Sunday, October 23, 2016

Two Month Update

Atlas is officially two months old, and I am feeling pretty emotional about it. I'm not sure why. Two months isn't a major milestone. Maybe it's just because he has changed so much.

Every day used to drag on very slowly, but now, some days go by quickly. Some days, I actually have energy to take care of Atlas, myself, Nym, AND get things done. The other day, I went to Target IN THE RAIN, and managed to get four boxes of diapers, one box of wipes, and a baby carrier, with Atlas in his car seat in the cart and all the boxes teetering around him. Everyone stared (but no one offered to help, of course). I treated myself to a dairy-free latte at Starbucks afterwards. Maybe, just maybe, I am getting the hang of this new life.

Over the past two months, we have had to go through some major adjusting. At first, everything was wonderful. I was high on life, loving my new little bean, and not feeling the exhaustion. But after a couple weeks went by and Atlas started having some issues, reality set in. I healed very quickly physically, but mentally, I started to slip.

It wasn't just rough because of the sacrifices I had to make. Atlas was just not right. We had some feeding issues that were partly my body's fault, but there seemed to be more to it once my body finally regulated itself and the problems continued getting worse. I think, at first, a lot of people thought I was looking too deep into things that all "normal" babies do, like spitting up and being fussy, but I just knew he wasn't right. He was fine the first week or two, and then he started to seem in more and more pain. When he started projectile vomiting, I knew the reflux was worse than we originally thought. The doctor started him on Zantac, which he hated and spit out every time we gave it to him.

Almost immediately after that, he started having really bad diarrhea. Sorry to be graphic, but it was really bad, and he was in a lot of pain every time he went, which was several times a day. Last weekend, he started passing blood in his stool. Yeah. I almost had a panic attack. I called the doctor on Sunday, who insisted it was just a virus and his little butt was probably irritated. I'm sorry, but this doctor had been dismissive since the beginning, and CLEARLY something has been getting progressively worse with him, so I made an appointment with the nurse practitioner, in addition to his two month checkup with the doctor I like best at the practice.

Long story short: They are both 99% sure he has an allergy to dairy and possibly soy. Most kids grow out of it by age 1, but some don't. I hope Atlas is part of the lucky majority. Nearly EVERYTHING has hidden dairy in it. Things you wouldn't expect. Bread, crackers, cookies, any processed food I might typically buy at the supermarket, not to mention the things I love to eat for dinner (penne alla vodka, anyone?). At least this will force me to eat healthier. The doctor said that if things don't seem to be improving after a couple weeks, to cut soy out as well. If worse comes to worse, I can switch to special formula, but that will probably cause another set of issues.

Despite living dairy-free being difficult (I am VERY MUCH a pizza girl), I feel A MILLION times better than I did before. I might finally have an answer. Atlas might finally feel better, and that's all I've wanted. Since cutting dairy out a week ago, I have seen small results already. Not as much blood and throw up, thank god, and he has been giving me an almost FIVE HOUR STRETCH of sleep some nights! Only he's doing it from 7pm-midnight, so I'm not getting much sleep, that little jerk. But HE is, which has made him a much, MUCH happier baby.

And if all goes well, I am pretty sure we will be going home for Christmas. :)

Atlas's major milestones:
- Weight: 13lbs. 5oz. Almost double his birth weight in just two months. They look for them to double it in four months. What a meatball.
- Length: 23in. Average.
- Took his shots like a champ. Knew he would.
- Rolling from tummy to back!!!! Officially. He does it almost every single tummy time. SLOW DOWN, you little rebel. You can't run away from me. I'm your mommy. I am the head rebel in charge here. You are never escaping.
- Sleeping "through the night" sometimes. Sleeping for five hours is what they consider a full night's sleep.
- Smiling a lot, especially at us. Eric got home from work the other day, and Atlas broke out in the biggest grin. He recognizes us!
- Following objects all over the place
- Batting at toys
- Sleeping in his rock and play for naps... sometimes. ;)

And Friday night, for the first time ever, I left Atlas alone with Eric while I went to dinner with some other new moms (they both survived without me). Yesterday, my little family got lunch at P.F. Chang's (the lettuce wraps are dairy-free!) and went to a cute fall festival with Kristin, Ben, and Chloe. Atlas slept in his new carrier most of the time!

I think I may have gone insane if I didn't always have Kristin checking on me and that New Moms group to go to every week. It is really important to have supportive people around. If there is one thing I've learned over the past couple months, it's that you can't be afraid to ask for help and advice. You need to follow your gut and do what's right for you and your baby, but you don't need to do it alone.

We've been really into Halloween around here.

Nym sitting at attention, guarding us from the new neighbors who were talking outside the fence... lol. Good girl.

I went back to my Dancing for Birth class with Katie and baby Valentino! Meaghan, our instructor, ended up being a labor nurse for both of us. It was good to see her and get some exercise!

There was only one girl at our New Moms group last week, so all of the boys had to try to win her over. Atlas is in the bottom left. You can tell it's him because 1. He has monster/dino feet, 2. He's fussing, and 3. He has resorted to violence by wrestling the poor little 3-week-old. He has my temper, I guess...

Terrible quality picture, but his expression cracks me up.

New Moms! My first night out sans-Atlas was a success! We had a BLAST. I believe the "most experienced" mom in this photo has a 10 month old, and I have the youngest. It is so great to hear what to expect from these ladies, from crazy stories to health and feeding advice to how to fly with a baby. Most of what they say is "It gets easier." I hope they're right!

Atlas took a nap in his new carrier and let me enjoy a beer at the fall festival. :)
Little monster pumpkin head!

I love them very, very much.

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