TJ (The Baby)

If he weighs even 8 pounds, I’d be shocked. He’s a month old, or so his mother says. We call him TJ and the first time I saw him was in a car seat turned sideways in the front of the stalled car. He didn’t make a noise. And if you were to ask me (in fact, Jessica did), I would have said he was a day or two old. I’m not sure I’ve ever held a baby so small.

It’s been two days now and I’m still trying to figure him out. He’s not like any baby I’ve ever been around. Last night was his first overnight in the house. Trying to figure out how to handle an infant and a 13-month old in the same room at night is tricky. You know that neither one is going to sleep through the night, so you make a deal that one parent will handle one baby while the other parent handles the other. And you HOPE that when one wakes up, he doesn’t wake the other.

Last night *I* got the better end of the stick. Ever since Eli was born, it’s always been understood that Jessica would handle the feedings and I’d handle the “what if they don’t go back to sleep?” situations. Last night, there were no such issues. TJ woke up a few times but after a feeding, he went back to sleep. At least that’s what Jessica tells me.

But I digress. Back to TJ. TJ, while he may be a month old, still seems to be developing many of the things that, in my experience, a newborn has developed within days (if not hours) of birth. His breathing is labored as if his lungs are still developing, and equally concerning is the fact that he has trouble latching to a bottle. A lot of the formula ends up running down his cheek rather than getting into his mouth.

We’ve been monitoring him and it does seem that in just the short time he’s been with us he’s gotten better. He does not sleep overly soundly or for very long periods at a time. His cry is extremely weak. I can be in the very next room over. He can be crying at full blast and I cannot hear him.

According to his mother, he was full-term, but there is still so much we do not know about this family that it’s hard to say what the cause could be. But, because he has improved in the last day, we think that a lot of it might simply be that he spent the first month living in a car.

Since coming here we’ve noticed the following with him:

  • He is very small and seems underdeveloped for being a month old (looks much more like a day or two old)
  • His arms and legs are extremely spindly, but he does not necessarily seem frail as a result
  • He does not relax. Even when he is asleep, his arms and legs are stiff as a board
  • It was not until the beginning of Day 2 that he actually pooped. Since then, they’ve been regular (sorry to those who may not have kids and might be grossed out by this fact, but this is a really important thing)
  • He does not sleep soundly. This may be because, as mentioned, his respiratory system seems to still be developing
  • Until later today, he had real issues getting a good latch to the bottle. He is now baby-guzzling bottles down in their entirety during feedings (major improvement)

We’re monitoring him closely and do think he’s going to improve greatly over the next few days. But if we see any signs indicating otherwise, we’ll be taking him to a doctor. We are fortunate that the mother is cooperating and being helpful in any way she can be and despite having only met us a few days ago, seems to trust us completely. So, if Jessica recommends to her that we take the baby to the doctor, I am sure she’ll provide us with the authorization needed to do so.

Tonight, I write this after Jessica has gone to bed and he has woken up several times for reasons unknown to me. I do hope that he learns to sleep. He needs it, and so do we. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *