Monday, September 30, 2013

What I've Learned the Past 7 Weeks

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Parenting is hard work! As we speak, my little boy is trying to take a nap and can usually put himself to sleep fairly quickly, but with everything going on lately, it's been harder for him to get to sleep and have restful sleep. I'm hoping that with the hernia surgery on Thursday, that we will be back on track shortly afterwards.

I've learned a few things in the past seven weeks of being a mom. The first, sleep deprivation is rough. I thought I didn't sleep well when I was pregnant, but man, this is hard. Matthew wakes up on average every three hours to eat and that includes overnight. It's rough and I become a little stabby.

Another thing I've learned is that every parent has different values. We value sleep and being able to put Matthew down to sleep on his own. We also value schedules and knowing when he should eat next and when he should be ready for a nap. Of course, at this age, his routine is very flexible and is easily adaptable to the given day, growth spurts, or special circumstances.

I've also learned that cloth diapering is awesome so far. The laundry isn't that bad and if you have a diaper sprayer for to get the poop off, you're good to go! It does take a little longer to get his diaper changed than using a disposable, but overall the benefits are well worth it. And, he's starting to fit into some of his smaller one size diapers so those are much faster to change than prefolds.

The last thing I've learned is that Matthew is our child and we get to choose what's best for him. This sounds like a no-brainer, but in all honesty, we've received so many "helpful comments" and "advice" that it drives me bonkers. Every parent knows their kids the best and chooses what works for them.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Rough Start

Being born early can mean many complications. Fortunately, Matthew is healthy and all of these things are minor in the grand scheme of things, but my little boy just can't seem to get a break these days. It's hard for me to watch, but it's hard for him to go through. 

First, he had a lip tie and tongue tie that needed to be clipped. That day, we also found out he had jaundice and was sent to the hospital to have him get light therapy for 24 hours and do a rebound test 6-8 hours later. Once we were home {again} from the hospital, he couldn't seem to latch well so we had to supplement with formula. Once pumping didn't work out, we ended up having to feed him formula exclusively and that was a disaster.

We had to try five different formulas before we found the right one. Then, of course, there was the acid reflux. Zantac took away some of the discomfort, but not all so we had to switch to Prevacid. Once that got into his system, he was doing really well for a few days. 

At his one month check up they found a lump in his groin and told us he might have a hernia. They sent us for an ultrasound and it was confirmed. Yesterday we had an appointment with the pediatric surgeon and set up his surgery to get the hernia repaired. Of course, this makes going to the bathroom super uncomfortable for him and he gets really upset which means less sleep for him and for mom.

I'm really looking forward to having this all behind us. It's been a lot of little things and I'm so grateful that he's healthy, but it's still hard on him {and me}! I can't wait to get the surgery done and over with and for him to finally be on the mend just in time for his two month check up.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

So What!

So What if...
    Life After I Dew
  • I don't know what it is, but my baby is having a much harder time sleeping. He's clearly not feeling well, but there's nothing I can do and it sucks.
  • I want to binge eat. My kid is not sleeping well and has a hernia. He's not even 7 weeks old! Pass the cookies.
  • When I'm sleep deprived, I want to bite someone's head off. Seriously, it's bad. I usually end up crying and saying how tired I am.
  • I let my husband do the overnight feedings on the weekend. Ya, let is the right
  • Being a mom is a much harder job than I thought it would be. It's seriously 24/7. Even if I'm away from him, I still worry about him.
  • My cat is irritating me to no extent. Seriously, she picks the most inopportune times to want to snuggle.
  • All I want on the weekends is for someone else to do the bottle dishes and get the bottles ready! I do it a bazillion times during the week.
  • On Wednesdays, my sister and I call or text each other and ask, "What day is it?!" Lol. Sad, but true.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

On Being Judged

Being a mom is a tough job. It's your (and your husband's) responsibility to make decisions and raise your child the best way you can. There are so many decisions to make and only you can choose what is right for your family and your child. Of course, there's always someone waiting to rain on your parade and tell you that you're doing it wrong.

Exhibit A:
My husband and I were at church and Matthew started getting really fussy. He wasn't due to eat for another 45 minutes and we left his pacifier at home. Since he was getting more riled up, I took him into the lobby to calm him down. In the lobby, there was an older man sitting in a chair and a woman sitting on the couch. They weren't together, but what got me were the comments they were making. 

At first they were nice saying that our baby is so cute, etc. I politely said thank you and continued to try to get him to calm down. At one point, he started to get even more upset and was crying. I tried holding him up to my chest, bouncing him, walking him around, basically everything except for feeding him. Of course, if we had his pacifier, he would have settled down, but that wasn't an option.

The lady saw how I was holding him and started telling me how I need to hold his head. I smiled and did what she said just to appease her. I know my child and his abilities. I've spoken with the pediatrician and know that he can hold his head up like a champ with no problems. But, I'm working on my reactions so I smiled and moved on.

When I couldn't get him settled fast enough, the old man started shaking his head, looking at me saying, "So young. So, so young." This time I smiled and tried to ignore him. I'm not that young and all babies cry. It didn't help when I finally gave him his bottle when he wouldn't be pacified any other way and he stopped crying. The lady called it a "miracle" and told me that "sometimes it's hard to tell what they need." 

As a mom, I feel judged on the decisions that we make for our child and it shouldn't be that way. I'm learning that everyone needs to parent the way that they feel is best and if I don't agree with it, who cares! It's not my child and what works for us probably wouldn't work for them and that's ok.

I've already had someone telling me that putting Matthew on a schedule during the day isn't necessary. Well, maybe they didn't need one for their child, but I've noticed that when he eats at the same time every day, he does so much better! And, it is nice to know how many bottles to bring when we're out and when to schedule his appointments based on his schedule. Of course, it's super flexible since he's so little, but even the doctor yesterday suggested a set bedtime routine already! I was so happy to hear that we're on the same page because I don't want to have to defend our choices.

The bottom line is this: 
You need to do what is best for you and your family. No one else can decide what that is. Everyone has an opinion, but if it's not helpful, please don't share. We're all doing our best and that's what matters the most!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

So What Wednesdays!

This week, I'm saying SO WHAT if...
    Life After I Dew
  • I bought a diaper bag off Etsy thinking it would be super great and it's not. Maybe it's because I sew, but there are a lot of little flaws, strings left unclipped, uneven stitching, and I'm not liking the outside fabric. I spent a lot of money on it and it's super cute, but it's also not big enough despite the fact that it was described as being able to fit a lot. It will work well for a different purpose, but for the price I spent, I would have expected better.
  • I now have two diaper bags and my husband has a diaper backpack! With each of us having our own bags, it makes it easier to just grab and go since they're both stocked up. Plus, he doesn't want to hold a pretty bag if he's out solo with the baby.
  • I talk about my kid a lot. He's what's going on here and that's ok.
  • We're already scheduling him for daytime feedings. It's what works for us and getting into a routine has been good for everyone so far.
  • I've been binge eating ice cream and cookies lately. I'll get there, but for now, it's my coping skill.
  • I'm probably way too excited for my 6 week postpartum check up on Friday. It's been too long people!
  • I'm thrilled to be making a decision on birth control at the appointment. I love my baby, but right now, I feel complete with the three of us and neither of us is ready for another one right away!
  • Sometimes I wonder if Matthew will be an only child. Not because I don't love kids, but because it was harder for us to get pregnant, I had preterm labor, the pain, and sleep deprivation. 
  • I really like cloth diapering so far! Even spraying the poop with the sprayer isn't bad and for right now, we're using prefolds and covers until he fits into his one size diapers which means changing takes more time right now.
  • I'm already looking forward to Christmas!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


When I was pregnant...ok, let's be honest, way before I was pregnant, I decided that I wanted to cloth diaper my future child. I did a ton of research on the subject and even asked a fellow blogger who cloth diapers plenty of questions.

Then, when I got pregnant, I started building my stash. I chose mostly one-size diapers and even made a couple, but decided to purchase the majority of them. I liked that they were convenient and would be able to fit him until he's potty trained! Of course, most of them fit best when your child is about 10 lbs from what I've heard, so I knew I would need at least a few diapers for before that. I decided that for the newborn stage, I would go with one of the cheapest option...prefolds and covers. So, I purchased 30 prefolds,  prefold fitteds, one used all-in-one, one cover, and I sewed 5 more covers. This way, I could do laundry every other day and be good to go!

What I didn't expect was a tiny baby. Sure, most babies are small when they are first born, but my child fit into preemie diapers for the first couple of weeks. In fact, I tried on a prefold and cover and they were too big! They gapped at the waist and were not snug at all. So, I did what was best and sent my husband to buy more newborn diapers.

Now that Matthew is 5 weeks old, we are finally running out of newborn diapers. We have only a couple left in dad's diaper bag and that's it! My father-in-law actually purchased a huge box of size 1 diapers recently and we have some as well. The box says it should fit babies from 8-14 lbs and Matthew should be about in the 8 lb range about now so, they should fit him. I tried one on him and quickly realized that they are not going to work out!

My next thought was that I had two options. Option 1: Send Phil to the store to buy more newborn diapers. Option 2: Try the prefolds and covers again and see if they would fit now. Of course, I chose option number 2 and guess what...they fit! So, I folded up the diaper, put the snappi in place, covered it with the cover I made and handed him to dad to be fed. He promptly messed his diaper so Phil got to try out the diaper sprayer his dad installed and I got to show him how to fold a prefold!

I'm happy that my newborn stash is going to good use and that all of the time and effort I put into making the covers won't be in vain. I still plan on using the disposables we have over time, but I'm so happy that he's able to fit in the prefolds and that we are able to save money! Diapering a baby can definitely get expensive.

Monday, September 16, 2013

One Month

This past week my sweet boy turned one month old. How is that even possible? It's definitely been an interesting month and he's getting bigger by the day.

He started out with a bout of jaundice which landed us in the hospital for light therapy the day after we came home from the hospital. We also found out that he had an upper lip and tongue tie. So, after being under the lights for 24 hours and waiting another 6-8 hours for a possible rebound, and an ENT consult to take care of the tongue/lip ties, he was cleared to go home!

I was pumping and giving him mostly breast milk for the first two weeks and things were going great! Then, we decided that it wasn't the best option for us and had to give him more formula and less breast milk and we started noticing a lot of problems.
My sweet boy who slept comfortably after every feeding started screaming and crying with every feeding and would tense up his body in pain. I realized it was the formula and tried a sensitive kind. This seemed to work for a day or two and the problems were back. The next step was the gentle ease formula and it was going really well for the first 3-4 days, but by the end of the week it was back to him screaming and crying with every feeding. The doctor gave us samples of alimentum, a hypoallergenic kind so we tried that. It was great for the first 24 hours then he started getting sick all over after every feeding. An ER trip later, we found out the culprit was acid reflux. With Zantac and soy formula to try, we finally got it under control!

At one month, he...
  • Sleeps a lot! Barely has any awake time except for before feedings or unless he doesn't feel well.
  • Doesn't like his diaper changed, but the wipes warmer helps a lot.
  • Is starting to like/tolerate bath time every other day.
  • Still has a full head of hair that's getting lighter by the week!
  • Loves his Rock n Play which we had to go buy when he wouldn't sleep in his bassinet due to reflux.
  • Smiles a lot in his sleep. Social smiles should come soon so we're looking forward to that.
  • Loves to be held and snuggle with momma.
  • Looks intently at people's faces now and is much more aware of loud sounds!
  • Can fit width-wise into newborn onesies, but is too long length-wise. Newborn pants are still a little big though!
I can't wait to see how much he changes in the next month!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


This past week has been especially exhausting. Matthew is now three weeks old and was super content for the first two weeks, but then when we started giving him more formula and supplementing with less breast milk, we noticed a huge change in our baby.

The first time this happened, it involved him crying for an hour straight. This is not like my child at all. My baby sleeps well and is only fussy for diaper changes, baths, and when he's hungry. He was also turning bright red and clenching his whole body. Of course, I realized that it was his stomach bothering him so we took him to the pediatrician who told us to switch formula. Done.

A week went by and we were on a sensitive formula and started to have increasingly more problems. Again, the pediatrician wanted to see us and said that we should try switching to a different formula again. If symptoms did not improve in 3-5 days, try soy formula, watch for 3-5 days, and if it doesn't work, then we would have to use the super expensive hypoallergenic formula. Lovely.

After talking it over with one of my best friends in California, we decided on another "gentle" formula before switching to soy. I also took him to my wonderful chiropractor for a much needed adjustment and between the two, he was back to his calm, not fussy self! We also decided to try probiotics and gripe water and everything together seems to work for him.

Of course, it just can't be that easy all the time so we are now also dealing with reflux in addition to the tummy troubles he's having. The pediatrician wants to see us tomorrow and after today's fussiness I'm definitely going to be making an appointment tomorrow.

It hurts to see your baby in pain and not being able to feel comfortable and the best place for him right now is on my chest. Of course, I can't be holding him 24/7 and sleep safely with him there so we went to the store and got a lesson on baby wearing and purchased a wrap today.

In the meantime while he's so uncomfortable, I feel like this is the best and safest option for him to be able to snuggle up next to me and for me to be able to keep him safe if I need to sleep in the rocking chair/recliner in his room with him on me.

 We're praying that our little boy will feel better soon, but know that colic generally clears up around three months on it's own so at least there's an end in sight!