Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The good, bad and ugly..

So, yesterday morning, I had to pour almost 5 ounces of liquid gold down the drain.
And I was ok with it.. Gleeful, in fact.
I had to throw milk out because it had been sitting at room temp for almost 12 hours..
And that's because Ben SLEPT that entire time without waking!!!!!
He slept 11.5 hours you guys!!!
Like my mom says, the small stuff we celebrate big.. And speaking of big, holy porn star boobs.. Eric was SCARED of them!!
And I'm glad I enjoyed the sleep while I could, because here we are, one night later, up at just 2am.. (having to warm milk because I don't want to leave it out and have it go bad.. of course now he's going to go back to MOTN feedings..)
Boy were they right when they said The only consistent thing about babies is that they change!

More about the drive to MA (2 poopsplosions!) when the sun is up..

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Busy week...

So in a nutshell, the past week:

Sunday night we were by my IL's for birthday stuff (DH's adopted sister turned 16!) and Ben started to fuss while in FIL's arms.

He had eaten recently, and had napped recently as well - he was acting gassy, so I get the gas drops ready and do what I always do: so he doesn't inhale anything while crying, I touch the dropper to his tongue for him to taste it and that makes him stop crying.   It was at this point that FIL literally blocked my hand, and shoved the dropper away and basically not-quite-yelled, "No! NEVER put that in a crying baby's mouth, he'll choke!"

I held my cool, and said - DUDE, I do not squeeze a damn thing out of the syringe until he stops crying, you think I'm an idiot?? (ok I left that last part off, but it was implied.)

When I went to bring the dropper to Ben's mouth again, FIL blocked me AGAIN and was like, "Don't do that, he'll choke!"

I started seeing red, and turned back to look at E with a WTF, help me out here! he's your father!

And he's just all, "Dad, chill we do it all the time."

Oh gee, thanks for the backup.  I could have screamed, because then FIL freaks out when Ben starts crying a bit, and is all "Give him some water! Give him more food!"

I'm walking past E with the bottle and pump parts I just washed (while trying to calm down from dropper-blocking incident) and said to him, there are only #2 nipples (fast flow) and he'll choke on the water.

So E says to his father, "No no water - everything's packed up."

And (go hormones, I guess) I am left out to dry, feeling like I'm standing alone under attack from FIL...

Poor E's sister, I couldn't go sing Happy Birthday because tears started flowing, I hid out in the upstairs bathroom for the rest of the night (20 minutes) while fuming that E wasn't coming to check on his wife...

So that was Sunday.

The rest of the week:
Creepy Stalker Baby...

pic name pic name
Where the HELL did the time go... (I know, get used to reading that...)

pic name pic name
Baby's buddy........                                                                                 Nom-able baby toes...

Pumpkin Patch Time!

pic name pic name
Big heart-warming wanna-devour-him Gummy Grins!               I've discovered something! on the end of my wrist! WHAT IS THIS?! (tastes good!)

Coming up this weekend: 3.5 hour drive (withOUT baby! we'll see how long with!) up to Massachusetts to see an Aunt, Uncle + 2 cousins, and then a GreatAunt, Great  Uncle, + 3 more cousins!

And Ben's baptism is booked!! Less than three weeks away! (And mommy just now got the invites out... *sigh*)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Day Late, but a Dollar short?

Yesterday, on National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, I "Came Out" and posted the following on facebook:

"While we are so so blessed today with Benjamin, the road here wasn't smooth and easy... In support of fellow loss mamas everywhere on National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day." 

And noticed another "Friend" (i.e. someone from college that I cheered with for one semester and then never spoke to again.. you know, a typical "Facebook Friend") had pictures of her 6ish-month old daughter, captioned "Loving my Rainbow baby!"
And only fellow loss moms (or maybe even loss moms that frequent blogs/boards/etc) know what that means... someone I hadn't spoken to in 8+ years and all of a sudden I felt a kinship with her... and all the other women that "liked" my post over the next few hours...
I also hope, with two close friends beginning their TTC journey, that should anyone have the misfortune shit-ass luck of experiencing a loss, they think of me and know people are here for them...

I'll never forget...

Monday, October 14, 2013

Visual Cues... (aka the almost-13-weeks Post!)

So Ben has officially discovered his hands (we can usually find him sucking down both thumb and forefinger at the same time, or chowing down on the entire fist...)

His salivary glands have officially kicked into gear, too... (salivary glands? spit makers? I'm just pulling that term out of the air - in plain English, the kid drools like a St Bernard...)

His neck is getting strong (like a St Bernard! ok, ok I'll stop comparing my baby to a mountain rescue dog...) and he don't mess around when it comes to Tummy Time! (He watched nearly 2 whole minutes of play from the Pats-Saints game this way yesterday - GO PATRIOTS!)
pic name pic name

We spent the weekend down in Seaside Heights (probably our last trip for the season) and we had lots of fun at the Columbus Day festival they had - we even got to watch newlyweds emerge from the church right after their ceremony - so sweet!

And down in Seaside, Ben slept the LONGEST STRETCH EVER.  It's marked on his FirstYear calendar - kid conked out from 9:45 til 5-FRIGGING-AM... YOU GUYS that's over 7 hours!

And then I laid awake for 45 minutes after the diaper-change/bottle-feed/pump-session because, well - six hours is the longest stretch of sleep I've gotten since the day before he was born and Momma was well rested - we even went back to bed for another four hours...
 **knocks knuckles with desk** - The last few nights have been nearly just as long, here's hoping 8+ hours is just around the corner...
Because he is just too damn cute first thing in the morning when he sees Mommy...
(yes, blurry - but you get the gist = HAPPY BABY!! =)

He slept great again on the 1.5hr carride home (yesssss - and don't worry, I fixed his hat as soon as I was done cracking up and taking pictures...) #mommyoftheyear

With all the sleep lately, we had no issue staying up last night to catch the season premiere of W.alking Dead with our little ass kicker* (check out the onesie in the next pic!):

He did NOT like hearing that his bedtime was before the show started:

There's times I laugh at how dramatic his cries get... lol

I'm still a dairy cow (EPing long and strong!) and probably would technically have a slight over-supply if I was EBFing, but I get to bank a nice freezer stash now... almost 100+ ounces!  With my original mini-goal of 3 months right around the corner (OHMIGAWD he'll be three months in just a few days!!) I'm gonna throw a mini-celebration... maybe have a few many drinks one night, and pump and dump (something I try to avoid at all costs...) but hey, we gonna CE-LE-BRATE good milk, COME ON!
My plan? Just go as long as I feel like I can... with a 4 day trip to Washington (state) one week before Thanksgiving (to see my new niece - born Friday night! SHE'S SO PRECIOUS!), I'm going to have to make a decision if I want to worry about bringing my hospital grade pump AND the portable Medela (6 hour plane ride plus travel to/from airport without pumping equals OW OW OW and I LOOK LIKE A PORNSTAR!) or if I want to try and wean before then...
It would be serious dedication, on top of the planning that I'm starting NOW, a full month ahead of time, for first-time traveling with an infant...

I do have a girls' trip booked in February - 4 nights in beach-side cottages in the Florida Keys! - and I'm pretty sure I'll be done by then... (although the girls I'm going with are all NICU nurses and are all, "hunnie I've seen a million boobs - I can even help you with any clogged ducts if you need!")

Speaking of clogged ducts - Lefty keeps throwing mini clogs here and there that usually work out within a pump or two, but this morning I must have unclogged something that had been building up for a few days, bit by bit...

And how do I know?

Because Lefty (usually a 1-ouncer) out-pumped Righty for the first time.  EVAR...HOLY MILK, Batman!

Nothing like freshly-pumped breast milk (enough to make my BIL queasy - he's weird like that) for a parting note...
'Til next week!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hell freezing over...

Look here! Another post in the same month? Natch, the same WEEK??
Told ya it was coming! (we'll just see how long it lasts..)
By home-scale guestimates, Ben is nearly 11lb!
No more my "little peanut!"

Especially not if my MIL has anything to do with it.. She took it upon herself to decide how much he needed to eat last Friday, while E and I were out enjoying date night (which was awesome = a dine-in-theater to see Prisoners, only one of the BEST movies I have seen in a looooong time, after which I had the pleasure of breaking in the battery pack for my Medela portable breast pump as I took advantage of E driving the 40 minutes back to his mom's and pumped in the car for the first time.. I just might invest in a car adapter for my work commutes!)

Anyways, so she took it upon herself to feed him extra by shorting his second bottle. And then, when we arrived (HOURS before he was due to eat again) she was all, "you need to leave me backup milk!! in case of an emergency, like if you get a flat tire! I was panicking tonight!"
I wanted to be like, well first of all - you know him crying is NOT an "emergency" right?!

And why did you panic tonight - because you used his second bottle to overfeed him the at the first feeding, and then you ran out of milk for the second feeding?!  (He was there for under 4 hours.  We gave her 8oz - that breaks down to 2oz/hour!!)

Ugh, so I had to give her 8oz of frozen milk last night when they came for dinner. Yes, it is prob a good idea for her to have a small emergency stash, and given the amount of times she watches him, that 8 oz really should last a long while..
Ha - I give it until she next watches him..
(and of course, now I'm reluctant to leave him there, now that I know she has the means to really overfeed him..)

Speaking of a short bottle- Ben and I went to see my friend in NYC (see Central Park picnic shots below!) and I pumped by her for his next bottle - and pumped 1/2 oz short... E and I had been discussing rice cereal and slowly introducing it bit by bit, and what better time I decided, than when his bottle is slightly short - we'll thicken it up and cross our fingers.

So with the ILs over for dinner last night, and their typical "Tell us EVERYTHING about his feeding habits because we'll have a different, and BETTER, opinion!" - my FIL asked what we mixed the rice cereal with, and I said, "well breast milk, of course," my hackles raising and preparing to defend my decisions.

And he nodded.

Wait - WHAT?! you think I did something RIGHT when it comes to feeding my baby?!  SOMEBODY STOP THE PRESS, HELL JUST FROZE OVER!!

anyways. =)

What 11 weeks looks like:

Hung with E's cousin, babysitter extraordinaire, while mommy worked from home

Worked on my sitting up, and Tummy time...

And all that work and exercise just wore me out... 
Ended the week with a day in Central Park for an Indian Summer picnic!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

What year is it?!

I blinked - what happened?!

Somehow weeks are flying by...

I just discovered that I kept notes in a drafted post, things I wanted to blog about - over 4 weeks ago. *sigh*

Well there's nothing like a little game of catch up! Speaking of "catch up," - it segues nice for my first bullet point (bullet points are easiest, yes? keeps my train-wreck of a post otherwise organized!)

Item - so Benjamin was born at 7lb even, left the hospital at 6lb6oz. His weight gain at first, as an EBF (exclusive breast-fed) baby was rocky:
3 days PP (post-partum) and the day we discharged from hospital: 6lb6oz
5 days PP: 6lbs7.50z (+1.5 in 2 days)
13 days PP: 6lbs10.5oz (+3 in 8 days... not good)

And then it took off fabulously:
16 days PP: 6lbs14oz (+4 in 3 days)
23 days PP: 7lbs4oz (+6 in 7 days)
The early days of milk-drunkeness!
And then it stalled so horribly - his next appointment, two WEEKS LATER, he was only up 2 ounces...

We were just baaaarely above birthweight at this point, almost a month later... The pediatrician's first reaction was for me to give Ben a bottle of expressed breast milk and pump for that session to see if my supply was just crap. Well I got a great pump turnout - 4oz! - so it wasn't that. (I ultimately think it was/is something with his latch...)

So began my days as an EP'er (exclusive pumper - boy I'm going to have to update my glossary on the left menu bar...)
I've been EPing now for 6 weeks, during which baby boy has put on just 4oz shy of 3lbs!!
I'm not sure how long I can keep up the EPing - I'm attached to an electric pump 6-8 times a day, and nighttime feeds? They take 45 minutes from giving baby a bottle, burping him (changing him), pumping for 20 minutes, cleaning pump parts, and preparing next bottle from pumped milk... Seeing a lactation consultant is still on the table, but the quicker time goes by, the more I think, ok just a few more weeks and he'll be 3 months and I'll be satisfied with the exclusive BM (breast milk) he's had - we can start supplementing with formula and I'll just pump 3-4 times a day, supply be damned.

Because I've played the Supply Game for too long, freaking myself out that it was dwindling and stocking up on Fenugreek, Brewer's Yeast, Flax seed and oatmeal - all galactagogues, or milk-makers (I think I spelled that big word right...)
And then I get a great pump and I'm all, this milk cow ain't going outta business today!!
Not my actual freezer, but pretty damn close to what it looks like... 80+ ounces stashed!

 Anyways - in the midst of all this, the ILs have been a royal pain-in-my-ass, especially FIL who fought with E when the weight gain first became an issue (like, a few hours after the doctor's appointment when we had already made the decision to switch to EPing so we knew how much milk Ben was getting.) and basically FIL yelled at us that we listened to some "dumb doctor" and had to wait over two weeks to be told he wasn't getting enough food, and as E put it - thought we were "starving him."

*Even now rehashing it weeks later, I get heated - so we'll just leave it at that... the IL's - they suck.

Item - at the same time as the EPing started, we brought Ben to Seaside Heights for the first time - to the Beach Boi!  So he didn't actually dip his toes in the ocean yet... we'll see how the weather is for our last visit this season, Columbus Day weekend and the big Italian Festival!

Item - Had my first Girls Night a few weeks ago where Ben was left with Daddy Day Care.... (Girls Night was JUST what I needed, and we've scheduled our monthly get-togethers for the next few months, both with each other and with the husbands/DaddyDayCare - the next is this Saturday!!)
Well apparently Ben was having an awful fussy day, and "embarassed" E who was with his friends... and by "embarassed" I guess E meant that he was mortified that all his baby did was cry... Who would have thunk, a newborn crying, right?! (/end sarcasm)
But - he must have wore himself out (Ben, not E) because after we all got home and went to bed, he woke up and I looked at the clock and did a double take - he slept five hours that night!! (Of course, looking back it seems petty, when he averages 5 hour stretches every night now lol)

Item - the ILs would visit, and it's all about "he's still HUNGRY!" and "how many ounces are you feeding him NOW?" and "Well, when E was a baby he weight this much at 5 weeks, and this much at 9 weeks and THIS MUCH when he was Ben's age..."
The last one drove me BONKERS because 1 - he was formula fed and gained weight differently than a BF baby would.  AND TWO - they overfed E's older sister SO MUCH as a baby that their pediatrician told them TO CUT BACK ON FEEDING HER - and god DAMN but doctors don't tell you to do THAT very often...
Anyways - the IL battle was exhausting, and one night I had a mini-melt down.  I thankfully was due to pump so I could use that as an excuse to leave the room for 20 minutes and cry.  Then of course I left pump pieces downstairs, so I had E run them up and he saw my meltdown and said he would speak to his family (FINALLY!) about leaving us the F*(# alone about what we decide to do with our child - how many ounces, when, where...
It's been going pretty well overall since then - except when E seemed to misinterpret my casual comment about looking into formula after a certain date that passed last week.  And for a week his whole family thought I had switched to formula (I'm sure they all were like, FINALLY.) So one by one as I saw them all, they would ask "So how's the formula going?!" and I'd be all, whuck?! what formula?!
So when FIL mentioned it the other night, he asked incredulously, "He's still on just breast milk? Oh, just wait until he's on formula, he'll really start to pork up then..."
This - right after a 10 day stretch where he put on 1.25 POUNDS.  First World Problems? No, First Baby Problems..

Item - Ben was breech -head up under my ribs in utero, which did a cute little number on the shape of his skull... Nothing drastic, nothing even tooooo noticeable to the naked eye - but enough that our pediatrician wanted us to see a neurologist to make sure Ben's skull plates hadn't prematurely fused (some big medical term I couldn't even begin to spell).  Because if that was the case, his brain would run out of room to grow, so he'd need surgery (JUST FUN.)
Well we went and saw a neuro at NY Presbyterian (Columbia) and Ben's head is all fine and dandy... (Except for his big ears... but we love him anyway =)

Item - E went to Austin for a week on business, and I survived! Night feedings, day feedings, poop-splosions and shit-fits... Momma ruled the roost! (It was also during this week that Ben and I shlepped into NYC all alone for the neuro appt - I really nailed that one! Got there over an hour early... woops...)

Item - my maternity leave is officially over, and I've worked out a fabulous schedule with the owner and administrator where I work from home Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday and go into the office on Tuesdays and Wed/Thurs evening. So I basically have E's cousin babysit Ben on Tuesdays, and the rest either E or I am home.

I will eventually probably look into a nanny/mother's helper for the days I'm working from home - especially as Ben becomes even more alert during his awake times...

Item - Ben turned two months old (ahem two weeks ago...) and I can't believe how fast this third month is going either...
pic name pic name
He seems to like getting his neck tickled, tummy time on the Boppy, and watching Finding Nemo (go ahead, judge - the cartoons and bright colors entrance him and I'm able to get the pump parts washed, and his next bottle prepared for the few minutes that I let him watch...)
He's starting to "converse" with us, and has been socially smiling (ESPECIALLY when he sees Mommy or Daddy peek over the crib-side in the morning!) for the last few weeks.
 At the last appointment/measurement (on 9/17), he was almost 23" long - the 50th percentile, and officially out of NB clothes and diapers *sniff sniff - he's growing SO FAST!

Item - so going forward, hopefully I can get at least weekly posts going - I do sit, quite bored, for 20 minutes at a time during the night listening to the whoosh-whoosh of the electric breast pump, I should be able to jot at least a few things into a post!

THERE.  I think that's it... oh there were other things like being in my BFF's wedding, and Ben's first baby-sitting experience (with SIL and it was excellent) and his first overnight baby-sitting experience  (with MIL - not so great...) - ok one last item...

ITEM = so MIL stayed at our house the night of BFF's wedding (we got a hotel room - and 6 hours of drunken sleep is even WORSE than 4 hr stretches of sober sleep...)
I left her 2 pages of written notes (mostly about his feeding and bottle prep - she was going to MICROWAVE the breast milk if I hadn't instructed her otherwise!)
Just a background tidbit - the most frequently he gets hungry is 2.5 hours...
So with that said, we called the morning after at 9:30 : he's getting a bottle, ok great - we'll be heading home soon.
We walk in at 11:15 -he's eating another bottle.. E tells me I stopped in my tracks when I saw that...
Seconds later, MIL sits him up to burp - he does this awful choking/wet sound, and throws up all over...

The Not-so-Great babysitting experience with Grandma... *sigh*

So our third wedding anniversary was yesterday, and we're taking a date night this Friday to celebrate.  Grandma is watching Ben... And E had the balls to suggest that we leave Ben there for the night so we can really enjoy our anniversary... Aside from the fact that I still have to wake up to pump, the other thing I really want to do during an anniversary celebration is worry about MIL cramming bottles down Ben's throat when he makes the slightest peep.... ( /end sarcasm.)
Grandma! NOT ANOTHER BOTTLE!! I'm gonna hurl!

Ok, this has gone on long enough - did I mention I'm at work and supposed to be working for the last 1.5 hours I've spent writing this??

Til next week!!