Sunday, January 30, 2011

Analyzing the Little One

It's no secret that I love to do this. I love trying to figure out which of their parents' characteristics babies have. Especially our baby...I mean, I think I know him better than any little kid I've ever met, and I know I've stared at him more than any other baby! I found baby pictures of Mitch and I and I want to know what you guys think!
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Answers & Blessings

Lately we've been trying to get answers about our little man's sleeping habits and breathing.

On Tuesday we took him in to see the doctor. I was really nervous that i'd get walked all over, "oh, you silly first-time mother" etc. I'm not very good at standing up for myself or being confrontational. Especially when people assume i'm some high-maintenance, overbearing helicopter mom.

It turned out that Tuesday was the day that the BYU-Idaho nursing students come to practice being nurses and learning the routines of different doctor's offices. This little 18 year-old with NO children was told me that she could tell I was just a paranoid first-time mom. She told me that, to my face! Of course I just laughed and said, "haha, yeah, probably"...like I said, I suck at standing up for myself!

Once the doctor came in and I explained everything (snoring, gasping, sleep apnea in the family) he completely understood my concerns. He referred us to an ear, nose, and throat doctor in town and we had an appointment set up for Thursday: today.

We finally got answers!

And I got permission to stop worrying!

When we went today we started all over, explaining everything. He said it might be tracheomalacia (tray-key-oh-Malaysia), a harmless condition where the cartilage in the trachea and throat is soft instead of hard, which causes noise when he breaths in and out. He said if the snoring and gasping that wakes him up every once in awhile becomes more frequent we'll test for sleep apnea. So, hopefully all of these weird breathing episodes won't become more frequent and we'll be fine to continue normal life!

His advice was to turn up the baby monitor, check on him at night or during naps if he seems congested that day, take a bulb syringe to his nose as often as necessary, and just keep tabs on him. We are so grateful that our little boy is healthy and happy. He's growing like a weed and I feel like I take more pictures than I ever imagined I could take! Oh well, all to keep extended family happy, right? :o)

Speaking of sleeping, I was blogging and playing on Facebook last night when Nathan started fussing a bit. He's very much a "computer baby", so I grabbed his binky and tried to finish the comment I was leaving. When I looked down next, he was fast asleep! I love this kid. :o)





















Here's another picture Mitch took yesterday...we think it looks like he just saw a monster!
His faces just crack me up!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Worrying the Night Away

That's all i've been doing these days. Worrying at nighttime.

We're concerned about Nathan's breathing. Sleep apnea runs in our family; Mitch's dad has it and Mitch has shown signs of it. After doing research and talking to a specialist that works for a Children's Hospital here in Kansas City, i've learned some signs of sleep apnea in infants:

1) Won't nap for extended periods of time, meaning longer than 30 minutes or so.
2) Coughs, gags, or chokes during everyday tasks (sucking on a bottle or binkie, or nursing).
3) "sings" while sleeping (can also sound like humming)
4) wakes up coughing or gasping for air.
5) clears their throat multiple times, often while falling asleep.
6) Stops breathing for 20 seconds or more, usually while asleep.

Well, the only sign I can't confirm is #6, because I'm still getting a little bit of sleep and i'm not awake timing his breathing.

This list makes me worry.

Especially because his insurance is only accepted in Idaho, which means I have to wait until Tuesday to take him into a pediatrician, which will lead to x-rays, then an appointment to a pediatric sleep specialist if needed. We've been told that a pediatrician can tell us with about an 80-90% surety what it is and what specialist we'll need to see, if any.

Sleep apnea would sure make a lot of sense, and would explain his loud sleeping. Apparently infants can use noises in their sleep to keep breathing, using air passing over their vocal cords as a defense mechanism to keep airways open. Also, lots of SIDS cases end up being traced back to sleep apnea or an underdeveloped airway.

All of this means pretty much no sleep for me, because I worry that he's not breathing. Luckily, he and I are sleeping in the same guest room in my parents' house so I can keep him close and listen to him at night.

DISCLAIMER:
I tend to be mostly public about life, but randomly private about some things. This has been one of them. Don't be offended if you think I should have mentioned it to you in person, because only Mitch and I have really known about it. We don't want to get everyone concerned if it's nothing. But, I also couldn't keep it to myself any longer because my concern is only growing!

Nathan has an appointment with his pediatrician on Tuesday at 1:30. Keep us in your prayers! We want nothing more than little boy in good health.

...and our insurance covering all this would be very helpful as well! Living on financial aid is hard enough!

Putting on the "Alaina" Hat...

Well, hello blogland. I wish I had pictures of my little man to put up, but I don't have a camera cord with me in this state, so it'll have to wait till I get back home to Rexburg.

As some of you know, I've been visiting my family in Kansas City and showing off our son to them. My mom and Camille have met our Nathan, but no one else has. So, when my parents couldn't meet him over Thanksgiving break, they decided to put the gas money they would've spent driving to fly Nathan and me home. I've been here since the 12th and go back the 24th.

The sad part was that we had to leave Mitch behind, because he's in school full-time and working part-time. Yup, too many obligations to embark on a fun, two-week trip halfway across the country! It's been very fun, but weird not having Mitch here!

This trip has left me with time for self-reflection. I was thinking about the "hats" we all wear. I have a daughter hat, a sister hat, a wife hat, and recently added a mom hat to my collection (this, however, doesn't resemble mom jeans in the least!). However, the hat i've left behind is the ALAINA hat. The ME hat.

I don't know how to focus on myself when I have a squirmy, colicky, yet charming and adorable little guy depending on me for everything. When we're both hungry, he gets food. When we're both tired, he gets rocked to sleep. (That reminds me...he should be waking up hungry soon!)

Not that i'm complaining, or at least not intentionally. This is only one of the things i've wanted my entire life! There is nothing more rewarding than seeing my little Nathan smile up at me with the big, dimpled smile that he reserves for his mom :o) It's the best!

I'm just wondering how to work on myself while devoting all my time to Nathan...any suggestions?


Monday, January 10, 2011

Christmas...only 2 weeks late!

So sorry I haven't posted much about our Christmas! It was Nathan's first and I (almost) completely skipped it in blogland!

Nathan (or as I call him, Mr. Squirty Pants...) slept peacefully all through present opening. He was very generous and let his mom and dad open all his gifts! What a great kid! He got several toys from grandparents, a toybox from us, and a beautiful framed embroidery for his room from his "GG Dooley" (aka Grand Goddess...). He also gets a late Christmas present in getting to meet his aunts, Natalie and Melissa, and Grandpa Larson for the first time! (And it'll be like he's meeting his Grandma Larson for the first time, too, since he remembers very minimal amounts of things...)

Mitch got the last part to his AR-15 rifle for Christmas! It has been drilled into my head that this is a "toy gun"...it isn't for home defense or hunting, specifically. This one's a toy. Yay, 7 months' worth of plasma donations! (and 1 Christmas budget's worth!) Since he chose to build it himself and earn each piece at a time, he got to customize it to make it do exactly what he wanted.

Here it is in all its glory; we call this picture "Mitch's babies." Mostly, Nathan is there for a point of reference. Ignore the stripped mattress, Nathan probably threw up on our sheets 7 times while we were in Gillette!
I got a huge surprise for Christmas! Mitch went in with his parents and got me a Sony Handycam! I've always wanted my own video camera (what kid doesn't!?) but now that I have a kid of my own, I guess it's time to actually get one! I've wanted this for so long, and this video shows my surprise, and pretty much tells the whole story.
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(When I mentioned "second night without sleep" I meant "second night without one MINUTE of sleep"...Nathan had an ear infection, poor guy, that we found out about on Christmas Eve, so he was miserable and didn't sleep at all. He'd cry b/c of the pain, which would aggravate his ears, which would hurt, which would cause him to cry more...poor little man!)

It was a fantastic Christmas. We can't wait to get use out of our new toys! We loved celebrating with Nathan, even though he won't remember a minute of it.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Winter 2011

Yesterday started our first day of Winter Semester 2011. Mitch and I are both on-track for this semester (our school has a three-semester calendar that runs year-round; each semester is called a "track." You are "on-track" two out of three semesters, and "off-track" during the third). Mitch is on-track during the Winter and Spring tracks and I am on-track Fall and Winter. So, this is the semester that we are both on-track, although Mitch went full-time last semester as well.

I don't like school. I can't wait to be done. Mitch is much better at school than I am. We both struggle with crazy due dates around midterms, finals, etc., but he loves learning much more than I do. I guess that's why he's the one going to grad school next and I'm the one who's DONE after my bachelor's degree!

I am taking two classes online so I can try to work our little man towards a more concrete schedule. It's much harder to be home balancing even just two classes and a baby than I thought it would be! I wish he would sleep more soundly during the day. I already feel so overwhelmed! I need to cash in on the several babysitting offers i've gotten from friends and family.

I also feel like going to school with a little one is the best thing for me, but not for him. This has been a real emotional struggle for me that i'm trying to get over because I know i'm doing the right thing.

On a more positive note, we are incredibly blessed. We have family and friends that support our getting degrees, a perfect little boy to love on all day, and we can still afford to go to school. Because our school is run by our church and is a private school, the church is able to take care of a lot of the expenses that we'd be responsible for at a state college. We are paying very little, and are working hard to remember how blessed we are and what a great opportunity for education this is.

I hope this post wasn't too much of a downer! I had so many thoughts floating around in my head. This is about the closest I've kept to a journal, so I want to take time to write when it strikes me. Now my favorite picture of Nathan, for the moment at least! :o)