Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Perron Update

Hi guys!

I haven't posted pictures of our little peanut in a while so I wanted to put some up for your viewing pleasure. Perron is doing well. We took him in last Thursday for his two month check up and his first round of shots. He weighed 7 lbs 14 ozs at that appointment so he has officially doubled in size since he was born. He was also 20 and 1/2 inches, so he has grown 2 1/4 inches too! He is growing so fast. He did great with his shots and barely cried at all. He ran a low grade fever for about 24 hours and he got huge knots on his legs, but he didn't seem too bothered by it all. He is still pretty fussy and we are hoping he grows out of it soon. Preemies are generally fussier than full term babies and that seems to be the case with him. I think he feels trapped inside his body because he has been alive for almost 11 weeks, but really developmentally he is around a 5 to 6 week old and that frustrated him. He is working on finding his hand and I am hoping that will happen soon so he can help soothe himself. He is not really smiling yet, but we feel like he is getting close. You can tell when things kind of amuse him because he gets a little smirkish look on his face but no full on smile.

We found out bad news today about his RSV shots. We had been told on Friday that he was approved for shots and we would even get a home health nurse to come out and give them to us. Unfortunately, there was some confusion with the new BCBS guidelines and he now only qualifies for one! Can you believe it. The new guidelines say a baby born between 32 and 35 weeks qualifies for up to 3 shots prior to their three month birthday. Well perron turns 3 months on October 18th so we only get one. We are really upset and waiting for the doctor's office to call us back and see if there is anything we can do. The shots are several thousand dollars a piece so it is too expensive to cover them out of pocket. So it looks like we will really be on lock down this winter. It is so depressing because I want to be able to take him out and show him off, but we can't risk it. So many of our friends and even family members have never even seen him before. Boo! Sometimes life stinks!

I head back to work in a week and a half. I am ready to be back and I think it will be good for everyone. It is definitely a huge relief to know that he is going to just be going to my mom's. I would FREAK out if I was having to put him in day care.

We love him more everday and our so glad he is ours!

I love to play play

Tummy Time

Tummy time makes me sleepy

Very Very


Hitching a ride with mommy at the farmer's market.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Top Ten: Part 2

Okay so here is a continuation of my top 10.

5. Multi-tasking. This word is taken to a whole new meaning once you have a baby. I always thought that I had this skill down pat, but I am know an expert. The other day I found myself hooked up to my pumps, blow drying my hair, standing on one leg, and bouncing Perron with the other while I tried to get ready to get out the door. Gone are the leisurely days of doing one morning task at a time. No siree, i can now do all of them at one time! I have a feeling this skill is going to come in handy in two weeks when I go back to work.

4. Pumping. Okay this is an experience only the lucky few get to deal with. Due to all of the circumstances surrounding Perron's birth I made the decision to pump exclusively with him and not really try breast feeding. Now don't get me wrong, that boy loves to eat and is a great nurser, but with his prematurity and he reflux issues it is more important for me to know exactly how much he is eating at any one time. Little did I know that when i made this decision it would DOMINATE my life. I have a complete love/hate relationship with my pump. It all depends on how good Perron is behaving that day. I have a confession to make. I have a VERY fussy child. (It was really hard for me to admit that but now that I have embraced it it is much easier.) I frequently end up pumping with him lying in my lap screaming and kicking my breast shields...while they are attached. ARE YOU SERIOUS! Like it doesn't hurt enough to have your nipples sucked back and forth in a plastic tube, but I have to add my son kicking me while I am doing it. Sometimes life is not fair :)

3. Diaper Changing. Okay so we all took the Preparing for Parenthood class before we had our babies. They had us change diapers on little dolls as "practice" for when we had to change our own babies diapers. Luckily I was prepared for this skill because I have changed a lot of diapers in my day. What they didn't prepare you for is that babies don't really like getting their diapers changed! Now call me crazy, but if I had to sit in my own waste, I would be kissing the feet of the person that changed my pants....not screaming bloody murder at them. Perron literally acts like he is being tortured everytime he gets his diaper changed. Go figure.

2. Guilt. Okay...this one isn't that funny, but it is just as true as all the others. I was not prepared for the amount of guilt I would feel as a mommy. There is a special breed of guilt associated with being a mommy of a preemie. It is very hard knowing that because your body failed your baby that they had to endure hardship that they shouldn't have had to endure. While we did get the joy of meeting our little man early he has had some issue that would probably not have been issues if I had been able to do my job.

1. LOVE. Love like you have never known before. I look at Perron all the time and can't believe that Stephen and I have created this perfect little creature. He is our true joy and our lives are so much fuller now that he is here. I don't think anything can prepare you for the love you feel for your child until you have one. It is definitely all encompassing (and it certainly needs to be when he is on his fifth straight hour of crying :))

Top Ten: Part 1

As the next installment of my own personal baby manual, I will be sharing a Letterman-esque top ten list of things about parenting that are not shared in most baby books.

10. You will become obsessed, and I do mean OBSESSED, with another persons body functions. Here are a list of things that I never thought I would hear myself say that are now very regular parts of my vocabulary. "Did he poop yet?" "How much?" "Did you trying and help him (don't get too grossed out I just mean by bending his legs up)?" and my all time favorite "Let me see". Are you kidding me!!! You mean to tell me that in two short months, I went from being totally disgusted by other people's poop to asking to look at it. Yep ladies and gentlemen, that is what being a parent will do to you.

9. You will become quite the song writer. Now I must admit, this was a talent of mine even before we had a baby, but I have really honed my craft. Here is a list of some of the new Crigler Family Favorites. Again you will notice a strong body function theme in all of my new work.

Here comes Perron Poo Poo Pants
I've Got a Poot
Poop Poop Poop in my Belly

8. You will do things like post on your blog at 4:30 in the morning. That's right ladies and gentlemen, you will find a whole host of ways to entertain yourself in the middle of the night. Gone are the pre-baby days when seeing 4:30 in the morning must have signaled that you had a REALLY fun night out on the town and could now sleep until 1 in the afternoon. In fact, gone are the pregnancy days where you would only see 4:30 briefly on your way to the bathroom for the 12th time. I would kill for those days because at least i could go back to sleep immediately.

7. You will do WHATEVER it takes to get your baby to sleep and stay asleep. Everyone says "All babies like to do is sleep". Okay let me clear up a little myth for you guys. Yes all babies like to sleep, but that could only be in fifteen minute increments or only if you are holding them or only when you are desperate to try and get somewhere on time and don't want to wake them up. What people don't tell you is babies don't like to sleep during the night....or in their crib....or while you are stuck in a traffic jam. No sir, that is when they want to SCREAM!

6. You will do things you said you would NEVER do to get your baby to sleep. This relates heavily to number seven. Just yesterday Perron fell asleep in his car seat and was out like a light. He hadn't slept well all day so I decided I would gingerly take his car seat out of the car and promptly put it in his bedroom (with him still in it) and turn up the static on his little clock radio really loud (who needs a fancy white noise machine) and let him stay sleeping in his car seat.

5. You will learn how to do everything one handed. Here is a list of things I can now do one handed that I used to think would be virtually impossible.

I can go to the bathroom while holding a baby.
Even better than that I can pull up my underwear and pants one handed. Now this might not sound that difficult, but for all of you non-mommies, grab a sack of potatoes and jiggle it around while simultaneously pulling up your pants.'s not as easy as it looks.
I can answer work emails one handed.
I can definitely eat one handed...that one is a pretty rookie skill that is developed pretty early.

Okay...I have to cut this post short because someone is hungry and I am done pumping (don't know there will be something on my list of top ten paying homage to the pump). Stay tuned for the second half of my top ten list. Don't only gets better :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

2 Months Old

Dear Perron,

We can not believe that you are already two months old. The time has gone by so fast. With each day a little more of your personality comes out and your daddy and I love to discover more about the little person you are growing to be. You continue to love to eat. Daddy and I think that you might be going through a growth spurt because you have gone back to eating every three hours on the dot. You are like a little food alarm clock. You are eating about three and a half ounces per feed. You continue to grow like a little weed. We go to the pediatrician on Monday for your first round of shots :( and we are betting that you weigh over 8 lbs. If you are that big, that means you have gained over 5 lbs in two months! We finally have your reflux under control with a special medicine called Prevacid and you are a MUCH happier baby. Mommy and Daddy were afraid we were going to have to send you to go live with the wolves for a couple of weeks you were so unhappy.

You are also starting to sleep MUCH better. This is very good for mommy's sanity. You have gone from waking up every 45 minutes to hour and a half to sleeping almost three hours in a row. We have the miracle blanket to thank for that. Pray that your mommy doesn't leave your daddy for the inventor of that godsend. It has changed all three of our lives! Even wrapped up in your baby straight jacket you can figure out a way to scoot all over the crib and turn your self around. We frequently come in in the mornings and find you still in your positioner but turned upside down at the bottom of the crib. You are definitely going to be a wiggle worm like your mommy.

You are starting to smile, mainly you still practice in your sleep, but we know that you are going to start smiling at us any day now. In fact last night, you were even laughing in your sleep and it was the cutest sound ever. You are really beginning to enjoy your toys. We play every day on the blanket on the floor. Right now our version of playing is just looking at your toys as you lay on your back or stomach. You are getting so strong. You can lift your head up and turn it from side to side.
You still love your bouncy chair the most, but you are starting to like to spend time in your swing more and more. We go to a stroller mom class two times a week and mommy gets to exercise while you get to come along for the ride. You are the second oldest baby in the class but by far the smallest. Every baby in the class weighed more at birth than you weigh now. But that's okay. We have known all along that the best things come in small packages!

Mommy looks at you every day and realizes what a true miracle you are. I have read so many sad and scary stories about babies dying because their mommies got sick like I did and they didn't get to experience the joy that a baby brings into your life. I thank God every day for brining me into that doctor's office that Friday morning and saving you and me. You are the light of our lives!

We love you more every day!

Mommy and Daddy

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mouth Kisses

I know....that title is bizarre. It will all make sense soon, so be patient. First a little background. As you have read in the previous post, we have been trying to sort out Perron's stomach issues. As an update on that, they switched his medication to Prevacid which is much stronger and that has helped tremendously. Thank God! However, it was not the answer to our sleep issues that had developed along with the stomach issues. He would sometimes sleep 3 hours in a row for Stephen, but by the time my shift started he would be up every 45 minutes to an hour and a half. Exhausting! He would sleep great in his bouncer and even better in our arms but the second you tried to lie him down forget about it. What did Albert Einstein say? The definition of insanity of is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. We would feed him, hold him up right for 30 minutes for his reflux and he would be sound asleept. However, the second he hit the crib he would quickly startle himself away. Because he is a preemie, his little nervous system is more immature then most newborns his startle reflex is very strong and he doesn't have great control of his arms and legs. He moves them constantly which while great is also a big problem when trying to sleep.

We had given up on swaddling very early because we thought he didn't like it. He would always cry and squirm as soon as we finished the swaddle. However, this weekend Stephen and I were at our wits end. In one of my many middle of the night research sessions I had come across the Harvey Karp and the Happiest Baby on the Block. THIS MAN IS A GENIUS! Hence the mouth kisses...I have told Stephen on more than one occasion that if I were to ever meet this man, I would kiss him square on the mouth...with tounge if necessary :) His philosophy is so simple and commonsensical, but IT WORKS! He bases is on the five S's: swaddling, side, shushing, swinging and sucking. I would recommend this book and philosophy to any mother expecting their first child. The best part is that is even comes as a DVD, which works great since we know Stephen refusing to read :) I on the other hand read the book in less than 24 hours.

Now onto the other mouth kiss. If I ever meet the inventor of the Miracle Blanket...I will mouth kiss them too...girl or boy! As I had mentioned, we thought Perron hated to be swaddled; however, after reading Dr. Karp's book I realized that they might fight it but it is what they need to help them calm down. It is really the cornerstone of Dr. Harp's philosophy, so if you can't get that down you can't really do his other 4 S's. So we have a little Houdini on our hands and I knew that we would not make it with just a regular swaddle with a I am not really that good at it. so I remembered that some of my friends had the miracle blanket and had recommended it. So Stephen and I went on line and bought one right away...and had it two day aired here (at this point we didn't realize you could by them at retail).

So I tried it last night and he slept a total of 8 and a half hours!!!! Unheard of!!! He went from 10:45 to 12:45 and then stephen fed him and put him to bed and then he slept until 5 am and after I fed him he went back down until 8:30 am. Unbelievable! The best part of the miracle blanket is that I can just lay him in the crib and he stays there. He doesn't flail about, he doesn't wake up, he just stays asleep. It truly is a miracle.

Now, I am not sure if this is just a fluke or if it is a trend, but this is the most positive I have felt about finding a solution to our sleep issues. I know he is still going to wake up two times to feed right now because he is just still so small, but I think we are a step closer to getting him to eventually sleep through the night. Please pray that this continues to work and we can all start to get some more sleep. He is still a little houdini and I came in at five am he had scooted down to the bottom of the crib and was pushed up again the crib rail and had his blanket semi-unwrapped and had it loosely wrapped around his neck (yes that freaked me out). I think that we might pin the tail of the blanket in tonight to make sure it doesn't do that again. It didn't do it this morning so I think he might have just wiggled really hard.

So anyhow, we are so happy that he slept so well and we are hoping that this trend continues!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My New Favorite

I was sent this photo from our shoot and it is by far my new favorite. Ignore the fact that I am photoshopped within an inch of my life :) enjoy!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Tummy Troubles

Sorry for the delay in posting. It has been a VERY long week (even though it technically is monday already). Perron has been having some tummy issues for the past two weeks and we have spent the majority of that time trying to figure out what it is. We finally have it down to two different issues. Unfortunately it took a trip to the pediatrician, two trips to the pediatric gastroenterologist, a upper gi series, a new perscription formual, and a middle of the night trip to the ER. Based on the upper GI series Perron has pretty severe acid reflux...even though he doesn't spit up that bad and he certainly doesn't refuse feeds...we also think he might have a milk sensitivity. I don't think he has a true milk allergy, but it does definitely hurt his belly. He is on the highest dose of Zantax that he can be on for his age and he is on a specialty formula called Ele-Care. The formula cost $33 for a small can and you can't buy it at retail and it stinks like hell, so let's hope he doesn't have to stay on it. The bad news is that if he does have a milk sensitivity then he will not tolerate my breast milk well. After our trip to the ER...which was a nightmare that I don't even want to discuss (he is fine though) I put him on all breastmilk which he tolerated well until last night. It just makes his little belly hurt and get really gassy. I think that we will be able to rotate him between his formula and breast milk and keep him under control.

When he had the barium swallow for the upper GI series no one mentioned that it might be difficult for him to pass the barium. I would have appreciated a heads up. The barium basically turned in to hard pieces of "chalk" in his intestines that were anywhere from half and inch to an inch long and about a third of an inch wide. As you can imagine getting rid of those was no fun for him. After two calls to the pediatrican the nurse on call sent us to the ER at 3:30 in the morning on Saturday saying he needed an enema. So we pack up our 7 week old premature infant and take him to ground zero for disease in the city of Birmingham..the Children's Hospital emergency room. Once there they informed us that they don't do enema's on babies as small as he is and we were told to "give him apple juice". Are you FREAKING KIDDING ME! Could the nurse not have mentioned that in one of my frantic phone calls. The bitch ass (excuse my language but that is what she was) attending pediatrician then basically implied we were bad parents for bring our son down there and exposing him to all of those germs. She implied that he would be getting meningitis or some kind of infection that would cause him get septic because he was there. Like we just decided that there was nothing better to do at 3am on a Saturday morning so we would load ourselves up and head to the ER to see what was happening. I then of course was a nervous wreck all weekend thinking he was going to get sick. Stephen had to force me not to take his temperature ever three minutes all weekend long. Needless to say, the pediatrician's office will be hearing from me this morning. Why couldn't the nurse have the way try some apple juice...that may work.

Any how, he is all better now. We are watching him really closely to make sure he doesn't exhibit any signs of illness. It is just really scary because a baby less than 3 months old can not localize infection and even a simple cold could very quickly turn into something deadly. Add his prematurity into the mix and it is extra scary and stressful. The GI series did show that he has what they call a standing column when he has reflux. Basically the food exits the stomach in and moves up the esophagus and stays there. It almost looked like a little food tornado. He is a trooper though and we are hoping we have the situation under control now and he will feel and sleep better! For his sake and mommy and daddy's! If it is not one thing it is another!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Photoshoot Sneak Peek

Yesterday we had the honor of going to my friends Liesa and Tony's studio and having a photoshoot with Perron. They do all of my photography for Smithfield and as a baby present they offered to take pictures for us. Liesa is incredibly talented and we are blessed to have these pictures. Check out their work at . We will have more pictures to post later, but Liesa sent me a sneak peek of a few of them and I wanted to share them with you. We are biased, but we think they are beautiful!