Forest at Five Weeks
So, last week you remember I wrote about those 15-20 minute nighttime feedings?? Well, of course that got switched up this week. I think it was Saturday night/Sunday morning there was a lovely 3 hour stretch of a not sleepy baby from 12:30am until 3:30 am. The first hour was spent feeding him, with the second 30 minutes of that hour being needed because he’d fallen asleep after feeding one side and then woke up as soon as I put him down. So I picked him back up and we went back out into the living area outside our bedroom and I fed him on the other side. Same thing happened—fell asleep only to wake back up. This time I got Chris up since it was the weekend and told him he had baby duty for a bit so I could go back to sleep. This had worked a few nights before—or one morning, I don’t remember which, everything is running together—and Forest went back to sleep easily. Well, 45 minutes later of fussing, to which I didn’t sleep one wink while listening to him out there, I got back up and got Forest and knew that he’d run the course of the original feeding and wanted to eat again. So, we repeated the first hour of the night—eating, sleeping, waking up in the cradle, repeating it all again to make that last hour—and then I decided that we were just going to sleep on the couch that night. I wasn’t going to play another hour of this dozing/eating game. So he nursed for a few minutes and then promptly went to sleep and stayed cradled on my chest for the next three or four hours. I got to sleep, he got to sleep, all was good.
Then we had a few decent nights again but last night, which part of this was our mistake, he didn’t get to sleep until after midnight and then played the same sleep/wake game again at 4:30am. I decided to sleep on the couch yet again. The midnight issue was probably due to him having a 7-9pm nap while we watched a movie…yeah, not doing that one again anytime soon.
Other than that we’re both getting a bit better with a semi-routine. There’s really nothing routine about breastfeeding on demand, however there is definitely a flow during the day when I know he’s going to want to eat and when he typically wants to nap. Not every day is the same, of course, but there’s a bit of a pattern. I try to go out and do something 2-3 times a week, even if I just run one errand. There’s multiple reasons for doing this—a: I get out of the house for a few hours, b: he gets used to being out and about, c: he gets used to his car seat more—he loves to fuss about it at times and really hates the shoulder pads on the straps.
Other than breastfeeding at the hospital a few weeks ago, I hadn’t needed to do it in public until one day I’d gone out to Hobby Lobby to buy some scrapbooking supplies. I’d pulled into the parking lot and he was asleep, but the bumpiness of the parking lot and the rattling of the cart woke him up. I got to the scrapbooking supplies when he started fussing so I took him to the bathroom to change him. Yay for places with changing tables (more on that in a moment)! And of course that wasn’t totally satisfying and he needed to nurse. Luckily there was a bench just outside of the bathroom in the little lobby area to the bathroom entrance so I sat down and fed him for about 15-20 minutes. It wasn’t the most quiet place since people were coming in and out of the bathroom, but we got the job done. No one really said anything, a few kids made cute comments about the baby eating and one lady said something about “Feed that baby, momma”, but that was it. I could have gone out to the car but wasn’t interested in carting a screaming baby through the store just to do it. It all worked out. I’m definitely realizing that breastfeeding in public isn’t nearly as intimidating as I’d imagined and it doesn’t bother me so much. Just as long as I can find a place to sit down and give him what he needs while being a bit discreet, then all is good.
I think the biggest problem is him not liking a dirty diaper. So far it seems to have happened when Chris and I are both together and we’ll just get on the road and he’ll have a screaming fit. We’ll pull into a gas station or parking lot and have to change him. Then I’ll get in the back seat and have to soothe him and stick a pacifier in him, if I can, to get him to calm down. This happens even if we just left with a clean, dry diaper on him. The other day we ventured out on the weekend to the new Pollo Tropical restaurant that had opened. It’s a semi-fast food restaurant chain that we went to in Florida that has expanded its range and opened one up about 30 minutes from our house. *They* did not have a changing table in their bathroom despite their very shiny and new building. I was very disappointed with this and had to lay out a burp cloth on the floor so I could change him…I had left my portable changing pad in the stroller from one of our walks. If he hadn’t been fussy I would have just taken him out to the car. Anyway, it’s definitely a go-with-the-flow type thing with a baby. On this same outing I ended up staying in the car twice for two other errands, one of which I had wanted to go in myself (Sprouts supermarket) in order to feed him. This is one of the issues with breastfeeding on demand—he’ll take an ounce here and there and want to nurse again a short time later. Which is totally fine…just not always convenient. But it’s about adapting and changing, so here we are…adapting and changing.
Forest himself is growing quite a bit, getting close to 12 pounds already. By next week I think he’ll be there. He’s getting used to baths now and seems to enjoy them a little bit. He started cooing a bit late last week and it took me a few times popping my head out of the kitchen while I was making my breakfast to check on him as I thought he was about to erupt into a scream for a diaper change. Instead I found him just talking to the framed sycamore leaf we have on the wall. He’s also been kissing me back in his own little way, but he’s been doing that for a few weeks. I’ll kiss his lips and go “mmmmuah” and he gets wide eyes and makes a big “O” with his mouth back at me.
There’s definitely more smiling but we’re not to laughing yet. I’m thinking by 2 months he’ll be strong enough to hold his head completely. We’re not there yet but we’re definitely not bobbling nearly as much. I have not been that great about doing tummy time, mostly because I think of it after he just ate and I don’t think he’s going want to be on his belly right after, so I delay it and then he’s sleeping so I end up forgetting about it. But he gets some tummy time when he’s laying on me on his belly and lifts his head up to look around then.
We’re still working on the choking issue while feeding. He doesn’t always have this problem but I’ve been trying to feed him in the laid-back position as much as possible and put him where he’s laying directly over me instead of coming up from below. It seems to help quite a bit but he also tends to fall asleep more in this position, which equals a longer feeding time.
Let’s see, what else? We’re still loving the cloth diapers. Chris ended up buying more since there were days that we had shortages due to the ones from the previous day still being line dried outside and not ready to use. There’s only been a few times we’ve had leaks and that’s usually on me while he’s feeding and it is due to the position he’s sitting in, with the pee or poo coming out the side gap of his legs. It’s not frequent at all and really is due to the position he’s in. I’m trying to start using the baby carriers more often. In my last update I had written about the Moby wrap but he hasn’t really enjoyed it when I’ve put him in it. Maybe I need to try a new position or only when it is cooler out? I don’t know. I wanted to go to a babywearing meetup last week but ended up not going. I finally watched enough You Tube videos to figure out the Ergo carrier and tried it out for the first time over the weekend. I had Chris take a photo, see below, and realized he was sitting too high. I rectified that and put him in it this morning to carry him into the hospital for the breastfeeding group. It worked out much better and he seemed to like it more. The newborn insert is hot, though, and one of the women there told me that I could also fold up a receiving blanket to put at the bottom of the carrier instead of using the insert for hot days. I’ll have to play around with it…she seemed to know what she was talking about because she always wears her baby who is almost a year old. (Later edit: Played around with it and it worked great!) The reason I wanted to use the Ergo was that last time I schlepped him through the hospital in the car seat and it was heavy! The car seat works great for places that have a shopping cart to put him in but not for places you need to walk a decent distance.
I go back to work in 3 weeks and am trying to come to terms with that. We’ve managed to postpone taking him to daycare by having my MIL come during the week for November to watch him. Currently I have about a day’s worth of breastmilk in the freezer—not enough of stash for my comfort. I’d really like to figure out how to save 3oz a day, if not more, and it looks like I may need to pump once in the morning before he wakes up since milk flow is higher in the morning. I’m also looking into lactation cookies. One of the lady’s at the group mentioned that they had really worked for her so I’m willing to give it a try.
Well, this is long as it is, so here’s more photos from today’s photoshoot and a cute video I shot this afternoon!
(He’s got a little baby mullet going on! Lots of hair in the back and a bit skimpy up front!)
First off, he is gorgeous. So adorable! Love the pictures.
Secondly, with breastfeeding, you definitely need to hydrate yourself. I found the more I drank, the easier it was for me to produce milk. Remember, your milk is produced by supply and demand. So if you pump your milk, of course, is going to come in faster. This is how I use to stockpile my milk before I went to back to work. If my son would eat off one side, I would pump the other side. My milk would come in evenly. I was saving enough bottles to have a 4 day rotation.
**Small side note: Even if you get one ounce per pump; if you do it several times, and get an ounce, I would add the smaller bottles into one, and make one bottle. Into the freezer at the end of the day. Mark everything by day/time so that way what goes in first, can come out first.**
After that, it became more of a schedule once I did go back. Every two to three hours, as if I was at home, with my child. I use to take my pump, a small lunch cooler, and fill it with several cold packs and empty bottles. I then would fill the bottles throughout the day, and then freeze them when I got home.
Also, my husband use to get jealous that I was able to breastfeed my children. He told me it was creating a bond he felt he could not be part of. Do not be afraid to let your husband bottle feed Forest, having that same body warmth, and ability for him to see his Dad’s face. As moms, all too often, we think it is OUR job to do everything, because we initially stay at home, and are breastfeeding, therefore we have a bigger responsibility. Truthfully, men need that time too. They need to create that bond; have the same chance to create that bond. We push men away BELIEVING it is a mother’s job, when honestly, it’s a PARENT’S job.
Lastly, I will pass onto you, the soundest piece of advice my mother ever gave me, when I had newborns: Sleep when the baby sleeps.
Keep smiling!! They grow up fast. Enjoy this ride we call Parenthood.
Wow! Her advice is so true!! Love the video and pictures as always!! Can’t wait for my time with him. So sweet and precious. Love him.
🙂 he is a sweetheart!
Wow, love seeing the pictures of your son, and hearing the day in day out routine. : )
what a cutie! You’re doing great, Misti! <3
Nice update – sounds like you are navigating this parent thing with an open mind. Keep on keeping on!
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