our sweet baby boy…
I’ve kind of been putting off posting again because 1)Any spare time has been taken up with either sleeping, housework, or quality time with Shawn, and 2)I really have no idea where to start! Obviously our lives have changed drastically in the last month, and everyday seems to present its own ups and downs. If you talk to me one day, you’ll probably get the sense that I’m chronically exhausted, frustrated, and at my wits end. Talk to me the next day, and I’ll brag about how I got four straight hours of sleep, have been able to keep up with the house, and how great I feel.
But let me get to what I know is far more interesting to all of you (and me!). And that would be J. Bug, of course. 🙂 Shawn and I have absolutely loved discovering his personality and figuring out how to be good parents to him. He’s adorable, sweet, fiesty, and very, very alert. He seems to be pretty advanced for his age – rolling over already, focusing on objects well, grasping for hanging toys (and sometimes reaching them!), pushing himself up on his arms when he’s on his tummy, holding his head up for 10 seconds at a time, and putting some of his weight on his straightened out legs. Of course, we think this is the most amazing thing in the world, but my rational self knows that all babies develop at their own rate and ours…while amazing…will most likely not be walking in the next week. 😉
We had some difficulties with getting Bug to sleep for several weeks – it seemed like he always, always, always had to fuss himself to sleep. He’d be exhausted (as would we!), and we would have tried absolutely everything to calm him down. However, he’d sleep only when he cried himself to the point of sheer exhaustion. We started letting him cry it out a little (which was a tough decision for me, especially at such a young age), and within a few days he could sleep in his crib with relative ease. He still has his rough days and nights, but overall it is getting easier. I’m learning that he’s pretty sensitive to both sound and lights and will become more agitated if he’s sleepy and is around a lot of noise (ie…the TV, a lot of people talking loudly, etc.). I’m not a big fan of shutting down the world just because your child is sleeping, so I tried to get him used to napping with noise, but have realized that he just sleeps better with the blinds drawn and relative quiet around him.
I’m also not a fan of sheltering your child from germs and thought I’d be even a bit aggressive about exposing Bug to germs…especially since he won’t be in daycare. My thoughts were that I wanted to expose him to germs early so that he didn’t encounter a ton of germs in pre-school and have to miss often. And once more, I have to eat my words about the kind of mother I thought I’d be! It turns out that J. Bug was born right at the beginning of cold/flu season, and it also turns out that if a newborn gets the cold or flu, it can be highly dangerous.
So, it’s true…I’ve turned into that obnoxious mother who asks people to squirt Purell before handling their baby. I’ve learned that there is a time to expose your child to germs, and next year I will not be nearly as paranoid…but his immune system is not ready to handle this winter’s germs and I’m realizing that I need to protect him as much as possible for now. I’m not ready to see Jude in the hospital with RSV or pneumonia…so hand santizer is our best friend!
Bug’s been doing great with nursing. He’s officially been a breastfed baby for a month now, which is exciting. It’s not always been easy, but I’ve been told that if you can make it to 6 weeks then it becomes like second nature, so that is my goal (well, my ultimate goal is 12 months, or whenever he moves to solely solid food)! I love his little fat rolls that he has under his neck and on his arms. I love what Shawn calls his ‘thunder thighs,’ and I love that he recently put on a third chin. I love seeing him grow and knowing that God made my body capable of nourishing him -both in and out of my womb. He was gaining weight like a champ at his 2 week appointment, and I’m eager to see how his weight gain is looking at this 2 month appointment.
As you can see, I could write about this kid for hours, but it’s getting close to his time to eat. I’ll do my best to post a little more often, but I have to be honest – if I have a choice between catching a nap or posting…I’m taking that nap!! 🙂
the sweetest sound…
Bug laughed the other day! I’ve been watching him constantly for signs of a smile that wouldn’t be attributed to gas, so imagine my surprise when I not just saw a smile, but heard the sweetest “uh-UH!” that accompanied that smile. While short, I am nonetheless claiming that adorable little sound as an official laugh. What made our sweet little boy laugh, you may wonder?
Well, J.Bug loves his changing table. Shawn and I have no idea what is so magical about it, but he’s rarely fussy and loves to lay there and kick his arms and legs, surveying the world around him. Hanging right above the changing table is a brown sign with white words that read, “Peace, Love, Baby,” by which he’s fascinated. I’ve read that infants are drawn to starkly contrasting colors, so I assume that would be why he could stare at that picture all day long. Or perhaps he’s contemplating the deeper meaning of those words…I guess we’ll never know. At any rate, Bug’s laugh was most decidedly directed toward his old friend, the Peace Love Baby sign. I’m trying to not be too jealous of the sign, and I tell myself that soon enough his laughter will be directed towards a funny face I make or an impression that Daddy does. For now, though, that changing table and esoteric sign are hilarious to my five week old.
Speaking of which, is it crazy to anyone else that he’s already five weeks old? I tried to weigh him this morning (I weighed myself, then weighed myself holding him and subtracted the difference…not the most scientific method, but I have a hard time seeing his growth since I’m with him 24/7 and just needed some reassurance). According to our home scale, the kid weighs 9 pounds! He’s getting good at rolling from his stomach to his back, but hasn’t attempted the back to stomach feat yet. He’s also holding his head up on his own for several minutes at a time. To my sheer pleasure, he’s only waking up once (around 2:00 or 3:00am) to eat at night! This might mistakenly lead you to think that I’m getting lots of sleep, but don’t be fooled. He takes until about 11:00pm to eat, and then feels the need to wail until about midnight. Still, just one night feeding is impressive for his age.
Now that Bug’s outgrown the disposable newborn diapers we had, we’re transitioning him to cloth diapers, which is going great! I still keep him in disposables at night and if we’re going out, but he wears mostly cloth during the day. His little butt is at least two times bigger as compared to when he wears disposables, and he looks absolutely adorable! He had a pretty bad diaper rash that I couldn’t get rid of – no matter how much cream I lathered on, that went away within two or three days of him wearing the cloth diapers. Right now, the extra laundry isn’t too much of a pain in the butt, but I might be singing a different tune once I go back to work.
I think he’s waking up from his nap, so mommyhood calls.
So today is a big day! J. Bug is officially six weeks old, and I am officially six weeks postpartum…cheers all around! I have an appointment today, at which I’m hoping to be told that I am in the clear to exercise and once again -live a normal life!
I have to confess, however, that I have gone running twice. I took it easy and only ran for three sets of five minutes, and my goodness, how great it felt! I seriously almost cried the first time I ran. I’ve been feeling a little bit down lately, and it was so wonderful and energizing to be out in the cool air, staring at the sky, and feeling the wind. It felt great to move my body again and not have to worry about my heart rate. I’m really, really looking forward to running on a consistent basis once again and am already looking to see when I could run a 5K again.
We had a rough several days with J. Bug, but he seems to be coming out of that. I think he was going through a growth spurt and he was eating every two hours…even throughout the night…and fussing a lot more than normal. I can’t tell you how many times it got to 3:00am in the morning, and I seriously contemplated just giving up breastfeeding and doing formula. Thankfully, I didn’t give in and he seems to be through his growth spurt and back to his 3 hour feeding schedule during the day and 4-5 hour schedule at night.
In desperation, I actually called the lactation consultant from the hospital and was able to get some answers to a few questions I had. First of all, I found out that the 45 minutes to an hour it was taking me to nurse him didn’t need to be that long. The LC said he could get everything he needed in 20-30 minutes. It’s SO nice to not have to take an hour to nurse him everytime! 30 minutes seems like a breeze in comparison! I also found out that I have quite a bit of milk, judging by the color of Bug’s poop (this disclaimer might be a little late, but if discussion about poop color and breastfeeding gross you out -skip down to the next paragraph).
Basically, he wasn’t getting enough hindmilk. So I now know that he only needs to feed on one side per feeding. This was a huge relief because I think every nursing mother worries that she doesn’t have enough milk and her infant is starving. I was also being super paranoid about making sure I pumped every time he had a bottle so that my body would keep my milk supply adequate. While that’s still a good idea if possible, it turns out that my plethora of milk would allow me to skip that occasionally (because I’m sound asleep, hopefully!) and not mess with my milk supply. Hooray! And finally, I learned that the hospital has a nursing mother’s support group every other Thursday. I found a local La Leche League group, but they only meet one Wednesday a month, and I just haven’t been able to attend. I’m seriously thinking about attending the Nursing Mother’s group. I like that it’s twice a month and since I’ll be working from home on Thursdays, I’ll be able to attend the group long-term. Even with the recent chaos of a growth spurt, nursing is going really well and definitely HAS gotten easier!
J.Bug is smiling a little bit more often and is able to play for longer periods of time by himself (15-20 minutes instead of 5-10). He actually smiled at me quite a bit this morning, which was the best thing in the world!
Shawn and I are really looking forward to our first Christmas with Bug! Thanks to friends and family who love him so much, underneath our tree is filled with presents for the kid! We’ve shown him snow on TV, and have told him that he probably won’t ever see it in North Carolina, but that we promise that he’ll get to see it when we travel for Thanksgiving. 🙂 In the past couple of weeks, we’ve begun a bedtime routine of either giving him a bath or a baby massage, and then reading a book to him, swaddling him, praying with/for him, and then laying him down in his crib. Shawn’s been reading Bug from Luke 2 about Jesus’ birth. Perhaps it’s just happenstance, but he seems to listen attentively.
We like to think he identifies with Jesus’ infanthood and inexperienced parents. 🙂 My current favorite lullabye to sing to J.Bug is “Silent Night,” simply because the irony makes me laugh in the wee hours of the night. It’s fun to identify a little bit with what Mary and Joseph were going through in Jesus’ early weeks. Granted, we have no idea what it’s like to give birth to the Son of God, we have a nice cozy house to stay in as opposed to a stable, and poor Mary probably couldn’t even fathom the joys of an epidural – but it’s mind blowing to realize that Jesus was a helpless infant. He was gassy, he had a first smile, and he probably was excited when he learned to grab his feet or reach out and touch something. What an amazing thing that our Lord humbled himself to being an infant.
If He was anything like every other infant in the world, Mary and Joseph’s nights were anything but silent and He was hardly “tender and mild.” 🙂
We pray that Bug has fond memories of his childhood Christmases. Hopefully not memories of piles of presents or expensive toys – but memories of being with his family, enjoying the magic of the season, and understanding the enormity of what Jesus’ birth meant to the world.
I hope you have an amazing Christmas and thank you for what you mean to our family!