A baby that doesn't like to eat

Atlas, my boy, I know you are teeny, I know you are tired, I know you are fragile, but please please please be nice to your Mommy. Through some very patient hard work, we have managed to get him to a whopping 6 pounds. WHOPPING.
He obviously was not ready for this eating challenge. Why did ya have to come out early then? He does not like to open his mouth. He does not like to wake up.  He does not respond to stripping off his clothes, a cold cloth, an ice pack even. He is gassy. He screams when he has a burp that he can't get out, which is every 5 minutes. He spits up like an active volcano on constant high alert. He is still fighting jaundice, which makes him more tired. In fact he's been on the high end of the accepted levels in his bilirubin since birth, even with two days of photothreapy. I almost wish he was beyond the threshold so he can have more phototherapy to help him out, just a little. This preemie thing has been frustrating yet lovely at the same time. Sleep has eluded me long ago, but the more hours I'm awake the more I get to see this little precious face. So am I complaining? Yes. No! Sorta. I guess. I should stop.

Bye Bye Po Po

My mother, Po Po to Castle and Atlas, has gone home now. She lives a way too far five hour plane ride away. We us four must scheme harder to get my parents to move to Beautiful British Columbia. Having an other grandchild has up the ante by 200%, me thinks. It's just a mater of time. All of us are counting the days (umm... ...years) until they retire. Hurry it up!

Second Time Around

I've discovered that I'm handling the sleeplessness associated with a newborn much better the second time around. I know what to expect now. Even with a toddler, I'm surprised to have a much better perspective. That or the weird Chinese soups that my Mom is making for me really works. We are not traditional like that, but the rest of my family are. My aunt insisted that I have the weird Chinese soup. My sweet kind lovely mother politely obliged. And in turn I try my best to down the endless bowls of dark brown odd smelling liquid without cringing too much.
Only a few more days of it left, because my Mom is leaving soon.
I wish she could stay longer, maybe even forever, even if I need to drink the icky soup everyday.
Reality will really kick in once she is gone. I love her so.

These Two

It's been a joy watching these two boys interact. Castle is constantly asking if baby Atlas is awake so he can hold him. 
Is it bad of me to wonder when this novelty will wear off? I grew up sibling-less, so I have no idea what they are going through. To this day I still wish I had a sister, or brother, or both. I hope and pray that these two boys will have a great relationship, that they will be besties for life.

Big Bro and Little Bro

Big brother Castle has been a dream of a good boy since his little brother appeared on the scene. Castle does have his moments but nothing more of what he usually tantrums about. Yet, there was one thing that he threw a fit about which was out of the ordinary. He got upset when he couldn't hold his baby brother for longer. "More hold baby Atlas? More?"

Our Preemie - The Great Pretender

How I love newborns, especially preemie newborns. They are so tiny, most people don't ever get to see their babies that small. We've been home for four days now, and its been mildly challenging caring for our great pretender of a newborn. Atlas likes to pretend he's a full term boy, but we have to be careful not to treat him as such. He is technically not supposed to be here yet, but he is. 
We went to the paediatrician for a check up and found out that he is not gaining enough weight. He is hovering around 5 lbs. He had his 6th blood test and his bilirubin is borderline for more phototherapy. We do not want to go back to the hospital. So all efforts are being made to fatten him up. He is so little that he gets tired when he feeds, he stops without getting enough milk into that tiny little body. We have to wake him up to eat every three hours. To help him along I have switched to bottling expressed milk, this way he doesn't tire himself out and we get to keep track of how much his intake is. It's been a day since the switch and he is already feeling heavier to me.
Had we not cared for a preemie before we wouldn't have known to do this. Castle at the same gestation was still being tube fed partially, because he wasn't strong enough to go to the breast or bottle at every feed. Going through NICU for two months with Castle taught us a lot. I think every parent should get the kind of education we had in NICU. We had workshops on everything from infant CPR to breastfeeding. Plus we learned one of the most effective ways to burp a baby - the Australian roll. Sit baby up, hold the head up by supporting the jaw bone with one hand in the front and one hand on the back of their head, then move their torso slowly clockwise like you are stirring a pot. Success every time by the 5th roll. We will need to weigh Atlas in a few days to see how much he has gained. We are hoping that he packs on some chub!

A (Non) Birth Story: For Real This Time

Dear Baby,
Mommy's labour and delivery went by so fast, it was exactly as she was expecting. She had been on bed rest because you tried to come out at 28 weeks. Already 3cm dilated since then, all the doctors and nurses told Mommy that if anything happens, she needed to get herself to a hospital as quick possible.
On the early evening of January 3rd, Mommy was lying on the couch watching your big brother play, and Daddy was just about to start making dinner. Suddenly Mommy felt a really strong sharp pain and felt her water break. It was trickling and she immediately knew she had to get to the hospital, fast! We called Auntie Chelle to come take care of your big brother Castle as she was just visiting. 
Mommy felt her first contractions within minutes. The first one was strong, then the second one was even stronger. She knew she didn't have much time. Daddy drove through rush hour traffic as best as he can to the hospital, luckily we were going against traffic and it wasn't busy because it was still during Christmas break. Mommy and Daddy prayed the entire way there because Mommy's contractions were very strong and coming less than a minute apart. They were so strong that Mommy felt the urge to push. She was trying to hold you in but that just made them hurt more. You wanted to come out and we weren't at the hospital yet! 
Good thing Mommy still had her rental wheelchair in the back of the car, Daddy wheeled Mommy up to the maternity ward, waiting for the elevator felt like it took forever. The other thing that took forever was being admitted, Mommy had two very strong contractions while she was waiting, they were unbearable. A nurse wanted to wheel Mommy into an observation room, Mommy said no need for that because you are coming out, NOW! 
Mommy wanted to push you out the entire time she was waiting for the doctors and nurses to get set up in the delivery room. They weren't ready but she pushed anyway. Mommy felt much better after she started pushing. The doctors and nurses did a great job taking care of you and Mommy despite all the commotion. The doctor said to Mommy, "You are not kidding around when you said you are gonna have a baby, aren't you?!" Mommy even had bloodwork drawn while she was pushing. 
From the time mommy and daddy arrived at the hospital parking lot to the time she was holding you, it was only half an hour. There were no complications during the delivery nor did Mommy require any stitches. The doctors said Mommy can come back anytime to have babies at that hospital because the doctors didn't need to do much.
You were born on January 3rd at 6:07pm. You weighed 5lbs 6oz and you were a month early at 35 weeks gestation. Right after you were born, you laboured a little in your breathing, the paediatrician thought it would be best for you to go to NICU so they can keep an eye on you more closely. Over night you did well breathing on your own and you were feeding well too. You spent one night in NICU but you came back to stay with Mommy in her room the next day. 
You were tested for jaundice and sure enough, just like your brother, you needed phototherapy. You also lost a lot of weight in the first two days because you were not eating enough. Mommy tried her best to fatten you up, and she stayed with you in the hospital until your phototherapy was finished. So after 4 days, we all went home! We were so excited because not all babies born this early get to go home so soon. And just in time too because Mommy was getting very sick of hospitals and she missed your Daddy and brother Castle so much.
You are a wonderful precious healthy baby, and everyone is so thankful that you did stay inside of Mommy for as long as you did. Most of all we finally got to confirm that you are a BOY!  Happy BIRTH DAY to you, Atlas.

Chalkboard Hockey

He asked for a hockey net.
We live in an 800 sq.ft. apartment.
He got one anyway.

A Brand New Year

Happy 2013!
It's here, and I've been anxiously waiting for this day for a couple of months now. 2012 has been jam packed of nonstop action and adventure for our family, including both very highs and very lows. It was our year of growth, in every aspect of our lives. I'm so thankful that we made it. Most of all, I'm thankful that baby #2 is still inside of me. We are looking forward to what's in stored for us in 2013. I would like this year to be more calm and low key, yet I have a feeling that it's not going to be that way. (A new baby will change a few things!) We shall find out.

A very happy new year from our family to yours!
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