Sunday, April 20, 2014

1 Month Old!

Mr. Miles turned 1 month old on Friday, and he is such a different baby than the one we brought home!  He's still extremely alert, and insists on being held so that he can see the room and everyone in it.  He holds his head up way more than expected, and is a milk drinking machine!  We love seeing him have a fun time on his play mat, and make happy squawking noises at us and the ceiling fan.

Miles is also a healthy, growing boy!  His pediatrician visits have gone well, and the doctor is very pleased with the rate that he is gaining weight and length.  He's gained two pounds since leaving the hospital 4 weeks ago, and has already outgrown most of his newborn clothes.  He is in the 70th percentile for height, but only 40th for weight so he's shaping up to be a long and lean baby (so far).

It hasn't been an easy month, though, and we never know if we're going to have a good night with 1-2 quick feedings or spend 90 minutes trying to feed and calm an angry infant at 3am.  He can be very gassy and difficult to soothe, and requires lots of bouncing and constant movement when he's unhappy - no cuddling on the sofa for us!  It seems like some days we spend most of his awake time trying to get him to stop crying and go back to sleep.  However, things seem to be getting better and we're looking forward to the weeks ahead when everyone insists that it gets easier.

We've had lots of visitors this month, and Nick and I are super grateful for all the help and food.  We'd be eating a lot more sandwiches if not for our wonderful family and friends!

Some more tidbits about Miles at 1 month:
  • He can go from furious to smiling in the same minute.  When upset, he straightens his body like a board or furiously kicks whoever is holding him -- not fun for a Mama with a c-section scar.
  • Speaking of kicking, it's pretty much his favorite thing to do.  He likes to lay on his back and kick his legs really fast and laugh, which never gets old to watch!  However, he's not a huge fan of tummy time and never makes it more than 3-5 minutes before throwing a fit.  Admittedly, we've not been the best about enforcing the 30 minute per day goal because the resulting fits can go on for over half an hour and it's not worth it.  He doesn't spend much time at all on his back aside from sleeping, so we'll keep working on it but he's not in danger of getting a flat head.
  • This kid can chug a bottle, and we've had to switch to a slower flow nipple to keep him from drinking all the milk in 2 minutes (he drinks a bottle of pumped milk at night to save time and let Nick help out)
  • Miles is obsessed with his hands, but whacks himself in the face a lot.  He can escape from every swaddle blanket we've tried, and at this point we will happily pay for a real baby-sized straight jacket to keep him from waking himself up so much.  (If this is not yet available, I will invent it and give it a stupid name like the Cozy Pod)
  • Maggie has been a wonderful big sister, and wants to know where the baby is at all times.  She sits by his bassinet and makes sure that nobody steals him while we eat dinner and keeps me company during night feedings.  Charlie, on the other hand, is not adjusting well.  We aren't sure that he realizes that Miles is a person and not a toy that Nick and I are not sharing, but he has snapped at him (not aggressively, it's odd) and is not allowed near the baby.  We aren't sure what to do, but will be consulting a trainer soon.
  • Nick is an amazing baby soother, and Miles loves to lay on his lap and sway.  It is apparently not the same at all when I do it, and my attempts are unacceptable and deserving of an angry kick to the belly. 
Hopefully I can manage 11 more posts like this one, so we'll have content for a baby book one day! 

P.S. If you have an Apple device and want to be added to my Miles photo stream, just let me know.  I try to keep the picture sharing on Facebook to a minimum so as not to be "that lady" cluttering up everyone's feed. (You need to have iOS 7 installed to receive the invitation)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Miles the Model: Newborn Photo Session

When he was 8 days old, my sweet friend Maryam came over to photograph Miles.  I'm so in love with these pictures, and wanted to share a few of my favorites:

 This cradle was made by my late Papa Curtis - I'm so thankful that we still have it

 Gig em!

 Tiny, old man feet with huge big toes!

 My favorite picture, because he always looks at us like that

 Fightin Texas Aggie Class of 2036!

Nick wore this outfit during his newborn photo session in 1982 - Miles was not impressed.

25 Days: Thoughts on Motherhood

I wanted to share some of the things running around my head after 25 days in the trenches.  I think some of you may relate, or have advice to share, or just appreciate a peek into what it's like after one of the biggest life changes we'll ever experience:
  • For those who don't know, Baby Miles ended up being a c-section delivery after 13 hours of labor that stopped progressing.  He was stuck and not able to "drop" like he needed to, and despite lots of pitocin, my body basically said "eff this" and stopped having strong contractions.  If this had been olden times, one or both of us likely wouldn't have made it, which is really strange to think about.
  • I was terrified of a c-section delivery, and it ended up being fine.  No pain, and about 25 minutes from start to finish.  The recovery is no party, don't be mistaken, but it's not the ordeal I was envisioning after reading scary blog posts from people who are either really dramatic, or perhaps facing some unusual circumstances.  So, if you end up in my shoes, don't freak out.  That said, it is major abdominal surgery and perhaps the only kind that you don't get to fully relax after having.  Take advantage of all offers of help, and don't feel bad about leaning on your partner or family to do all housework and fetch you things as you recline on the sofa and let your body recover. 
  • I had no idea what sleep deprivation was like until now.  We live in 3-4 hour increments between feedings, and my nighttime sleep comes in a series of 2-3 hour naps.  I am slowly getting more used to it, but I'd say that 90% of the time I could lay down and fall asleep if given the option.
  • Up until the end of last week, I'd say I definitely had a bad case of the baby blues.  I was constantly on the verge of tears, and felt totally overwhelmed by breastfeeding and learning to soothe a crying baby.  Now that my hormones have leveled out a bit and we've started going on walks and venturing out for short trips to places not packed with people, I feel so much better.  
  • In other news, a used copy of Happiest Baby on the Block is the best $5 I spent preparing for this child.  
  • Probably one of the biggest adjustments for me has been being mostly home bound.  I often have no reason to get dressed, but make it a point to put on fresh clothes and take a long bath or shower every day.  I know lots of moms go on about not bathing or changing clothes covered in bodily fluids, but the old me is not dead and that is where I draw the line.  That said, I never thought I'd spend so much time in leggings, cardigans, and nursing tanks.  It was a big deal to finally put my maternity skinny jeans back on this week:

  • Yes, I'm back in maternity jeans (if I'm venturing out in public).  I don't look normal yet, and wasn't expecting to after 3.5 weeks, but am anxious to see how many of these extra inches I'll need to burn off once I'm allowed to exercise.  Although I wasn't delusional, it's really hard to come home with a body that doesn't look or feel like your own when everything else in your life is different, too.  However, this little face is worth every stretch mark and extra pound:
  • I was pretty up front about my dread when it came to breastfeeding, and I'm sad to say it was totally warranted.  I wanted to love it (and during easy daytime feedings, I do) and was hoping it would come naturally, but it's been an uphill battle for which I was only semi-prepared.  I think that hospitals and care providers walk a fine line between scaring new mothers away from trying, and allowing them to have unreal expectations when it comes to the level of work and skill needed to be successful.  I ended up somewhere in the middle - expecting it to be hard but still shocked at how consuming it is.  You see, breastfeeding is a skill, and it has its own jargon and techniques that you will quickly learn as you do it every 3-4 hours for weeks on end.  I probably think about how great it will be to quit at least 15 times per day, especially since it forces me to be solely responsible for feeding the baby unless I've pumped milk for my husband to offer in a bottle.  It's tough for a couple used to equal division of labor, especially when one party is an emotional mess and accustomed to being good at things.  However, I'm going to give it another few weeks in hopes that we'll hit our stride before I switch to pumping, and I'm proud that we're still nursing exclusively and that Miles is growing like a weed.
Wow, that was a lot of thoughts!  I'm sure I'll look back on this post and laugh one day, but this is where my brain is at the moment. 

Any advice for us, parents?