How can our baby boy be a month old? No doubt the last four weeks have been the most challenging, overwhelming, stressful time of my life but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. The sleepless nights, jaundice, on-demand feedings, a gazillion diaper changes, crooked smiles, piles of laundry, bath splashes, front porch walks, projectile vomit (twice), and newborn cuddles remind me of my calling: to nurture this little guy with a kind of love I did not know until I became a mother. I have gone without sleep, been pushed passed the point of exhaustion, cried soul-crushing tears, felt like a failure, celebrated milestones, witnessed my husband become a doting father, and watched our parents become grandparents (the first grandchild for mine and the fourth for my in-laws). While pregnant, parenthood was surreal and a mystery. Now, my best moments are seeing my reflection in Kamden’s eyes, hearing him sigh in contentment as he sleeps or grunt while eating the milk amazingly produced by my body, and thanking God for entrusting me to be his mom. Despite my shortcomings … feeding him too little, feeding him too much, letting him sleep without changing his diaper, dressing him in too many layers, dressing him in too few layers, rocking too slow, rocking too fast … my heart is full knowing he loves me, knows my voice, relies on me for sustenance, and relaxes when I hold him.
At birth, Kamden weighed 7 lb. 10 oz. and was down seven ounces by the time we were discharged from the hospital. Four days after being born, we were in the pediatrician’s office for his first check-up and learned his jaundice levels were elevated. We were immediately sent to the hospital for blood work and told to return the next morning for another round. We spent Christmas Eve morning at the hospital and doctor’s office waiting for good news … which we got, thank God. We were sent home to enjoy Christmas and instructed to feed on demand, record wet and dirty diapers, and place him in a sunny window for 15 minutes three times a day. Three weeks, and lots of breast milk mustaches later, Kamden weighed 8lb. 12 oz. His doctor said, “This is a baby who’s clearly thriving and doing extremely well!” We don’t have a way to measure him at home, but we guess he’s well over the nine pound mark by now. This kid is a hoss. :>)
likes loves to eat. A LOT. Right now, he’s eating 4-6 oz. at every feeding. I’d be lying if I said I was not concerned about my current breast milk supply. I nursed ‘on demand’ for three weeks and now I’m exclusively pumping to feed by bottle. Nearly every ounce I pump, he eats and I store the excess for later. I’m trying not to stress about my supply, but you know me. I’m drinking lots of water and eating lots of lactation-friendly foods, including oatmeal and specialty bars made just for breastfeeding mamas! Regardless of my so-called issue, I am very, very thankful that breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact was prioritized at the hospital where I gave birth because Kamden latched on within minutes. He was placed on my chest and immediately starting rooting. He didn’t eat much in that moment, but it was the beginning of something beautiful, natural, amazing and wonderful. As difficult, frustrating, and tiresome breastfeeding as been these first weeks, it’s totally worth it knowing I’m responsible for his fat rolls and chubby cheeks. Kamden has an incredible latch, but he falls asleep and doesn’t always fill his belly (or empty my breast). We’ve learned some hard lessons. One night, I fed him, he fell asleep, I put him in his crib, and he was screaming minutes later. I felt like a mom-failure, blaming myself for what I perceived as an upset stomach, colic, and/or food allergy. When you’re tired and baby has been crying for what seems like an eternity, every possible thing that could be wrong is wrong and completely your fault. In a moment of desperation, Husband suggested I try feeding him again. MAGIC! He latched on, began eating beautifully, and slept 2.5 hours. Fast forward a couple of days and I overfed him, resulting in projectile vomit all over me, Daddy, the glider rocker chair, ottoman, dresser/changing table, wall, and carpet. Now that I’m pumping and feeding by bottle, we can measure his intake. It’s not been easy, but life is getting better for everyone.
Kamden was introduced to the pacifier at the hospital but uses it rarely. We introduced a Dr. Brown’s bottle with slow-flow nipple when he was two weeks, but the flow was too fast and it created a big mess on an unhappy, hungry baby. I’ve since tried three other bottles with slow-flow nipples: Mimijumi (too slow), Tommee Tippee (nipple collapses but it gets the job done), and Avent (works really well). Now, at four weeks, we’re back to using Dr. Brown’s bottles with a slow-flow (Level One) nipple and it’s working beautifully.
When Kamden was born, he was much smaller than what we anticipated. Husband and I weighed over eight pounds at birth and we assumed Kamden would be a large baby too. His closet is full of clothes, in a range of sizes, but few size newborn. He wore NB diapers for three weeks and we transitioned him to size 1 with his big belly and chubby legs. He now wears size 3-6 months clothes. His fingernails grow extremely fast and I’ve kept them trimmed (filed) with a tiny emery board. He scratched his face so hand mitts are a requirement. During a late night feeding, though, I couldn’t find mitts but a pair of socks were within reach. So, he’s been wearing socks as hand mitts as they fit better and stay on his Houdini hands!
Like most newborns, Kamden’s life revolves around eating, sleeping, and pooping. This kid is regular, if you know what I mean. Like clock work, he’ll eat, grunt, fart, stretch, smile, and poop! He’s happy when his belly is full and fussy when it’s not. I’m working on a bedtime routine where I read a book or two but his focus is on food not pretty pictures or nursery rhymes. We’ve done tummy time but, again, he’s not interested in things that don’t involve milk. On warm, sunny days, we’ve put him in his car seat and used the stroller to push him around the front porch. He falls asleep in an instant when in his car seat and rides beautifully in the car.
Mommy’s milk; riding in the car; warm baths; and being held. This little guy loves falling asleep on people. Once asleep, we can move him to his Pack N Play. We’ve put him in the swinger/rocker chair but he’s not too impressed. Last week, while sitting on the couch, I propped him against the Boppy pillow and he fell asleep. This was a revelation as it allowed Mommy to use her hands to eat, pump, and get things done while Kamden slept!
Being hungry; lying down in his swing chair or Pack N Play while still awake; hiccups; bright sunlight in his eyes; and Mom sucking boogers out with the Nose-Frida. Seriously, hiccups have to be the WORST thing. It never fails he gets them as soon as we lay him down to sleep or right after feeding. They’ve caused him to spit up several times. The Nose Frida is the coolest, grossest contraption every invented but it works like a charm. Who knew sucking my son’s boogers out of his nose would be so much fun!?
Blue Eyes, Handsome, Chunky Monkey
MISHAPS AND MILESTONES
The first month of Kamden’s life, and our lives as a family of three, has gone by so quickly. I’m incredibly thankful for my doctor being available for his birth and the AMAZING nurses at the hospital. Kamden was born on a Thursday at 3:20pm, I was walking the halls by 10:00pm, he was circumcised Friday evening, and we went home Saturday afternoon. Having my parents here was a God-send. My mom stayed longer, which I’m grateful, until Kamden was two weeks old. Husband has not left my side and has been a huge help, not to mention my rock for emotional support. Husband’s parents and oldest brother have visited us several times and cover Kamden in kisses every time they see him. His brief episode with jaundice was stressful but we all powered through it. He never cried when getting his heals pricked to draw blood either! He failed the hearing test after birth but passed with flying colors three weeks later. He had his first bath Christmas Eve and a newborn photo session when he was 10 days old. We’ve gone out to eat (Chick-Fil-A, Qdoba, Whataburger), run errands (Target) and to the grocery. Before the end of the month, Kamden will get his first round of immunizations at the pediatrician’s office.
I knew I wanted to share a monthly update for Kamden’s first year but I had no idea where to start. I’m using the same format as Jen, from The Arizona Russums. Thanks for sharing Miss Zianne’s updates and leading the way, awesome Mama!