Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bullet Points

-I don't miss being pregnant.  I thought I would, especially knowing that this might have been the last time.  But it's nice to be able to squat down and play with Benjamin, or bend over, or just roll over in bed without needing a hoist. 

-Benjamin is still pretty screamy at times, like tonight we went to the embassy for some playground time and dinner and he was great.  Super well behaved, ate a great meal, and then once we got home and started the bedtime routine he freaked out.  Sigh.

-Daniel is taking bottles and is still latching great.  I feel so blessed to still be able to nurse him.  It is disheartening that I need to supplement, but I know he just needs nutrition so I'm trying to move past my own sadness and give him what he needs. 

-Daniel is getting better at using the pacifier.  Because Benjamin had bottles basically from the beginning maybe that's why he loved the pacifier so much, but Daniel has to be convinced to take it.  I really need him to love it, so we're working on it.  Little by little I think he'll get into it.

-I ordered a stuffed fox to be Daniel's monthly picture animal.  It's from the same company, Jellycat, that made the alligator/crocodile we got for Benjamin for Christmas.  They're super soft.  Benjamin is completely enamored of this thing, so I'm telling him that Daniel is sharing with him. 

Funny face.

Super sweet.

Why is this thing in my seat?

-Benjamin is still really sweet to Daniel, giving him kisses and pats many times a day.

-I feel almost back to normal, I have my postpartum doctor appointment in a couple weeks.  I'm out of maternity clothes and wearing some "fat jeans" that I hadn't worn in a while before I got pregnant.  I'm ready to be back at a stable size so I can buy some black jeans, but I should probably quit eating Snickers and cookies to be at my previous size.  My goal is to hit the gym at least once a week starting in January, maybe earlier if it seems doable. 

Four weeks postpartum.  A ways to go, slowly but surely.  Ignore the poofy hair.

-The weather here was gorgeous a few days ago, highs in the low 70s.  Today was warm again, low 80s, but fall is definitely coming.  The evenings are cooler and I can't wait to wear sweaters and boots.  Which brings me back to needing black jeans.

-I realized a week or so ago, that it's been a year since my miscarriage.  It was Sept. 11 that I went to the doctor and he told me the baby was gone.  A few days later I had the D&C.  So many women shared their stories with me, and many more have since.  I'm so grateful for that pregnancy, which only lasted about 8 weeks.  I think the D&C and subsequent hormones allowed us to get pregnant without fertility treatments, which I didn't think possible.  I'm grateful to God for both my children.  I don't know why He has blessed us and not others.

-Sleep is still elusive, Daniel can go for about 5 hours once a night, if we're lucky.  It's just tough to make myself go to bed early, especially if Thomas is up watching something fun.  But I desperately need to sleep as much as possible, to maintain sanity and some level of kindness toward Benjamin.  Here's hoping once Daniel hits two months he'll be able to make it through the night.

That's all for now!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

3 1/2 Weeks

Well, today I caved.  I started using bottles this morning, after my neck and upper back were screaming in pain and I wasn't up for using the syringe to supplement.  Daniel seems to be doing okay with both nursing and the bottles, so fingers crossed we can keep it up!  I've also started taking some medication to help increase milk supply, it could take up to six weeks to work, so I'll give it that much time and then reevaluate.  I definitely want the nursing to work out, but I don't mind doing bottles on occasion, especially in public.  (Bottles aren't so bad, except for not having a dishwasher... double ugh.)

Thanks to Jenn for taking some great pictures of the boys!

Here's a call for help from you parents out there: Benjamin has started waking up from his nap in hysterics, crying and just in great distress.  He doesn't do it in the morning, just after naps.  His room is completely dark, everything's the same as at night.  He sleeps with his comfort animal and blankets, nothing unusual.  I am really over it.  I'm also usually dealing with Daniel when he throws his fits, so I can't just rush in and pick him up and calm him down.  It happened a few times before Daniel was born, but now it's every day.  Any words of wisdom or advice would be great!

Sweet face.

My dear friend is leaving us and heading home, and I'm so sad.  It's been absolutely amazing and fantastic having her here, Benjamin has loved playing with her and I've been able to hand her the baby and grab a nap, which has been sanity-saving.  I can't even contemplate life without her here.  And having a friend to chat with during the day, what a small thing but an amazing blessing.  I can't just call people and chat all day, with the time difference and my friends having "jobs".  (smiley face)  So for real, come one come all!  Come keep me company and babysit my two year old, or hold my newborn! 

Sadly, Daniel is already too long to wear this.  The coon!

While she was here we started making coffee, and Thomas started drinking it during the workday to help mitigate the effects of the baby schedule.  Now I've been converted, and I have a cup every morning.  In addition to a Diet Coke or two in the afternoon.  I used to imagine myself too superior to drink coffee, but I'm totally hooked.  After a long night, it's now necessary for me to function. 


I've also started letting Benjamin watch Sesame Street in the mornings, he loves it probably too much.  He asks to watch "a show" or "a movie", and talks about Bert and Ernie and Big Bird.  It's not the worst thing he could watch, but I still feel moderately guilty for doing the TV thing.  Of course he watches SportsCenter when Thomas comes home, and random stuff on the weekends, but this is the first consistent kid fare he's consumed.  But if it lets me take a shower and avoid being a Hazmat case, so what. 

Thomas is an awesome dad.

All in all, we're very blessed and doing pretty well.  I can always use more sleep, but I know it's coming... in a month or more.  (Silent scream)  Pray that I can be patient with Benjamin and sensitive to what he needs, while also being responsive to Daniel.  Pray that we will all get more sleep.


Sweet baby.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Nursing, So Far

Monday I met with the local lactation consultant, Julie.  She's very nice and was receptive to my bossy already-decided-not-to-dos, like I've basically given up pumping.  I had tried to do the bare minimum, about three times a day.  But since Thomas is back at work, it's been impossible to do it at all the past few days, so I'm bagging it.  According to how much formula we're giving Daniel, and the chart of what babies his size (up to 8 lbs now!) take, it looks like he's actually getting a substantial amount of breastmilk.  I'm so grateful that nursing is basically working out!  Even with supplementing, it really feels like another miracle.  (The first being Daniel's existence.)

Poat-nursing wrinkly face.

Now I'm just waiting until we can start bottles, which Julie said would be best around 6 weeks.  So, fingers crossed I can convince Thomas to hold off.  He's a trooper with helping during the late night feedings, since I'm usually wrecked after breastfeeding and just want to get back in the bed.  I'm also looking forward to the amazing day when Daniel will sleep through the night.  I really took for granted our "adult time" in the evenings, to watch TV and just hang out.  Now I just want to go to bed immediately at 8pm and snooze as much as possible before the baby wakes up hungry again. 

Reading time with Daddy.

Benjamin is still pretty fussy at random times, but we're trying something new: putting him to bed about a half hour earlier.  Hopefully he'll be a bit happier with some extra rest.  I took Daniel to the embassy and ate lunch with Thomas yesterday, which was a fun break.  I also loaded up on Snickers bars at the co-op on the way out.  Totally necessary.

Still working on smiling on command.

We've gotten two more dinners delivered by sweet friends, which is awesome!  It's so great to have our little community around us.  I'm dreading the day when my good friend flies away, she's been an immense help.  Anyone want to volunteer to come live with us for a month?  What, no takers?


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Baby Makes Four

So here we are, two weeks into being a family of four!  Life is pretty crazy and hectic, but it's been an amazing help to have Thomas home from work for these two weeks, and having my dear friend here, playing with Benjamin and helping him feel more at ease with all the changes.  I'm a little nervous about beginning the transition to "real life" with less help, but I know God will provide.  Please pray that I will have patience with Benjamin, and make time to really interact with him during the day.  Also that I will have energy and motivation to pump and try to increase my milk supply.  Mostly it seems okay, but there are times where Daniel seems extra hungry and in the evenings we've been giving him lots of formula.  (Still with the syringe, but honestly I'm looking forward to the 4-week mark when I'll be able to give him bottles if it's still necessary.) 

Our friend Jenn took some fun pictures of Daniel for us!  Super cute!

Thankfully Daniel is still a good nurser, but I'm not 100% sure it's working out great since we're supplementing.  The local lactation consultant is back in town and I'll meet with her next week, fingers crossed she'll be able to clear up any questions.  And if it turns out I need to be doing more formula, that's fine, I'm trying not to wrap up my worth in whether or not I can breastfeed this baby. 

Building tall towers, trying to smile.  :-)

I'm feeling pretty much back to normal, except for waking up a few times at night.  But as long as I can grab a nap at some point I can make it through.  Thomas has started drinking coffee, but I'm holding off on starting up that habit.  Diet Coke once a day is holding me over, along with sweet tea. 

Sleepy dude.

This past week our awesome friends here brought us dinner every night!  It was such a blessing to have delicious meals with zero effort on my part.  It'll be another sad transition back to normal life now that the food train has stopped rolling.  But we have a stocked fridge and freezer, thanks to Thomas volunteering to grocery shop yesterday morning.  Husband points galore!

Benjamin loves to give Daniel kisses and pats.

I'm sure posts will be fewer now that life has drastically changed, but I'll try to keep some updates coming whenever possible.  Thanks for all your prayers for a safe and healthy delivery, it definitely exceeded my expectations.  Please continue to pray for us, that nursing is successful and everyone stays healthy.  Most of all, for safety and peace in this time of uncertainty with all the Syria business. 


Sweet baby.