My sweet little man, Today you are one month old. You are my big boy and look a lot like your sister did when she was a bit older than you are now. I don't know if you are markedly different from her or if we just have a different outlook, but I definitely treat you differently. I let you cry a little sometimes when I'm in the middle of something, I generally make the choice to snuggle you for nap instead of feeling trapped in my chair for every nap, I leave you alone while I put in a load of laundry, and I don't stress as much about making sure you're enriched all of the time--sometimes it is good for you to just lay on a blanket and wiggle. And wiggle you do. When we put you on your belly, you immediately start squirming. You spin in circles and have even rolled over a couple of times when your chest was slightly elevated. Mr. Man, you sure do know how to let us know when you aren't happy. The first sign is your boxing arms--you start flailing your arms with closed fists and with your long arms and big hands, you look like you want to take a swing at us. Then you start that whiny wind-up. And then you start to cry in earnest. And when your face turns purple and you start making coughing noises (not actually choking, though), we know you're really worked up. To tell you the truth, the only time we see your purple face is when you're tired. We apparently don't create good sleepers in this house. Your Daddy and I are still trying to decipher your sleep habits. You're obviously getting overtired much of the time, but when we try to put you down earlier, you just lay there awake for a long time. You already have trained us to coax you to sleep, a habit that we don't want to persist. The best way to get you to go to sleep is to walk with you outside because you love the heat of the sun and the motion of walking. I, however, am not recovered enough to walk as much as you need, which leads to a lot of frustration on both of our parts. And, much to my frustration, nursing isn't knocking you out anymore! Speaking of nursing, you are a great eater. In the past month, you've gone from being a sleepy eater who I struggled to keep awake through a nursing session to a really efficient eater. Something you do that is really different from your sister in this aspect is that you typically pop off when you're done eating, whereas she would stay latched for hours if I'd let her, just for the comfort. As exhausting as that was, I always knew that I had magic that would put her to sleep and relax her no matter what. While you are soothed by nursing, you're also a very active nurser and have been known to grunt and groan and cry even while nursing. At one month old, our routine looks like: wake up, eat (takes 15-20 minutes), play (20-60 minutes--this is what happens when I'm playing with figuring out your habits), then 20 minutes to get you to sleep. Sometimes the coaxing takes so long that I end up nursing you to sleep. You typically sleep 45 minutes to a couple of hours, depending on the time of day (you sleep best in the afternoon). If you've already had at least one long sleep or you didn't have an awake period, I will sometimes wake you 2 hours after you last ate, at the suggestion of the pediatrician. Trust me, I won't be waking you much longer, especially now that you aren't necessarily staying awake for playtime overnight every night anymore. The biggest physical trait that you exhibit is GASSY! Lol I'm sure you'll love knowing that someday. You grunt for the majority of the day and usually spend 4-6 a.m. grunting, much to the dismay of your parents! In an effort to help with your gassiness, I have been dairy-free (although I'm not really strict about it--just avoiding the obvious dairy products and not using any substitutions) for a weeks and a half. You haven't woken up screaming nearly as often, so I'm hoping it is helping. When I'm feeling brave again, I'm going to try eating a bit of cheese or yogurt to see what happens and pray that your body has matured enough to handle some dairy. Not eating cheese (especially pizza) is killing me!! The last couple of days I could swear we're starting to get genuine smiles. You smile at me when I fake sneeze and I've caught you just gazing at me when I'm not paying attention. You are curious about the world around you, which is detrimental to your sleep, but endearing otherwise. I honestly can't wait to see how your personalize develops over time and am trying to cherish the time I have at home with you as much as possible. The days haven't been all sunshine and roses, but we're managing and we're both still learning. Love always, Mommy
I'm going to entirely bypass my normal weekly update categories, especially since I posted an update on Friday after my doctor appointment. Instead I'm going to tell you about how I spent my due date yesterday.
We were having a normal Saturday, cleaning and hanging out. Baby Girl had a rough go at napping, so Mommy and Daddy were annoyed and on edge. Just before 4:00 pm, I had my first truly painful contraction. I looked at The Hubby and told him that if it happened again, then I was pretty sure it was the real deal. Sure enough, about 6 minutes later it happened again. The contractions continued and The Hubby and I started doing our last minute things to prepare for baby while I was timing and then tried to get ahold of my in-laws, who happened to be in town.
We'd thought we would see my in-laws...
I wasn't going to publish this or was going to incorporate it into my birth story post, but found this partially-written post too funny not to publish on its own. I wrote this on 4/29/12, the day we ended up being admitted to the hospital. No more than 24 hours after writing this, we had a baby in our arms.
My baby is officially not a newborn anymore. He doesn't fit into newborn diapers (we switched about a week ago when he kept peeing on me while I nursed him) and I think today is the last day he'll be wearing newborn size clothes. His poor little legs are too long for the sleeper he's in today. I think unwashed newborn size stuff will fit still, but if it has been washed, forget it.
Developmentally, he seems to be dropping the newborn title, too. His head control has always been impressive, but he is at a point where I don't feel like I need to support it at all. When he is on your shoulder, he is always looking around.
Like his big sister, Baby Boy stares over your shoulder while beng burped when sitting in the recliner. It is like they see someone behind you. They say children can see ghosts, so I find some comfort in thinking that some of our dearly departed are watching over my kids.
Within the last couple of days, he has also developed a case of baby acne. It started with a couple of spots on his cheeks and forehead, but now most of his forehead is covered...just in time for our family photos yesterday! It isn't too bad, though, and hopefully will clear up soon.
The last few days also brought the phase I hated most about infancy--spitting up. Ugh. He doesn't do it after every feeding, but he does it a fair amount. He remains a very gassy baby and we fight to get burps out of him each time he eats. He's also still fighting with gas pains that he struggles to relieve out the other end. After a good amount of screaming last night (which could be attributed to him being overtired after our photo session) The Hubby and I are both considering going dairy-free. I've already cut back, but couldn't resist the cheese and sour cream on my Chipotle... I've planned another week of dairy-free meals. Boring, but if it works, it is worth it. We'll try it for a week or so and if it helps, I'll stay dairy-free for a few months, at least. I'm just happy I have The Hubby's support. I wasn't going to ask him to be dairy-free, but he actually texted me today saying "Maybe we should both go a few days dairy free to see if that helps".
I will say, though, that Baby Boy is a complete joy when he isn't screaming with gas pain. He still has awake periods of 1.5 hours when he stays awake. These seem to happen most often in the morning, and he passes back out after eating almost every time during the afternoon. He will lay content on his Boppy, on the floor, or in your arms when he is awake. He loves to look around. When he does nap, it is almost exclusively on his side in the Rock n Play (or on someone, of course...I still love that feeling and let him do it a fair amount).
P.S. I was mistaken when I said that his eyes had changed to brown. They're still a very dark grey-blue, but I have no doubt that they'll be brown very soon.
It has been two weeks since I gave birth to my little man and it is amazing how much he's changed. He's already more alert and awake. He can be awake for an hour and a half after a nap (this includes time that he's sleepily eating). He is a pooping machine. Seriously. He honestly poops at least 4 times a day, but usually much, much more. And of course he doesn't do it discreetly. I don't know if this is a trait of all breast fed babies, all babies, or just mine, but his big sister did the same thing.
We had a weight check with the pediatrician last Friday. As a reminder, his birth weight was 8 lbs 10.5 oz. His discharge weight was 8 lbs 2 oz. Two days later he was back up at 8 lbs 10 oz. We went back in a week after our first pediatrician appointment and he was 9 lbs 2 oz. Half a pound in one week! The weird thing to me is that he stayed virtually the same (67th percentile versus 68th) on the weight-for-age growth chart. I did check the WHO chart when I got home and his weight is over the 85th percentile according to that, which is supposed to be more accurate for breast fed babies. Not important, just interesting. Either way, he's growing well and the doctor noted his great head control again.
At 10 days old, Baby Boy rolled from tummy to back twice. They were separate instances, which makes me slightly less convinced that it was a fluke, but I'd guess that's what it was...for now :)
I notice that I am SO much more relaxed this time around. For instance, he's fussing in the swing right now and I'm going to try to let him work it out. The only crying I can't handle is when it sounds like he's in pain, which does happen frequently due to gas issues. He'll wake up screaming like someone is pinching him, which isn't a particularly fun way to wake in the middle of the night for Mommy and Daddy. We get him into a position on our shoulder and pound on his back until he feels better. The Hubby went and bought some gripe water, which we were prepared to use last night if needed, but then didn't really need it (thank goodness).
I'm trying to enjoy every smile, every noise, every movement, because I know this time is going to go incredibly quickly. I still don't know when I will return to work, but even while I'm home with him I know he will change before my eyes and I don't want to miss a second of it.
Baby Girl loves helping change her little brother's poopy diapers. She's always asking if he has pooped.
Today she started air drumming. Her favorite part is the cymbal. At the end, she says "my mom rocks and my dad rolls" while making the two finger rock and roll sign and then rolling her arms. Cracks me up!
Tonight we had salads for dinner and she actually did really well, even once the ranch dressing was gone. She had bell peppers, lettuce, cheese carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, ham, turkey, and hard-boiled eggs.
It seems that the rule of "absence makes the heart grow fonder" holds true for Baby Girl and food. Her current favorite foods seem to be eggs and peanut butter, foods we weren't able to introduce until a few months ago.
She is currently making up things that Baby Boy is saying in his babble. She swears he just said "elephant".
How has it been a full week since I gave birth to this little man sleeping on my chest? How has it ONLY been a week since he came into our lives?
At one week old, Baby Boy isn't doing much other than eating and sleeping and he's doing a ton of both. When he was born, he slept A LOT. We were going 3 and 4 hour stretches between feedings, which was okay with me at the time! Little did I know that the sleepiness was a byproduct of his jaundice. Once my milk came in on Day 3 we stopped counting wet diapers because we could no longer keep track because he was eating so well.
We went to the doctor for a check-up on day 5 and he suggested that we start waking Baby Boy every 2 hours to eat to help him sleep longer at night, so we have been doing that. Last night was the first night that we didn't have an extended wakeful period, so I think that's a win!
The big thing that we've noticed over the past couple of days has been an increase in happy wakeful periods. We're typically getting two per day and each is about an hour long. He is content to lay in your arms, on a Boppy, in the swing, or in the Rock n Play. He makes happy little noises, looks around, and shows little smiles (which obviously aren't real smiles, but they are nice anyway).
Baby Boy sleeps best on someone's chest (which I am currently enjoying), but has spent extended periods of time sleeping in the swing and in the Rock n Play. The goal is to get him sleeping in the Rock n Play overnight, but I am loving this snuggly period and enjoying every second (as opposed to my time with Baby Girl--I remember feeling trapped under her).
We've noticed that Baby Boy tucks his left foot up under himself when he sleeps on us and turns it a little funny. It's something we'll keep an eye on.
This past weekend (first noticed on Sunday at 6 days old) we found that Baby Boy's eyes have changed from dark grey-blue to a brown with some gold. I'm guessing they will be very dark like his big sister's.
Birth (Monday) weight: 8 lbs 10.5 oz
Birth length: 20.5 inches
Discharge (Wednesday) weight: 8 lbs 2 oz
Doctor (Friday) weight: 8 lbs 10 oz (68th percentile)
Doctor length: 20 inches (51st percentile)
Doctor head circumference: 36 cm (50th percentile...)
Everything at the pediatrician checked out okay. While the doctor was pleased with his weight, he still wants to check it again this coming Friday. He also noticed that Baby Boy has a little bit of asymmetry in his hips, so at a month old we'll be going for a hip ultrasound. We had a hip ultrasound for Baby Girl because she was breech, so we've been through this before.