Friday, February 3, 2012

Issues and non-issues

4 weeks casted, 8 weeks to go.

So I keep getting on here to write the second part of my "The Next" post, but it's just not flowing. Perhaps because it's difficult to even consider having another kid right now because we're currently having some difficulties with the one we've got. Nothing terrible mind you...but draining all the same.

So, apparently some of the things I thought would be a big problem come cast time are turning out to be relative non-issues. Kaia has been in the cast 4 weeks now and since we've added the puppy piddle pad 'runner' down the back of her cast we've had very few issues with 'poo-splosions'. The cast has no noticeable odor (actually it has a 'cast' type odor which is very non-offensive) and I've had relatively little problem keeping Kaia clean. Although it would be easier to pop her in the bath, I think both Kaia and I have come to enjoy her 'bed baths' on the kitchen counter. She definitely seems to enjoy the foot massage I give her at the end which is kind of cute. I'm sure her legs are nasty and dry, but since they're under the cast, it's not an issue. Dressing her has been okay too, although she does look a bit ridiculous in her over sized clothes, but we got a bunch of knock off baby legs from China (10 pair for $28!!) and they are fun to accessorize with.

It's her mood that has been more of a problem. Pre-cast Kaia use to be a very chill baby, easy to soothe and happy to just watch what's going on. I could pop her in her swing and she would happily kick and play and bat at her toys for over an hour, even fall asleep sometimes. That's how I got all of my Christmas baking done. She'd play or nap and I'd make cookies! Now, however, she wants to be entertained ALL THE TIME. This means she wants to be seated on my lap, enjoying toys or pulling at my face or gnawing on her hands or bouncing or rocking or being sung to....etc, etc. Now I'm all for having lots of fun play time, but sheesh chicky...mommy sometimes has to eat and pee ya' know. Worse is that when not being entertained she whines. A moderately pitched, back of the throat kind of whine. When you first hear it, you think "oh that's not bad"....until it's all you hear...all the time.

She has also been quicker to cry lately too. She hasn't been much of a crier up until this point, but now at least once a day (and sometimes more often) Kaia has an all out melt down cry. Where nothing will soothe: not a bottle, not a hug, not rocking or bouncing and you just have to wait it out. By the end she has exhausted herself and has tears running down her face and a snotty nose. It's so sad...and depressing to not be able to do anything to make it better.

Sleep has been the other big issue. Twice this week she's been awake until 1 am or later. Usually that was a very RARE occasion. She also use to be a fairly consistent napper in the afternoon. I'd often get her down for over an hour, sometimes even two or three. This week it's been more like cat naps. I'll put her down, go to pump and *just* finish and think "oh good, now I'll..." WAAAAAWHHHHHHH!!!!!!! *crap, never mind*

It's also hard to see other babies close to the same age as Kaia doing things like rolling over, and sitting up. She can't do any of that. She can push up a bit on her hands when she's on her tummy, but otherwise she has no ability to move on her own. I'm sure that's what's contributing to her grouchiness. I wish she was a little freer to develop some "mad baby skillz" which I could ooh and ahh over. I know she'll do all those things eventually, but until then she's more helpless than she or I would like.

On the positive side Kaia continues to have the biggest, best smile I have ever seen. She makes lots of noises including this weird 'inhale' laugh thing that I think is kind of funny but it creeps Brian out because he says it sounds like she's panicking. I think she does it because it makes us look at her and that's what she's all about lately. ATTENTION! Kaia's very social and LOVES parties where there is a lot of people around. Last weekend we were at Brian's brother's place for about 6 hours and she was a happy camper the whole time we were there and she barely even napped. I always get comments at these things like "Oh my goodness, she's just the best baby." Which she is... She just wants the party to happen EVERY DAY! ALL THE TIME! COME OVER TO MY HOUSE AND ENTERTAIN ME!!! She doesn't mind being passed around to different people and seems content in everyone's arms. She's also growing really well. At her appointment to get her RSV shot this week, with a little math (7.53 kg - 1.o3 kg for the cast) we figure she weighs exactly 6.5 kg (14.3 lbs), so I'm happy with her growth.

I keep getting a push from some of her doctors to start solids since she's almost 7 months actual and 5 months adjusted. And while I'm looking forward to cutting down on the pumping, I'm kind of nervous about starting anything new while she's in the cast. Even on a purely breast-milk diet Kaia had a bit of constipation this week, and while that seems to have been resolved, it makes me a little hesitant to start adding things to her diet which are unfamiliar. The last thing we want is her MORE uncomfortable in a cast. Plus, she can't sit up easily to eat (she won't fit in a high chair so we'd have to hold her) and mushed up solid baby food = messy. Cast + messy = dirty smelly baby.

One thing we are looking forward to is that Kaia's cast change is coming up in a week and a half. I'm going to ask her surgeon if her second cast needs to be *quite* so high as part of her frustration is not being able to easily put things in her mouth due to the cast being in the way. Also it might free up her torso to move a bit which might make her happier. They have to put her under anesthesia to change the cast, which is unfortunate as it means all the prep for surgery (no milk for 4 hours beforehand)...however the cast change comes at the half way point so that means we are almost halfway done and halfway to a working hip (pleaseohpleaseohplease)!

So that's what's up with us lately.

Some pictures of Kaia in a happy mood!


  1. She looks like a very happy baby! I had sleep issues recently with Emma too, I wonder if it is not an age thing. I managed to solve them by making her sleep regularly every two hours pretty much. Sometimes even sooner than two hours. I described my schedule in the last post, but something that looked like excessive sleeping has helped with her mood a lot. As for solids, get some organic baby rice cereal, it is not constipating I find, esp. given the breast milk diet, and also it does not smell or stain.

  2. She is gorgeous. You are doing a great job, under very trying circumstances.

  3. What a beautiful girl! Thinking of you....

  4. Seriously...that FACE!!!

    As for the whining, it's like Pavlov's being the dog...she whines you come and entertain. Try not to acknowledge when she is whining. If it's constant, try and catch even a small moment when she isn't making the noise.

    BELIEVE me...I have a 9 year old who whined (and cried and then cried some more after that) and I am now paying for having always given in to it.

    As they get older, if you continue to jump when she makes the whining noise, it will manifest itself in many more ways than just making the "noise".

    She clearly wants something when she is whining, but what I am saying is don't acknowledge it, but try and figure out a way to play/entertain her when she isn't doing it.

    My 2 cents :)

  5. She's so sweet. I can't believe she can have those gorgeous cheeks and only weigh 14 lbs. I'm glad you are surviving the cast and that cast time is almost half done. Fingers crossed for you guys that the re-cast goes well and that they can make it not so high on her chest.

    I would also tend to want to wait on the solids until she was out of the cast too. Clearly you make good milk or she wouldn't have those cheeks. If she was not in the cast and you tried solids and she wasn't interested yet, the doctor would be fine with you waiting another month instead of forcing her to eat, so why not wait.

  6. She's so cute! I hope all goes well with the cast change. It will probably be such a relief to have the cast time half over. It sounds frustrating for everyone.

  7. She's looking more and more stunning all the time. I know it's really hard on you (and Kaia) to be casted, but you are 33% done! It's also nice to see a happy Kaia despite the frustrating situation. :) Love her smiles.

  8. Awww for the happy Kaia! I know that you and she are having hard time with the cast but I sooo hope the weeks will pass by quickly and that half time will be followed by OFF time!!

  9. What a perfect smile!

    I know it is hard to see other babies getting on and developing whilst your little one can't. But I'm sure Kaia will catch up just fine and you're nearly half way done now!

  10. I really vote for the taking time on the solids front school of thought! No reason to hurry or rush.