Monday, April 29, 2013

11 Weeks - My Sweet Little Webling!





Nathaniel is starting to become more and more interactive (Well, today is a nap day... seriously the kid has been asleep like all day EVEN after a good night's sleep!).  Above you can see him interacting with me as well as his play gym!  I love when he talks to me =)

Latest Milestones - 11 Weeks

  • We are grasping!!!  While Nathaniel has been grabbing my hair while nursing for a while now, he has started to grab the car seat handle when taking him out of the car seat (hilarious).  You can also hand him toys that he will hold in his hand and bring to his mouth.  




  • More responsive.  More "Coos" and "Ehs"!  I love it! 
  • Holding his head up and sitting while propped.  
  • Kicking - as seen in videos!
  • Nathaniel weighed in at 9lbs 2 ozs at his 8 week appointment and is now 22 1/2 inches!  We have moved into 0-3 and 3 month clothing!  Newborn items have been pulled!


Challenges
Most of the challenges are still more "my" challenges.  Week 10 was a heavy nursing period, full of lots of cluster feedings.  I haven't really had anytime to do much more than feed the baby on the couch.  The good news about this is that I have watched a lot of TV and beat Bioshock Infinite (and a good dent into Ni No Kuni).  The bad news is that it makes me nervous that he isn't ready to be away from me yet for 10 hours a day.  I know I know.  He'll be fine.  His first day at daycare maybe hard, and only a week away =(, but he will adapt faster than I will.  But I just worry.  We've been introducing bottles again since he will have to have pumped milk at daycare.  He still only seems to like the Medela bottoms and certain Avent bottles (was testing bottles to decide what type I'd be buying for more than 5oz newborn bottles).  However, he is pretty much refusing formula so I have to make sure that my milk supply stays up while working.  This is very scary for me.  I have been pretty much EBF since 4 weeks now (2oz formula maybe once a week mainly just to keep him use to the bottle).  

I just hope that he gets plenty of attention at daycare and that he isn't too fussy.  He's not a very fussy baby, but a lot of that is due to nursing (even if he isn't hungry, he is happy to be on the boob).  I was hoping to get him to take a pacifier for self soothing... but he also refuses those.

8 Week Wellness Check
I never posted how this went.  It actually ended up being more of a 9 week wellness check instead of 8 weeks, but whatever.  Nathaniel weighed in well (though still only at 5% unless you base him on the preemie scale (he's borderline)).  He only got 4 shots, however, he was not happy AT all.  However, after the whole tongue tie thing, I was able to handle it just fine.  It was only seconds before he was able to get some nursies =)

Top 5 Favorite Newborn Products - Registry Must Haves!

Nathaniel is 11 weeks old.  With every milestone he reaches, the more I realize that 12 weeks is right around the corner.  Which means going back to work.

The last 11 weeks have been wonderful, however, there are a few items that have made my life 20 times easier!  Without these items, I'd have been a mess from a crying, fussy baby and a severe lack of sleep!  This list does not include the breast pump, since not everyone nurses, but my Medela In-Style Breast pump helped me through the first four weeks of Nathaniel's life and without it, I would not have been able to nurse (milk supply would have dried up, IMO).

5 - Bundleme


The Bundleme is pretty awesome.  It seems like everyday some new bulletin comes out about what is dangerous for a baby.  My mother-in-law comes from a time where it was appropriate to bundle your kid up before you put them in the carseat.  Now, I would be shunned if I even put my son in a coat before locking him into his seat. The reason?  Recent studies show that having heavy clothing on actually gets in the way of the safety restraints.  So by making sure your kid is warm, you are making your carseat less effective.  And since I'm 28 with 4 major car accidents (majorly unlucky!) under my belt... I need my carseat working at the top of it's game!

The Bundle me in the stroller!

Nathaniel laying against the bundle me

Introducing, the Bundleme.  Having a baby in February means that baby is going to be cold whenever he leaves the house.  And with weekly visits to the Pediatrician, even heating the car before hand, and running the baby out in the carseat, still isn't fast enough.  And who wants to being putting a coat on to get the car, take it off to get him safely into his car seat, and then have to redress once we get to our destination.

The Bundleme is very easy to use.  It's a thin sleeve that simply slips over the car seat.  Their are little holes with velcro that allow you to be able to pull the buckles through.  Your child lays in a warm little sleeve that you can fold under his chin, or pull over his face (if it's snowing/raining/windy).  It has zippers on each side to be able to easily take baby out.

It sounds disgusting, but hear me out.  This thing is awesome.  There are really four simple points:


  • Easy to clean (And see that it's clean, unlike the bulb syringe!  Top dishwasher safe!)
  • Nothing gets in your mouth (The handy dandy filter keeps boogers/snot from entering your mouth)
  • Easy to clear out baby's nose (I combine with Little Nose's Saline Solution)
  • No way to mess up!  With the bulb syringe, I was petrified that I would accidentally forget to compress it before putting in Nat's nose.  I was afraid I was going to blow air up into his nasal passages!

I suggest getting the one in the link.  It comes with PLENTY of filters!
 

Can you say "life savior"?  I absolutely love this product.  It keeps Nathaniel warm at night and snuggled tight.  For such a wiggly baby, he doesn't break out of this one, and the sack at the bottom allows for proper hip movement (to avoid hip displasia).

Snug and warm, Nathaniel falls asleep just as if I was holding him in my arms!

Just swaddled - Time stamp 4:20pm.

Six minutes later... honestly!- Time stamped 4:26pm.

So, my son decided he hated his cradle.  This was incredibly heartbreaking, since I've literally saved this cradle my entire life for him (it was my cradle and I fought hard to make sure it didn't end up at the Goodwill or on a yard sale).  However, Nathaniel wakes immediately and cries when I put him in.  Oh well.  But we weren't ready to transfer Nathaniel into the nursery or into his crib.  What to do?

The first week Nathaniel slept in our bed, which scared the bejessus out of me.  Mainly because of all the literature saying "Don't Co-Sleep!"  Now, I have my own opinions on how safe co-sleeping is and I think it's a person by person basis.  It's based off of your bed, your sleep habits, your partner's sleep habits, and the baby's sleep habits.  But this isn't THAT post.

One week

Four weeks
Nathaniel is now 11 weeks old, still sleeps in his bouncer, and loves the light vibration.  Without this, I don't think I'd have ever gotten a shower anytime in the first two months...

Worth.  Every.  Penny.  I went through a variety of carrier's and swings, trying to find the right one.  I hated all the swings.  He just didn't sit right in them, and I was petrified of him getting hurt or suffocating.  I was looking for a way to get my hands back, while letting Nathaniel stay close to me and be able to nurse.

The only carrier you will ever need.

I decided on the Boba for two main reasons.  The first is that the Boba allows for baby to against my body.  It's ergonomically correct for baby, it allows for thermal regulation between mother and baby, and allows for breast feeding.  I am able to do my shopping and stay out a little longer if need be.  No one can see that I'm breast feeding so everyone is happy.

The second reason I love this product is that the Boba grows with baby.  From 7lbs to 45lbs, this is the carrier for you.  It protects against hip displasia and you can carry baby on your back or front up to 45lbs (all children are different, however, my daughter is 6 years old and only now is 49lbs - not that I would carry her in the Boba.  My point is this is something that can last you longer than most slings which usually stop at 25lbs).

Monday, April 8, 2013

Month Two - 8 Weeks - Milestones

Milestones!

Things Nathaniel is doing

Looking at someone- This is something Nate noticed that Nathaniel was doing before I did.  I guess it just seemed natural to me so I didn't really pick up on it.  These last week or so, Nathaniel has started to look at our faces, watching us as we talk to him, feed him, etc.  His eyes are still a handsome gray blue.  Now that he's studying us, it has lead to...

Smiling- Nathaniel started smiling at the end of 7 weeks! It's pretty cute.  He's wicked ticklish and is also copying the smile face expression when you smile, talk, and tickle him.  He has cute little dimples =)  Sometimes though, his smiling turns into angry face =(

Head Control- I'm definitely noticing that Nathaniel's little neck is getting stronger!  His head is still a little wobbly, but he is lifting his head, moving his face from side to side, and being able to hold his head for longer periods of time to look at stuff.

Leg Control- Especially during tummy time, Nathaniel has started pulling his knees up underneath him to try to push off the ground.  It's super cute!!  He also likes to extend his little legs and put some weight on them while we hold him up.

Grasping- Which leads to hair pulling...

Chattering- He has started cooing and Nate said he got a half giggle out of him.  He also lets us know when we make him mad or annoyed with little angry AH's!  His coos sound like Eh's and Oo's.  I love it when he makes these noises while nursing =)

Sleeping through the Night- According to Week by Week - Baby's First Year, once Nathaniel sleeps for a five hour stretch, it's considered sleeping through the night.  This last week he has done this twice (which is really weird!).  When he wakes up, I nurse him on one side, pump the other, change him, and off back to sleep world he goes!  We are still swaddling at night, and Thaniel still sleeps in his bouncy chair or swing.  Because I'm pumping at night, I've been able to start freezing some of the milk.  20 oz already frozen!



8 week wellness visit is tomorrow... hopefully I'm strong enough for my baby when he gets his five shots =(

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Glutino - A second chance?

You may remember this post where I stated that I was not a fan of Glutino.  I did rave about that spinach and feta pizza but the majority of their products I haven't liked.  I have tried these few products:






The thing is, these weren't even ok.  They were downright gross.  Other than their bagels, I wasn't wasting anymore money on them...

But then, I was in Walmart and saw that they had Chocolate chip cookies that looked a lot like Chips-o-hoy.  They also said NEW - improved recipe, so I figured I'd give them a chance.

YUUUUUUM!  They taste just like I remember.  I had them with some cold milk, dunking them just as I had pre-celiac diagnoses.  When I went back, I noticed that both their Oreo knock-offs and Vanilla Cookies had new packages.  These two held the label NEW - improved recipe. 


I have to say, they were also very delicious, tasting sweet instead of like sawdust as their previous recipes.

So this week I picked up their new Brownie Mix:

Both my daughter and husband loved them (and the raw brownie mix was amazing... I know bad girl!)!  So I've decided to give up my negative views on Glutino - Hey, companies can change right?  

I have also seen that Glutino has many new products on the market: Cereals, Baking Mixes, Toaster pastries.  I am excited to try each and every new Glutino product that I see!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

7 weeks and a tongue tie

Seven weeks.  Time is flying by!  My maternity leave is almost up (only about 5 weeks left, give or take).  This week has been crazy.  Poor Em has come down with strep and Nathaniel has had the sniffles.

The Good
At 7 weeks, I must admit, I still have it pretty easy.  While Nathaniel doesn't sleep as much as he did when he was first born (Thank God!), he's still a really calm baby.  He rarely fusses, and when he does, it's usually when I put him down and he isn't quite ready.  This is usually around 2pm-ish.  I haven't really been putting him down for naps and have been feeding on demand.  He still is sleeping from 11pm to 2:30am and then from 3:30am to about 6:30am.  When he does wake up, he's all business.  Get changed, eat, then back to sleep!

I really don't like binkies but ok...


Breast-feeding has been going a lot better. Since my last post at approximately 4 1/2 weeks old, I have been exclusively breast-feeding (well, pretty much.  I have given him a total of 6 oz of formula or 3 bottles since then).  His latest weigh in was about 8lbs and 9 oz, which was on the 27th when he got his tongue tie snipped (more to come about that nightmare later...).  Currently, I'm on the hunt for a sling that will free up my hands a little while we nurse.

Challenges
So the challenges are still mostly aimed at myself.  I really struggle to practice good nutrition right now.  On the positive side, I've lost 30lbs since Nathaniel's birth.  On the negative side, I haven't been maintaining a healthy diet like I should, which leads me to be extremely tired.  It's just so hard to find time to eat and with a gluten allergy, there aren't a lot of snack foods that I can just toss back.  I feel like everytime I try to pause and get some food, Nathaniel either has a dirty diaper, needs to nurse, or is snuggled up to me and I don't want to wake him.  

However, I have been looking for nursing sling so that I can potentially wear Nathaniel around, have my hands free, and he can nurse whenever he wants.

One of the other challenges I'm having with nursing is while Nathaniel is a lot more alert, he still falls asleep often when nursing.  This extends our nursing sessions.  He is also cluster feeding and still very much on a two hour nursing schedule.  Hopefully though, if I can find a sling that works for me, this will help out immensely.  I'll be able to get some chores done, hold my baby, feed my baby, and have my hands free to feed myself!  Wouldn't that be nice =D

I'm hungry!  Give me milkies!


The Tongue-tie
So lets talk about the barbaric tongue-tie procedure that poor Nathaniel and I undertook on the 27th.  After seeing two different lactation consultants AND his pediatrician, Nathan and I decided to have Nathaniel's tongue-tie snipped.  His tongue-tie was definitely not HORRIBLE, but it was causing some latching issues and could, in the future, cause some speech impediments.  Everyone said it was an easy procedure best done when they are young because they don't remember it.

Ok.  Great.  The worst that was suggested was that it probably stings a lot.

So, I went to EMMC and met with the pediatric surgeon who detailed how the process was going to go down.  I was horrified.

1. They put a clamp on the frenulum of the tongue.  There is no anesthetic such as lidocaine.
2. The clamp must stay on the frenulum for three minutes.  During this time, it is crushing this site, crushing the blood cells, which reduces pain, essentially numbing the site as well as cutting off the blood supply to the area.
3. During this time, I was told, Nathaniel is going to scream.  It hurts and they don't like it.  They have to hold him down as well as hold his head.  It was suggested that I could wait out in the hall, however, I thought it was pretty terrible to subject my child to this medieval torture and not be there to hold him, so I made the decision to stay in the room and hold his arms in a swaddle.
4. After three minutes, carefully timed by the pediatrician surgeon's iPhone, they would snip the frenulum, and I would be able to nurse him. 

Listening to Nathaniel scream for three minutes, was pretty hard and traumatizing for everyone in the room.  The nurse held his head while I held his arms down.  After the three minutes, the surgeon took off the clamp and had to cut twice to remove the frenulum.  I scooped Nathaniel from the table and nursed him for a good 30 minutes.  He calmed down pretty quickly, but I bet it hurt for a day or so.  Since then, he latches better (but still snacks and naps while nursing.  I swear I must have Ambien in my milk...) and I have noticed a difference in how he uses his tongue.  He sticks it out more, drools a little bit, and blows bubbles.  It's pretty cute...  but now I'm definitely not looking forward to his pediatrician appointment on the 9th... 5 shots is probably going to equal a fussy, screaming child to further traumatize Mommy...

So, I'll end this post with a cute picture from Easter!  Found the suit online at Walmart.com!  It's newborn size and super cute!

Sleepy baby

Nate, Grampy, and Em

Everyone is always horrified to see Emma pick up Nat, but really she's very gentle and very careful with him! What a great big sis!

Pretty Emmy
A dapper fellow

What a face!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

4 Week Pediatrician Wellness Check

Nathaniel had a fantastic wellness check at the Pediatrician's on March 12th!  He's put on 2lbs since they saw him last (about 15 days prior).  Last time he was there, he was 5lbs 7oz - now, he is 7lbs 8 oz!  He gained an inch, now 21 inches.

He had to get a shot, which he didn't like (it didn't help that they want you to keep them undressed for the entire visit).  It was the second round of the Hepatitis B shot.  Dr. Adams told me that at his two month (8 weeks) wellness check, he'll have to get five shots AND has to drink some kinda liquid.  I think Nate should take him to that one!  I don't know if my heart can stand it!  We also got a referral for the tongue-tie.  We will see the pediatric surgeon (sounds more severe than it really is) on March 27th.

Here are some candid (angry) shots of Nathaniel at his visit:





Since my last LC (lactation consultant) visit, breastfeeding has been going well.  We are almost completely off the formula (between 0 and 4 ounces a day)!  There are some days that are better than others of course, but I always make sure to pump if I supplement.  I'm also drinking this tea:

It's really helped, in my opinion, with my supply.  I'm also eating no-bake's since the oatmeal also helps with the supply =)

Lastly, everyone in the family is taking well to Nathaniel:


PS: Swaddling is a Godsend....

One minute, I'm awake...

The next, I'm out (literally less than a few minutes later)!