Archive for July, 2006

7 1/2 Weeks Old

He’s 15 pounds!!! Daniel has been gaining weight like crazy! He’s almost doubled in size since he was born. A bigger baby means a bigger stomach means more eating (read: attached to mom’s breast) means longer stretches of sleep at night. Last night he slept for nearly 6 hours before waking up to eat. And he may have slept longer if I’d have let him. The third time I woke up, I decided I should probably wake Daniel up to relieve the building pressure in my breasts. They’re used to being emptied every 2 hours or so… The night before, he slept for 5 hours before waking to eat.

He’s smiling more and more now. Today he was in a great mood most of the day–cooing, smiling, being alert and quiet at the same time.

Today, and grandma’s house, we put him in the swing for the second time. The first time, he wasn’t so into it. Today, though, he loved it–even fell asleep in it. Until I was wooed by it’s magic powers, I didn’t think I wanted a swing in our house, but now I can’t wait to cart it over here.

Daniel got his first round of shots on Thursday. I was pretty upset because he ended up getting more vaccinations than I was prepared for–and even then, I wasn’t really all that prepared. All in one day, he was vaccinated for Polio, Hepatitis B, Pertussis, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Haemophilus Influenzae and Pneumococcal Disease. I was not happy. Even before I talked to Nkem about it, I felt that 7 immunizations in one day for a 7-week-old baby was a bit much for his little immune system to handle. I knew to expect the last 5 (and I was hesitant even about those), but the first two were unexpected. What’s worse is I didn’t even want him to get the Polio or the Hep B shots until after his first birthday–if at all. Hepatitis B is an STD! The doctor said the reason they give it to babies is so that no one falls through the cracks when they get to be sexually active. That’s a pretty stupid reason to give a shot to a baby in my opinion–especially as mandated by the American Academy of Pediatrics. But the first five diseases I listed all come in one vaccine. I could have asked for them to be given separate, but like I said, I was unprepared. We bought a book weighing the pros and cons of the various vaccines that are regularly scheduled and I’ve been reading it–fascinated by the history of vaccines and how new they all are. Did you know that one of the first methods of trying to immunize people from Small Pox was to take the scabs from a person who had a mild case of the pox, let them sit out for 15-20 days, grind them up and blow them into healthy persons’ nostrils?! Immunizations have come a long way, but they’re still imperfect. The only cases of Polio in the United States in the last 20 years have come directly from the vaccine–when they used to use the live Polio vaccine (which they still use in other countries).

You can infer from the above paragraph that we’re not terribly comfortable with all the vaccines that are scheduled for kids to get these days. I’m actually the one uncomfortable with them–Dan just sort of listens to me be worried and wants whatever thing is going to keep me the most sane. The book I’ve been reading–one that I’ve been told is one of the most unbiased and fair books on the subject of vaccinations–is fascinating and I can’t wait to finish it (from reading the first chapter–which I haven’t even finished–I am skeptical that Daniel will end up getting all the vaccines on the the standard immunization schedule). I hope that I’ll come away from it feeling comfortable with my decisions about which vaccinations to choose for our son–if any. I’ve got two months to come to some decisions–the next set of vaccinations are scheduled then.

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5 Weeks Old

He smiled! On his 5-week birthday, Daniel gave us his first genuine smile. Before that all we had were the adorable, but involuntary sleep grins. Every day so far, Daniel has given us at least one round of real smiles. The next step will be giggles. We’ve already gotten a little taste of those, too–in his sleep, Daniel often chuckles. I didn’t know babies chuckled in their sleep, but apparently this one does.

After several hard nights with Daniel trying to pass gas or poop with great difficulty, our midwives advised me to cut dairy out of my diet to see if it helped the baby’s digestion. Like a miracle, the very day I stopped eating dairy, he was much calmer and pooped with little effort. It’s been a little over a week, now, since I cut it out, and it’s been great. Our nights have gotten much more calm and regular. Last night was the best of all so far. Because Daniel spits up a lot, we elevated the head of the cosleeper mattress to try to help keep the milk down. It appears to have worked–Daniel slept for 4 hours straight!!! It was wonderful to get such a long stretch of uninterrupted sleep–it’s pretty funny that 4 hours is a long stretch to me now. And when he did “wake up” to eat, he was only in that halfway awake state. As soon as he nuzzled into the breast, he was out like a light again. His second stretch of sleep was just over 3 hours–though for some horrible reason, I woke up after 2 hours and had to go pee. I was pretty mad that I had the opportunity to have slept for another hour and a half, but blew it by having drank too much water. We’re hoping that the elevated mattress was the cause of the long sleep stretches and not just a coincidence. We’ll see how it goes tonight.

I love getting out of the house with Daniel–it helps make the days go by so much quicker. Just sitting around the house trying to entertain a baby who can’t do much gets to be a bit boring–even when the baby is your own super cute cuddly sweetheart. Trying to do laundry, clean the bedroom, or make food can be pretty difficult. I’ve been lucky to have a housemate during this time who loves to hold Daniel while I get things done. Today I was able to make some yummy pancakes while she held him. Right now he’s sleeping cuddled in the MayaWrap (a long stretchy piece of fabric wrapped around my body in such a way that the baby is strapped snugly to my chest). It allows me to be hands-free while still “holding” the baby.

When I go out, I like to carry him either in the MayaWrap or the sling. He loves being in these carriers and usually falls asleep in them. A couple days ago, I walked to the post office, the Paseo and the grocery store with him cuddled  in the sling. He didn’t wake up until I got back home. Unfortunately, the weather was incredibly hot, so both of us were wet with sweat when I finally pulled him out of the sling. I want to get out of the house more often, but I dread the weather. Last night, it was nice and cool outside, but today, it was super hot again.

I’ve managed, without any effort on my part, to lose almost all of my baby weight already. I’m only a few pounds heavier than I was when I started. The weight is distributed mostly in my hips and breasts, so my old clothes still don’t quite fit, but I feel great.

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