Saturday, January 28, 2012

Getting to Know Russell

He has a little red birthmark between his eyes, slightly to the right.
He has a clogged tear duct in his right eye. It's always gunky and usually half closed when the other eye is fully open.

He can usually be found like this:

within inches of my...his source of food, whether asleep or awake.

He's been smiling now for a week or two:

He may be cooing, too, but it's hard to tell since he doesn't spend a lot of time being happy and all vocalizations lead to crying.

He is very strong! He has been known to try to stand up on my lap. Every time he's being snuggled with on one's chest, he picks his head up and throws himself to the side. Sometimes I worry that he's going to jump right out of my arms!
(My three boys enjoying tummy time.)

He enjoys stroller rides, just like his older brother (thank goodness):

He wasn't gaining very much weight to begin with. He was 8 lbs 5 oz at birth, 7 lbs 12 oz at four days old, 8 lbs 1 oz at 2.5 weeks old, and 8 lbs 6.5 oz at 3.5 weeks old. Babies are supposed to be at their birth weight at 2 weeks old and then gain 5-7 oz each week after that. It has been determined that I have an awful milk supply, which isn't helped by Russell's possible tongue-tie and his extreme sleepiness while eating.

At 5.5 weeks old he weighed 9 lbs 10 it seems that his weight gain is back on track. Either that or the scale was off, because he has been getting sleepier and sleepier and Caleb's feeding therapist is quite concerned. I don't know what's going on. But I've decided not to start worrying until a medical professional tells me to. I don't have the energy to worry.

When I say he's a sleepy eater, I mean it! He falls asleep within a few minutes at the breast and between nursing, burping, diaper changes, and bottle feeding I'm lucky if I can get through a feeding in less than 50 minutes.

He still eats every 2.5-3 hours during the day.

He is pretty good at sleeping in his bassinet at night, swaddled very tightly in a crocheted blanket with his hands by his face. But he still goes 2.5-3 hours between night feedings. A few times he's gone 4 hours. Last night I actually got 4.5 hours of sleep in a row! NICE!

He usually has one happy moment about every other day for maybe 10 minutes where I'm able to set him down without him crying. In fact, we're lucky if he has any awake time, whether in our arms or not, where he isn't crying. And we're extremely fortunate if we can get him to sleep somewhere other than our arms during the day.

He seems to be happiest (aka, not entirely unhappy) when there are new things to look at and hear. He was once in a crowded room with a lot of new people, and he was very happy! It was like he was a different baby. I wish we could achieve the desired behavior with the stimulation of toys and music...but alas, that has never worked.

He's very gassy and poops a LOT! He had a terrible diaper rash for a few weeks that wouldn't go away with any diaper rash ointment that I could find. BUT! It went away almost completely after 24 hours of using paper towels and water in place of baby wipes. Thanks to all you mommas who suggested that!

He is just barely starting to outgrow newborn clothes. They are starting to get a little tight around the tummy, but most of them still fit length-wise. But his feet are really filling out the designated foot space. He must have gotten his long feet from me. Nate's feet are the same size as mine. :/ (But for the record, I have very average-sized feet. Nate is the one with small feet.)

And that's my baby. He can be difficult at times, but we love him. Yes, I have to remind myself that I love him when he won't stop crying and I just want to set him down to get a drink of juice, or go to the bathroom, or put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, or feed Caleb. I have been tempted to give him (permanently) to the neighbors, but it's not his fault! He's just a baby. I need to be more patient. We find ways to make it all work, but I'm sure looking forward to the day when he can communicate with us through ways other than crying. And when he can be entertained by things, like toys. And when he can stay awake long enough to eat without me having to use every trick in the book to get him to eat the bare minimum.

Whew. Yes. I love him. And now I'm going to bed.


MeganandClaudy said...

wow! way to go momma. trying to feed a sleeping baby is soo frustrating. especially if he's eating that often, I bet you feel like all you do is feed him all day long. what great dedication you have. hang in there. carter was sleeping for a long time and just snapped out of it one day. hopefully your day will be soon. and thanks for sharing the paper towel and water trick. i had not heard that before!

Lisa said...

My baby was just like that, crying during most of his awake time for about 3 months until I started eliminating things out of my diet. Peanut butter turned out to be the main culprit of the screaming. I've also cut out dairy and soy. While it's awful finding thongs to eat and getting good nutrition you might try that if you're going to keep breastfeeding and he doesn't seem to be getting better. Good luck!

Katie Bradley said...

Ah sleep deprivation. Missed by no mother.

A zillion years ago you mentioned how one of our blog banner pictures looked just like Russell. You were talking about Dash. Since always, I've thought Dash looked like Caleb, so it's no surprise Russell joins the mix. It's funny how my boys are identical but one can look more like your boys than the other, isn't it?