Thursday, July 26, 2012

Six Weeks

Max is already six weeks old! I can't believe it. He's still so small, but he has changed so much!

This week he has been going through a lot. Earlier in the week he was eating much more frequently than normal. Lots and lots of eating. The last couple of days he has slowed down and he's very sleepy. It must be that six week growth spurt! He's growing so fast!

His sleepy days are lovely, and he doesn't want to sleep anywhere but on mommy's chest. I absolutely love it. He finds a way to wiggle himself down, so he is curved around my body. It doesn't look comfortable to me, but he loves it. He lays like that for hours!

I love looking down at him like this. I love giving him little kisses while he sleeps. His little baby sighs and grunts as he moves, just adorable. It is a good day to be me :)

Monday he started to smile when we blew raspberries on his belly. Before then, he would just look at us like crazy people. He loves it now. He also loves his little play gym, with a mirror hanging from it. He smiles at the mirror and laughs, wiggling with glee. He also likes to kick the big piano keys and play music. He really loves it, and it is so fun to watch him.

I love that he smiles when he sees me, it is the cutest thing ever. He gets all excited when he hasn't seen me for a little while, and he smiles and kicks. When I approach him, he puts his arms out to be picked up! I can't resist that, right? He's amazing.

I love this little boy. So much. I love my awesome husband too. Our family is awesome. Life is great.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Infants & Car Rides: My Cheat

We have all heard that small children sometimes (well, often) do not like being in the car. Sure, some babies love it. Some even need a car ride to fall asleep. Well, I try to go for the prepare for the worst, but hope for the best motto. I planned to have a baby that hated the car. 

My plan would kill two birds with one stone. First, my baby would love his/her daddy's music before even entering the world. Second, mommy would have a sneaky way to calm down a crying baby in the car. 

Once I knew that my baby was starting to hear sounds well, while still pregnant, I started playing Sean's music in the car. Every day on my ride home from work, I would listen to one of Sean's CDs in the car. This lasted for months. Your baby will get used to the music, and know it well. Important note: If you are going to try this, please be sure that you select music that will not drive you mad after hearing the same song 1,000,000 times (thank God I love my husband's music). The wrong choice could drive you mentally insane. 

Sometimes I need a shower or to eat, and Max wants me to cuddle with him anyway (which I LOVE by the way). To avoid my husband wearing a gas mask because I smell so bad, I need to shower somewhat regularly. To calm Max down while I shower, Sean will play his guitar and sing for Max. He quiets right down, and stares at his daddy while listening intently. He loves it! I'm positive he would love it even if I hadn't predisposed him to it, but it's worth noting anyway. 

Max listening to daddy play him some music

Now, one of the worst feelings in the world is driving in a car alone with a crying (ie: screaming at the top of their lungs) baby. This brings new parents to tears. Maybe even panic attacks. I'm lucky. Once Max starts to fuss, I can pop one of Sean's CDs in and TA-DA! Instantly calm baby! All of those hours of listening to my husband's music in the car has really helped me in the long run. Plus, it didn't hurt that each time I do this I fall more in love with him. That's a positive too, right? 

Max in the car, staring at his panda

Sean and I have taken Max on a few car rides together. The poor little guy would cry and cry, even if mommy was sitting in the back with him. We tried talk radio, music, talking to him, shushing, etc. Nothing really worked. Nothing like this at least! 

An example, to prove that he loves this music. Yesterday I was driving to the allergist's office, and I figured I would push my luck and listen to the radio. I was listening to WBRU, to some light rock type stuff. Well Max did not like that at all, he got all fussy. I switched on his daddy's music, and he calmed right down. My nerves calmed down too, and it was a great ride. 

Side note: Max starts crying again if mommy sings along to daddy's music. I knew that my singing voice wasn't in my "pros" column, but Max clarified that it definitely deserves to be in my "cons" column. Thanks, Max. I needed the reality check. I will leave the singing to daddy. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Five Weeks

Max has been so good. Yesterday I brought him to lunch with seven other mommies, and their eight babies. We knew this would be a challenge going in, but the babies were so well behaved. Max was relaxed for the most part, and loved looking around at the new scenery. We even used a public changing table (eww, used my changing pad over it) for the first time.

I'm not as nervous now to take him out on my own now. I had been, but I guess a big day with the June Bugs (the group of women that I met online, all due in June) was what I needed to finally get me to try it.

Max hadn't enjoyed the car much before. He didn't like being stuck in the seat, and definitely didn't like sitting in traffic. I used a sneaky trick yesterday. Sean's CDs that I played for him while I was pregnant? Well just like when Max was still inside of me, his daddy's music calmed him right down. He listened the whole drive and just looked out the window. What a good baby!

This week Max has been a lot more vocal, and we have longer conversations than last week. He is awake during the day a lot more too, so we have more time to interact. He still loves to lay on my chest, which I love. We know each other a lot more now, and it is great. I love that he smiles when he sees me come to him. I can't wait to see what this next week will bring.

Oh, and Father Time? Can you please slow down? I don't want my time at home with Max to end. Thank you!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My Favorite Time of Day

There is no doubt about it. My favorite time of day is when Max and I have our chats.

Our first chat is after his first feeding of the day (usually 4:00 am) and it is so fun. He coos, and ahhs, and smiles for me. He is such a happy little boy, and it is so fun to talk with him. Even in the middle of the night we are chatting and giggling together.

He loves talking after diaper changes too. He loves stretching out on the changing pad and looking up at me with his smiles. It's never a quick change anymore, we always chat a little after. It's adorable.

There is fatigue, there is pain from breast feeding, there is skipping my own meals, all of the "not fun" things about being a new mom. But you know what? It is all worth our little conversations. And then some.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Breast Feeding: Back On Track

Great news for me! The injured nipple is healed and back in use! As of our 4am feeding today, I've been able to nurse without issue on that side. What a relief. Breast feeding is so much easier with both breasts, it's amazing how different I feel. I hated feeling like I wasn't giving him enough milk, and having to warm up bottles of breast milk over a silly injury like that. We did what needed to be done, and now I have even more appreciation for what we are doing.

Now I need to get my supply back up on that side. I was trying to keep demand up with pumping, but as of yesterday morning I could tell that it wasn't enough. We have some Mother's milk tea now, which I will start drinking in the morning. Cross your fingers!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Four Weeks Later

Our baby has been with us for four weeks now?! It is so hard to believe.

I am loving every moment at home with him. The gazing, the smiles, the cuddles, the everything.

It is so beautiful to be in a moment and already miss it. I take pictures and write as much as I can, but nothing will be able to bring me back to these days. That's why I treasure each moment. These are the beginning days, the first of many wonderful days I will have with our son.

I love you Max.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Breast Feeding: A Speed Bump

We are having our first issue with breast feeding since leaving the hospital. I had just been telling friends on Friday how easy things have been so far, and of course the next day my words came back to bite me (quite literally). I have really enjoyed breast feeding, and love the bond that I already have with Max. 

Saturday we were having a bit of a marathon cluster feeding session. Painful, yes, as expected. At one point I looked down and noticed that a chunk of my nipple was missing (1/8" x 1/8"). Ouch. Now of course Max is a baby, and he didn't mean it. I am not, and was not, mad at him at all. (Weird how that works, even with the pain I still love the little rugrat to pieces.) However, it's still a problem we have to work through. 

Anyway, my nipple is damaged. I tried to not nurse that side for the rest of the day, and take care of it with breast milk and nipple butter. We tried to give him a bottle when he would normally nurse from that side, which wasn't as easy as it sounds (more on that in another post). The next day I ended up caving in and letting him nurse from that side a few times, but at a position where his gums wouldn't hit the hole in my nipple. I dealt with the pain, and he seemed like a happy little baby who was getting enough milk. After the second session on that side, I noticed that the hole had grown. It had basically doubled in size. Yikes. Never mind that idea. That side is off limits for a while. 

Yesterday was the first day of not nursing on the damaged side. It was a very challenging day. I pumped to help with engorgement, and to have a bottle of breast milk (still no formula) for him. I didn't nurse him on that side at all. Unfortunately, it seemed like the other side wasn't able to keep up with his appetite. It was so hard on me emotionally, to have a crying baby that I couldn't keep up with on my own. I know that the bottles were my own breast milk, but I was crushed to have to start using my frozen stash also. I just can't keep up with milk production. 

Today my pumping was better. Having some sleep helped, and I paid more attention to my food and water intake. I pumped several times throughout the day, giving the breast demand so that it would keep producing. I'm still not pumping enough to keep up, but I know that I will get through this. I'm trying to keep the hole in the nipple covered in nipple butter, and constantly putting breast milk on it to help with healing. Pumping on that side hurts like hell, and probably isn't good for healing, but I refuse to just give up on that side. I know it's better for both of us if I let it heal a little bit before nursing, it's just going to take some time. I'm totally open to any suggestions on how to get this healing faster (hint, hint)! 

Now here's a reminder of why I do all of this crazy stuff. My little love monkey, Max. Here's a quiet moment from yesterday on the couch. 

Max and I cuddling (don't worry, I wasn't sleeping)
I'm thinking of buying fenugreek tomorrow, and seeing if it helps. If I had a stash before, imagine how much I'll have in another week! Any other suggestions? :) 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Three Weeks Already?

Wow. It has already been three weeks?! I can't believe how quickly time is passing. I feel like Max has always been here, but I also feel that he is brand new in our lives. What an odd feeling. We're all so comfortable in our roles, and things seem to move so smoothly. It's like we have always been together. I love that feeling. I'm so grateful that we have all clicked together so well, and that we are enjoying each moment without stress. 

These past few days he has changed even more. He now smiles when we talk to him in the morning, and when I blow raspberries on his chest. It's adorable. I first noticed that he smiled as a reaction to me yesterday morning, and I was sad that Sean didn't see it too. This morning he smiled for daddy, so all is fair in the universe again. These smiles are absolutely adorable! He's quite the handsome little boy. 

Max has been making the "ahhh" noise since this weekend. He does this when we talk to him, he's starting to talk with us! It's quite fun to try to get his reaction when we talk to him. He's making all kinds of noises. 

He's been great at looking at us and following us with his eyes since we first met him, but now we notice him following other things also. He will stare at a lamp, and if we move his body his eyes will still follow the lamp. He loves staring at dark objects against a lightly painted wall. 

We brought him to the doctor today, for a regular check-up. He already weighs 10 pounds 13 ounces! That's 14 ounces he has gained since birth, so he's doing great! The cluster feeding is paying off apparently. Eating every hour (during the day) for three days this week was interesting, but he took it easy at night. He has been sleeping about three hours at a time when he naps or sleeps at night, and last night he actually slept five hours straight! 

The doctor says that Max looks great. We asked him about Max's vomiting, poor little guy. He gets really sick about once a day, but that's apparently normal for little babies. I just hate when it happens, because the poor little guy looks so scared! I have found some tips to help with it, and it has been getting better. He got sick yesterday for the first time in days. The doctor said to just keep doing what we're doing, and it should go away eventually. We don't want to give him medicine for it if we don't have to, but it looks like he has reflux. 

One thing that I can't stand right now, Max had his tears start. I hate when he cries! This started on Tuesday morning, when he woke up at 3am to be fed. Oh I hate when he cries now! I really do. Seeing those tears flowing down his face absolutely tears me apart. I can't imagine when he gets older and falls down and skins his knee. Poor little guy. His mommy is going to be such a wimp about this! He will be getting shots at his next appointment (gulp!), and I am terrified of this! Maybe I will fake I'm sick, and make Sean take him without me? Just kidding! But really, when he cries from the shots it will be so hard for me. Poor little guy. 

Max still loves to cuddle and sleep on our chests. We love this of course! Between the cluster feeding and needing to sleep on my chest, I haven't gotten off of the couch much lately (thus blogging from my phone, because I can't use the laptop in that position). I don't mind this at all! Bonding with our baby is the best part of our lives, and we are enjoying every second of it. I can't believe three weeks of this has already passed us by! 

Max and mommy, cuddle time

Oh, and I don't want to forget to mention the seagull call. This was something I noticed his first day, when he was being held by visitors. If he can't see me, he does a seagull call when he's hungry. He still does it if he's laying down or if daddy is holding him. I like the seagull call, because he does it a few minutes BEFORE he starts crying, which is ideal! I know to grab him and start feeding him before he gets upset. I really love that we have this little communication (see my previous post about the baby communicating with me while still inside!). I prefer a baby seagull call over crying (especially with tears!) any day. Plus, it's the cutest little noise in the world. 

Before Max came, we had been planning to wait three to four weeks before introducing an artificial nipple to the baby in order to avoid nipple confusion. Now that we have hit three weeks, and we are pretty good with the breast feeding (see my previous post to hear more on that), it looks like daddy may be giving him his first bottle of breast milk soon! I'm not going to lie, I'm looking forward to this. I feel selfish when I feed him sometimes, because I'm the only one that can. I look forward to watching Sean feed Max, and seeing their new bonding experience. I can't wait to sit and cherish that moment, and of course to snap pictures. We haven't given him a pacifier yet, but we are thinking about it. We have plenty, but we aren't sure if we want to do this. He doesn't seem to need it yet, but you never know! We will figure it out, like everything else. 

All in all, we have a happy and healthy boy. He's adorable. We love him to death. Awake or asleep, crying or smiling, we are enjoying every moment we have together! 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cloth Diapers: The First 24 Hours

Well, we finally started cloth diapering! Max was born June 14th, but we waited until his belly button was healed before starting with the cloth. July 1st was our start date!

If you have read my previous post (here's the link if you haven't), you would know that I was really looking forward to this. One of the things I was excited about with our baby was cloth diapering! So this day was long in the making.

We are using gDiapers with cloth inserts right now. We may use disposable inserts once we get the hang of it, for when we are out and about.

Max, cuddling with mommy in his cool blue diaper

I must say, I was pleasantly surprised with how well they are doing! I expected to have a good experience, but I was thinking there would be leaks and a mess and all that jazz. We have all read mixed reviews about every product on the market, and gDiapers were not an exception.

The diapers have been AWESOME so far. I feel so much better, now that I'm not throwing disposable diapers in the trash. I feel all Suzy-homemaker about it for some reason too, which is fun. Max seems to like them just fine, and I love how cute they look! I was having fun coordinating onesies with the covers today, I'm a dork like that.

Max, in the Archer's pose

We did have one leaking issue. Mommy (me) wasn't thinking and didn't make sure that his pee-pee was inside of the liner, so he ended up peeing up his stomach. This wasn't the diaper's fault, it was user error.

All in all, I have been blown away so far. I did my first wash of cloth tonight, and everything rinsed out beautifully. They are hanging to dry now, and I have plenty left over to get us through the night. I just wanted to give an update, as promised when I first posted about the gDiapers.

Max, napping in his cute blue diaper

I will be posting more feedback, once I have more experience under my belt.

What kind of diapers do you use? Disposable or cloth, and why?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Little Things

I am completely in love with this little boy. Every day seems to fly by. I can't believe he's already 17 days old! I have ten weeks at home with him before I have to go back to work, and I feel like each day is slipping away far too quickly. I'm really going to miss this time at home with my son, but I know I need to go back to work. Sad, but true. Unless of course... maybe we'll hit the lottery??? 

Here's a list of some of the little things that I already know I will miss so much. 

When he nurses, Max loves to hold onto my thumb. When we were in the hospital, he kept falling asleep while nursing. I would wiggle my thumb and he would wake right up. It was our secret signal for him to stop sleeping on the job. By the way, he's got quite the grip! 

Max loves to have his feet rubbed. He stretches out his legs, and I'll rub his foot with my finger. He actually holds his foot out for this, and spreads his toes like a cat. It's adorable! I noticed him doing this his very first night with us. When he was in the womb, I would get a foot sticking out of my side all of the time. I would rub it and say "tickle tickle tickle." The foot would pull back in, and then come back out a second later. I would repeat. It was our little game. The first time he held his foot out for me to rub it, I started crying. Our little game, it traveled from womb to my arms! 

When I burp him, he always wants to face me. If I put him over my shoulder facing any other way, he fights and fights to move his body around to face me. He just loves to look up at me while he's on my shoulder. Sweet little boy. He also has this trick where he will push off of me and move himself over, little by little, to my right side and then quickly roll himself over so he's laying in my right arm. He's a smart little boy. Apparently that's his favorite spot to watch mommy from. 

I love the naps on my chest. Sometimes he won't sleep anywhere except my chest. I don't get much done during these days, but I'm loving every second of it. Listening to him breathe, hearing his little baby sighs, smelling his sweet baby breaths, and feeling him adjust himself every so often... these are the things that make me close my eyes and cherish my little boy. When Sean cuddles up with us, it's even better. Having my family all cuddled up for a nap is a wonderful feeling (even if mommy doesn't fall asleep) and I lay there just trying to absorb each beautiful breath they take.  

We have plenty of hang-out time in our bed. These are some of the best times with Max, when he's nice and alert before or after a good night's rest. He gets lots of face time with us, and I especially love watching him play with his daddy. I'm constantly fighting back tears of happiness, as I gush over my husband and son staring into each other's eyes. They goof around and mimic each other's expressions. It's completely adorable. They are completely in love with each other, and my heart melts when I see them look at each other the way they do. I treasure these lazy mornings and nights, moments I will remember forever.