Saturday, November 3, 2012

OMG, We Have A 3 Week Old!

After a very rough start, we have slowly been getting into a "family routine" and haven't forgotten the baby at home even once in the last 3 weeks!  Okay, one of us (who shall remain nameless) tried to leave him in the car when we got home last night, but I think he just wasn't thinking about how many hands we really had between the two of us.

Gabriel still isn't up to his birth weight (9 pounds 7 ounces), but as of yesterday he is officially back into the 9 pound range!  At his Pediatrician appointment yesterday, he weighed 9 pounds 0 ounces (and after nursing for a bit, 9 pounds 0.5 ounces) at 21 days old!  His slow gain has been causing all sorts of issues and has had us going to see pediatricians and the lactation consultant multiple times over the last few weeks!

When Dad makes sure we have a pacifier with us...
We also changed to a new Pediatrician as of yesterday...the one we originally "chose" just wasn't meshing with us (me specifically) very well.  As an example, she kept calling Gabriel a girl, even when she was asking to see his circumcision to make sure it was healing!  She also was pushing me to stop breast feeding and put him on formula exclusively...not something we want to do (mostly for monetary reasons, but also because Breast is Best)!  The new Pediatrician though...I kind of like her.  She breast fed her 2.5 year old and is currently pregnant again (and planning to breast feed), her daughter had a tongue tie and so she can easily identify the issues (poor Gabriel has a "slight" tongue tie that is finally going to be addressed next week by the Ear, Nose, & Throat specialist now that I got a Pediatrician to agree and make the referral), also...she didn't call my little boy a girl once!  I know the whole "girl/boy thing" seems trivial, but after correcting the doctor a dozen times in a single visit, you start to wonder if they are really paying any attention to you when you talk...

That's a 9lb baby there...
Breast feeding has been a struggle, I won't rainbows and sprinkle farts here!  In the hospital, right after Gabriel's birth, my right breast got clogged and engorged within a few short hours!  It took hand expressing for hours to unclog it and get the engorgement to go down enough that he could latch again, the nipple even started to invert a little and that made it even harder on that side.  Because of the Tongue Tie, our Lactation Consultant (Sarah) gave us a Nipple Shield.  This has helped him be able to pull more of my nipple into his mouth, but he still isn't able to really suck and pull the milk out on his own.  So, I started pumping (or rather continued pumping, but this time for the purpose of feeding it right back to the little man)...I believe I mentioned in my last post that my First Years MiPump is a total failure, it still is and the only "good" thing to come out of it so far has been the bottles and the one nipple that came with it!  However, the Medical Grade Medela Symphony 2.0 has been a dream come true!  Oh how I wish I could afford to buy one of these!  But, besides the fact that you cannot buy the medical grade ones unless you are a hospital (maybe a doctor's office?), they cost around $1800 for the unit!  I found one of the "other" Medical Grade Medela pumps listed on Ebay or Amazon (I forget which) for $350, but you have to have a license of some sort or they won't sell to you because it is "illegal in the US"!  So, I'm trying to save up my pennies for a Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump (on the go tote), it's $269.99 at Babies R Us, so still not cheap!  However, right now BRU has a coupon out for all Medela products (15% off) and if you were in the store to buy anything in the last few weeks, you probably got the little coupon book that has a 20% off coupon for any "regular priced item"!  With the 20% off coupon, that means I can pick up the pump for $215.99 (plus tax unless I'm lucky enough for my Mother to come up for a quick visit or something)...that helps a little.  As it stands right now, it looks like we will be having to rent the Medical grade pump for a few more months (one for sure).  We paid $113 for the first month and a second month will cost us another $90 (plus tax), so there's $203 right there...I really need to save pennies quickly!

I now label them with the qty in ounces as well.
We have gone from Exclusively Breast Feeding (EBF), to Breast Feeding with pumping and Supplementing with pumped "boob juice", and are now Breast Feeding and Supplementing with a mixture of 50% "boob juice" and 50% formula.  It sucks, formula stinks and means I need to get a diaper sprayer sooner than I expected (formula doesn't wash out in the washer like BF poo does).  But, Gabriel seems to be much more content now and hasn't been screaming as much.  I feel bad thinking that I've been starving him (even though I know I haven't been, after nursing he has taken a 4 ounce bottle of boob juice and been just fine)!  After Wednesday and he (hopefully) gets his Frenulum clipped (the little bit of skin that is under your tongue), I'm hoping we can transition back the other direction and get him back to being an EBF baby!  Boobs are so much easier to pack around than all the junk needed to make bottles of formula (and even bottles of boob juice take a good amount of equipment)!  I'm lucky enough to have almost two sets of pump parts for the pump we are using (another reason I want to get the pump I mentioned above), so it isn't as critical that it get washed in the middle of the night, which is nice...but those kits cost $50 each!  The new pediatrician wants him to be at or very near 9 pounds 10 ounces by Wednesday we shall see!  My "OCD" is showing up in how I label my pumped breast milk supply...each 2 ounce bottle gets a piece of freezer tape with the date, time, amount in the bottle, and what number for the day that bottle is...this makes it fast and easy when we are trying to get a bottle made quickly because baby is still hungry!  We just look for the oldest date and then grab numerically or by how much we want to feed him (sometimes we are looking for larger/smaller amounts than the next bottle in line).  This is now helping with the 50/50 mixing with formula as well (which I premade an 8 ounce bottle of and put in the fridge so it's a "pour & warm" game now...).
Overnight bottles drying in the morning...
While I'm here and talking about the "equipment"...see the green in the photo?  That's my boon Grass!  It's a drying "rack" for bottles and stuff!  They were on sale at Target last week (might still be, I haven't been back since) and so we picked this up using our $20 gift card we got for creating a baby registry there!  Well, I got this, a bottle brush, and have about $3 left on the card...  I love this rack!  Not only does it work for all the bottle and pump parts now, but it'll work great for all the sippy cup parts and later on, straws!  Also, regular glasses and stuff too...ya know, after you don't need it for the "kid stuff".
Gabriel's First Halloween Costume!

Halloween was last week! While we did not go trick or treating (what would an almost 3 week old do with candy anyway?), we did go out for a meal at a restaurant as a family and Gabriel was dressed up for the evening!  It was Wednesday, so we went to Shari's for dinner (free pie night!) and then Garrick went down the street to play pool (Wednesdays are still league night, I just can't take the baby into a bar...or rather, I wouldn't take him in...technically until he's out of the infant carrier he is legal to take in) and Gabriel and I came home to hide in the back of the house with all the lights off (we don't buy candy for the neighborhood anymore...too many greedy parents/kids).  He has another "costume" that I picked up after Halloween, it's a onesie that is "scrubs green" and has doctor related items like a mask, stethoscope, etc... printed on it.  I got it for $1.75 and it's size 0-3 months, but I think it's cute and he'll wear it over to his grandparents' house this weekend before it becomes an "under something else" onesie.
During Halloween dinner!

Bib by Grandma
"I hate hats!"
(L-R:Garrick, Jef, Ron, Gabriel, Koa)
Right after Garrick's birthday, his brother and sister-in-law came up to meet Gabriel and visit us and his folks.  We got lots of great photos of everybody!  Of course, not everyone looked at the same camera at the same  I really love this photo of all the guys together!  I don't talk nearly enough about how proud we are of Garrick's little brother, he owns his own restaurant in Eugene, Oregon and is the 2012 Iron Chef Oregon winner!  If you are anywhere near Eugene, you should totally go check out Koho Bistro!  Shameless plug out of the way....ha!  Even if you just want to see how absolutely talented Chef Jef is..go check out the photos of the restaurant, he made the wall art that's in the bar (old wine crates) and I believe, but could be mistaken, that he did a good portion of the decor woodworking as well.
Captivated by Grandma!
Luckily, Gabriel seems to have the same amount of "love" for his pacifiers as he has for formula...he doesn't really "like" them but will tolerate them as long as they are masked by boob juice or the promise of boob juice soon to come!  In fact, he spits the pacifiers out when he falls asleep (win)!  He does, however, require they be kept close at hand...literally.  What?  He likes to hold it...easier to hide when he's older than a security blanket, lol.

I briefly mentioned that we did, in deed, have our little man was more painful on us to watch than it was for him, I'm sure...he did great!  There are apparently "options" on how this is done, but our doctor's office only does it the "surgical" way and we were unaware of the Plastibell until after the fact.  That being said though, our oldest nephew had the Plastibell (or something very similar) and had infection issues with the string used with it!  We both went with him, by choice.  I wouldn't have made Garrick go if he didn't want to, but I was very grateful that he chose to go in with us.  Basically, they strapped his legs down to a plastic "form" but left his hands free so that he could self-soothe by touching his face, grasp our hands (fingers), and such...they said they are the only office in our area that do it this way.  We were there to provide comfort to our little boy, even though he didn't feel any pain (other than the shot to numb his junk up), it was disconcerting to him to feel the movements.  The way it was described to us, it seems his local numbing shot worked just like my spinal during the cesarean...I felt no pain, but could feel things being "moved around".  Luckily, he didn't pee during the procedure!  After it was all said and done, we were taken back to an axam room where we could nurse him for a bit while the gauze did it's job to help cauterize any leftover bleeding at that point.
The look on his face was so amusing to both of us! He sure has a "What the heck just happened?" look, doesn't he?  I get a kick out of his "outside innie" of a belly button is slowly going down and laying smoother, but this photo was taken the day after it fell off.


I love, love, love doing this!  Not just because it leaves me hands-free to actually get things done, like washing all those bottles, doing a load of laundry, folding diapers, or you know...playing on the computer, but also because Gabriel loves it!  We have several different "options" when it comes to baby-wearing in this house. 

This one is one I haven't used yet, but Garrick seemed to like it, it's just a bit too warm for it right now.

This is the one I sewed and it is our favorite!  The sling is sized just right for him and I to use together and I believe Garrick also fits this one very well.  When I wear Gabriel in this one, I can bend over (holding on to him of course) and the sling doesn't even shift a little, he stays sucked up right against me, sound asleep!  We take this one everywhere with us and have even NIP'd (Nursed in Public) in McDonald's while in this!

The Moby Wrap (or more likely, someone's homemade version...I got it for $15 at a resale shop and it has no label) is tricky and we are still working out the kinks of this one, but were able to successfully wear it once.  So much so that he leaked out of his diaper and I was so engorged by the time that I realized what time it was, we were both soaked and I was spraying breast milk all over the place while I tried cleaning us both up!  With my larger size, all over, the ends barely reach to tie and do not knot at all!  I'm considering adding snaps to it...

The Ring Sling was great for the first few days, but I don't know what I did that made it work so well...I haven't been able to use it successfully for the last week!

We have an old (like my Mom used it with my sister who will be 27 next month) Snugli that is denim and has metal zippers as well.  I used this one a few days ago when everything else was dirty (he's started spitting up after eating)...  I like it except it has no head support!  The white is a receiving blanket I wrapped around the carrier to help support his head while I was playing around on Facebook... Those big foam blocks on the shoulders really cut into my neck!  This might work better when he can hold his head up and be forward facing.

I also bought the fabric to make a Mai Tei carrier...I even have the (simple) directions for cutting it printed!  I was going to make it last night, but plans got hanged when Gabriel  vomited up bright yellow stomach acid after doctor's hours and we were sent to the ER to have him checked out (he's fine, just a bout of acid reflux from adding formula to his diet).  So, if I can manage to squeeze an hour or so of "me time" into the weekend, I'll have yet another option!  I got home decor fabric because it's heavier duty than normal cotton and should be able to take his weight for a long while.

Notice how he's asleep in all the photos?  He literally passes out as soon as he gets situated in a sling!

Our morning routine goes as this...
  1. boob
  2. boob juice & formula in a bottle together
  3. nap while Mom pumps and gets a little housework done!
  4. boob again and repeat process every 2-3 hours!
He naps every morning in the rocker we got as a shower gift.  He even takes his late afternoon nap here!

We finally got around to giving the baby a bath too!  His cord stump didn't fall off until the day before his circumcision and then we had to wait for that to heal (though he did get a few "showers" in the sink while he healed to rinse poo off of his wiener while it healed).  He did not like "sitting" in the water one bit!
However, when we flipped him over to wash the back...he even smiled at Dad!  Little man liked it, conditionally, lol.

Last, but not least for today...a nap with Dad...they both slept from about 7:30 until 10pm when I got them up to eat and get ready for bed!  I love how they have near identical expressions on their sleeping faces!

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