Posts tagged breastfeeding

8 Months Old & Crawling

Last week Reid figured out how to crawl. He has be loving his new-found freedom. Of course, since everything goes directly into his mouth, I have to be extra vigilant, but I am actually really glad he’s figured it out. He’s just a happier guy, and he’s more stable now that he’s figured out how to maneuver. The only thing that’s been stressful is when he crawls over to the coffee table and pulls himself to standing. He’s very unstable on his feet. Unlike Daniel who was a bit of a scaredy cat, Reid seems fearless. He’ll get himself on his feet, then let go of the table with total confidence in himself, even though every time, he falls and usually bonks something. I think it’s safe to say he’ll be walking before his first birthday.

We just got back from a 10-day vacation in Seattle and Canada. Most of our group (Dan’s immediate family) was sick for the bulk of the trip, so it seemed like a bit of a downer vacation. It was good to get away, and I did find the time out of my normal routines refreshing and renewing, but by the end of it, I was really ready to get home. Daniel didn’t do very well cooped up inside, and his jealously issues seemed to amplify with his general frustration at being bored. He’s really testing his limits right now. Today I had to actually reprimand him twice. Usually, I just have to tell him to stop doing whatever it is he’s doing, and he generally stops. But today, he didn’t stop.

I know he’s acting out because he’s jealous. He’s been asking to nurse a lot lately and has been asking to be carried in the carrier. One time about a month ago, I gave in and let him “try” nursing. He opened his mouth, came close, then giggled and turned away saying he didn’t know how. After that, I haven’t let him “try” again. I really wish he would have just nursed a little right after Reid was born, so we could have had a more ceremonious ending that he remembered to our nursing relationship. But now that he’s approaching 4, allowing him to start nursing all over again (which means I’d have to teach him how) seems a bit much, even for me. I wish there was something I could do for or give to him that could help him feel less jealousy.

There’s a book called Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish that I hope to buy and read soon (unless someone has a better recommendation). I hate the idea that I will need to up the ante in the “discipline” department with Daniel, when his actions are clearly dictated by him feeling pushed aside. Still, I can’t be passive while he yanks things away from his brother, lays on him, puts his feet in his face, etc. And I feel like I need to nip this in the bud for Dan’s sake as well, or I can kiss my chances of having another baby goodbye. He’s already having a hard time with things as they are. I know he really wants to be finished having children. He’s really loving Daniel at his age, but Reid is still tough for him to know how to handle. Starting over yet again with another baby and all the stuff that goes along with them really stresses him out.

I have given up my hopes for a full house of children, though. Now I only hold out hope for one more. And the easier our current children are, the more likely it is that #3 will come to be.

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The Terrible Threes

Oy. I have been composing blogs in my head for the last several weeks. I’ve just not made the time to actually write them. I have been pretty busy with my active boys, Holistic Moms Network, some pro bono design work, organizing my house, going on vacations, etc.

But those are all excuses. Onto the meat and potatoes.

Reid has been a dream. He has completely turned back into a happy easy baby. But Daniel has been unraveling. He’s having a hard time figuring out what effect his voice has in his world. Regardless of what I do, he tells me in a whiny or frustrated voice he wanted it another way. He tells me what to do, what not to do, where to sit, where to put things, and he often breaks down in tears if things don’t go his way.

I think the problem is a combination of things. Because I’ve been so busy, I haven’t been able to get down and play with Daniel as much. This is compounded by the fact that he is aware of how I drop what I’m doing in order to respond when Reid needs something–when he wakes, when he needs to pee, when he’s hungry, etc. Even though I comparatively  give Daniel more attention and time because Reid sleeps so much, I think he’s jealous that he has to wait for me to be finished with something while Reid gets my immediate attention when he calls.

I also think Daniel is over tired. I really think he ought to still be napping, but he refuses. I am not willing to fight the nap-time battle every day, so I don’t push it. But by 3 or 4, Daniel’s eyes are red-rimmed and his bossiness and frustration levels are on the rise. He will take a “rest”, though, so I still get a little time to myself. His rests consist of him listening to Veggie Tales songs while reading books or playing cars by dim lights in his room–usually with the door closed.

We really ought to get him in bed earlier, but our evening routine already seems pretty tightly scheduled. I start dinner when Dan gets home and can hold Reid. Then we eat and usually begin the bedtime routine shortly thereafter. It’s all the fussing and complaining that drag our evenings out so long. We ought to be able to get it all done and have the children in bed by 8. But even on nights we are able to accomplish this, Daniel usually lays in bed awake for at least an hour or two–periodically calling for one of us, or getting up to pee (he usually does this 4 or 5 times every night before he falls asleep).

Tonight was better. I used a quiet, low, even-toned voice while getting Daniel ready for bed. I ignored his “I don’t want to” and his “but I wanted to…” statements and just proceeded with what I was doing, and things went okay. He still clung to me when I was hugging and kissing him goodnight, but there were no tears (not immediately anyway–he did cry once about 30 minutes later, but that was fairly easily mitigated my Dan sitting in the rocking chair in his room for 5 minutes).

He also asked for milk tonight. I really wanted to say yes. But instead I made a silly face and joked that he didn’t know how to drink my milk–that he only knew how to drink milk from a cup. He asked a lot of why questions, but never got upset. And then he asked me to squirt him…. Bizarre, I know. But I did it. And he cracked up and begged me to do it again–but I couldn’t bring myself to. I’m kind of frustrated with myself for not letting him try it. I know he’s pretty old to be having my milk, but I think it would relieve a lot of the tension for him. I wonder if we could accomplish that same release if I pumped some for him.

The threes so far have been much harder than the twos. The phrase should be the Terrible Threes. The twos were comparatively a breeze.

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12 Weeks Old (really!?!?)

Reid is big. But his brother was bigger–much bigger. I’m estimating that Reid is nearing 15 lbs, but Daniel was about 18 lbs by this age. My back aches all day long holding Reid. I often question how I did it with Daniel. I held Daniel so much more often than I’m able to hold Reid, but I don’t recall having such an achy back. I could blame it on getting older, but three years shouldn’t make that much of a difference. My neck did hurt a lot more with Daniel–maybe my posture is just different this time and baby’s weight is therefore affecting me differently. Whatever it is, I’m really looking forward to being able to a) carry Reid on my back in addition to on my front,  and b) being able to put Reid down for longer periods of time while he learns to play with toys and sit and crawl, etc.

It seems like Reid is much freer with his emotions in general than Daniel was. He smiles more–he’s been laughing for weeks already. Daniel had only just started to laugh by this age. He cries more–though he’s started fussing more often instead of going straight to crying, which has been a huge relief. I have a feeling that Reid is going to be a very aware and observant child–and probably a very tactile one as well.

My brother Gabe came up from San Diego to stay with us for a few weeks. He wanted to get away from home for a while (he’s 17–you know how that goes!) and we thought it’d be fun to have him stay here with us. Daniel thought having tio here was absolutely the best thing ever. I tried my best to give Gabe some solo time, but it was very tough to make Daniel stay away from his beloved tio for very long. I was glad to have him here to help relieve me of the guilt I feel for not being able to pay as much attention to Daniel as he’s used to. Daniel has been more emotional since Reid was born, so I know he’s feeling affected by the shift, but luckily he’s been nothing but kind and gentle and loving toward baby Reid. There are definitely times when Daniel would prefer if Reid was elsewhere, but he’s never said anything negative about him or shown any contempt for him. Instead, Daniel wants to hold him, kiss him, calm him, watch over him, etc. I can’t wait for the two of them to really be able to interact.

Reid is still a champion sleeper. He only wakes a couple times/night and usually he wakes to be changed and fed and that’s it. And recently, he’s even managed to fall asleep on his own if I put him down in the bassinet we have set up in the living room, or in our bed at night. Tonight was actually the second night that Reid went to sleep without nursing. Of course, both this time and the time before (a few days ago) he’d already been asleep (by nursing), but had woken up when he realized I wasn’t there anymore. Tonight, he did this twice. After nursing him back to sleep the first time, the second time, I took him to pee (he peed with his eyes half open), put on a clean diaper and layed him down on the bed. I intended on nursing him back to sleep again, but he’d already gotten still and had started to close his eyes. So I just watched and waited, and lo and behold, he fell asleep. If I can get him to fall asleep on his own, I will be one happy mama.

Daniel spent the night with Dan’s parents last night, so Dan and I went out for dinner with Reid. It was really nice to be out and not talking about fire trucks or hot dogs. Reid was very quiet and fascinated by all the hustle and bustle of the restaurant. He fell asleep about 2/3 of the way through our dinner, too, so we were really able to feel like we were on a date (except that I had him wrapped up on my chest). We’re feeling like we’re going to need to establish a more regular date night pretty soon now that we have two munchkins keeping us busy. I think we’ll be able to do it semi-regularly by the time the first of the year rolls around.

Tonight, just before I started typing this blog, I heard Daniel laughing in his bedroom (it was 10:30 pm and he’d been in bed since 9). I went in to see what he was doing (he’d already gotten out of bed twice–once to try to find a specific pair of socks in the laundry pile and once to play with his trains). He was just laying in his bed cracking up at nothing apparent. When I asked him what was so funny, he could barely speak as he giggled something about a fork and a sink (I thought he said snake). Turns out he was recalling a Veggie Tales moment when either Bob the Tomato or Larry the Cucumber (I’m not sure which) gets stuck in the sink and uses a fork as a catapult to get out. When I left his room, he told me he was going to dream about that.

I am going to dream about a nice Sunday tomorrow. And I’m going to do it as soon as I publish this blog. I am tired!

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4 Weeks Old

I’ve intended on writing for the last two weeks. But with a newborn, plans just don’t always work out. I’ve been able to keep up with the housework at least as well as I did before Reid was born (which really isn’t saying much). It’s embarrasing how little housework I really did (and do). I’m not sure how other moms do it. I suppose I could limit my time on the internet, but that would really only give me an extra hour or two per day, and at night, when I’m tired and can’t imagine getting up to wash dishes, clean toilets, or put toys away. Mornings are best for me to get things done, but if, by some miracle, I’m up before the rest of the family, I have to be quiet so as not to wake them, so I can actually get things done. That means no cleaning the bathrooms–one is in our bedroom, the other is attached to Daniel’s. It means no laundry–our washing machine makes a terrible noise when I turn it on, and our laundry baskets are in our respective bedrooms, where the boys would be sleeping. I could (and often do) empty the dishwasher, reload it, wash dishes, make breakfast, etc. But then with the making of breakfast, comes the eaters of said breakfast, and then the dishes don’t get done because then we’re into the swing of the day.

I have played with the idea of making myself a schedule and sticking to it–at least for a few weeks or months so I can establish a routine and make some of these chores more habitual. I’ve tried Fly Lady several times, but that just gets annoying. I have adopted some of her ideas, though. I especially like setting a timer for 15 minutes and working on a particular project for that 15 minutes. It’s pretty surprising how much one can get done in 15 minutes when the focus is on that particular thing. I bought Marth Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook, which is really more of an encyclopedia. I read Peter Walsh’s “It’s All Too Much”, and reorganized my kitchen last year–getting rid of 4 or 5 boxes of stuff. I intended on going through the rest of my house that way, but it never really happened.

All this is to say that I had a hard time getting things done before children. Now, with two, I feel like I’m getting the same amount of work done (maybe more!!), but it still feels embarrassingly like I just can’t get it together. My messy house is bothersome, but at least it doesn’t consume me. I feel better when things are tidy and clean, but I don’t feel bad when they’re not (except when our very tidy/clean/have-it-all-together friends come over). One of these days I’ll work it out and things will get done more efficiently. And it is happening, slowly–oh, so slowly–but surely.

Reid is not helping matters, either. He’s turned from a quiet contented baby, to a fussy little butt. At our two-week check-up, Reid’s pediatrician warned that usually that beginning calm is just the calm before the storm (of infancy). I chose not to believe him at the time. But I was shortly proven wrong and he right. Reid’s not fussy just to be fussy, it’s true. But he’s very vocal when he’s uncomfortable or doesn’t like something–especially when he’s tired. When he’s tired, he’s quite difficult to console. He rejects the breast, and won’t stand for anything that doesn’t involve him going to sleep. And even then, he usually protests for awhile until he figures out that he can relax and actually go to sleep while being walked, rocked, swayed, patted, etc.

And now he’s woken up–probably needing a clean diaper and some milk, and wanting to go back to sleep. Daddy is keeping him calm for the moment, but I’m needed pretty immediately. And I only just started writing about baby! I guess I’ll have to put that off just a little longer.

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10 Days Old

The poop has calmed down a bit. I have been calling Reid my little pooper and it is still fitting–but thankfully he’s not unloading every other second at night anymore. The EC is going well, too. I don’t know if he’s making any actual associations , but he poops quite often in the toilet or sink and pees fairly consistently there, too. He should start to associate our cue sound with the act of going in the next couple of weeks. I’m really looking forward to that stage.

Tomorrow is Daniel’s 3rd birthday! Dan and I are taking him out for breakfast tomorrow (he loves to go out for breakfast just like his mommy!). Then Dan’s parents are taking him to an indoor playground, then we’re going to The Bahooka for dinner. I’m not sure how I feel about two restaurants in one day with baby Reid in tow, but we’ll see how it goes. We got Daniel a glide bike for his birthday and I am so excited to give it to him. He has a little ride-on car that he rides just like a glide bike–getting a running start, then lifting his feet to glide as far as the momentum will take him. I hope he’ll be able to get the hang of the bike without too much frustration.

We’re throwing him a birthday party in a few weeks. Dan and Sue will be out of town for about a week, then they wanted time to recouperate before the party since they’re throwing it. I just finished designing the invitations this morning and they’ll probably go out in the mail in the next couple days. I’m really looking forward to the party. I just love birthday parties.

When I had Daniel, I remember feeling so overwhelmed with motherhood. I loved it, but I was so exhausted and unmotivated to do anything but sit on the couch and hold/nurse him. My recovery was long, which had something to do with it, but I don’t think I was prepared for how all-encompasing parenthood would be. Now that I’ve been parenting for 3 years, the addition of Reid has been completely different. I adore caring for him–even in my exhaustion in the middle of the night. Whereas I knew I wanted to have more children after Daniel was born, at the time it was just theoretical. Now I wish I could have 5 children, and I mean it concretely. Maybe it’s knowing that Reid might be my last child that makes me cherish him all the more and allows me to fantasize more unrealistically about the future.

On the flip side, thinking about the possibility that Reid is our last child, I’ve allowed myself to imagine a specific family when I think about our lives moving forward. I can put a time-table on my time as the mother of babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers. I can think about what I might do with my time once/if one or both of our children are in school. I can think about projects and games and activites specific to our family size. But even while I am slowly allowing myself to consider a two-child household as a real possibility, it still remains a mystery.

Dan really feels like we should be finished having children. He would have been happy remaining childless. After Daniel, he was happy with just Daniel. And now with Reid, he’s happy with the just the two of them. Of course, he’d be happy to have another child once the child arrived, but the idea of having yet another is really scary to him. Still, it just doesn’t feel right to me to limit our family when it feels like we’ve only just begun. The real conversation about another child can’t really take place yet anyway. Whatever happens, we’re certainly in agreement that a 3-year gap between children is ideal. I probably won’t bring up the possibility of another child with Dan for at least two more years. Who knows what will be going on in our lives at that time. Maybe I won’t want another child then (don’t count on it). And maybe Dan will (ha!).

I have been recovering from Reid’s birth quite rapidly. I’ve felt good enough to do some housework, cook a bit, and go for a walk. However, today I started bleeding again. I must have overdone it this weekend. Today I spent most of the day sitting on the sofa holding and nursing Reid while Daniel played with Sue. My bleeding has slowed down, but it’s still going. I also have passed some bits of tissue. I’m not sure whether or not to be concerned about it. All the resources say to watch for excess bleeding and golf-ball-sized clots–neither of which are happening. But the idea that there are still bits of afterbirth inside me is a bit disconcerting. I’ve left a message with my midwife to call me if I need to worry about it. So far she hasn’t called, and I’m taking that as a good sign given that I have no signs of infection or anything.

Sleeping has been going better. Last night, except for one rough patch, we all slept relatively well. Everyone woke up around 10 AM and all in good moods! Tomorrow, because we’re taking Daniel out for breakfast, we’ll probably need to get up a little sooner than that, so I need to head off to bed. Reid is already sleeping, but I’m sure I can rouse him for some milk with a diaper change.

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24 Hours Old

Baby Reid Cameron Hanson was born just over 24 hours ago. He weighed 7 pounds exactly (after a big poo) and was 21 inches long. He’s quite skinny! Most of the newborns in my life up to now have been at least 8 pounds–including Daniel. It’s surprising how much of a difference one pound makes.

Reid’s head was smaller than Daniel’s, too. I don’t remember the exact measurements, but I’ll ask Margo when she comes to check on me tomorrow.

The night before Reid was born, my waves started getting stronger and more regular when I listened to one of the Hypnobabies scripts. I had set up a pillow nest in such a way that I could lay face down–my belly in a pit. I think it was the combination of being relaxed from the hypnosis and that position that jump-started things. The waves were about 10-15 minutes apart and I timed them for about an hour. It was after midnight and I was pretty sure I could sleep.

Though I woke up a few times to a strong wave and to go to the bathroom, there was no indication that “this was it”. But when I woke up in the morning around 7:30, the waves were still strong and continued to be about 10 minutes apart. They fluctuated from 15 minutes to 7 minutes apart all day and continued to get stronger and occasionally longer. I still wasn’t sure I had officially entered my birthing time because they weren’t regulating themselves and I’d heard that second babies can produce several false starts.

Sue came over and picked up Daniel so I could relax, just in case. I ate lightly all day, as well, just to be on the safe side. I had several soft BMs which did give me some indication that this was really it. After lunch, I took a little walk to the Paseo and actually ducked into some of the shops–not something I ever get to do with Daniel in tow. By the time I got back, I lost my mucous plug and was by then pretty confident that I would meet baby that day.

By the time I did my second Hibiclens rinse around 3, I gave myself an internal exam and discovered the bag of water was bulging and I was dilated to 5 or 6. I wasn’t really sure, since I didn’t have a lot of experience with measuring cervices.

I sent text messages to all my support people updating them with the news and Dan and I decided to head over to his parents’ house before things got too intense. I really didn’t like the car ride when I was birthing Daniel and wanted to avoid that.

When we got there, I sat on the birthing ball and waited for people to start showing up. By then, things had slowed down and I was only having waves every 15 minutes or so, though they were very strong by then. When Margo arrived around 6, she checked me and I was already at 7–even though things had never regulated or gotten closer together. Micaela was here by then, too, and I got in the tub and just chatted with her between waves. Except that the waves were strong and mostly in my back (and yes, they did hurt), in general, I was very comfortable and relaxed.

Besides practicing deep relaxation, I didn’t really use my Hypnobabies until the end. I probably should have tried using it sooner if I wanted more pain management, but I was really enjoying my very social birthing time and didn’t want to disrupt something that was so enjoyable.

My support people all ended up making it to the birth before I hit transition (something we were all worried wouldn’t happen due to Memorial Day traffic–they were coming from San Diego). At one point, I turned around in the tub so my back was facing everyone to allow someone to press on my back through my waves since all the pain was localized there. I was able to relax the pain away in my abdomen, but it was just too intense in my back for me to melt it away.

I decided I probably needed to use the Hypnobabies now, since there was not much socialization I could do at that point. Less than 30 minutes after putting my headphones in, I got an enormous wave that lasted for what seemed like an eternity. I was very vocal through that wave, and by the end of it, I was unintentionally pushing. Everyone knew exactly what that loud moan had meant, and I could tell there was a flurry of activity behind me. I pushed one more time in the tub and Margo felt to see if baby’s head was coming, and found baby ready to come out! My water burst on her finger and she told me if I didn’t want to have baby in the water, I needed to get out now because baby was coming out.

I remember saying that I didn’t care, but the water was too cool for him to be born in the water and the faucet wasn’t heating up fast enough. So I hobbled to the bed, and within 5 minutes, Reid was born! I really felt the ring of fire this time, which was not so pleasant, but I also felt baby’s head coming out bit by bit with every push, so I was very motivated to push through it. I could really feel my skin blipping over each of Reid’s features, his forehead, nose, chin–it was surreal. And then I felt his body slip out and I was so relieved. It was so different from Daniel’s birth where the episiotomy caused him to just blast right out of me.

I only tore a little bit with Reid, and although I’m sore today, it can’t even compare to how uncomfortable I was after Daniel.

Reid is nursing well, pooing a lot, and is so far an agreeable little guy. He does cry more than Daniel, but he’s fairly easy to sooth. I’m about to go to bed now. I’m hopeful for more than 4 hours of sleep tonight.

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33 Weeks Pregnant

There are only 7 weeks until my due date. It sounds so much better to say 7 weeks than to say a month and a half. I am really looking forward to this baby with joy and excitement. I only feel a little bit of nervousness and it is mostly related to how Daniel will handle the transition. I am most excited about having a nursling again. I really miss breastfeeding and can’t wait to be able to share that with another child.

I started my Hypnobabies home study class today. I am feeling very confident that I’ll be able to achieve a pain-free birth. And even if I do end up feeling some discomfort, I am sure it will be minimal. I tried hypnotherapy recently with my fear of flying and it worked quite well, despite the fact that I only had one session and only listened to the CD 3 times. The Hypnobabies course is five weeks long, during which I am to listen to at least one of various CDs every day. And then every day thereafter until baby comes.

Baby Reid gets the hiccups every day. Just like Daniel did. And he has very long hiccupping sessions that can get annoying after awhile. And I have been getting heartburn/reflux nearly every day for the last couple weeks. Sometimes it’s so bad it feels like my throat is on fire. And earlier this week, that was coupled with some intensely uncomfortable constipation that affected my entire digestive system. It was painful even to eat. I lost a pound and a half in just two days! Thankfully, it came back a couple days later when I was finally able to recover and start eating properly again.

I’ve had a few bouts of insomnia in the last couple weeks, too. Two nights in a row last week, I was awake for 3 or more hours in the middle of the night. It’s been about a week since my last episode, and I’m praying it doesn’t come back!

I’ll be having a baby shower at the end of the month to which all female friends and family are invited. The term baby shower is a bit of a misnomer in this case, however, since I’m asking not to be showered with gifts. Instead, I’ve asked invitees to bring a gift for a mother in-need–particularly a mother residing at Elizabeth House, a local shelter for homeless pregnant women and their children. There are four women currently residing there who are due in the next few months. Especially now, when charitable organizations are receiving a much lower level of donations than they’re used to, I don’t need to be given a showering of material things. There are very few items that I want to have for this child that I don’t already own, that I should easily be able to get them for myself.

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