Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Results are in....

I went to my follow-up with the neurologist today... and my MRI was good! The signal abnormality didn't take contrast and since I don't have any symptoms, they are releasing me from the neurologist :). Praise the Lord! Now I just need the biopsy of the lymph node in my neck to come back normal and I can take a break from doctors!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Three Months

Three Months!

My sweet baby boy is 3 months old! He has grown and changed so much in these 3 short months. According to my at home measurements, he is now 14.5 lbs and 25.5 inches! As you can see from the picture, Connor is a much happier baby these days. Between limiting my diet, taking him to an acupuncture session, and seeing the chiropractor for two weeks now, he has been doing so much better and is generally so much happier :). His range of movement with his head is SO much better and he freely moves it to both sides now and the instant improvement with tummy time has been great!

Let's see... we had two holidays this month... St. Patty's Day & Easter. We made it to church on Easter with my sister Calli and he did pretty well and I was even able to go up for communion this time and he got a blessing :). Of course I couldn't resist giving him a little Easter basket too. It had a little bunny rattle and a bunny book in it. And I ordered him an exersaucer for next month and called it an Easter present, haha.

Kiss me I'm Irish!

Happy Easter!
Connor smiles and coos all the time now. He always has something to say (like his mom of course!) and it's so cute when we have our little "conversations". He's making more and more different noises and I've heard a few squeals now and then. There have been a few occasions where he smiles and makes noises that could possibly be a slight giggle but nothing I would really consider a laugh yet. He also makes some "wet" noises that may qualify as "razzing". Connor is also now actually playing with his toys. He will grab them and is now trying to put them in his mouth too. His favorite toy right now is his firefly. He will grab the rings, crinkle the wings, look in the mirror, and try to put the different textures in his mouth, lol.

Connor and his firefly... staring intently into the mirror on his wing

We had a few play-dates this month... went to lunch and shopping with one of my managers from Target and her little girl who was born just a week before Connor (didn't get a pic though). Then we hung out a couple times with Jessi, Grady & Charlotte and we finally got pics of Connor and Grady together :)

Best Buds
We were able to Face Time with Ken when they made a port call in Greece. It was so nice to get to see him. Connor loves to watch the video of Ken reading books to him. I'm so glad we made that video :). Connor really like books in general you. He has a couple black and white ones he looks at during tummy time or sometimes when we play on the floor in his room... he loves to study the pictures in those books! We also make sure to read a bedtime story every night and lately he likes Goodnight Moon the best. We try to fit other books in too but it's been super busy lately between all of our appointments for things. Hopefully it slows down here soon so we can get back to a better routine again. I'm able to get a lot more done these days, either when Connor let's me put him down or I just wear him in the Ergo. He's slowly getting better about letting me put him down here and there, enough for me to get a few things done at least. :)

Well, I think that's about it. I might need to start working on the monthly updates throughout the month so I don't forget things, lol. More pictures are on my Shutterfly site!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Baby Chiropractor

I mentioned taking Connor to the chiropractor in my MRI post and have been meaning to write a post about it...

During my Bradley Childbirth Class, we had a chiropractor, Dr. A, come in and give a little presentation about the benefits of seeing a chiropractor while pregnant and bringing your baby to one after birth. Her practice specializes in treating pregnant women, babies, and children. She explained the gentle way they evaluated and treated babies. I was already seeing a chiropractor and this one was an hour away so I continued to see my chiropractor up until Connor was born (and then a couple times since). 

When Connor started getting really gassy around 3 weeks, I wondered if maybe I should take him to get him checked by the chiropractor to see if he had any spinal issues causing his digestive issues. I kept putting it off because of how far away the office is. Then after his 2 month well-check and the doctor telling me she thought he had reflux, I knew it was time to take him in. I know several other moms who took their babies to a chiropractor for reflux and it helped. Plus I had been noticing that no matter how I laid him down, Connor tended to favor turning his head to the left and I knew that wasn't right.

So I finally called and set up an evaluation with the chiropractor. I felt comfortable taking him to see her since she specializes in treating babies and has been doing so for many years. Plus I had already seen her presentation and knew that she would be doing gentle adjustments, not the kind of manipulations adults get. They use their finger tips for the babies and there's no popping or cracking sounds or even any quick movements. At the initial evaluation, the Dr. A explained to me that she would do a brief look at him first to see if he would even need the full evaluation. I told her his issues and explained the things I had noticed and she did end up needing to do the full evaluation after seeing those things for herself. He definitely had subluxations and would benefit from adjustments.

We went the following week to his first appointment where his treatment plan was explained and he got his first adjustment. Turns out, Connor has the same problem areas as momma... top of his neck (which is the worst for us both), between his shoulder blades, and his hips (and Dr. A is not my chiropractor so she was unaware what my problem areas were). She told us that a lot of the kids they see with subluxations high up in the neck get a lot of ear infections.... hmmm.... I had a lot of ear infections as a kid so maybe my neck issue started way back then which is why it's so bad now. Back to Connor....The plan would be for him to come three times a week the first two weeks, then twice a week for two weeks, then once a week for a month and then he should be good. They also require new patients to attend two of their free workshops on taking care of your spine within the first 6 weeks so that you aren't undoing at home what they are fixing in the office. I really liked that they are looking to make sure you don't have to keep coming back and that they're patients are better for the long haul after seeing them. The two I signed up for were the basic spinal hygiene 101 class and the one dealing with babies. Connor's first adjustment went well and I started seeing results within the first 24 hours. That night, he slept part of the night with his head turned to the right, was spitting up a little less already, and tummy time the next day amazed me. Connor had hated tummy time and would tolerate it a little better on the boppy but still seemed to always struggle with it.  

Here is a tummy time picture pre-chiropractor. He would pretty much keep his face down like this the whole time, lifting it away from the pillow slightly, but still facing the floor.

Here is a picture of tummy time after his first adjustment, huge improvement! He lifted his head up the whole time and was much happier! I have video of this session too and his head is up off the boppy for most of the time :). 

Dr. A even called the next night to check and see how he was doing :). Now after two full weeks, Connor does better with tummy time, sleeps sometimes with his head to the right, has much better movement of his head and will voluntarily turn it to the right more often, he rarely spits up and now it's usually just if he eats to much too fast and some of it comes back up, and he's less gassy too! He loves the chiropractor and seems so much happier since we started going. I just wish they were closer since Connor has to be stuck in the car seat a lot on appointment days, but at least we'll be down to twice a week next week and then only once a week for May and that should be it. With the improvement I'm seeing, it's definitely worth it!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

MRI and a Screaming Baby

So I had my follow-up MRI yesterday....

My sister, Calli, is here visiting for the week so I scheduled my MRI for when she would be here to help (I don't think I could have down it and kept some sanity without her!). It had been a month since Connor had taken his last bottle so I wanted to do a test run to make sure he would still take it. On Sunday, I pumped a couple of ounces and had Calli try to tie it to him at his next feeding. He didn't remember what to do with it at first but I came over and helped him latch on to the bottle and then Calli was able to give him the whole thing. I wasn't as worried about Monday anymore since we got him to take a bottle and he was ok with it.

My MRI was scheduled for 9 am Monday morning. I nursed Connor before I left and had a bottle ready to go for when he wanted to eat next. This was also the first time leaving Connor with someone other than his Daddy and for more than 30 minutes, so I was anxious the whole time I was gone and just wanted to get back. Having just met Calli on Sunday, he did pretty well for her and eventually settled down for a nap in her arms. Connor definitely gave her some experience with a high-needs baby since our nieces seem pretty laid back as babies. She had attempted the bottle before I got home too but he wouldn't take it. Uh oh.... this wasn't looking good all of the sudden. I arrived home and tried to see if I could help him take it like the day before, but nothing seemed to be working. I gave him some colic calm to see if that would help settle him enough to take the bottle. I even tried a medicine dropper that he's usually good at taking things with... but he just screamed more. I even dropped and spilled like 4 oz of breast milk trying to get the flow restrictor off the bottle so I could use the medicine dropper. I called my neighbor over to see if she could help. While she was here I went into my room to pump since it had now been 3 hours since Connor nursed and I was hurting. By the time I was done, he was screaming again... I couldn't take this all day. I just wanted to cry with him :(. We calmed him down, my neighbor left to go get us some other bottles t try to see if a change in bottle would help (we had tried the couple that I had already). Calli took him into the nursery and turned his ocean wave cd on and tried to see if he would take  some more. He eventually fell asleep and she was able to put him in his crib where he napped for an hour. Between all the attempts, we estimated he maybe ate 2-3 oz. For the next bottle, I wanted to make sure it was really warm and not just room temperature like the last one and maybe that would help. He woke up at 1:30, I changed his diaper and then handed him to Calli with the nice warm bottle. He still wouldn't' take it but I could see by his body language and his cries that he was really hungry. If I held him, he would turn toward my boob in hopes of getting what he so wanted. It broke my heart that I couldn't give it to him. I figured if he wasn't taking the bottle from anyone else whether I was there or not, I might as well try to see if he would just take it from me. Before I cut dairy out and Connor was super fussy in the evenings, I would sometimes have to dance around the living room to get him to latch... so I tried it with the bottle, and thank the Lord , it worked! He took about an ounce from me and then I gave him to Calli to get a few more ounces (so I could go pump and dump again) and he ended up eating about 4 oz total. I felt so much better that he had actually eaten with less crying. He fell asleep in my arms this time but we had to leave 30 minutes later so he woke up when I set him in his car seat :(. He didn't cry though, so I thought maybe he would go back to sleep once we got in the car. I packed up 2 bottles and 2 bags of milk with his stuff and off we went. I had Calli sit in the back-seat just in case... and it was a good thing too because he started crying to eat again shortly after getting on the highway. One of the bottles had a little left from his last feeding and I had been warming it in my lap while we drove just in case, so she gave him that while I tried to warm one of the bags go milk. It was icy still and not warming fast enough and he wanted more, so I got the bright idea to stop at Starbucks... bought a drink for Calli and got a water bottle for myself and asked them to give me a venti cup filled half-way with hot water. Instant milk-warmer! Quickly warmed the milk and Calli gave him the bottle. We arrived at the Connor's chiropractor just in time. He was happy to see her and was great for his appointment. While we waited for the workshop we had to attend (more on his chiro in another post), I needed to pump again. He was tired and was getting cranky so Calli walked him around outside while I pumped under my nursing cover (that was so awkward by the way). Then I took Connor and rocked him to sleep while we listened to the workshop on how to take care of your spine so as to not cause subluxations. It was only 30 minutes and of course he woke up when I set him in his car seat. He quieted down for a bit and then started screaming again. The second bag of milk was still pretty cold and not warming up fast enough so I stopped at Starbucks again, bought a bottle of water and got another cup of hot water. Warmed up the milk while swinging through the drive-thru of Chick-fil-a. We parked in a spot in the parking lot and I took Connor out of his seat and rocked him outside of the car to get him to eat while Calli ate her dinner. When she was done, she took Connor so I could eat. Then we packed him up and headed home. Connor fell asleep along the way and actually stayed asleep after getting home and tang him out of the car (which usually doesn't happen). But since it was bedtime, he was out for the count. I figured I might as well just stay up until he was ready for his next bottle so I could have it ready and pump before too. So I caught up on some dvr, chatted with my sister, edited photos, and  was up later than I've been in a long time. Connor ate at midnight and we finally went to bed around 12:45ish. He woke up again at 4 and I was up until 5 giving him his bottles and pumping, then he woke at 6 for another bottle, then finally at 7:30 and at that point I figured we were close enough to 24 hours and let him nurse again. He was so happy to finally be back to normal! And I was glad not to have to fight with anymore bottles and pumping and dumping. I give huge props to moms who exclusively pump...it's double the work and such a pain!

We survived and I never want to do this again. Maybe it wouldn't have been so bad if Ken were home since Connor took bottles from him really well... or maybe if Connor was older and eating solids.... but it was still rough on us both and it's one of those things only a breastfeeding mother can understand. If you ever know someone who has to do something like this due to a medication being taken or whatever the situation.... please know that saying that "it'll be ok" or "it's only for a day" is not comforting in the least, especially when that mother has to listen to her baby cry and know that she can't give her baby what s/he wants. Acknowledging that it's hard and it sucks and hoping things go well/better/etc is a better way to talk that someone about it.

I have my neuro appointment next week and hopefully the results are good and this MRI was clear!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Aromatherapy Heat Wrap

In trying to come up with a replacement for bath time in Connor's nighttime routine, I was given advice to use a neck wrap that gets heated in the microwave and put it on his belly to simulate the warm water in the bath and it would help sooth his belly. Well he wasn't too happy with the neck wrap that I have (I think it's too heavy for his belly) so I set out to find one that was more of a rectangular shape that I could place on his belly/torso. I didn't see anything I liked on Amazon, as they were mostly neck wraps, so I tried a basic Google search. This led me to an Etsy seller who makes aromatherapy wraps, one of which was the exact size and shape I wanted. I almost considered buying one until I stopped and realized that I could totally make one myself for much cheaper and have it sooner than if I ordered it (there's a 3 week wait due to them being made when ordered).

So I checked my fabric stash and found some plain, soft material I had left over from a project I did with my kindergarteners years ago that would be perfect for the heat wrap. All I needed was rice, flax seed, and lavender to fill it and I cold get started. I ordered some rice and flax seed in bulk from Soap.com (great site... sister site of Diapers.com which I also love) and dried food-grade lavender from Amazon.com.

Here's how I did it...


36 oz white rice
16 oz flax seeds
dried lavender
soft, thin fabric (I used one long piece approximately 10 x 28 inches)


  1. Sew two pieces of fabric together, right-side in, leaving one end un-sewn (I folded my piece in half and sewed just the sides together, leaving the top open). Turn right-side out.
  2. Sew 3 straight lines, equally spaced long ways, creating 4 pockets with openings at the top. Make sure to leave about a 1/2 inch space from the top so you can fold it under when you sew it closed. 
  3. Mix rice, flax seeds, and lavender (I used about a handful but you can vary the amount depending on how strong you want it to smell). This will give you extra for making more wraps, I mixed and stored mine in a gallon ziploc bag. If you only plan on making one wrap, you can reduce the amounts. 
  4. Next, I poured about a cup of the mixture into each pocket. You want to make sure not to fill the pockets all the way to leave room for the mix to spread out and have flexibility. Ideally you want the pockets 2/3-3/4 full. If you have a clean funnel, it would make this part easier (I did not have one and it was a bit of a pain). 
  5. Now, fold the extra fabric at the top in (secure with pins if you need to) and sew closed.
That's it! Actual time it took me was probably 10-15 minutes. I'm definitely going to make more and make cute covers for them. I'm also going to make some scent packs with the lavender to put throughout the house since I have so much of it.


My finished piece is approximately 10 x 14 inches. You could really make this into any size or shape you desire. The key is to create the pockets for the stuffing so it doesn't all pool into one end of the wrap. Then make a cover to hide the pockets and make it look nice :). Hopefully I'll be able to make a nice cover for Connor's wrap soon. For that I'd like to go buy some cute fabric for though, so it may be a little while.

Happy Sewing!