(Hat: Pirates and Peonies)
We had a hopeful 2nd month with Margo Blue, after having a difficult first month with her. Any improvement, no matter how small, was such a relief. We began to slowly see the chaos settle a bit. Each day, though still with its frustrations, began to gradually get easier. This change came to us immediately after beginning chiropractic care with her.
I guess I should begin by saying that I had never heard of chiropractors providing care for newborns or infants before. Heck, I had never even stepped foot into a chiropractic office before Margo’s first appointment. What sparked my curiosity in their ability to help Margo was actually receiving advice from handfuls of other mothers online. I blasted about our issues with Margo on a few “mommy groups” on Facebook and many responded with their own personal, positive experiences with chiropractic care for their children. I definitely was skeptical at first, but after trying so many other methods, tips and tricks to help soothe Margo and finding no help each time, we were desperate and willing to try anything. The screaming had to stop!
Then to top it off, a close friend of ours reached out and recommended her own personal chiropractor to us after she described to him what Margo was going through. He wanted to see us, so we went. Dominic was totally on board since he was looking for new chiropractic care for himself. He has all kinds of pain issues and used to see one years ago, so now was his opportunity to receive care once again.
I’m telling you, things were intense with Margo right up until our first chiro consultation. I remember thinking that our appointment couldn’t come fast enough! I counted down the days and hours until we could see the doctor. Our first appointment left us feeling hopeful in his abilities since he admitted that one of his own daughters (he has 4!) had very similar issues as Margo. He adjusted her and after a few weeks of them, he described her improvement like turning on a light switch. She was happy, smiling, not screaming anymore and sleeping through the night at a very young age. He was confident that he could help Margo, too.
After the first few sessions, we began to see immediate results. Now, I’m not even going to begin to attempt to explain exactly what it is the doctor is doing to little Margo. I’m not the professional, here. I know that after describing her behavior to him, his guess (as well as mine) is that she’s having digestive issues and also could have experienced some trauma during delivery and that pumping her stomach (which they did in the hospital because she swallowed a lot of gunk while inside me and was spitting it up over a few days) could be responsible for her feeding problems. I can also say that the sessions are fast and appear to be very gentle. He holds her up, cradles her, lies her on her back…all while gently applying pressure to areas of her back, neck and belly. Some sessions are good where Margo only fusses here and there, and other days she lets out full screams. Over her entire 2nd month of life, she had 10 adjustments with him. Every single day that immediately followed those sessions, she was a completely different baby which was proof enough for me that they were helping. She’d nap beautifully, taking 3-4 of them a day and each ranging anywhere between 1.5 – 3 hours each! She’d also feed wonderfully, too. All but maybe one would be scream free…maybe only a bit of fussing. HUGE improvements! And as each week passed, her naps and feedings got better overall. We have been very pleased with the care she’s received from her chiropractic adjustments.
(Reversible Bandana Bib: Momista & Pop Shop …that’s me! I made it.)
So with all of that being said, life began to feel a bit more normal at home. Margo began smiling…a lot. And not just those I-think-I’m-going-to-fart-or-poop smiles. Real, gummy, ear-to-ear smiling. I remember thinking how hard it was to get Mia to smile when she was a baby. You could sing, dance, make faces and act a fool and get nothing in return but not with Margo. I just have to look at her and she flashes a big one. I LOVE THIS!!! I can’t tell you how much hope is restored to us with each little smile. They mean that she’s happy, growing, maturing and improving. They also melt my heart and make me forget, for just a few minutes, about all of the shit we were going through, about all of the tears I’ve shed and about all of the sleep I haven’t been getting. Margo also began “talking” this month. She speaks with “coos”, “aahs”, sweet squeals and little gurgles.
Miscellaneous details: Margo is wearing size 1 diapers and size 3-month clothing. She wants to eat every 3 hours but I try to stretch that to 3.5-4 hours the best I can. She eats about 5 oz. with each feeding and is a chunk because of it! She still hates the car seat and car rides, but about halfway through the month she began coming around to the pacifier. She only takes it when she’s super tired and needs an extra nudge to get her to sleep. Give it to her any other time and she gets pissed! Her hair has a mind of its own, long and sticking straight up (just like Mia’s did) #crazyhairdontcare
At the very end of her 2nd month, she had her 2 month check-up with her pediatrician. She weighed 12.3 lbs and measured 23.5 inches long putting her in the 75th percentile for both weight and height. Her head still measures in the 100th percentile, which is why I call her “Bobble Head” or “Bobbles.” She’s had some trouble with “tummy time” and I think it’s because her head is so damn big, making it heavy to lift up!
All was looking good, until we got news of our next minor set-back! Margo has been favoring the right side of her head, meaning she always looks over her right shoulder. I never paid any attention to this, hardly even noticed it at home. But, because of this, the right back-side of her head is flat! This is actually called plagiocephaly or “flat head syndrome” and creates asymmetry of the head. On one side of her head/face, her forehead slightly bulges forward along with that eye and ear. It’s super subtle, I didn’t even notice it until the doc pointed it out. This may seem simply cosmetic at first and since it’s hardly noticeable, then what’s the big deal, right? Well, we were told (and this make perfect sense) that if your eyes and ears aren’t symmetrical and one is a little more forward than the other, then vision and hearing can/will be affected. To fix this (yes! so glad it’s fixable), we basically have to encourage her to look over her left shoulder more and prop her during naps and sleeps on her left side as well. She also has torticollis in her neck, tightening and kinking of the muscles, which also has made it hard for her to turn to the left. We were referred to a physical therapist who will work with her twice a week, rubbing and stretching her neck so she’ll be more comfortable turning to the left. IF we aren’t able to reverse her issues, we’ll have to use a special helmet to re-shape her head, which ranges from $1k-$3k!!! And she’ll have to wear it 23hrs of each day for weeks to months. Wish us luck in avoiding this crazy-expensive, pain in the ass helmet. Sounds awful.
In other 2nd month happenings: Margo’s Grandma (Dominic’s mom) came to visit her from Kansas. // We took our first family-of-four day trip to Santa Barbara. // Mia and I spent our first weekend away from Margo in Big Bear at a friend’s cabin (2 nights of uninterrupted sleep = YES!!!). // Mia spent a week away from home visiting my parents in Utah. That was the longest that we’ve ever been away from her and she had a blast (more on that in another post). During that week, I was able to spend some quality one-on-one time with Margo, giving her my full attention and care. The house was so peaceful, even with an occasionally screaming baby!
Even with all of the screaming, feeding issues, torticollis, plagiocephaly, diarrhea then constipation then spit-up…we’re really lucky that things aren’t worse because they really could be. In the grand scheme of things, I’m sure this is just a tiny speed bump that we will overcome and one day, we probably won’t even be able to remember most of it. We love our Margo Blue dearly and are grateful to have her in our lives. I look forward to watching Margo continue to grow and improve in her next month. I’ve read a lot that many babies who’ve been “colicky” or with digestive issues tend to really mellow out in their 3rd month. Fingers crossed that this rings true for us!