Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Alpha Male

The boy likes to eat!
When it comes to determining the alpha male of a household soon to be full of far too much testosterone, it's all about the stats--height, weight, speed, strength.

Ty has solidly held the alpha role through every stage of childhood thus far when compared to his brothers. He was born the biggest, he progressed the fastest, he did everything earlier than the others. That is until McKay's six month well check yesterday. Here's how his most recent stats compare:

At six months old:
Tyler: 17 pounds 4 ounces/ 27 inches long
Preston: 16 pounds 1.5 ounces/ 26 inches long
McKay: 17 pounds 14.5 ounces/ 27 and 3/4 inches long (that's the 97th percentile for those of you playing at home!!)

What? My sickest baby is my healthiest baby? He's snatched the alpha spot from Ty for now? The pediatrician just laughed and said he's never seen anything like it. He was half expecting McKay to let his little thumper slow his growth after such a quick and robust beginning. But as of today, there are no signs McKay intends to let the stereotype define him. Right on Mr. Independent. "But don't be fooled," the doc went on to warn, "Any type of infection or illness could become a major setback--don't let your guard down just yet." Will do.

As for the surprise hearing fiasco, I was hoping to hear the ped say it was common for kids to fail their first screening. Apparently it's not. He said about 1 in 1,000 kids fail. We'll head in to Primary's for the brain stem response test on Wednesday. Let's hope for a reversal on the issue, huh?

Lastly, I discussed McKay's abhorrent sleep habits with the doc. He asked if McKay was still sleeping in our room. No--not for months. How often is he waking? Every 2-3 hours. How long do we let him cry? Not at all. In fact, we're in his room within seconds of the first fuss. "Aha!" the doc replies. "He has trained you."

Now hold on here. We were told not to let the darling cry, that it would be too much for his heart. Apparently that was advice for before his Glenn and during his recovery. Now he is good to go for some down and dirty Ferberizing. Hmmm. Am I?

"Do you promise he won't explode?"

"What?" his ped says in a half surprised laugh.

"I have nightmares his little heart will explode, the stitches will come undone, all because I let him cry," I explain.

(The doc is in full blown laughter now.) "No, I 100 percent promise McKay will not explode. That said, I understand what you're saying and it is totally up to you as to what you want to do, of course."

So what's your vote? Let him cry it out for a few nights and be done? What do the heart moms have to say? Has this been an issue for your post-surgery kiddos? I would love to know...almost as much as I would love to sleep. :)


Jenny said...

I am not a heart baby mom but it is heart breaking to listen to your kids cry themselves to sleep. After all of the worry and care I think that would about kill me! I do, however, think you NEED to be sleeping through the night. It makes a TON of difference when that starts happening on a regular basis. Maybe he will be easy to train and you could do the 5 minute thing for a few days, the 10 minute thing for a few more and he will be done! Good luck with that:).

Christina said...

I have to say that I could TOTALLY relate to this post. I was afraid of the stitching bursting and Jacob bleeding out. Scary.

We went through many fazes with him sleeping in our room, then in his room with us checking on him all the time, then back to our room when he woke up in the middle of the night, to us sleeping on the floor in his room... He is finally sleeping on his own in his room but only after some stressful crying nights. I got to the nonfunctional sleep deprived state and we had to do something.

We kinda eased into the length of time we would let him cry. One time it was a whole hour but I was sitting by his door listening for gasping crying (verses regular mad/sad crying). After that one hour episode, he did a 30 minute cry night and then they were all 5 minutes or less. It was hard and I was worried about over stressing his heart but he did not explode and is sleeping and so am I!

We just did this in the last couple of months because I did not feel comfortable about letting him cry too long until now. I would say do what you feel comfortable with for McKay, you guys know him better than anyone.

Good Luck!
Hugs & Prayers,
Jacob's Momma

wylie said...

I think that sounds like a hard decision. Even though the doctor had to laugh, the trauma you've been through warrants any method you want to take! If you take it in stages letting him cry 30 seconds, then 1 minute, then 2 minutes...that is perfectly appropriate! OR if you decide to jump into with both feet and do marathon crying it will be fine. I think you should go off of what your nerves and worrying can handle.

Jaimi said...

You know, I am really pro let them cry it out! BUT- I can not imagine making that decision if I were you. I have no doubt that you will find a way to make it work, you are so amazing. Maybe he will make it easy on you and decide it isn't worth crying! :)