Thursday, May 28, 2015

First Urgent Care and ER Visits

We've had our first real injuries for Owen. Both occurred less than a week apart from each other. Also, both occurred when Patrick was out of town. Awesome, right?

First, there was this little beauty.

Running through the house full speed and fell right into a corner. I think his head hit the baseboard. We went to the urgent care clinic close by and they glued it. The glue didn't hold it very well, but we tried... Live and learn.
Memorial Day, we had our first trip to Children's ER to fix what's called nursemaid elbow. I was holding Owen's hand trying to pull him away from his toys to eat and he jerked away from me which is apparently, the classic story and cause of the injury. I'd heard about this type of injury before, but had completely forgotten about it being common in toddlers. Also, I was thrown off because he kept saying his armpit is what hurt. He absolutely refused to move the arm voluntarily and cried anytime it was moved. Getting in and out of his car seat was the worst part.

He preferred to lay against me with his arm bent in between us and Mickey Mouse over my shoulder.
Five minutes after they reduced it, he was exploring the room.
Luckily, we were in and out of the ER in less than an hour. I was so worried it was going to be crazy busy with it being a holiday and after normal business hours for urgent care clinics. Thankfully, I was wrong.

So we are 2 for 2 for Patrick's trips out of town so far. I wasn't kidding when I said to keep us in your prayers. If this is an indication of how the summer is going to be, we are in big trouble.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

2 Months with Sydney

Health and Growth- We haven't gone to our 2 month check up yet (I'm dreading the vaccines already!), but I can tell little girl is growing. Her onsies are getting tighter. She's about to outgrow her first handful of outfits. She's been healthy. She's still quite the spitter but seems less bothered by it now. If she's stays this way then I'm probably not going to ask for antacids.

Feeding- I'm trying really hard to make sure I keep a good milk supply up since I'm going back to work so soon. My supply really plummeted after I went back to work with Owen. I've been paying attention to get at least 7 feedings in a day. On the days she cluster feeds in the evening (which she hasn't done in a while), it's not hard to get enough feedings in. Obviously, I can't force feed her if she doesn't want it, so I'll have to consider adding a pumping session if she drops to 6 feeds a day.

Mimi giving Sydney a bottle
We got serious about our bottles around week 6. Up until then she'd had about one bottle a week, but wasn't taking them that well. I tried really hard to get her to take one a day starting at week 6 so that she'd be good by the time I went back to work. I think it worked pretty well.

Sleeping- I think she's been a great sleeper. At week 5 she slept through the night two nights in a row! It didn't happen again until she was 8 weeks, but I'll take it! Week 8 is also when I decided that it was time to move her out of the rock n play cradle. To help with the spitting, we put one side of her crib legs on wood boards. I also took a towel and rolled it lengthwise to make a U shape and help her feel snuggled and keep her from sliding down to the bottom. It seems to be working so far. I'll also note that we have an apnea monitor which is probably the only reason I'm okay with having a roll and blanket in her crib at times.

I can tell that she's about to consolidate her night time sleep too. For Owen, he consolidated after his 10pm feed and would sleep until 7am. I have a feeling baby girl has her own plans though. We've been trying to get her to eat at 10 or 11 and she is becoming less and less interested. It seems she wants to consolidate her sleep on the front end of the night. If she won't cooperate in a week or so then I think we'll throw in the towel and go with it. It just means that I have to get in bed earlier.

On the nights that she takes her last feeding of the day, she'll sleep until 5 or 6am. Other nights when she refuses she wakes at 3:45 or 4am. She goes right back to sleep afterwards and doesn't wake until we all get up for the day around 7:30.

Naps- She has her good days and her bad days. She always naps between feedings but it's not too consistent yet. I've started to notice a bit of a pattern as to when she will fall asleep though. Some naps are only 45 minutes and sometimes they are 2 hours. It's pretty typical for her age though.

Schedule- I appreciate having an idea of what my babies are going to do each day. It also gives me (and I think caregivers) some peace of mind when I head back to work which I did the day after Sydney turned 8 weeks. Some days don't go very predictably though. Growth spurts, vaccines, traveling, and holidays always make things look different but we always seem to make it back to a predictable routine.

Here's the schedule I left for Patrick when I went back to work. I also left a detailed schedule of how I manage both Sydney and Owen during the day but I'll spare you from reading that one!

Wake, Eat, Play
Wake, Eat, Play
Wake, Eat, Play
Wake, Eat, Play
Bedtime routine, Eat
Possible feeding

I put a question mark after the "dreamfeed" since I have a feeling it's going bye bye. Also, that will put us at only 6 feeds a day. My plan will be to pump before going to bed when that happens.

Owen and Sydney- Oh, how I love these two babies. Seeing them together melts my heart.

Watching big brother splash in the bathtub. She's ready to join!
Watching Owen try to give Sydney her paci is comical but below is Owen showing her Patricks headlamp.

"Look baby Sydney... red light!"

Owen also likes to snuggle on the couch while I nurse Sydney. I've caught him stroking her head or rubbing her feet. One time, when I caught him rubbing his hand across her head, he said, "Baby Sydney have soft hair!"

Highlights- We went to Dalton to see my family when Sydney was 6 weeks. She got to meet lots of her family and friends!

Uncle Randy

Aunt Nancy
Between 8 and 9 weeks we traveled to Chattanooga really quickly to see Uncle Carter graduate high school. She traveled really well!

We are starting to adjust to our new routine with two babies. I know that this next year is going to be a whirlwind. I'm just hanging on tight for the ride.

I've enjoyed watching Owen with Sydney. We love our walks at the park and through the neighborhood.

Going back to work was a big hurdle at 8 weeks but we survived. I cried and cried the Monday before I was supposed to go back to work. It just felt too soon which it was, but what can you do?

Mothers Day
We are now shifting into summer mode. Pray for us if you think about it! Life is about to get even crazier!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Postpartum recovery

I don't think I ever shared my postpartum recovery experience after Owen was born. Honestly, I don't think I did a very good job taking it easy the first time around and I was determined to do better after Sydney. I knew that it was going to be difficult to accomplish with a 2.5 year old running around. I'm happy to report, however, that recovery the second time around did prove to be easier. I think I had less mood swings and overall felt better rested. Now that it's behind me, I thought I'd share my tips.

Rest, rest, and rest- This one was hard for me the first time around. I'm not saying be lazy and sleep all day. I'm just saying rest. Take time (at least the first month I'd say) to allow your body to recover from birth. The house cleaning can wait for a bit. Try to let other people do things for you and don't be afraid to ask. I am so thankful for the meals that arrived at our house after Sydney was born. I also prepped some meals before she was born and put them in the freezer. Not having to cook dinner was not only a time saver (no shopping, cooking, or cleanup), it was a big stress relief. I knew all I had to do was pop something in the oven about an hour before dinner.

Shower every day- I got up and took a shower every morning. It helped wake me up, made me feel refreshed, and gave me some "me" time at the start of every day. Sometimes Patrick had to juggle both babies so that I could accomplish this quickly, but I'm so thankful for it.

Get dressed- I tried to put on something other than PJ's. This somehow tricks my brain into feeling healthy. I have a tendency towards feeling the blues when I sit at home in PJ's all day. Even though I knew I wouldn't be leaving the house, I put on regular(ish) clothes.

Fresh air- Mainly, I just tried to get outside every day even if it was a brief walk through our front yard. I can remember one day that I hadn't made it outside of the house yet so we all loaded into the car in the afternoon so that Patrick could drive to pick up food. Even though I sat in the car with the babies while he ran in, it was nice to see the outside of the house.

Nap- I forced myself to stop what I was working on and get rest when both babies were sleeping in the afternoon. It definitely made the middle of the night feedings easier. When I skipped this nap, I could tell that my overall mood suffered. I've heard people say "nap when the baby naps" so many times. Instead, I just say choose one nap a day that you will make yourself lay down during. Even if I didn't fall asleep, I found it helpful.

Drink water- Especially if you are nursing, water is so important. Keep a water bottle handy and fill it up. I would try to drink a whole glass of water at every nursing session too. Breastfeeding takes a lot out of you. Hydration will help keep milk supply up.

Early bedtime- I did my very best to go to bed after the early evening feeding (the one that falls around 7:30-8:30). I would finish that feeding, hand Sydney off to Patrick, and go to bed. This helped me get a couple hours of sleep before the late evening feed (between 10 and 11). Those two hours could make all the difference some days.

So there are my favorite tips to pass along. Hopefully somebody out there can find them helpful!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

1 Month with Sydney

Health and Growth- Her birth weight was 7lbs 10oz and I think she dropped to 7lbs 3oz before we left the hospital. At two weeks old she was already up to 8lbs 8oz and just shy of 22 inches.

My only concern so far is that she spits up a ton. I don't remember Owen spitting like she does. Our pediatrician told us just to watch her for now since she's not a candidate for antacids for a couple months. I'm not really sure about antacids though. I know it won't stop the spitting, but it will make her more comfortable if I notice that it bothers her. So far, it's just a laundry and stink issue.

Feeding- I'm so thankful that Sydney is a good nurser. I was relieved the very first time I fed her after birth because she latched on so well. I think the fact that she was born full term (unlike her brother) helped a lot in the feeding department. I've been nursing her every 2-3 hours and she's thrown in a few cluster feeds this month. The first cluster feed was at the 24 hour mark and the second was between 3 and 4 weeks of age.

Pumping- I pumped once in the hospital. She fed non stop for 4 hours straight before I called the nurse and asked for a pump. I hadn't really slept but a couple hours since birth and was falling asleep. I was worried that I was going to drop her but also in a lot of pain. I never once cursed while experiencing labor but I let one fly while latching her on and that's when I realized it was time to pump. I wish I had called sooner. I pumped, fed her with a spoon, and we both slept for 4 hours straight. The next morning I found blisters on both nipples. I'm pretty sure this happened because I was falling asleep. She was sliding off but still trying to nurse and it was a shallow latch that then gave me blisters. It was horrible. They opened up when I got home from the hospital and it was probably five or six days before I noticed that nursing wasn't painful anymore.

After my initial pumping session in the hospital, I waited to pump again until around day 4 when I started to have some engorgement. I didn't really get serious about pumping for a freezer stash until after she turned 3 weeks. My method is to pump in the morning with the first feed of the day. I nurse her on one side and pump on the other.

Sleeping- Sydney sleeps in the rock n play cradle and I'd say she sleeps as much as you can expect a newborn to sleep. I think I'm going to keep her in her cradle for a while because of the spit up. She was in our room for the first two weeks and now she sleeps in her room. I sleep better when I can't hear all her little grunts, sighs, and movement. She is noisy! We had some initial day and night confusion but it worked itself out by the time she was 3 weeks old. I'm tired but have found that if I will nap in the afternoon when Sydney and Owen are both sleeping, then I can function pretty well.

Naps- Napping was just about all Sydney did for the first couple weeks of life. Around week three she started to wake up to the world around her and have some longer wake time. She naps in her room (in the rock n play) when we are home but there have been plenty of naps in the Boba carrier (more on that new love later) and in her car seat.

A lot of baby wearing and a lot less cleaning have been going on!
Schedule- I've kind of been amazed at how quickly Sydney established a little rhythm to her day. I think part of it has to do with Owen. Nothing like having a 2.5 year old around to get your day started bright and early. We start our day around 7:30 and she eats at least every 3 hours during the day. Sometimes she cluster feeds in the evening.

Owen and Sydney- Owen was a little out of sorts after being passed around while I was in the hospital and got clingy for a couple days. However, after that I felt like he ignored Sydney. Then I began to notice that he would giggle at her any time she made a noise during the day. Then some temper tantrums flared up around week 2 when I couldn't meet his wants immediately. The tantrums continued occasionally for the rest of the month. He patted me on the arm once when I was holding Sydney and said, "No mommy, put back." He calls her, "Baby Sydney." While he hasn't wanted to hold her or touch her when we ask, I've caught him rubbing her head or feet while I nurse her. I think he's warming up to her. I'm excited to watch their relationship develop.

Oh, let's not forget that we potty trained Owen when Sydney was 3 weeks old!
Playtime in Chef Owens kitchen.
Daddy and Owen gave Sydney her first tub bath.

Highlights- We took a trip to the beach when Sydney was just a couple weeks old. It was fantastic to recover from giving birth at the beach with extra hands to help out. Packing and getting there was quite the undertaking, but we made it! It was nice to spend some time with my family. Owen had a blast. He got plenty of attention and I think it helped cushion the blow to his little ego about not being the only child anymore.

Sleeping with Daddy
Meeting Uncle Carter

We are in love with our little girl. I already can't imagine life without her. I'll admit, I'm looking forward to less sleepless nights though! 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Life through my lens

Don't have time for a real post yet so I'm opting for a photo dump!