Benny is here! I started this post when Benny was born and just wrote a few notes each week. Now, 15 months later, I'm trying to get back into blogging so I can organize all of BB's photos. So I'm now going to very roughly recap months 0-15.
Born: May 2, 6 pm ish
For several weeks after coming home I was sooooo upset that I (a) had not taken many pictures in the hospital (though fortunately other people took a few, which proves that people came to see me even if I was sailing so smoothly on pain killers I can hardly remember), (b) did not straight away put up a picture and an announcement on facebook, and (c) I did not ever get to go to the hospital cafeteria, order pizza, or get a celebratory Dr P. or D.C. Sadness (a) is actually real, sadness (b) is very much ridiculous (don't worry, we eventually put up an announcement on facebook :) ), and sadness (c) demonstrates that I was quite extraordinarily obtuse going into this whole thing.
So, onto fabulous BB!
Sunday evening: we arrived home. We could not get Benny to eat (all he wanted to do was sleep) and we were petrified!!!! We ran around like crazy people all night long, called the doctor at about 3 a.m. (he told us to.... give him a bottle :). That never occurred to us! Also, I have no idea why it did not occur to me to call Liz who was no doubt home baking cupcakes or something wild, night owl that she is. Why though does the hospital make you feel like giving a baby a bottle will ruin them for breastfeeding forever? All in all, worst experience yet has got to be the first evening home-killer scary!
Monday morning: we race to the pediatrician. Dr F. thinks O and I are the most high strung parents in the world and tells us to take a nap. :) At least we got slurpees, a breast pump, and wingers sticky chicken finger salad on the way home. Benny slept all day and my pain killers were so effective I thought perhaps this was all going to be fine. hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Monday afternoon: Elissa came over with encouragement and helpful tips on breastfeeding. I was all jazzed and ready to go, but quickly became panic-stricken when things went downhill that night. We returned to the bottle. (Should have stuck with that bottle. There's always next time I suppose.)
Tuesday: We were loving those tiny bottles :) However, we decided to once again try the breastfeeding thing. Amazingly enough, my neighbor (did not know her super well at the time) texts to ask how things are going and lets me know she is a lactation specialist. We enlisted her help immediately and would never have gotten back on track without it! (though now looking back perhaps I would have been better off staying off track...) She came over several times over the next two weeks to help us out. (people-on the internet just kept saying, if you are having problems breastfeeding, don't give up, just keep trying! This is soooooo not helpful)
After about two weeks I looked like an 80 year old ex-playboy bunny (I had this super saggy stomach and the most ginormous bosom imaginable). It would have been hilarious had it not been so (a) incredibly painful, (b) awful looking (dressing a large chest "modestly" = uniboob), and (c) downright depressing. I'm going to need some serious plastic surgery to repair me to a normal looking human. Now, 15 months later and post breastfeeding, I can barely contain the skin that hangs down to my belly button. My sisters laughed when I told them swimwear is simply indecent on me these days. Jokes on them as two of them have just had kids. In short, I do not relate to those people who post all these articles about how amazing and proud people are of their real post baby bodies. One eyebrow goes up and the other goes down when I see those articles.
Week 1-2: At first I was holding BB at night while he slept. Consequently I got rather little sleep myself. Then I had my first taste of mastitis on Mother's day (about a week I think) (I'm sure I'll do an entire post on poor me and mastitis). We also tried to put BB to bed in a pink little bassinet we borrowed from Boo (O felt awfully bad for BB in that pink little thing). At about week 2 BB started sleeping in a bouncy/wiggle chair in between O and me in bed (good thing we have king bed, still very uncomfortable though!). At about week 6-7 we busted out the swing (should have started with that!). He loved the swing and slept there (we just turned on white noise and it would take 2-5 minutes to fall asleep) until about months 3.5. By then he started getting tall so we moved to the pack and play in our room. For about the first 4 months BB slept in our room and we kept the bathroom light on so we could just peek over at him and make sure he was OK all night long. Looking back, I'm not surprised we were (and still are) such exhausted zombies. :) Week 2-7 BB woke up about 2:30 am and 6 am. He would sleep one long 6 hourish stretch at night starting at about 8 or 9 pm. Then he would eat about every 3 hours during the day. At month 2ish the pediatrician told us to just do a cry it out. It took one night, BB cried for about an hour (I sat in the bathroom and let the water run I was so distraught!) and after that slept great. However, with the constant mastitis I started having to get him up to eat at night. At month 6 I stopped breastfeeding and we did the cry it out for a night again. We then had a few weeks of good sleeping on BB's part. Then were hit with the flu and nonstop colds/ear infections/teething/who knows what else for months 7-10 and BB generally got up once a night. :( (at about a year we did the cry it out again, fortunately it only ever takes one night of about 1-2 hours of off and on crying, and BB has been sleeping through the night since ever since. He goes to bed at 6:30 and gets up at 6:30-rather hellaciously early. Lets just say no one calls me angel of the morning.)
Back to week 2:
We got two week pics and I could not even stand up for more than 15 minutes at a time during the session. O was on his phone with some work thing and the photographer had to keep moving BB bc I had collapsed in the corner. I'm sure he thought we were weirdos.
At this point I could not think of any songs to sing BB except for twinkle twinkle little star, She'll be coming round the mountain (I read a funny article about how dads don't help much in the labor and delivery stage except sitting around singing that song so it was stuck in my mind), and then all sorts of cowboy sort of songs, like someone's in the kitchen with Dina, I've been working on the railroad, etc. Once I heard O singing the ABCs to him and I thought, "thats a goodie" and added that to the repetoire, along with Baa Baa black sheep (the song we always sing when he goes to bed). Finally, BB started watching youtube nursery rhymes at a few months old and I learned all the normal songs (albeit with a few grammer errors and an accent) to sing.
I wrote a quick note to myself that I love the newborn stage!! I must have been on drugs. :) I do however feel sad that I missed BB's first couple of weeks when he was soooo teeny tiny and sleepy. I barely remember them. I was so exhausted from hemorrhaging I guess. I also wrote that when he sleeps I miss him and want to pick him up and hold him up. I still feel that way. :) My tiny tyrant. :)
Week 3-mastitis again. I have no emojis on my computer to express the terribleness of mastitis so this will have to sufice. :(
Memorial Day: First smile. He was wearing a onesie with a little fish sewn on it (from Lauren and Theresa Dahle) and it took about 10 smiles to believe it was real!
About 4 weeks: at a family bbq-Benny was fussy and I could not figure out why. Elissa picks him up and gets a bunch of burps out. For some reason, I had never burped him. That seemed to help his fussiness. :) Also at week 4 BB spit up on me one day, majorly. Shirley, Johnna, and Mackenzie were coming down to see BB and so I was forced to take the first shower while home alone with BB. That was great! BB loves the sound of the water so after that I would sit him in his blue bouncy chair while I showered or had a bath every day. Nice to have a few minutes of self time!
After 4 weeks of hanging out in bed (thank heavens for my mom-how do
you have kids without one!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!) I sort of rejoined the world
of the living and took BB on a few painfully slow walks at the parkway. I
seriously did hang out in my bed all day. I would go down the
stairs-all 4 of them- once each evening and gather up all my snacks and a
huge cup of water for the next day and then would hardly get out of bed
at all-baffling that this was real. I would not believe it if I had not
written this while it was happening! Luckily for me, BB, named Po at
the time, was a super sleeper.
Though there were a sprinkling of
goodish days, I felt pretty much awful for the first year. For the
first 5 months I could only wash my hair every other week! Having kids
is quite the killer experience. 15 months later I still look at people
with more than one child and just blink... blink..... blink.... in
BB's umbilical cord finally came off. He loves the tub! We have very few activities so we did a bath every day.
Week 5 1/2: Started crying (had not done much of that before). It turns out he was tired and he HATES being rocked or held when he is tired. My mom said this was just like Jordan. When he is tired he we would just put him down in his bed and he was so much happier. Ever since discovering this BB has been a pretty happy lad, on the worst days he cried about 10 min (spaced throughout the day). Even better, one day Erika was getting ready to show her house and we rushed over to help her get it ready. I was vacuuming and he felt right asleep. Vacuum turned off and he woke back up. Turns out, BB loves the vacuum! We started running the vacuum at our house for hours at a time. It was quite brilliant that we could turn it on and he would fall right asleep, but a bit of a pain to have it on forever. I tried sound machines and recordings but nothing was like the real thing. Extra good thing that my mom has the same vacuum in Idaho. Whenever he would wake up at night, we would just turn on the vacuum and he'd go back to sleep. At some point I ended up weaning him off it but it was probably at like month 8 or 9. :)
Week 6: Benny got a name! I think it took us 6 weeks. For all that time we just called him Po :)
BB's schedule at this point is eat (takes about 45 minutes bc he is a lazy man eater and falls asleep while eating), read nursery rhymes for 15-20 minutes, then sleep until 3-3.5 hours from when he last started eating. Most of the time he lounges around with one knee propped up, opens his mouth, closes his eyes, and I feel like a little satyr, fanning him with palm fronds. We've taken to calling him T.T. (Tiny Tyrant) bc we run around and do everything he wants while he sits in his chair and glares at us. Sometimes he looks at us like "I'm going to sleep but don't you dare think of relaxing".
Week 6.5: I felt like I had a real turning point here. I started figuring out BB's schedule which helped quite a lot. This was also when BB started cooing and really came out as a social butterfly. He may look like my doppelganger but he is O to a T in some things!
At this point I actually started thinking one day (not one day soon but just one day) I might actually recover. that thought turned out to be premature :)