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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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4

Two Weeks

Teddy turned two weeks old last Friday. I was thinking about his birth at the exact time he was born at 1:13 AM since we were up for a feeding. I wanted to wait until today to write up a two week post because he didn’t see the pediatrician until this morning.

One of the biggest markers of progress at the two week appointment is to see if baby has regained and reached his birth weight. An exclusively breastfed baby can be expected to lose as much as 7-10% of his birth weight before starting to regain after mom’s milk comes in. Teddy’s lowest weight was 7 lb 7 oz, a loss of only about 4%. He continued eating really well and was 8 lb 4.5 oz this morning! That’s a 13 oz gain in two weeks. Go Teddy! Now that we have an idea of his ability to put on weight, the pediatrician encouraged me to let Teddy choose when he wants to eat, even overnight. He has the fat storage and good metabolism necessary to go up to 6 hours between feedings. We’ll see what he decides to do and how quickly I feel like I may explode as the time between feedings lengthens. I feel like I might be developing clogged ducts or double mastitis so I’m keeping an eye on my own boob health. I drink around 100 oz of water, lowfat milk, or 100% juice daily so my supply has been keeping up with the little man’s demands.

We’re still working on teaching Teddy the difference between days and night. He tends to give me a hard time every other night and refuses to go back to sleep after he eats. He may doze through an entire feeding but his eyes will pop open as soon as I wrap him in his swaddle blanket! There have been a few times where all he wants is contact with me so I’ll tuck him along my side by his bed and he immediately quiets down. We sleep like that until I wake up again and put him back in his own bed. I’m not entirely comfortable with cosleeping with a baby this small so I’m trying to do everything I can to avoid it.

Teddy’s umbilical cord stump fell off when B was getting him ready for bed on his one week birthday. It smelled awful so we were thrilled to have it gone! He got to have his first tub bath the next day and, surprisingly, didn’t hate the whole process, just the part where he had to get washed. We’ve learned since Ben was tiny that the temperature sensing bath toy we used to test the water temp for Ben’s first bath likes water colder than any sensible human does. This time, we simply filled the tub a little cooler than what Ben had for his bath, tossed in the new infant bath pillow we bought to replace the plastic bathtub (much better control of the baby!), and Teddy was content to sit in the warm water. He screamed his head off when I took him out but since that’s my least favorite part of taking a bath, I don’t blame him one bit!

Teddy is still wearing newborn clothes and newborn diapers. The Gerber onesies are getting a little tight so I’m guessing we’ll need to switch to 0-3 month onesies once we start using cloth diapers. I can’t decide if I’m excited to use cloth. I love the cost savings and their reliability but we haven’t had the leaking problems with Teddy that we had with Ben so it doesn’t seem as necessary. We’re almost out of newborn disposable diapers though and I’d like to reserve those for nights and the diaper bag so switch we will. Like Ben, he poops in pretty much every diaper so we will need to keep a look out for diaper rash. We’ve already dipped into his tub of Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm and the rash we did see cleared up quickly. That stuff is incredible (and cloth diaper safe)!

I’ve been waiting for B to have free time to take Teddy’s newborn photos but that miracle hasn’t occurred yet. I realized today that I’m capable with a camera and can at least take the photos for B to edit when he has time. Editing is not as time sensitive as the photos themselves. I’ve set up a little photo station in Teddy’s crib and will be taking a few photos at a time when he is sleeping cutely.

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“Hold hands, Mommy!”

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Teddy loves his lion boppy

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B has his hands full with two boys and a cat but loves every minute of it

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Two weeks postpartum and a new haircut! I have more of a belly than I’d like but keep reminding myself that I was very, very pregnant a little over two weeks ago

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40+4 and Introduction

Ben slept over at my parents house last night so B and I lazed around in bed until 9:30. It felt like the best short vacation ever!

I nearly forgot that Ben had his well-child check up this morning but still managed to shower and make it to the pediatrician’s office on time. Ben is just about 26 lbs (22%) and 2 ft 9.5 inches (31%) and a healthy little guy. He met all the developmental markers they checked too so we are happy parents.

B and I took off for my OB appointment a little after 1 and (par for the course), waited nearly an hour before the doc came in to see me. I’m still dilated 4-5 cm but am 80% effaced at this point. My OB consulted the two other docs in the office (who happened to be the ones on tonight and over the weekend) and collectively they gave me the option to go to L&D and have my water broken to (hopefully) trigger labor contractions tonight or Saturday night. Um, tonight would be good!

It is an odd experience to drive yourself to the hospital feeling totally fine only to know that you will not be leaving without birthing a baby before going home again.

We spent lots of time getting admitted and paperwork completed since there was no rush. The resident doctor broke my water at about 4:40 pm and we’re waiting to see how my uterus reacts and how baby fairs through this process. I’m definitely more uncomfortable 20 minutes after having my water broken than I was before so hopefully that means good things.

I’m working on making some progress. In the 2.5 hours since having my water broken, I have gone from no contractions to definite, strong contractions with a clear peak and ebb.

I got up and walked for a while and my contractions seemed to slow down afterward. Not exactly what you’d expect but hopefully things will pick up again. I send B off to pick up the few things we intentionally left at home and make sure the house was locked up. I ordered a take out salad from one of our favorite restaurants close to the hospital that I can keep in the patient fridge here until after delivery. If timing works out well, he should be back right around my next cervical check (3 hours since the last). I pray I’ve made progress but I’m thinking that if I made any, it isn’t much.

I literally made no progress on my own in the last three hours so I’m going to be started on a low dose of pitocin and stadol, an IV pain drug, along with getting an internal contraction monitor. I learn that stadol affects me like a punch to the face and I cannot open my eyes because the entire world is swirling around me. The pit contractions aren’t terrible yet so I’m content to let the drugs wear off and go pain med free for a while. If I can figure out how to roll to a side instead of laying on my back, I think I’d be a lot more comfortable.

I finally got a chance for an epidural at 12:30 am. The contractions were piling up on top of each other so it was hard to sit as still as they wanted. Please start working!

Nope, no chance for that epi to work. Baby is coming now! 12:57 am and time to push. I have never been in this much pain in my life. Dang that slow moving epidural!

1:12 am with the biggest rush, sunny-side up baby brother Theodore John (Teddy) joined his parents after about 9 hours of induction and active labor. Praise God!

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