I don't know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels

Archive for September, 2011

33 days old

FrostedBaby now weighs 9 pounds, 11 ounces. The MW was the same as our last appointment two weeks ago and says he looks great and once again exclaimed over how cute he is. I don’t know if she says that to everyone (she says she doesn’t), but I happen to agree with her.

I forgot my shield when I left and naturally he decided he was starving to death the second we got into the office. The MW was trying to help me get him latched on without it and he was having none of it and he was SO MAD. I was trying to get him on the side that has the smaller nipple (it doesn’t stick up as much) just because that was the side he had fed less on that day, but then we tried switching to the other side. He was having none of it when she was trying to get him on, but when she let him go and stepped away, he very politely latched himself on just like he’d been doing it forever. I tried it doing it again without it on that side at home, but he didn’t take to it. It is nice to know that in a pinch he can do it, and I guess I should perservere a bit to get him on a naked boob, but I dunno. It just brings back all those frustrating memories of trying to get him on it in the first few days and trying to juggle all the body parts (since I don’t need to hold my boob with the shield on like I do without it) and him getting mad and frustrated too, it goes so much more smoothly with it.

She commented on how much milk I have from the gulping sounds he was making. And the first time she touched my boob to help get him on, it sprayed right into his face, poor guy. At least I know it is a lot, since if this isn’t a lot, I dread to see those who are considered to have a lot!

We had our first sleep overnight not at home earlier this week when my husband went to Ottawa on a business trip. I was hoping I could tag along and go to a friend’s since she’s right along the way, but the timing didn’t work out so instead I went to my parents’. It went well, though nothing is quite as comfortable as being at home. As I posted on FB, I packed a ton of extra clothes and actually needed almost all of it, which is ridiculous since it was just over 24 hours that I was there. But I tend to change his sleepers as soon as he spits up on them (with the exception of overnight if he’s already asleep and I don’t want to wake him up again) so we go through a lot of laundry around here because of that. Maybe that’s the norm for most people, but I know some people who don’t do that.

I brought along the bassinette (without the stand) and put him in my mom’s sewing room. I turned out to be perfect because she has a comfy chair in there (not as good as my glider, but not bad) and a dim light that I could flip on without blinding us, so then I didn’t have to stumble up and down the stairs a bunch of times and could get him down again easily (I prefer not to have to move him around much, especially for the middle of the night when I often put him down when he’s just drowsy because he can put himself to sleep. When he’s dead asleep, nothing will wake him, but when he’s just drowsy he wakes up easily).

I got to show him to the next door neighbour and my mom was having lunch with a long term friend’s of hers (last time I saw her was our wedding, I believe) so I tagged along. I haven’t spent a lot of time with them as an adult so that was nice.

That night back at home, FrostedBaby went to bed earlier than usual (not by much, but still) and slept through the whole night! I think it was around 7 hours, from just before 10 to around 5. I was up a bunch, waking up and checking on him and then pumping when my boobs got too painfully full and there was no sign of him waking up soon. I was afraid he’d be wide awake after sleeping that long but he went back to sleep until 8:30 I think it was. I think it was because he was awake more that day although I don’t think he got a lot less sleep. I actually prefer when he’s up at predictable times though, as long as he goes back to sleep easily. I wake up anyway and I prefer feeding him to pumping even though it takes longer. He takes more out so I’m comfortable longer, plus I get the snuggling of feeding him.

I haven’t decided for sure yet, but I might be planning an evening out without him for October. A group of people from the online IF support group who live in Mississauga, including one of my due date group buddies are meeting for dinner and I might join them. My husband is away for a few days and I might go to my parents’ and see if they’ll watch FrostedBaby for a few hours. My husband comes back before I go, but depending on if he’s late or if he’ll pick him up before heading home, he might not be available. I’d prefer to leave him with my husband since I know he’ll settle for him, but my dad’s good with him too and it’s only a few hours and I’ll be close by.

He’s started getting fussy in the evenings, classically starting around 6 or 7. He’s still not very bad and he’s easy to placate, but it’s a bit frustrating because he signals that he wants to eat, but then he’s not really eating properly, or not for very long and then he’s fussing and carrying on. I’ve gotten better at giving him one more chance to eat properly, and then I put the boob away and we walk around or whatever. I also read The Happiest Baby on the Block before he was born so we’ve found that swaddling him (arms in, not sure if that makes a difference, but in the book he says that sometimes parents don’t swaddle tight enough to create that peaceful feeling and I did it the first time and it worked, so who knows) and then rocking him energetically stops his fussing and puts him to sleep pretty quickly.

Some cute things he does:

When he eats, he often has his lower hand up near his face on top of my boob and he sticks his index finger up in the air. As he falls asleep, his finger gets lower and lower, then if he wakes up a bit more, it goes back up. I call it his awake-o-meter and it always makes me laugh. And then he gets a milkshake 😛

He loves to look around, and he is particularly fascinated by pictures on the wall and will stare at them for a long time. I’m not sure exactly how much they can see (they say it’s about 30cm they can see clearly) but he can track either of us from across the room so he can at least see clearly enough that far to recognize us.

He’s very smiley first thing in the morning. He’ll actually react with a smile to something, but just in general he gives random smiles and is very cute and almost interactive. Not really, but almost! He continues to have a lot of facial expressions. I wish I had a camera on hand at all times, ready to take his picture to capture all of them.

He can hold his head up pretty good now and is getting better at lifting it when he’s on his tummy, though he gets frustrated easily like that. His legs are really strong (I could have told you that before he was born!) and sometimes he actually lifts himself up like he’s trying to stand if you’re holding him the right way. If you make faces at him he seems like he mimics you, though it takes a while and it’s not always clear. Not sure if he sticks his tongue out because he’s trying to poop or if it’s in response to me.

He’s started making more sounds, which is really cute. He is fascinated when I say “frrrrrrroggie!” for some reason.

I’ve been writing this post all afternoon, so I’m going to post the next part in point form. Other things of note around here:

– I’m back to wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans! My mat jeans were falling down all the time so I decided to try these ones again and they fit better. They’re still a bit snug and I’m not 100% sure they’re not pushing up my little bit of looser belly skin up, but when I wear a shirt you can’t really tell. They look good otherwise.

– I was given the go-ahead to have sex again. I thought I had to wait until six weeks post partum, so that surprised me a bit. This is good news because it’s been a while, but also scary because I’m a bit afraid. And you’re supposed to take your time and relax, which is a bit hard to do even though he’s a good sleeper and generally doesn’t wake up once he’s down. I guess at the very least it’s good that hormones aren’t all nuts and killing any interest. Though it’s a lot easier to fit nothing in 😉

He has a yeast diaper rash, which I took him to the doctor about last week and they confirmed that that’s what it is and that he doesn’t have thrush, thankfully. It’s been looking better since we started using the cream though he has some remains of it right in his butt crack where it’s in direct contact with his poop and is the hardest area to air out. He also has a lot of baby acne which I’m not nuts about, but I gather that will go away on its own eventually. It just looks really red and irritated sometimes, though sometimes it doesn’t look so red depending on what he’s doing, I guess. He doesn’t seem bothered by it, in any case.

Tonight he’s been really frustrating with his fussiness and on-off-on-off the boob combined with the fact that I’m really sore (probably as a result of the on-off stuff) and totally touched out in my boobal area, and I have a big headache (probably weather-related, I’m guessing there’s a storm coming in addition to the all day rain) and I thought he had gone to sleep but when I got upstairs he opened his eyes and was all wide awake. Then I brought him back downstairs to change his diaper and he pooped in the clean one, then he peed in the second clean one. Good timing. Normally I’d laugh about it but I’m really tired and headachey and I’m just done for today and would like him to go to sleep now and give me a break. I’ll be happy to see him again in the night when my boobs are full again 😉

25 days old

What sort of sixth sense does FrostedBaby have that he could be asleep for hours or minutes, but the second it’s time for me to eat he wakes up and wants to eat too? Is it the same one he used in utero to detect when the camera was on and then he’d stop moving?

Things continue to go well here. I moved him into his own room last Thursday I think it was since I was spending half the night listening to all his noises and waiting for him to wake up but he wouldn’t for hours and I’d be dozing on and off along with him making noise or being quiet and I started worrying I was going to get so tired I’d start sleeping through everything, or tuning everything out. I was really nervous to have him so far away, but he was fine and went to sleep with no problems (actually, I think he likes his crib mattress better than the bassinette) and I surprisingly fell asleep really fast despite being worried. I actually slept the longest at a stretch that I’d gotten since he was born and only woke up when he cried. And when I heard him, I think I was into his room before I was even fully awake. So he’s been in there since and while I usually wake up before him still, especially if he sleeps until 3 or later, I’m feeling a lot less tired. I’m not a big fan of when he wakes me out of a sleep since I always feel like he’s been crying a while and it’s taken me a long time to wake up. He’s never in his frantic mode (he tends to wind up, rather than going from 0 to 100 like some babies and it takes him a while to get to 100) but it still worries me a bit since I don’t hear his first cry that he makes before starting to wind up for real. I have to remind myself constantly after I’ve put him to bed and I’m getting ready to go off myself not to go check on him if he’s just making noise, to wait until he actually makes a crying sound because half the time he’s asleep when he’s making noise, or if he’s awake he’ll often go to sleep on his own if I just leave him alone.

He’s been going through a growth spurt, I think, since there was one night that he fed every two hours and he was awake a lot of the day, then he slept more than usual for a few days, then he cluster fed earlier this week pretty much all afternoon and evening, and he’s seemed to be back to normal since, with more feeding in the evenings but not the crazy cluster feeding where he’s constantly complaining he’s hungry.

He’s been a bit fussier lately which makes me wonder if that’s his purple crying, which is when babies get really fussy and inconsolable in the evenings mostly for no reason and nothing helps. Even when he’s fussy it’s possible to make him stop crying, by walking around and showing him stuff and holding him, so it’s not awful but it is unlike his usual personality where he’s happy to look around and doesn’t get too upset about anything.

I find him difficult to entertain because he’s not terribly interactive and it’s hard to tell what he can see and what would interest him. Sometimes he likes one thing and sometimes he doesn’t. I know this will only get more difficult and demanding, but at least eventually there will be some reaction back. Right now I do a lot of walking and dancing and singing and just talking to him, which he seems to like. He likes to be bounced and rocked vigorously (that’s my husband’s department) and he really likes to be walked around so he can look at stuff. When I walk up the stairs, he always leans his head waaaaay back and looks at the ceiling fan with this amazed look on his face. He also likes to be burped over my shoulder while we’re sitting in the glider and he stares at the rainbow blanket I have draped over the back of it (put it there originally for colour, but now I’m leaving it there because it keeps him entertained).

I went to the BF support group again today, the first time since the time we went when he was 4 days old and needed so much help. There was a girl there from my prenatal class, which was cool since we got to catch up a bit. Also met a girl whose baby is three weeks old (as opposed to FrostedBaby, who is three and a half weeks :P) and who is on the FB support group that my friend started for people she meets at these groups. It’s kind of neat that I can already give some advice to people and to really know that a lot of the issues I have or had really are very common and now I can help people even though I’m still very new at it too. I wish the group met at a different time though, since 1:30 is my naptime (FrostedBaby very consistently takes a long sleep in the afternoon and I usually lay down then too; it’s my natural sleepy time, even before I had him I’d always get sleepy around then) and by the time it’s over he’s waking up and won’t sleep for as long or as deeply until he goes down for the night, or at least not consistently.

Breastfeeding is going much better. Some days it seems like we’ve gotten our act together and he’s actively helpful in latching on and it’s like we know what we’re doing and then other days he’s forgotten everything he knew from the day before or even the last feeding. Assuming he’s not cluster feeding though, it’s generally an enjoyable activity now, even in the middle of the night, especially if he doesn’t wake up too much, and he eats and then goes back to bed really easily.

I’d love to talk about something besides FrostedBaby, but I don’t really have a whole lot going on outside of him, which I’m hoping to rectify in the not too distant future. Even though he’s obviously the biggest part of my life currently, I’d like to have something else to talk/think about. I’m not really keeping up on the news even. I’m writing a lot of this down so I’ll remember stuff and especially about him, but it’s also partly that I have nothing else going on.

I did go see my chiropractor on Wednesday (I had an appointment on the day after I gave birth which I obviously cancelled and then I wasn’t in any shape to go for a while and then kept forgetting to call and rebook an appointment) and got to show him off there. She was really excited since she knows all the trouble we’ve had. After that I dropped by work since they’re in the same area. It was good to see everyone, although there were a few clients who I’d been hoping to see who were cancelled. I’m hoping to go by next time on a Friday when my favourite client is in and a bunch of others who would love to see him.

My husband (I really need to come up with a name to call him here) is out today and he was out for the afternoon a few days ago, so I’ve been getting some experience with being by myself with FrostedBaby. He’s going away to Ottawa next week for a night, though I might be going to a friend’s since she’s close by. I’m unsure about the long drive though, so I’m undecided. He’s pretty good in the car, but that’s a long time plus there are certain times of the day that he feeds more frequently during and that would be a pain. Even if I pump ahead of time, I’d need to be relieved… although it’s actually only 3.5 hours to my friend’s, so it’s possible he could go the whole time. It’s been okay by myself, but it’s a lot harder, especially with FrostedBaby getting upset and hungry every time I try to eat. At least when Husband’s around, he can prepare dinner for after feeding or I can eat one handed while feeding, but when I’m by myself I can’t make dinner while feeding him, or even just heat something up. And it’s hard to plan between feedings because it seems like his feedings rotate around when I want to eat 😛 Really not looking forward to him going away for a stretch of time, though maybe it’ll be a bit better by then. It’s also nice to have someone to pass him off to when he’s fussy since often a different person holding him helps, and he sometimes makes me frustrated by constantly rooting but then not eating and then crying when he’s not happy. Sometimes I wonder if just being near me makes him feel the need to eat or be near my boobs (aka the AYCE buffet). Sometimes giving him to someone else will convince him he does in fact want to eat and he’ll settle down to a real feeding when before he wouldn’t, or it’ll convince him that he’s not actually hungry and then he gets busy doing something else. I find it difficult to ignore his hunger cues just in case he really is hungry.

I haven’t been able to read as much as I’d like, since I’m either reading a few pages and then I’m going to sleep, or else I’m trying to read and I keep getting interrupted, especially since he doesn’t eat much at a time most of the time, though that’s getting better. I think it’s also partly because the book I’m reading isn’t terribly exciting. It’s good and I want to finish it, but it’s not really gripping so I’m less motivated to push through and read it despite the interruptions.

I apparently forgot to post this yesterday, so here it is now, though he’s now 26 days old 😉

picture, as requested

I’ve come back to edit this post in the interest of privacy, so the original text and picture have been removed.

 

15 days old

Where have the last two weeks gone? It’s been a huge blur of sitting on the couch and feeding and trying to sleep (I feel like I’m constantly getting into and out of bed, but how is that possible when I’m constantly sitting on the couch?). It’s been awesome and amazing and frustrating and painful but totally worth it.

BFing continues to be a work in progress. I no sooner feel that I have a handle on things than we revert back to acting like we have no idea what we’re doing. My nipples got sore again a few days ago, even with the shield, and it was excruciating again and not at all enjoyable. Someone asked if I was using that Lansinoh nipple stuff, and I had been but then I stopped when my nipples started feeling better, so I’m back to using it starting yesterday evening and they already feel like they’re less painful. So note to all future BFing moms — use your nipple protector stuff. I’m not even sure what to call it. It’s not cream, it’s more like really thick vaseline. In any case, use it religiously.

I’ve started pumping a bit to have some bottled breastmilk on hand so that I can get a break if I’m particularly sore, and so my husband can feed him and I can sleep without worrying he needs me. Then when I do BF him, I’m a bit more appreciative of the experience because of the break and not feeling like he’s a ball and chain on me, which I admit sometimes it feels like he is, particularly during the cluster feeding in the evenings. That has slowed down a bit, I think it was his first growth spurt, but he’s still eating frequently in the evenings. Plus I think the next growth spurt is at 3 weeks? I seem to recall there’s a rule of 3s involved, I just can’t remember the specifics. Perhaps I should look that up so I can be ready for it 😉

He’s been noisier at night, making me think about putting him in his own room much sooner than I had anticipated. He’s not really awake, I think it might be the REM sleep phase, but he waves his arms and legs around and makes lots of noise and I keep waking up thinking he’s going to cry but then he goes back to sleep (or into a deeper sleep when he’s not moving around) and then I go back to sleep and then wake up again to the same thing. Now that I know he’ll cry when he’s awake and ready to eat (after getting up only to find him alseep by the time I get there, or to him being too sleepy to eat after all), I’m better able to tune out the noise or at least not have to check on him, but it means I’m getting a lot of interrupted sleep so I’m feeling more tired. I’m a bit afraid to put him in his own room, but at the same time I’m so tired that I’m starting to wonder if I could possibly sleep through him actually needing me, which is quite disconcerting for a usually very light sleeper like me. Sometimes if he goes longer than I’m expecting him to sleep, I’ll wake up from a really deep sleep (do normal people sleep like that all the time? I feel like I’m dead) and wonder if something happened to him because it’s been a while and I didn’t wake up. Very strange for me.

Highlights and lowlights of the past two weeks:

Lowlights are definitely getting frustrated with the BFing and forgetting that he’s not being difficult on purpose, so telling him to open his mouth or saying, “if you’re hungry, why did you come off?” when he pops himself off and then wants back on a minute later (except keeps getting his hands in the way so he can’t). Hormone dump crying, where I’m not sad but can’t stop crying and feeling like a failure because I’m not always enjoying the feedings and I’m unimpressed with the way I handle some situations. Probably related a bit to hormones, but the one thing I was totally unprepared for is the fear I have now, that something will happen to him. I’ve heard that expression that when you have children, your heart forever walks around outside your body and I thought I understood it, but I had no idea. Intellectually I could understand it, but emotionally I couldn’t appreciate the depth of what that actually means. It’s both completely amazing and completely terrifying at the same time.

Highlights are when he falls asleep snuggled against me, when he’s so deeply asleep that he is totally floppy and it just feels that he has such deep trust for us to take care of him, the faces he makes, the fact that he’s more alert and although he’s not interactive sometimes you can hit on something that really interests him (like when he was fussing and I started moving his arms around), the fact that my husband has been amazing for this whole thing and I have no idea what I would do without him and it just confirms our whole relationship to me (probably won’t last forever, but I figure it’s a good sign that we started off on the right foot :P). He does his share of stuff, he’s constantly getting stuff for me that I need, he’s taken over the meal decisions because I can’t make any, he’s really good at calming the baby down, and calming me down, and I just cannot stress how important having a supportive partner is in all this when I’m nuts from hormones and lack of sleep and the constant demands of the baby. (And even when he’s sleeping, I feel like I’m just waiting for him to wake up and need me again, it’s not really like it’s much of a break).

In some ways it’s been a lot easier than I expected. It feels sort of a natural transition, like it was meant to be. I guess because we had some idea of what we were in for from taking care of our friends’ kids, and because we’ve waited so long for it. Our lifestyle is naturally fairly quiet, so it’s not like we went from clubbing every night to being home doing nothing all the time, so that helps. In some ways it’s been more difficult, the BFing in particular, though not completely unexpected that there would be some bumps along the way.

He’s waking up and it’s time to eat, and then I need to tidy up some stuff since my family is coming over to celebrate my sister’s birthday.