Monday, April 4, 2011

The Story So Far...

Well...It has been two months (okay 9 weeks) and while that doesn't sound like a very long time, it has felt like much more. I have heard and read many times how much life changes after having a baby and normally I would resist being so cliche but WOW, life is soooo different now, and yet it is hard to imagine a time when Gideon wasn't here. I guess that means we are starting to find our rhythm.

So the story thus far has gone like this:

First, Gideon is born, labor is traumatic and unfortunately emotionally damaging for me but the hospital stay is really nice. Mac and I loved the food and the support and we felt a really close bond with each other and with out son.

Next we head home, we shun our dogs to their cages, we buy lots of sheets for out bed and diapers. Breastfeeding is difficult at first (understatement) but at the same time it's pretty cool spending so much time with Gideon and bonding. Gideon for his part sleeps a lot, mostly when he is supposed to be eating, and yet somehow Mac and I don't seem to be getting any sleep at all, but it's a good life.

Then there is concern over Gideon's weight loss and we start seeing blood in his dirty diapers. He cries inconsolably every night and breaks his parents' hearts. We switch pediatricians and discover that Gideon has an intolerance to something in my breast milk. We begin the science experiment to determine exactly what it is that is making him sick and sad. After a week and a half the experiment has failed and we make the decision to stop breastfeeding. Just when we had finally figured out this whole eating thing it comes to an abrupt end. I am both relieved and heartbroken. This seems to be the beginning of my troubles.

Right around 3 weeks I come unglued. The stress of Gideon being sick, the trauma of his birth, the sudden lack of hormones, and a severe lack of confidence in my own instincts combines with post partum depression to create what my mother calls a "prefect storm." Now I am the inconsolable one, crying every morning for no reason, feeling weak and disconnected, afraid to be alone with the baby. This part of the story sucks but it is the truth and it is important. I asked for help, I reached out to family and friends and I was supported in a way that brings tears to my eyes. I learned not to be afraid to let people in and how to be vulnerable. I learned to be honest with myself and others about my feelings. I learned that it will get better and this too shall pass.

And get better it did! Switching to Alumentum formula worked! Gideon gained weight, I gained confidence, and things began to calm down, until Grandad Walker got sick. Roy Mack was one of the first members of Mac's family I met and to be honest he has always been my favorite. So much so that I named my son after him (Gideon MACK). When we heard he was in the hospital we loaded up the car and drove the 6 hours to Amarillo so he could meet his great grandson. The next weekend Mac was back in Amarillo for the funeral. Roy Mack had touched many lives with his kindness and beautiful spirit so it was a difficult time for a lot of people. We are so glad that he met Gideon, it was the trip of a lifetime.

The week after the funeral Gideon and I both got sick. Luckily Gideon was only a little congested, unfortunately I got a case of tonsillitis that made me want to die. Just as we were getting over our various ailments we were hit with another germ. Gideon has been very lucky in that there has only been one weekend of his entire life that a grandparent hasn't held him and told him how much they love him. That one weekend came when we all got a flu bug that spread like wildfire from Gideon to Mac and I and even to our parents. Yuck. For days Gideon was pooping soo much that his diapers could not contain it. I have never done so much laundry.

Once everyone was well I purchased and started to implement Baby Wise. At first I was skeptical but now I am loving it! While we are still refining our technique, I now have a little boy who naps during the day and for the most part is able to put himself to sleep without rocking or singing. All of this great sleep has made for one smiley little boy (or as I call him, Smiler Jones M.D.)

At our 2 month check up I was amazed by how much time has passed and how much Gideon has grown! He even sleeps in his crib at night instead of in the bassinet in our room, he grabs and kicks the toys hanging over his playmat and he frequently graces us with gummy baby smiles. This past weekend we took his 2 month picture on his owl quilt and Mac put together this comparison pic to illustrate his amazing change over such a short period of time. On the left is teeny tiny Gideon at 3 weeks and on the right is our monster baby at 9 weeks.

So life is pretty good around the Edwards house. We are still working it out (sleeping, eating, bathing, playing, tummy time, everything!) but we know we can do it cause we all make a pretty good team. And now it is time to make a bottle. Goodbye for now!

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