Monday, March 23, 2015

15 Weeks - Meet Chatty Cathy

In the past couple of weeks Little Two has gotten very chatty. Nothing like real words, of course, but many repeated vocalizations; my favorite is one that has the same patterning as 'I love you.' And she will 'talk' back in a nonsense conversation when you engage her.

She has not repeated the roll from tummy to back of the other day. Boo!

This girl continues to be a snuggle-bug, happiest when sitting on my lap or being carried if I'm walking around. Unfortunately for my arms/neck/back the two carriers I've tried have not been popular. She also prefers to nap on me to any other location. It does make it difficult at times to get things done!

I am a bit concerned that she is tilting her head to one side, not for head shape but that the muscles of neck her are compensating for an issue. Will be addressing that with the ped. at her next appointment.

Nursing continues to be successful. I miss the weekly weigh-ins I was able to do with LO, because it was a trackable data, but LT maintains her chubby cheeks, wrists, and thighs while seemingly growing out of clothes before I've gotten them washed for a second wearing, so I think she's doing just fine there. I continue to give her a 4oz formula bottle at bedtime followed by a full nursing session so her tummy is nice and full and usually guarantees 5-6 hours of sleep. On the off nights it's more like a total of 3-4 for me. Blergh. In other news, my coffee addiction is in full swing.

LO is impatiently waiting for LT to get big enough to play with her. Apparently we adults having to do adult things and not play with her ALL. THE. TIME. is too boring for her or something. On the flip side, she has taught herself to do a cartwheel, without any gymnastics training/exposure at all. How crazy is that?!

I guess that's all there is here, LT actually transferred to the swing for a nap (all hail the Fisher Price Cradle & Swing) and I have a literal mountain of pots and pans awaiting my attention in the kitchen (see above regarding difficulty getting things done) which I may finally be able to get a handle on. Hah!)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

13.5 Weeks (aka 3 Months)

Little Two rolled over during tummy time today! She's only done tummy time a short handful of times (bad mom!) so extra hurray!!!!

Pushing into 6 months clothes already, and out of 3 month sleepers though pants still fit around the waist. She's a chunk, but a long one.

Nursing continues on approximately the same schedule as before: Every 2-3 hours during the day, a 4oz bottle at bedtime, 4-6 hours of sleep for me and then start over again.

Dealing with both girls at the same time is getting harder - LT naps mostly on me (which is simultaneously awesome and frustrating) so even when she's sleeping I'm still not really free to give LO 100% exclusive attention.  LO's behavior seems to be reflecting this lack of individual attention. So much not fun.

 DH and I celebrated 13 years of marriage on the 9th, went out to a nice dinner on Friday by ourselves. The in-laws came over and watched both girls, didn't do everything exactly as I would have liked, but that's the price to pay for free childcare.

What else? We signed LO up for Kindergarten for next year. We're going to keep her at the private preschool for several reasons, number one for me is that the class size will be 12-16 students vs. 28 in the public school. This will allow for much more individualized attention. It really feels like she will thrive in a smaller class vs. bobbing along in a larger one.

I guess that's it. Off to make dinner. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

10 Weeks, Little Two Style

We're all doing well here. LT does have a touch of reflux which is responding nicely to a daily dose of famotidine.

LT is sprouting like a weed, at her 2 month appointrment was 11.5lb and 22.5" tall which places her squarely at the 75th percentile for both. She's powered through size 1 diapers in the space of one 100 count box & 3 smaller packages. I put her in size 2's last night and they fit nicely so when the current supply of 1's is depleted that is it! Three month clothing is also starting to get snug - it feels like I just switched into it from newborn and I'm sure she hasn't worn everything even once! At least LO was in 3-6 and 6 month clothes in the winter so I don't need to stock up on warm stuff (though maybe some more long-sleeve shirts since I layer LT more than LO). It's been helpful having LO's stuff but at some point I know their 6 month season difference is going to catch up and I'll be shopping for both of them.

Related, I wasn't expecting LT to be on the upper end of the percentiles. My side of the family runs more petite, so why wouldn't one of the girls be smaller? Oh well, I guess they got my looks and DH's frame. Better that than the other way, I suppose. ;)

LT continues to get a 4oz evening bottle which she likes to supplement with a full nurse. Most nights that does get her through a good 4-5 hour stretch. I pay for it during the day though with her feeding every 1.5-2 hours. Perhaps that's also related to supply as when I've been able to or needed to pump I rarely get more than 3oz total? But as seen above she is growing like crazy, so it's obvious she's getting what she needs, even if it means she rarely has a decent nap (aka I barely get anything done).

As LT gets older, it's getting more obvious how alike they are. Of the pictures below where they are wearing the same sleeper and on the same pack & play sheet, LO is at 11.5 weeks & LT at 8 weeks, can you tell who is who?





Oh, LT just transferred successfully into the swing of wonder so I'm going to go do something I can only accomplish most effectively with the freedom of two hands: LAUNDRY. lucky me



*If you guessed that LO is on top and LT is on the bottom you'd be right.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

6 Weeks

Wow! How have 6 weeks gone by so quickly? I'm going to have to go with blaming Christmas on this one.

LT is doing great now that she's gotten the bili issues out of her system. Literally. Did I mention that poop is how the bits leave the body? Anyway, moving on...

Once again, my milk production levels have not been able to keep up with demand, but this time around I refuse to endure the crazy pumping/formula/nursing schedule I kept with LO. Looking back at that, it was insane, but I had time. I don't have time or mental energy to keep it up now. LT is getting some formula - Gerber gentle premix in the tetrapak boxes (I tried a sample of powdered enfamil and it was soundly rejected) - at night before I go to bed and occasionally some during the day if demand is extra high (but only after nursing until my nipples are sore*). I do have a pump so when it works out, I try to fit a session in after LT's bedtime bottle but before I get to bed myself. I'm also trying to load up on oatmeal and fenugreek to help boost production, but I'm not sure I'm consistent enough with either for full effectiveness.

Thanks to the bedtime formula bottle LT generally gives me anywhere from a 4.5 to 6 hour stretch of sleep, but a return to sleep after she wakes is not guaranteed. This stretch is helping to keep me from sleep deprived mood issues, but every so often the lack of additional sleep catches up with me and I crash on the sofa with LT on my chest post-feed while LO watches TV.

Not exactly sure how much LT currently weighs or how long she is (8lb 6oz & 21+" at the 1 month visit), but she's on the verge of being too big for many of the newborn size sleepers, and when the stock of newborn diapers runs out in the next few days she'll move into the size 1's. Wah!

LT is 100% still in the 4th trimester sleep/eat/awake for a bit/sleep/and so forth cycle. When she wakes up though, she's a total grumpuss until she's fed. She's also happiest when toasty warm - being held, or swaddled with a hat on her head and a blanket over the swaddle. She's not a huge fan of the car seat until the car is moving and we've had varied results with the swing, bouncer, rock & play, and pack & play. She also puts up an initial fuss to the Infantino mei tei carrier (new for this go round) but mostly falls asleep once she gets all warmed up. That helps with meeting both her need of being held and my desires to actually get some things done.

LO ranges from trying to be helpful, especially when LT is fussing, to being frustrated at the division of my attention between the two of them. I can absolutely understand the latter, it must feel awful going from getting all the attention to getting much much less, especially when it's because of things outside your control. In addition this month we moved LO from 3 to 5 half days of preschool so she's also lost those two mornings of time we previously spent together. I'm trying to come up with fun activities we can do a couple afternoons each week, with LT tagging along, so LO doesn't feel completely rejected, but LT's feeding/attention needs sometimes do get in the way. I'm also trying not to make it a habit to rely on LO's willingness to be helpful - she's not a third parent after all!

Anyway, that's where we are now. Send milk thoughts!





*Related: I've managed to get the sticky parts of the nursing pads stuck to my nipples more times than I want to admit. Double ouch!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Not So Blue Anymore and Other Things to Share

The numbers on Monday dropped again, hurray!, so pediatrician told us to stop the lights, YAY!, and retest on Wednesday. AND...drumroll, please...today's numbers did not rise despite LT not pooping since the 29th!!! Double hurrah!!! The machine has left our house but we are scheduled for another (and hopefully final) blood test next Monday. Here's hoping the numbers either continue to drop or remain steady. Fingers crossed tight.

One nice thing about this process is part of the nurse visit is a weight check so I've been able to see how LT's been doing with that - as of today she is over 8lbs! Once she poops that will drop, but I'll take it for now. Related, at last weeks 2 week visit she was over 21" long. The cheeks are starting to chub and the chin is starting to double. Love it!

Since the light machine was no longer providing a loud background hum, the refrigerator decided take over and develop a hearty rattle, along with a firm refusal to keep the freezer drawer, well, frozen. Good thing we already had a service appointment scheduled for Friday and we have a full size freezer in the garage. Otherwise, think of the ice cream!

We've also upgraded our 2nd floor HVAC unit to one big enough to properly heat/cool the entire floor and advanced enough to allow for a 2nd thermostat on the area used by guests, upgraded the humidifier on our 1st floor unit, and other stuff which goes along with both projects.

LO will move to 5 days a week preschool on Monday. She may have a hard time with this as she understands the difference between a school day and a stay-home day. We and the teachers think it will be a good move for her, but it is one more change on top of the addition of LT to the family. LO has also started reading, on her own terms which means that if you directly ask her to read something she'll resist mightily, but if you slip it in she'll mostly manage to do it. Example - read a word, no. Tell me what brand a diaper is, yes. Crazy, but not unexpected given her 'do things on my own schedule' history.

There's noise of random celebratory gunshots in the air. Gotta love living in the outskirts of the suburbs.

Happy 2015 to you and yours, and may only the best of things come to you.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

It was a Blue Christmas...

Thanks to the glow of LT's at-home bilirubin mat.

We left the hospital on Sunday with orders to visit the pediatrician the next day for a follow up bilirubin test as LT's levels were on the high-end of where they were comfortable.

The pediatrician wasn't able to fit her in until later in the afternoon, which meant that the results on the bloodwork came back after office hours. 8:30 that night the phone rang with an on-call pediatrician saying she couldn't reach our pediatrician (our ped is associated with the local medical school/hospital system) but the numbers from the afternoon test were high, close enough to the level of concern that we needed to go to the closest pediatric ER ASAP for treatment. WHAT?!

So, off we went to the pediatric ER where LT was retested, then admitted to the hospital (a different one from where she was born) for a night of being sandwiched between bili lights. By the time she and I reached the room on the pediatric floor, it was after midnight, and probably close to 2AM by the time the lights were delivered from wherever equipment was stored. Somewhere in there, DH drove home, collected things for me to be able to spend the night since we hadn't thought to plan for that (this is where being lazy and not really unpacking the hospital bag came in handy), returned, made sure everything was okay and then headed back home to sleep and be there for LO in the morning. Thank goodness my Mom was staying with us so that either I didn't have to go on my own with LT, or that we didn't have to drag LO with us!

LT and I stayed there through late Tuesday afternoon when it was determined that she'd both had enough time under the lights, that they had helped the level drop to an acceptable level, and time for a bounce-back test (to make sure levels didn't spring back higher), again with orders to get her levels tested in a day or so. On Thursday we went back to the peds for testing, and darned if her levels hadn't risen again! Thankfully not to the point of another visit to the ER, but enough to earn her an at-home light system and regular visits from a home nurse for blood tests. And so for the past two and a half weeks she has been wearing a light under her onesie and sleeper (so much for the east of the zippered kind) for the better part of each day, and because of that we've been tied to the house, and limited locations within the house. It made finishing Christmas shopping a tad difficult, and presents didn't get wrapped until Christmas Eve after the in-laws came because the presents and paper were on the 3rd floor and it was too much hassle to take the equipment up and bringing them down would have meant LO and other recipients possibly seeing them.



Number have gone down, and up again (I blame that on her not pooping for a couple days and the bilirubin bits reabsorbing - bilirubin is removed in poop), as of Friday she was at 9.5 which is the lowest since she left the hospital for the first time. The next test is scheduled for Monday and I'm keeping my fingers crossed hard that it will finally be the last day. All of us are ready for more flexibility in location - though it will be strange to not have the white noise of the machine constantly in the background!

Other than LT's medical adventures outside the hospital (LO kept hers contained to the hospital), she's been a very good baby so far. Only fusses when she wakes up hungry, nurses like a champ (though it appears that once again my supply is not enough for demand, more on that later), and in general is pretty chill. We'll see how that changes once she exits the 4th trimester! She gets 2-3 ounces of formula around midnight which fill her up sufficiently to sleep through until 2 or 3am, nurses then, and goes back to sleep until sometime between 7 and 8am. While I'm not getting as much sleep as I could if I went to bed before midnight, the couple times I've tried to do so LT kept me up until 1-2am. Apparently she objects to my getting more sleep.

Christmas here was good.  We had cut back some, but in the end it appeared otherwise because the IL's gave more than we did to both LO and LT. I guess that's one of the privileges of being a grandparent? My parents didn't come until the day after as they spent Christmas day with my grandmother. (Side note: she is not doing well, planning on moving out of independent living into assisted living in January, all of this went down in a matter of days while my Mom was staying with us after LT was born.) It was nice to extend the present opening as LO was turning into a holy terror by the end of present opening with the in-laws. A 4yo only has so much patience before the allure of new toys combined with the excitement of the day overwhelms all else.

Hope 2015 brings all the good you hope for, and none of the bad you fear.

Monday, December 8, 2014

12.5.14 And Beyond...

No surprises this time. This is a very good thing!

Got to the hospital around 6:45 Friday morning, did all the paperwork, and was settled into a combo birthing and regular room by 7:20 (maybe, some of these times were approximate, I wasn't looking at the clock or had other things on my mind).

Nurses got me hooked up to the IV system and the OB came in, confirmed I was still 3-4cm dilated, and broke my water at 7:40 before she did a c-section and then headed over to see her regular patients. Contractions started shortly after - pretty much went BOOM right into them, no easing at all, even before the Pitocin kicked in! Anesthesiologist fit the epidural in between two c-sections, and shortly after I was resting comfortably while my body moved right along. 

Around 10:45 the nurses checked my status and called the OB back over to the hospital since Little Two's head was 'right there' stretching things out. At 10:59, after pushing (and pooping, ew) through three contractions, LT came sliding on out.  That's right, from water break to delivery was 3hrs 20min. Damn, I'm good!

LT weighed in at 6lb 10oz and 19.5" long, and still did less damage than the 2lb smaller LO did!

Unlike LO, LT has been a champion nurser from the start (my poor nipples!) and I have had much more energy despite the normal levels of sleep deprivation. I think the latter is thanks to being much less stressed out by the circumstances of the birth, and LT not having any need for the NICU. Plus, I'm not pumping round the clock! I'm so much more relaxed!

Milk came in Sunday afternoon/evening and LT has gotten much more efficient about nursing since then. She went from 25-60 minute sessions on one side to my having to force her to finish 10 minutes on one side. Unfortunately that's pretty much at every 2 hours so overnight sleep is hard!

Still need to figure out the rocker/recliner/glider chair situation for LT's room, and much of the nursery supplies are everywhere vs. being put away, but we are plugging along very nicely.

LO is obviously still very tentative about this new addition to our family and the changes her arrival has made. Trying to give her some special one on one time so she doesn't feel isolated or neglected.

And now LT needs feeding again...