Thursday, August 30, 2012

Matthew's Summer

Matthew doesn't get much love on our blog, but that's not because I love him less.  I suppose it's cause he changes a lot less than Samuel since he's older. We are currently trying to think about plans for his 3rd birthday in October. Can you believe it?!?!

"Matthew, do you know that I love you very much?"
"I know, mommy.  Mommy?"
"Yes, Matthew?"
"When the traffic light turns red, we stop.  Mommy?"
"Yes, Matthew?"
"When there's a fire drill, we go outside.  When there's a tornado drill we go into the hallway where there's no glass windows and cover our heads. "

--Typical conversation.

My biggest brag on Matthew is that at 2 1/2 he can swim.  He can swim half the width of the pool at swim class under water all by himself.  He doesn't know how to swim on the surface yet and he can't come up for air under the water and then keep going, but he beats out a lot of kids years and years older than him already.  My fearless little athlete.  Here are just a few summer pictures:

One Month Later...

Well, it's been just over a month since we got and subsequently turned down our referral from Russia.  I've had lots of people ask us how we are doing and how much longer it will be so I thought i'd post.

It feels like such a long time ago that we got a referral, it's really hard to believe its only been like 5 or 6 weeks. It's been a hard wait, because patient has never been my strong point.  I was doing quite well waiting, until we got that referral and saw that little girl's picture and realized how badly I want this to happen.  I pray every day that we'll get a referral soon, within the next month, but I know that such timing is not my own...  It's hard to wait when my longing to meet my daughter and to have her home has grown, but we don't really have a choice.

We are making so many plans for this fall:
Next week, September 7th, I finish up my family medicine clerkship. Then, September 22 I take step 2 of my boards, then the 24th (my birthday), I begin my Emergency medicine clerkship.  Sometime about October 20th we manage to move the entire family, plus our temporary babysitter (thanks, Alicia!) and likely the dog across the country to Denver, CO for me to do my subinternship in internal medicine at University of Colorado Hospital.  Then, around November 16th, we again somehow manage to move the entire family across the country to Chapel Hill, NC so I can do a an elective in endocrinology at UNC Hospital.  Then, a month later, we return home to Dayton and it's pretty much Christmas.'s not like we have a tone of time and space to sit around waiting for Russia to call, but still, I long for them to call.  I tell Tim all the time that instead of doing any of the above activities, I'd rather go to Russia. So we'll see. I don't have any control over when they call or what I have to miss.

As far as timing, we really have no idea.  I haven't been given any time frame or any information other than to say that referrals coming out of Russia are "slow."  A passing comment was made to Tim from the adoption agency that she would be surprised if we didn't have a referral by November. But who knows, really. That still seems like a long time away to me, so it doesn't offer much consolation.

I'd say my main emotions are just impatience.  I am also filled with a deep longing that leaves me, at times, feeling empty and sad.  But I am so in love with all 3 of my boys that I am not weighed down by my sadness.  Occasionally we'll be driving or running or cooking and I'll turn to Tim, "Timmy?" "yes?" "I want a referral."  

Please, oh please, Russia.  Call us soon!

5 months old!

Ok, so I am really behind with the monthly posts on Samuel, cause he will be 6 months in 2 weeks. Alas, time flies.

Well, we went to the neurosurgeon to discuss his head and she diagnosed him with "mild to moderate plagiocephaly."  She recommended that we try aggressive "positional changes" to keep him off of the right side of his head in order to see if we get any change.  She thinks that with work, we can avoid the helmet, which seems to be a lot of work. You have to go to the doctor all the time with the helmet to check for skin breakdown and for fittings. So we are trying lots of things. The first step was to not swaddle him at night anymore.  I know a lot of mom's probably stop swaddling their kids a lot younger than 5 months, but I was attached to him sleeping through the night and worried that he would have a rough time.   Luckily, it was a seamless transition.  He still sleeps through the night but now he likes to sleep on his side (his left side) and sometimes rolls onto his stomach so now he is not sleeping and putting pressure on that side of his head.  I think this will help a lot.  He spends lots of time upright in his bumbo or exersaucer.  He is also "tripoding" now so he can hold himself sitting up on his arms for several minutes. I think in a few weeks he'll be sitting independently and this will also help a lot, too.   We try to never put him on his back during the day, but he rolls a lot so he ends up there at least part of the time. We go back in 2 months for a follow up.

At his neurosurgery appointment right at 5 months he weighed 15 lbs 1oz.

He wants to crawl really badly and he can scoot pretty well and does a lot of push ups to move himself forward.  He will be crawling after his big brother in no time!

He is a happy, vocal baby and has become quite fascinated with Matthew.  He loves to look at Matthew and laugh and smile, and Matthew laughs and talks to him and Samuel smiles back.  It is so precious to see my boys forming a bond and beginning to play together.  Having children is just so precious.  Time to bring in that sister....

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

4 months old!

Oh, baby Samuel.  I am so in love.

Samuel loves to smile and talk.  He recently has started laughing.  Priceless.  And he enjoys watching his big brother, which I am sure will continue for many years.  He continues to sleep and eat well, spit up like a fountain, and poop explosively through his outfits.  He ensures that we do laundry often!  He is still the happiest, most mellow baby on the block.

Samuel was 14 lbs 11oz at his check up (21%) and was 25 inches (20%).   He now rolls over both ways and can sort of sit up with balancing on his hands for about 2 seconds.


His head is lopsided.  I have diagnosed him with Plagiocephaly, a condition where part of the head is flat, usually caused by prolonged laying with his head resting on one side.  Apparently being such a good sleeper has its drawbacks.  I also think it has to do with how he was positioned when I was in labor...he as turned in a funny way and I think he head was pressed up against my pelvis.  Since my parental diagnosis, we have been putting him a lot more on his tummy (he is now quite active and enjoys the beached wheal inspired army crawl to move.  He is quite good...) and also sitting him up in his bumbo more often.  I switched him to sleep with his head at the other end of the crib.  These are all recommended to try to help the shape return to normal by decreasing the pressure on the spot of his head that he favors.  But not much has changed.  His condition isn't getting worse, it's just not getting better.
 If the condition is really bad, babies have to wear a helmet to correct their head shape. So our doctor, who agrees that his case is somewhat beyond the level you'd expect to go away on its own, is referring us to a Neurologist. I have heard that getting into to see the neurologist is really quite a challenge, and that it takes months to get an appointment. But we don't have months, because they say you need to treat between 4-6 months.  Though, she did say she's not sure they will do a helmet at all.  They see the "really" bad cases that she doesn't, so they may not be impressed.  This condition shouldn't cause any neurologic damage, though she thinks they might do some imaging to make sure his growth plates haven't closed prematurely.  She doesn't think they have because his head circumference is growing perfectly.   His condition is not that noticeable from the front, and he is so cute, I'm sure he'll rock the helmet look if needed.