Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sleeeeeeeeeeeep...


I love sleep. Sleep is the reward at the end of every day. Sleep is the best treat I can think of. I sung the praises of sleep long before becoming pregnant and having a child... really, truly, I love sleep more than anything. Except my newborn baby. I think.

There was one other instance in my life when my sleep was this fragmented. When I was a grad student at ASU, I spent a lot of time grading papers and very little time sleeping. One semester was particularly rough: 5-15 pages of math stuff for ~70 students, every other week... the only way to get through it was to do it all at once and through the night. I'd grade as many assignments as I could stand, sleep for about 3 hours, get up, and grade some more. 3 hours seems to be my natural nap duration. More than that and I wish I'd had a full night's sleep. Less than that, and, well, I'd wake up confused about what day of the week it was. 3 hours. I like 3 hours of sleep.

Lately Jack's been on ~1.5 hour stretches at night, nursing at 11pm, 1, 3, 5 and 7am. Miserable. 1.5 hours of sleep is really, really tough. I'd be happy to "nap when the baby naps" (I can fall asleep in about 30 seconds flat, under any circumstances), except that little Jack is only napping in 30 minute intervals these days, and if there's anything worse to me than sleep deprivation at night, it's a 20 minute nap. I need more than 20 minutes at a time. To make matters even more exhausting, on Sunday and Monday he was wanting to nurse all the time... like every hour, all day long. (Ouch!).

We're hoping that the rapid decline in Jack's sleeping habits is due to a growth spurt. Babies go through regular growth spurts, during which they nurse very frequently. This gets them more calories and also helps boost mom's milk supply. The funny thing about growth spurts is that they happen at predictable times... at 7-10 days, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, and 6 weeks. Jack turned 6 weeks on Sunday, so that would put him on schedule for a growth spurt.

Jack slept really well last night (3.5 hours, twice!!!) and napped for long periods of time today (3, 2 and 2 hours... amazing!). Maybe it will carry through to tonight? We'll see.

Good thing he's so snuggly ;) It makes up for a lot of sleep deprivation.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Happy Jack

Ever since we started Jack on a probiotic, he has been one happy camper. Jack is a frequent nurser (every 2 hours during the day), his naps tend to be short (30 minutes... unless he's in a motion-making device), and he's not sleeping long at night (2 hrs at most for the past few days). However, Jack is almost always happy when he is awake. His evening fussy times have magically disappeared this past week (to return, I'm sure), and now his mornings (gas-free) are pretty good, too.

Things Jack likes:
  • Milk
  • Nursing
  • Cuddling
  • Kisses (but not on the nose)
  • Being up on our shoulders
  • Being in the Ergo carrier
  • Being on his playmat in front of the mirror
  • Being sung or read to
  • Movement
  • Outdoor breezes
  • Sitting in warm bath water
  • Having his hair washed
  • Looking at faces
Things Jack does not seem to care so much about:
  • Whether he's in clothes or not
  • Whether his diaper needs changing or not
  • Ambient noise
  • Ambient light
Things Jack does not like:
  • Being hungry, having gas, or needing to burp
  • Going in his car seat
  • Being stationary for too long
  • The Moby Wrap or Baby Bjorn carriers
  • Zane's shrill bark
  • When I yell at Tori while he's nursing
  • Being dipped / raised-lowered too quickly
  • Getting out of the bath water
  • When his face gets wet

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Love


I just can't stop taking photos of this little guy. What else am I going to do with my time?


Greg likes Jack's profile:


And eyes like this are hard to ignore:


I know I'm totally biased, but he's just so friggin' cute:

Monday, August 23, 2010

Update on Jack

Last time I posted, I described Jack's G.I./sleep issues. He was having terrible gas for about 2 hours every morning. It was heart-wrenching to watch: he would just scream from the pain. 5 minutes of pain, 5 minutes of relief, 5 minutes of pain, 5 minutes of relief. His tummy troubles were starting to occur during the day, too, and he was cranky and overtired. Jack's pain was definitely tied in to my milk, because when he nursed less frequently, the gas was better. When I had the worst pain, he had the worst gas.

It turned out to be thrush. We are both on a rather ineffective topical agent (Nystatin); the Nystatin had no apparent effect. Then, on Saturday, Jack and I started a probiotic.

Guess what? Sunday and Monday mornings were nearly gas attack free. He still had to toot a bit, and there were moments of discomfort -- but we're talking two or three 2-minute sessions instead of a 2 hour marathon of pain.

Good job, probiotic! Jack is much better, but I can tell that my infection is coming and going on an hourly basis. I'm not sure whether to request stronger treatment from my doctor or whether to keep up the natural remedies for a few more days.

I am so glad that Jack is feeling better. I seem to have had this infection from the start (I took antibiotics after birth), so I only wish we'd known about the thrush sooner. I plan to stay on a probiotic indefinitely. It seems that thrush can cause varying symptoms in the mother and infant -- he never had obvious signs of it, but I did. I'm thinking that a probiotic is a good idea regardless of how the two of us are feeling.

As a double bonus, Jack's gas pain does not appear to be related to my diet. Three cheers! Insulin-dependent gestational diabetes gave me enough food troubles during pregnancy -- it has been a relief to be able to eat normally again.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Happy Feet

Jack's moves are straight out of Flashdance:


video

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Gassy Jack


Poor Jack! He had a rough day yesterday. Something's going on with his G.I. system, and whether it's due to a specific problem or it's good old fashioned colic, it's getting worse.


When we brought Jack home from the hospital, he slept one 4-5 hour stretch per night. This lasted about two weeks. Now he is down to 2-3 hour stretches of sleep. Worse so, Jack has gas attacks at the same time every morning. Bad gas attacks. Right around 4 or 5am, it starts. He wakes up screaming. He squirms and kicks his legs. He cries and sobs. He toots, gets 5-10 minutes to nap or nurse in perfect comfort, and then the next cramp hits him. He is positively miserable for two hours. Once the gas attack passes, Jack is happy as a clam. With one exception (see below), Jack has gone through this morning routine every day for the last two weeks. It is upsetting to everyone involved.


We've been doing our best to help him (knees to the chest, lots of belly rubs, simethicone drops, careful burping, gripe water, tummy time). It could be "colic" -- that generic word which describes babies who cry for an unknown reason (presumably it has something to do with their maturing nervous systems or G.I. tract). Perhaps he is sensitive to something in my diet (milk protein would be a common suspect).


I also wonder whether Jack might be having more foremilk/hindmilk issues. Perhaps he's waking up for comfort (as opposed to hunger), which results in his taking small snacks of milk without having a full serving. This would send too much lactose to his stomach from the disproportionate dose of foremilk and give him a belly ache in the morning. Interestingly enough, I switched up his napping pattern on Wednesday, and he slept like a champ, nursing at 9:30pm, 2:00am, and 7:00am (and I woke him up for the 7:00am session!). This was the only day that Jack escaped his gas attack. I was very excited that we avoided the gas attack, so I tried the napping trick again on Thursday. Well, that night was his worst ever. Up every 2 hours. Screaming. Gassy. Started sobbing at 4am and didn't sleep for more than 20 minutes at a time until 9pm. Watching him cry was absolutely devastating to me. He was miserable. We were miserable.


Then, in one of many marathon google searches, I realized that the on and off pain I had been experiencing for weeks was a sign of thrush. Thrush is an overgrowth of yeast in the baby's mouth and mom's milk ducts. It causes a variety of symptoms. It is most commonly identified by white patches in the baby's mouth; Jack didn't have obvious overgrowth in his mouth, but I was experiencing breast pain that strongly suggested this was the problem. Plus he had a diaper rash that looked just like a yeast diaper rash and had been bobbing on and off during nursing sessions in a way that suggested his mouth hurt. Lastly, a little googling uncovered something unusual... moms were noticing that their babies were excessively gassy when they had thrush. Since the yeast also invades the lower G.I. tract, it's possible that the thrush infection was turning poor Jack's belly into a CO2 factory. Meanwhile, on the day that Jack had the worst gas, I had the worst pain -- coincidence?


Poor Jack. Poor mom. We went to the doctor, where they confirmed that we both have thrush and prescribed some topical stuff. It seems that the topical is very often ineffective, so we are also both taking a probiotic. I'm also cutting a few common gassy culprits out of my diet -- spicy food, chocolate, nuts and dairy. Greg and I are crossing our fingers that the thrush was the cause of little Jack's early AM discomfort.



P.S. The photos in this post have nothing to do with early AM gas... I just liked them :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

We finally did it...


When I looked on this scene, my heart simultaneously melted -- for love of my family -- and wrenched halfway out of my chest -- to see my baby boy receiving breastmilk out of a bottle.


We gave him a bottle for two reasons. (1), I will be returning to work eventually and he will need a bottle at daycare. The lactation consultant suggested that 4-6 weeks is the best age to introduce a bottle. At that point, breastfeeding is well enough established that the bottle shouldn't interfere with his ability to latch and suck properly, but he's still young enough to adapt to it all without much stress. Dad is supposed to give the first few bottles, because sometimes babies will reject it if they know mom (and the boob) are nearby. (2) Mamma wants to go to a yoga class tomorrow, and it'll last long enough that Baby might need food.


Fear not, Jack loved the bottle. It helped him to accomplish his most important life goals: as much milk as possible, as rapidly as possible. In fact, due to my oversight, we only had fast flow nipples in the house, which means he got that milk really quickly. Little buddy was zonked after that bottle. Greg said it was fun.

P.S. We are using glass, vented bottles (Born Free, a BPA free company) -- they seemed to work well.

P.P.S. I forgot to add this to Jack's one month milestone list -- he can really grab on to stuff now! It is very cute, because he holds on to use when we lift him to our shoulder. I like getting those "mini hugs" :) Unfortunately, he has also started yanking on my hair. I think the days of dangly earings are over!

Monday, August 16, 2010

I only have eyes for you


Jack's eyesight has improved remarkably in the last several days. When he was a newborn, his eyes were completely uncoordinated. He could track motion for very short ranges, and he would blink or scrunch up his face when you got too close, but that was about it. There was no consistent direction to his gaze, and he paid far more attention to bright windows than he did to our faces.

This didn't help me with breastfeeding. Everybody tells you about how nursing is such a bonding experience; not many tell you that babies come out lacking the skill to nurse but possessing a desperate wish to suck hard. The truth is that nursing hurt quite badly in the beginning, and Jack and I spent our early days crying it out together. I was already having trouble getting over the pain of childbirth, and the fact that the pain kept up... that this most important task (feeding my son!) was unpleasant to the point of making my toes curl... well, that kind of sucked. No pun intended.

It seemed like every time I handed someone a peaceful, slumbering child, they would hand me back a hungry piranha. Worse yet, he was starting to look at other people's faces, but he only had eyes for my boobs (men!). The early days of breastfeeding made me feel like a tool. I loved the idea that my body could feed my baby, so I was an important tool. But I was a tool, nonetheless.

Enter the miraculous nursing moment of one week ago, when Jack really, truly looked at me for the first time. It was amazing. He carefully contemplated my face as he nursed, gazing steadily at my eyes and following the movement when I turned. He actually found me more interesting than the bright window next to the rocking chair (said had been his steady companion in almost all prior nursing sessions). His careful attention rejuvenated my spirit for breastfeeding. It made me realize that there actually is a little human, a thinking and feeling soul, inside Jack's newborn body. It confirmed something I knew intellectually but often forgot to feel emotionally: he needs me, and that's a good thing.

With each day that passes, Jack sees a little more. He loves to look at faces. He's fascinated by patterns and light. His favorite spot (judging by how quickly it calms him) is perched up on my shoulder as I walk around (it's probably all a blur to him, but I'd guess that it's an interesting blur). Greg showed him a mirror, and he liked looking at the reflection. Tonight, during bathtime, he was totally absorbed by the shadows on the wall.


Keep it up, Jack!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Happy One-Month-Day!


Jack is one month old today. What a bittersweet day! It is amazing to watch this little fella change, and we can't wait to see what he's going to do next. At the same time, we are savoring these moments when he is so tiny and cuddly, and it is sad to think that he will not be a newborn forever. I have only 8 more weeks of maternity leave and no wish to make the time pass any faster.

Since Jack's last major milestone, he's achieved some pretty cool things:
  1. Exceeded 10 pounds, outgrew his first onesie, and graduated from newborn to size 1 diapers
  2. Got diaper rash and convinced his parents to ditch cloth reusables for a bit
  3. Started wearing socks more frequently and stopped wearing hats
  4. Lost some more hair off the top of his head, which only serves to emphasize his Kevin Costner mullet
  5. Discovered the troubles of eating too much too quickly
  6. Learned how to get his fingers in his mouth when he accidentally hits it with his fist
  7. Got strong enough to hold up his head on his own for a good 15 seconds when vertical (impressive) and to do itty bitty pushups during tummy time
  8. Decided he doesn't mind the pacifier after all
  9. Got the dogs to fight over who gets to lick his toes first
  10. Blew a raspberry with his lips (accidentally, of course)
  11. Smiled in response to raspberry given on his belly
  12. Learned that we'll pick him up when he gets chatty
  13. Got good enough at nursing that he can get a proper latch all on his own if I bring his head close enough to me (halelujah says mom, especially at that 2am feeding when everything's all blurry and I do it wrong)
  14. And here's a big one: he sees our faces and tracks our movement when we interact!
Happy One-Month-Day, Jack! Don't grow up too fast...

They did a bad, bad thing

This time, he didn't spit it out:


I'm not opposed to the idea of a pacifier. Anything that provides this little guy comfort when he's upset is a good method in my book. If he truly is hungry/burpy/diapery/needy, he'll let us know.

Still, watching him get his comfort from a pacifier made me feel a little, well... jealous. I've spent the last four weeks having this little fella to satisfy his nursing urges with me... Then here comes this piece of plastic, and it makes him happy, too! So I suppose I was slightly pleased when he heard my voice and spat out the plastic in favor of the real thing ;)

I wonder if he took the pacifier this time because Greg gave it to him? They tell you to have the dad give the first bottle, for this very reason. Speaking of which, we've reached the magic 4 week mark, when it is officially "OK" for me to pump and give him a bottle. I think it is important to give him a bottle relatively early on -- just so it's not a fight later, when I go back to work -- but I can't pretend to be eager about the idea.

Anyway, I'm glad that little piece of plastic helped him calm down this afternoon.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Becoming an expert in Jack


One of the most surprising parts of this maternal adventure is that the transition from work to motherhood was not as difficult as I anticipated. I say this in all seriousness: I think getting a PhD helped prepare me for my current task. Obtaining a doctorate is a marathon of self control that culminates in one becoming an expert in their particular field. The field doesn't need to be useful or relevant, necessarily... the person just needs to know more about it than anybody else.

Achieving the irrational level of knowledge necessary for me to be called "doctor" required that I care about my research to the exclusion of everything else (sleep, personal time, and, occasionally, laundry went wayside). There were many moments of "what did I get myself into?" followed by the realization that I definitely asked for it. There was a loss of contact with those not intimately involved in my degree seeking and a subtle alienation from what I perceived to be the normal 9-5 working world. And although there were immediate goals (analyze this data, do those injections), the touted benefit was -- and still is -- located somewhere in my obscure future.

My obsession with scientific research bears a similarity to my obsession with Jack. In fact, in some ways, Jack is easier... at least on the social front. Rather than trying to explain "But I have to rush back to lab to change the antibody on my ELISA plate!", I can state "Jack needs to nurse". Everybody understands that excuse.

Truth is, from the moment I felt Jack's first kick, I was hooked. I've spent more time looking for baby info on google and pubmed than I'd care to admit. My love for this tiny creature, who has so far caused me much pain and deprived me of my many happy habits, could be considered slightly irrational. Yet, love it is, and obsessed I am. Nearly every moment of my day is spent in contemplation of Jack's needs and daily activities. I know him better than anybody else does.

So, I must admit something that I should have known in advance but that I didn't realize until I got here: I rather like the feeling of knowing Jack best. When he was born, I studied his face as though I were memorizing a map (I could still tell you the location of each of his 5 little baby acne pimples... is that weird?). Two weeks ago, I was trying to figure out breastfeeding patterns. This week, the issue is sleep. There is a weird energy that fuels me to solve each puzzle (and even if I can't solve it, I enjoy the process of trying). I am tired and emotionally taxed, but each day is another chance to try something new. A baby seems to be just predictable -- and unpredictable -- enough to keep my analytical needs satisfied.

Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised that my personality works well with the newborn period of motherhood. I enjoy the minute to minute detail of studying his patterns. Collect all of the data, make some minor adjustments, and iterate -- this is what I've spent my last few years training myself to enjoy.

Of course, if I were to truly get a PhD in Jack-ness, I would need to write about 140 pages on the topic and bind it into a dissertation that nobody ever reads again. We'll see how far I get with this blog.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Bath Time!


Nothing other than two cute photos! :)


Getting Jack to Sleep



Since my last post about it, we've had some success in mitigating Jack's evening meltdown. Looks like I need to hold him, jiggle him, and nurse him for a few hours every night. Good thing this kid is so darn charming ;) He gets all chatty ("eh, eh!", too cute, even if it is a lot of of work), but as long as we keep interacting with him, he keeps the crying to a minimum. I've also started a nighttime ritual: bath, nurse, swaddle, and a bedtime story (he may be too young to understand, but he sure likes listening).

Unfortunately, it appears that the blissful, early days of Jack sleeping 4-5 hour stretches at night are over. Bummer. He is now on a 3-hour sleeping schedule. Luckily he is very easy to put back to sleep after I nurse him. Sometimes he needs a little rocking to calm down after a diaper change, but usually he's OK being back in the co-sleeper on his own.

Here is our typical day.

8am-3pm: generally easy, naps or playtime in 2-3 hour intervals... I do household stuff when he naps, and we go for long walks in the stroller, meet Greg at work for lunch
3-5pm: it's a mixed bag...
5-7pm: most definitely must be held!! goes in the carrier while I make dinner... seems to love all the busy goings on
7-9pm: awake, fussy, needs constant attention... I park myself in bed with him on my lap and find occasional moments to tap out one-handed sentences on the computer
9pm, 12pm, 3am, 6am: wants to nurse... perfects his Houdini-esque de-burritoing skills
6-7am: snuggles in between mom and dad for a little TLC
7-8am: anybody's guess!

Check out the rubber-band arms!!


We also discovered the bouncer:


He can't make it bounce yet, but it sure is a comfy place to hang out.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

It's all about...

Prevention: breastfeeding technique... one side only over the course of several hours for the right lactose/fat balance

Maintenance: regular burping... generally more than once during a nursing session.

When all else fails, the cure: Greg has a special technique... (turn up your sound!!)

video

Greg thinks Jack looks like he's having a contraction (see Jack's excellent breathing technique 20 seconds in) ;)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Trickery

Our mission:

Sleep, at all costs.


Progress report:

Last night was a success. Jack nursed at 9:30pm, 2:00am, 5am, and 8:30am. Phew. Tonight... The crankiness hath begun and I am pulling every trick I can think of to avoid a hysterical meltdown (by the baby, I totally mean the baby). First, made the kid milk-drunk by encouraging a long nursing session. Second, got those blinky little eyes to stay shut by a round of gentle jiggling. Third, I stuck him in the mechanical-swing-device.

Should the swing fail us, there's a bumpy sidewalk on Dwight Street with our and the stroller's name on it.


Discussion:

Whether Jack is actually hungry or he just wants something to do, he makes his wish to nurse known immediately. And in this house, no boob-request goes ignored. (Unless I am currently lactating and the request is coming from my husband. Did I really just type that?)

Unfortunately, in my experience, comfort-nursing is not the relaxing quiet time that you might imagine. No, while nursing for up to an hour, both hands are occupied (one on boob, one on kid), eyes are carefully trained to his mouth, the nearby clothing / pillow / bedding are generally getting ruined by spilled milk, and the mind is focusing all powers of thought on baby's mouth and cheeks (is he about to bite down painfully? has he started swallowing milk? does he need a burp? does his latch need to be readjusted?). Oh, and my back hurts. Nursing can be exhausting.

This is why Baby Product Manufactures of All Sorts have invented the brilliant object known as The Pacifier. Brilliant device. Superb idea. I bought a whole bunch of different kinds while I was pregnant.

Too bad our baby doesn't like any one of them. He spit this one out after 30 seconds:


The jury's still out as to whether my attempt at boob-trickery scarred him for life*.

*I wasn't sure how I'd feel about it. We asked our pediatrician, and here was his response: "I've never understood nipple confusion. If the baby wants the real thing, he'll just spit out the pacifier". Case in point.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Witching Hour



Up until a few nights ago, I would have said that Jack doesn't usually cry without reason. The trick to keeping him peaceful and happy is to figure out what he needs before he has to resort to crying. We've learned how to identify and deal with the following signals: wants to nurse, wants to be held, needs help to burp, or has gas. (I would add "needs a fresh diaper", except that Jack does not appear to be bothered in the slightest by urine or poo... I'm not sure whether I should be happy about that or not). When we figure out what he needs and are able to help him, it's very satisfying for everybody. The trouble is, Jack's needs are getting more complicated as time goes on.

Infants across the world experience a bizarre phenomenon that has been cutely termed "the witching hour". Between 5 and 10pm, they fuss. They want to nurse frequently (even if they don't ingest much milk). They want to be held. They want to chat. They want to be swung, and bounced, and moved around. What they want changes every 5 minutes.


Is it gas? Is it pent up energy? Is it overstimulation? Understimulation? Tanking up on milk for a long nap at night? Knowledge that all mom and dad want to do is relax and hang out with a non-screaming baby? Whatever it is -- and, really, no one knows -- Jack appears to have entered this stage. At 5pm, the fussiness begins. By 8 or 9, he starts crying inconsolably. It's so friggin' sad.


We had an absolutely miserable night last night. He was up all afternoon and refused to nap. His prolonged state of needy alertness turned to fussiness, which resulted in regular boughts of sobbing. At 8:40pm, I started dancing with him. At 9:00, he finally got "blinky eyed" (the first sign of sleep) and eventually closed his eyes. At 9:30, I carefully shifted him to a horizontal position with his back on the bed and my arms still cradling him. At 9:40, I removed my arms. And at 9:50, I put him in his co-sleeper. He did not sleep for long, and he cried severely each time he woke up.

Tonight, Greg and I had a plan. We would make sure he napped at around 7pm. We wouldn't let him get worked up for a second. We jiggled and bounced. We turned him on his side and flexed his legs. We cooed and babbled to him. We gave him tummy time. We offered him our fingers to suck on. We distracted him with funny noises. We went vertical and horizontal. We (I) nursed and burped him and changed diapers. We danced with him. We changed techniques every 5 minutes. And then we swaddled him. And then he fell asleep, peacefully. It was a lot of work to keep him relatively calm for so long, but we are hoping that it circumvented a total meltdown.


We are also hoping he'll sleep for more than 2 or 3 hours!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Today



Birth, AKA life's big "transition" (pardon me, "abrupt 2000 foot drop" or "teleportation to an alien planet") is really hitting me these days. So much has changed in the last two weeks.

From the very moment that Jack slid out of me, I've been flooded with good endorphins. I assume this is nature's way of correcting the "fuck you" of late pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding. These endorphins do amazing things... They give me energy. They expand my patience and optimism. They instill in me instant, intense love for my newborn son. Such rapid and irrational postpartum love is necessary for the survival of our species; why else would women continue to procreate?

This maternal love is quite different from the other kinds of love I've known in my life. It has almost no identifiable source, but it strengthens with a speed that surprises me. When Jack first came into this world, I was smitten. I wanted to drink him in: his round little face, his lovely baby smell, each one of his 10 tiny fingers and 10 tiny toes, the way his silky hair would nestle into my collarbone. I wanted to kiss him all over and snuggle him tight. When he was sleeping in my arms, he was the most perfect being I'd ever known. Yet, when he cried at 3am, I cried too. When he couldn't be comforted, I felt like a failure. When he needed to nurse, I wished he didn't (the pain!). When I had a whole day with him to myself, I felt ill equipped and exhausted. Motherhood, that 24/7 state of being needed by a little creature that is otherwise perfectly helpless, overwhelmed me. This tiny being wanted me, and only me -- but I didn't believe it. I doubted that I was the best one for the job.

Like all good crushes, my relationship with Jack had to move forward to survive. The good news is that mother nature, with her endless cocktail of endorphins, seems to have planned for this next phase quite well, because my infatuation with Jack is being steadily replaced by an unconditional bond. Today, at 2 weeks and 3 days, Jack and I had a whole day to ourselves. Not only did I manage it just fine... there wasn't a single moment that I felt overwhelmed. The whole day felt right, even when he needed to nurse on the painful side, even when he cried inconsolably, even when he wanted to be held for 3 hours straight. It was all OK.

I don't imagine that every day will feel so "right" to me. I am sure of being overwhelmed at least 10 more times before the week is out. Still, today felt like a turning point for us. In a strange way, I am looking forward to turning off my laptop tonight. Jack will have me up in a few hours. I'll be nursing and changing diapers and burping him more than once before the next day starts. But I'm just so excited about the next day.

Cheers to Jack, and to the years of getting to know each other that we have ahead of us


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Happy TwoWeek-Day



Jack is two weeks old today. We feel this is quite a milestone. In two weeks, Jack has learned how to do the following things:
  1. Breath
  2. Cry
  3. Nurse
  4. See
  5. Burp
  6. Hiccup
  7. Stretch
  8. Poop
  9. Pee on dad at every diaper change
  10. Move his limbs in all directions
  11. Tell us he's hungry
  12. Tell us he needs to burp
  13. Tell us he wants to be held
  14. Shed his skin
  15. Lose his umbilical cord
  16. Bob his head up and down
  17. Roll onto his side
  18. Get out of a baby burrito
  19. Lose the silly hat and socks
  20. Make the dogs all but disappear
  21. Produce visitors at our door in what feels like 30 second intervals
  22. Keep two adults completely, totally devoted to his happiness and well-being
We celebrated his TwoWeek-Day by visiting a guilty pleasure of B.C. (Before Child): waffles for breakfast.


This is the photo from my original blog post about it:


This is the photo from the waffles I attempted this morning:


So I fired up our largest skillet and we had pancakes instead. Do you think it's a sign? Over here in New Jack Haven, we roll with the pancake punches ;)

*It turns out that my favorite waffle recipe makes superb pancakes -- the oil makes them crispy.

Jack slept for nearly 5 hours last night. Then he stayed awake, alert and wanting to interact, for 3 full hours this afternoon. The we played the "I'm too hungry to sleep but too sleepy to eat" game for another 1.5 hours. Either, he's going to sleep a ton tonight, or we're going to be miserable. Wish us luck!



Really good link about breastfeeding issues

I don't think anyone who is checking this blog is actively nursing a newborn, but, hey, what else is a blog for than to keep track of my thoughts.

While searching for information on Jack and my's breastfeeding issue, I found a very interesting article that covers milk flow issues. There is a section of the article that covers unconventional infant hunger cues (hand/fist position).

So, for my and the random googler's reference, here's a great breastfeeding link:

Dee's One Smart Cookie



Yesterday, Jack took his first "long" road trip. My parents are in town, and we all hopped into the car and drove up to Glastonbury, CT, where Greg's friend Dee owns a gluten / dairy / soy / peanut-free bakery. My parents both have varying degrees of gluten intolerance, which means that most wheat products are off limits for them: no bread, no pasta, and no baked goods. Going to a gluten-free bakery was a real treat.


It was wonderful for Greg to see Dee again (it had been 8 years!). Her desserts were absolutely delicious!! My dad had a banana cream whoopie pie. My mom had a blackberry cream filled chocolate cake. I had a chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting. Greg had a raspberry coffee cake.


And we scarfed all of it down so quickly that I forgot to take pictures ;) My dad, who has tried just about every gluten-free product he can get his hands on, said that they were the best gluten-free baked goods he'd had. Greg, who doesn't often partake in alternative grains, thought it was all quite delicious. I think I finished mine in about 30 seconds flat. It was SO good... chocolatey and moist, with a tender crumb and silky frosting. We were all so stuffed from dessert (at noontime) that we ended up skipping lunch, oops.


Jack, as usual, slept through the whole thing...


So if you live in CT, check it out! http://deesonesmartcookie.com/