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't.stand.it. 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!!!"
  • Finally...my 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 belly...it 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 lot...to 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!