Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Two Months, Already!

Post Vaccine "stupor"...
I can hardly believe it has been two whole months already! Ok, technically it won't be two months for about 20 minutes, but close enough!
First time we ever used this SwaddleMe!

We had gotten out of the habit of swaddling Gabe because he just kept kicking out of the receiving blankets and struggled until his arms were freed. That is until we had not one, but 2 nights of zero sleep! After that we wised up and found a bigger blanket, lol. Sometimes those are too thick though and I remembered our SwaddleMe's. he barely fits in them! If you look really close, you can see his hand poking out. They fit up to 14 pounds, but don't account for length!
Daddy was blowing in his face and making him laugh!
Yesterday he had his 2 month shots and was measured at 23 3/4 inches and 11 pounds 14.5 ounces! He's already in 3-6 month sized clothes and is outgrowing some if those too! Mostly in length, apparently 2 month olds aren't supposed to also be 2 feet tall. So, he keeps ending up with the off-the-shoulder look going. I try to keep those for at home so he stays warm when we go out.

He loves the soft, snugly, blanket he's wrapped in!
Since going back to swaddling, we have even got Gabriel to sleep one whole night in his Pack n' Play! I still don't have sheets for it though so I lay a blanket in it and tuck it in nice and tight. On top of that is a sheet saver turned sideways, then baby all wrapped up.

Breast feeding and pumping are going well. Or at least working for the most part. We started transitioning away from the nipple shield, but in the last week Gabe has started refusing to even try to latch without it! No naked nipple in his mouth...

Each bag contains 4.0 to 4.6 ounces of Breast Milk!
Pumping is extra successful! I get around 25 ounces a day (which is the amount exclusively pumping mamas aim for to feed their babies)! That is on top of everything he gets "on his own". Since Gabriel still does take a bottle or two every day, I don't have everything just stored up, but I do have a lot in the deep freezer! As a "grand total", that doesn't include all I have pumped, just most of it, I have 931.9 ounces recorded! That is 116.49 cups or 7.2805 gallons. My freezer is very full right now! I am looking into donating some of it, but prefer to keep it local so we shall see what happens! Also, not sure if they would accept it because of my diabetes...
Boob baby...contemplating how long he wants to eat this morning (45 minutes)!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas & A "What To Do?"...

I want this happy boy back at bedtime!
Over the past several nights we have been having a worsening problem.  It started out "okay", Gabriel would cry for a few minutes when we first went to bed, he's still sleeping with us...every time we try to move him to the Pack n' Play, he screams and screams until we put him back between the two of us.  I assume this has more to do with the scent of us, being able to hear our breathing better, and our warmth than the actual Pack n' Play being the issue.  He sleeps in it during the day with little to no issue, as long as I get him to sleep before putting him in it.

Since Sunday though (today is Wednesday, I think)...things have gotten worse and worse!  Last night it reached the point where I now know I need to seek help in getting him comfortable enough to sleep at night!  Last night, Gabriel spent the entire night screaming bloody murder!  Garrick spent the whole night trying to comfort him because Gabriel wanted nothing to do with me and screamed louder if I tried to help/comfort him.  Of course, he also needed to eat throughout the night...  Since he gets his"bedtime bottle/boob" between 9:30 and 10pm, I got up to warm up a bottle of breast milk at 1am, two-ish hours into our sleepless night.  By the time it was warm, about 5 minutes, he was asleep!  We debated whether we should wake him up, in the end we did because I had to pump because I was so full.  I (foolishly) thought he would go to sleep again once he was fed.  After a diaper change, he was happy...until Garrick brought him into our bedroom!  As soon as he crossed the threshold into the room, Gabriel started screaming again!  This makes me think it is something in the room that is causing the issue, but what it is, I have no idea.  The middle of the night feedings take 30 to 45 minutes, so by 1:45am, we were back at the screaming...Garrick was cuddling Gabriel and let me get a little sleep while he tried to get Gabriel to sleep.  At 5:30am, it was time for another bottle (usually around 6am he is getting up for a boob, but I was the walking dead this morning), another diaper change and back in bed while I showered.  By 6am, he was finally asleep!

How do I get him to sleep at night and not keep one or both of us up all night?  It's currently ten minutes to 9am, he's been asleep for 3 hours, and I don't have the heart to wake him up...he literally did not sleep all night!  I have "pre-pumped" the side he won't be nursing from when he gets up and am tempted to now pump the other side and just let him sleep until he wakes up on his own.  But, I know that isn't the greatest idea either...I'll give him another hour to wake up on his own...four and a half hours in one stretch is long enough without eating, I get nervous about any longer than that still.  He is only 7.5 weeks old after all!

Things I want to try...
  • heating pad to warm up the Pack n' Play before putting him in it (taking it out before putting baby in, of course)
  • heating pad in crib (he's never slept in it, maybe he needs a room change? Need to also get the baby monitor up and working...)
  • get over my fear of letting him sleep on his tummy...he can lift/move his head, but he sometimes wants to sleep with his face smooshed completely into the mattress, this terrifies me!
 What else can I do?  I've been giving him "baby GasX" after his bottle before bed, burp him a ton...

New ornament for the tree this year!
Oh, and...there's only 20 days until Christmas!  That's less than 3 weeks and I don't even have my tree up yet!  It is sitting in my Living Room as of yesterday though...  Before it can go up though, I/we need to clean up the Living Room.  That means Garrick has to move his office stuff into the small area off the living room that we have been slowly turning into our office space.  Then, we need to get the curtain rod up (I bought a 12 foot rod several months ago) and find/add curtains to separate the room into two spaces.  After that, the "great furniture reorganization of 2012" can begin!  The tree is 7.5 feet tall, so it has a very specific area that it can fit in...we have to move an entire couch "out" of the area while also keeping it "in" the area so that we all have somewhere to sit Christmas Eve/Christmas Morning.  After all that happens, then I can vacuum and start getting the tree up!  Maybe this weekend I can get all that done...  I also need to get the rest of our Christmas shopping done, we have a whopping two gifts for Gabriel and one of those is something I bought months before he was born!

We did manage to get his December/Christmas pictures taken last Saturday.  The portrait studio (Wal-Mart) was so busy!  What is the point of making an appointment though when a walk-in that is there ahead of us can just waltz in and make us wait for 45 minutes past our appointment time?  They also gave our appointment to someone else who claimed to be me, they got to go ahead of us too!  However, we did get some decent photos...I am so sick of the ugly mottled brown cloth they use to sit him on (in almost every photo)!  He's all smiles at home, but he refuses to smile during portrait sessions.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

ABC's & ZYX's...

A post on my Facebook page reminded me of something I learned somewhere around the Sixth Grade.  If you can read, and I assume you can since this isn't a Vlog, you know your ABC's.  But, do you know your ZYX's?

There was a substitute teacher when I was in school that I thought was just fabulous and I always thought he should be a full-time teacher (I believe he was semi-retired).  He actually took over my Speech class my Senior year when my teacher had to have surgery and missed most of the semester, I loved that class!  Anyway, rewind back to Sixth Grade and into my advanced English class.  I guess the regular teacher didn't have a plan for that day because instead of doing "normal learning", we learned to say the alphabet backwards! can learn them too.  It's easy when you break it down, almost poetic even!  So, here is the "poem"...
We learned it in "blocks", but it really only took about 30 minutes to learn.  Now, 20 years later, not only do I still know it, I can actually say my ABC's faster backwards than I can forwards!

Any other fun learning tricks you know?  Please share away!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Breastfeeding, Pumping, and Formula...

As of this morning, I have nursed (recorded, there is a good bit not recorded as well) 241 times with an average of 35 minutes at each feeding.  I could add up the actual times, but it works out to roughly 5.9 days of doing nothing but being a food source!

I have also pumped 698.0 ounces...that's 87.25 cups, or 5.453 Gallons!  Yes, gallons of healthy breast milk that Gabriel will eventually drink.  He has, of course, been working his way through the stash of stored milk along with the nursing, so I do not have 5.5 gallons of the stuff hidden away in my freezer.  But, I am about 10 days ahead of what he's currently drinking from the freezer (at ~20 ounces a day, I have approximately 200 ounces stored)!

Then there is the formula "issue"...when Gabriel was about 4 days old, we had to add formula to his feeding regimen because I wasn't producing milk yet (that came in on day 5) and he was severely dehydrated (something I feel could have been avoided had the hospital staff been more clear when they talked with us the first time we were there or when he was born, I feel like we got pushed out because they were busy and needed my bed for someone who didn't have their baby just yet).  We ended up using a couple of the "ready to drink" bottles and then around half of a container of powdered formula over the first four weeks.  We had to continue formula because he just wasn't gaining weight (actually started losing again) and his pediatrician threatened to hospitalize him again. He is now well over his weight loss and is somewhere close to (or past) 12 pounds!

I have so much formula "stockpiled" from what was given to us by the doctor's office, my sister, and directly from Similac!  I signed up for Similac's Strong Moms website (club, whatever they call it...) and am in total love with it.  Not only have they sent us formula coupons (I have a ton of these...I need to get them mailed out to formula-feeding Mom's ASAP), they also send me coupons for their bottles!  I currently have $8 in coupons I "need" to use...I think Santa might be bringing more bottles, lol.  Abbot (the company that makes Similac has also sent us 2 containers of formula and two 4 ounce bottles!  Even if "you" don't feed or plan to feed formula...every expectant Mom should sign up for that site!  I need to figure out what I'm going to do with all this formula now that we don't need it as well...I think I'm going to give it away to people who really need it, either through one of the new mom groups I joined or locally.  Anyone in the Spokane area need/want the half used container?  I don't think I can ship that one...