Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Tummy Time

The American Academy of Pediatrics formally launched a "Back to Sleep" campaign, instructing parents to put babies to sleep on their backs during their first year. The campaign has been hugely successful. Since it started in 1992, the SIDS rate in the United States has been cut in half. That is pretty awesome, however there has been a dramatic increase in babies with plagiocephaly or flat head syndrome. About 13% of healthy infants have a funny shaped head these days. Max is one of those babies, Sleeping on his back has undoubtedly lead him to get a flat head. I will for sure take it as the alternative could be far worse.

I did not realize how important tummy time is until I had a son with a flat head. I think a lot of new mommies don't realize it either. Maybe it is assumed that tummy time could be dangerous or the threat of SIDS outweighs the benefits of a strong baby. I mean it actually does, right?

Baby Center states other benefits of tummy time besides preventing flat head. They are:

  1. It helps strengthen the baby's neck, back and trunk muscles. Babies need strong muscle groups in order to sit, crawl, and walk.
  2. Babies who spend time on their bellies look at the environment around them with different perspective. Even before they are crawling, they can explore their world by rotating their head and rotating their bodies in different positions. This may ultimately help with cognitive development.
  3. Tummy time also helps with visual development as your baby learns to track movement and focus on objects,
  4. Babies who spend more time on their bellies are less likely to develop torticollis. Torticollis is when the neck muscles tighten and pull the head in a specific direction. and many other sources recommend introducing your baby to tummy time around three to four months. Oh no. Not when your son has a flat head. We have been doing tummy time with Max since around two months or before. Of course my husband and I were there to catch his bobble head when it fell.

This kid is now a pro at tummy time. Sadly his head is still flat, but his torticollis is almost completely gone and it is pretty awesome to see how strong a four month old baby can be with lots of time spent on his belly.

Max's great big baby muscles have helped him master rolling over too. Max can go from back to belly no problem. We like to think he is advanced since this is a five to six month milestone. He sure did feel accomplished when he learned this trick. So much so that on his four month birthday he kept us up for hours because he wanted to practice his new trick all night long. Back to belly and then stuck until Mommy or Daddy turned him over. Back to belly and then stuck until Mommy or Daddy turned him over. Back to belly and then stuck until Mommy or Daddy turned him over. He was like a broken record, but he was so proud of himself and that was the cutest thing. Eventually with all that working out he crashed and slept until we woke him the next morning. Thank God!

As strong as this kid is, it wouldn't surprise me if he is walking at ten months. I think that is a good thing!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Cookie Monster

This girl cracks me up. She is funny! I love seeing her personality come out and boy has it the last month or so. I could watch this video a hundred times. I may have actually. It makes me laugh every single time. My husband and I may have a class clown in the making.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Sibling Love

I expect every woman pregnant with their second child fears that the oldest will be jealous, maybe even dislike their baby brother or sister. This was a huge fear of mine.

Mila was only twenty two months when Max was born. My husband and I did a pretty good job talking about the baby coming, reading her books, and just generally preparing her for a baby brother.

I guess it paid off because Mila loves Max so much.

Never would I have thought there would be no jealousy. I am sure the sibling rivalry will come but for now it is all hugs and kisses for these too.

I think Max really likes Mila too. He gives her all kinds of coos and smiles.

It is so cute when she imitates him. Mila realizes she is not the baby anymore and sometimes wants to be a baby but in the sweetest cutest way. Mila will put her hand in her mouth like Max or mimic his crys and laughs. She even wants me to hold her like a baby and feed her a sippy cup. She totally plays this up. It doesn't worry me the slightest bit.

Have I mentioned how blessed I am? I love these two so much. There are really no words for it!

And just because I have not posted a selfie lately. Here you go. Happy Wednesday folks. It is going to be a great day for me.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Tailgating With Two

This went down this weekend. My husband and I took both kids to an NC State Football game to tailgate! I had my doubts and even said to my husband that he should go without us.

After both Mila and Max were dressed, there was no way I was staying home. They looked adorable and I wanted to show them off!

It took a good thirty minutes to pack up. We had a diaper bag, bouncy chair for Max, Mila's chair, a cooler, snacks... It seemed never ending and like a lot of stuff but we had it all ready to go.

I wasn't sure how we were going to get both kids and all that stuff to the parking lot a good half mile from where we parked. Luckily my husband had a great plan and threw it all in his huge hockey bag. We had to break a few times on the hike to our tailgating spot, but we made it and I am so glad we did. Mila had such a great time and so did my husband and I. I am so glad I decided to go for it. Two children aren't stopping us! Max was a perfect baby too. Good times!

 Not sure if this Mama is ready for a hockey game with two!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

My Boy Has A Flat Head.

This guy has a flat head.

It could be so much worse than torticollis and a flat head.

Torticollis is a condition in which the head becomes persistently turned to one side, often associated with painful muscle spasms. We noticed right away that Max was always looking left. I think my husband mentioned it the day we got home from the hospital. Our pediatrician didn't think torticollis was the issue but we quickly realized that indeed it was.

Because of the constant left tilt, Max has a flat spot. Plagiocephaly is the fancy term for it. The good news is that plagiocephaly is a very common, very treatable disorder. While it causes flattened appearance in a baby's head, plagiocephaly has no known medical repercussions. This is purely cosmetic and can be fixed with a helmet.

Physical therapy has been a success. The torticollis is almost completely cured. Max looks right! He tracks toys and seems to move his neck and head around freely. The flat head however is not corrected. We just recently had him measured. He didn't mind at all.

Just because it is treatable doesn't mean this has been easy. This has been an emotional roller coaster that I am finally feeling at ease about. I don't think any Mama wants their child in a helmet for twenty three and a half hours a day for months but that is the decision we have made.

Max's measurements were off the chart. He has extreme brachycephaly. We knew his head was bad, but I was still thinking mild to moderate. It was so hard to hold back the tears at the Prosthetics and Orthotics office but again, it could be so much worse than this. I am so incredibly blessed to have a healthy baby boy. Even with a funny shaped head, he is so cute! We go back for a helmet fitting in about a month and then it takes a week to make the helmet. I cannot wait for this guy to get in that helmet and for his head shape to be normal.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Introducing Max

It is going to take a while to catch up. First thing is first. I had a healthy baby boy. I have enjoyed every minute of maternity leave and summer break with my newborn son. Blogging was put on the back burner as I adjusted to life as a family of four.

Max is the sweetest guy. He was born at a whopping 8 pounds and 14 ounces on May 26th at 5:11 p.m. 

Labor was a full day of work. My day started at 9:30 a.m. and finished around 5 p.m.. It was a totally different experience than I had with my daughter. I was supposed to be induced and scheduled to come in. It was weird knowing the exact date my baby was going to be born. It was hard to sleep the night before knowing that I would have two children in just hours.

We arrived at the hospital that morning but no beds were open so we waited. The hour and a half wait to get a room felt like forever. The good news was I was three centimeters when the induction was scheduled, so no pitocin for me. The doctor broke my water. About forty five minutes later my contractions began. Light at first but became strong very fast. I requested the epidural and by the time I received it, the pain was miserable. With my daughter the epidural took a while to take. The doctor put me on my side, the one that wasn't numb and it worked. I was not so lucky with my baby boy. The same thing happened. I could feel pain on my left side. They even tried the epidural again but no change. I knew at that point, it wasn't going to work.

Pushing for an hour and twenty minutes feeling everything was the most pain I have ever been in. I know having a baby isn't supposed to be a cakewalk. Mila was exhausting. I was in labor for twelve hours with her and pushed for two hours but the experiences were total opposites. The pain with my daughter was manageable, just mainly tiring. The pain with my son is what childbirth is all about. It was the real deal. I know somewhat now what my mother went through, what my grandmothers went through, and what all of those crazy women that choose to have a natural childbirth go through. I wanted that baby out so bad that I almost requested a c section and that is one of my biggest fears. It was such a relief when I finally got to hold my handsome little guy. It still amazes me how the pain was instantly gone as soon as he was out.

As agonizing as it was, I would do it all over again. He is perfection, and I am so totally blessed. I thank God everyday for giving me two beautiful and healthy children.