Babedate: 14 Weeks
So... yea... like 5 weeks and nothing... #newbornlife!
I took some time off of here and social media to soak up the last few weeks I had exclusively with Henry. I took our days slowly, snuggling and playing and enjoying the feeling of him napping in my arms, so that now that I've gone back to work, I can have that sense memory to keep me going throughout the day. It's so tough. SO tough. This week will be my second week back and the end of the first week Henry has been in daycare. He's totally fine there and really likes his teacher, me on the other hand, I'm the one having to fight back tears every time I think about him, which is like, every 3 seconds....
#workingmomlife sucks sometimes. That said, on to this weeks babedate...
Overview of Last Week
This week Henry is 13.75 weeks old, but I'm going to go ahead and call this his 14 week update.
We are still having a tough time with our breastfeeding journey. Henry has decided to pick and choose when he'll nurse with me and when he'll throw a fit and refuse the boob altogether. We've been back and forth with his Pediatrician my Lactation Consultant and my doctor and it seems Henry Boy and I are fighting with both a low milk supply on my part, and reflux on his part. The good news is: we have a plan to get he and I more time to successfully nurse and fight his reflux with a bit of medicine. In the meantime, I'm on a power pumping schedule and my breast pump and I are now BFFs, her name is Lorelei and she and I are going to power through this. Overall, I'm hoping this will mean a mix of both pumping and nursing and that he doesn't refuse to nurse completely, but we'll go with the flow and he'll get as much breast milk as I can possibly make. If anyone has any tips on boosting and maintaining a high supply, pop on a comment or a message!
Otherwise, Henry is QUITE the charmer with THE most gorgeous full face smile! He's all smeyez and gums and I just melt into a puddle every time he flashes one my way! He's SO sweet too. He's been THE BEST champion sleeper in the last month and every morning I'll go to pick him up from his crib and I'm greeted with this total hambone of a happy little guy, smiling like a fool. It's the PERFECT way to start my day and has made going back to work SO much easier.
Speaking of sleep, this guys is NAILING it. He's been sleeping all the way through the night for the last several weeks and only this last week has he had one midnight wake up for a feed! I'm not sure how we got so lucky, but DUDE is it amazing! He's also become such and active sleeper that he's had to move to his crib. He was kicking and thrashing around so much that I was scared he was going to tip over his bassinet and now, he can move around as much as he wants with more space. He's not waking up when he's doing any of this, so he just kind of dances it out in his bed and goes right back to sleep. Again, knock on ALL THE THINGS that this continues on! I'm the one having more trouble adjusting to him sleeping outside of our room, but, there he is, sleeping away in his big-boy crib like a boss!
Lastly, he's taking daycare in total stride. Not a peep when we drop him off (he's mostly sleeping by then) and all smiles when we pick him up. His teacher reports that he's a champ sleeper through the noise of the other babies in is room and that he's enjoying tummy time and hanging out in his bouncy chair when he's not eating. He's apparently the least fussy baby there and he's the second youngest. I'm SO thankful for this. As tough as it is to leave him everyday, I know this is good for getting him socialized and it makes my time with him sweeter because I've had a chance to miss him all day. One thing though, he is quite tired when he comes home. He doesn't nap as long as when he's in his quiet nursery, so when he's home, he's napping. I'm not complaining, I love the feeling of holding him and he's just the cutest when he sleeps, but I would love some extra awake time to play. Oh well, when he's older and totally adjusted to his daycare schedule that might change.
I’m feeling a lot more rested now that we’ve worked out our sleep schedule, which is amazing! It’s been a lifesaver for my mood and my relationship with Patrick. Now that Henry's settled into his crib nicely, we're both getting some solid sleep time. I'm still having trouble creeping on him with the baby-monitor app and worrying about him in his room, but with time I'll calm down. I'm trying to be forgiving of myself on being a worry-wart in this regard. I'm happy to play the first-time parent card here and let it bother me a bit longer than it should.
We’re also feeling a bit more comfortable reading Henry’s cues for why he’s upset. I knew it would take time and the Pediatrician and our baby books said that, but for that first while you feel so helpless and freaked out that you’re stressed over not feeling like you’re being a good parent because you don’t “know” your baby yet. We’re getting there and it feels good to feel like we’re making some progress into how he’s feeling and knowing how to calm him down when he needs us. It feels like we’re finally getting the hang of this parenting thing and that’s making us feel less stress, which has done wonder for our mental health.
I'm still struggling with keeping Henry's breastfeeding strike in perspective. The important thing is that he's being fed and is healthy. OF COURSE that's the beginning and end of it. But... still. I'm really having trouble with not getting upset that I'm not getting the bonding time with him that I was before. I spent the entire nine months of my pregnancy being excited to breastfeed and now we've hit this bump in the road and I'm trying to give myself grace and just be happy that he's getting mostly breastmilk in his bottles and he's healthy and thriving. Using a breast pump feels so industrial and impersonal, but, if that's how I can feed my son, that's how it will be. Now, if I can just boost my supply and not get weird about exacting measurements (which I'm finding myself getting wrapped up in), I'll be ok.
Daycare is tough too. I want to work. I NEED to work for my own sanity and it does feel awesome to be able to be productive again and to be able to focus my nervous energy on other kinds of problems so that my time with Henry is WAY more chill and enjoyable... but it still really bothers me. Again, I'm happy to play the first-timer card and let this be a thing for a few weeks. His teachers are fantastic and his daycare is a five star rated facility and he's doing just fine in it, it really is just me being nervous about it for no reason. I'm sure this will calm down, I just wish that I could let it go and appreciate that he's with someone who takes excellent care of him and is trained in how to help him develop his milestones. I'm really great at my job, his teacher is excellent at hers. Henry is safe and our family can continue on our journey to mental and financial success because of my job and the myriad benefits that has for all of us in all aspects of our lives. I'll get over it.
Life in General
Speaking of daycare, Henry spent last week hanging out with Grandma and this week settling into his new routine. We had a HELLUVA journey with getting this guy a daycare spot in general and in the end we went 100% full circle to our first choice, who miraculously called us three days before I started work! He had been all lined up to go somewhere else when we got the call, after which I promptly LOST. MY. SHIT. The whole daycare thing had been SUCH a weight on us and I had started to panic about how we would get things managed, but, the universe came through and Patrick's Mom saved us by coming down from Indianapolis and babysitting for the gap week until his spot opened up this last Monday. In the end, this all has worked out BEAUTIFULLY and I'm glad P's Mom got some dedicated time with Henry. She's so far away and I know she's missed him. It's such a joy to see the two of them together and as much of a pain all of this was, I'm actually glad it worked out this way. That way Henry can get LOTS of Grandma time, since he get's lots of Nana time because my Mom is so close! Needless to say: this dude has been spoiled rotten for a week and starting daycare was MUCH easier now that I've been able to settle into work before I had to hand him over to someone I didn't know. Knowing Henry has been totally fine makes it easier.
Things I Found and Loved This Week –
- If you've not noticed before, I'm KIND of obsessed with books. I love reading about old books and manuscripts and their creation and preservation and I was so enthralled with this article from Atlas Obscura (an INCREDIBLE site, you MUST sign up for their newsletter, SO fascinating!). I love the way these imperfections and repairs make the works themselves so much richer. It reminds me of the Japanese art of kintsugi, where cracks in pottery were repaired using lacquer mixed with powdered precious metals to honor the history and journey of an object. These repairs become part of the story of the works and enhance and already incredible feat of construction.
- While I'm loving on Atlas Obscura, here's another fascinating article about dressing mannequins in historic garments. If you've ever been to The Met or another museum where historic clothing was displayed, it's easy to forget that those fabrics are FRAGILE. As part of an assignment I was hired for several years ago, I photographed the preparation a museum in Charleston was undertaking for the opening of a new exhibit on the city during the beginnings of the Civil War. Watching the curatorial staff handling the garments they were going to display was fascinating. They (and I) were fully dressed in protective suits to prevent any dye transfer, unnecessary friction or moisture from getting on the fabrics. This article is an incredible run-down of how preservationists mount and display clothing and the extraordinary work that goes on in getting their presentations just right.
- Part of my plan to help myself relax and therefore allow my body to work to boost my supply or output when pumping, I've been utilizing the Expectful app. I utilized the guided meditations the app provides during the difficult parts of my early pregnancy and later months when my anxiety about something horrible happening started to creep into my mind more. Now I'm using the dedicated nursing and relaxation meditations to help my body relax and allow my pumping time to be more productive and less stressful. I would HIGHLY suggest this one to anyone trying to get pregnant, is currently pregnant or is a new parent. I'll pop in an earbud while Henry is nursing, when I'm pumping or when I'm having trouble turning off my brain at night. It's geared towards parents and has been a total lifesaver for my stress level and scattered mommy brain.
Phew! I know that's a lot, but babies are kind of a lot. I'm hoping to be a bit more on-the-ball now that I have some time I can dedicate to writing while I'm pumping. I'll leave you with the outtakes from Henry's 3 month shoot... the third photo in the top row being my personal favorite, or maybe that last one where he's totally swishing it 😂. He's going to so hate me when he's older and I pull these out for parties... click on the photo to embiggen.
Oh dude! I also just checked and realized I hadn't posted his 1 and 2 month photos either. Let's remedy that...
Look at how TINY HE WAS! Where did my teeny baby go?!?!! 😭