Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The first week as a family of four

So, it's been a week since we've arrived home with Baby Brother.  I had some serious reservations about how Finn would handle the arrival of her new sibling.  And I had some predictions on how I thought Fish would be as a new member of our household.  Well, I really need to re-calibrate my "Mother's intuition" because boy, was I totally off base on both counts.

After our initial debacle at the hospital (Daddy holding Finn while Mommy tried to feed Fish -- FAIL!  But Mommy letting Finn sit on my lap while I fed Fish -- SCORE!), Finn has been nothing but in love with Fish.  She is on a "Baby Brother" high.  If Baby Brother isn't in Mommy's arms (as he is most of the time), she needs to know where he is.  And she needs to make sure that he is okay.  "Can't see, Mommy!  Can't see!"  My first inclination that she was going to exceed my expectations of her (which I have a feeling that she is going to do over and over again in her life) was at breakfast the morning following our homecoming.  I put Fish in the Moses basket and set him on the kitchen floor so I could have a swig of coffee and a bowl of raisin bran.  Finn scooped up every last sausage bit on her plate and rushed over to the basket.  She knelt down and proceeded to stare at Fish, while pointing out his features with her sausage-free hand and munching on her "to-go" breakfast in her other hand.  Infatuated was the only word to describe her reaction.

We haven't had any jealousy yet.  I'm sure it's coming.  We all know that every day isn't going to be rainbows and unicorns.  And we still don't have a good routine set up yet, which stresses both her and I sometimes.  But we'll get there.  The one thing that I predicted accurately was that the first couple of weeks are going to be the hardest.  Finn likes routine as do I.  The first couple of weeks is for testing and trying to figure out what works best for all of us.  We are still struggling with a routine, but I don't doubt that some sun peeking around the clouds in a couple of weeks or so.

 Fish at one week
 Finn at one week
 My babies -- Finn (23.5 months) and Fish (1 week)

Finn at 3 days and Fish at 7 days 
I scaled the images to make the bears the same size, meaning the babes are shown in accurate size.
You can see how much longer and bigger Fish is than Finn was.


Finn as a babe was up constantly.  She didn't sleep well for the couple of months -- in fact she didn't sleep well for practically the first 23 months. She just recently hit the stretch where she is sleeping through the night pretty consistently (though she does still wake occasionally and Daddy goes in to make sure she is okay to which she simply lays back down and falls asleep once she knows that Daddy will come if she calls out).  She also wanted to nurse almost constantly and be held constantly.  And in order for her to sleep for longer stretches than 30-45 minutes, you had to snuggle her on your chest.  Only then would she grant you 2-3 hour naps. And our breastfeeding journey started out pretty rocky with an improper latch for the first 36 hours and we didn't really hit our stride until she was 5 weeks old.

Fish has been a dream, quite literally.  Today, he is 10 days old.  And he is exactly the opposite of what I had anticipated him being.  In utero, I claimed that he was going to be a restless baby, that he was going to be in constant motion and never sleep.  I claimed this because it seemed like he wouldn't sit still and that he was kicking and punching around in there, which caused me some serious discomfort.  I know realize that due to the fact that he was 22 inches (almost 2 inches longer than Finn at 20.25 inches) and 9lb 6oz, he didn't have any room in there.  So each little movement that he made, I seriously FELT.  He wasn't trying to violently head-bump my cervix -- he just didn't have room to go anywhere else.

Once he has his Mama, he is as calm as a lamb and as sleepy as Rip Van Winkle.  I actually had to ask the silly question to his pediatrician over the past weekend of "Can a baby sleep too much?"  Everyone has said "Never wake a sleeping baby!", but doctor's always say "Wake a sleeping baby to make sure they eat."  Who's right?  Well, his pediatrician told me the answer over the weekend and I don't know why most doctors aren't as straight forward as she is.  She told me that the first two weeks of a newborn's life, they shouldn't sleep longer than three hours.  Our mature livers know to excrete sugar when we haven't eaten in a while to maintain our blood sugar levels; newborns' livers don't know how to do that in the first two weeks.  So you wake a sleeping baby after 3 hours for the first two weeks of their life.  After that, you can let them sleep as long as they want.

So I've been taking to waking him during the night.  Our typical night is hitting the sack at about 9:00-9:30, my waking him at midnight - 1:00am (when I wake up due to my boobs hurting), my waking him at 3:00-4:00am (again when I wake up due to discomfort), and then he would wake around 6:30 to eat and then falls back asleep for another hour or two.  I'm curious to see when he starts sleeping through the night.  I am placing bets that he is going to be sleeping through the night A LOT sooner than 23 months like his sister.

Which leads us to his eating habits...  He started nursing like a champ in the delivery room.  His latch has been perfect (I also think it is also due in part to my second-time-around knowledge of how to handle him, how to latch him, what looks right and what doesn't).  He was born at 11:30pm on a Saturday and my milk finally came in on Tuesday morning (it took almost 4.5 days with Finn).  The only problem that we have breastfeeding is that he doesn't eat frequently enough for my comfort.  I've had slight engorgement issues due to his infrequent eating style -- he likes to push things to his time limit.  When he eats, he eats a lot most of the time.  My body just needs time to adjust to his eating style (which is different than Finn's was).  When we left the hospital on Monday morning, he weighed 8lb 13oz.  We had a doctor's appointment on Thursday, which he still weighed 8lb 13oz. They were concerned that his weight still hasn't reached his birth weight, so we were scheduled to see the pediatrician again on the following Monday.  It was at that doctor's appointment that we realized that the hospital didn't measure his length accurately.  The hospital said that he was born at 21.25 inches, but the office measured him twice on two different papers and each length was 22 inches.

Over the weekend, I had some issues with his umbilical cord, which ended up being nothing.  But from Thursday to Saturday, he had gained 6oz (his weight was 9lb 3oz).  The doctor said they ask that they gain 1oz a day, but he was definitely looking at more than that -- so we don't have to go back until his one month check up.

So all in all, we are trying to find our stride at home.  We'll hit it eventually, that I don't doubt.  And both Big Sister and Baby Brother are doing well, adjusting to our new life style.

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