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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!

 

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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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Teething is the Pits

Ben is cutting three new teeth right now and as a result is being a holy terror.

B left for a conference last Thursday afternoon so I’ve been rocking the solo parenting gig since then. I know that part of the reason Ben has been so difficult is due to the teeth but my mom suggested that he also could be missing his daddy and is acting out against me because he wants B to come home. I want him home too!

Ben’s front, top teeth are mostly in and the two flanking those are threatening to pop through at any time. He had one new bottom one cut through yesterday. That’s a whole lot of pain for the little man to handle! He has been yelling at me, especially during meals, eating less than normal, and sleeping far, far less during naps.

In spite of having to deal with a little bear for the last 4 days, I’m still itching to get pregnant again. It is getting more difficult every day to think of Ben as a baby now that he is mobile and better expresses himself. He looks terribly old too now that his increased activity level has slimmed down some of his lovable baby chub. He doesn’t snuggle like he used to because there are too many things to discover and kitties to pester. Sniff! Time moves far too fast, my friends.

Through some casual googling, I discovered that Clomid, what it took last time for us to get pregnant, is breastfeeding compatible although I had originally assumed not. Ben is nursing 3-4 times a day with no sign of my cycle reappearing so I think it’s time to call the doctor’s office tomorrow to start making a plan of action. The worst they could say is they want me to stop breastfeeding and keep charting and trying for X months before meds but I’m praying that isn’t their response.

And because baby pictures are wonderful, this is an overtired 10 month old who plays with his hair in his sleep.

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UPDATE:
I called the doctors office this morning and made an appointment in two weeks to see the same OB who helped us get pregnant with Ben. We’ll just have to wait and see how things go.