Friday, December 4, 2009

So now we’re home with our baby!

I can tell all new moms out there that having your baby home is wonderful but also a big adjustment just from the hospital. Now it’s time to figure out your daily routine, in your own home, with your own things. Add the constant visitors and you’ve got a recipe for exhaustion. You almost want to go into hiding until you’ve halfway “figured” things out but you can’t do that. All of your friends and family are just as excited about the baby as you are and they want to come see you, see the baby actually, and really it’s a good thing to feel so loved and supported but yes it does add to the extreme exhaustion. I made sure to ask everyone to at least call before coming over and if we didn’t answer the phone that meant we were napping so not to just show up. This helped us a lot and at least saved us from being barged in on. We were also lucky to receive freezer meals from our awesome support system which took a load off at dinner time, the last thing you want to have to worry about is what to prepare, and god forbid you have to leave the house to go to the grocery store!

The first few nights went as I had expected, he slept well but he’s still an infant and so there was little sleep for any of us. After two nights of both of us getting up with him for feedings we quickly realized that we needed a system to help each of us get some uninterrupted sleep. So we split the 2 nighttime feedings, Shaun would take the first one, I’d take the second. There was no need for both of us to be up and this system has worked really great for us. We also learned not to change his diaper in the middle of the night unless he’s “complaining” if he’s ok then don’t mess with him! We change him at his late evening feeding right when we put him to bed but after that not again until the morning, unless there’s a blow-out!

We gave Holden his first bath and he was not a happy camper! We managed to get through it screaming and all. And now he smells lovely, however, Daddy and I learned that baby lotion is not tear free like the shampoos are… yea Dad went to lotion him up and got some in his eye and it was swollen and red for a good 2 hours. Poor guy! We’re all learning this together… And I can tell you that he MUCH prefers to be submerged in the water instead of sitting in the infant “sling” part of the tub. The screaming is much better this way.

We have had him on an eating schedule, every 3 hours during the day and 4 hours at night. Like I said, Dad takes the early feeding at 2:30am and I take the late one at 6:30am so we both get some uninterrupted sleep. It’s working great and he was already gaining weight at his 8 day check up so we must be doing something right. We do have to wake him every time to feed him since like I said he is a great sleeper. A lot of people say to never wake the sleeping baby and refuse to wake their child to eat thinking they’ll wake up if they’re hungry. However, in our case, our little guy is tiny and needs to put some meat on his bones, he can not afford to lose ANYTHING, so we are diligently waking him to feed him so that he starts packing on the pounds. There’s no way that I’d let a barely 5 lb baby sleep through feedings, I mean he would go 6 or 7 hours if we didn’t force him and he’d be in bad shape. We started out increasing his feedings by 10 ml every day until he reached 2 oz feedings. He ate 2 oz. per feeding up until about 3 ½ weeks old when he all of a sudden jumped to 4 oz! By chance after one feeding we offered him some more since he seemed to be hungry still and he sucked it down. So right now we’re at 4 oz. per feeding at 4 weeks old holy cow!

We have discovered that we despise Huggies diapers and much prefer Pampers. They seem to fit a lot better, he’s in premie size, and the tabs themselves seem much more secure. At this point we’re going through about 6-8 diapers a day.

We’ve taken the boy out of the house a ton between doctors visits, newborn pictures, grocery store trips, and now the holidays. It isn’t as bad as I had pictured, you just have to pack the diaper bag carefully before heading out and then you just do what you can. If your appointment runs longer than expected and runs into meal time you find a place to sit down and feed him. You really have to learn to be flexible which is much easier said than done but I’m learning.

The dogs (our 3 labradors) are adjusting to their new sibling as well as I could’ve expected. We did the bring the blanket home from the hospital thing. We also started preparing them at least 6 weeks ahead of time. They were booted from our room to their own “room” to sleep at night and they were banned from the couches except on rare occasion. So now they are mostly just curious about the thing that squeeks and makes noises. We also made sure that they were formally introduced with me holding them above their level as to show dominance, so that they understand that the baby is still dominant over them. And in the same regard they are not allowed in the room while I am feeding him because in a dog “pack” the mother never allows other pack members around while the babies are eating. So we used a lot of dog psychology techniques which are working well so far. I have to thank the Dog Whisperer (I am a HUGE fan) for helping us understand dog mentality and teaching us some helpful tips for this! I know everyone is curious about the barking, well we are blessed with a sound sound sound sleeper! And even with all 3 dogs carrying on about the postman he never wakes or cries. We never leave the baby unattended with the dogs around, even as wonderful as they are, none would harm a soul! You just have to be vigilant, it’s a new scenario which calls for extra precaution. We have had a couple of incidents with our alpha male making “statements” about his views on the baby including going to the bathroom on the nursery rug and marking the glider a couple of times…. Thanks Kane we really needed ANOTHER mess to clean up. It’s an adjustment for all of us what can I say…

Other than that we are just adjusting day by day to our new guy! It isn’t that hard in all honesty, the physical aspect of feeding, changing, bathing. It’s the emotional aspect that I have been surprised by. It’s a constant feeling of being a fish out of water, what do I do next, is this normal, etc. I spend a good part of my day trying to relax and enjoy the ride and not try to “control” so much and just let it be… but it is a learning period for sure!


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