Monday, March 23, 2015

Month Two: Survival

The past month has been a long and exhausting one.  The days and nights seem to blur together from one day to the next.  Asher's first few weeks were so serene and peaceful, so when his tummy troubles and witching hour adventures began, I think it caught us a bit off guard.

The same week that Asher learned to smile, he learned to scream like a banshee with his little lungs. Gas attacks. General discomfort and baby hater-ater-ness.  Growing and learning too much too fast and being totally overwhelmed or something...and growing he is.  Like a weed.  He graduated at week five to his three month Carters clothes and 0-3 month Gap stuff. During week five, we had lots of visitors - Grandpa came to help us out during the week when David was away on business and Grandma came over the weekend to get a baby fix and give David and me a bit of a reprieve.  

Asher's sixth week involved a lot of tears, on his behalf and mine.  Sleep deprivation and witching hour and juggling all of that plus a toddler is intense. On the Tuesday of this week, I had a work event and had to leave both boys with our babysitter for one hour between the time I had to leave and when David got home, and poor thing - it was brutal for everyone.  Because just as I have learned, when a toddler is tantruming and a baby is sobbing, it is so hard to know who to help first, whether to tend to the one who can be soothed fastest or follow conventional advice and deal with the older one first since he will remember how it's handled. But I really learned that the value of help cannot be underestimated.  Our sitter Nicole was at our house for bedtime nearly every night (and she continues to help a couple nights a week as I type this during week 9).

Marathons of burping sitting upright and across our laps have given Asher some outstanding head and neck control - we have quite the tough, strong baby.  His highs are high, his lows are low, and we were correct thankfully that six weeks was the likely peak of the fussies.  Sadly though, what goes up must come down.  It didn't just stop at week six but the witching and the crappy evenings are slowly improving.

At the end of week seven, I made the executive decision that breastfeeding was no longer something that was mutually good for us both.  Asher had been consistently reacting to the various things I ate (broccoli, caffeine, dairy), I was handling all the night feedings after midnight (we had already decided to supplement a bit) and hence not sleeping well at all, and the general stress of the 2 hour tether associated with breastfeeding had me at my wits end.  So on Sunday night, I went out, bought several tubs of formula and a package of Sudafed.  Thankfully, Asher already took a bottle like a champ, so we both spent the week transition - him with his tummy adjusting from breast milk to formula and me, dealing with the physical discomfort and hormonal crash that comes from quitting breastfeeding cold turkey. Thankfully, by the end of the week, we were both in much better shape than the beginning of the week.  It also helped that with the transition to formula full time, David has been amazing helping at night so I can catch up on some sleep, and Asher has fallen into a dream feed plus one night waking routine that is fairly manageable (certainly, we will all be happier when he just plain sleeps on through, but that will hopefully come with time - for 8 weeks, we really can't complain).

Sadly, I didn't write much down over the course of the month, and due to my sleepy sleepy brain, I don't have more colorful stories or cute anecdotes from Asher's second month.  Colin continues to be a good big brother, helping "throw away the poopy diapers so they can be with their friends" and sing Asher his goodnight song when we rock him down for naps, both of which are adorable.

Asher has been enjoying the baby play gym and hanging out with the family while we mostly play with Colin. He continues to sleep mostly in the rock-n-play, occasionally in the swing and on the rare occasion, in the crib - this transition will wait until post-Passover travels. While he isn't much of a snuggler, he loves being rocked to sleep and staring into mom and dad's eyes as he plays.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: ONE MONTH OLD

We survived Asher's first month.  Because we are thoroughly sleep deprived, I thought this would be a great time for a photo dump from lots of the cuteness on my iPhone camera rather than actually typing much.  Enjoy!


Colin reliving the joy of his baby gear :)  

"my two babies" ~Colin

Monday, March 2, 2015

Weeks 3 and 4 - the recap

We are falling into a semi-predictable rhythm over here. Asher is on an eat-wake-sleep cycle of around 3 hours with a couple of wakings to eat overnight, and Colin is on his same-old one nap rhythm with three meals, a couple snacks, lots of energy to burn and endless desire for as much television as I will possibly permit.

I was looking through the blog archives, and I stumbled upon a great summary of my current existence, as written by me when Colin was just shy of one month old:
"As Colin has gotten older (oh yes, so old already), we are falling into a nice rhythm of sleeping, eating and what is best - alert, awake fun time. After he eats and I change his diaper, he is actually alert, and we can play and have a little fun. We sit up and bop around and clap our hands a feet and sing songs and do the hokey pokey and play a little peek-a-boo and jump around (him, not me of course). Sometimes there is a little bit of tummy time thrown in for good measure, which he loves, and his head and neck are growing stronger every day. He makes some amazingly cute faces and farts and smiles (when he farts), and once he has had enough, he fusses a lot and fights sleep like he's Muhammad Ali. And then we bounce and shush until he winds down and passes out. Nap, rinse and repeat."
We are up to many of the same things with Asher, except more often than I care to admit, his awake time is more mellow, not because I don't want to engage with him, but because after caring for him and his brother round the clock, I don't have the energy for the hokey pokey. There is just less time to recharge batteries - on the baby monitor, for my iPhone or my internal clock.

The one thing we have going for us is that my foggy memories of Colin's baby days are a gift, as I am hoping we will forget the hardest parts of these days too.  Asher has been dealing with some gas troubles in the evenings, and we have had a handful of extremely rough nights, with incessant crying from him (and a fair amount of tears from me - sleep deprivation is not pretty).  After 4-5 hours of rocking, burping, feeding and general troubleshooting to try to uncover the mystery of why the baby is just so stinkin mad, it's easy to think, "wow, Asher is a much tougher baby than Colin was."  Alas, not true at all.  I just don't remember it.  So if I ever mention wanting another baby in the future, please don't remind me of these tougher parts.  I probably won't remember, and if I did, I might be too scared to do it yet again.

In other news, Asher got a diaper rash that was so severe that we got to take a bonus trip to the pediatrician.  Thankfully, some Lotromin and TLC has it all healed up, but it was pretty raw and terrible looking for a while.  And THEN we got to take another bonus trip to the pediatrician because I suspected that Asher had thrush.  Which he did not, although the pediatrician totally saw why I thought he did (white spot on tongue, combined with continued pain with nursing on my end).  The silver lining of the extra visits were the weigh ins.  At one day shy of 4 weeks, Asher weighed 9 pounds 15 ounces!  Such a big, growing boy!

Here are some of the photos I mananged to capture on the real camera during weeks three and four.

Asher took his first bottle at 3 weeks and change.  Did great :)

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