My last blog post wrapped up when Josie was 2 weeks old, and the first 2 weeks had went pretty smoothly. She was adjusting well, as was Stella, and I was feeling good. And honestly the first week after Mark went back to work wasn't too bad. Granted I didn't get much done except care for the girls, and we mostly stayed home as my incision was still healing, but I expected all of that and enjoyed a pretty peaceful week as May came to a close.
Everything changed when June began and Josie hit the 3 week mark. I remember clearly the first outing I went on with both girls...just a simple trip to Brimfield for Stella's return to speech therapy. Josie didn't sleep at all that day. And not only did she not sleep, she cried and fussed the ENTIRE DAY! I had never experienced such a thing with Stella. She wouldn't even calm down for the car ride! I remember telling Mark about it when he got home (also very irritated since he managed to run his phone over that day!) and I was just in disbelief and ready to start a new day! That weekend we had plans of attending our town's yearly Fun Days. It is something we always look forward to, and even though we knew it wouldn't be a "night out" I was really excited to take the girls. It was beautiful weather and we were so ready to get out of the house! But Thursday was not a fluke. It became our way of life for the past 3 weeks. I know that doesn't sound like long, but after hour upon hour of crying it feels like years. Perhaps even an eternity. Needless to say we stayed home that weekend and attended to our colicky baby. We did run to Bradford Sunday night to take the new double stroller for a spin and let Stella play at the park.
|Stella helping Josie try to take the pacifier!|
Week 4 was much the same. The crying and fussing would begin around 6:00am and continue until 10:00pm. I only wish I was exaggerating. She would sleep from 10:00pm until about 4:00am every night, wake to eat, and go back to sleep until 6:00. I think this was only out of sheer exhaustion from the day's work (all that fussing must be hard, plus she doesn't nap more than a few minutes at a time and will wake at the drop of a hat...although baby girl can snore!), but I am grateful nonetheless, it has been my only saving grace (apart from my husband, Paw Patrol, iced coffee and Moscato of course!) I did take her into the doctor and he sent me home with a packet on colic. All suggestions that I had already tried. I attempted to just accept that she was an unhappy baby, but colic is defined as "crying or fussing for 3 or more hours at least 3 days a week" (according to the handout from my doctor). Josie cried about 15 hours a day at least 6 days a week. I couldn't shake the feeling that something else was up, especially with the problems she had in the hospital when she was born (all those air pockets and throwing up blood). I switched her to Gentlease formula hoping that would help and started gas drops, but no luck. I would have to leave when Mark got home almost everyday. I'd go grab an iced coffee and just drive around, sometimes at Johnson's State Park, just to have some quiet and calm down. It was so hard on all of us, Stella slowly because irritable as well. I was so pissed. This was supposed to be the summer we went places and worked on Stella's social skills now that I had cancelled most of her therapy. And now this! Don't get me wrong I am grateful for my girls, but colic just sucks!
As week 5 rolled around, my dad and his girlfriend offered to come over and watch the girls so Mark and I could grab a quick dinner in town. It was our first time out alone, and even though it was only a few hours it was really nice! My dad's girlfriend thought it seemed like Josie had a tummy ache. That was what really got me started thinking. I thought it was still the "fetal position" but her legs are always drawn into her chest. She spit up all the time, even after we switched to the dreaded Dr Browns bottles (helpful because she stopped spitting formula out when she drank, just a pain to clean). Not to mention the constant crying and air pockets at birth. I decided there was definitely more at play than colic and vowed that night to get to the bottom of it. But then the next day I started getting terrible aches in my abdomen. It felt like I had just had the c-section, despite little pain for the first 5 weeks. On Friday the pain was so bad Mark had to come home and care for the girls because I could barely walk. Turns out he wasn't much help, he had thrown out his back! We managed to go to the hospital to x-ray Josie (showing more air pockets) and then I headed to my doctor in Peoria for the pain, plus my incision was turning red. He just cleaned it up and put me on an antibiotic, but it wasn't infected yet and he wasn't quite sure what the pain was from.
|Typical Josie :(|
Saturday was our 5 year anniversary. Mark's back was better, but my incision was worse. It had turned completely brown and was pretty painful. After doing some much needed yard work, Mark took Stella to Kewanee to grab dinner since we couldn't manage anything else for our anniversary. He also came home with cake and flowers, very sweet :) Josie had SCREAMED ALL DAY so I was pretty stressed. After the girls were finally asleep around 9:00 Mark and I had dessert, a bottle of champagne, and opened one of the bottles of MamaJuana that we had bought on our honeymoon. It was the perfect ending to a stressful day, and we decided to celebrate more when everyone is better!
|Our honeymoon drink and one rose for every year of marriage :)|
Sunday was Father's Day, and Josie was still screaming. Unfortunately I was worse, my incision was now seeping fluids. I made cinnamon rolls for breakfast and we just rested all day. Mark took Stella to his family's cookout that evening for a few hours while I started in on the new season of Orange is the New Black (3 episodes in and not impressed dang it!) I ended up calling the hospital and emergency hot line at my doctor's office that evening because my incision just wasn't getting any better, but I fell asleep and they never called back.
|Daddy and his girls. Happy Father's Day!|
When I woke up after a crappy night's sleep on Monday, my incision was bleeding bright red blood. Mark took Stella to his parent's, and then me to the ER. They said fluid had been building internally (must have been what caused the pain the week before) and then it started draining, which was good. I was never told drainage is OK, would have been good to know! That afternoon we had to take Josie to OSF for an ultrasound to make sure nothing was twisted in her stomach. If that was all clear, we could do a trial of acid reflux medicine. Thankfully the ultrasound showed everything to be normal, so after a weight check at the doctor's on Tuesday (she was gaining weight thankfully, despite all the spit up, but only because she was eating small amounts all day long!) we went and picked up AR medicine for Josie.
Which brings us to week 6 and my postpartum check-up. When I went in (with Josie, Stella went to my in-laws again) the appointment was rushed because he had to go deliver a baby. He agreed with the ER doctor and said my incision is headed in the right direction, will just take a while to heal. Very frustrating given I was looking forward to BEING healed and enjoying a nice spa day and clean house as my postpartum celebration. Oh how life laughs when we tell it out plans!
Yesterday we had a play date in Atkinson with the girl's cousins while my car got fixed (yep, on top of all that crap my car decided to break again!). Which brings me to today. Here is where we are at:
I am still healing. My internal pain is gone and I finished my meds yesterday, but the incision is very uncomfortable. Even walking isn't very fun yet. I'm running on survival mode around the house so I am mentally exhausted and I just look like crap. Little sleep and 2 minute showers while the vacuum runs and Paw Patrol blares to keep your kids happy will do that to you. I am SO ready to jump back into my diet and exercise routine. I sure hope it's soon.
Stella is regressing. I've found her sleeping in front of her door holding her doll. So unlike her. She isn't sleeping well and is really acting out. Not enough attention and constant stress takes a toll on even the littlest of children.
|Trying to have as much fun with our girls as colic/AR will allow! A day out for a birthday party.|
Josie is still miserable. Yesterday I did get a smile out of her...the first one yet! She also had about an hour where she was awake and didn't cry! Doesn't sound like much but a huge step in the right direction for us. She is spitting out her medicine, so I'm still trying to find ways to get her to keep it down. I also switched to AR formula today in hopes that she stops spitting up and throwing up. she has been taking 3oz lately too. I've been talking with a friend who has a 2 month old in a similar situation, so she gave me a bunch of tips for the medicine today. I am so hopeful that it will help. I also bought some Dr Browns pacifiers today to see if she will take those. She likes the paci but can't keep it in her mouth. These curve up to keep it in and also are supposed to prevent them from sucking air. Just what an air filled baby needs! So for now I am trying everything I can (a chiropractor visit is next on the list if the medicine doesn't help), and surviving by running the vacuum and bouncing her in the bouncy chair. Sometimes going outside or a car ride helps too, just depends on the day.
|Finally the first sign of relief and the first smile! Isn't she just beautiful!!|
Mark is doing pretty good and has been a blessing through this. I know most difficult phases in life take a toll on a marriage, but if anything this has brought us closer. Not that we don't have our days, but we know we're better together. Kaiser is handling everything like a champ! He's in his outdoor kennel during the day (although it has been in the 90's lately so he's been in a few days) and sleeps in the living room by me at night (still on the couch for now). He is healing nicely too!
|Cuddles for Stella Anne|
|Kaiser is so happy to sleep in the living room again, always by his baby of course!|
I really hope July brings some nice changes for us. I always hate dwelling on the negative. I do count my blessings and thank God everyday, but there's just no denying some phases in life are hard. And some things just suck. But the bad times make the good ones better. I love my beautiful family, and I am going to work my butt off to get things back to "normal" next week. I am really hoping to get the house cleaned, do some grocery shopping, and get into a "routine". And if that doesn't happen after I have exhausted every avenue for Josie, I pray for the strength to find a way to be motivated and calm through the stress. No matter what it looks like, my goal for next month is to make things better for Stella, and to bring Josie as much relief as possible. I know I must first take care of myself to accomplish these goals! So I'm off to get some things done (if Josie and Stella will stay sleeping when I take my foot off this bouncy chair that is!) Be back in a few short weeks for the 2 month update :-) Happy 4th of July!