TODDlings

As most of you know, our sperm donor for Jaxson was a guy nicknamed “Todd”. The childhood picture NY Cryos gives you seems to indicate that he’s a very handsome fellow and so its no surprise that a lot of women would choose him to “father” their children! I have mentioned before that I have had a few people reach out to me because of this blog who have also chosen him, and while overwhelming at first, it is actually pretty cool now. Times are changing and this new world we live in is changing the shape and face of families and the future.

I keep a running list of the TODDling parents that have found me via this blog. So far we know of 14 total families plus ours, two of which include TODD siblings:

  1. V & K in Washington, girl born November 2010 & boy born January 2015.
  2. C in Norway, girl born May 2011.
  3. J & S in California, boy born August 2011 & girl born February 2015.
  4. A in Pennsylvania, girl born August 2011.
  5. P in Germany, girl born November 2011.
  6. M & T in Florida, girl born November 2011.
  7. M & G in Illinois, boy born December 2011.
  8. K in New York, girl born August 2012.
  9. M & T in Denmark, girl born November 2012.
  10. C & K in Arizona, girl born December 2012.
  11. C in New York, girl born December 2012.
  12. C & A in England, girl born January 2013.
  13. B & J (that’s us!) in Florida, boy born January 2013.
  14. H in Israel, boy born February 2013.
  15. L & L in New York, girl born May 2013.

I have most of these other moms on Facebook which is quite wonderful since I love looking at the pictures of their babies. It is so amazing how similar they all really look to each other! I’m sure they enjoy perusing the deluge of pictures J and I also take and post. C and I had discussed briefly about maybe starting up a private Facebook group for all of us to keep in touch, and in June 2014 we finally did. It is almost comforting in a way to know that there are other moms out there, dealing with similar issues, and its actually valid advice and information because our children are related. Our children have the same half-sibling relationship as my brother and sister do to me, and I think that is pretty neat. I think we are all still hesitant to be like, “Hey you, you’re a donor kid and these are your brothers and sisters.” It’s different and deeper than that, but I do still feel invested in the others’ lives. I care about them and wonder about them and wonder how they are dealing with life and developing into little people. I feel almost as I would imagine a step-parent does, sharing a connection with these children that isn’t required, but freely given. We are, I believe, creating a new “normal” in this crazy world of ours.

I’m glad to be a part of that, and if there are any more TODDlings out there, please reach out to me! You can leave a blog comment, or email me at beffoney@gmail.com. If you’re on Facebook, I’ll find you and add youย on Facebook soย I can add you to the private group. We’d all love to get to know you!

Crunchy

Being a parent is hard sometimes. Like, really hard. Sure there are the times when it is all worth it, like when Jaxson is cooing and staring at you with awe like you are the coolest thing he’s ever seen (who knows, it could be true!). But then there are the nights like we’ve been having lately, where we both just want to run away from home for a little bit and sleep.

Jax has been really constipated since switching over to soy formula. His throwing up issues have gotten much better, and he only seems to vomit when he’s backed up in the poo factory. We’ve tried everything under the sun to help our little guy out, and then he finally has a great poo. Alas, it is a short-lived victory and within a day or so he’s back to (irregular) normalcy. Poor little Crunch.

It has been trying at times, for sure. There have been many tears shared among us at 3 am feedings and insecurities unloosed at the most inopportune times. But we’re getting through it. I think perhaps the worst part is the fact that anytime we go anywhere, Jax is absolutely perfect. He eats, poops, sleeps when we want/need him to. But as soon as we get home, the insanity starts all over. I really think people are beginning to think we’re mental, talking about his fits and potty troubles, but I promise, it is true. He is a GOOD baby, I’m not saying that at all. We couldn’t have a better baby! I just wish that we were able to remedy him sooner than later and for good.

Regardless, there are plus sides to parenthood. I mean, just look at this face!

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His bib is definitely telling the truth.

He is such a love! He really enjoys bathtime and last night we gave him a good soak in the big tub (he was nestled safely in his baby tub of course) to help with his belly troubles and although we make him do it, he really HATES tummy time. He’s eating like a champ now, averaging between 5-7 ounces at a go and last Friday we weighed him in at 11.2 pounds. He still has some time before his next Dr. visit to chunk up those thighs for his two-month shots! His eyes are still this wonderful dark blue color, and we both think they will end up being green. Either way, he is so handsome and everyone we meet seems to fall in love with him instantly. He makes this face all the time where he crunches everything up, including his body. I started calling him Crunchy from the start and it has stuck as his nickname. I suppose it could be much, much worse!

So aside from being full of poo (literally) he’s an amazing addition to our family and we couldn’t be happier. Well….we could be happier with a solid 6 hours of sleep, but that is still yet to come. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here are some videos of the little man at bathtime and playtime. I love his little Crunchy face! He is very serious most of the time and therefore we are still waiting for a real smile, not one resulting from gas or dreaming about food. ๐Ÿ™‚

First Month Musings

As anyone with a newborn can tell you, once that baby arrives, you barely have time to brush your teeth during the day, let alone sit down and write a blog about changing diapers, sleep-deprivation, breastfeeding (or lack thereof), and your new bundle of joy. Hopefully now that it has been a month since Jaxson’s arrival and our tailspin into chaos, we will be able to start finding our way back to a little bit of sanity and organization. Nothing could have prepared us for what life with a baby is really like, and we are just now finally starting to catch a break and get into a groove.

I’m going to touch lightly on a few highlights while I have a moment, so here goes:

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is hard. Jaxson was not able to latch at first because he was tongue-tied, so J had been exclusively pumping since the hospital. How they were unable to find out that Jax was so severely tongue-tied at the hospital is beyond me, but whatever. So we had his tongue clipped and yet he still couldn’t latch right afterwards. J’s milk supply just wasn’t enough, so we continued supplementing formula, which caused him all manner of upset stomach problems. After trying Similac, Enfamil, and finally Gerber GoodStart, we found that Gerber Gentle seemed to be the easiest on his stomach. J continued trying to get the little man to latch, with no success. Cue the turning purple in the face, gut-wrenching, “I am SO pissed right now Mom!” screaming on his part, and tears on J’s part as the most natural thing in the world just didn’t come naturally. And not for lack of trying. There were actually a few times where he was able to latch with the assistance of the nipple shield, but they only come in two sizes (small and medium) and that just wasn’t big enough. The last time J used it to try to get Jax to latch, he actually cracked both of her nipples. Ouch! She resigned herself to being “just a pumper” and kept on pumping, meanwhile feeling like a cow hooked up to a milking machine. As if her spirits weren’t down enough, she got a plugged milk duct…two actually. She says that this was way more painful than birth, so I’m thinking it hurts pretty bad. It is basically a cyst in your boob where the milk builds up behind it but can’t come out, so you get engorged and huge and it can lead to an infection. Which brings us to our next breastfeeding hurdle, mastitis. J’s boob with the plugged ducts became bright red and despite cold cabbage leaves and pumping her soul out, it kept getting worse. We even had to miss her sister’s wedding because of it, which we were so heartbroken about. She finally made it to the doctor who prescribed antibiotics and sent J on her way with strict instructions. Pump until its gone and then she can quit pumping and let her milk dry up. J waffled for a few days about just giving up, feeling like a failure and as if she was a horrible mom because she felt helpless and hopeless. But with the support of our mom’s and myself of course, she finally decided to clean up the pumping machine and pack it away for the future when I have a kid. The mastitis is finally resolving and Jax is now fully formula-fed…

Formula

Which brings us to our formula fun. Jax started out on Similac in the hospital to help with his jaundice, but after we got home and he started feeling better, he was getting a really upset stomach from it. Gassy, bloated, cranky little guy was just not into eating. So we switched him to Enfamil, thinking maybe that would help. No go, it only made him MUCH worse! So my mom actually suggested trying Gerber GoodStart which she had used for my sister who also had a sensitive stomach. We tried the Soothe version, which is supposed to help with gassiness and fussiness (check and double check!) and instead ended up bloating him up like a balloon! It was actually fizzy, as if you put Alka Seltzer in formula. For someone with a gassy belly already, I don’t know how that fizzy mess was supposed to help, but it didn’t and he was just as cranky. So we tried the Gentle version and voila! Some relief! Except that now every time Jax eats, he vomits everywhere. I know that babies spit up and get gross cheesy neck sometimes, but this is every. single. time. he eats. He could eat 4 ounces, he could 1 ounce, and still we find ourselves two outfits and three burp cloths later going “WTF is wrong with this kid?!” He sneezes like crazy, coughs and gags, and gets all phlegmy in his throat and we’ve tried sucking out his mouth and nose after eating and it still doesn’t help. We tried burping him every ounce and every couple ounces and he still vomits. We try not to move him around too much and still he chokes and its almost to the point where we are afraid he’s going to choke himself in his sleep, so we’ve been putting him on his side in case he vomits at night, which has happened quite a few times. J has a milk allergy, and when she drinks cow’s milk it makes her phlegmy, cough, and sneeze. I’m lactose intolerant and milk and I don’t get along, and I get the upset belly like Jax. So we are thinking that he may just be having an intolerance or allergy to the milk in the formula and are hoping its an easy fix such as switching him over to the Soy formula. We are having our 1 month checkup this afternoon so we will find out what the pediatrician recommends.

Sleep

I think overall I get more sleep than J, just because I can fall asleep in 2 seconds, literally. My head hits the pillow and I’m gone. Not to mention that since I have to go to work during the week, she tries to take all the night feedings so that I can get up for work the next morning. However, while she’s had the mastitis so bad, she wasn’t able to lift her arm, and therefore couldn’t really handle the baby well. So I had to start taking over the night feedings too, or at least help with one or two of them. Now that she’s feeling better, she’s able to start taking over more, but I know its hard on her. We are trying to figure out which feeding I can take at night so she can get some rest and I don’t end up a zombie for work the next day, and it seems like I do the best taking the 2 or 3 AM feeding. Jax is waking up about every 3-4 hours to eat at night and downing a hefty 4 ounces at a clip sometimes. He is definitely growing! I think he will be 10+ pounds at the doctor’s this afternoon, because he is getting HEAVY to hold. He’s getting so tall too and finally starting to fit into 0-3 month and 3 month clothes now that he’s not a skinny mini. He sleeps like a champ though, and we finally put him to bed in his crib propped up on the Boppy pillow because he is a noisy sleeper and was keeping us up all night.

Bubba

Our cat Bubba is one cool guy. When we first got home from the hospital he showed a little bit of fear mixed with disinterest when it came to the baby. About a week later, he started peeing on the floor outside of J’s bathroom, where we keep his water dish. Every time he would drink, he would pee and we were starting to get frustrated, thinking he was acting out because of the baby. Then he began pooping right outside the cat box. Thinking it was just a behavioral problem, we tried to correct it, but J caught him peeing on the floor one day and it was almost as if he just couldn’t hold it to get to the litter box. We decided that he needed to go to the vet ASAP because it just didn’t seem right. So on Thursday, he went to the vet and we found out that he has feline diabetes and needs to be on insulin injections twice a day. He is such a good boy, though, he takes his shots like a champ and even comes to get me (I’m the one that does them since J’s a little squeamish!) if I don’t do it on time. I’m sure it helps that he gets a little wet food with it, so he gets a tasty treat to distract him. We were dealing with the diabetes for a couple of days before I heard him yowling in the bathroom Saturday night. I walked in, thinking there was a bug or he just wanted attention, and found him straining to pee and blood on the floor. Panicked, we called our vet who advised that it could be a bladder infection and to come in Monday morning to have him checked out. Bubba kept trying to go into the cat pan to pee and nothing was happening, just a few drops of blood, until we noticed him really straining to go. It was dark in the room with his cat pans, so we didn’t know something was wrong until he walked out into our living room, soaked in blood. Talk about panic! We scooped him up and packed the baby in the car and rushed to the emergency vet, where they did some tests and found a mass in his bladder. They said it could be a blood clot or possibly a growth, so we had to come back Monday for another ultrasound. We had to keep him locked up in the bathroom all night, which meant little to no sleep for either of us, on top of the worry for our little furry son. We took him back Monday but they were unable to get a good ultrasound so they just opted to give him the antibiotic shots as if it was a bladder infection and sent us on our way. Over the next couple days he finally seemed to be getting better and now, two weeks later, he is back in fighting form. He is loving on us again and sitting with us instead of hiding now, he even doesn’t really mind the baby too much and comes to hang out when we are feeding Jax. So $1200 later, at least he’s feeling better and acting normal again.

Miscellaneous

We just couldn’t catch a break this past month, and I found out that my employer sold our building to another company. At least we get to keep our jobs for at least 6 months until they figure out what to do with us, but I’m staying optimistic. At least they offer insurance so that I can put J and Jaxson on my plan once her employment ends this month. They actually filled her position while she was on maternity leave, so it worked out great that she was planning on not returning anyway. She actually got a job working from home for her cousin, helping out with her realty company, which is perfect timing all the way around. Her cousin needs the help and we need the extra money. Who knows, maybe we will be able to finally buy a house next year after all…if Bubba doesn’t cost us another fortune! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I am just happy we had just gotten in our tax returns so that we could afford to take care of him, and that it wasn’t cancer. You can’t put a price tag on that relief.

So that’s all I’ve got right now, Jax is fussing for lunch, but I wanted to share his one-month picture with all of you before I sign off. He is just so handsome I could die! ๐Ÿ™‚

1 Month