Thursday, May 31, 2012

three months old

can you believe it?
the little mister is a quarter of a year old.
we are absolutely loving watching his personality come out.
he is a blast
and such a happy boy.

this month has offered new adventures.
i have returned to work full time
and james is in daycare part time
at my work
and with danny part time
while he job hunts.

we also had our first (hopefully last!)
night of just me and james
while danny flew out to CA for a job interview.
wouldn't that be a super fun place to live??

mister decided to stop gaining weight and
then to even lose some,
but then he gained a whole pound
in a week.
he dropped from the 48th percentile
to the 10th
then up to the 18th.
his pedi is sure by 4 months
he'll be back to the 50 range
fingers crossed! all this extra pumping
better be worth it.

he also decided he likes the bottle
better than the boob
but i'm not giving up yet.

we also have ditched the nipple shield!
it is wonderful.

also this month: first giggles, finally liking bath time i think because of the song i sing to him, his first bout of sickness which SUCKED, hating his carseat less (buh bye elephant ears!), meeting baby hudson, talking back and forth with us, going from 7-8 hours a night to 2-3 thank you growth spurt (?), and just lots of fun with him.

hopefully we can take him swimming soon!

3 month (okay 2 month 28 day) stats:
12.48 lbs --->17.95 percentile
25.25 inches long --->92.47 percentile
16.85 cm head circumference --->97.86 percentile

poor kid hates tummy time. can you blame him? his head is ginormous. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What I Wish I'd Have Known: Miscellaneous

1. You've got to ask for your painkillers. The nurses won't just bring them to you.

2. If you have an epidural, it's very likely you won't be allowed to sit up and since you're nine months pregnant, no laying on your back. Laying on your side is all you can do. I wish I'd have downloaded an audio book to listen to. I didn't sleep all night and reading a book on your side is difficult when you have an IV.

3. If you change your mind about something, speak up! I have always heard to send your baby to the nursery at night so you can sleep. So I did. The second James left I felt terrible. I honestly think it triggered my baby blues. I cried and cried but didn't say anything!!! I wish so badly I had told the nurses I wanted him back. Or at least kept him in with us the second night. But I didn't and I still feel bad for him that I just sent him away when I felt the way I did. I wish I could go back and change that.

4. Decide in advance if you want visitors at the hospital and let people know. But refer to number 3 if you change your mind. I wish we'd have made a no visitors policy-even though people told me it would be rude-because I really needed to nap at the hospital but I never could because people were there. Also, breastfeeding is a huge learning curve and it is not ideal to learn while people are watching you. Some women are great with visitors. I wish I'd have made everyone wait until we got home.

5. Ask questions! If you don't know something, ask.

6. People will be very opinionated about putting your baby on a schedule. I'd read Babywise a while back and the theory resonated with me. I reviewed it briefly the week before James was born and found a website (babywisemom.com) that has a ton of great tips. After the jaundice was out, I started him on a 3 hour schedule of eat, play, sleep. OF COURSE I feed him if he's hungry before, but the biggest points are not letting him nurse to sleep and waking him up to feed him during the day so that he doesn't need to eat as much at night. It has been great. He does really well with it (minus the daycare throwing him off, but what can you do?). It takes him about 30 minutes to eat and then we play and then about 1.5 hours after he woke up we swaddle him, give him his binky, put him in his swing and let him get himself to sleep. I know lots of people are anti-BW but it works really well for us. The kid would sleep for 4-5 hours if he could during the day and I'd rather him sleep that long at night. We don't do cry it out (CIO) because we haven't needed to. Really the only reason he cries is because he needs his binky (and I'm okay with that prop) or he's hungry. Or he needs a diaper change. But a schedule has NOT effected my milk supply because I feed him MORE than I would if I solely fed on demand. Contrary to what many think about a schedule, I never EVER ever make him wait to eat. That's not what BW promotes either.

7. There are a dang ton of judgmental women out there. It's so so sad. They tell you what you "should" do and act as if anything different than what they do is detrimental to them, you, and your child. There are lots of supportive women but there are lots of crazies too. I will never understand why someone would care how I choose to raise my child, but some women do. Just be aware of that.

8. I wish I would have known how I would seriously never want to leave my baby, even for a date night. Most of the time James can come along but I really want to see a few movies and I think he's too old now to go. I think I'm going to have to wait for Redbox. And maybe go get movie theatre popcorn before!!



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What I Wish I'd Have Known: Recovery

1. Welp you sure bleed a lot. Some girls only for a couple weeks, some for 6-8 weeks. All normal. At the hospital, ice packs, massive pads, tucks pads, the donut pillow, and painkillers are your friends. Once home, big pads (but not massive for some reason. i think the nurse said you can get a rash?), tucks pads, the donut pillow, and painkillers are your friend. It sounds strange that ice packs down there would feel good but oh my heck, awesome. Tucks pads are great too. The hospital provides most of that stuff. If you are setting timers to remember to eat, set them for your painkillers too. Stay on top of them and you'll be good.

2. Don't be too surprised if your appetite is gone at the hospital and the first few days after. I think the shock does that, and the hormones and baby blues. Danny had to remind me to eat or I would really go all day without food.

3. Some girls fit back into their pre-pregnancy jeans in weeks, some in years, some never. At 11 weeks out I'm almost there, but my body is still hanging onto about 10-15 lbs of baby weight. I've been tracking what I eat and exercising but it's looking like I may be one of those girls with a body that hangs onto some weight until I stop nursing. Dang. So suck it up and buy a pair or two of jeans that CURRENTLY fit you and make you feel good.

4. They gave me percocet and prescription strength tylenol. Percocet can make you loopy though. I didn't realize until I stopped taking it, but it made my baby blues more intense because it put me in a cloud. I don't think I really needed it-800mg of tylenol every 4-6 hours or whatever is a lot!

5. They say sleep when the baby sleeps-I couldn't because of the company we had and because of my anxiety. Man I was so so tired. Melatonin is safe for breastfeeding, I have learned. TAKE IT! It doesn't cause a hangover so even if it's for 2-3 hours of sleep it's worth it.

6. Accept help and meals. If you breastfeed, literally it is all you do for weeks. Cleaning and making food is just not going to happen. That's okay. Make freezer meals in advance and have high protein snacks on hand. Don't feel bad that you didn't do the dishes again. Recovery is hard on you and so is breastfeeding.

7. After the initial shock wears off, get out of the house and let people come over! Fresh air and sunshine does wonders and so does just catching up with friends.

8. Your stomach is going to be all kinds of flabby. I've heard it eventually goes away as you work at it but when you get depressed about it, look at your sweet baby. Worth it. Worth it worth it worth it. Also your pelvic bones are going to feel real funky when you try running.

9. Even if you thought you had child bearing hips before, don't be surprised if your hips spread even more. Dang baby boys!!

10. You will be so, so in love with your baby. It is unbelievable. It may not hit you right after birth, or even at the hospital, but it will and it will overwhelm you. Your baby will be all you can think about. Oh it is awesome and amazing. Oh it is crazy we make little people.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What I Wish I'd Have Known: Baby Blues

Baby blues are a less severe form of postpartum depression. They include anxiety, a lack of sleep, crying for no reason, fatigue, a lack of concentration, and poor concentration.

1. Completely normal. An estimated 70-80% of moms get them after their baby is born. Even if your own mom didn't have them with 5 babies (!!), it is so okay that you are experiencing them.

2. A lack of sleep can seriously amplify them. So can percocet I learned.

3. For me, our breastfeeding problems made the baby blues so much worse.

4. It won't last forever. Mine was one week three days. The longest one week three days of my life however.

5. It may make you uneasy to be alone with your baby. My anxiety increased when my mom went home and Danny was at work or school. I was so, so new to this and I felt like I had no idea what to do when James cried. I had wanted to be a mom forever, and now that I was, I felt so inadequate to simply meet James' needs.

6. Your appetite won't exist and you'll need reminders to eat. Even if you don't eat a ton, eat. EAT! Set a timer, make someone remind you, write in on the mirror. Also sleeping may be difficult. Melatonin can solve that and can be taken while nursing.

7. If it is truly baby blues and not PPD, it will NOT last forever. It's not a bad idea however to consult your doctor just to make sure. And you will get asked about it, whether or not you had it, at follow up pedi and obgyn appts.

Monday, May 14, 2012

What I Wish I'd Have Known: Breastfeeding

James and I are almost 11 weeks into breastfeeding. 10 weeks ago, I was ready to call it quits. Even 9 weeks ago I was. Here are some things I wish I'd have known (or paid attention to when other girls told me).

1. Breastfeeding is HARD. I don't like reading and hearing that "it shouldn't hurt" because that seems like a gross over-generalization to me. Don't be surprised if at first, it does. Your poor nips have likely never been sucked on by a teeny baby with a heck of a suck for hours. Keep trying! It gets better. Pinky swear. Have a lactation consultant check his or her latch. I had scabbed nipples and I cried so hard when James was hungry those first couple weeks because it KILLED when he latched on. After meeting with a LC, a nipple shield was recommended to help my nips heal. Engorgement does NOT make that any easier. If you have a pump, pump for a few minutes before nursing to help soften your boob. Now, I like the snuggle sessions and plus he's so dang cute when he eats.

2. If the nurses want you to supplement, think about using your own pumped milk before formula. I wish I had done that. I felt like SUCH a failure because the nurses made me feel like little James was starving (when in fact he hadn't even lost 7% of his birthweight when they started freaking out, and loosing up to 10% is normal-but he was jaundiced as well) so we used a supplemental nursing system of formula. Dang I wish I had pumped and used my own milk. I think it would have helped tremendously with the baby blues I experienced.

3. Learn to use the hospital pump. They are thousands of dollars and are super nice. I only used mine once (because I couldn't remember how it worked. Someone showed me but I was exhausted and Danny wasn't there to remember for me) but I wish I'd used it more. See above.

4. Research FIRST. Man I just figured I'd learn while doing it-and I did-but I wish I had done a little reading. Kellymom.com is super helpful-but be aware, it leans to the attachment parenting side of things, which is great if that's your style. It is not mine, so I disregard a lot of the information. I have The Nursing Mother's Companion and it helped a lot those first few weeks. But if I had researched before, I would have felt more prepared.

5. Get a breastfeeding pillow. Recently I read that even with a brand new small baby, having dangling legs can put a lot of pressure and tugging on your nipples-which can lead to scabbed or at least very very sore nipples, like I had. I thought it would be superfluous. False. We use the My Brest friend Pillow. Love it. It's very firm and buckles around your waist so you can (technically) get up and walk around while nursing.

6. Learn to nurse lying down! We don't co-sleep so it is super nice to have these cuddly nursing sessions, and it's way less demanding on me to lay down rather than sit up in the middle of the night.

7. There are solutions for sore nips. Hydrogel pads, breast shells (I used these the first few weeks because I had random but large letdowns, and it kept my nips from rubbing on anything), lanolin, APNO, taking your painkillers 20-30 minutes before nursing, and if nothing else is working, nipple shields. We use the shield after meeting with a lactation consultant and while it's a pain when nursing in public, it allowed my nipples to heal and it made nursing a pleasant event instead of something I panicked about.

8. Listen to your mom's, your friends', your coworkers', your lactation consultant's, and your nurses' advice. Everybody is well meaning and I am sure everybody is convinced their opinion is the most accurate, but expect to hear conflicting research and opinions. Take pieces from everyone's advice to form your own philosophy. Expect LCs to be nazi-like about breastfeeding. Don't be surprised if the nurses push formula because your baby is loosing weight-which, by the way, is totally and completely normal and expected. Write down what you are being told when you are in the throes of the first days with your baby, so tired and sore and happy and overwhelmed, so you remember. Better yet, have someone with a great memory there listening too.

9. Know IT GETS BETTER. I had a hard time believing that in the first couple weeks, but it does.

10. Get help. Meet with a LC in the first week or so just to make sure everything is going smoothly. Read breastfeeding forums just to know you aren't alone. Vent to your husband, your mom, anyone who will listen and sympathize.

11. Don't be surprised if your baby wants to nurse all.the.time. It is so tiring. If you're sure he's done eating and is just comfort nursing, there are a few options. Some moms are okay with comfort nursing. It's not my favorite thing so I give James a binky. We did at the hospital. I'd heard too many stories of babies not taking a binky because the mom waited to offer it and I wanted none of that. Or you can just not comfort nurse and let your baby cry...haha. No thanks.

12. Jaundice=sleepy baby=wake to feed. Nurse every 2-3 hours those first few weeks. I feed James every 3 hours now during the day, unless he's hungry earlier. I still wake him to feed so he is on a schedule. He typically sleeps 945-330, eats, goes straight back down until 630/7. During the day I nurse sitting up but at his middle of the night and 630 feeding I feed him laying down to help him with the difference between day and night. I nurse him on the couch at night, with just the bathroom light on in the corner to keep it dark. So far he generally can settle himself back to sleep when I put him in his swing after eating. This is the only time I let him nurse to sleep.

13. If you are going back to work, don't stress about a freezer stash. Here is why.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

What I Wish I'd Have Known: What to Bring to the Hospital

Man did we overpack.

1. Some snacks. They provided me three meals a day but none for Danny, and when you have not eaten for 12 hours because of your dang IV and epidural, you are seriously starving.

2. Your own pillows.

3. Breastfeeding pillow. Yes you probably need one even if you don't think you do.

4. Comfy maternity pants for after delivery with lots of room in the crotch/bum area for your recovery supplies. Maternity yoga pants saved me.

5. Nursing tank or bra.

6. Something to write down your thoughts and the events.

7. Camera/video camera.

8. Your own blanket perhaps.

9. Slippers to walk around in.

10. The baby's take-home outfit.

11. Toiletries.

12. A book or audio book for labor.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

What I Wish I'd Have Known

Since I'm pretty much a pro now at mothering (ha, ha), I have put together a little "What I Wish I'd Have Known" series. I've had some time to think back on what I'd have done differently and I want to write it down for myself in the future and for others. I'll post them throughout the week.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Two whole months

This happy boy is two months old!
11lb 14oz (48%ile)
24.25 inches (96%ile)
And
Head circumference was something that put him in the 97%ile. Poor kid-no wonder he hates tummy time!



He is smiling so much. He is a pretty happy baby, except for being in his carseat. We drove to Oklahoma a couple weeks ago and he was so good. Had a hard time in his carseat but as long as someone was back there with him he was better. He's responding to our voices and watching us walk around. He's a sweetheart!