Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hank: Month 2

I don't have much time these days, but as I've mentioned before it's important for me to remember these days, not only to look back fondly at my itty bitty baby, but also so I can remember what newborns are like once we have number 3 (potentially anyway!) So I'm going to try to be quick but detailed...

Nurse schedule: between 8 and 9am (ish), 11 and 12pm, 2 and 3pm, 5 and 6pm, 8 and 9pm (5-6 hour stretch here... on good nights), 2 and 3pm, 5 and 6am and then we start the day again! (basically every 3 hours, but sometimes he'll go 3.5 if he's sleeping long.)

Hank is a very predictable baby - he is awake for about an hour after he eats, then sleeps for 2 hours almost every single nap. The exception has been after the 6pm feeding when he goes "to bed"at 7pm and we try to do more of a "dream feed" at 9pm. While predictability is awesome, he has one predictable behavior that kind of stinks - every single nap (literally every one) he stirs at the 30-45min mark, takes a lot to get back to sleep, must be held for 30 min or so (if set down before he pops back up) and then can usually be set down for the last 30 min. Sleep has been a bit of an issue around here... No matter where Hank is - in the car seat, in the moby, in his swing, on his tummy, etc he always stirs at the 45 min mark. If I catch him in time, I can usually get him back to sleep much easier and almost "carry" him through that sleep transition, but if we're in the car or I'm unavailable he will scream and scream until someone holds him, pacis him and rocks him pretty intensely. Not fun.

So I'm taking the good with the bad - because of this predictability I work around Hank's mood. Hank is extremely happy after he eats and is awake, we try to get places right after he eats. And he will typically go down for a nap while we are out ok, we just need to get home (or I need to carry him) for the second half of his nap because he won't take the second part of his nap in the car seat.

For example, we had a somewhat successful outing to the Children's Museum last week, I fed Hank we jumped in the car and once we got there I wrapped him up in the moby and carried him the whole time. This was great because Lucy and I didn't have to hear him cry in the car, and my hands were free to help her around the museum. And of course Hank loves being held, so he slept the whole time in the moby. I nursed him there. Unfortunately he fell asleep in the moby again after eating, but it was time to head home, so I had to take him out of being warm and snuggled up next to me and put him in the car seat so he cried the whole way home. Then of course it was time for Lucy to lay down, so I had to make a decision (as I'm sure all moms do with more than 1 kiddo) of which kid to tend to, so I left Hank screaming in the car seat while I laid Lucy down. A lot of people ask what he would do if I just left him for a bit to cry and this showed me that no matter how long you leave him during the second part of the nap, he is not going to settle unless someone is holding him. So we've done other outings (the mall playground, the library, the store, etc) and I just try to adapt and plan on Hank needing to be held the second half of his nap wherever we are! Planning is everything!

Night time sleep is about the same - except about 80% of the time Hank will do his first 5 hour stretch on his own (he is still swaddled in the swing at night, we've tried other arrangements but nothing helps him sleep as long as the swing). The rest of the night is hit or miss and I'd say he ends up sleeping with me about half the time.

Before learning and understanding this, or when we have to be places that don't allow me to follow Hank's schedule (i.e. a doctor's appointment in the middle of his nap), we had a lot of awful outings too! Again, I'll say the good with the bad here - about once a week I melt down and cry for most of the day because I feel like I just can't do this anymore. Holding Hank for about 50% of the day is sometimes very wearing (ok, it's exhausting all the time, but sometimes it's extra emotionally draining), and makes me feel like I can't be a great mom to Lucy or a great wife to Ben - a lot of days it feels like Hank is the only one getting my attention. As soon as I'm able to set him down, I want to do as much as possible hands free because those opportunities are so limited, but sometimes I need to just sit with my daughter or love on my husband and forget about all that needs to be done. One day in particular last week when I was trying to help Hank fall asleep on his own (we've been trying everything!) Lucy got permanent marker all over our bathroom and hallway walls... I wasn't mad at her at all, I was upset with myself for getting too consumed with one child so that I forgot about the other one... fortunately every day isn't like that and now the permanent marker that's leftover on the walls just makes me laugh!

So for right now we are learning to just survive. I'm trying to enjoy this time with my little baby boy, but I'm not going to lie, this past month has felt like one of the longest in my life. I'm counting down the days till he is 3 or 4 months old and can self soothe a little more and sleep on his own better.

Ok - enough with the bad, there are a lot of good things that come from this life right now. In particular I've felt God tell me just to REST in Him. As I mentioned, I hold Hank a lot of the day so I'm not able to do a lot. This frustrated me at first, but the book we are doing in my Bible study right now helped me realize that God may not be able to take away the neediness of my newborn, but he can give me peace and rest if I just sit and relax in his presence. Lucy has also been an absolute joy during this time, continuing to be a happy, easy-going toddler. We are so thankful for the blessing she is in our lives and are trying not to take for granted how awesome she is.

Our house went through about 3 sicknesses this past month, so most of the month we spent inside trying to recover (I definitely think we will shoot for our next child to be born in the spring or summer... having a newborn and a sick toddler while being sick yourself is not fun!), but the past two weeks we've all been healthy and have been able to get out and enjoy the warm weather we are randomly having right now.

Ok- this post is way out of control long, but here are a few other highlights: Hank talks and smiles all the time, he is such a happy baby! I think he just loves being verbal! When he's happy he lets you know it and when he's mad he lets you know it! He loves batting at toys on his play mat and is a really active little guy - he's constantly moving his arms and legs (reminds me of how active he was in my tummy). He's getting stronger at holding his neck up and doesn't seem to mind tummy time too much so we work on that a couple times a day.

Went to the doctor on Monday, Hank is slowing down a bit in growth, but he's still a pretty big guy! He got his first shots and like Lucy only cried while he was getting the shots and stopped once I held him (he did better than I did!)... of course he had been crying the ENTIRE 20minute drive on the way to the doctor, so maybe he had just run out of tears :)

Weight: 13 pounds, 12 ounces (78%)
Height: 24.2 inches (91%)
Head: 15.7 inches (72%)

She made some suggestions for us on the sleep front, so I'm sure I'll have more news/updates on how things are going in Hank's 3 month post.

Oh my goodness, this guy is too adorable for words!

and here's lucy at 2 months for comparison!

still looking pretty similar I think!

Such a smiley baby! It's hard to stay too frustrated when this face looks at me...


  1. he is so cute, jess! hang in there! you are doing such a good job with both of these cuties. i'm glad i'm not the only one who has a weekly meltdown. :)

  2. I could almost cry reading this... because I so feel your pain! Having an (almost) 2 year old and an infant is definitely hard and trying in the patience and sleep departments, but like you said, there is a LOT of good that comes with it too and before you know it Hank will be sleeping on his own and you'll miss his cuddle time! If it makes you feel any better Jackson was really difficult too (maybe it's a boy thing?) and grew out of it!

  3. oh my girly - this post makes me exhausted just reading it. i know you love your kids, but this makes me want to wait till i am 40!