Wednesday, July 2, 2014

1 Month Stats & mini update

Seriously belated but I wanted to get them up here for my records. They were actually taken at one month, just haven't blogged them.

My loves.
Length - 21.75in (50 percentile)
Weight - 9lbs. 15.5oz. (44 percentile)
Head - 15.83in. (99 percentile!!!)

Diapers - Size 1 (since day 2 of life!)

Blow Outs - 1. Seriously, 1. And this kid can deliver some serious results in the poo department. I think I owe this to going straight to size 1 diapers. We brought him home from the hospital in them and completely skipped the newborn size. They would have fit, but, the size 1s are doing some great things in the containment department. It's a bit like the night diaper theory...bigger diapers for overnight to contain more. Noah still wears a size up at night!

And just for fun, a very quick update on both boys:

Noah - He is a trooper. His life has been everything but consistent since Cooper came home. My parents come and go, Scott traveled for work, he has a new brother, school is on again/off again with new classmates (camp versus school year), etc. He has rolled with most of the changes and we are doing our best to keep as much "normal" as possible. His jealousy definitely rears its head from time to time, and mostly when I am nursing. I have had to get my expectations for him in check as sometimes I forget that he is 2.5 and that his emotions are extremely volatile and his "job" is to test boundaries regardless of the major life change that just happened. But, I seriously could not ask for a better boy. He is truly a gentle soul and is so loving 99% of the time. He has been amazing at independent play when he needs to and even plays baseball with himself (he plays ALL the positions) sometimes. I wish I could be two places at once but he now has a sibling and we are all getting used to the shared time. 
1+1=2! We have a little trouble getting him to hold up two fingers on the same hand!

Cooper - He is such a good baby. He rarely cries. I really don't think that he has cried unless he is hungry, ever. He is kind of funny in that department as he will go from sleeping peacefully to waking up screaming with hunger. When he realizes it is food time, it is TIME! He really does go with the flow of our family and makes outings with Noah very painless. We are starting to implement something resembling a schedule in the evenings with a nightly bath, bottle, sleep sack, and bed. It seems to be teaching him that night is for sleeping (though he still feeds every 3 hours, he quickly goes back to sleep). He is not a huge fan of the paci which is both a blessing and a curse. It is a learning curve for me as Noah loved (and still does) his. I am actually happy he doesn't require it but I do worry about airplane travel without is great insurance that you'll have a quiet kid on a long flight! Coopie is also a rockstar nurser. Efficient and not interested in just hanging out at the bar, if you know what I mean! Again, a blessing with a 2.5 year old acting out while I am incapacitated. Finally, he rolls from front to back. Tummy time lasts .5 seconds as as soon as I put him down he throws his giant noggin sideways and rolls back on his back! Sneaky little guy!
He has the best blue eyes right now. I can't remember Noah's ever being this blue so I am hoping they stick around!

Overall, life is really really good. We are all settling in and sorting out life as a family of 4. More soon! July is a busy busy month!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Cooper: 1 Month

How has a month passed already (ok, I'm 3 days early, but you get the idea)?! I can't believe it is the end of June OR that Cooper is a month old. I mean, we keep saying how big he is getting but the fact that time is passing so quickly is shocking. 

Must haves: (I have realized these are all about baby containment or baby feeding...pretty much the basic needs of a 1 month old!):
Momaroo - I broke down and bought one of these after having it on my "want" list since about 4 months pregnant. I couldn't justify the price tag but after a few generous gift cards came in as congratulations, and one very fussy day, I bit the bullet. This was the response 2 seconds after hitting "on"....
Momaroo for the win!

Motherlove - As I mentioned in my last post, breastfeeding can be a bit painful at the beginning. There are a million creams and lanolin options but I find most of them too sticky. This stuff is amazing and I also use it on my pump to make it is a little less painful as well.

Speaks for itself.

My Brest Friend - Take this to the hospital with you! I didn't take a nursing pillow with me when I had Noah and regretted it. This time it proved to make those early days of figuring everything out SO much easier. While I am definitely much better at nursing without this guy this time around, it makes it much more comfortable and easy, especially in the middle of the night. 
Your new best friend!

Works as a nice little shelf for all the kids ;-).

Medela Pump - Seriously with the breastfeeding...sorry! Get a good pump. Don't buy a cheaper version to save money. You need the good one to save you time and get good results!
This is my exact pump. We have a love/hate relationship but it is a great product!

Boppy Lounger - Love this thing! We use it all.the.time. It is great for pre/post baths, dinner time, TV time (for the parents, not the infant!), etc... I have no idea what purpose the standard boppy serves as mine has lived in my closet for both of my boy's early days (I also find it worthless for breastfeeding...not supportive enough).
Hello! I also recommend getting a cover for the lounger as it doesn't come with one and babies spit up...much easier to wash a cover than the whole pillow!

Rock n Play - Noah was a spitter so this was such a peace of mind thing with him being slightly upright. With Coop, he didn't like it at first but now it is his bed and he is starting to sleep like a dream in it. I think they make fancier versions now that vibrate and rock themselves...I would definitely spring for the extra features if getting a new one but the standard guy works just great! Bonus points for being super portable!
Noah tries out every baby item that appears. Clearly not intended for your 2.5 year old!

Mustela Facial Cleansing Cloths - We aren't great at getting Cooper in the bath daily, and, frankly, the doctor said not to at this point. However, he had a little baby acne start to creep up (Noah's was horrible) and so we started nightly wiping. It is almost gone and I feel slightly better about his hygiene ;-).
Love these!

Water bottle - The need for mass quantities of water is both a necessity and craving. Hopefully your hospital has a giant bottle you can take home, if not, find one you love as you will be attached to it.

Night sweats - I forgot about these and they are awful! I can go from t-shirt, to no shirt, to long sleeve shirt all within about an hour. I can't remember when they end but I can't wait. 

Life with two - We have officially been on our own this week and so far we are all doing good. If I get stressed things start to fall apart so the key for me is to leave extra time and stay calm (especially with Noah). This works well most days but school days are hard. Getting up and getting everyone fed, dressed, and finding the time to pump, all in time to get Noah to school by 9 is a challenge. I always feel frenzied! Scott has been a huge help on these days (and every day) by staying home longer in the morning to help me get everyone situated and out the door. I definitely prefer having a man-to-man defense going but when it's just me and the boys we do a-ok. We have even survived a few errands and a trip to gymnastics!
Cooper isn't a huge fan of the swaddle so we jumped to sleep sacks. Noah was so excited to see that they match!

Asparagus & chocolate - These are the foods I have determined I can't eat while nursing. Both have led to a pretty miserable boy the next day. Neither are proving too hard to live without thus far. 

Schedule - We have none. I have started trying to put Cooper in our room in his bed after his last big bottle feeding. I also make sure his bath or face wipe happens at this time and put him in his sleep sack. So far, this has been going ok but some nights this is at 9pm, and sometimes at 11pm. I am considering starting the "Moms on Call" schedule. Anyone have experience with this or thoughts?
This has nothing to do with a schedule but we scored this double stroller free from our neighbors. Thank you for saving me $500!

Night owl - I am hoping starting a schedule with curb this a bit, but Cooper is a night owl. He does a good sleep from 9 or 11pm to 1 or 2am but then it is a battle to get him back to bed. Most nights this ends with him sleeping on me until his 5am feeding. We need to find some of this alert time during the daylight hours! 
I love those big eyes, just not at 3am.

Brothers - Noah is my hero. He loves his baby brother SO much. He gets really mad when I ask him not to touch Cooper (while Coop is sleeping), and he pretty much thinks he makes all rules when it comes to the baby. He is beyond generous with his toys and often asks for Cooper to be laid down in his crib for a visit. They absolutely melt my heart together. 
I never stage them for these pictures. Noah is obsessed with being about six inches away from Cooper's face!

Grunts - Cooper is the gruntiest baby EVER! He doesn't cry a lot but the amount of grunting he does while both awake and asleep is unbelievable. I am still trying to figure out what they all mean but I guess I should just be thankful that grunting is his way of getting his point across!

Breastfeeding - Since that is pretty much the theme of this post, I'll go ahead and address it specifically. I.can' I find nothing rewarding about it and frankly I think formula is more convenient! I nursed Noah for 7 months and I am trying to do the same for Cooper but it seriously might be the straw that breaks my back. The nursing/pumping routine is just extra hard with Noah running around. 

Hunger - Breastfeeding hunger is no.joke. I have actually gotten the shakes from being so hungry and it comes on like a freight train! I have the house stocked with bars and other easy to grab snacks because my patience wears extremely thin when I get hungry which isn't fair to any one...especially Noah who usually tries my patience the most in those moments! I also eat like 14 meals a day right now. I feel like this evens out a bit but right now I just live in a constant state of hunger! 

I'll be back to add in an update on his stats after we see the doctor next week. Also, please forgive any typos...I am giving up a nap to type this so I deserve points just for that!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Cooper: 2.5 Week Update

Time is flying! After we got home from the hospital we pretty much hit the ground running. I can't really think in coherent paragraphs at this point so let's hit some bullet points of these week:
  • Bringing a second baby home is significantly different than bringing home our first. I feel like we fell into our routine much quicker and were less on edge. Scott and I both just seemed more relaxed with Cooper than we did with Noah. With Noah, I felt very tied down, a slave to the clock and breastfeeding, and really just the house in general. With Coop I am vaguely aware of the last time I fed him but pretty much let him set the schedule and sometimes that means he eats every hour and sometimes he goes for four. We got out of the house almost from the get go, and I was insistent on making life as normal for Noah as possible.

  • Noah...oh, Noah. I mentioned that I was super emotional about my big boy. Luckily, this has worn off and I don't cry daily! It's hard to describe but I just welled up every time I was with him...reading him books goodnight was like a sob fest! Poor guy was probably wondering what on earth was wrong with me. I think my hormones have evened out and I have probably realized that he gets more than enough attention still. 
He adores his Papa.
  • I was also a nut about trying to keep Noah's schedule/life as normal as possible. The week after we got home from the hospital I made sure that I was present at all of Noah's activities and for every pick up/drop off from school. I have no idea if this had any bearing on how he handled the transition but he has been nothing short of amazing. He tests us all from time to time, but then again, he is two so he would be doing that anyway! He loves his baby brother and asks to see him and give him hugs and kisses all the time. He also tries to feed him granola so we will be abiding by the "never leave the two unattended" rule very strictly!
The sweetness of Noah melts my heart.
  • Wait, this is supposed to be about Cooper! 

Post bath hair. :-)
  • Nursing is going well. We had some latch issues the first few days home and rather than take a wait and see approach like I did with Noah I immediately called our lactation consultant and high tailed it over for a quick evaluation. One little piece of advice and we were well on our way to a successful nursing relationship. My advice to new moms, don't wait, go see someone if you have any questions. Breastfeeding is hard, it can be painful at the beginning, and it is extremely overwhelming guessing if your baby is getting enough food, gaining weight, etc. It is supposedly the most natural thing in the world, but a little professional help makes a world of difference.  
He has this funny little patch of blonde (or grey) hair. I wonder if this is an indication of what is to come?
  • The first week of diaper changes is a real pain. In fact, it was pretty much a two man job around here to make sure that we avoided his umbilical cord, didn't pee on himself (or us), and tended to his circumcision correctly. Luckily, that was short lived and now it is a quick change routine around here!
  • Nappers!
  • Sleep. Oh sleep. The first couple of nights home we were up for every.single.peep. It definitely takes a few days to get used to all their noises and to stop being fearful that something is going to go wrong. I think once you get sleep deprived enough all you care about is closing your eyes again! As far as his schedule, he wakes every 2-3 hours for his feedings and we are getting more efficient at this whole nursing thing. For awhile we were up for an hour every feeding but now I would say it is more like 30 minutes. 

Coop looks very comfortable! ;-)
  • It is also amazing how much more relaxed we are this time around. With Noah, when he nursed in the night I was wide awake, we changed his diaper every time, and I was awake until he was fast asleep in his bassinet again. With Cooper, we only change his diaper if he's poopy, I am half conscious for his feeding, and I hate to admit the number of times I have set us up so he can just sleep on my chest. 

These snuggles are the best.
  • That said, Cooper did give us one good 24 hour period of feeling completely scared and like first time parents all over again. He began grunting SO loud that I didn't even have the heart to lay him down. He seemed ridiculously uncomfortable and went 24 hours without a bowel movement. We finally decided to take his temperature (more to hopefully stimulate his bowels than for the actual temp) and he was at 100.1. The good news is that we succeeded in making him poo, but the temp freaked us out as we were supposed to call the doctor at 100.4. Luckily, it began to go down and as of today he is a happy boy once again. It was definitely stressful and the amount of worrying that we all did was enough for an entire first month!
  • My recovery is going amazing. It took me about a week to feel comfortable going on long walks and as of two and a half weeks post partum I am back to Bar Method. 
  • That's my physical recovery. Mentally I am still coming back. I told Scott that sometimes it literally feels like I am out of my own body observing what is going on around me. I had the same thing with Noah and it is purely sleep deprivation. It happens in the evening and is the most frustrating because I can't make myself snap out of it. The only thing that helps is sleep. Luckily my mom and Scott don't mind, I just feel bad when we have visitors and I'm not my usual self. 
  • Taking a bottle a day like a champ!
  • Cooper has had two pediatrician visits and both went fantastic. We saw the doctor two days after coming home and then again for a weight check three days later. The comments from our pediatrician about his weight gain, "I am pleased with babies gaining 1 oz. per day, happy with 2oz. per day, and ecstatic to see that he has been gaining 3oz. per day". This made me so happy to hear as we had a hard time getting Noah to gain weight and Cooper seems to be a rockstar nurser.

  • His stats:
    • Weight: 7lbs. 9.6oz. (46th percentile)
    • Length: 20 in. He grew a whole inch in three days! HA! Just goes to show that the early length measurements have a little wiggle room. (56th percentile)
    • Head: 36.5cm (91st percentile!!)
    After his first bath. He hated it less than Noah but wasn't overjoyed by having his hair washed.
  • Overall, we are second time parents and Coop is a second child. We have to remind ourselves that it has been a few days since he had a bath (versus Noah where we had to make ourselves wait to bathe him again), I have charted exactly zero feedings, poos, or pees (versus Noah where I had a timer and a physical log of all of these things for the first two weeks), he is rarely swaddled, and we are just generally much more cool, calm and collected. 
I can't believe I have two boys! I keep telling Scott, "we have two kids!!!"
  • parents. I seriously don't know where we would be without them...especially my mom. We are so fortunate that they both retired shortly before Cooper's arrival and my mom has spent an entire month here with us to help us get settled in. The amount of help she has given us cannot be quantified. And my dad is absolutely Noah's favorite person on the planet so having him here for Noah was unbelievable in that first week. Not to mention they took on some house projects that we have been putting off for months and between all of us the backyard/patio has never looked so good!

Grandma snuggles!
Noah overseeing the flagstone work.
Ok, this is incredibly wordy and long but I want to make sure I remember it all! Moving forward I will likely do monthly updates for Cooper but keep checking back as I really want to keep up with blogging! I love looking back on my Noah updates and want to make sure to always have this little record of our lives.
Date night! We escaped to Los Altos Grill for an amazing night together. I even got to have 2 glasses of wine. It felt like heaven.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Welcoming Cooper: Part 2 {Brothers}

Night one in the hospital was fairly painless. We actually opted to let them take Cooper to the nursery for a few hours so we could both get some good sleep and recover from the previous 24 hours. 

Once daylight hit it was time to get ready to introduce Noah and Cooper. I was SO excited for this moment and had imagined it a million different ways throughout my pregnancy.

Well, it worked out more perfectly than I could have ever imagined. I have the whole thing on video but will stick to the still pictures for today...
When he came in the room he went straight for Cooper and said, "Baby Cooper!". He didn't even hesitate or seem confused by the fact that he was no longer in my was like he just "got it".
My heart might explode. He just wanted to stay on that chair and keep looking at him.
Wasn't Noah just this little?! Where does the time go?
We lured him away from Baby Cooper with the presents that his little brother had brought him. I am pretty sure the helmet would have been enough!

But it came with a scooter (and apparently some really cheesy smiles by both of us!
I tried out an idea I saw on Pinterest with the name tag. News flash...I am not a professional photographer so it doesn't look nearly as good!
Pretty sure he did 101 laps up and down the hall.
Noah's visit was nothing short of perfection. It was hard to say goodbye to him but we had another night in the hospital to get through before we could come home to start life as a family of 4. I will hopefully touch on this in another post but I was very emotional about Noah in the days leading up to Cooper's arrival and for about a week post partum. As a matter of fact, it has only been in the last couple of days that I haven't welled up about something related to Noah. Silly because he has rocked this transition but I am just super sensitive about him. I digress...

Night two we didn't send Coop to the nursery which was probably good since they would have sent him right back. Two day old babies are a force to be reckoned with. Apparently their digestive systems undergo some major changes and as a result they like to nurse...a help ease the transition. It was a long night but we had made it to discharge day! Finally time to go home! 
All packed up and ready to go!
The arrival home was also pretty perfect and Noah was once again completely smitten with his new brother. Well, for a few minutes and then he was on to the next thing. That is pretty much the story of home life...he realizes Cooper is around, gives him some snuggles (or a toy, paci, HIS bear, Cooper's lovey, etc...) and then moves on to the next thing. We don't push Coop on Noah and so far this has turned out to be a winning strategy. 
My wonderful husband got these adorable decorations for the house!
Please note the helmet. 10 seconds later, he was trying to climb in the car seat with Coop!
Noah wouldn't participate in a group shot (and, as I said, we weren't forcing anything on him) so we grabbed a quick one of the newest member and headed inside!
Also, I want to include a very giant THANK YOU to my mom who held down the fort for us while we were at the hospital. Noah could not have been in better hands and he was more than happy to spend a few days being spoiled by his Grandma (I mean, she makes macaroni for breakfast if you ask for it)! Not only did she make me feel 100% comfortable being away, she has been invaluable these first few weeks as we get used to having two kids to tend to! We just might not let her leave...ever.

I have thank yous for my dad, too, but that is up next in the first weeks at home recap! Other posts I hope to write...must haves for Baby #2 and what advice/things I wish I knew I hope to hand down to anyone who might be expecting!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Welcoming Cooper: Part 1

Shortly after writing my 40 week post I started having contractions. Apparently the squeaky wheel gets the grease! I think I'll write this very similar to Noah's birth story in more of a timeline format:

Monday, May 19, 2014
2:15ish - contractions begin. It actually took me a handful to realize what was really going on as they felt much different than my contractions with Noah (induced and back labor). They were really mild and we were actually out running errands all afternoon as I attempted to time them. I would miss them here and there as I didn't notice them really unless I was sitting down. At this point they were about 12 minutes apart.

Evening - they definitely became more noticeable as the evening went on and I got increasingly more hormonal. I think the reality that Cooper was coming and that Noah wouldn't be my only baby kind of overwhelmed me in that moment. There were tears and a bit of snappiness on my part to my mom and Scott.
It was fun to actually get to time contractions this time! My doctor actually developed an app called "Pregnancy Companion". I highly recommend it as it does so much throughout all of pregnancy.
9pm-ish - Contractions had gotten a bit closer together (7 minutes or so) so we called the on call doctor and asked about hospital protocol. She said we could go in or wait it out until they were consistently 5-6 minutes apart. A trip to labor and delivery seemed premature so we all set off to bed to get absolutely zero rest. We were all on edge and, of course, my contractions also kept me awake. But, as I laid down, they spaced back out to 10-13 minutes.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014
4:45am - Sleep was over. My contractions were getting much more intense but were still pretty erratic in timing. I had a few that were 5 minutes apart and decided it was time to pack up and head to the hospital.

5:30am - We check into labor and delivery and start getting all hooked up. At this point I am 2cm dilated (same as at the doctor that morning) and contractions are continuing.

7am - Nurse comes back in to check me after being monitored and, as I already knew, told me that my contractions had spaced back out. I was also still only 2cm dilated. She made a comment about sending me home and I lost it (again). Alligator tears. Luckily, she called my doctor and he said to keep me. PHEW!

After a few hours of watching my contractions it was clear that we would need to intervene to get me into true active labor (which was a-ok by me). I really felt like my body was trying to get into labor itself and that Coop was ready to make his debut so we went ahead and hooked me up to some Pitocin.
Just hangin' around...waiting, waiting, waiting.
Labor the second time around was extremely mellow. Aside from a contraction that would make me say, "why would anyone sign up for this without drugs", it was a very uneventful few hours. We played cards, Scott went out to lunch, we FaceTimed with Noah. Knowing the drill made it all much less scary and I was very relaxed about the entire process.
Missed this little guy while we were away!
 1:30pm - Epidural time. While I wasn't in a place where I felt like I truly needed my epidural, the anesthesiologist was available and I didn't want to find myself in a situation where the contractions were getting seriously intense and he wasn't around so we went ahead and cut off feeling to my lower half. Our anesthesiologist was amazing and he make quick work of getting me on my way to happy labor.

From there we spent more time waiting. I was Group B Strep positive so we waited for my two round of antibiotics to be complete before Dr. R came in to break my water. 
Cool. Calm. Collected.

4:15pm - Dr.R broke my water and I was 4.5cm dilated. 

5:45pm - 10cm! 

We decided to let me labor a little longer to get Cooper down a little further before the pushing fun began. Luckily, they asked me about my delivery with Noah and upon hearing I only pushed for 20 minutes with Noah they made sure Dr. R was there when we started pushing. 

6:12pm - Dr. R arrives and makes the decision to give a few test pushes. It was all very casual with him simply sitting at the end of my bed (no stirrups, fancy positioning, etc...). He asked me to give my first push and said, "very nice". Ok, let's do one more. It was about halfway through that push that this occurred:

Dr.R - "STOP. Stop pushing." He then jumps up (this is a man who is cool as a cucumber at every moment...I have never seen him in a rush or even seem remotely flustered) and things get hectic...

Nurse - on the phone - "we need help in 304". She then runs to Dr. R and starts to get him in his delivery wear (gown, gloves, etc).

Scott - "My wife is a beast! She is serious about pushing!"

I laugh...

Dr. R - "Don't laugh. Don't push. Don't cough." 

I half laugh again.

Dr. R - "Seriously, stop laughing."

I took him seriously at this point and tried my best to barely even breathe. People were streaming in the room at this point and all hands were on deck where they should be. (Thankfully our nurse had gone ahead and set up the room for delivery earlier in the day or we would have been in a real pickle!)

Dr. R sat back down about 30 seconds later and said it was ok to give another big I pushed again and he said, "TOO MUCH. TOO MUCH!". So I stopped and with another half push, Cooper arrived. 

Cooper William Retchless
May 20, 2014 @ 6:15pm
8 lbs. 3oz. 19in. 
Coop's first picture!
It was all very dramatic in a very hilarious way. I am so happy that my delivery room "drama" was that Cooper was coming fast. My labor and delivery was seriously a dream experience. I thought it was easy with Noah but Cooper proved me wrong. The entire day was relaxing, and the actual delivery itself could not have gone smoother.
Snuggles. I was so happy they let us have this time before weighing, bathing, etc. With Noah he was only with me for a few minutes before they whisked him off to be assessed. They did everything urgent right on my chest and left the rest for later.

As soon as he was born they put him on my chest and he stayed there for about an hour and half after delivery before they took him to be weighed, etc. He had an impressive set of lungs on him but eventually he settled in and snuggled. The rest is, as they say, history.
Our first family selfie. That goo they put in their eyes is so gross!
Cooper got to meet his cousins when he was only a couple of hours old! They also came bearing a burrito for me (I was ravenous) and champagne for Scott.
Kristina took some wonderful pictures while she was there.
Those lips. That hair. He has already lost a lot of it but I just love that my babies show up with hair!
All we're missing is our Noah!

Up next...Noah's visit and coming home. Can't guarantee when as I am in a delicate balance of blogging and sleeping right now!