Tag Archives: newborns

Currently

This may be my latest Currently yet! Sorry for the delay, but Monday (and apparently Tuesday of this week) just are busy these days. So, here it is… What I’m up to currently, linking up as usual with Becky at Choose Happy!

Drinking || lots of coffee. Partially because I’ve been needing the boost, and partially because fall and coffee go perfectly together! Because I make my coffee one cup at a time in the keurig (I have the little cup you fail with your own grounds) I can adjust the caffeine. Sometimes it’s full caffeine, sometimes it’s half-caff or decaf, so that I don’t give myself the jitters!


Sleeping || not as much as I’d like. D is still only sleeping about three hours at a time at night. Maybe four in the first stretch – which is inevitably the one of the night, that starts around 9:00 usually. So I don’t get those four hours, because sometimes EK hasn’t even gone all the way to sleep yet. So I’m feeling the effects of not having any more than four hours at a time in a whiiiiiiile. Hence the coffee.

Watching || James and the Giant Peach with the kids. I haven’t seen it in forever (read: since it came out) and honestly had forgotten about it. But I found it this morning, messing around on Netflix, trying to find something we hadn’t seen eight times. They are loving it!

Planning || a trip to Georgia in October to see my family! My parents come visit fairly often, but everyone else usually comes twice or three times a year. We are excited to go down there and spend several days!

Well, that’s a little update for y’all! What are you up to currently? I’d love to hear!

The Life of a New Mom

  
When you have a baby, certain things fall to the wayside for a few weeks (months?) that used to matter a little more. There are the normal things, like sleeping and eating. There are also things like laundry and other chores that you fall behind on. There are still more things that you neglect, often about yourself, that it takes you a while to get back into. I’m finding this out, once again, after the birth of my third child. Here are a few of the things I’ve been neglecting for the past six weeks:

Showers. It seems a little gross that you are neglecting these, but honestly, if you have half an hour to yourself, you’ll probably nap (or let’s be honest: sneak out and get a latte) instead of shower. Just being honest.

Beauty routines. The careful steps you took to put on your make up, the way you’d do your hair before you left the house, and the polish on your nails? Say goodbye. I have chipped nail polish from weeks ago, and I barely slap on the mascara every 5 times I leave the house. My hair gets washed every couple of days, and brushed… after I get out of the shower. Oops.

Haircuts. Speaking of hair, this is one of my biggest bummers about neglecting myself for a few weeks. As a person with short hair, I like to get it done about every six weeks, or else it gets super shaggy and it looks like I’m trying out a new (horrible) hair style. It’s been about 9 weeks since I’ve had a haircut, and I’ve stopped checking the back of my head in the mirror at any point. Ignorance is bliss. Oh, I have a giant cowlick back there? That means I actually slept a little last night!

Food. I don’t mean eating it… I mean making sure you have it. And also making sure it’s not rotten. And I hate being wasteful. We’ve run out of milk a few times (not good for my little napping babes) and eggs and bread once or twice as well. But somehow we recently had so many bananas that I ended up freezing the overripe ones for smoothies (because no one wants to eat a mushy banana) and I just threw out three molding peaches (disgusting) and some would-be-delicious leftovers that had been there since… I just don’t know how long. We have completely lost our balance for grocery shopping and food consumption.

Friends. I’ve been trying to do well here, but I’m sorry if I slipped. I’ve definitely texted a few of you a few times. That’s something, right? And several of you have brought us meals, you blessed souls. It’s nice to see a familiar face around here that isn’t asking me to change its diaper or feed it ice cream.

Knowledge of the outside world. Hey, is there some kind of election coming up? Wasn’t there some sport that just had a tournament or got a new outfit thingy? What season is it, again? I can’t even remember the day of the week…

Prayer life. Where I usually try to be very intentional about reading my Bible and choosing something or someone to pray for, recently my prayers have been all but limited to, “Please God, let the baby stay asleep.” and “Dear Lord, please let us have a few more diapers stashed around here somewhere.” Or my personal favorite: “Thank you, Lord, for my kids! And now, bed time!”

 

Currently 

Hey, y’all! I might be a day late on joining my usual Currently link up, but better late than never, right? I’m joining Becky at Choose Happy and the other fabulous bloggers to bring you this week’s Currently. Join us to let us know what’s going on with you currently!

currently button

Enjoying || some sweet moments between all the siblings. EK and j have been getting along a little better (I’m scared to type that for fear it’ll make it stop) and D has been getting some incredibly sweet snuggles from both of them. Lots of hugging and kissing around here, y’all.

  
  
Hoping || to get a few specific pictures this week. As of right now, the only picture of the five of us is yesterday’s epic selfie (below), and I’ve only got one (okay) picture of the three kids. Part of me is saying, “Eh, there’s a lifetime to get those pictures.” But the rest of me wants at least one while D is still tiny! Here’s hoping I get a better one than this:

 Trying || to stick to a schedule. Having a newborn is tough when they’re supposed to eat every two hours. Try keeping up with that while also making sure the other two are entertained and have what they need, as well as pumping a couple of extra times a day to keep my supply up? Bordering on impossible. To heck with laundry and dishes. Yikes.

Thankful for || an incredible husband who’s been taking a late-night shift with D to let me get some sleep early on in the night. He’s a rockstar, y’all.

Reading || the last bit of the Maze Runner series. I’m in the book that is actually a prequel to the rest of the books… so I’m getting that back story I was craving the whole time! When I finish this, I’ll be working on Loving the Little Years  and starting something else to be my “pleasure reading”. Do you have any suggestions for me?

Well, that’s all for now. Please comment and let me know what you’re up to!

My Journey as a Mother: Breastfeeding (Part Three)

If you’ve read my other posts about breastfeeding my kids (here and here) you’ll know that breastfeeding has looked different – with varying levels of difficulty – each time. My youngest sweetie, Davis, is three weeks old now, and I can honestly say it’s been another less-than-I-hoped-for sort of journey so far. 

 When D was born, I already had enough experience to know that I needed a nipple shield, so I was armed with it in the delivery room for the first time he nursed. During our hospital stay, he nursed fairly well, despite being pretty sleepy and exhausted – it’s work to be born!

When we got home, he was increasingly difficult to wake up and keep awake to eat well. Therefore, he wasn’t getting enough each time, but would wake often to eat. It wasn’t exactly cluster feeding; it was more that I couldn’t get him to stay awake through a feeding. This was, looking back on it from my spot at three weeks, already making my supply decrease even before he was a week old.

When we went to the pediatrician for his two-week check up, I knew what was going to happen as soon as he got on the scale. He was still 5oz short of his birth weight, and I could see the rest of the visit playing out in my mind. My eyes welled up with tears of fear and guilt before we made it back to our exam room. How could I not be giving my child what he needed? Why was it that my body couldn’t manage to nourish my babies after it had done so well for nine months?

At his two week check up, he was still not back up to his birth weight, and so my pediatrician suggested supplementing with a little formula (or expressed breast milk, of which I had little) after every feeding. She gave me some samples – some ready-to-use and some cans of powdered – so that I wouldn’t have to buy any if I didn’t end up needing it for very long. When we got home that afternoon, we tried our first bottle with a couple of ounces of formula. He was very wary of it, and took some convincing to start eating it. He didn’t have much before we stopped for a burp, and when he sat up straight, he immediately puked up most of what he’d eaten. You can imagine how excited I was for that to happen. So we cleaned him (and everything else) up, and I mixed in a little breast milk with the rest of the formula, thinking it might improve the taste and also be easier on his stomach. He took it a little more readily, but still threw up the majority of what he’d taken.

You can imagine I was getting a little worried now. If he can’t keep formula down, and my milk supply is low, how am I gonna beef the kid up? Well, we switched the brand of formula and started off with very little formula in the breast milk, and he’s gotten more and more used to it. He still nurses a little, and it’s still not terribly efficient, but I think it’s helping keep my supply from dropping more than it might if I was exclusively pumping. But he’s gaining! And I’m taking my fenugreek (gross, by the way), drinking TONS of water, and eating my oats. It’s work, especially with a couple more little ones, but I’m doing everything I can to help him be healthy and growing. I don’t know how long I can keep up the pumping (honestly, it’s tough to find time to sit down and not have to get up while I’m doing it) but my goal is to at least get him to six weeks with having mostly breast milk with only a little bit of formula supplement. It’s what’s working for us right now, and when it doesn’t work anymore, we will change it. You can only do what works, right? Whatever is the best thing you can manage is what you do.

Things I Love About Newborns

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus!

After three years of watching my first and then second newborn grow into rough-and-tumble toddler and preschooler who feed themselves, make big messes, know more words every day, have super-stinky poops and holler louder than I would’ve imagined they could, having a newborn in the house again has totally baffled me all over again. It’s amazing how tiny they are, how soft their skin is, the way their legs draw up to their bottoms. It’s just plain cute is what I’m saying. Here are a few wonderful things I’ve rediscovered about newborns over the past week and a half since we added our newest… 

 Fuzzy Bodies || Their little bodies are covered (head to toe, in the case of all three of my children) in fine, downy hair. It’s literally adorable how monkey-like the little babes are. Their cheeks, their shoulders, their knees, all covered in fuzzy, little baby hairs. So cute.

Squeaky Noises || The squeaky, high-pitched noises accompanying stretches and the contented grunts accompanying full tummies are the cutest sounds in the world. That is all.

Deep Blue Eyes || I’ve often heard people say that all babies are born with blue eyes. While I don’t really know if that’s true, it was true for my children. All three of them had the deepest blue eyes at birth, like when you’re out on the ocean and you can’t even fathom where the bottom is… that deep, dark blue. J’s lightened pretty quickly, and are a pretty crystal blue now. But EK’s (and D’s so far) stayed darker for much longer, then started to develop a few more colors, and are hazel now. Word’s still out on what D’s will do.

Snugglability || There just isn’t anything in the world like cuddling a sleeping newborn baby. Nothing at all.

Wrinkly Everything || Similar to the fuzzy bodies, the wrinkly skin is also super endearing. Wrists, ankles, necks, everything has a few extra rolls and wrinkles and it’s adorable.

Quiet Mom and Baby Time || Whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle feeding, chances are there is a good amount of time that you’re alone with your baby… even if it’s only in the middle of the night. When baby is eating, or sleeping after a feeding, that time alone with just them is such sweet bonding and precious snuggle time that you will never regret.

Providing for Everything || A newborn is wonderfully (and sometimes terribly) dependent, but having the tools to give the baby everything he needs feels so good. It’s nice to know that if I can change his diapers, feed him, keep him warm, and give him lots of snuggles, he’s pretty much got everything he needs. No toys, playdates, or homework help needed. Instant supermom.

There are a few more things that I love, but most of them have to do with how different they are from my bigs, such as the fact that he can’t run, walk, crawl, or even roll over, the fact that right now, he eats for free, and the fact that he naps all day long. But newborns in general are just perfect… sweet blessings from our Creator that remind us how much we can love and how much we are loved.

Parenting Fail: Brand New Third Kid Edition

I’ve got a funny little story for you. It happened during D’s first two days of life. It’s just a little bit of proof that nobody has it all together, and nobody knows exactly what to do with their newborn. We were still in the hospital, in fact, where things should be totally fine, because there are a hundred people around to help me care for my son. Right? Sure.

  
Hubby had just left to go get some lunch and install the infant car seat so that we could go home that evening. I was pretty excited to have a few minutes with no visitors, so that I could maybe catch some zzz’s before going home to the madhouse (which honestly I’m excited about, because obviously I miss my kids and I love the family and friends that will be going through our revolving door over the next days and weeks to meet baby D).

So I settled into the bed, with a hiccuping D, to try to snuggle him to sleep. We both had full bellies, so I figured we’d take great naps. D had other plans. He decided to poop. Totally fine. I know the kid needs to do that… especially to get the first few (extra yucky) poops out. I heard it happening, waited what was surely an appropriate amount of time for him to finish, then stood up to change him. I wanted to hurry because, duh, I wanted a nap.

I undressed him and took off his diaper gingerly, then started to wipe him off. As if I had hit a magic button, the kid starts to pee. He’s a tiny baby… how much pee can be in there, right? Well, he pees. Then he pees some more. Somehow, it’s as though a sprinkler has turned on. Pee on me, pee on his first outfit ever, pee on his face, pee on the four blankets in his little crib/changing table/cart. He was literally giving the room a shower. Finally, it subsided. I had to use an entire pack of wipes getting the pee off every inch of his body (and my arms) and had a whole bag full of laundry when we were done. He was beet red and screaming his head off, basically looking at me like, “Mom! How dare you let me pee all over myself like that!” I know, kid. I also wish I hadn’t let you do that. Especially because he got a little red rash across him that he hadn’t had before his epic pee. Must’ve irritated his sensitive skin. What a guy. 

So if you’re ever having a third kid, and you’re like, “I’ve got diaper changes in the bag!” or “The hospital does everything for you while you’re there!” then beware. You just might be in store for a classic “I forgot newborns did that” moment. It’s tough to remember the exact joys of having a day-old baby until you’ve got one. Hello, sweet little fuzzy baby, who pees on everything. 

The Hospital Bag

When preparing to have a baby, there are tons of things you must do. On your to-do list, packing a hospital bag should be towards the top during your third trimester. However, I’ve procrastinated like a pro. Here I am at 38 weeks today, and I’ve only just done it. Oh well. In my experience, I’ve over-packed both of the last times, so this time, I chose a smaller bag, and tried to really pare down what I’m bringing with me. We live only a couple of miles from the hospital, and I know Hubby will be going back and forth a lot because the kids will be at home and will need him to be around since I won’t be. If I forget anything, I’ll have him bring it to me, right?

Here’s the bag I chose. It was a gift from a friend a while back, and I LOVE it. It’s adorable and it’s Lilly Pulitzer. Total win.

 

One important thing to pack for is self-care. It’s dry in hospitals, so I’ve got lotion and chapstick. I’ve got oral care (I HATE having yucky teeth), hair pins/band, and I need contacts to see! I’ll also pack my face wash, deodorant, and glasses at the last minute, since I’ll be using those up until that time.

Now for a few things for baby D… Like these swaddles! The hospital blankets are totally fine, but my kids picked out these “choo choo” swaddles for their brother, and I know they’ll love to see him in them when they meet him. (And obviously they’re Aden & Anais, because those are the best.)

Newborn fingernails tend to be scratchy, so I always bring a few pairs of mittens so he doesn’t scratch himself! (I like these Gerber ones better than some of the Carter’s ones I have, simply because they stay on the tiniest wrists a little better. The Carter’s ones are good for when baby starts to get chunky!)

For clothes, I like these shirts that I call “kimono” shirts… they wrap about baby so you don’t have to pull anything over their heads.  (Pictured: Gerber’s and Carter’s. They’re both favorites.)

Gowns are a MUST for newborns, because they’re easy access for the all-the-time diaper changes. (Pictured: both from Carter’s… one stretchy one-piece, and one zip-up. I also have a couple Three Marthas brand that I like just as much.)

And for a “going home” outfit, I chose this adorable little rainbow duck outfit. It was a gift from a sweet mama in Maryland who got my name in a “mystery mama” project. She sent me gifts for three months, and this was one of them! Thanks, Ashley!  

For lounge and nursing attire, I packed a couple of nursing bras/tank tops (different sizes, since I won’t know exactly how big/small I’ll be in that first couple of days, my favorite thin robe, and a nursing cover. All comfortable, all easy-access while I’m still in the hospital.(Not pictured: my favorite high school volleyball shorts. Loose and comfy!)

Things to do… my Kindle (Maze Runner currently on deck) and Phase 10 to play with Hubby. During labor, there can be some time that you’re not “doing” much… just playing the waiting game. After baby gets there, when there aren’t any visitors and baby is nursing ALL THE TIME, you might want some reading material if you’re like me.

There aren’t many more things that will get added after these. Probably a bottle of water, a Luna bar or two, and I’ll bring my pillow. Otherwise, I’ll have the clothes on my back and whatever I beg someone to bring me later. You just don’t need that much. Everything for baby will be provided, as well as everything you need as a newly-delivered mother. I’m all about using (and gathering for take-home) anything and everything the hospital will provide: diapers, wipes, nose sucker, measuring tape (to keep track, of course!), nipple balm, pads, mesh underwear (yeah, I went there), and everything else I could possibly need for my first few days post-partum. Use the resources you have!

What did you pack in your hospital bag? Is there anything I’ve forgotten?