Has it already been 3 months since our #minivegan was born? In keeping with what seems to be the new theme to this blog (part-time online journal), here’s the first in a series of month by month updates. I’ve been fastidiously keeping records of all of Todd’s goings on since he was born.
As you know from my other baby posts, I am very detail oriented! It’s not only because I’m in the medical profession that I’ve been charting Todd’s intake, output, sleep patterns, and more since he came home from the hospital. I don’t want to forget anything about his precious development!
This post was originally going to include Todd’s first three months, but it started getting too long! So, here’s just the first month…
(AUGUST 21 – SEPTEMBER 21)
Todd was born on Thursday, August 21st at 7:08 PM. He spent his first night in the NICU and his second night in my hospital room. In the NICU, Eric gave him a nickname, “Ribbit,” because he made cute frog noises.
Todd and I came home from the hospital on the 23rd. My sister and niece had been staying at our house since August 13th. I was greeted with sweet decorations that they put up when I was gone, which made me cry! I felt so loved.
My parents arrived with my nephew on the 24th. We had a full house, but I really appreciated having the company and extra help during that painful and stressful first week. My sister and her kids went home on the 26th.
On the 26th, I started having Todd sleep in my bed with me, because he wouldn’t go to sleep in the Pack ‘n Play in my room. That saved my sanity. I enjoyed my “little bed partner,” although it took some adjustment to sleep without moving a muscle and without using my blankets and body pillows the way I was accustomed to.
My parents went home on the 28th. I was very emotional when my family left. I was in the throes of sleep deprivation and my post-partum hormone crash. I was struggling with breastfeeding and stressed about Todd’s weight loss.
- Visitors in the hospital: my sister (Karin), Eric’s parents (Diane & Darrel), our sister-in-law (Sandie), and my niece (Ashley)
- Visitors at home: Eric’s parents, Eric’s brother (Jeff), our niece (Kylie), our nephew (Eli), my parents (Carol Ann & Richard), and our doula (Serena)
- Appointments: Lactation (8/24), Pediatrician (8/25)
- Todd’s weight = 7 pounds at birth; 6 pounds, 3 ounces at 1 week old.
- 1st nail trim – August 23
- 1st walk in the stroller – August 24
- 1st co-sleeping – August 26
- 1st restaurant outing (Shire Cafe, Arlington, WA) – August 28
Although my stress over breastfeeding difficulties was peaking this week and next, I do have tender memories of Todd holding onto his ears like handles when he was calmly latched on. (When it was right, it seemed so right! He just wasn’t getting enough to eat!)
Since birth, he would keep his hands up by his face. There was speculation that maybe that was why he had a hard time getting out! Often, I would have to wrestle with those hands when breastfeeding, because he would push away from me with them. It’s amazing how strong newborns are!
September 3rd was another particularly emotional day for me. There were lots of tears of heartache.
- Visitors at home: our sister-in-law (Dallas)
- Appointments: Lactation (8/29, 8/31, 9/3), Cascade Birth Center (9/3), Pediatrician (9/2)
- Todd’s weight = 6 pounds, 9.5 ounces at 12 days.
- 1st time using Moby wrap (9/4)
For the first 3 days, I didn’t leave the house. I was a slave to breastfeeding, then supplement feeding, then pumping, and the clean-up of pump parts and bottles. Eric was a big help, but naturally the brunt of the stress was on me. I reached another emotional low point in the wee hours of September 7th.
In the light of summer day, I felt a little better when I finally took Todd outside, to the mailbox and to briefly visit a neighbor.
For the remainder of this week (4 days in a row), Eric’s mom came over to help. Todd gave her lots of snuggles. I cherished the company. I ended the week feeling emotionally loads better.
We purchased a swing on September 9th, and it turned out to be a vital piece of equipment. I could put Todd down and he’d stay happy. Otherwise, he loved to fall asleep on warm bodies!
- Appointments: ARNP (9/8), Pediatrician (9/9)
- Todd’s weight = 7 pounds, 2.5 ounces at 2 1/2 weeks
- Umbilical cord stump fell off (9/9)
- 1st time in swing (9/10)
WEEK 4 (AND PART OF 5)
Since his cord stump fell off, we gave him his first bath on the 14th. He was hesitant at first, but then he seemed to enjoy it.
By the end of this week, I stopped breastfeeding and I stopped pumping. This meant that life started getting a whole lot better for the three of us. Without the singular focus on simply feeding Todd, I was finally able to start caring for him.
Up until this week, Todd continued to sleep swaddled in my bed. But then Todd started crying more when we’d go to bed. It seemed like the right time to wean him from the co-sleeping. On September 17th, he was able to fall asleep twice in the Pack n Play in my room.
At 7:30 PM the next night, I put him to bed in his crib. Success! He slept until 11 PM, ate, returned to his crib until 3 AM, ate, then returned to his crib until 7 AM. He’s been sleeping in his crib at night ever since.
- Visitor at home: Eric’s mom
- 1st & 2nd baths (9/14, 9/21)
- Last breastfeeding attempt (9/17)
- Active kicking day on playmat (9/18)
- 1st sleep in crib (9/18)
- 1st visit to a protest (Ringling circus, 9/20)
FIRST MONTH WRAP-UP
Other things to remember about Todd’ first month:
- scaly skin around his eyebrows
- goopy right eye
- sucking on his first finger
- staring at our engagement picture above his changing table
- staring at pictures on the walls
- grunts and squeaks
- turning head side to side during tummy time
- at the end of the month, Todd’s bowel movement frequency had decreased, from multiple times per day to about twice.
- carrying Todd around the yard to look at the plants, and walks to the mailbox
- working on head stabilization by holding onto Todd’s hands and gently pulling him to upright sitting. (See video clip below)
Next up: Baby Todd’s Second Month…