Friday, July 13, 2012

Cooper - Week 1

We're not planning on having other kids (at all), but I still want to keep track of Cooper at this age just so we can see later how much (and how quickly) he changed.  Because he is changing so quickly right now, I'm going to (hopefully) try to do weekly posts for a little while, and then I'll switch over to monthly posts like I did for LL.

Here is what Cooper was up to for week 1 of his life (June 25 - July 1)

Nursing: Overall, Cooper is a very good nurser.  He latched on immediately in labor and delivery and nursed on and off for almost an hour that first time.  He did so well that I had nurses and the lactation consultant in the hospital saying that they heard how good he was doing.  I did have an issue in the hospital with him latching on, so the lactation consultant helped me with that.  Latching on is still something that he and I have to work on (every single feeding!) but it's slowly starting to get better.  For the first part of the week, he had absolutely NO rhyme or reason for his feeding schedule.  In fact, he nursed when he was first born (so, 7:30ish on Monday morning) and then didn't nurse AT ALL again until 2:00 am on Tuesday morning.  It really stressed me out, but they assured me that it was fine.  They even re-checked his blood sugar for me that day to make sure it was in an okay range since he wasn't feeding.  While we were in the hospital, he just nursed on a crazy schedule.  I never knew when he would even remotely be hungry again.  Sometimes it would be just after a few hours and sometimes it would be non-stop cluster feeding. 

When we got home, he settled into more of a predictable pattern, but it was still pretty unstable.  Towards the weekend, I really started to focus on making sure that he was getting FULL feedings and not just snacking.  Once I did that, he REALLY started to settle into more of a routine.  With babywise, you're just supposed to feed on demand for the first two weeks.  That's totally what I've been doing.  If he's hungry, he eats.  I don't care what the clock says.  Sunday (day 7) he seemed to be on a legit schedule even though I did NOTHING to put him on it.  When we went to bed on Saturday night, I nursed him from 8:00-8:45 and then put him straight to bed.  I went to bed then, too, and we both went straight to sleep.  He woke me up at 11:00 to feed again.  He nursed until 12:20 and went back to sleep.  Then, he woke up again at 3:00 and then at 7:00 to nurse.  That means that I got 8 hours of broken sleep from 9pm-7am.  That's awesome!  Then, during the day on Sunday, he was almost on a perfect 2.5-3 hour schedule.  In fact, this was the first day that I had to make sure that he fit in 8 feedings during the day.  All the other days we averaged 9-11 feedings.  It's awesome to see him doing this by himself! 

My milk came in on Wednesday night and was REALLY in by Sunday.  In fact, all Saturday night I was MEGA engorged.  To the point where it hurt.  I didn't want to stay up and pump in the middle of the night so I suffered until morning (probably not the best idea).  After his 7 am feeding I HAD to pump.  I got 4.5 oz!!  (From both sides combined).  That's crazy!  Once my milk has really started coming in, he has become a pretty quick nurser.  At the beginning of the week he would typically nurse for 30-45 minutes at each feeding.  Towards Saturday/Sunday, he was typically taking about 15-30 minutes to eat.  Now, it still takes me sometimes about an hour to get him to eat that much (those are ACTUAL eating times) because I have to fight him a ton to stay awake!  He's a sleepy eater for sure!

He is also a VERY noisy eater!!  He squeaks, groans, grunts, moans, and swallows super loudly.  It's so funny!!

The first breast milk to be frozen for later!  Yeah - I know I look rough.  But welcome to the first week home with a newborn.  This is real life.

Going in the freezer!

Sleeping:  Our first night home was TERRIBLE.  When we're in the hospital, we always have sent our babies to the nursery at night (and brought to me for feedings) so that we can get some sleep.  This means that our first night home is our first time ever figuring out how our kids sleep.  It's good because we've gotten a little rest in the hospital, but it's bad because it means that first night home is pretty scary.  He had HORRIBLE gas that first night and, literally, every time I laid him down flat he would just poot and burp up a storm.  He was in SO much pain (you could totally tell) and it was miserable for all of us.  I knew he needed to poop (he hadn't in 24 hours) but I had no idea how to fix that for him.  Finally, about 2 am, I broke down and put him in his boppy chair to sleep.  It kept him upright to where he didn't hurt and I was able to get some sleep. 

Luckily, he finally started pooping some the next day and we haven't had that problem again.  Other than that first night, my worst night so far was getting 4-5 hours of broken sleep.  It's not terrible, but it's not great.  Obviously our best night was Saturday night when I got 8 hours of broken sleep.  Towards the end of the week he finally started to get the hang of the eat-wake-sleep cycle he should be in.  Usually I have to change his diaper in the middle of a feeding to make sure that he stays awake enough to eat.  This means that I'm not changing it when he's done with his feeding (which helps keep him awake).  His awake times are not very long yet, but we typically get 5-10 (sometimes up to 20!) minutes of awake time with him before he sleeps. 

During the day, we haven't been putting him in his pack-n-play or crib yet to sleep.  Typically we either hold him (there's usually someone here visiting that wants to hold him - haha) or we put him in a swing.  After these first two weeks are up, we'll start putting him in his room more to nap during the day.  On Saturday, my sister (and her family) were over to see him and he got WAY too overstimulated that day and went almost 2 hours without a nap.  I didn't like it at all and it led him to cluster feed a TON because he was trying to fall asleep.  It was super stressful and I learned very quickly that even babies this little can get overstimulated.

He has been doing GREAT with just falling asleep on his own after awake time without any outside help (paci, rocking, etc).  There are sometimes where we need to do these things, but typically he will either just drift off to sleep on his own, or he'll fuss for literally just 30 seconds (enough to get that energy out) and then go out. 

We also have only been swaddling him at night.  I think I'll keep this going for now (this is how I did it with LL) because I think the swaddling helps him to know that it's night time.  At the end of next week, he should be able to know day/night well enough for me to start swaddling him during the day, too.  This is one of the things that we did with LL to help her make sure she knew when night time was, too.

First night home.  Looking milk drunk - for sure!

Here's a cute video of him (and all of his noises!!) sleeping in the hospital.  :)

Paci:  I noticed this week that he was definitely starting to nurse some for comfort and not for food.  I don't want him to get in the habit of thinking he can go to the breast for comfort, so we offered him a paci.  He WILL take it, but he really doesn't love it.  I use it if it's nap time and I can tell that he just wants to suck for comfort.  I don't want him to think he can nurse for that, so the paci is the next best option.  I'm kind of torn on the paci issue.  Part of me thinks that it would be SUPER easy if he was just a baby who didn't use anything (paci, hands, etc), but then part of me knows that a paci helps with SIDS, so it makes me want him to want it.  I don't know.  I'll continue on the path I'm on with it (offering it occasionally when I think he needs it) and I'll let him decide.

Gas: This child started out with some MAJOR gas when he was born.  Gas issues kept us up all that first night and they continued for days and days.  On Thursday (day 4) I started giving him gas drops at every feeding.  I really think that it helped his body figure everything out because it got so much better than I was able to stop really using them by Saturday.  He also is not much of a burper.  I can burp him for up to 15 minutes and never get anything.  Maybe some babies just don't burp a lot?  I don't really know.  All I know is that I try and sometimes I get one and sometimes I don't. 

He also doesn't spit up a ton.  Not like LL did.  Don't get me wrong, he does spit up, it's just not as much as I was used to with her.  Maybe this is something that will come with time, but I'm glad it's not bad now.  We've had a few times where he's spit up a TON, but that's only happened like twice.

Other stuff:
-We gave him his first (sponge) bath on Thursday (day 4).  He didn't love it.  :)
-His poop started to change to the yellow breast milk poop that babies are supposed to have.
-He got his first hiccups on Thursday (day 5) at like 1:00 am.  Matt was not too pumped that I woke him up to tell him that - haha.
-He has a (I think) broken blood vessel in his left eye to the left of his pupil.  It was there at birth and has slowly gotten better.  I think it'll be gone by the end of next week.
-He has the cutest circle cow lick right at the front of his hair.  I LOVE it.
-The bruise on his arm (from birth) is almost healed.
-His skin started to peel this week (more like flake), but it hasn't been a ton at all.
-He had HORRIBLE baby acne all over his face and body (even legs and stuff!) at the beginning of the week, but it's gotten tons better by the end.
-On Sunday (day 7), his circumcision finally looked healed enough that we were able to stop putting Vaseline on him every time we changed his diaper.

First bath!  He's totally not a fan, yet.

Big helper!

Lorelai:  Lorelai has done EXTREMELY well with Cooper.  Like, I've been shocked.  I really thought we would have tons of issues, but we really haven't (knock on wood).  She is extremely interested in him and likes to hold him, rock him, etc.  In fact, Thursday morning (our first morning home), the FIRST thing out of her mouth was "Ohhh....Baby C!  Where are you!?"  She still refuses to call him Cooper and insists on calling him Baby C.  We don't mind.  :)  We have had a few issues with her and how she's been acting towards us, but it hasn't been too bad.  It's really just been issues with her pushing some boundaries (not listening, mainly), but we're really trying to be patient and give her some extra love and time.  She is SO sweet to him and loves to call him "her baby". 

On Sunday, he was in his swing trying to go to sleep, and she stood there and rocked him.  She turned to me and said, "I know!  We need to read him a book!"  She went into her room, grabbed a book (The Little Red Caboose), sat on the floor in front of him, and read it to him.  Melt my heart!!  She kisses him, tickles him, talks to him, and asks to hold him all the time.  She's really doing great!

She asks to hold him multiple times a day.  I love it.  :)

Here's a video of LL being super sweet to Cooper early one morning when we were all snuggling in bed.  :)

Postpartum: Surprisingly, this has been SO MUCH BETTER of a recovery than I had with LL.  My bleeding is very minimal and has been since right after giving birth.  With LL, I bled a TON and actually had to go back to the doctor within a week because I was hurting way beyond normal.  I haven't had any of those issues this time.

When I checked into the hospital, my total weight gain was +26lbs (hello water weight at the end!).  By the time I left the hospital, I was down 13.5 lbs, leaving me 12.5 lbs to lose.  By the end of the first week, I had lost another 6 lbs leaving me with 6 lbs left to lose to get me back to my pre-pregnancy weight.  Not bad.  Even though the numbers are coming off, my stomach still has a LONG way to go.  It got so stretched out that it's just going to take time to go down.

One thing that I've really noticed is that I have absolutely no appetite.  I remember after having LL that I was just devouring everything in sight.  This time, I'm finding that there is rarely a part of my day where I think, "I'm hungry".  I am making myself eat at least a little bit at every meal, but it's usually not much.

Another thing that I dealt with after I had LL was something called "sundowners".  Basically, for the first two weeks of her life, I cried every single day at sundown.  It was about thisclose to being postpartum depression, but it never actually quite crossed that line.  During the day I was fine, but for those two hours in the evening, I literally lost my mind.  I felt like nothing was normal, that I would never get used to having a baby in the house, that I would never be able to do things again, etc.  It was a horrible feeling.  This time around, I was really  nervous that those feelings would come back again.  It was a really bad time in my recovery with LL and I did NOT want to go through it again.  I'll be honest - I've had my moments of "Oh my God - when will this feel 'normal'??", but it is NOTHING compared to what it was with her.  This has really only happened like two or three times.  It's really not been a big deal at all.  I'm praying that things continue to stay this good with me mentally and that I don't have to go through anything like that again. 

Obviously, I'm breastfeeding Cooper.  I did with LL, too.  With LL, I nursed exclusively for 4 weeks.  Then, for weeks 4-6, I started doing nursing and formula feeding 50/50.  By week 7 (when I went back to work), she was 100% on formula during the day.  I tried to continue to nurse at night and in the morning, but my body couldn't keep up with that and it didn't last long.  I know that in the scheme of things, I did NOT breastfeed for long.  Mostly because I went back to work and it wasn't possible for me to pump while I was there.  Realistically though, I never really loved breast feeding.  I knew ALL of the reasons that it was the best choice for a baby, and I feel like I did a good job with the time I was given.  I was totally not one of those people that enjoyed it, I didn't feel like it gave me a stronger bond, and it's something that I always (mentally) struggled with.  This time around, I came into my pregnancy wanting to breastfeed for longer - especially since I'll not be going back to work until Cooper is 4 months old.  My initial goal was to nurse until I go back to work at the end of October.  Now that he's here and I'm in the middle of this, I'll be honest with you: I don't think that's going to happen.  I was hoping that I would enjoy breastfeeding more this time, but I really don't.  And I feel like it's about a million times harder than it was with LL BECAUSE I have LL here.  Having another child in the house makes it SO much harder to be tied down to breastfeeding between 8-12 times a day.  I've struggled with the same thoughts and feelings that I had with her.  So I have a new plan.  And that is that I take it day by day.  Literally.  They gave us formula in the hospital (I don't know why??  I told them I was exclusively breastfeeding) and we still have it.  I told Matt that I might literally tell him any day that I'm done.  I'm taking it one day at a time, and I have no idea how long I'm going to make it this time.  If I had to give a guess, I'd say not very long.  Maybe as long as I made it with LL.  Maybe not.  I could very well decide to give it up next week. Or tomorrow.  Or in two months.  I have no idea.  But I'm definitely just allowing myself the freedom to make that decision as I come to it, and I'm not going to let myself feel bad when/if I decide to change to formula.  I have to realize that my mental attitude is important in all of this, too, and that he'll be FINE no matter what I decide. 



Unknown said...

I think you are doing a fantastic job! I totally feel ya on the latching issue and sleepy nursing issues...nursing Preston was not easy or fun until right before I stopped. It took him a good 3-4 months to learn, and by then I was just too exhausted. I like your honesty. I think taking it one day at a time is the best thing you can do! Also, when does LL start pre-school at the church? If she begins in August, then that might provide you with more time during the day to nurse him and give you less guilt for not getting to do things with her, maybe? Either way, you love your family and you will always know and do what's best:) Love you girlie!

Robyn said...

Thank you so much, Ashley!! Your words of encouragement really do help tons! I KNOW that breastfeeding is best, but it's just one of those things that I'm NOT going to be as good at as other people. And I'm not going to do it long. I've just had to realize that and be okay with it. LL starts school in the middle of August, but Cooper will be completely on formula by then.