So this post is long over due, but I have a feeling this blog is going to be put on the back burner for a while from here on out. It is important to me to document these precious days though, so slowly, but surely I'll get things posted!
Hank is now 1 month old! This past month has been a whirlwind! We've been lacking sleep around here and have been running around celebrating Christmas and New Years - I'm looking forward to a calm January (and hopefully a calmer baby!)
I can't think of one way to sum up this past month, almost every day has been different! I guess that's what newborns are known for though. Some days I've felt like this whole two kid thing is impossible and I want to lock myself in a closet and cry - the days when Hank won't stop crying, won't let me put him down, the house is trashed, my body feels like crap, and I feel exhausted from not sleeping. Fortunately every day is not like that! And fortunately I have a husband that comes home to relieve me, family and friends that provide meals and company to keep us sane, a toddler who is very sweet and lovable and easy going, and I've been getting to see more and more of these lately...
I am also fortunate to have PERSPECTIVE! This is huge. Since this is my second time around, I now know how fast these newborn days go, how much I need to appreciate this itty bitty bundle, and that everything will pass with time. I know that if Hank has a day where he needs to be held a lot, it's ok, it won't last forever. At the same time if Hank has a day where he sleeps really well, I don't get used to it, it won't last forever either! With Lucy, I think Ben and I were paranoid that any stage would last forever - I was nervous that I was holding her too much, or not holding her enough, that I was letting her cry too much or not enough, etc. Now I feel a lot more confident in assessing the situation given my past experience, rather than trying to read 20 different books to figure out what to do with this baby. Just like any job, it's nice being experienced - I always hated being the new person on the job!
So, as I've mentioned before, Hank is a little bit more high maintenance than Lucy. I've researched a ton to see if there was anything wrong with him (food allergies, something in my breast milk upsetting him, acid reflux, etc.) but my only conclusion is that he's just a normal baby! Lucy just happened to be some type of freak baby that liked to sleep a ton and never cried... Hank did have a bad diaper rash (and seemed extra gassy and extra congested) that wouldn't go away with treatment so I did give up dairy for two weeks. The rash cleared, but when I reintroduced dairy, it didn't bring the rash back, so the doctor said I should be in the clear to eat dairy... the rash was just from having a poopy diaper a lot! So again, the only thing I can conclude is that Hank is just a normal gassy, rashy, congested little guy.
Another big difference between my babies - Hank loves to eat! We took him in for his 1 month appointment and he weighed 12 pounds 6 ounces (90 percentile) - that's 3.5 pounds more than his birth weight! For comparison, Lucy weighed 9 pounds 10 ounces at 1 month. He is also 24 inches long (99 percentile). Breast feeding has been going really well (obviously!). Hank seems like a really fast eater, nursing in 20-30 minutes (compared with Lucy's 45 minute nursing) and he is usually full off of one side, allowing me to pump the other side and stock up on my milk supply! And allowing us to give him a bottle each night. Ben usually does this at 9pm so I can get ready for bed.
Sleep is hit or miss, some nights Hank will go for a 5 hour stretch, and go down to sleep with out fussing. Some nights it takes several hours to get him to sleep between nursing and I usually give up and just let him sleep on my chest or next to me in bed (I know, not safe... but after several nights of getting no sleep a mom gets desperate!) Same with naps, some days he takes 3 great naps, some days he needs to be held for his naps. I think the big difference between the babies is that Hank has a hard time settling himself. Even with a paci, swing, noise machine, and swaddle, he still sometimes can't drift off to sleep on his own. Or can't make it through his different sleep states. Fortunately, I know as he matures he will get better at this, so for now, I just consider myself lucky if he makes it through a sleep session without needing to be picked up. The past couple days I've had some success getting him to nap in his crib on his tummy (again, I know this isn't the safest, but I keep the video monitor on and watch him the entire time so I know he's safe.) This has actually seemed to work pretty well, but again, some naps I have to go in and help "carry" him through his sleeps states - either picking him up or putting his paci in several times. We don't do this at night because I wouldn't feel comfortable letting him sleep on his tummy without watching him, so we are still having him sleep in the swing at night. This seems to work about 70% of the time.
He is on a really great schedule though, he seemed to organize himself into a eat/wake/sleep cycle on his own. Right now Hank eats around the following times (give or take 30 minutes): 9am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm, 9pm, then he'll sometimes stretch till 1 or 2am. Depending on that stretch he'll usually nurse 1 or 2 more times and then start the day all over again at 9am. Again this is different almost every day, but that's the general schedule for now.
Because of his fussiness, some people have asked if he's colic - I know he's not though. He really is a pretty happy baby overall, and just needs a little extra TLC to help him sleep. If he was held all day I don't think I'd ever hear him cry - unfortunately that's not possible! The toughest times are when we are in the car - depending on his mood, he typically cries the whole time we are in the car, and whenever I am unavailable (i.e. in the shower, helping Lucy, etc.) I've learned to use the moby a lot though, allowing me to hold him and still use my hands. And I've learned to pick and choose when I want to leave the house! Fortunately we've had tons of visitors so I haven't felt too stir crazy yet!
And during his wake time I swear he is one of the smiliest babies I have ever met (ok, I may be biased). But he really is so easy to get to smile (I remember we worked really hard to get Lucy to smile) and he has been cooing a lot lately too... that makes it all worth it, doesn't it?
Ok, I feel like this was an information overload, and no one probably cares about this as much as I do, but that's ok! It's helpful information that I will use when we eventually get brave enough to have kid number three!
And now for Hank's one month pictures - I decided to change up the positions a bit this time around.
For comparison, here's Lucy at 1 month.
People keep saying that Hank looks different than Lucy, but I don't think so... I think they look almost like twins! I guess we'll see as he gets older.