Thursday, May 27, 2010

Happy 3rd Month

Happy 3rd Month!

Lately, we have been concentrating on the struggle (the feedings) with Matthew, but today we are going to celebrate the good, wonderful and beautiful that is Matthew.

I’m in love with…

Matthew’s cute dimples
The fact that he is best comforted by being held
His crooked smile
How much Alyssa and Jackson love him
His sweet disposition (except for feeding time)
How he tucks his hand in my shirt collar when he sleeps in my arms
His full mouth grin right as he is falling asleep
His crazy professor hair
The fact that he is a great sleeper
The way he furrows his brow (like Darren)
How he holds my finger when he calmly takes a bottle
His cute squishiness!

I love being his mom and thank God for my sweet baby Matthew!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Growth Curves- Ugh!

“I just don’t get it” - I can’t tell you how many times that statement is uttered in our house as we talk about Matthew’s eating. Some feedings are great, others are awful. The good news is that he has more good feeds than bad.

We’ve been trying to find the ‘cause’ but so far haven’t identified a 100% correlation between a bad feed and a host of different variables. I feel like I need to get out my statistics text book and run a multivariate analysis. A few of the variables tracked and reviewed: time of day, medication, medication time, sleep, bottle type, formula vs breastmilk, type of diaper and on and on. The bad feeds just don’t seem to have a rhyme or reason. I’m sure there is a reason, we just haven’t figured out what it is yet. We are not beyond suggestions….if you have a thought or suggestion, please drop us a line. We really want to get this figured out!

The feedings have been made more stressful because we are worried about Matthew’s slow weight gain. I HATE the growth charts. These are the charts that tell you of 100 babies born at the same time, what percentile weight, height and head measurement your baby falls. If you haven’t had the privilege of using (or stressing) about these charts, here is an example.

These charts have been driving me insane since February of 2006. That is when Alyssa started falling down the curve…from 50th percentile for weight to 25th to 20th. She was admitted to Austin’s Children’s Hospital March 2006 for failure to thrive (thanks to these fantastic charts). We came home w/a prescription for reflux meds and even more reason to stress about her feedings. Thankfully I gave up caring about the charts sometime around her first birthday and since that point, she has slowly crept back up the curve and is now about 50/50 for weight and height.

Then came Jackson and the second opportunity for these charts to drive me insane. Jackson started out in the 25th percentile for weight and, like Alyssa, slid down the chart. Jackson’s slide was even more dramatic, bottoming out somewhere in the 3rd percentile. He’s slowly making up ground, but was 20th percentile for weight and 50th for height at his last appointment. Thankfully we didn’t stress as much as we did with Alyssa, but it was still a stressor until probably his first birthday.

Now here’s Matthew. I had expected my third baby to slide down the chart and promised myself I wouldn’t stress about it. But then Matthew arrived as unique as unique can be. Not only is he a Hoy baby (which will probably make him a light weight baby) but he’s on his own curve…nobody knows what is typical for him. He struggles with feedings, so now we stress about the curve all over again. Is the slide just a typical Hoy slide or is it because of his poor feedings? I keep telling myself to relax—that even though he’s approaching the single digit percentiles, Matthew is gaining weight, just slower than ‘typical’. And he has adequate fat stores, as the gastroenterologist said, just looking at his double chin and chubby legs tells you that. But, the pediatrician appointment is around the next corner and she wanted a 3 pound weight gain since his two month and he’ll be lucky to have more than 2lbs gained by his four month visit. Ugh! I’m hopeful that our pediatrician will just relax and take a look at him instead of the charts. That’s what I’m trying to do! (Well, that AND trying to fix his eating issues.)

Stupid charts….they have been interfering with me enjoying my infants since 2006!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

What Would You Do

Last night as I flipped channels, I stopped upon ABC’s 20/20 What Would You Do?, catching the beginning of a segment where they test how shoppers react when a customer calls a sacker with down syndrome “retarded”. A 2 min 43 sec clip can be found here. The entire 8 min 25 sec segment can be found here under 'Who Stops Grocery Clerk Abuse?'.

I cried during this segment, and I now tear up every time I think about it. I cry, not because I fear someone will do that to my sweet Matthew, but because I’m so thankful that there are people in this world that will speak up for him and for all the other kids who are unique.

I’m embarrassed to say that I’m not sure I would have been one of those people 3 months ago. I would have thought that the offender was awful and an idiot, but I wouldn’t have wanted to confront a stranger. Now I know better. Now I’m hopeful that not only will I speak up and Darren will speak up, but that Alyssa and Jackson will always speak up. They will be better people because they have Matthew as a brother!

For those that already speak up, thank you! For those, like me, who were afraid to speak up, please consider standing up to protect my sweet Matthew and all of the unique. Thank you!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hearing Test- Take 2

Good news! Today we journeyed down to Texas Children’s for Matthew’s follow up ABR (diagnostic hearing test). Thankfully Matthew took a good long nap while the test was run, avoiding sedation. Matthew’s hearing has improved. He still has normal hearing in his right ear and the hearing in his left ear has improved to mild/moderate hearing loss (compared with moderate/severe while we were in the hospital). The audiologist even ran the newborn screen (the one that he originally failed), and his hearing improved so much that he passed the newborn screen. The audiologist said improvement is rare, but does happen. Thankfully it happened in Matthew!! We have a follow up ABR in 3 months to check again.

In addition to being thrilled with this good news, we’ve been enjoying Matthew as he interacts with us. He now 'talks' with us, gives us his cute, crooked smile and kicks his legs and waves his arms in excitement. We are overjoyed with him meeting these ‘milestones’ (albeit just a bit later than ‘typical’) and are relishing everyday with our squishy boy. We are able to enjoy this time even more because he’s giving us more sleep at night. We are averaging 7 hours, and he’s given us up to 8 hours a few nights. I do love sleep…hopefully I didn’t just jinx us!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Baby Cup

I spoke too soon! Matthew’s feedings haven’t been good since I blogged last. Oh well, I know he can have that perfect feed and we’ll keep working at it. I’m hopeful we are turning a corner, albeit not as fast as we’d like. As well, Mommy’s Day was dependent on good weather and was washed out due to our much needed rain. We’ll make it later in the month and hope for sunnier weather then.

So, today we went to run errands and fought our way through Costco with the other rain soaked folks. After we returned, as I fed Matthew, I listened to this encounter of Darren pressing Jackson to use a regular cup instead of a sippy cup.

Jackson: Can I please have some apple juice?
Darren: In a big boy cup or a baby cup?
Jackson: (I cant see him but can almost hear his brain turning) Ummm.. (pause) baby cup?
Darren: Okay, here (hands him the sippy cup)
Jackson: This isn’t baby cup, this is cookie monster cup
Darren: Tomato, tomato
Jackson: No Daddy, not tomato, cookie monster.