Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Successful Baby Bathing 101.

We have survived our first week at home with no third party assistance. I'm not going to lie, I was more than a little worried about how I was going to survive being home alone with a newborn baby. But we did just fine. I mean, there were a few days where I didn't shower until Scott got home, or I showered with the soundtrack of a crying baby in the background, but we survived. All I can say is thank gawd for Grocery Gateway, because if wasn't for them, we would be surviving on pizza.

We have learned a few things about each other over the past month that I forgot to mention in my previous post. First, baby poop smells like buttered popcorn, I kid you not. Second, trying to get a wide awake baby to fall asleep is just about the most frustrating thing in the world. Third, trying to get a sleepy baby to stay awake is a losing battle. The second and third points have been playing out over the past couple of days as Max decided to party from 11pm - 4am on Sunday night/Monday morning. This combined with wanting to nurse every 1 - 2 hours just about made me fall over.

Last night I vowed to keep him awake all evening so that we could go to bed at 11pm. We banged pots and pans, sang loudly, threatened to play Rage Against the Machine, jiggled him on our knees, gave him a bath, and forced him to watch basketball. And success. In bed for a feeding at 10:40pm, snack at 2:40am, 4:30am, 7am, up and out of bed by 7:30am. If you haven't guessed already, Max is having a growth spurt. He is in his first 3 - 6 month clothes as of today. My baby is growing up!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Maxwell Hunter: 1 month old.

Just woke up from a nap.Little baby Max - you turned one month old yesterday. I would have posted this on your actual one month birthday, but I was too busy kissing your little cheeks and playing with your toes to sit down at the computer. It is hard to believe that it has been a full month since we met - it feels like it was only yesterday. Your dad says that it definitely feels like a full month (at least!) but for me it has been a blur. You are starting to get more alert now and while you aren't ready to play with your toys, you are very interested in what is going on around you (especially lights and the Happy Cat picture). When you look at me with your big soulful eyes, my heart swells (and my boobs ache). Your lusty wails when you are hungry make me smile a bit - you are very serious when it comes to your dinner - and your dad and I can't help but laugh when you root around his chest, confused as to why he has no food for you.
Okay, when is it my turn to talk?Our lives have changed forever now, and we would never go back. Life is a bit slower, and I have fewer expectations of what I can get done in a day - "to do" lists are one item long and they consist of "enjoy your baby". You are so beautiful and innocent, I just can't get enough of you. It breaks your dad's heart to go to work everyday because he just wants to be with you all day, every day. You are growing and developing so fast, I swear you have new baby chubs every day. It's a good thing we have some 3 - 6 month clothes because you are almost out of your newborn clothes.

At one month old you tipped the scales at nine pounds 7 ounces - that is almost 2 pounds higher than your birth weight. I am thrilled because we had a bit of a slow start with the breastfeeding. The best money I have spent was to get a lactation consultant to come over to the house to help us. The bond we have from breastfeeding is amazing and I am so glad I stuck it out with you (even though you can be a bit of a barracuda when we are getting you latched on sometimes). Seeing you relax and close your eyes, your little chubby hand holding onto me, makes me forget all of the challenges I went through to get to this point.

First family walkI thought I knew love before I met you, but now I know that I only had a glimmer of an understanding. True, pure, unconditional, overwhelming, all-encompassing love, that is the love I have for you. When parents tell their children free friends that "there is nothing like it" they are absolutely right. And there really are no words to describe the way my heart swells every time I look at you. You have so many people in your life that love you, all little boys should be so lucky. I can't wait to see what this next month will bring.

Mom (aka "the titty lady")

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Lost in babyland.

Awh Mom, I hate green beans!Well, we finally sorted out the breastfeeding thing with the help of a lactation consultant that I hired to come to the house to help us out. Once we got going Max and I were both much happier. Me, because I felt like a huge failure not being able to breastfeed my baby and sterilizing pumps and bottles after every feeding is exhausting. Max, because, well, breast is best and he loves to get up close and personal with his Mama. We have mastered two positions, feeding while lying down and feeding while sitting up and using the mybrestfriend pillow that Scott bought me on ebay (because he loves me). It also means that we are able to get a lot more sleep because (and I never thought I would do this) we are actually cosleeping. Meaning, I have brought Max into my bed and he sleeps with us, at least while he is eating every 2 - 3 hours. This way he actually goes right back to sleep after his 11:30pm feeding and stays in bed until 6:30am. I still have to wake up and feed him, but we don't have to get up and party, which I truly appreciate.

Grandma and MaxMy mom has been taking wonderful care of the both of us (Max and I both have colds) and I don't know what I would have done without her the past 2 weeks. I am totally not okay with the fact that she is going back to BC on Saturday (boo!). At least Scott has a long weekend, so we will get 3 days with him to have some family time. I think it is hard for him to leave us in the morning when he goes to work. It is a tough transition for all of us, but we are getting there.
Things that make you say I don't get out every day (in fact with being sick I went four days without leaving the house) but we have ventured out to the grocery store and we even had lunch out at Licks. I never imagined how hard it would be just to get showered, dressed, and out the door with a baby. Everything has to be timed with his feedings and with him eating every 2 to 3 hours it means that any trip out can be a maximum of 2 hours before we have to be back for titty time. A glamorous life for sure. Totally worth it though - I wouldn't change it for the world.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Is there anyone who hasn't seen my breasts?

The little old man face.Because, really, I have lost count of the number of people who have poked, prodded, tweaked, squeezed and examined my breasts in the last two weeks. Funny, when they stop becoming sexual objects and turn into mere facilators of sustinance you get a lot less shy. I now understand why many women are nonplussed about whipping their boobs out in public to feed their babies. Not that I'm quite there yet, but seriously, if you are one of the few who have yet to see the glory that is my breasts, come on over - they really are spectacular. All sarcasm aside, Max and I have had some challenges dealing with the whole breastfeeding thing. First he was born tongue tied, so he had to have his tongue clipped. Then he worked me raw, I mean RAW to the point that I had to stop breastfeeding and pump my milk and feed him from a bottle. I should note that he clearly was getting enough milk from me because he gained a pound in one week and is now a whopping 8 pounds 4 ounces! Now that I am pretty much healed up, we are trying again, but after getting the bottle for three days, he is one lazy little boy who is not so interested in putting the work in to get the milk out of his mom's boobs. So, I have called a lactation consultant who will be coming to my home tomorrow to help us figure this out. Yet another person who will see my breasts (wee!). I am too stubborn to give up on this just yet.

The kissy face.The good news is that my mom arrived last night from BC for a two week visit. This is especially good because Scott has come down with bronchitis and is in pretty rough shape plus we can't have him holding Max while he is so sick. I had two days of caring for Max solo which was kind of brutal as all those awesome endorphins I had the first week home have dwindled and I am now at that point where I am so tired I feel drunk. With my mom here I managed to get some sleep today so I feel much better. Something about moms, they just make the sun shine brighter and everything okay. Max loves her and seems to be willing to conk out for her much easier than he will for me. Praise be for that, I'll take all the help I can get. Scott goes back to work tomorrow and I can't believe that it has already been 2 weeks! What a blur...I feel like we just brought Max home from the hospital!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Week 1: The Adventures of Mommyhood.

Max is not sure what he thinks about this whole bath thing.We've made it through our first week as a family of three and lived to tell about it. So far so good, I think anyway. The toughest part is probably getting sleep in small increments when you can instead of big blocks. Funny, even when I'm tired and it's 4am and Max is wide awake, I am happy. I am just trying to drink it all in - I feel like he's growing so fast and I might miss something.

We have mastered the art of changing poopy diapers, gotten peed on several times, become experts at doing many things with only one free hand and managed to shower every day except for one. The thing that has been the toughest for me is the breastfeeding. Apparently women that are fair skinned have the most sensitive skin and I can attest to that. Max is a good eater, and oh my goodness he has worked me raw. I am doing my best to work through it, making sure he is getting a good latch, that I am positioning him right, airing the "sisters" out when I get a chance (quite a sight really), and applying Purelan and glycerin pads between feedings. But still, holy shit, when you have a little boy eating for 40 minutes a go every 2 - 3 hours, it is hard to heal. I love that he is gaining weight and filling out like a champ and that is what makes it worth it, but don't kid, breastfeeding is hard.
Flashing lights and baby music, oh my.Now that things have settled down, it's interesting to observe my hormones come into play. The day Max was born, I didn't cry. Scott cried, Jennifer cried, but I think I was too "medicated" and likely in shock/overwhelmed to let go. So, on Sunday night, I was up in our bedroom holding Max in my arms, just looking at his beautiful face and out of nowhere I started bawling. It wasn't an ugly cry, but it was a good one nonetheless. All of a sudden I felt the responsibility to protect him from the world, and saw his vulnerability, how it really is all on me to make sure he is okay, and that even when I think it isn't possible, I have more love in my heart for him. I want so badly to be a good mom, and there is so much to learn. I hope he is patient with me, I'm definitely a work in progress.