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Two Months

My head tells me that Teddy was just born yesterday but my eyes are telling me something completely different. It’s so hard to believe how fast he is growing!

Teddy is two months old today but doesn’t go to the pediatrician until next week so I don’t have any fun growth stats for you yet (I’ll update when I do). I haven’t even gone for my postpartum follow-up appointment yet. The doctor who delivered Teddy is probably the busiest OB at the practice so it was hard to reschedule my appointment and I will, no doubt, have to wait quite a while to be seen. I’m feeling pretty good except for the complete lack of weight loss but that’s another post entirely.

Teddy started out longer than Ben so it shouldn’t surprise me that he is wearing 3 month clothes earlier but I’m still sad about it. My tiny baby is a beast! He’s wearing all 3 month clothes except for pants. He’s pretty slim still, even though he has very kissable rolls and dimples, so pants slide right off. We’re using size one disposable diapers at night and have already packed away all the small prefold diapers in favor of the 5 fitted diapers + covers and 7 BumGenius all-in-one diapers in the stash. I’m still wrapping my head around how I want to split the stash of BumGenius pocket diapers between the two boys but that will happen soon since Teddy is well within the size range.

Teddy consistently wakes up to eat only once during the night, usually between 5 and 7, depending on when we go to bed. He eats, burps, and goes back to sleep with little fuss or effort on my part. We haven’t used a shield for a few weeks (YAY!) so those are packed away now. We’re starting to loosely implement a 7:30 bedtime to get him used to having set sleep hours but success is hit and miss at this point. I feed him and B changes his diaper, puts on PJs, and swaddles him and we put him down in his Rock n Play (highly recommended, especially for a second kid).

Teddy is a smiler. He loves to smile; smiling is his favorite. He has a hard time not smiling so he can eat or keep his pacifier in his mouth. He smiles at all three of us but it’s especially heart-melting to see him smile at Ben. Ben loves to help Teddy play in the gym (Teddy is not as big of a fan, however), throw clothes down the clothes shoot, bring Teddy pacifiers, toys, books, or other things Teddy doesn’t play with yet. I’m looking forward to how things change as Teddy grows up and becomes more of a playmate than a novelty. Ben is really a fantastic big brother and a great helper most days. His molars are taking their sweet time coming in so some days are horrible (looking at you, yesterday, with your 20 minute nap) but the times that Ben throws his arms around my neck and asks for kisses and hugs that make up for the rough stuff.

That’s all I can think of for now. Any questions?

EDIT
Teddy weighed in at 11 lbs 14.5 oz (half pound heavier than Ben at 2 months but Teddy was weighed at 2 months and 9 days) which is 28th %. He was 23 inches long (33rd%) and his head, similar to Ben’s, was 16 inches (82nd%). My babies have big heads! He didn’t react too well to the vaccines and was whiney, clingy, and feverish for the rest of the day. He slept well at night, however, and the fever was gone the next morning.

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TV watching buddy and lap warmer

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Lion child

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Teddy’s new quilt (and Ben testing it out) from B’s aunt

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Video games with Daddy

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Hiding

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Tummy time

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You mean that these sweet toys are for BABIES?!

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The family red sweatsuit

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❤ Love them!

 

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1

One Month

Happy One Month, Theodore John!

We’re a little in shock that it has only been a month since Teddy was born. He fills out our family so well it’s like he has always been here.

I feel like I’ve healed pretty well. I’ve only lost about 20 of the 50 (I know!) pounds that I gained with Teddy, which is a bit frustrating to me, but I’ll make it there eventually. I can wear the jeans I bought just before Ben was a month old and have started pulling out my regular clothes again. Most of the weight is stored in my lower half so pants will be a struggle for a while but getting out my old shirts is like seeing old friends after a long absence! I’ve stopped bleeding already (it took 6 full weeks with Ben) and don’t feel the stitches anymore.

I don’t take Teddy back to the pediatrician until he is two months old but I know that he is growing! He is out of newborn disposables and is starting to outgrow his newborn clothes. Many of the 0-3 month outfits are too big yet so we’re mixing and matching until he grows a bit more. We made the move to cloth diapers during the day last week so we aren’t flying through disposables anymore. He seems to be tolerating the change pretty well with no significant rashes to speak of. We weighed Teddy before his bath on Saturday and he clocked in at 9.6 lbs and has the chin rolls and dimples in his knees to prove it. I’m proud of how much he has grown!

We’ve fallen into a good rhythm with breastfeeding. He eats every 3-4 hours during the day and then a 4-5 hour stretch before our first night wake up and then 3 more hours. That’s typically a bed time feeding between 10 and 11, one feeding from 3-4, and a wake up feeding between 7 and 8. His schedule is a lot more fluid than Ben’s internal clock so stupid Daylight Saving Time has thrown us off a little. Ben is now ready to get up before Teddy eats but we’ll eventually get back to Teddy naturally wanting to wake and eat about 30 minutes before Ben is ready.

I think I am FINALLY past the mastitis and clogged duct problems that pestered me the entire time B was in San Francisco and I was solo parenting. I finished my antibiotics yesterday and started taking lecithin (food extract that acts like an emulsifier, sticking to fat in my milk to keep it from sticking together) and haven’t had any super painful clogs since I wrote my last desperate blog post. Astonishingly, Teddy started latching without a nipple shield after I wrote that post too so thank you for those prayers! It was wonderfully encouraging to have something start going right after 7+ days of frustration. We regularly go without the shield and only use it for the one to two night feedings, depending on how tired Teddy is. He has a lot more trouble latching when he is half asleep and when it has been 5 hours since he ate and I’m more engorged than normal. He can be quite stubborn about latching anyway and has spent up to 5 minutes sniffing and licking my nipple instead of latching but we haven’t given up yet. I was a little worried that the mastitis and duct issues caused a dip in supply but since Teddy’s diapers are always soaked and he poops all the flippin time, he is still getting enough to eat.

B is currently back in San Francisco for a second conference in less than two weeks. I dropped him off at the airport yesterday morning and he gets back Wednesday evening so this one is much shorter than the last one. He commented on how much bigger Teddy was when he got home last Thursday. That’s what you get for going away for a week when your son is only 3 weeks old! I feel much more confident about solo parenting for this second stretch even though all three of us have caught colds. I’ve figured out some coping mechanisms and experience coordinating both boys schedules. We’ve watched more tv than I’d like during the last week but I’ll be able to wean us off that once we get more settled. We watch youtube music videos and have dance parties (great for using up toddler energy!), Baby Einstein, and, of course, Toy Story. I’ve gotten really good at playing dishes with Ben with only one hand and figuring out how to shower each day. Baby wearing is more of a necessity this time around and I am so glad I bought the baby k’tan to use instead of the Moby wrap!

Ben has impressed me with his flexibility, maturity (at times), his helpfulness, and his love of his “baby broller Teddy.” I’ve learned that if we talk about what to expect from him during a situation, everything goes much smoother. For example, when we get home from the store, I tell Ben that I’m going to take Teddy out of the car and put him in the house and then I’ll come back for him. He knows I haven’t left for good and he gets attention too. We have started working some of the basic love and logic parenting methods into our daily routines with some positive results. We regularly “take turns” changing diapers and we give him the option to go first or second. He can choose between different shirts every day and chooses from several options for lunch or snacks. We’re working building up his self-confidence by giving him the chance to choose his own path from a carefully constructed set of options. All choice is a good choice because we only give good options but it works! We still spend our fair share of time in the time out chair because he “didn’t use good listening” but I’ve seen impressive improvement in the last month.

Ben is very helpful with Teddy too, in spite of liking to steal Teddy’s boppy and burp cloth all the time. He likes to give hugs and kisses, is very concerned if he thinks Teddy isn’t going to go somewhere with us, shares toys (Teddy doesn’t care but its adorable just the same), and is tolerant of the time Teddy spends with me nursing.

I’d be remiss if I don’t mention that it has been a year since we lost Baby 2. Time changes the feeling of emptiness that comes with losing a baby but it doesn’t go away, even after the birth of a child since then. We love and miss you, Baby Girl!

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4 day old baby snuggles!

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Our first walk with the double stroller (Joovy Caboose Ultralight)

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Momming

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Ben got a haircut and didn’t act like it was the end of the world!

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The many faces of TJ

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Our first outing without B

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Ben asked for a photo with his chicken nuggets to send to Daddy

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We had one amazingly warm (78) day to play in the leaves before it got cold and rainy

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Ben is a huge fan of leaf piles

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Teddy’s face is priceless

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Baby’s first WP shirt!

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Dressed like Daddy

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Ben refused to nap on Halloween and kept putting his monster socks on his hands like puppets

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The cutest Woody ever

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Buzz Lightyear to the rescue!

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Selfies while building towers

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Ben was sharing toys with Teddy (Woody hat, Mr. Potato Head, Daddy’s glove, and Ben’s burp cloth)

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This boy is full of energy and joy!

 

9

A Prayer for my Boobs

I am still struggling with breastfeeding Teddy almost a month into this relationship. I don’t think his latch is everything it should be but it works because of the nipple shield. I haven’t been able to get him to latch without the shield at all; he simply looks at me like I’m crazy. I’ve been battling double mastitis and clogged ducts for over a week and feel downright rotten about every other day. I’m on day 3 of antibiotics and definitely have had a new clog develop in the last few hours. Letdown brings sharp pain that is only just bearable.

I know I don’t want to quit though. There has to be a way to fix all these issues but when I’ve been solo parenting for a week (B had been in San Francisco for a work conference since last Thursday), I don’t have the energy or time to devote to getting better because there’s always a child that needs something. B leaves again for another work trip on Sunday so I’m hoping to get as much rest as possible between when he gets home tomorrow and Sunday morning.

If you’re the praying type, I need help getting through the next week and a healing touch.

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Nursing Strike

I think it’s finally safe to say that Ben’s nursing strike is over!

I don’t think it ended because of anything that I did other than just wait it out. He’s been fighting eating for about 3 weeks now. The biggest concern during a nursing strike or even a strike from bottle feeding is dehydration/starvation. Both our pediatrician and my mom (mother of 6 and pediatric nurse) said to watch for amount of urine (are diapers as wet as often as they used to be), amount of drool, and lethargy. Presence of all three of those would be a high alert to both call the doctor and possibly head to the ER. Thankfully, we didn’t have to deal with that.

During the worst of the strike, Ben would yell and arch his back every time I brought him close to me to nurse. Being more patient than your child is pretty key to getting through with your sanity. We tried giving him a bottle but since he was so congested that he couldn’t breathe, a bottle didn’t work any better than a breast did. I would offer to feed him every hour but didn’t try to push it if he rejected food; I’d just try again sooner.

I started sneaking in a feeding when he was just barely awake from naps since I knew he ate so well when he was half asleep overnight. I kept him swaddled, the lights off, curtains closed and white noise machine on. Eventually, when post-nap feedings were consistently good, I added pre-nap feedings (swaddled, lights off, curtains closed and white noise machine on). We’ve slowly been eliminating one of those environmental factors every few days and now we’re back to feeding 4 or so minutes a side every 3 hours, no swaddle, lights on, fully awake and curtains open. I’ve chosen to continue only feeding him in his bedroom because he gets distracted by people, pets, or noises very easily, which is pretty typical of a 6 month old. Apparently there are too many exciting things going on in the world to bother paying attention to eating!

I’m so, so, so glad this is over! It was super stressful knowing that he wasn’t eating enough plus going through a growth spurt at the same time. The worst has been avoided and now I have tools in my child-raising arsenal to pull out next time this happens, either with Ben or Baby #2.

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Surviving the First Few Weeks

I never gave much thought to how to actually care for Ben once he arrived. I always thought we’d figure it out as we went. Because that was how I prepared (or not), there was a flurry of Amazon purchases in the first few days after coming home from the hospital. I wanted to share the things we’ve been using in the past few weeks that have made living a somewhat normal life possible. I’ve divided the list into things for me and things for Ben.

For Mom:

Button front pjs- Any kind will do. I didn’t think about how my normal pj routine of a t-shirt and shorts wouldn’t really work to nurse Ben easily in the middle of the night.

Yoga pants, nursing camis, and comfy sleep bras: If I’m not leaving the house, I will be wearing these. No joke, that’s what I’m wearing as I type this post. The roll top pants are wonderful to cover and support the really floppy belly in the beginning and give you as much coverage as you need. The nursing tanks are soft and easy to breastfeed while wearing. I found mine on Target’s website as a “daily deal” a few months back and bought several of each basic neutral (black, white, gray) for $11 each. I’m also pretty sure I own every color available of the sleep bras. I’ve been wearing these at night since I started leaking colostrum around 20 weeks and wanted a way to keep breast pads in place. They are supportive without being too tight.

Nursing Bra: Specifically, I went with this one, a black, 3/4 cup, bamboo fiber bra from Womama. It is very difficult for me to find bras that fit right now since the narrow rib cage + larger cup size combination is almost nonexistent in stores. I bought this bra sight unseen from Amazon the day I came home from the hospital and like it a lot. It is very soft and the only issue I have with fit is the band fits a little tighter around my ribs than I would like but that also means when I put it on, it doesn’t budge.

Breast Pads: Since I started using breast pads so long ago already, I have tried several different brands. Medela pads work well but are a little papery and scratchy. Lansinoh’s pads are soft but strangely square in shape so they show through clothes at the edge. Avent breast pads are the best all around that I could find. Thanks to some lovely family characteristics, I have been dealing with oversupply issues and can go through TONS of pads a day. I meant to use reusable pads but the one time I tried that, I woke up completely drenched to the skin so I’m back to the disposable variety.

Medela Pump and Save Breastmilk Bags: I received these as gift and didn’t think I’d use them until after my milk came in and just kept coming! There are times that Ben will nurse on both sides and I’m still uncomfortably full so I pump enough to relieve some of the pressure. I store the milk in the fridge until I have 2 ounces collected (1 or 2 breasts worth), dump the milk into one of these bags, label with the amount and date and toss in the freezer. So far, I have 6 oz frozen, almost 2 oz in the fridge and Ben has drank 2 oz. My hope is to have enough stored up for the 12 hour road trip we’re taking later this month. I want to be able to bottle-feed Ben while on the road so we don’t have to make 20-30 minute pit stops every 3 hours.

For Ben:

Miracle blanket: I know they are expensive. I balked even though I was told over and over again that they are the bee’s knees because I couldn’t justify spending $30 on one blanket. I got one as a gift and we started using it the first night home. Ben loves to be swaddled when sleeping, like most newborns, but he is really, really good at extracting his arms from whatever swaddle we used. The Miracle Blanket has little flaps that wrap over his arms and are pinned down by his body weight so he literally cannot get out. He looks like a little burrito! He wet through the blanket on our second night home so I immediately ordered a second one with 1 day shipping (yay Amazon Prime!) at 5:00 am. They are that amazing and my sleep is worth $30.


Newborn Clothes: Everyone says not to spend too much on newborn clothes since many newborns fit into 0-3 month clothing. Ben is on his second week of newborn attire and will probably make it through 1-2 more. I had about 6 outfits and 3 onesies which isn’t enough when your loving spouse is still learning how to use diapers and the baby continuously pees through several outfits a day for several days in a row. I had to run out and buy more newborn onesies and did lots of laundry to keep Ben clothed.

Aden + Anais Blankets: These blankets are super popular and super worth either registering for or buying yourself. They are HUGE, slightly stretchy because of the fabric’s weave, thin, and very soft. After learning some tips on swaddling by using the Miracle Blanket, both B and I have gotten quite skilled at wrapping Ben up in one of these for naps during the day.

Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper Mini: I wanted a bed for Ben to sleep by me in our room at night without actually being IN bed with me and learned about this one through Pinterest, of all places. I bought mine used on Craigslist (I know, bad mom move) to save money. I wasn’t worried about it being used after I checked it out. It’s in great shape and I also scored 3 sheets and 2 mattress pads for $50! Ben is only an arms length away from me so rolling over to pop his pacifier in his mouth or grab him to nurse is really simple. We never planned on B doing any night diaper changes or anything since he sleeps so deeply he never wakes up so it’s extra nice to have Ben so close.

Original ErgoBaby carrier with infant insert: Ben loves to be carried and snuggled and sometimes when at home and while out and about, it isn’t possible to carry him or push him in the stroller. I did a lot of research on what carrier to buy and we’re really pleased with this one. The Ergo will fit children up to 45 lbs and is adjustable for people of different sizes, unlike most slings that are sized based on chest measurements. I didn’t want to buy different carriers for B and me and (more likely than not), grab the wrong one on the way out the door. The Ergo distributes the baby’s weight on your hips instead of your back so I can carry Ben around for hours without feeling any discomfort. The real test will be next month when I go to Philly for a conference with B for 5 days. Ben, my mom, and I are going to explore the city and I’m planning on carrying him most of the time.

Pacifier: Ben likes either the Soothie or GumDrop pacifier. They both have the same shaped nipple part. Ben loves to suck on everything. If I let him, he’d nurse for hours just because he likes to suck. We gave him the orange GumDrop on our way home from the hospital and it hasn’t been far from him since.

I know my list of essentials will change as time goes on but these are the items that have helped make the transition into a family of 3 much easier. Questions? Comments?