Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Two and Nine

Isaac hit his two month mark, and shortly after, his nine week mark. This past month has marked a whirlwind of change in him and me. We'll start with him first. :)

The Isaac Update:

His second month was full full full of firsts. He is now sleeping in his bassinet and has a normal sleep schedule. He usually goes down for the first time at 9-10, but sometimes earlier. He wakes up to eat about 1-2, and then goes back to sleep until about 5-7. Anytime he wakes up in this range, we get up and un-swaddle him, and change his diaper. He eats and then I pump the other side. Then he lays in the boppy while I eat breakfast and clean up for the morning. When he starts to get fussy, he finishes off what ever residual milk I have and then usually takes a 2-3 hour nap in his swing, for which he coos himself to sleep...which brings me to another first. He can get himself to sleep without nursing and with being fully awake to start. He also started laughing! It is the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. What did I do to make him laugh? Well...I sang "My Hu.mps." I changed it to "all that junk in your baby trunk...and my little baby lumps." He smiles in response to us and has cooing conversations with us. He started "roaring" which is a very forceful sound he makes that involves several g's and r's in a coo. It kinda sounds like a "ggggrrrrrooooo." He loves his bath now and I have a hard time taking him out because he is so happy in it.
He kicks his legs NON STOP. :) He discovered his hands and theyare constantly in his mouth. Pacifiers and bottles are not doing it for him right now...only flesh. Tia Hessie paid him a visit and he got his first Spanish lessons and his first trips to the beach and Pie.r 3.9 to see the stinky ol' sea lions.

Just before his two month Dr. appointment, Isaac woke up sick. :( His first bout of not feeling well with a fever began. He felt warm and wasn't eating. All he wanted to do was sleep. I took his temp and it was at 98.9, not too bad. He took his morning nap. When he woke up and wouldn't eat, I took it again. 99.1. I took a shower and took it again. 99.7. I called his pediatrician and we went into and saw...wait for it...the NP. :( She had no answers and his temp wasw 100.0. But because he was so little and hadn't had any shots yet, she and I guess the ped. in the office that day (there are several, mine was not there), thought he should go to the ER. I almost cried. I went home and ate lunch and got dressed. I wasn't going to wake the baby who had fallen asleep in the car. He woke up and ate really well and his temp was back down to 98.8. I decided to keep him home and not traumatize him with the ER. The NP called to check on him and I told her what I thought. She said that was fine and there was no need to take him for the tests (urine and blood work) if he was doing better. He still wasn't himself but he was definately improving. He was stable thrught the night so he didn't go to the ER at all.

At his 2 month check up, he weighed in at 9lbs14oz and was 21 1/4 inches long. He is still a teeny baby! :) He is finally in size 1 diapers, due to a blowout that involved poo in his hair. The NB size was fitting fine and there were no leaks and I was determined to use all of them. We got close. :)

He also had his 2 month shots. Oh. My. Lord. IT WAS HORRIBLE. As soon as his legs were pinned down, the screaming began. And he was inconsolable for about 2 hours. I was told if you nurse right after, it helps calm him down, but he wouldn't even try to latch. I gave up after about 15 minutes and just had to cuddle him. He was cleared for infant tylenol and I gave it to him the rest of the weekend.

Mommy Update:

The pre-preggo weight continues to fall off, just not as quickly. I am definately trying to get more nutrition in me, not jsut for me, but so my milk has great quality. I don't drink soda, don't eat much chocolate or sugars that aren't in fruit or low sugar foods. However, my pre-p[reggo clothes do not really fit the way they used to. I had to make a trip to Kohls that took about 3.5 hours because someone was fussy, but I got a bunch of stuff that I am really really happy with.

I got my IUD last week. I suppose it is in theory a simple procedure, but apparently I have an S shaped uterus that the Dr. kept hitting. He finally had to do an ultrasound. It took longer than it should have, an was a tad uncomfy, but I got it. How quickly I have forgotten the pain of labor! Seriously, now an epidural is all I think about the moment anything feels uncomfy.

I have everything prepped to go back to work on May 5. I think that puts me at 15 weeks of leave, 14 of them paid. I could take more, but to be honest, I miss my job. I met with my boss and we are switching my schedule and some of my responsibilities. Isaac will only have to go to daycare 2-3 days a week depending on when I can do some work from home.

And can I just say what a pain in the rear getting my SDI and FMLA pay has been. Because Isaac was early, the dates were all wonky. Let's just say I have only been paid for 24 days and I have three big fat checks coming to me. Darn it. Next time I am not filing until the baby is out. This is a snippet of my conversation with an SDI worker:

"So your baby was born on 1/26 and your last day of work was 2/6."

"Do you hear what you are saying to me? Does that make any sense to you? Do you think I pushed a child out of my vagina and went to work the next day?"

We are getting ready for the big Ohio Vacation, starting tomorrow. I am packing all day. My mom has really lightened my load by purchasing diapers, wipes, all his bath stuff, and dreft. We are packing a weeks worth of clothes and going to wash in Ohio. She also has a carseat base, a packnplay, a swing, and a bouncer. We just have to take the carseat,stroller, snugli, some toys, and th co-sleeper for the packnplay. We have his dedication on Saturday and a big family fish fry for him. :) And apparently my mother and grandmother have easter baskets for him.

Ok, this has turned into the longest post ever. Thanks for bearing with me! Here's the little big man at 2 months!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Got Milk, Mommy?

I have been wanting to write a post about how breastfeeding has been going for us for quite some time. Of course, Isaac has been my first priority and blogging falls further and further down the list of things to get done. Anyhoo, here we go.

We have been successfully breastfeeding for 2 months now. I have not been to a lactation consultant or support group yet, but I have some numbers on hand. Isaac took to nursing like a fish to water. He had an awesome latch in the hospital, and the nurse didn't really have to help us that much except with positioning. I had taken our boppy to the hospital, so that really helped us get used to positioning. My milk came in the day after we got home, so we only had to formula supplement for 4 feedings. This was good because Isaac hated the formula. I mean, he HATED it.

In the beginning, nursing didn't hurt so much. It was a wierd sensation, but I was determined to stick with it, so any discomfort I tried to push aside. Night feedings were, and still are, the most difficult because Isaac likes to fall asleep before he can be burped or sufficiently filled. He was also falling asleep with nursing during the day, so he was really fussy at times and wanted to eat all the time because he was not having successful feedings. In the first weeks this was really hard because all I wanted to do was sleep while he was sleeping, and there would be days when I wouldn't eat until 3 pm,which made nursing harder because what he was getting was basically water. I started laying out snacks that I could grab with one hand throughout the day the night before. This REALLY helped me get better nutrition and more energy. I put out 4 snacks, including a fruit, a dairy, a veggie, and a protein or grain. I think this improved the quality of my milk immensely because before I was just grabbing easy stuff like a cookie or candy or chips or something. I also made sure my meals were easily accessible and didn't need alot of prep time.

I started pumping around the 3 week mark. Mostly because I wanted to start making bottles and I wanted to see how much milk I was actually making. Breastfeeding was taking so much out of me, literally, and my husband and I thought that if we inroduced one bottle a day, at night, that would alleviate some stress from me. And it did. When I first started pumping, I would get about 2 ounces from one side. When Isaac was done nursing, I would pump the rest out to help establish my milk supply. I think I was holding about 2 ounces each side per 2-3 hours. By the evening I usually had about a 2 ounce bottle just from residual milk after feedings. My husband gave this to Isaac before bed and he started sleeping a bit better because he was a little more full faster.

Because we introduced this bottle, my milk would build up between feedings. I started nursing solidly from oneside during night feedings. Isaac still wasn't draining a whole breast for the feedings at night so it worked well. Each time I woke up to feed him I took note of the non-nursing side. When it was rock hard and starting to leak a bit, I got up to pump it, no matter what time it was...anywhere from 3 am to 7 am. At this point I was still pumping into bottles, and not freezing and I was getting about 2.5-3 ounces per breast.

I got a tip from a friend to start feeding Isaac in his onesie or just diaper for as many feedings as possible. This would make him less warm and snuggly until he really established good feeding habits and started draining the boob completely, This worked GREAT for us and soon he was taking both sides and draining them both in one feeding in about 20-30 minutes. And because he did this, he would sleep more soundly and longer during his naps, about 3-4 hours sometimes. When he did do this, I could get a head and pump one side. When he woke up, I would give him the non pumped side first and then the pumped side, and he usually took both. By doing this, I noticed my supply was going gradually increasing. I was up to a solid 4 ounces for morning pumpings and 2.5 to 3 ounces in daytime pumpings.

We have now managed to establish a hearty freezer stash that contains about 2 full days of feedings, with a couple extra. We take a bottle with us when we are going to be out for a while, or I will be somewhere where I don't feel totally comfortable nursing. He still gets one bottle a day and when he takes the bottle, he is taking 4-4.5 ounces per feeding. When he does this, I can usually pump about 3.5-4 ounces to replenish what he took from the freezer supply. With that, I am pumping twice a day and getting 4 ounces from one side in the morning and about the same when I pump after the bottle feeding total from both sides.

I am not going to lie. Pumping in the morning was hard at first. I was tired, tired, TIRED. But now that Isaac's sleep schedule is more established, I am usually pumping at 6-7 am and it takes about 10 minutes to drain the breast. This all really started to work for me. Some days, I don't pump at all in the morning because Isaac was really hungry. Other things that helped me were to make sure that Isaac was completely satiated before I pumped and was happy and content. This way I wasn't worrying about him while I was pumping and I knew I wasn't robbing him of food he needed or wanted. Also, I pump only into bottles and then pour into freezer bags. That way I don't spill from the bag while pumping and if I have to stop, I can just set down the bottle. I can also add to the bottle throughout the day until I have the amount in one bottle that I want to freeze. I never freeze bottles, just the freezer bags.

All this has gotten us through 2 full months of only breastfeeding/breastmilk. I am planning to keep breastfeeding for a year, skipping formua entirely if we can. I love that I can do this for Isaac and it is worth the sacrifice of certain foods and sleep on my part.

I will try to post his two month update asap. :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Heartbreaker :)

I don't have lots of time to post a lot but I wanted to put up this picture because Isaac looks so darn cute in it :)
And then I fastened the straps :)
We had a bit of a rought night last night. Isaac did not want to sleep in his bassinet from about 1:30 on. I think it was partly my fault. He has been really rejecting a bottle the past few days at night, so we may move that to the day. I kinda forced it on him and wouldn't let him nurse all the way like I think he wanted. Needless to say h woke right up and wanted to start his day. He didn't go back down until about 4 and that was only because I gave up and put him in his swing. We slept until 10:30. Hopefully tonight will be better.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Getting so big....

Busy busy busy! Isaac has a full schedule these days. :)

My MIL was here last week and we really enjoyed having her here. I got alot done and Isaac loves the attention. I had my Dr. appt., took Guiliani to get his shots, got the birth announcements out, finished up all my Thank-yous up to this point, got caught up on bills, and started planning the dedication ceremony and Family Fish Fry for Isaac. We picked out his little dedication outfit...since we aren't religious people it is a Winnie the Pooh outfit. It is kind hard to explain, but it is an actual dedication outfit..just was Pooh instead of the religious symbols.

The most important thing that I got done was that we found a daycare! We looked at one daycare center that was um...scary. I understand that toys and books and stuff get really worn with constant use from children. I understand that organization is difficult when you are looking after many children. But the center we looked at...um...yeah. Scary. After being turned off centers, I got some referrals for home day care from a County service. I fell in love with the second one. Seriously. I knew right away that the fit was just right. I called her back last night and he will be starting on May 5, 2-3 days a week. Whether I go back to work that day will be determined. Technically my leave is up on the 4th of May, but I might take another 2 weeks. Fingers crossed Uncle Sam treats us good this year.

Isaac is doing very well! After 2 full weeks of mostly sucessful sleeping in the cosleeper, he has moved into the bassinet as of last night. It was a good night. He has been consistently sleeping about 3-4 hours when I first put him down and then another 2 after he wakes up for a feeding. Right now he falls asleep in his swing around 9-10 and moves to the co sleeper around 1230 or 1. But....as of yesterday and today, he now goes into the bassinet instead of the swing. We still have the water bottle in with him and his noisemaker.

He is smiling all the time when he is awake. :) He loves his advcenture gym and rainforest gym and responds to the noises. He loves to look in the mirror and out the window into the yard. He also loves not wearing pants...Seriously. He can be screaming and if I take off his pants he stops. Not sure why. His pants are fitting just fine and he still fits well into newborn diapers (I have an itty bitty baby... :) ). He officially grew out of all his newborn clothes about a week ago. I packed up the last onesie last night.

Other big advances for him, the most important for me are that he has learned to fall asleep on his own with me bouncing or rocking him (I still do. Just not every time). He will be a happy little baby looking out the window and sucking away on binky and I will look over to check on him and he is sound asleep. He also has decided he loves the bath. No more bloody murder screams during bath time, so we might up the frequency of baths.

Tomorrow we have a Public Health nurse coming for her first visit. We were supposed to have her come to visit within the first week of his arrival, but the hospital kinda botched that. She will come again between 3 and 6 months, and then again from 6-12. She just kinda goes over questions I may have and different kinds of care and first aid. I don't really know what to expect.

Breastfeeding is still going really well. I have started to give Isaac one bottle of pumped milk at night it tends to make him sleep a bit longer before he wakes up for a feeding. I pump twice a day, so we have created a milk supply of about 2 full days of daytime feedings. All of a sudden his normal daytime feedings take about 20 to 30 minutes. The night feedings are a bit difficult. He tends to fall asleep during them so I let him wake up as much as possible before I get him up, short of full crying...we'll say to the heavy fussing levels.

In other news... I got a black.ber.ry curve as my push present! I love, love, love it and have become addicted to tw.itter. I got a birthday/valentines present for my husband and I guess myself that will be ready this weekend. I can't say what it is just in case... ;) Tia Hessie will be here on Monday for a few days and hopefully I can get a dedication outfit for myself. I haven't weighed myself recently, but I can tell the weight is not just falling off me anymore. As of my doctors appointment last week, I was under my pre-pregnancy weight by almost 20 pounds. We will be heading back to OH-IO soon for Isaac to meet the family, and we got an awesome deal on plane tickets.

Hmmm...I think that is it for updates and happenings. I am a bit scatterbrained as I am listening very intently to the monitor sitting next to me for any noises other than my husband's snoring. :) Of course I have to close with my little angel smiling at me.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Post Partum

I had my 6 week post partum check up this week. I have to say, I was almost hoping that there would be something not quite 100% that would qualify me for more disability...but alas...everything was healed perfectly and even my clogged duct has gone away. I have my prescription for BCPs and an IUD appt for 2 weeks and a 32 pound weight loss thus far. There was some mayhem at the Dr. office as he got called to the hospital 4 times that day (did I tell the story of the NP last time? "you might have mastisis, but you might not..."),and I was willing to reschedule for the Dr. and refused my exam from the NP. Sorry...me and the NPs no get along.

Anyway, things are fine fine fine! I saw a girl from my yoga class and she is due in about 6 weeks. Everyone in the office loves my little man and it is never a probem to bring him to the appts. I got the ok to excercise regularly but no heavy cardio just yet.

I really can't believe it has been 6 weeks. Oddly enough, what I remember most about the labor and delivery is the damn IV in my hand (so uncomfy...I complained soooo much) and that I was crying so hard when he was born they had to put my hands on Isaac for me. How time flies. :)

Nursing is still going amazingly well. I will write more on that later...cause I gots lots to say. :) Isaac has finally outgrown his newborn clothes and I tearfully packed them up the other night. He is just growing so fast.

Other news: BIL got a chocolate lab puppy today. Its a cutie pie. And we started looking for daycare ( more on that to come too). Boo. Thank god I have until May 4.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The One With Isaac's Inappropriate Song

So remember on Frien.ds how Ross sings "Bab.y Go.t B.ack" to baby Emma and she loves it? Well, Isaac has a song like that that I can play for him or sing to him and it calms him right down usually. It is not as inappropriate....it's "Dis.turb.ia" by Rihanna. :)

I think he likes it because of the bass and the only part I really sing to him...the bum bum be dum bum bum be dum bum. When I was preggers and driving, I used to turn it up loud and pat on my belly in time to the beat. I think that is why he likes it so much. I still pat his bottom to the beat now.

He does have more appropriate songs. I am not a big lullaby person. My favorite song to sing to him or play for him:

"When you cross the street
Take my hand.
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy...."

Aptly titled "Beautiful Boy" by one Mr. John Lennon. It brings tears to my eyes every time.

ok...so Update! Isaac slept in his cosleeper all night last night and only woke for one feeding. I put him down about 12:30 ish and he slept until 3:30. Ate and was back asleep by 4:15ish and slept until 7:45. (Note: he sleeps before then...he is swaddled and sleeping by 9 and wakes up to eat about 11-11:30...he is just in his swing). Thank you, thank you, thank you magical hot water bottle! I fill it before he eats and wrap it in a receiving blanket and put it in the sleeper. I changed it after his 3:30 feeding. He stays toasty warm and sleeps,well....like a baby. :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Musings of a New Mother

This post is really just composed of random things I have learned and experienced as a new mom, in no particular order.

-Isaac has hit a growth spurt causing him to want to eat every 2 hours exactly.Sometimes at night I can hold him off for about 3-3.5 hours but that is it. I try to get to him before his whimpers turn into full blown shrieks of hunger. I was really enjoying breastfeeding, but it is starting to take its toll on me. My breasts HURT. I am seeking out a support group.

-My priorities as sson as I can put the baby down are: bathroom, food, sleep, shower, clean. Usually I make it to the sleep portion, but sadly it usually comes before food. It is very tying for me because I know I have to eat in order to make more milk for Isaac but I am sooooo tired sometimes. There are days that I don't eat until 2 pm. And those are the days that are harder because the baby is more fussy because he isn't getting enough milk. It is frustrating for us both.

-Bassinet sleeping is going ok....Since he is eating every two hours, he eats for about 45 minutes (both sides) and then it takes him about 15 minutes to fall asleep. However....he has a bit of bad gas at night so he usually wakes himself up after about 10 minutes because it hurts and he is scared. I give him mylicon after he is done eating so that helps a bit. So by the time the gas is gone and he is asleep again, he only sleeps for about 30-45 minutes before he is hungry again. The pediatrician says this is normal. The times he doesn't have gas, when I put him down he sleeps for about 15-20 minutes before he realizes I am not holding him. I usually pick him up and we try again. I do this for about 3-4 hours before I give up to my fatigue and hold him for the rest of the night so we can both sleep. I know it is not optimal but seriously....I can't take care of my child if I haven't slept at all.

-I have learned to do many things with one hand: go to the bathroom, brush my teeth, prepare and eat food, load the dishwasher, pack Ben's lunch, clean and set up the coffee machine, change clothes, clean the cat bowls and feed them....even more so, I can do most of these things with my LEFT hand only.

-More miracle baby products: the noise machine attached to my packnplay. Isaac loves the sound of running water. And not that I don't love to pace the kitchen for hours with the sink blasting. I finally put batteries in this little noise machine the other day because I want him to start laying in the pnp during the day if possible. IT MAKES A RUNNING WATER SOUND! and even better, it comes off the pnp and can go anywhere. It fits on his cosleeper. Another magnificent product: the baby sling. Isaac is probably only about 8 pounds. He doesn't really fit well into the bjorn carriers and doesn't have the control of his head that I would want him to have in that type of carrier. If we are walking somewhere he is fine, but just around the house...not so much. The sling = AMAZING. and I can switch sides with it.

-I am pumping once a day...first thing in the morning. Isaac takes one side and usually that is enough. Note: this is usually after we have slept for a solid 3+ hours, so I am FULL. I pump the other side and almost always get a full 3 ounces. I tired pumping one afternoon and I got about 2 ounces but it screwed up the feeding schedule and he had to take a bottle that evening. Every bottle he takes right now breaks my heart. I have to have Ben give it to him because I can't watch.

-Nick at Nite is my new best friend. God bless the 8 hours of Geo.rge Lo.pez, Fam.ily Ma.tters, Fre.sh Prin.ce, Hom.e Im.prov.ement, and Ros.eanne.

-Back to bassinet sleeping. I have been told time and time again, that it just takes time for it to happen. Some suggestions were the cosleeper, which isdefinately working better than the actually bassinet, a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel, the noise machine, and putting a hat on him. The general theory other than hunger waking him is cold. Any other thoughts? PLEASE? :)

ok that is all for now. My 45 minutes is up. :)