Wednesday, March 12, 2014

General Updates and Rambling

- Claire is gaining weight and doing it well. I emailed a number of my friends last month after a mediocre pediatrician visit for support. The pediatrician wanted me to see a lactation nurse and I already feel like I can write a book on the subject with all my experience in the hospital, NICU and readings. So, I ditched the lac consultant appointment (canceling 4 days in advance) and bought a $60 scale on Amazon. I changed my technique and the girl is now gaining more than an ounce each day and I'm banking like 3-4 ounces of extra milk each day in addition. Without pumping. I'll spare the details on that one, but basically my body is sort of free-willed and likes to express its own milk. The lac consultant had me on 6-9 Fenugreek pills everyday and immediately things went wrong; green poops, oversupply, too much foremilk. So now I'm back to doing what I did all along without any supplement and things couldn't be better. She weighed in at 9lbs last night and made up all the weight she didn't gain the first month that they were concerned about and then some. Booyah.

- Otherwise, she's sleeping in her bouncer with the vibration on at night. It's not a good habit we've adopted, but then again, me not sleeping is just not an option with a toddler who demands ma-ma-ma-ma all day long. Because I was waking her to feed every 3 hours for the first 6 weeks, I think she's become accustomed to that luxury of frequent milk. For the last two weeks, she's been sleeping in a pattern of: 4.5hrs, nurse, 2.5hrs, nurse, 2 hours of splotchy sleep, nurse/awake. Not the best, but tolerable for now.

- My only concern? Traveling next month with a toddler and newborn in the same hotel room. And no bouncer with a vibration mode. Hmmm. Anyone who has done it with a toddler and newborn, please chime in. I'm thinking of ordering a rollaway bed (often lower to the ground) for Benjamin to tuck him away on the side of the bed she's not on. She'll likely sleep in her carseat. We had decent luck doing so with Benjamin at 6 weeks old on our trip to Savannah.

- I swear I've seen her crack a smile or two. But otherwise, she's like most newborns and hates tummy time, being put down or laying on her back. She does love nursing, being in her carseat, being worn in the K'tan or Ergo, and being walked around to look at bright lights.

- Benjamin is generally awesome with her. The occasional roughhouse does occur when he wants something she's sitting in or near, but he's generally great. The first word out of his mouth this morning, in fact, was baybee.

- One of his two-year molars is coming on through. He's (thankfully) a normal kid while teething and he's shown no signs of additional irritability. You know, over the regular toddler drama.

- He's back to his business of being up to no good. There's pretty much no place in my house that is safe anymore. I had a friend over the other day who seemed a little alarmed that he had a screwdriver "tool" in his hand. I taught him how it was used, so now he tries to use it on things with screws. We did have to remove the hammer from the junk drawer... along with the thumb tacks... stamp pads...

- He's really quirky. He had these little things he does that are just plain funny. Aside from being obsessed with the number 2 and pointing it out wherever we are (he knows other numbers too... but none are nearly as cool in his opinion), he does other odd things, too. He removes the same book from the bookshelf and removes the book jacket. The same thyme leaves spice container is removed from my spice cabinet, walked about 5 feet to the oven, flipped upside down and placed in the same spot. This happens multiple times a week. Always the same spice. It's so fun to see the little {random} things he's going to do.

- I think I made my second storytime friend! This will be a grand total of two friends who are independent (not friend of friends, etc.) in four years of living in Illinois. I gave this one lady my number a few weeks ago and she finally emailed me this week. Once the weather is nicer and all kids are healthy, we're going to get together. My other storytime friend who made those awesome mustache cookies was at storytime yesterday. It was nice to spend some time with her and her super cute daughter.

- Speaking of her super cute daughter... back in the summer we were having a playdate. Her daughter, O, was not speaking many words. She's a month older than Benjamin. At the time, Benjamin was speaking a fair amount, but nothing off the charts. She expressed a little worry that she wasn't up to speed. Now, the girl is speaking full on sentences with adjectives, subjects, pronouns and the whole deal! Benjamin strings together two-word phrases, but has only really developed his numbers, letters, and single-word vocabulary. Not that he doesn't understand... oh the kid is savvy... but yeah. Interesting to watch development. This is nothing I'm worried about as he communicates quite well and randomly says words I never knew he had knowledge of until it comes out of his mouth. His memory is uncanny.

- I take Benjamin to this {lame} gymnastics class on Wednesdays. We usually attend a real gymnastics class at a real gym for gymnasts. But it's expensive. And I knew with Claire's birth that we'd be missing some classes and I didn't want to forfeit the cash. We signed up at the park district and it's pretty lame. But Benjamin loves it. He calls it "class" and gets quite excited on Wednesdays. I was driving him to swim past the building yesterday (which is off the road and not terribly easy to see) and he shouted out "class, class!". He memorized the location of class from his carseat? Unbelievable.

- The husband is busy with business meetings and dinners all week. That means solo bathtime with the littles and man does that call for a large glass of Pinot. Too bad wine makes me exhausted and I'm already tired enough as it is. Good tired, but dude. I'm not pretending this is easy.

- I had a local friend visit the other day with her daughter who is 5 weeks but technically 3 days older than Claire gestationally. She had a plan for a natural birth and had a birth plan set. She ended up having a c-section due to a complication with her daughter having elevated heart rate. I'm telling you. Almost none of my friends have normal birth experiences anymore. It's a wonder pregnancy and birth are still considered natural. We have another local friend who is thinking heavily about a home birth and I literally can feel my blood pressure elevate just thinking about that. The what-ifs of being a loss mom and having four pregnancies and three complicated births just screams high-risk-situation to me. But that's my experience. Only 100% of my pregnancies had some kind of issue or complication. It's hard for me to see it as natural.

- This was massively long-winded. I clearly need more adult interaction.


Veronica said... [Reply to comment]

I had a dream about your family last night. Actually, it was a dream that I was watching a video that you posted on IG of Ben and the book jacket / spice jar thing. You caught him In the act. You were recording from under a table, and when he was he was caught, he ran into the living room on to a pile of pillows and blankets and giggled to himself. And I hear your voice say to him, "I got you this time you silly monkey". I was probably the cutest thing I've ever seen...and I actually looked back in the IG feed to see if it was real... I'm still thinking it is.

Way to go on baby Claire and weight gain. I remember those first few weeks/months being so stressed about that with theo. it was a constant chant in my mind of "what else can I do?? I need to get him fat!!!". So happy to hear she's picking up, steady and strong <3

Brie said... [Reply to comment]

I'm with you on the solo parenting and needing more adult interaction! And way to go Claire on the weight gains! Whoop whoop, cue Katy Perry's eye of the tiger song. Claire has defied odds before any of us even met her. Also- we are traveling end of April and we ended up using vrbo to find a holiday home for the cost of a hotel hiring a pack n play upon arrival for both kids. Is vrbo an option for you all? More space. Separate rooms. A kitchen.

Brie said... [Reply to comment]
This comment has been removed by the author.
LookItsJessica said... [Reply to comment]

B cracks me UP! And I do know what you mean about feeling that pregnancy isn't even natural anymore. My neighbors have a daughter our age and I learned that she had to have a hysterectomy after the emergency c-sec with her first and only daughter! So sad. I would say that scary birth-stories are more the norm in my circle as well.

And girl, I would totally need a large glass of Pinot if I was doing solo bath/bed with two kiddos all week! In fact, I did it alone tonight and think I will have some wine anyway. Ha!

Nicole said... [Reply to comment]

Way to go on the weight gain, Claire and Mama!! So happy to hear that.

We traveled to FL when Abby was 2.5 months old and stayed in a small condo. We rented a crib for Addalee and used a rock and play for Abigail. It went better than expected.

I totally agree with what you're saying about pregnancy and birth not seeming natural anymore! I was just talking with my mom about that today. It's a wonder any baby is conceived, carried, birthed, and lives.

Nicole said... [Reply to comment]
This comment has been removed by the author.
Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

Two storytime friends?! Now you're just showing off! So popular! :)

No advice for traveling. Except come back to Savannah we we move there and I'll have a pack n play for you and Finn and B can have a slumber party. K?

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

I'm looking forward to reading YOUR advice on traveling once you have this trip under your belt!

Glad to hear Claire is gaining weight, and sleeping (pretty well) and that B is his usual adorable self. Their little brains are so crazy smart. It's really amazing.

Melissa said... [Reply to comment]

I can't say I have anything insightful and profound to comment. I love this post because if felt like we were having coffee and you were just telling me about all the stuff that is going on with you. I would get in my car right now for that coffee and chat...and somehow this post just made Chicago seem a little less far.

Laura Jane said... [Reply to comment]


YES! This, exactly!

Laura Jane said... [Reply to comment]

I'm so proud of you for getting the milk situation sorted on your own. Love that she is getting that stinking cute belly. And the self-lactating boobies? Brilliant! <3

Love that B is such a little weirdo. Grace is a weirdo who rode around in an empty cardboard (diaper) box tonight while yelling out, "yay!" like she had won something. bahha. :)

Tiffany said... [Reply to comment]

Love these updates!! And good for you for handling Claire's feeding and weight situation! Lactation consultants are great but a lot of times Mama knows best!!

Karoline said... [Reply to comment]

We made the blog! :) oh, and I also have no idea how my child is here & alive. I have to constantly look at my maternity photo to remind myself that yes, my body did get it right once...barely, but it did.