Seven Weeks In

Today marks the seventh week of our parenthood; the seventh week of Tucker’s life; The seventh week of my postpartum healing from the Cesarian.

Parenthood:

Being a parent is hard; and we haven’t even gotten to any of the really difficult things like walking, talking, potty training, kindergarten, girls, driving, college…(you get the idea).

Right now, we muddle through our work-from-home lives, dazed and amazed at how fast 24 hours really is (and how SLOOOOW it can be). Not only that, but how hard being a spouse is. Parenthood is not just a journey for us as a couple, but as individuals within a couple. We’ve been a couple for four years; we continue to develop our communication skills and to grow as husband and wife.

It’s good (and important) for us to keep growing. I think we are in a constant state of learning what the other needs and adjusting to meet those needs. Throw in a baby, and our work is definitely cut out for us.

Tucker:

Seven weeks ago I was just amazed that he was here and real. I think Jason and I both are still shocked that we made this tiny, über-dependent person. For my part, I pretty much find myself obsessively googling the strange things he does and habits (or lack thereof) he seems to be acquiring. It’s all a matter of perspective.

“They”–and by “they,” I mean just about all the literature the LCs and doctors have handed us–say that Tucker should be sleeping roughly 16-18 hours a day. He doesn’t. He averages 12; on bad days he gets maybe 9 and on really good days he might pull off 14. I have learned that if he has a crap day, the next one is likely to be good.

I’ve also discovered that Tucker isn’t the only baby NOT sleeping the prescribed length. We are very lucky that he isn’t really a fussy boy…If he’s overtired, he doesn’t really complain; he just grows sad, droopy bags under his eyes. It’s where we keep the extra binkies.

He likes to sleep after nursing, and he can get a solid hour or two napping on my lap (we have a giantnormous pillow acting as Boppy for the time being which also allows my laptop some space to work). He sleeps great (most nights) through the night.

Postpartum Recovery:

I have been healing nicely. The doctors didn’t use sutures or staples, but what Jason and I are calling “bio-glue,” to close me up, so my incision site is and has been looking good.

My abs, on the other hand, are pretty much non-existent. And my pelvis is still pretty sore (even though I didn’t have a baby push through it). The good news is I will be cleared for more strenuous exercise next week.

Jason decided that we should train together for a [half] marathon. Run or walk, I think it’s a great idea and a good way for us to do more together. I’m excited to begin training with him next week!

We can take this guy with us while we’re still working out the lower mileage.

Ready to Roll

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Baby Cheeks

The wee man has been a lovely work buddy. I was assigned several children’s readers and their workbooks to review this week. Tucker really had a blast hearing the stories as I read them aloud. The stories are much higher levels than would generally be read to a baby, but they are quite useful in giving Tucker quality time with me, hearing my voice, while I get quality time with my J.O.B. Tucker-time is of course an awesome bonus.

After work, I was able to spend more time with Tucker, and while he was resting from a 3:30 feeding, we had smile time. I like smile time SO much more than working. Who wouldn’t? I mean, look at those cheeks?

We [Don’t] Got This

Just when you feel even the slightest bit confident in your (new) parenting abilities, you’re thrown that proverbial curve ball. I can’t really claim that I felt or have felt super confident about my role as mother (and food provider) to Tucker, but until recently I did feel OK about it.

He’s seemingly hit a growth spurt… Or has been in the midst of one since about two and a half weeks (at his one-month well baby check today he’d packed on two pounds in the last three weeks!). So while we’d been hoping for a reprieve from the wakefulness of baby, the relentless feeding, and the crying… No dice.

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He’s not the only one crying in our house either. With feedings demanded every hour or so, I’m really struggling. While he eats (and eats), I’m lucky if I can ingest 700-800 calories a day. I try to drink as much water as I can, but eating has been a huge trial.

Baby Daddy

Baby + Daddy = Love

I neglected to post a Mommy Milestone on Monday because I actually started back to work on Monday. I’m thankful for my boss (both bosses really [my VP is great], but my Editor in Chief is truly the bee’s knees) because she has been so accommodating. She’s been kind enough to work around our Tucker schedule (as in… he doesn’t really have one and my work hours are now quite sporadic at best).

Regardless of how accommodating my office has been, the fact of the matter is that Tucker is unpredictable. On Tuesday he slept 2-3 hours every hour or two. On Wednesday and Thursday, this wasn’t the case and I really had to scramble to make my deadline on Thursday, 5:30 pm.

In this case, Jason, my wonderful and amazing husband, took control of the baby and whisked him away (after he woke up from a much-needed 3-hour nap) yesterday afternoon/evening so I could make my deadline.

In addition to stressing about work, I’ve been stressing about Tucker in general. He’s 4 weeks today, and while we had a rough beginning, things are mellowing (albeit somewhat slowly). The newest thing to cause both (or all) of us stress is Tucker’s odd nursing behavior. At first I thought it was nipple confusion on account of him needing to be bottle fed for the first few days while he was in the NICU. And to be honest, we probably started using/continued to use bottles too soon before breastfeeding was established completely, but he does the same thing with his bottles too.

The behavior: Tucker will attempt to latch, and even if the nipple is in his mouth, he roots around, gets pissed that he can’t find it, and starts to cry. OR he has latched, but pulls off within seconds, and then he tries to latch again, only to get frustrated while doing the same thing mentioned above. It’s super frustrating to him, but to me as well… to the point where I end up tearing up or all out crying. Babies are hard work. In the back of my head is the constant: how have I f***ed him up already/ how will I inevitably f*** him up in the (near) future. We’re meeting with a lactation consultant on Monday before my 4-week post op appointment with  my OB-Gyn.

This week’s victory goes more to my husband for being superman.

True Love and Big-Boy Pampers

On True Love:

I don’t talk enough about how amazing my husband is. He likes to remind me how I rescued him when I moved half-way around the world to be with him in Korea, but I never have quite verbalized the depth of my love for him.

Two weeks ago, I was in labor and preparing to welcome our first child into the world. What I wasn’t prepared for (not because I didn’t think it possible or Jason capable) was just how amazing Jason is. I say “is” because he’s still amazing, has been amazing, so it’s a constant.

While having a contraction half way out of the tub I had been in I began to vomit and Jason was there holding my hair. Previous to this, I had vomited during pregnancy and he did the same thing. I had really only associated this act with something my mother did. Even as an adult, if she heard me throwing up, she was there holding my hair and rubbing my back.

So when I think about love, I think about the people who stay with you, at your worst; when things are falling out of you that you don’t even want to mention.

Since having the baby, I’ve been on an emotional roller-coaster. This is actually a good thing because it’s allowed me to really evaluate my relationship with my husband in a new way; for me.

I still don’t have words to describe the depth of my love for this man. But, when your husband can hold your hair when you’re puking, watch you try to push an 8 pound baby out of you, not pass out when he glimpses your insides, and then sings cute songs and tells “modernized” versions of fairy tales to your newborn so you can get two more hours of sleep, you know it’s true love. And while I can’t put words to it, I know “my cup runneth over” every time I think of him.

On Big-Boy Pampers:

Happy 2-week birthday to our baby boy Tucker!

He’s closing in on 9 pounds, if he’s not reached that milestone already. On Tuesday he was just three ounces shy of the big nine-point-oh.

We had been noticing that his newborn diapers were fitting just a little more snuggly than before, so we tried putting him in the next size up. The number 1 Pampers are for 8-12 pound babies, while the newborn is supposed to fit babies up to 10 pounds.

Before having Tucker, we’d bought a big pack of the number 1 size, figuring that he’d probably be at least 8 pounds. The last weight estimate came in July so we really had no idea what to expect.

Tucker pretty much swims in these number 1 diapers. But the legs are snug, so at least we’re relatively safe from blowouts. Thankfully.

I’m still happy my little baby is a little baby though. And although I anxiously await the time when he’ll be just a little more self-sufficient (read: he doesn’t flail about uncontrollably is what I really look forward to), and better able to sleep soundly though the nights, I feel this time now is precious and I do value it immensely. Another example of true love for you.

Tuckerday

Today, being a Tuesday, is randomly Tuckerday.

Tucker digs crustaceans

It was an eventful day in the W– household:

Tucker had his second well-baby visit with his pediatrician, Dr. O. In the week since his last visit, little man has packed on a whopping twelve ounces! He has also gained just over an inch in length. The good news for us: if Tucker so chooses to sleep more than three hours–say 4 or even 5–Doc says he’s OK’d to do so. Previously, we’d been waking him up to eat at the three-hour mark. Since he’s gaining weight just fine, we don’t need to enforce that 3-hour time limit. This will help in the sleep department for Mom and Dad as well!

After the doctor, we all trekked across the river to make a quick visit to our insurance broker. Jason and I needed to sign paperwork to ensure Tucker had coverage; not only for the first 31 days (on my plan), but for every day there after (on Jason’s plan). We also got the paper work to put me back onto Jason’s plan at the end of the year so I could remain with my current OB for the postpartum visits.

From there, we made our way back to our side of town; beyond it actually. We had to drive over to Rio Rancho to get Tucker’s 3rd round of blood screening lab work done. Poor little guy got a prick in his heel and, all things considered, was a real champ about it. He only cried because the lab tech needed to hold and squeeze his foot. When she finished, he was fine again. The poke itself didn’t phase him in the least.

And the last stop on our Tuckerday outing was a visit to our neighborhood CVS to pick up a few baby essentials: Bigger diapers since our boy is growing like a weed, more pacifiers so we have … more, and a few other things that we weren’t able to grab because Tucker decided he was done before we were. Jason stayed in the store and picked up a few additional things for us, but the other baby items weren’t bought since CVS didn’t seem to have them anyway. Tucker and I retreated to the car for some cuddling time while we waited for Jason to finish and take us home.

After dinner, Tucker went down for a nap, most of which I was able to join him for (on account of us not getting much sleep last night). He’s still sleepin’ away, nearly 3.5 hours later.

**Question: What did you do today?**