revisit things.

Jim's mom and dad are here today and Jim's mom is staying all week. I'm sure Finn will be ridiculously spoiled, but that is her job! It will give me a chance to catch up on laundry and mail and everything else.

Saturday, July 18

What a day!

Jim's flight ended up coming in late, so we decided to go out to O-ville this morning, which meant 1. I got up at 6am on a Saturday and 2. a long day in the car! Man, when I get up that early, I'm used to going back to bed after feeding Finn! Finn was a good boy on the way there, but he hardly slept at all, which is very unusual for him (he LOVES to sleep in late...just like daddy!). The baby shower was wonderful with great food and lots of people. Thank you to everybody who attended and the very generous and "oh so cute" gifts. We are very grateful that so many people love Finn and care about his health and journey.

Then we spent some time at Jim's mom where Finn had a meltdown. We headed for home around 4pm. We got home around 8pm between which time Finn had at least two more meltdowns. Oh, you gotta love colic. He ate like a champ and is now in bed, hopefully for the night. He didn't really sleep all day except for little cap naps, so I'm sure he is exhausted. Now we are home and Jim and I are ready to crash, too! Hopefully a nice, slow lazy day tomorrow.

I just wanted to thank the hosts of the shower for putting together a wonderful event. It truly was lovely. All the effort is much appreciated.

Friday, July 17

There's my sweet baby

My sweet baby boy is back. Well, at least for last night. He was his normal cute, cooing, smiling, just crying (not screaming) self and it was AWESOME! I kept telling him how much I love him because when he is screaming, it is the last thing on my mind. I don't think his colic is over yet or anything, but for one night, I got a reprieve. Maybe that was because I had my own meltdown after Finn's doctor appointment yesterday. Just too much to handle and it didn't help that Jim was out of town. Thank goodness my mom was visiting!

We had a fun, albeit cold, play date today. Finn, Austin and I met my friend Amanda and her two kids, Taylor and Gavin, at a park in St. Louis Park. I think the kids had fun and it is always great to catch up with Amanda. I'm still cold, though! What happened to summer? It was SIXTY-ONE degrees and windy! I wonder if there was a wind chill (ha, ha!). Hopefully we can do it again soon when it is warmer out because they have a splash pad water area that Austin REALLY REALLY wanted to play in.

We are off to O-ville for Finn's baby shower on Saturday. Not sure if we are leaving tonight or EARLY tomorrow...depends when Jim's flight gets in and how tired he is. Should be fun! Austin said that Finn misses his daddy and that is why he was crying in the car on the way home from our play date. Too cute. Finn is lucky to have such a great Big Cousin!

Thursday, July 16

Not so big

Well, Finn had his 6 month well-child appointment this morning. I'm very sad to say that he only weighs 9 pounds 13 ounces, 5 ounces less than the last time he was weighed in June. He should have weighed just under 12 pounds to stay on track. We have to go back to two fortified bottles a day so he starts gaining enough weight and weekly weight checks. As you know, this makes me very sad for several reasons. Mainly, I love breastfeeding him and I hate having to pump. However, I will obviously do what needs to be done for Finn's health. I just was not expecting this and thought we were beyond it. When is enough, enough? He is in the 3rd percentile for weight for his adjusted age (which is 3 months). He is 22 inches long and his head is 16 centimeters. He also got his 6 month immunizations today (not sure how Jim got out of both his 4 month AND his 6 month shots!), so I'm sure I'll have a crabbier than normal boy on my hands. Bring on the Tylenol!

Grandma's here to save the day! My mom came to visit since Jim is out of town for basically the whole week. Last night Finn took a really big nap until just after 7:30 pm, woke up, took a bath, and then ate. SO...she didn't get to spend too much time with him, but she did hold him after he ate until he was ready to go in his crib. What a good grandma! I really appreciated the break. She is staying until this evening, but not staying over, and then daddy is back tomorrow, but his plane doesn't get in until 8pm. Oh, well. Yeah for daddy coming home!

Finn had his PT appt yesterday. Let's just say it didn't go very well. He had taken some good naps during the day, so I was optimistic, even after the last appt when he had a major meltdown. However, the appointment was at 4pm, so I knew it was getting into his meltdown time. We got there and he was all smiles for me in the waiting room, which these days, doesn't happen very often. The second I took him back and took his clothes off and we started, he had a complete and total meltdown. Katie, his physical therapist, is going to start thinking it is her! She tried to show me some new exercises, but ended up just giving me the handouts because he was impossible to work with. Oh, Finn. Then he crashed in the car on the way home.

Wednesday, July 15

I finally gave in

I joined the ranks of Facebook last night. I've been resisting it FOREVER on the basis that I'm too old, but when several of my aunts joined, I figured I couldn't really use that excuse any longer (not that they are old!). Everybody says it is so easy to keep in contact with people, so I really like that aspect of it. We'll see, I guess!

Finn had a visit from a teacher with the Minneapolis Early Intervention program yesterday. It was kind of short (he is only doing so much developmentally to "test"). What she saw, she was very pleased with. I feel like he is behind, but that is probably because I've "known" him for 6 months, but he is only doing 3 month old things...which is what he is supposed to be doing. Hopefully he will progress for each monthly visit. I believe the next one will be the end of August.

After the visit, Finn and I went over to Meytal and Lyla's in downtown. I was a little nervous, just because if you don't know exactly where you're going, downtown can be crazy and I'm not very familiar with the part of downtown they live in (and I don't have my GPS any more to help me!). We found it with ease and had a wonderful afternoon with the girls...albeit Finn screamed or slept for most of the visit. Meytal used a sling when Lyla had colic, so we tried that and it really seemed to work. We won't tell Finn it was PINK! Ha, ha.

Erica was supposed to visit today, but she got sick instead! Yuck. Poor girl. I told Finn last night before bed that she was coming, so I'm sure he will be sad today that she isn't. Hopefully the fact that grandma is coming this afternoon should make him feel better!

Oh and somebody is three months old adjusted today! What a big boy!

Tuesday, July 14

Crib is dusty no more

I weighed Finn yesterday and I hope our scale is wrong. It had him only weighing 9 1/2 pounds WITH clothes on. I'm not too worried only because our scales sucks and I'm hoping it is just wrong. I guess we'll know for sure on Thursday!

Update on the crib/carseat situation. So DeAnn had Finn sleeping in his pack-n-play when we got home on Saturday night, so Jim and I looked at each other and decided to see if he would stay asleep if we transported him to his crib. Well, surprisingly to us, he did! He got up at 5am the next morning to eat, but I'll pick my battles. He has slept in his crib each night since then, too (three nights in a row)! Finally, we're getting some use from the crib. He still sleeps in his carseat for the naps he NEEDS to take and sometimes in the swing, too, but I'd say this is a big step. The one bad thing about it is now he won't go to sleep easily. Before, he would eat and be sleepy and I'd lay him down and he'd just look at me and then go to sleep. Now, I have to rock him until he is really out and hope he doesn't wake up on the way over to the crib...and I have to hold his pacifier in until he is back to a deep sleep. Hopefully he gets used to the crib and sleeping flat on his back shortly. At least I don't feel like I'm making his neck worse by putting him in the carseat each night! Jim is traveling for the rest of the week, so it should be interesting without him here and making all these changes.

Oh and FYI, Nana...90% of colic cases are gone by 9 months of age. Not sure if that is 9 calendar months or 9 adjusted months for Finn, but worse case scenario, another 6 months of colic (probably not, though!). Also, Janice, I think laying Finn on his tummy on my legs seemed to work yesterday. At least for a short time. Hey, I'll take whatever I can get!!

Monday, July 13

Weekend

The walk about was a blast. I think it was the funnest one for me yet. Jim and I didn't shut the place(s) down because Jim had a little (or a lot) too much to drink and I needed to pump! I hate pumping and dumping, but it was worth it to have a fun night out. Thanks, Beth for organizing it (oh, and happy birthday!).

Jim's cousin's Sasha and Sonia from Washington state are also visiting. They flew in Friday afternoon. They hadn't met Finn yet, so that was nice (even if Finn had a mini-meltdown 5 minutes after they arrived!). They are in Minnesota for two weeks, I think, so we should get to see them quite a bit. Which is a good thing because they are great girls and we love them lots!

Finn continues to have colic, but not as regular as it had been. I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not. He didn't meltdown Friday or Saturday night, which we were very grateful for. However yesterday, he melted down in the afternoon, which was odd. Jim eventually got him to sleep and then we went for a BIG walk in the evening, so he was fine then (until 5am this morning!). Argh. This too shall pass. Thank you so much for all the support, comments and suggestions! They are very appreciated.

Saturday, July 11

One "free" night

Don't tell Finn, but he didn't scream last night. Or rather, didn't scream for a prolonged period of time. He had a little bout in the afternoon and was a little crabby later, but no meltdown. It was so nice, but I kept cringing just waiting for it to start. I'll take it, though. Hopefully he is a good boy tonight for babysitter DeAnn...she is a brave woman. The good thing is that we are sticking very close to home and can be home in minutes, if needed. Fingers (and toes if it were possible) are crossed!

I headed to my mom's family's reunion in Benson today. It was a long drive for a somewhat short visit, but good to see everybody. I hadn't been to this family (the Valentine family) reunion for I think close to 15 years! I must be old when I start saying things happened 15 years ago! Yikes. We took pictures, but I haven't had time to upload any yet.

Also, happy birthday to Grandma Kathy! I made her a cake and we sang to her, so that was very nice. Now we, the whole gang, are headed to the walk about for some fun and drinking. I hope everybody survives. Especially Renae since this is the first time she has been able to come along. I'm sure we'll have a bunch of people crashing on whatever available space they can find tonight.

Friday, July 10

Colic, seriously?!?!

Several people have suggested that Finn has Colic. Well, first I didn't really know what it was or what "caused" it, so I brushed it off. Second, I know it was when babies cry a lot and it was my thought that all babies cry, so it wasn't really anything. However, last night we were at our whits end, so I looked it up online.

Medical experts define colic as excessive crying in an otherwise healthy baby lasting more than 3 hours a day, 3 times a week. A baby usually establishes a daily pattern of crying, such as early morning or evening. Doctors have yet to discover the causes of colic. A fussy, crying, colicky baby is inconsolable, and the crying is not due to hunger or pain. The condition affects up to 20% of newborns (not sure if preemies are more susceptible to it or not).

After reading that, I looked at Jim and said, "I guess Finn has colic." Every night since last Saturday, Finn has had what I lovingly like to call an atomic meltdown. It occurs between 5 and 9pm...but always hits its zenith at 7pm. He doesn't cry, he screams. The only thing we found to help was one night, I gave him a bath and then we went for a walk. He just had a short lived meltdown that night. I still don't know what having colic "means" or what we can do about it. My friend Steph's little girl had it, so I sent her an email, hopefully getting some much needed advice. Finn also has his 6 month well-child appointment next week, so I will talk to his doctor about it. Last night it just got to the point where we swaddled Finn and put him in his pack and play. He cried there for an hour...falling asleep once, just to wake up with more energy for more screaming. It breaks me heart, but also frays at my nerves.

I just feel like, "now this...if it isn't one thing, it is another." I mean, haven't we already gone through enough? Can't we avoid having to deal with this, too?!?! It makes me dread the evenings and not want to do anything with anybody because I don't want to have to deal with Finn while people are over...or having anybody baby-sit him because it isn't fair to them. This, too, shall pass, but I just wonder what will be next.

On a slightly better note, Finn slept in his crib for a little while yesterday for a nap...albeit on his tummy, but we'll pick our battles.

Thursday, July 9

He said, She said

It is really "They said, They said", but that doesn't sound as nice. I am frustrated. We had Finn's PT appointment yesterday. And we were told that he should not be sleeping in the car seat and he can be swaddled with his arms inside the blanket. These two things might not sound like a big deal, but they are to us. We were told after asking several people that it was fine for him to sleep in the car seat. Now, I think it is at least partly responsible for why he has Torticollis...or at least why it is to the degree it is. And the nurses/doctors at the hospital told us to NEVER, under any circumstances, swaddle him with his arms inside the blanket...so we didn't swaddle him at all once he got home. If we could have swaddled him like this (which is how he was swaddled in the hospital), he would probably have slept just fine in the crib and this whole thing could have been avoided.

I'm frustrated because I feel like I made wrong decisions regarding Finn and his health...but I/we made the best decisions based on information we received at the time. How do you know what questions to ask and who to ask them to? How do you know whose opinion to trust and whose to question? How do you know you ARE making the best decision for your baby? My confidence is shaken. At least the "harm" is nothing that can't be undone...hopefully.

Anyway, the PT appointment was interesting. Finn was in meltdown mode the whole time. He decided he didn't need his morning nap, so he was tired. The poor physical therapist. But she still worked on and with him and was really good with him. We are supposed to keep doing the neck exercises. We are also supposed to try to get him to lay in the fetal position. This is supposed to give babies the most comfort, but because he was deprived of being in the womb, he doesn't hold his limbs in like a normal baby would. So, we are to hold his arm(s) by his chest and tuck his legs up. This might help calm him.

That brings me to the other point I haven't brought up the last few days...Finn officially hates the evening. I know this is very common for babies, but I was hoping to avoid it. The first night it happened, I commented on it on here (atomic meltdown). Then it kept happening and I was hoping it wasn't a trend. Well, it is. From about 5 - 8pm every night, he just cries and can't be consoled. On advice from Becky, I gave him a bath tonight (instead of doing it during the day like usual). After which we decided to go for a walk because Finn loves being outside. Both seemed to help a lot. I guess it is trial and error until we either figure out what is wrong, or he grows out of it. We are earning our parent stripes for sure!

Wednesday, July 8

Are you ready to see our cute baby?

Jessica Hislop is amazing. If anybody out there is looking for some pictures of their kids or family or Senior pictures or whatever...Jessica is the person to contact. Visit her website is website. She books up fast, so contact her early!

Now, onto Finn's 6 month pictures! If you're interested, here is how you can take a peek at Finn's 6 months pictures:

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

username: Finn6months
password: smile (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.

Warning: your heart will melt!

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 many 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!). Please let me know if you have any questions.

Enjoy the wonderful pictures of our adorable baby!

Next day delivery

Talk about speedy. Jessica (Finn's photographer...like he has his own?!?!) already has a preview from Finn's photo shoot yesterday on her blog. Check them out! She amazes me every time. Can't wait to see the rest of the pictures!

Tuesday, July 7

Another birthday and a busy day

A big huge happy birthday wish to Finn's Auntie NaeNae who turns the BIG 21 today! I can't believe my baby sister is twenty one...that makes me feel really old. Happy birthday little sister and enjoy your first taste of alcohol! Watch out for this weekend at the walk about...I doubt you'll be able to walk! Hee, hee.

Mike, Katie and Quinn stopped by last night to meet Finn (and so I could finally meet Quinn!).Quinn is about 18 months old. It is fun for us to see what Finn will be like in a year or so and I think it was fun for them to remember what its like to have a baby. Mike was able to quiet Finn down, so he is for sure hired as our permanent baby sitter when they move back this fall! They found a couple houses they really like, so now it is just buying one.

Finn had a big day today. He had his 6 month photo shoot this morning, which turned into this afternoon, too. Whenever I make plans around when I think he will sleep, he always proves me wrong. I scheduled the pictures for 10am, knowing he is usually sleeping, so we could get some sleeping shots, and then he would wake up and be his normal happy morning self...didn't happen! We finished the photo shoot around 1:30, after two attempts to get him to nap, two feeding sessions, one lunch break, a million attempts to get him to smile and daddy coming home for lunch. I think after all that, we got three smiling pictures...but it wasn't for lack of trying! Luckily, I think Finn is cute anyway, so I'm sure the pictures will be cute, even thoughout a smile. Jess hopes to have them ready by the weekend! Yay! I'll obviously post when they are ready for your viewing.

Then we headed over to our friend Becky's house. She is the mom of Lily and Juliette...also preemies born at 29 weeks gestation in March. I love this picture...Finn with his girlfriends...notice he is the stud in the middle. We had a great talk and the babies behaved themselves for the most part (other than Finn being super tired and refusing to sleep for more than 10 minutes at a time). Because Finn just didn't sleep much, he is now in meltdown mode (he might have just fallen asleep...I really hope so). Becky is home with her girls for a few months at least, so hopefully we can do regular play dates with them!

Monday, July 6

Happy half birthday, Finn!

Our baby is 6 months old TODAY! I just can't believe it. Erica said I should do a comparison picture from then to now, and I think it is a brilliant idea.
January 6, 2009:
July 6, 2009:My, what a difference 6 months makes! It is weird to stop and think about what Finn has gone through in these quick 6 months. The time in the hospital seems like a dream or like it happened to somebody else. We are so grateful and blessed to have a healthy 6 month old. He still has obstacles he will have to overcome related to him being born so early, but we didn't have nearly the mountain to climb that we could have. God truly has been watching over our family in so many ways. Thank you so much for all your support, too, which we couldn't have survived without.

We continue to work on his Torticollis. Some days it seems so much better and then the next day, not so much. It is a journey. We are still working on having him lift his head from a flat position. He is fine if he is inclined (like laying on your chest), but not from the floor. That goes along with remembering to give him tummy time every day (harder to fit into our day than it sounds!). He is kicking his legs like crazy, so I don't think that is a concern any more. I am also trying to be better about just letting Finn lay on the ground instead of being held or in his swing/bouncy seat. This makes it easier for Austin to "play" with Finn, which is so cute. We will know more developmentally after his PT appointment this week. He doesn't go in for his 6 month check up until the 16th (his doctor is/was on vacation). Should have lots to update on then.

Sunday, July 5

Who knows?!?!

Finn survived the night. We still don't know what was wrong, but once he was out, he was OUT. Jim actually slept next to him for most of the night, just to make sure Finn was okay. What a great dad. I was perfectly happy sleeping in my own bed (bad mom?). Finn was awake at his usual time this morning and very ready to eat, since he hardly ate anything last night. He ate well and seems fine today. Hopefully just a case of being over tired.

Side note: We love it when people tell us they keep up on our blog. It is nice to know people care so much about Finn and his continued health and journey in life. BUT we also like to KNOW you are following our blog! Please leave a quick comment over to the left, or a comment at the end of any post. As simple as "hi, glad you're having a good day" would be enough! Then we know you're reading! And thank you to those of you who comment regularly...we love it. You can leave a post as "annonymous" (but be sure to put your name in your post then) or you can create a Google account and log in as yourself. Either way, we'd love to hear from you! If you need help leaving a comment, just let me know. Hope to hear from you soon! (P.S. notice the "top commentors" below on the left...somebody better give Katie a run for her money!)

Saturday, July 4

Atomic meltdown

Happy 4th of July! We stayed close to home all day and didn't make it for the walk we were hoping for. Here is our little boy on his first Independence Day (his shirt is red, white and blue!):Okay, if you didn't already think he was adorable, this picture HAS to change your mind! I just LOVE it. I want to kiss his cheeks and squeeze him all over.

Our friends Stacey, Sam and Dillon came over in the afternoon and it was great to spend some time with them. I think they stayed longer than they planned, but that is just testament to the good time everybody was having.

Back up to the begining of the day. Finn spit up at least six times today. He hasn't done this at all since he went to breastfeeding, so I mentioned it to Jim and said we should just keep an eye on him in case something was up. He has also been sleeping a lot during the day, so we just wanted to be watchful. Well, he slept well this morning and just took a short cat nap once our company came. I thought, "no big deal...he'll take a good nap once they leave." Well, that wasn't the case. He started to lose it a little bit when they were getting ready to leave, but I thought he might just be hungry and tired. Then Finn had a complete and total meltdown. He was screaming at the top of his lungs to the point where we couldn't calm him down, he wouldn't eat, he could barely catch his breath and he wouldn't take his pacifier. We pulled out the big guns and threw every trick we knew at him. Finally about an hour and a half later, he fell asleep in my arms. I'm not sure if it was from the Tylenol, Orajel, exhaustion from crying so much or what. We are hoping it was just him being over tired and nothing more. It sucks that you just don't know with babies. Both Jim and I wanted to call the on-call doctor, but there really wasn't much to say, "Um, our baby is crying more than usual." So, he is passed out right now. I have a feeling it will be a long night, but at least he is sleeping now.

Oh, the wonders of being a parent! We were hoping to go see some fireworks, but will probably have to wait until next year (because you'd be crazy if you think I'm going to wake Finn up after all of that!).

Friday, July 3

BIG walk

Jim, Finn and I just got back from a big walk. Jim and I disagreed on where this walk should take place. He wanted to walk to Lunds...for no reason other than to walk to Lunds. And I wanted to check out the walking path along the west side of the river. So, we went to the river. It was beautiful and nice shade from all the trees. Jim agreed he liked it when we were done. Finn was SO good the whole time. We ended up going 2 1/2 miles (we started at the Broadway bridge and ended just short of the Guthrie in downtown!). I was exhausted when we got back to the car, but I think that had more to do with lack of food and water than physical activity. There is another river path on the east side of the river north of our house, so I think we might check that one out tomorrow!

There promises to be some big fireworks in downtown tomorrow night, so we are hoping to be able to see them. Until our walk today, I had no idea we were THAT close to downtown (we drive there all the time, but it seems further by car for some reason). We might need to head over to the river to get away from all the trees around our house. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, have a wonderful and safe Fourth of July!

Wednesday, July 1

Twelve is better than eleven?

Well, Finn slept through the night again last night...close to twelve hours this time! I just can't believe it and can't help but wonder if it is his new schedule or just a temporary thing. Whichever it is, I'll take it while it lasts. Although, I have to admit, I kind of woke him up this morning because I had milk that needed to be consumed.

Erica, Austin, Finn and I went for a walk down to what was the Lowry bridge, the one that was blown up. They were working on it and we could hear loud noises, so Austin wanted to check it out. We were there for quite a while and probably would have stayed longer, but it was really cold again today! And Finn's little hands were like icicles (I remembered socks, but I guess I needed mittens...who'd have thunk since it IS July today!). I carried him in the Snugli front carrier and he seems to like that. I like that my hands are free but he is still secure, although probably still a little small for it!