Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Baby Will's First 2 Weeks

Baby Will is 2 weeks old today! His birth kind of feels like a lifetime ago. The first 7-9 days were incredibly challenging but we seemed to have turned a corner (knock on wood) when it comes to sleep so everyone is feeling much more human! Here's a little recap of his first 2 weeks of life.

Likes: being held my mom alllll the time. During that first week of life or so, he really wanted to be held or fed during the night hours. Since I am breastfeeding, he spends more time on me so I can more easily calm him. He's willing to sleep in his bassinet now - more on that later - so that has made a huge difference in how I feel. He also likes to be held during the day, too, but will tolerate going in his swing or doing tummy time on the floor. He also really likes to be in the lillebaby carrier (it's an Ergo-type carrier). I barely used this with Paul because it just wasn't necessary with one baby - but is getting used EVERY day now! I put him in it around 5 so I have both hands free to help feed Pablo/eat dinner/etc. He mostly wants to be held in a cradle hold or against my chest, but he's starting to like laying on my legs when he's awake. 

Dislikes: diaper changes, sponge baths (umbilical cord hasn't fallen off so he can't take baths yet), being cold. 

Firsts:  We started to do tummy time after his pediatrician appointment last week and he shockingly LOVES it. We just put a toy next to him and sit close so we can talk to him/make sure he doesn't fall asleep.

I don't have a picture of this, but he also had his first trip to the park! It was pretty mild on Saturday so we walked to our local park to burn off some of Pablo's energy. Pablo rode in the stroller and I put Will in the carrier. I need to get a carrier cover for these cold winter months - I should be able to borrow one from a friend. For this walk, I wore my maternity jacket, which I could zip about 3/4 of the way, and then I put a blanket over the top of the carrier to keep him toasty. It worked well and he slept for the whole outing. Here's hoping we have a mild winter so we can spend lots of time outdoors!

Feeding: Breastfeeding is going very well for us - so a complete 180 from my experience with Pablo! We did go in for one lactation consultant visit last week to check the latch as I was having some pain and trouble getting him to latch for night feeds. It was super helpful to get some help from an expert. He seems to be putting on weight, as evidenced by this photo taken about a week apart.He was about 3 oz from birth weight at the LC visit last Thursday, so I just assume he's above birth weight now. We will step on the scale with him at some point to get an idea of what he weighs but I am trying to be less obsessive about how much he weighs than I was with Pablo. Pablo struggled to gain weight so we had so many weight checks and LC visits and my instinct is to know exactly what he weighs every few days - but when I look at pictures like the comparison below, I can see it's really not necessary to track his weight so closely. 

Sleeping: was the biggest challenge in the first weeks. We had a string of nights where we got between 2-4 hours of sleep but then my body wouldn't let me nap during the day, so I felt like an absolute zombie. He slept well in the bassinet at the hospital but similar to Pablo, as soon as we got home, he HATED the flat-bottomed bassinet and would wake up as soon as we put him down. I kept trying for several days and then hit a wall last Wednesday and put him in the swing where he slept for some longer stretches. That is where Pablo slept for the first 3 months of his life, but sleeping in a swing is NOT safe so this time around, I knew we had to do something different. So I talked Phil into buying a Snoo off of Facebook. The Snoo is a bassinet designed by Dr. Harvey Karp, who came up with the "5 S's" that are used to calm babies. I can only think of 4 - shushing, swaying, swaddling and sucking. So this bassiet basically is meant to calm the baby - it will respond to them fussing and increase the motion/white noise. The bassinet has a very secure swaddle that you put the baby in. It's VERY expensive brand new ($1,400!!) so we opted to buy it off of Facebook as the resale value is very high. So we figure we will maybe lose $100 round trip on the buy/sell. I will say we are incredibly fortunate to be able to afford to buy this contraption. But it gives me major peace of mind to know he's sleeping in a safe place. It took a couple of days to get him used to it but now he sleeps in it all night and gives me 2.5-3 hour stretches which is amazing!

We experimented with 'arms up' swaddle to get him used to the Snoo but now he sleeps with his arms down.

Phil says the Snoo is like a "Clockwork Orange" reprogramming device. Ha. I have never seen that movie so don't completely understand the reference, but I can see what he means. It is a strange contraption - it will increase the sound and motion when the baby fusses. I've opted to keep it at the lowest level of 'soothing' - so very gentle motion with increased white noise. There are 5 levels of soothing and the higher levels seem a bit much for a newborn but maybe we will use the higher levels when he's bigger/more sturdy.

Dad:  Phil has had 2 weeks of paternity leave but has done a little bit of work here and there. Tomorrow will be a bit of a more full day for him as he has trading he has to help out with. But he works for a small company so he has to pitch in when needed. And working a bit here and there is not a big deal. He'll get some days off in the coming weeks to make up for doing so work this week/last week. During the day, I don't really need his help. When mom breast feeds, dad is just a bit less helpful! But he is doing 95% of the work when it comes to Paul. He gets him up/dressed/fed, takes him to school, does pick-up, takes showers with Paul, does bedtime, etc etc. I can not lift Paul for 6 weeks due to my C-section incision so his help with Paul is incredibly key! He also brings me snacks and keeps my water filled, etc. So he helps me out as much as he can but his role is all about helping Paul!

Mama: My RA flares have gotten better - I've had some rolling flares but they are not as intense as the ones at the end of pregnancy. I fully expect to start my RA injections tomorrow after my incision check as it looks good to me. My C-section recovery was definitely better/faster this time around. It blows my mind how fast the body can heal. The nurse anesthetist took photos of the c-section which are 3 second 'live videos' so I can see my doctor and her partner VIGOROUSLY pushing on my stomach to get Will out and there is so much tugging and jerking. I mean, it is not a 'gentle' procedure by any stretch of the imagination. So to think they could do all that and cut through all those muscles - and I feel pretty good 2 weeks later? It amazes me. The first 7-8 days were the worst but now I can get in/out of bed and shift around without discomfort. 

My post partum emotions are starting to fade, too. Thank God. I am not an emotional person but post partum makes you cry at the littlest things. Example: I read Paul's bedtime books on our first night home from the hospital. When I started to read "I Love You Goodnight" I started to cry and could not stop! It's a strange feeling to have no control over your emotions. Logically I knew it was ridiculous to cry while reading a book to Paul! And then I kept crying when I came downstairs which was pretty embarrassing with my parents there. I know they - especially my mom - understood it was out of my control but I hate not having control of my emotions! 

Next week I start a virtual "Second Time Mama" class which I am looking forward to. I took a new mom class from the same organization and had an awesome experience. I have a text group with the 7 moms from that class and we text every week and sometimes on a daily basis! Having a tribe of moms is so key so I'm looking forward to meeting more moms. The class is led by an RN/LC so you also get lots of great advice. 

Pablo: All in all, Pablo has done pretty well with the transition. The return to school has been rough - he went back the Monday after Will was born per the recommendation of his pediatrician. She said to get him back on his schedule ASAP and that we are less likely to get covid from him. Returning to school after a gap in care is always tough - it takes about 3 weeks for him to not cry at drop off. :( He is very happy at school but loves being with mom and dad... Add in a new brother/change at home and it's just making it a bit harder. But I know he will adapt and I know he's having fun there and getting the attention he needs! 

He's very excited about his little brother and wants to hold him often. He does pretty good, we are just working on gentle touch which is tough for an almost-3-year-old to understand! 

We are being intentional about spending one-on-one time with him. So dad plays in the basement with him and I baked muffins and play board games with him. He got a couple from my parents for Christmas and loves them!!

There has definitely been some regression behavior, which is to be expected. He's very interested in the pacifier and has said he is the baby... But I know this phase will pass!

So all in all, things are going pretty well - especially now that I'm getting more sleep! 


The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

hahah i love it. isla was interested in the pacifiers too and she was 8!! weirdo kids. i learned that isla was insanely loud. i just never noticed until i was like dude that baby needs to sleep. hysterical because i used to be loud as heck and make tons of noise while isla was sleeping and now im like dude, she needs sleep because i need to chill people!!!!!

Jeanie said...

I love this update, LIsa. It's so good to see that things are going well -- especially with your flares! And, that the sleeping has calmed down a bit. So good that Paul is adjusting quite well. And as for Will? He's gorgeous, just gorgeous!

Abby said...

Oh my GOSH that picture of Paul & Will cuddling is just too precious to describe with words!!!!

You are doing amazing with this adjustment!! What beautiful babies you and Phil make.

I am SO happy to hear you are getting better rest. So important - especially with your body healing from the C section!

That second-time moms and new mom's class -- is that a local thing? Sounds interesting! Is this something open to anyone to sign up for? I've given up on taking a birthing class. Just been reading a ton and finding some videos online.... Vicki (Nathan's wife) sent me a great resource for this Lactation Class via Zoom, and I am going to register for that.

Stephany said...

I love this update! Sounds like things have turned a corner after those rough first few days - that bed you bought sounds so cool! I'm glad you were able to get that.

It sounds like Paul is transitioning to be a big brother really well! It probably helps that you're giving him lots of one-on-one time - so important, I'm sure.

Happy 2 weeks to Will! He's such a cute baby!!

Anne said...

What a wonderful update! So glad to hear you're home, sleeping (fingers crossed...), flaring less, and just generally settling into life as a family of four! I'm so amazed by Pablo's ability to adapt - and LOVE the pic of them cuddling!

Gracie said...

Thank you for updating us! Sounds like you are all doing amazing- I know the peace of mind from having a good eater must really help with that. And really glad you get to go back on your Enbrel - I can't imagine being in so much pain for so long.
A bunch of my friends did the Snoo thing and all of them raved about it. We started out with the pack-n-play that has an "infant napper" (totally don't think they are supposed to sleep the night in those things, but we used it!), then when he outgrew it went to the plain old pack-n-play (in other words...he still doesn't have a bed, haha). The infant napper was rounded and he did way better than a flat bassinet we had borrowed - I just think babies like to feel like they're being cuddled. Hope Will keeps up the good work and you keep getting that good sleep!

Grateful Kae said...

Awww! Looks like it's all going so well overall. You guys are doing great!! I'm glad you are feeling better, too. I never had a c-section, but I have always felt that would be rough- the lack of sleep, plus the breast engorgement, etc with nursing, then incisional pain on top of it all! Add in those hormones and emotions and yeah- it's a rollercoaster I'm sure! :) It sounds like you have some really amazing support. That class sounds great. I don't think anything like that was offered when mine were little. I went to a Mommy and Me group type thing once or twice when Ethan was a baby, but he was very fussy as a newborn and I spent most of the time at the meetings just being nervous that he was going to cry and fuss in the middle of it a first time, new, 24 year old mom, I felt very nervous/ on display I guess in front of all of the other moms. So I didn't really like that. Haha. I didn't end up going back. Now, 12 years later, there's a lot more in the way of "tech" stuff than back then- so I can see a FB or text group being really nice. Connection without having to necessarily be there.

Marlys said...

I have not been checking your blog since Christmas, so thought I should catch up. It’s fun to see how he’s grown and changed even from the date of this entry. All things will gradually fall into place, but having two little ones will definitely change your schedule. I’m amazed you can get so much reading done, but that is so “you”! It sounds like Phil is a great help for you.

San said...

Great to read how you're settling into your new routine. I can only imagine how hard the transition is with a new baby.

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Babies never seem to like tummy time, so that's great that William likes it :-) I totally understand the emotions. I have felt out of control of my emotions all of 2020. It's slowly improving, but still more crying than is normal. I figure the tears just need to come out, so I've been trying to accept that and let them come as they need to, and it has improved over the course of 2020, and I think will continue to. The combination of emotions from 2020 and also from being post-partum would be extra hard. I am glad things are starting to improve for you. It sounds like Phil has been a great support.