Saturday, November 17, 2012

More Gabriel...

The last remaining holdout for accepting Gabriel into our family has finally "caved"!  While Baby still has chosen to sleep under the Dining Room table rather than in bed with the rest of us (the dog sleeps on the floor next to the bed), he isn't stand-offish anymore at all.  In fact, his new favorite thing to do is cuddle (or attempt to cuddle) while Gabriel is getting his bottle after nursing.  This photo was taken post-bottle while they both got a little cuddle time in with "Dad".  Do you know how hard it is to get a cat and a baby to look at you (in your general direction at least) at the same time?

We are officially out of the newborn sized clothes!  Look how tight that onesie is!  Good thing we only had a few things in NB size, lol.  He is outgrowing the 0-3 stuff too, but only the really "short" ones. 

I mentioned in my last post that I was working on a Mei Tai (tei?) style carrier, I finally got it done!  I've had a few set backs that I never had pre-baby, like needing to care for a baby...also, I screwed up the tension on my machine and spent an hour trying to figure out what was wrong.  Then, I ran out of thread!  I have thread now, two spools even, but time is something I haven't found any more of.  So, I have one top strap complete (I am making them twice as long as the pattern says because I want to know it's going to fit me well) and am working on the decorative top stitch on the second one.  The rest of the carrier is not getting the decorative top stitch, just a straight stitch...  It took a week or so to finally get it done, but once I got the decorative stitching done, the rest went together extremely fast!  Pardon the messy hair and room.

We went on the 1st of November and had Gabriel's first photo session that didn't involve a cell phone!  We missed out on getting any newborn photos because he was born on a Friday and apparently, the photographers that work at Sacred Heart (they contract out to a studio) don't work on Fridays or Saturdays and the one that was working on Sunday didn't have the time to take his photos and never called to schedule an in-home visit, not that we were home in that first week anyway.  Anyway, we had his first visit to the WalMart Portrait Studio at 3 weeks old for his "1 month" photos!  I'm hoping to get the time to go in this evening or tomorrow to pick them up (they were ready a couple of days ago).

Little man has started smiling when he's happy (or rather, "when not pooping or farting")!  In the photo above, Garrick was tickling his cheek and making him grin...he almost laughs too.

Now that he's almost 5 weeks old, he's finally put on enough pounds (ounces) to fit into our pocket diapers!  Now, if we can just get them to stop leaking...  You can see it a little bit in the photo, the white part poking out is the lining for the diaper, it wicks moisture into the inserts and away from baby's skin.  Except in this case, the parts that are poking out are wicking the moisture (urine) into Gabriel's clothes and away from the insert!  The issue we are having is in the leg area, the elastic specifically.  The elastic is rolling funny and pulling the interior to the outside.  We went through 6 pocket diapers in one afternoon because he kept leaking out of them and soaking his clothes too!

Don't worry about the upset baby...he just doesn't like to be naked!

Medela Symphony (Medical Grade Pump)
We rented a medical grade Medela pump one month ago today (the other day anyway, it's taken me a few days to get this written around baby).  So, we had to either return it or pay for another month this morning.  As much as I love the medical grade pump (I was getting 5 ounces per pumping session overnight last night), we just can't afford the $100 a month price tag to continue renting!  So, my sister gave us our Christmas present early!  She (and her husband) gave us the money to buy a really good pump!  I still need to call the company and get a refund on the First Years Mi just does not work and from talking to the lactation consultant about it, she has only met a handful of people that it works for (flaws in the design make it not very useful for most nursing mommas, big boobs don't go well with the tiny "funnel" part).

Our Christmas Present!
I can honestly say that I love the Medela brand though.  Expensive, yes, but well worth the money after having used several of their products since Gabriel was born (breast pads, hand pumps, (double) electric pumps, custom fit parts, bottles...).  I usually go for the "best for the price", but in the case of something to torture your boobs with...I now believe in getting the "best" and worrying about "price" only as far as "how long do I need to save to be able to get the best"!  So, with the money in my checking account (and a 20% off coupon in hand), I went and picked up the "next best thing to the medical grade" pump.  If I could have afforded it, I probably would have spent the money to get a medical grade just because it is "the best" as far as suction goes and can be programmed to use the same suction level every time without fiddling with the controls...but those run in the $1500 to $1800 range!  If we had triplets or something, I might have considered it more, lol.  At Babies R Us (the baby version of Toys R Us), they offer four different Medela double electric pumps and a single pump option as well.  The most expensive is the Freestyle pump, it takes a whole different set of parts, but does offer the same digital features that the Symphony pump has, plus a timer (I use an app on my iPhone to do the timing on).  The Freestyle is also a "hands free" model, but no one I know that has this one has been able to figure out how to actually use it hands free (Mommy groups are so awesome)! 

The other three double electric options are all the same pump, the Pump In Style Advanced, the only real differences are in the style of the bag and what comes with it.  The Metro Bag is slightly more expensive because the pump "guts" are removable from the bag, so you don't have to clear the whole counter/table/whatever to set it down.  The Backpack has the pump built in (though they are removable so you can wash the bag) to the bottom of the pack and a zipper around it to open the front of the bag to use it.  The-On-Go Tote has the most storage space for the lowest price (for the DE pumps) and is the option I went with after staring at the comparison chart on the back of the boxes for a good 10 minutes in the store!  The pump takes up about one-quarter of the bag and it came with a little cooler that holds four 5 ounce bottles (also included)!  It also came with a standard feeding nipple, so you can pump and feed without having to pack around "feeding bottles".  I was a little worried that I wasn't going to be able to get as much pumped with this as I was with the medical grade, boy was I wrong!  Friday morning Gabriel only ate off my left side (for 45 minutes and then fell asleep), so I pumped the right side while he napped...I got 4 ounces off that side and another full ounce off my left!  I only pump for 15 minutes at a time and can usually "empty" pretty well in that time, after feeding him, I never get a 5 ounce pumping, but during the night when we bottle feed and pump to shorten the amount of sleep we lose, I am now getting over 5 ounces in the 15 minute time frame!  The PISA pumps also take the same parts as the Symphony, so if you have had to rent a pump, you can still use all your parts (except the hoses, but save those to use with the hand pump that came in the kit)!

If you only want a single pump, though honestly, you might as well get a double, they can be used as a single as well, you have two options.  The Swing Pump is the electric version, it has different parts than either of the double pump options...  There is also a hand pump option, the Harmony.  I have two of these!  I like it and keep one in my diaper bag for on the go pumping and one in the bottle cupboard for when I need to pump one side while he's eating!  I got mine at the hospital though, I did not pay $40 for them.  I also have two of the  Symphony pumping system kits (all but the tubing in one kit) from our hospital stays and from renting the pump (they forgot to tell us it didn't come with parts and we, Garrick, ended up going and picking one up from Labor & Delivery late that evening).

Other products...the Hydrogel breast pads are awesome for sore nipples and I am wearing the heck out of a set right now!  I picked up a 4 pack (2 sets) at Wal-Mart for $10, but I have also gotten 3 more sets from the Lactation Consultant too!  Just remember to keep the clear harder plastic card they come on for storage during a shower and if you haven't totally destroyed them during use and are not sore anymore.  I have lots of options when it comes to breast pads...  Cotton reusables, these are good, but I can run through all three sets in a morning if I'm having a day where I don't get to pump.  Disposables, I wear these 24/7!  They are "reusable" up to a certain point and I have been known to wear the same set for a couple of days if I haven't been super leaky.  These are also good for wearing "out" because if you have an emergency "baby needs to be fed right now and you are in the middle of Wal-Mart trying to hurry up and shop because you both thought you could get the shopping done before the baby woke up and was hungry, but you were" moment, then you lose your pad for the side you quickly whip out under your udder cover.  Yup, so nice to not have to go searching the floor of the store for your expensive breast pad when that happens...  (As a side note, I don't condone "littering" in the store and I did, in fact, find the pad wadded up into a tiny ball waaaaay under my boob in a corner when we got home.)

And then there are the "funnels" (Breast shields)...The hospital kits come with two sizes, 24mm (medium) and 27mm (large) and the pumps from the store come with the Medium size only.  I started out in the Large size and have gone up to the 30mm (X-Large) size after pumping became very painful from the shield rubbing me funny because it was too small.  They also come in 36mm (XX-Large), which is awesome if you have gigantic nipples!  I paid $17 for a set at Babies R Us, sells them for around $15.

And a little glimpse of the newest project I have floating around in my head...  Using the framework of a Super Scrabble board as a background (and as the color scheme), I am working on making a "Names Quilt" for Gabriel...I'm guessing this will take me a while since I haven't even started looking at my fabric stash to see what I have to work with, so this will probably be a birthday present for Gabriel when he can read, lol.  It has all of his relatives (up to Grandmas and Grandpas) and general words like "family" and "cousin"...that sort of thing.  I'm even toying with the idea of applying the letter value to each tile too, but haven't figured out if I will or not just yet.  As you can see in the upper left hand corner of that screenshot, Jef is spelled without the second "f".  When I first met Garrick's brother, this is how he spelled it (and may still when not using it professionally), he has since added the second "f", but I couldn't fit his name in the squares with two f's!

This always brings to mind this clip from Jeff Dunham and Peanut!  Jeffafahhh!  This guy is my favorite comedian.

1 comment:

  1. We went to see the LC on Thursday and are up to over 10 pounds now too!