Monday, February 11, 2013

Where did the last month go?

It's really been a month since Henry made his debut. It feels both like no time at all has passed, and years have passed.

Henry - one month old.
This past month has been quite the learning experience. Every day I'm learning many new things, not only about being a mom, but also about my baby boy's personality. It's been a difficult but wonderful time.

Breastfeeding

Prior to Henry's birth, I practically had myself convinced that for whatever reason, I wouldn't be able to breastfeed. I think because I wanted to be able to do it so badly, my subconscious would not let me believe that it would work out for me.

Luckily, my subconscious was wrong. Breastfeeding has been going really well! Sure, it was incredibly tough in the beginning. My milk didn't come in until day 4 or 5. Henry was not having the sufficient amount of wet and poopy diapers, and he was looking quite jaundiced. A call to my pediatrician resulted in us supplementing with formula for a day and a half.

I won't lie, hormonal me cried like a baby when I hung up with the pediatrician. I felt like I was failing. Buster couldn't understand why I reacted the way I did, and it was hard to explain without sounding like a nutcase. So we supplemented. About half of the formula ran down his chin, as he was still so new at the sucking thing. But after his first poop since the hospital, I decided to stop with the formula. I made a mom-call. His diapers were now on par, and the formula seemed to give him really bad gas. Plus, my milk came in.

And since then, it's been relatively smooth sailing. Well, I did have one 24-hour period of severe engorgement that left me in tears and shaking with an elevated temperature. After crying my way through a phone call to the hospital's lactation consultant, I started a regimen of rest, nursing my tits off, ibuprofen, and cabbage leaves. The next day, things were much better. Thankfully. That is some horrible, unexpected pain!

Henry was 8lbs 5oz at birth (Wednesday). When we left the hospital (Friday), he was 7lbs 14oz. At his first checkup on Tuesday, he was 7lbs 15oz. One week later at his two-week checkup, he was 8lbs 7oz. And I believe he has been steadily climbing since. His one-month checkup is this coming Tuesday, and I'm so excited to see how much he weighs!

I've also started pumping a bit. I was so intimidated of my pump at first, but it's much easier than I thought it would be. The most annoying thing about it is washing the parts, but that's unavoidable. I've started a freezer stash, and so far have 12 whole ounces in there! I have about ten ounces in the fridge as well, which will allow me to run to Target in a bit.


Sleep

Well, sleep has been a bit elusive. I was hardly sleeping in the first week or so that Henry was home. Buster had to yell at me (literally) and force me to sleep. It's so hard to remember to take care of yourself in those early days.

One thing that makes sleep difficult for me is that I'm not a napper. I never have been. It is so hard for me to sleep when it's daylight. I'm some kind of reverse vampire, apparently.

Because Buster was so intent on me getting sleep, we have gotten ourselves into some weird kind of schedule: we take shifts. Buster loves naps, so he usually takes one in the late evening (anywhere between 5-9pm). Then, he gets up. And I go to sleep in the bed, while he stays in the living room with Henry (where the swing and the Rock N Play are, Henry's favorite sleep spots). So I'll sleep until Henry is ready to eat, and then come out to the living room and nurse. I then pass Henry back off to Buster for burping/diapering, and I return to the bedroom. This goes on until about 4am, when Buster and I switch. I come out to the living room, and Buster goes to sleep until about 10:30 am.

It's not ideal. Buster and I haven't slept in the same bed at the same time for over a month. And that's pretty brutal. But when we did try (in the beginning), it was too soon for me. I found myself staring at Henry, making sure he was breathing, while he slept in the co-sleeper beside the bed. No rest could be had for me. So that's why we went with shift work.

I think I am finally comfortable enough with Henry sleeping to try the bedroom routine again. We just haven't gotten around to it. Hopefully soon, because I'd love to cuddle a little with my husband!

As far as Henry's sleep... well for the first time ever, he slept for four straight hours last night. Before that, his longest stretches were 3ish hours. Honestly, it would be nice if he slept longer, but I'm not that worried about it. Maybe I should be, and maybe I will be, but right now I just feed on demand and go with the flow. I think when I return to work (in 4-6 weeks...not sure exactly when yet) I'll be more concerned with him sleeping longer stretches at night, but for now I don't mind getting up to nurse. Plus, my boobs refuse to let me go longer than 3 1/2 hours anyway.


Post-partum Issues

If you recall from my birth story, I tore a little and was cut a little, and required three stitches. I (obviously) have not had my 6-month checkup yet, but I think that things are going well down there. I'm not having any pain, so I like to think things are right on track as far as healing.

I'm still spotting a little, but it's really few and far between.

Emotionally, I've been feeling pretty great. There are fleeting moments when I'm super tired that I feel overly emotional and cranky, but that can be easily remedied with sleep. Buster has been such a huge help around here, and I think that's really played a part in keeping me sane.


Weight Loss

As a reminder, I gained 60lbs during my pregnancy. And when I got pregnant, I was 20lbs heavier than my ideal weight. So far, I have lost 32 of the 60lbs gained during pregnancy. I'm not eating incredibly well (pretty much just eating whatever, whenever I have time), and no exercise yet. After my 6-week appointment, I hope to start exercising. I'd like to start back up with my 30-Day Shred since it's only a 30-minute workout. But we'll see.

My goal is to be back down to my pre-pregnancy weight by July, as we will be heading to the beach then. And if I just so happened to be down to my pre-IVF weight, well that would just be icing on the (low-fat) cake.

Here is a comparison pic of pregnancy vs 3 weeks post-partum:



• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Here are some photos of Henry from his first month of life:

4 days old!
5 days old

milk coma! 8 days old.

8 days old - cheeky monkey!

9 days old - Kelsey checking on her little brother.

9 days old - from his newborn photos 



9 days old - sleepy after his photo shoot!
11 days old

19 days old

4 weeks old - sweet dreams!





14 comments:

  1. Gorgeous boy! Love him!

    I hate to offere un-solicited parenting advice but I have to at least tell you about he book that saved my sanity! Babywise... they advocate a lot more crying it out than we ever used but the schedule they suggest (eat, play, sleep) worked great for us and has made Marek an amazing sleeper!

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  2. He's so precious! I lie the milk comas! :)

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  3. Oh my gosh, he is beautiful! Glad things are going well. The time does fly, doesn't it?

    How are the new grandparents enjoying him? I think I remember you saying he's the first grandbaby on both sides?

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  4. What a great update! So great to hear from you and see all the pics of sweet Henry!

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  5. Kara, first of, congratulations on your first months! Henry is such a beautiful baby! And you are doing incredibly well as mommy!

    On the exercise note. I went thru weight-loss yoga, 30 Day Shred, and Ripped in 30. And all this time my friend kept telling me about Tracy Anderson's Post-Pregnancy Workout. So I finally decided to give it a try. One year postpartum… And, all I have to say is OMG, what have I been thinking! I so wish now that I'd listen to my friend and started it a year ago! I mean, all that other stuff I did was great and effective too, but what this workout does for your mid-section AND arms is simply amazing.
    Please, please, please check it out! You don't even have to buy it, they have it on YouTube. It is broken down into 4 parts, but if you create a playlist out of them it plays almost seamlessly.

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  6. The pictures are wonderful!!!! Wow is he adorable or what????

    It sounds like things are going well for you all!!!! That is such great news!

    As for the sleeping shifts, that is what Ray and I still do. It makes life easier and everyone gets more sleep that way. You also don't feel bad when is up, because it is their shift and it stops people from being resentful. I know so many people who are resentful because the other spouse slept more or didn't get up as much.

    At 16 months she is sleeping well, but when she is sick.teething we still divert back to our shifts. Ray from 9-3 me from 3-7. She sleeps pretty well during my shift but wakes up usually around 6. Whereas Ray is up with her around 10 and 1. But he falls back to sleep easier than I do.

    I think at 3 months we were back in the same bed together. Avery was not a good sleeper so it took awhile, it isn't ideal, but you make it work!

    Good luck and you look wonderful!

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  7. Aw, he's a total looker! So glad that you figured out the sleeping in shifts thing. I thought that was totally key. It took us 6 weeks to realize that hubby and I sleeping in same room as LO wasn't going to work for anyone. We stayed in separate rooms for about 3 months, but it was what was needed to be done.

    As far as cleaning pump bits...do you have the steaming bags? They are a bit pricey, but TOTALLY worth in in my book. They also work for nipples, bottles, and pacifiers.

    And a tiny bit of warning about exercising--take it slow. When I got the all clear from my doc to start working out again, I jumped on my elliptical machine everyday for a week, and my milk supply all but disappeared. I had to work really hard (aka, pump a lot more often) to bring that supply back.

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  8. Sounds like everything is going great :D So glad breastfeeding worked out for you too.
    He is such a little cutie pie!

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  9. I'm so happy that breastfeeding and recovery are going well. Neither went that well for me and I wish I had felt better those first 4 weeks. My husband and I did the whole shift change the first 3 weeks as well - until he went back to work. It worked well to get us some sleep but we didn't see each other much and did not sleep in the same bed forever. It works for a while, but got old. I am happy to see Henry thriving.

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  10. Congratulations on the little dude. I have the sometimes daunting task from my work at an egg donor agency of offering condolenses and congrats on various fertility blogs. So seeing peoples success when I have to read so much of peoples failures is refreshing. I am happy for you, congratulations.

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  11. Just checking in on you and your new lil one. Hope everything is going great :)

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