So I’m realizing that we have to start celebrating Charlee’s month to month birthdays on the 17th of every month and while technically she has turned 8 weeks old, she’s not quite 2 months yet.
At the moment, I’m on the first shift with Charlee while Becca tries to catch some z’s. Charlee is celebrating 8 weeks by having her first cold…. and quite frankly, it’s pretty shitty.
I’ve read that past 3 months, one should anticipate 8 to 12 colds per year for your little ones based on outside influencers like daycare, public transit, and just general family and friends carrying sickness amongst them. Regardless, anything under the age of 3 months gets a tad more attention and concern, so today we visited a walk in clinic for confirmation that Charlee was ok.
They gave her a head to toe assessment and asked a bunch of questions. Bottom line is that Charlee got her vaccinations yesterday, so for her to have a fever is not uncommon. The sniffles and congestion is viral, but with a super low dose of baby tylenol both should be gone in a jiffy.
Currently waiting for that jiffy.
On the plus, it does give me an opportunity to write a blog entry – a much overdue one as last week’s entry was limited to my tip of the week regarding probiotics.
The past two weeks have been pretty great and Charlee continues to exceed our expectations.
First off, Charlee has ‘graduated’ from the midwifery clinic; a bittersweet moment signifying Charlee’s fantastic progress (as well as ours, as parents) and also the ending of a journey and relationship that will not soon be forgotten.
To have a team of people so involved in such an intimate and special part of our life was phenomenal, and I would not have traded that for anything in the world. Our midwives were skilled, knowledgable, informative, and genuine. I can’t fathom what midwifery must be like as a career because I can’t wrap my head around how these women are able to treat each family with the same level of commitment as the next. I truly felt as if we were the only family being looked after thanks to the professionalism and dedication demonstrated.
We constantly promote midwifery to other friends and family, many of whom assumed there was a cost, or straight out had never heard of the service.
Let me take another opportunity to stress it and shout it out loud:
MIDWIVES, MIDWIVES, MIDWIVES!
The end of the midwives visits meant it was time to sort out who was to be our doctor of choice for Charlee.
Becca goes to a practice where her doctor of many years changed clinics and Becca was inherited, if you will, by another doctor there. While Becca likes this doctor, we would not have the privilege of having the same physician who has known Becca for years, including her whole medical background, become the same physician for Charlee.
The other options were to either change Becca and Charlee over to my family doctor, or look into a paediatrician.
My doctor is wonderful, and I’ve been very happy going to her for the last several years. I had an issue with my doctor prior, wherein she would bump my appointments regularly for other, more pressing urgencies from other patients of hers. I had enough of being treated as though my health was not a priority for her, and since the move to my new doctor, I couldn’t be happier. She is attentive, punctual, conveniently located, young and not jaded (very important), and has three kids of her own.
A paediatrician would be the next option, though we would have to rely on word of mouth referrals as to whom we should go to, and it would be another case of trial and error.
While for the moment we have opted to stay with Becca’s doctor, the decision is an interesting one, and I’ll keep you all posted on how things pan out.
So far, we had our first visit with Becca’s doctor yesterday for Charlee’s vaccinations.
Now, both Becca and I knew that it was not going to be a pleasant visit, but we had memories of her being pricked with needles repeatedly in the NICU, so we thought that maybe we wouldn’t be as shaken.
Of course, when the time came, Becca asked that I hold Charlee while the doctor administer two shots, one to each thigh, and an oral vaccine. I tried to have Charlee keep eye contact with me, but man alive, when those tears and that wailing starts, it really breaks your heart.
Fortunately, she bounced back like a champ, and handled the whole ordeal quite well… until today’s fever, but more on that in a moment.
Yesterday also marked my nephew, Ethan’s birthday. He is such a character, and it’s been immensely fun, informative, and emotional watching him through this last year, and watching my sister make her way through pregnancy and into motherhood.
My sister, Meera, lived with Becca and I for a few months while she was pregnant and into the first couple of months with Ethan. It really gave us a first hand account of what to expect and I know it played a huge role in how we prepared ourselves for parenthood.
With Meera and Becca alike, it’s been mesmerizing.
With both, it’s like a switch went off, triggering their mothering instincts to kick in. Before their own babies, you could see with both of them how great they got on with kids, and you knew deep down that they would make great mums. But as the reality unfolds, its been amazing to witness firsthand.
My other sister, Ariel, is the photographer extraordinaire, and so I’m going to exploit her talents and post just a couple pics of my handsome little nephew and you can see how he just tugs away at your heart strings.
Looking at these two pictures, or the countless other ones of Ethan that I have in my photo gallery, really reminds you how kids grow like crazy in that first year.
Within the last few weeks, Ethan is walking and forming sounds into words. I remember holding him the way I hold Charlee now, and it seems like it’s been almost overnight, but he’s grown into a little person, with character, personality and mannerisms.
I know I’ll look back and disagree with myself one day, but I swear, I just can’t wait for Charlee to reach those milestones.
Speaking of milestones, back to Charlee’s vaccination – that was definitely a big one. We got another chance to weigh our little tank, and she tipped the scales at 12 pounds 2 ounces – up an entire pound in 9 days! She’s in the 85th percentile for both weight and height. Sure, I know we shouldn’t track these things and pay too much attention to them… but we’re still super proud of our growing little lady.
My entry last night was interrupted by the horrifying news out of Paris. I didn’t feel right sending off my blog without some type of reflection, as ignoring the reality of last nights events would be unjust.
The attacks that unfolded last night are atrocious, and as more details arise regarding the aftermath, it sickens me to my core.
Trying to watch last night on TV, Becca kept urging me to turn it off as it was disturbing for her. I understood her perspective, but insisted that it was important to watch and see what kind of evil exists in the world and how these events transform life as we know it.
It dawned on me that one day I may be watching TV, much like last night, with Charlee at an older age; an age where she would be more aware of what was happening and I would need to explain these atrocities to her.
I’m sure this is a situation that plagues parents worldwide; it truly made me think.
On Facebook, a friend referenced a quote from the most unlikely of sources, and it’s helped guide me through what I feel my approach might be.
That person is Fred Rogers, a.k.a. Mr. Rogers and his words were as follows:
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
It’s so true and such smart guidance for kids who need to see the good in the most horrendous situation imaginable.
I pray that I never need to explain to Charlee this dreadful side of reality, but sadly I’m all too confident I will.
Week 7 is upon us and we are constantly learning about new techniques and tricks of the trade in helping bring up our lovely Charlee.
We are truly blessed with the fact that Charlee is an absolute angel, or what would be considered an ‘easy’ baby. I would say that any reference to how a baby’s demeanour is, varies by individual; what’s difficult for us could be easy for someone else, and vice versa.
One thing that Charlee is not, thank god, is colicky. Sure she may have her bouts of tears or wailing for food, but they are short lived and easily remedied. She eats like a champ, and thanks to the Dunstan Baby Language, we know when she’s hungry, sleepy, gassy, or tired, and can address her needs ASAP.
We had been noticing, however, that when she needed to poop, she was really working hard. Not quite to the point of being outright constipated, but she would struggle and sometimes there would be a speck of blood in her stool. This can be normal as there are times when a baby pushes too hard that they cause little anal fissures to occur, and a little blood could be found.
Becca did some research and found that some people had success in helping their babies out with probiotics.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that aside from some Activia commercials, I was unaware of probiotics, let alone their usage for constipated babies. It turns out, that this is not only a viable solution, but a recommended additive in C-section babies’ diets!
Trillions of bacteria already live in your child’s (and your own) gastrointestinal system, many of which are considered to be good because they help keep her healthy. They’ve been there since birth, when your baby’s GI tract became colonized with good, bad, and benign bacteria (known as flora) as she passed through the birth canal and picked up some of your microbes. Because babies delivered by C-section miss out on this, they initially end up with a different collection of flora.
If you nurse, you help your baby build up more good bacteria, because breast milk contains substances known as prebiotics that promote the growth of healthy bugs. They supply nutrients to the living bacteria and enhance their ability to survive and thrive in your child’s gut. “By shaping the content of an infant’s gastrointestinal tract, breast milk also helps ‘educate’ the developing immune system,” says David Mills, Ph.D., a University of California, Davis microbiologist. Once your child weans and starts on solid foods, her gut microflora will change, and then remain pretty much constant throughout her lifetime.
Some research has shown that consuming probiotics through foods or supplements can positively affect your child’s balance of bacteria, and consequently, her health.
I went to our local dispensary called The Big Carrot, and was advised to purchase HMF Natogen Probiotic by Genestra, specially formulated for Breastfed Newborns aged 0 to 12 months.
That night we gave Charlee a ‘pinky dip’ of the probiotic powder and for the last week have truly been basking in its glory.
Charlee noticeably strains less, has healthy, hearty poops, and in general is more comfortable throughout the day.
My underlying statement is that I am no medical professional, but if your child is going through any of the symptoms of being backed up, or right off the bat if your child was a C-section, give probiotics a thought, and run the idea by your paediatrician or healthcare professional.
My Movember Story: Back in 2009, I was concerned about the fact that I was peeing over 10 times a day, and the urgency was high and frequent. After months of not having it checked out, I finally decided to make an appointment and ask my doctor. She said it would be rare at 29 years of age if anything were wrong with my prostate, but recommended we give it a check. She did, and noticed inflammation and referred me to a proctologist.
Over the course of the next few months, I went in for several sessions where they did numerous tests, including probes and ultrasounds and were ‘concerned’ with their findings.
After waiting a further 2 weeks for results, I was finally advised that it was fortunately only a case of prostatitis and nothing more serious, and I was subsequently prescribed antibiotics.
Suffice it to say, it scared me to the core.
Ever since I’ve been spreading the word to friends and family to get tested and make sure you visit your doctor for regular physicals, as I do on an annual basis. Since joining the Movember campaign, I’ve been further speaking out about the cause, and ensuring us guys are aware of some of the diseases that are common for men.
Now as a new father, this charity hits home that much more.
As dads we have the duty not only to ourselves, but also our new additions. The duty for us to stay healthy, active, and aware in order to be around for our partners and children for many years to come.
About the Movember Campaign: From its beginnings in Australia in 2003, the Movember movement has grown to be a truly global one, inspiring support from over 5 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas around the world.
Movember’s success can largely be attributed to the strength of the global community. Regardless of the city in which we live, we’re part of something bigger, united by a commitment to help change the face of men’s health.
The Movember website highlights the cause:
The state of men’s health is in a crisis. Simply put, men are dying too young.
Gender is one of the strongest and most consistent predictors of health and life expectancy. For men, this is not good news. On average, across the world, men die 6 years earlier than women.
Moreover, poor mental health affects men more than women: three quarters of suicides are by men. The World Health Organization estimates that 510,000 men die from suicide globally each year. That’s one every minute.
The impact of prostate and testicular cancer on lives is substantial, with prostate cancer being the second most common cancer in men worldwide and the number of cases expected to almost double to 1.7 million cases by 2030.
Yet this gender-based inequality in health has received little national, regional or global acknowledgement or attention from health policy-makers or healthcare providers. This is exactly why the Movember Foundation focuses on men’s health. This is why Mo Bros and Mo Sistas from across the globe become a united voice every Movember, bringing vital funding and attention to the hidden men’s health crisis.
This is not just an issue for men. In order to tackle the problem and work towards a world where future generations of men are not faced with the same issues as today, we need to take action at both an individual and community level. This means engaging men and women, businesses, sporting groups, community organizations, governments, health policy makers and healthcare providers in the efforts to reduce the current gender inequality in health outcomes.
New for 2015 is the MOVE challenge. MOVE is the Movember Foundation’s 30-day fitness challenge to get active and raise funds and awareness for men’s health. Whether it’s a morning work out, a quick jog at lunchtime or an hour at the ping-pong table, no MOVE is too big or small.
The Movember Foundation is a global charity raising funds and awareness for men’s health. These funds deliver breakthrough research and support services to allow men to live happier, healthier, longer lives. Since 2003, millions have joined the men’s health movement, raising more than $676 million and funding over 1,000 projects through impact investments, focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity.
The Foundation runs awareness and fundraising activities year-round, with the annual Movember campaign in November being globally recognized for its fun and innovative approach to raising money and getting men to take action for their health. During Movember, men are challenged to grow a moustache or to make a commitment to get active and MOVE, both of which are about real action for health and are done to spark conversation and raise vital funds and awareness.
Please help me with my fundraising goals, or better yet, sign up, grow a mo, raise funds and awareness, and help change the face of men’s health!!