At the end of this week Matthew will be six months old and as I was skimming through the blog I realize that there are lots of pics and stories about the girls but little about our Matthew. So now it's his turn!! :)
It's hard to believe Matthew's already 6 months old. I know it always goes fast when you have littles ones, but this time it's especially gone fast. It really hits home how we missed two months of his life. In some ways it feels like we've only had him for two months and here he is six months old already. Those first two months of his life are quite a haze. Even though I kept a journal (which I am so glad I did, even if I wasn't as on top of it as I'd like), when I read it I often find I can't remember the things I wrote about, but I can still go back and read Marietta's journal and picture it like it was just yesterday. It brings back how we functioned in survival mode back then and how little time we had for this new life in our family ... quite the opposite from now. Although we got little updates and seen Matthew occasionally during the two months we were in hospital, we became detached from him. When he first came home permanantly I felt like I was just babysitting. I knew he was home for good, but I was not attached to my baby as I felt I should be. I nursed my others until they were 7-8 months old and already when he was wee little bottle feeding had made me feel less attached . It took two weeks for me to develop that bond with him again, to feel that love and to hug him like he was/is truly mine. Matthew developed a bond with me also, for it did not take him long to decide that even though bottlefed, he was going to be dependant upon mom only, for slowly he began to refuse bottles from everyone else, even Rob, who fed him just as much (if not more) as I did during those first weeks he was home (you know, with all the galavanting I was doing :) So now I have a bottlefed baby who still ties me down (sort of, for I figure if he's hungry enough he'll eat ... but poor person who's babysitting my miserable child), but this time around I do not find this so burdensome, but rather enjoy it and realize that it will only last a few more months, at which point he'll learn to hold the bottle on his own and I'll be free again. They grow up so fast, mind as well enjoy it while I can.
Matthew is growing and developing as he should. He's a porky, but he hides it well with his long narrow face. Although not overly big to start with, he did have a head start over my other kids and now at 5 1/2 months is about the size my others were at around 8 months old, weighing in at 16lbs 15oz (7.7kg). He's just getting the hang of sitting on his own and this past week I dragged out the jolly jumper which he absolutely loved. He's been in the exersaucer for quite some time and would bounce like crazy in it, so we introduce the jolly jumper ... wow, does he ever like it and we're all relieved to have found something to make him less miserable at times. We introduced solids a couple weeks ago, but are not having any luck with it. He either clamps his mouth shut or spits it back out. The girls were easy when it came to solids, so this brings back memories of James, but I take comfort in talking to other people who also have babies his age and are having trouble getting food into them. For now we pray he's just another normal fussy, slow going child.
About a month ago we did develop some concern over Matthew's respiratory rate. In November he came home with a cold which he never got over. He recuperated from the worse of it but continued to have coughing fits a few times a day. We decided to wait it out until his appointment in January, but at Christmas he developed another nasty cold. For interest sake I thought I would listen to his chest to see if it sound different then James did only to realize that he was breathing 60-75 bpm (breath per minutes) (normal is 20-44 for a child 0-6 months). Even a cold should not have elevated it that much, especially considering he did not seem to be labouring extra from the cold. At this time he was also having vomitting episodes. It took us a bit to clue in that we had changed his formula not long ago and so we switched back, but the episodes continued and we couldn't determine if they were related to the cold or not as sometimes it happened after a coughing fit and other times just out of the blue. Thankfully these episodes stopped over the past week, so whatever it was has settled and we'll just leave it at that. We seen the family doctor, who figured he was okay as he appears healthy and is definitely growing well (even with the vomitting), but she sent him to the pediatrician just in case. At the same time they discovered an ear infection and so he was put on antibiotics. There was also the hope these antibiotics would help the coughing fits and therefore the resp. rate. It was thought that possibly he had developed a pneumonia and even the whooping cough since he has only had one immunization so far ... although he has really had no symptoms that support either of these, so it's likely just a long lasting cold. He was also put on Flovent/Puffers for extra measure. He's done the antibiotics and the coughing fits have subsided but the resp. rate has not. Now we wait it out to see if the cough comes back again after the antibiotic effects wear off. The doctor has suggested that he might just have a fast resp rate and nothing is actually wrong. We'd like to believe this, but it's more then just a little over the accepted norm, which makes it a bit harder for us to just ignore. We struggle to make sure we don't become overparinoid parents, but at the same time we've learned our lesson about ignoring things that seem minor. Acting upon James' issues earlier would not have change the end outcome, but we would have been able to ease some of his discomfort earlier on. For now 90% of us says that there's nothing wrong with Matthew, but at this time the other 10% is speaking louder and making us desire to confirm that this is indeed true.
On to the pictures.
Just hanging out watching the rest of us
It is time to pack away the swing. Matthew has decided not to relax and sit back when he's in it, but rather likes to show off his sitting abilities, as well as swing his arms all over, making it a bit of a dangereous ride ... and then ... when he falls asleep it becomes rather uncomfortable.
Matthew's favourite toy: the jolly jumper. He's quite content to spend long periods of time bouncing around in it. It is nicely situationed between the kitchen and dining room and allowing him to look down the hallways and keep an eye on pretty much all that is going on upstairs.
And then there's fun times with his big sister Rebecca. Rebecca has a knack for playing with kids, although she does have to be reminded that he's still young and has to be treated gently. The two get along quite well and can have some good times together.