I’m in the process of moving the blog from wordpress to an undetermined platform, so I won’t have much to post until I make a decision. Here’s a couple cute photos to hold you over
Jackson is ONE MONTH OLD! Where did the time go? I can’t believe its been a whole month. I can’t say we are all adjusted just yet, but we are getting there.
New Things/Milestones: He’s smiling officially. That was such a sweet moment because I was having a really crappy day and then he smiled at me. And he continues to! He notices us now, which is nice. The new newborn stage is frustrating because they are just these little blobs that don’t respond to anything. (I think that’s probably how post partum depression starts) They can’t/don’t show much (if any) emotion. But when they finally smile…. it’s a wonderful milestone!
Daily Schedule: I feel like finally writing his schedule down is going to jinx it and he’ll be completely thrown off by tomorrow, but here goes. He wakes up with all of us at around 6:30am. I am sure he would sleep longer if he could but after the sound machine gets turned off, we’re all up. We come down stairs after morning diaper changes and he is normally back asleep in the swing while Juliette and I eat breakfast. Then throughout the day its a lot of wake, eat, sleep. After Juliette wakes up for his nap is about the time we get more alert time out of him. After this time too, he normally won’t go back in his swing at all, until the next morning. John gets home and we have lots of cuddles and smiles and he’ll be ready to go to sleep again around 7:00pm. We swaddle him and bounce him in the bouncer until we are ready to sleep.
Sleep: I am still sleep deprived! He doesn’t have a great night time sleeping schedule yet. I am noticing that after his first feeding in our room with the sound machine on he will sleep a good 3-5 hour stretch. After that next feeding, sometimes he will sleep another similar stretch, OR he will wake every 2 hours after that. He won’t sleep in bed with me, or rather I don’t really encourage him to right now because he seems too uncomfortable on his back. When he’s lying flat, he’s squirming and grunting every 5 minutes and neither of us is getting any restful sleep. (I am suspecting a small amount of reflux) So, I am sure to place him back in the rock ‘n play, sometimes swaddled, sometimes not. But he normally only gets two good stretches and then he’s awake every 1.5-2 hours.
Feedings: He’s nearly 11 lbs. I weighed him abouta week ago and he was 10 lbs 8 oz, so I can only imagine he has gained 8 oz or more in a week! Feeding is still beyond frustrating for me because I really wanted to continue pumping but after that one good ounce, I couldn’t get anything else. We still are receiving donor milk weekly, but he is eating a sensitive formula (for his terrible gas and how hard formula is for him to digest) other than that. Up until yesterday he was eating about 3 oz every 2 hours. But, yesterday he started getting hungry again after an hour and 20 minutes. A couple of times I gave him 4 oz and he would go the whole 2 hours, but if I would give him 4 oz the next feeding he would only eat three. (I forgot how much formula gets wasted in these first couple of months). Newborn cloth is going better than expected. He’s getting close to outgrowing it, so I ordered some more diapers last week (best bottom covers, Bumgenius Freetimes, and a Blueberry pocket diaper)
Likes/Dislikes: This is fairly simple because there isn’t really much for him to like or dislike. He likes being swaddled and bounced. He likes being cuddled. He likes formula and sleep. He likes sitting up and seeing the world, as opposed to laying and looking up at fans and stuff. He doesn’t really like the swing, except for his one time in there in the mornings. He doesn’t like the pacifier, although he will occasionally take it to help soothe himself to sleep. (I’m pretty sure if he was exclusively breastfed he wouldn’t take a pacifier at all) As soon as he is asleep, that thing is out of his mouth and he won’t take it. He actually squeezes his lips so we can’t get it in his mouth.
Characteristics: His eyes are getting bluer, but I’m still apprehensive to say they will be blue. His hair is light/blondish in some light and dark in others. This is all probably going to change here in the next few months. The blood vessel that broke in his eye during birth is finally healed within the past couple days.
We are still adjusting to him, but every day is getting easier! 🙂
Watching siblings interact, becoming siblings, is probably the most entertaining yet stressful thing I have ever watched. Juliette is so interested in Jackson, but sometimes too interested. She will give him his pacifier, or put a blanket on him if he cries and we aren’t near him. She will try to feed him with any bottles she finds (no matter how old). But she also will steal his pacifier, and go from gently patting his head to smacking his face in a second. That’s why it’s stressful to watch them interact. I want to sit back as much as I can and let her experience him however she chooses. However, those interactions turn sour quick! She’s a handful.
Adjusting for me has been difficult in some aspects, but it’s more exhausting than anything. Jackson still doesn’t have a great sleeping rhythm. I think I should move him out of my bed if I really want any sleep. So every morning I wake up with a broken 4-5 hours of sleep and I have to deal with a fully rested toddler who is ready to tackle the day and finally accomplish pushing that lamp off the table. (we have completely toddler proofed the living room, with the exception of this one lamp, because we need light to see, and every second she’s not being watched she’s climbing the couch trying to push this lamp off the end table) I still need ideas to keep her busy, because sometimes I really feel like I’m loosing it.
There are aspects to the whole two kid thing that I thought would be a lot more difficult than they are. One being nap time, but we have yet to have any issues. Normally Jackson is already asleep in his swing by the time Juliette and I are finishing lunch and getting ready to take a nap, so normally I just bring him up with us and he stays asleep until he’s ready to eat again (which always happens right when I’m getting comfortable in bed after Juliette has been put down). I thought having two in diapers was going to be a lot harder too. Luckily we have the cloth diapers, but using disposables at night is going to start costing us some money. But both these kids pee so much there is no cloth solution for us that I feel comfortable with. (I mean, I’m sure there’s solutions to keep their sheets dry, but they are still sleeping with all that wetness in their diapers overnight) Going up and down stairs ALL day, sucks. Especially because I have to bring Juliette with me every time I change Jackson because she cannot be trusted alone. But it isn’t as difficult as I thought.
I am however lacking in the homemaker department. My house is a wreck…. but there’s nothing I can really do about it. The newborn stage of exhaustion is so short I can handle sticky floors and dirty laundry for a little while. I’m not about to exhaust myself to keep this house as clean as it was when no one comes over here anyway. But trust me the list of deep cleaning I want to get done is getting longer and longer…. Here’s an example of what our life is REALLY like daily.
How in the world do I have time to blog if I dont have time to clean… Well, cleaning does happen, but much like everything in life with a toddler, it gets dirty immediately after. So, even though I may have mopped the kitchen after breakfast, by lunch it’s sticky and gross again. But hey, embrace the madness. Juliette will reach the age soon where she can understand putting her toys away, and I will miss the times when she was a little toddler and used to pour out the blocks all over the floor right after I picked them up because she wanted to put the container on her head. Oh well. Life goes on.
I made myself a promise to enjoy every moment of Jacksons babyhood because it goes away so fast. I mean it feels like just yesterday I was spending the day with Juliette thinking about how hard having a kid was (hah!) and then poof! she wasn’t a baby anymore. So, I’m not going to clean if Jackson’s awake and I want to hold him and talk to him. And I’m not going to do laundry if it means I can’t play with Juliette. At least, not for now.
Speaking of which, I need to go clean a kid now.
P.S. I’m now a member of a website called Top Mommy Bloggers, if you click the link below, you can vote for me and as I gain rankings, more people will be able to read my blog. I would appreciate your vote. It’s just one simple click and you can do it once a day, every day! Thanks 🙂
John returned to work on Memorial Day, so my mom, step-father, and cousin DeAnna came over to celebrate Memorial Day. I am still not fully recovered and not completely up to hauling a 3 week old over to someone’s house (think diapers, formula, burp cloths, extra clothes, etc. plus all the things my toddler requires.
Typical of my mom, she brought over a grill and we all made burgers (I made portobello mushroom burgers for myself, with some grilled asparagus). And she left a ton of food, again typical of my mom. DeAnna purchased Juliette a small plastic pool for her to play with and like all new things she was obsessed. I had the idea to use the pool to fill with random objects (rice, beans, buttons, balls etc) and give Juliette the chance to have some sort of sensory game that I can leave her in for a short time. We filled the pool with a little bit of water but three seconds in Juliette slipped and face planted in the water (it was only like an inch) and she was done after that.
When John got home we had a long talk. Having Jackson is so completely different from when I had Juliette. I don’t think I was ever away from her until she was 5-6 months old. I was so anxious to leave her (excluding her dad). But this time I am so anxious to get back to school. The main reason is probably because I just want to finish as soon as possible (I mean Juliette will almost be 3 by the time I am graduating anyway). I don’t know if other stay-at-home moms feel the way I do at times, but occasionally I get the feeling that I don’t contribute to our household, simply because I don’t bring any finances to the table. That’s not saying I do nothing all day. I mean, I take care of the house, kids, meals, shopping, budget. I know all that would fall to the waste side if I was working, because it did when I had a job. John and I constantly fought about dishes, laundry, and meals not being prepared. I was so tired, and worn thin from working that home life was less of a priority to me. When I was home I would have much rather played with Juliette than sweep up the dog food for the tenth time that morning. Neither one of us wants to be in that position again, but we can’t say that we don’t miss the extra finances (I was food serving, so at least bringing home an extra $100/day, on top of a paycheck). Is it worth it? Should I start serving again? I really hated it, and honestly I wasn’t really that good. I worked on weekends at a high traffic breakfast joint and I don’t care what anyone says, food serving is hard! I messed up plenty of orders, and that’s after having worked at the restaurant for a year already as a hostess. I knew the menu backwards and forwards, but I still always forgot to ask people what kind of toast they wanted. I don’t know if I am necessarily good at food serving, I think they only promoted me because I knew the menu so well, but no one taught me how to be a good server. I couldn’t multitask well to begin with and now after the birth of my second, my mind is even more gone.
I just want to help our family financially. We have so many goals. We want to both graduate school. Cosmetology, for me (1.5 years left… at least….) and John wants to start a film degree of sorts from Full Sail, which will take him two years. We want to get out of Vegas, and get into the film industry. I’m really dying to take an airbrushing certification class. The sooner I get that cert. I can start working on the strip at some of the cirque du soleil shows. We don’t know if post graduation if we are going to try moving to California for work, but I know eventually we want to end up in Seattle. If John really wanted to make it big in film, I know that we would almost indefinitely move to California first, but if he’s thinking of working on more indie films, I think we could skip Cali and head straight for the North West.
It just sucks because the longer I sit here……. the longer it is until we get there ^
I just want to get back to school.
Before I had Juliette, like most first time moms, I was so looking forward to breastfeeding. It is something that fascinated me. My mom had breastfed me until I was 10 months old, and honestly she made it sound easy and natural. Well, it’s definitely neither.
Juliette lost 2 lbs after she was born (thankfully she was born at 9 lbs so she didn’t get too tiny) I had to start supplementing with formula at one week, and the vicious circle continued until I quit breastfeeding when she was 12 weeks old. I tried everything to get out of the supplementing spiral and get breastfeeding to work for us. We shelled out so much money on a pump, SNS, shields, everything to make breastfeeding work. I tried herbs and drank gatorade, ate oatmeal, did everything I heard would increase my supply. At 5 weeks old she refused to latch, and I continued to pump drops and give them too her. Eventually, I got mastitis, and then I got it again. All this led to feelings of depression and I stopped for my own sanity.
While preparing for Jackson, I was determined to follow the rules and guidelines to make sure breastfeeding was a success for us. During his first couple days he was attached to me, like normal, but I could see that I was producing significantly more milk than I was while nursing Juliette. I was encouraged. Around day 5, though, we noticed he started to look slightly jaundiced. The midwives came to our home, weighed him, and found out he had lost a pound. And the circle of supplementing had started again.
I was so confused. Why was this SO easy for so many people, but here I am struggling to do something my body was supposed to naturally do? I met with a Lactation Consultant the next day and learned what was wrong.
Before you have a baby, people tell you that women not producing enough milk is a myth. That there is a small percent that physically cannot produce enough milk because of biological reasons and you are likely not in that percent. Well, after my meeting with the LC I found out I am that small percent.
At some point when my body was going through puberty, I didn’t grow enough mammary glands. It is something called IGT (insufficient glandular tissue) and it’s not common. While I can produce some milk, the LC told me I will likely never have a full supply (she did say it’s not impossible, but my babies would be feeding every hour until they were on some sort of solids).
When she left my house I started immediately bawling. This is why everything has been so difficult, and it will continue to be difficult because I physically can’t make enough milk. Upon researching, most websites refer to it as a deformity and hearing that about myself left me so distraught. I’m sure all women have insecurity about their breasts, but I always felt like something was wrong with me. I was different and plenty of people noticed (i.e. the teasing I received in middle/high school) People always told me that I was just going to be a “late bloomer” but I really never bloomed at all to some extent. I felt like a gargoyle. I remember feeling like I just wanted to cut them off and get rid of them forever. And I immediately felt like I wanted to quit nursing Jackson.
I held on for another week or so and one night I just decided not to nurse him. I knew he wanted it though. Juliette preferred the bottle as soon as we gave one to her, but Jackson preferred breast even after having plenty of supplemented formula. It broke my heart that night because he was looking for me. I would make sure he was full of formula and he would continue to root around looking to nurse, just for comfort. That was the bond I was looking for with Juliette that I never got and now I didn’t even want it. I hated myself so much. A week passed. I felt the engorgement for a couple days but would express enough to feel relieved in the shower and that was gone before I knew it. But I was still making milk.
Formula was so hard on him. He was constipated to the point of screaming. I felt this overwhelming since of guilt because I hated myself too much to nurse him. I knew that just a little bit of breast milk would be all he needed to relieve his digestion, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I suggested donor milk to John because I knew he was uncomfortable with using another mom’s milk to feed our babies, but he agreed without an argument because of the pain Jackson was in. I found a mom shortly after who donated 30 oz and wanted to continue to donate every week. What a blessing! I knew it wasn’t enough to feed him full time but any breast milk was better than none. He was so young and I knew he needed the immunities and antibodies from milk and even if it was only 4-6 oz a day, at least it was something.
This morning I woke up and I was leaking through my shirt. This is especially strange because I hadn’t expressed any milk in just under a week. I had this thought that maybe I could pump. If all I got was a feeding a day at least it was something, and then with the other mom’s milk, maybe we could combine and offer him something great. Again, any breast milk is better than none.
I pumped with Juliette but I had no idea what I was doing and literally only ever got drops. I sat down with all my supplies (thoroughly washed and sanitized because I was a tiny bit grossed out that it was sitting in a box in our garage) and I got an ounce of milk in 5 minutes. Clearly that was 10x’s more than I ever got before and I was immediately encouraged. So I decided to start loading up on my herbs and pumping every two hours. Two hours later I was ready for my next pumping session but Jackson was awake and hungry. So I nursed him. The first time in a week I had felt him nurse and it was different. He felt stronger. I remember his suck being so weak and his mouth being tiny and his latch being shallow, but now he was bigger and stronger and it was like nursing another baby. He was frustrated after a couple sucks, which was to be expected. I mean he was hungry and there wasn’t much there. But we did it.
I’m going to continue with some lactation herbs and pumping a couple times a day, maybe I can give him some more milk. Like I said, even if it’s just one feeding a day. At least it’s something.
Tomorrow will be three weeks since Jackson has been born. Adjusting to a newborn has been hectic on our family, all of us. Well, maybe not Juliette, but definitely John and I. As I finally have a moment this morning to think, I wanted to write down Jackson’s birth story, before more details get muddled and lost in the sleep depravity in my head.
To be honest, I’m not 100% positive on the times of everything, but I have a fair estimate and I don’t really remember the details of much besides being in actual active labor. Labor began Saturday (05/03) night at 11:30pm and he was born Sunday (05/04) afternoon at 4:26pm. So all these events fit into these 17ish hours. Saturday night I laid down to sleep but couldn’t really fall asleep because of the contractions I was having. I woke John up at about 12:30 because I was sure this was labor (well I was sure about a week earlier too, but clearly that was not baby labor) so we went down stairs to watch TV to pass the time because I was not going to be able to sleep through these contractions. around 3am they started to slow down, about 15 minutes apart, so I fell asleep on the couch until 5am. Juliette ended up waking up at her normal time and we just went about our day as normal. John made her breakfast, we watched some more TV, and then the contractions started to pick up. We decided to clean the house a little (mostly John) and that’s when things really got started.
Starting around 11am, contractions were getting close together. About every 4 minutes. After an hour I decided to text my midwives. As soon as I sent the text, each contraction was getting closer together. 3:50 minutes, 3:45, 3:31, 3:20. That’s when we decided to fill the tub in Juliette’s room. We ended up having an issue with the water heater so the tub was filling up cold. At this point, I was hunched over the changing table and I wasn’t moving. I remember thinking, praying actually, that the tub would just get warm because I needed relief. John and the midwives assistant were boiling water downstairs and bringing it up to help fill the tub. I decided at some point I was just going to get in the water. I think it was right after this really intense contraction that left me in tears. I had a feeling things were getting close because I remembered reading that one of the signs of “transition contractions” was mom feeling overwhelmed and this contraction surely overwhelmed me. The water was slightly colder than lukewarm, but just the feeling of the water, feeling the pressure and heaviness lifted off me almost. But the pain was the same. (I know some people say that water is like the natural birth-ers epidural, but it didn’t take away the pain so much as the heaviness. But I can understand how that would feel as though they are less painful.) Slowly the water got warmer and at some point they turned on the hose from the water heater and it was FINALLY getting to the temperature that was warm enough.
I don’t remember the sequence of events in order from this point but I remember a couple key things that happen after this. First, I kept feeling like he was stuck. By the time my midwife had come (this was around 2-2:30pm) my body naturally started pushing with each contraction. Completely involuntary, and I was pushing pretty hard. I didn’t know what I was doing, in fact I don’t even think I realized what I was even doing. I didn’t feel all the pressure to push until a little later. This probably only went on for like 30 minutes (even though it felt like hours) and I started to really break down. I begged for my midwife to check where I was at because I had fears from Juliette’s labor creep into my mind. (She was posterior and I felt like pushing at 5cm) When she tells me I am almost completely dilated, I just started crying, happily, because I knew I was almost there. I felt a glimmer of hope and encouragement and then a contraction came and the pain completely wiped that away. With each pushing I felt as though nothing was moving, as if I was pushing against a wall. I was crying out in pain, and pushing but feeling no progression. I broke down again and kept repeating that he was stuck, and I couldn’t push him out.
I got the suggestion to stand up and maybe try to labor on the toilet. I remember the feeling was completely overwhelming. As soon as I stood, the weight and pressure felt like he was going to fall out of me. I stopped and cried, and my midwife told me immediately to sit back down. I didn’t even make a leg out of the tub.
So, now is when the pushing part came. I was draped over the side of the tub. I felt his head moving down (finally feeling some progression) and that’s when I knew things were getting serious. I pushed with Juliette for 2 hours, so I was completely shocked how quick this next part came. I started to feel that good ol’ ring of fire, but honestly, it wasn’t nearly as intense or painful as I was made to believe. Pushing was extremely painful, another thing that was not what people told me. I almost didn’t want to push sometimes because of the pain, actually I think some contractions I just rested because I just couldn’t keep pushing. At some point I flipped over and I felt VIVIDLY his head coming out. That was the most intense feeling, relief and pain all in one. And then he started wiggling. In my head (maybe out loud) I was begging him to stop. My midwife told me he was trying to help me get him out, but I wish I never felt that. His head came out and then all of a sudden I didn’t feel any contractions. I kept pushing, but I remember thinking that it was useless because my body wasn’t helping me. I begged for someone just to pull him out, because I was done. I was tired, and I just wanted him out. My midwife had me turn over in the tub and get into a runners position. Right knee on the ground, left knee to my chest. I don’t know why but my midwife had me get out of the tub and assume the same position on the floor. She had to help him out, I’m assuming. I remember thinking that his body was so long. I would feel as if I had finally pushed him all the way out and then there was still more to go. Eventually this blur of a second happened where I was in labor feeling desperate and helpless and impossibly exhausted, and then all of a sudden I was holding my son, in complete amazement that it was over and he was here in my arms. And I don’t know how I got from one moment to the next. I don’t know if I want to remember that moment either, because I’m sure it was painful.
When he came out, I cradled him in amazement. I was so proud of myself. I really can’t explain the power I felt. I was expecting all those feelings to lead to an overwhelming excitement, but Jackson wasn’t breathing/crying right away. My midwife explained that he had some fluid left in his lungs that he needed help getting out. They held him slightly upside down, used an aspirator of sorts to help but he had a grunting that was a sign he wasn’t breathing properly. That was honestly a really scary moment. I was holding him skin-to-skin and he was warm, so I was comforted, but his face was that new born purple and the rest of his body was pale. John started crying. I’m sure to other people it looked as though he was just happy, but I knew and he knew that he was scared. It was probably only a few short minutes until his first cry came, but it seemed like an eternity. He started to “pink up” really quick, and our fears were relieved. We moved over to the bed to lay down, and give him a little oxygen to help him breathe. I couldn’t get him to latch right away which is because newborns take breathing as a priority over nursing. I think about 20-30 minutes passed and finally he latched and I was thankful. Things started to calm down from the tension of waiting for his cries, and the high was setting in. I was laying there, propped up by pillows with my head against the wall, nearly ready to pass out. I was so exhausted. And hungry.
My sister was downstairs with Juliette, and she said that when Jackson started crying she looked up the stairs, confused and curious. When they met it was around 7:30pm, so she was already tired. John explained their meeting as if Juliette was a dog, and she just sniffed him and was disinterested. Which is true, except for the sniffing part. She really was disinterested in him. I think we were watching Horton Hears A Who, and anyone who knows Juliette knows that movie puts her in a trance.
At around 8:00 the midwives were stitching me up, my sister was getting us Sonic as a post birth meal, and we were getting ready to settle into bed. That first night he slept right next to me. I fell asleep around 9:30, but woke up at 11 and was just staring at him in amazement. Being in my bed, 6 hours after birth, and my entire family was there was such an amazing feeling. There were no nurses/hospital workers coming in and out, I wasn’t worried about Juliette because she couldn’t be with us, I was happy and content to be in my own bed, resting comfortably.
This labor happened so fast, I mean if you think about when the hard part really started around 11am, he was born 5 1/2 hours later. In preparation for this birth I kept telling myself, I don’t mind if its hard, as long as it’s fast. And that’s exactly what I got. I got to labor a majority of the time while Juliette was napping, so I didn’t have to worry about her, and I could hear her laughing downstairs while I was pushing her brother out. It was perfect.
And now, I’m done having kids for a long time.
I have two drafts already started about Jackson’s first five days of life, all the emotions we are going through. Ups and downs. Exhaustion. Overwhelming joy. Fear and worry…. So much happening. We were dealing with a small bout of jaundice but some sun and a little formula to get his digestion jump started seems to be helping tremendously. I wish I could blog as I think instead of sitting down and writing but that’s ok. Here are some pictures of him so far in this life.
Yes!! My son is here! Jackson was born on May the Fourth (oh yeah!) at 4:26 pm in the doorway to my daughters room. He weighed 8 lbs 13.5 oz, was 21 3/4 inches long and is the most precious little guy I have ever held! Labor was fast but FURIOUS, many times I was sure I was dying (and surely expressed it) but I just can’t believe I did it. His shoulders were stuck on my hips which made labor particularly difficult and I felt like he was never going to come out but obviously he did. I will post the whole story later but I’m just so happy to be done with this pregnancy and the birth! These past two days have been so wonderful to snuggle and be with my family. Recovery has been a breeze, breastfeeding is starting off well. He’s been a little gassy and uncomfortable but I have been giving him lots of massages to help.
Feeling so freaking mighty!!