Archive | December, 2012

Rilyn Ann: 4 Months Old

22 Dec

This time was one of my favorite baby stages with Lakyn, and it’s no different with you sweet Rilyn! You are so much fun and each day you are doing something new. I love the huge smiles you greet us with when you wake up in the morning, and those precious baby giggles melt our hearts. You’re growing so fast and I often find myself wishing time to slow. Such is the life of a mother.

At four months:
-You’re our little chunky monkey! You weigh 14 pounds (50-75th%ile) and you are 24.5 inches long (75th%ile)
-You’re rolling from your tummy to your back, although sometimes it scares you
-You still really hate tummy time
-You’re wearing 3-6 month clothing and 6 month clothing if the brand doesn’t have range sizes
-You roll from your back to your side. You’re working on rolling to your tummy but it’ll be a bit yet
-You wear size 2 diapers
-You still sleep swaddled, but that’ll change when we start sleep training you after the holidays
-You’re still up about every two hours at night (but after your recent stint with waking up every hour, momma’s glad to welcome the two hour stretches back)
-You take 3, sometimes 4 naps a day, going down two hours after waking up, except for your first nap which is usually only 1.5 hours after waking up
-You smile with your whole face
-You love your baths
-You stare at us while we eat. I think you’re curious as to what it is that we’re putting in our mouths
-Your giggles are the best ever
-Your hands/fingers are constantly in your mouth
-You’re grabbing toys/blankets/clothes and putting them in your mouth
-You are much more content now which has made running errands during the day without timing them to your naps possible
-Sleep begets sleep. This is HUGE for you. If you don’t get/take good naps during the day, we have a rough night ahead of us. Very rough.
-You love looking at yourself in the mirror
-You’ve just recently found that you can “talk” in a high-pitched voice. You love it.
-You will sit and watch your sister for hours (okay, maybe not hours, but a big chunk of time)
-Blowing raspberries is still your favorite
-I love that you give us a “warning cry” for a few minutes before you completely lose your cool.
-Bottles are still a no-go
-You are beautiful!

We love you, Monkey!

The Whole Story

18 Dec

I wrote a status for Facebook notifying friends and family of the changes with Lakyn’s surgery, but it was just the abbreviated story. I didn’t feel like writing the whole story at the time. Here’s what happened.

Monday, December 17th: I get a call from the hospital notifying us that we need to be there at 8:30 and if everything goes according to plan, she should be going back to surgery at 10. She also told us that they’ve been extremely busy and that they won’t even take her back to surgery unless there’s an open bed/room for her. So she told us to be prepared for some delays, but that having to cancel would be highly unlikely.

Tuesday, December 18th:  We leave for the hospital at 7:45am. Rilyn stays at home with my mother. I pray she takes a bottle for her (she kind of did) and falls asleep easily for her (she didn’t). Because of Lakyn’s age (under 3) we have to go to the downtown location instead of the south location (which is the much closer one for us). We check in right at 8:30. Lakyn plays for a bit with their awesome toys they have in the waiting room. The waiting room is full. They call us back around 9 and take Lakyn’s vitals, weigh her and measure her, then send us back to the waiting room. Lakyn’s excited to get to play some more! Around 9:45 they call us back again. We talk with a nurse who explains procedures and other small details. She tells us that anesthesia will come in to talk us and that the surgeon will also be in to answer questions we may have. She also uses this time to explain more fully the bed shortage situation. She says again that they won’t do the surgery until they have a bed available for her. She also tells us that they have no idea when beds will open up and that along with all of the other families scheduled ahead of us (still waiting), the doctor doing L’s surgery has a patient ahead of Lakyn that’s still waiting to go in. In a nutshell, we have some waiting to do. She said that if it gets toward the end of the day, we’ll talk about rescheduling. She also says that we have the option to cancel at any time.This is where my heart sank. We’d been there since 8:30 and Lakyn hadn’t had anything to eat or drink since the night before. I could tell she was getting pretty hungry from her small meltdowns she was starting to have. The girl has a glass of milk every morning as soon as she wakes up. She was missing her milk. The thought of her sitting there all day without being able to eat or drink had me on the edge of tears. Probably because I was already an emotional time bomb, but seriously, I had to work really hard not to lose it in front of the nurse. She left and the anesthesiologist comes in to talk to us, followed by the doctor. In talking with the doctor, we find out that he has appointments at another location and will need to leave at 12, 12:30 at the latest.

That means that the chances of getting in are now slimmer, but at least I was comforted by the fact that we wouldn’t have to sit there all day waiting to find that we’d have to cancel. That would have sucked. Hardcore.

After visiting with the doctor, we go back to the waiting room. After a while, Lakyn becomes bored and says she wants to go home multiple times. Brandon and I take turns walking around the hallways with her. At 11, Brandon and I decide that if we don’t get called back by 11:30, we’d cancel. We came to this conclusion knowing that the doctor had to leave at 12:30 and the procedure is 45-50 minutes long. Obviously, if it was after 11:30, he wouldn’t have enough time. I take a deep breath and try to relax. I had worked myself up for this day, and now I was having to talk myself down from it all in case we had to reschedule. We felt good with our decision and I kept watching the door for them to call her name. We work to distract Lakyn a few more times, take a few more trips to walk the hallways, remind her that no, she cannot take off the medical bracelet around her wrist, as uncomfortable as it may be. She really had been such a trooper the whole morning. Poor baby.

At 11:35, Brandon and I look at each other, decide to make the call official, and I head to the desk to reschedule her appointment. I tell the receptionist that due to time restraints we had to reschedule our appointment. She asked for the patients name and when I told her “Lakyn Ratzlaff”, she says,

“Oh, they called 5 minutes ago. They have a bed for her. She’s ready to go back. No one came out to tell you?”


Are you kidding me?

I just spent the last 20 minutes or so trying to get used to the idea of having to reschedule and when I FINALLY make up my mind that that is what we’re going to do, you tell me you’re ready for her?!?!?

I look at Brandon, tears filling my eyes. I just couldn’t handle any more at that point. The nurse comes out and says that they’re ready, they have a bed for her. Brandon asks about whether the doctor will have enough time. The nurse has no idea what we’re talking about. She leaves to go call him and ask.

Brandon and I look at each other and he asks what I want to do.


I feel as though the whole morning has just been up and down. Its so hard for me to make decisions as it is, and when I finally do make the decision to cancel, they tell us they’re ready? Geesh! And Lakyn’s done at this point. She’s ready to go home, she’s starving, she just wants out of that waiting room.

The nurse comes back and says that the doctor is willing to do it and it’s our call. So what do we do?

We cancel.

I think we were all done at this point. Especially me. All that back and forth was too much for this momma heart of mine, and Lakyn was frustrated and on edge. It would have made sending her off to surgery so much harder and she probably wouldn’t have gone with the nurses as easily. Also, knowing the doctor had to leave at 12:30, I wouldn’t want him rushing through a surgery, especially my baby’s surgery. (Not saying that he would have, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.)

But now I’ve sat here all afternoon going back and forth about whether we’ve made the right decision. Here’s the pros and cons list for our decision to reschedule:

We have to go through this all over again soon. We didn’t just do it today and get it over with
My mom and Brandon took days off of work
Lakyn won’t be having surgery today (obviously, the surgery will help her breathing, eating, and sleeping)

Lakyn won’t be miserable for Christmas this year
If we do it after she turns 3, we’ll be able to do the surgery at the CMH location closer to us
If we do it after she turns 3, she won’t have to stay overnight in the hospital (had we known this before scheduling in the first place we probably would have waited)
Maybe Rilyn will be taking a bottle and sleeping better by February (calms me knowing she’ll be easier to deal with for whoever stays with her)
Knowing the doctor won’t be rushing through the procedure

I spent the majority of the hour drive home crying, feeling torn between whether or not we made the right decision. A lot of the tears came from being worked up the whole morning, so everything was just coming out. (I’ve said this before, crying is my go-to emotion. I’m sad, I cry. I’m happy, I cry. I’m angry, embarrassed, stressed, tired, overwhelmed, I cry.) Brandon kept reassuring me that we made the right decision for us and that’s all that matters, but getting back to the house and hearing my mom reiterate the same things I had been feeling, assured me that even though it was a sucky situation, we did make the right call. Sometimes you just really need your momma to tell you in order to believe it, even if you’ve been telling yourself the same thing all morning long.

So, there you have it; the whole story. Are we crazy? Would you have done the same thing or would you have gone ahead with it?

Life Right Now

5 Dec

***i’m fully aware that life could be much harder than it is right now. i’m thankful this tough time doesn’t include any health issues, financial worries, etc. i’m just venting here***

life isn’t at it’s easiest point right now. i don’t have the time to stop and the smell roses and i’m pretty sure that even if i did, i wouldn’t have the energy. i don’t care what anybody says, the transition from one baby to two is hard. it’s been almost four months since rilyn was born and we still feel like we’re just barely keeping our heads above water.

i hate that feeling.

i’ve debated for a while now whether to write about how we’ve been feeling on the blog. it’s certainly not my intention to make our life seem nothing but peachy, but sometimes you worry about how others will think of your not-so-pleasant-feelings, so you leave them out. this is our life though, and this is how we’re feeling so i want to document it. i want to so that months/years from now we can read this and realize we made it through a particularly tough time. and please don’t be one of those people that think what i’m saying means that we do not love our sweet little rilyn or that we are not happy that she is here. those people couldn’t be more wrong.

i’m sure many friends can remember us saying that any subsequent children we have will be a lot of work compared to lakyn. that’s turned out to be true. and i’m sure many friends can remember us also saying that it’s much harder to have your easy baby be your first. i feel like we’d be able to handle the transition from one to two better if we had our tough baby first. perhaps God knew, though, that we needed to have the easy baby first. perhaps He knew that if we had rilyn first, we wouldn’t have any more children.

maybe it has everything to do with rilyn being colic for the first three months of her life. maybe it has a little to do with her not sleeping well, being up every two hours throughout the night (at almost 4 months old) and not falling asleep any other way except for nursing, and maybe a tiny bit to do with the fact that she refuses every bottle on the market. which means i am the only person that can put her back to sleep. at any time of the day/night (meaning i resemble a walking zombie AND a milking cow). okay, maybe it has to do with all of those things, and maybe it has nothing to do with them. instead, maybe it has everything to do with us just feeling like our family is complete now, but regardless, brandon and i are at peace with the idea of not having any more children.

who knows how we’ll feel in 3 years. but right now, we’re done.

and like i said, we’re at peace with the idea. moving on.

thankfully we’re over the colic and we have a MUCH happier and content baby. she’s smiling more and just yesterday i got more giggles than i could count! but now that miss cranky pants has left, miss i don’t like sleep/want to sleep/know how to fall asleep is here. it usually takes about 20-30 minutes to get rilyn asleep. she usually only naps for about 40 minutes, and like i mentioned earlier, she’s up every two hours throughout the night. i miss sleep. and yes i’m going to be selfish here, i miss those breaks during the day when my kids napped. i NEED those breaks.

on top of trying to adjust to little sleep and giving an infant all the attention they require, we can’t forget that we have a toddler as well. and toddlers, especially at the age lakyn is at, require just as much attention. its hard to balance that. its also hard to see your (almost) 3 year old struggle with the fact that everything gets put on hold when baby sister cries. maybe just for a few seconds/minutes, maybe for a while longer, but mom has to stop and tend to the baby and that’s hard for lakyn to understand right now. especially if she was waiting so patiently for mom to put baby sister down for her nap so they could play together, and baby sister wakes up as soon they get the toys out to start playing. i wish there were two of me. i try to make sure i make good use of rilyn’s naps by spending time with lakyn (i taught her how to play Slap Jack and its her favorite game right now). this is made a tiny bit easier with the fact that lakyn doesn’t take naps anymore. :/ oh how i wish that weren’t the case. anyway, when you’re trying to balance time between both kids something else gets neglected. you should see my house right now. no, scratch that. you’d be disgusted.

and my poor husband. he’s been so patient with all of this and is doing his best to help me out as much as he can when he gets home, but since he doesn’t have the milk supply there’s not much he can do. by the time we finally get both girls down for the night, i’m ready to collapse in bed myself. especially since i know i’ll be up in two hours anyway.  sidenote, i love my husband dearly, but it takes all i have in me not to kick him when i’m trying to fall back asleep after being up with rilyn for the third time. not because he’s snoring, but because he’s in a peaceful deep sleep and i most certainly am not. jealous for sure, and its hard to convince myself at 4 in the morning that a good swift kick to the hubs will not, in fact, make me feel better.

and two things that i’m extremely annoyed with right now, because i know you’re so interested:

1) whoever said, “there’s no use in crying over spilt milk” obviously wasn’t a nursing mother. due to rilyn’s refusal of bottles, i’ve been trying to give her one every day in hopes that she’ll become familiar enough with it and decide to take it. in doing so every day i’m wasting milk that i’ve had stored in the freezer. i’m really wishing i had decided to freeze a few 1 ounce bags, instead of doing 2 ounce increments. especially with the supply problems i had with lakyn, i hate pouring it down the drain. so much so it makes me nauseous.

2) “sleep when the baby sleeps”. fine and dandy when you only have the baby. when you’ve got older kids, THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE.

bah humbug.

all of this out there on the table, i know there will be a day when i don’t need an endless supply of caffeine. i know there will be a day when brandon and i don’t look at each other and wonder how we’ll get through this or wonder when life will get a little bit easier. there will be a day when i’m not so tired i could cry. there will come a night when i actually get to sleep. and there will be a day when the smell of roses fills my house.

until then i’ve got these cheeks to kiss

and this one to play with and laugh with

these little beauties are worth it. no doubt in my mind they’re worth it.