Archive for August, 2012

August 28, 2012

2 Months

Isaac

It’s hard to believe, but Isaac is now already two months old [he turned 9 weeks today, but 2 months on the 26th].  And while we continue to learn about each other and [sometimes struggle to] create our own groove, the past two months have been the most special in all my life.

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[One month / Two months]

I keep thinking maybe he’ll start looking like ME at some point, but he’s definitely a Daddy’s boy as far as looks go.

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[Two photos of Isaac + one of Ben as a baby yawning.]

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[Me, as a baby.  Any resemblance?  I thought not. Who me?]

The little guy has gone from almost sleeping and crying exclusively to giving us a few hours of smiles and bright-eyes each day that completely melt all of our hearts.

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Two month olds are still supposed to be sleeping about 14-16 hours each day, and because he takes a while to nurse [40-60 minutes, every two to three hours – which counts as awake time], it doesn’t leave much time for him to be up and playing just yet.

When he is awake, Isaac’s extremely curious, alert, playful, and generally happy.

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The kid loves bath time, which makes sense since he was born into water,

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his new cloth diapers,

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and he’s a big fan of baby-carrying and skin-on-skin contact.

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In fact, he’s rarely never able to fall asleep if he’s not being held close to someone and moving, which has been one of our biggest struggles as of late.  I knew that babies had to be taught how to fall asleep, but I had no idea what a difficult task it would be.  Isaac will sit in his swing for a few minutes, but the moment his eyes start to droop, he’ll start screaming at the top of his lungs, wake himself up, and then repeat the process once his eyes droop again.  That means Mama and Daddy have to put him in the Ergo until he falls into a deep sleep, and then put him down.  Most days/nights, though, this is the only way the little guy will actually give us some rest:

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[Worn out.]

And while we’re talking about things Isaac hates, let’s discuss the car seat issue, shall we?

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He hates it.  H.A.T.E.S. it!  Like, he’ll get himself so worked up screaming in it that he’ll turn bright red, not know how to breathe, and be covered in tears and saliva by the time I get ten minutes down the road.  It scares the bejeezus out of me so much that I refuse to take trips longer than 10 minutes alone with him.

So while the little guy may not look anything like me, we’ve got very similar – strong-headed – temperaments.  Yay.  Disappointed smile

Like I said, we’re still working on falling into our groove.

Mama

I’m finding that it’s SO important to remind myself on a daily basis that Isaac and I have only been together – with him outside the womb – for two months, and that our relationship is still in its beginning stages.  It’s a big, crazy world, and I can only imagine what he’s going through to try to keep up with everything.

And while it’s hard not to compare my son to my friends’ children, I’m learning that Isaac truly is his own little being and I can’t put any expectations on him.  I need to meet him where he is and do what works best for us.

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Every day is a learning opportunity though, and some days I find it incredibly difficult to keep up with such a demanding, high needs baby.  In those times, it’s nice to know that there are other kids out there that share his characteristics.

From AskDrSears.com:

12 Features of A High Need Baby:

1. “INTENSE” – These babies put more energy into everything they do. They cry loudly, feed voraciously, laugh with gusto, and protest more forcefully if their needs are not met to their satisfaction.

2. “HYPERACTIVE” – The muscles and mind of high need children are seldom relaxed or still. “Even as a newborn, I could feel the wiry in him.”

3. “DRAINING” – High need babies extract every bit of energy from tired parents — and then want more.

4. “FEEDS FREQUENTLY” – Not only do high need babies breastfeed more frequently, the need for breastfeeding lasts longer.  These babies are notoriously slow to wean [!!].

5. “DEMANDING” – High need babies don’t just merely request feeding and holding, they demand it — loudly.  These babies convey a sense of urgency in their signals; they do not like waiting, and they do not readily accept alternatives.

6. “AWAKENS FREQUENTLY” – You would think that high need babies would need more sleep; certainly their parents do.

7. “UNSATISFIED” – There will be days when you nurse, rock, walk, drive, wear, and try every comforting technique known to man or woman, and nothing will work.

8. “UNPREDICTABLE” – Along with their unpredictability, these children show extremes of mood swings. When happy, they are a joy to be around; they are master charmers and people pleasers. When angry, they let everyone around them feel the heat.

9. “SUPER-SENSITIVE” – High need babies are keenly aware of the goings-on in their environment. “Easily bothered,” “quickly stimulated,” “like walking on eggshells” is how parents describe their sensitive babies. High need babies prefer a secure and known environment, and they are quick to protest when their equilibrium is upset.

10. “CAN’T PUT BABY DOWN” – High need babies crave touch: skin-to-skin contact in your arms, at your breasts, in your bed. They extract whatever physical contact they can from their caregivers. They also crave motion. Holding is not enough; the holder must keep moving. If the holder wants to sit down, it had better be on something that rocks, glides, or swings.

11. “NOT A SELF-SOOTHER” – High need babies… want to interact with people, not things. Parents will often report, “He just can’t relax by himself.” High need babies need help to fall asleep.

12. “SEPARATION SENSITIVE” – In their minds, mother is a part of themselves, and they are part of mother. Mother and baby are one, a complete package. These babies feel right when they feel at one with mother; they feel anxious and frightened when not with mother.

All of these totally describe Isaac to a T, and I feel like being able to understand his personality type is going to be vital in our success as mother and son.  It already feels better to know that I’m not crazy… he’s adorable, but he definitely is tougher to handle than the average little one.

As I mentioned earlier, Isaac sleeps 14-16 hours a day and nurses for anywhere between 7-12 hours, which means most – if not all of our time is spent indoors – and doesn’t leave me much any me time… it’s enough to make a girl stir crazy, so I try to get out of the house while I’m putting him to sleep in the Ergo – walking around the neighborhood or the park nearby – but most of the time I’m so sleep-deprived and tired that I feel like a zombie.

I know that this phase won’t last forever – and I’m really grateful to be able to be home with him right now – so I’m trying my very best to be present and appreciate the long nursing sessions and time around the home.  But I won’t lie: sometimes I miss my friends.  Cooking.  The beach.  Blogging.  Turbo.  Being able to get in the car and just go. I envy my friends who have super portable, happy children.

Then again, I didn’t have a baby so that I could live a selfish life, now did I?  Winking smile

A few 2-month tidbits:

  • Isaac’s current favorites: morning time with Glammaw, bath time, walks in the ergo or k’tan, and when daddy makes fart noises with his mouth.
  • Isaac’s current pet peeves: getting out of the bath, rocking to sleep [he’d rather bounce], when Mama/Daddy stop moving, having his butt dunked in the ocean, his car seat, and certain foods that make him gassy [dairy, certain veggies/fruits, etc.].
  • Firsts this month: cooing, smiling, spit bubbles, grimaces, cloth diapers, and a few laughs.
  • 2 month check-up: Tomorrow!  This is typically the visit where keiki get their cocktail of vaccinations, but Ben and I have talked it over with our healthcare practitioners and are more comfortable refusing them for the moment [I really thought I’d be doing the dTAP, but after talking with my chiropractor more about it, I’m going to put it off – at least for the moment – because of the latest statistics out on it].
  • Average hours of sleep for Mama per night: 5-6 [in one/two-hour chunks] on nights without class; 3-5 on nights with class [2-3 times a week].
  • Breastfeeding is going much better, thank goodness… trusting my body continues to be a process, but it’s getting better every single day. I am still eating lots of galactagogues to keep my milk supply up, but it feels much less dire than it used to be:IMG_8640

[I tried everything.]

As always, I am so grateful for every single day with my son; he has already changed my entire life and taught me so much about myself and life in general.  Some days drag on and others fly by, but I’m trying my best not to take any of it for granted because I know that in the long run this will all feel as though it went way too quickly.

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Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts.  Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!

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August 23, 2012

Out and About

Isaac still isn’t a huge fan of his car seat so getting out with him by myself is still really intimidating, but now that it’s just the two of us, I’m thinking it’d be beneficial to start getting him more used to getting out and about. 

Monday was our first full day at home alone together, so it was a transitional day – plus it was pretty grey and rainy – so we spent most of it indoors, aside from a short walk around the neighborhood. 

But Tuesday I decided it would be a good time to try our luck at getting out.  Since we live just about five minutes from the park, I decided to put him in his seat and drive there for a walk to stretch our legs and get some fresh air [yes, I realize it would make much more sense just to walk but that defeats the point of getting him used to his seat]. 

I used to walk this park at least once a week when I was hapai – we actually walked it on the blustery day Isaac was born – but Tuesday was my first time back since then… unreal!

I forgot just how beautiful the view is from there:

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Isaac and I did a lap with his stroller and he did great for about 15 minutes.  After that he started screaming at the top of his lungs and people started giving me the stink eye. Shifty

So we went back to the car and I set him up in the ergo, which he loved. 

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We did a few more laps with him in the Ergo, and then I decided to try to get my heart rate up with some stairs.

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Because I was so active throughout my pregnancy, I was excited to move around again and actually get sweaty!  Aside from moderate walks, I’ve waited until the 8 week point for exercise again because I wanted to be confident about breastfeeding and my milk supply before switching anything up.  Even so, it’s still really important for me not to jump back into exercise too quickly [and to be sure to get enough calories to make up for it] because rapid changes could really effect my supply. 

Yesterday – Wednesday – we went on a 10 minute drive to visit Ben and his coworkers, and Isaac screamed for about 50% of the drive [progress! ha!], and today he only screamed for a minute on our drive home from the park [which makes sense – I woke him up from a nap + he was hungry]. 

So he’s not the most portable baby just yet, but I know that this phase won’t last forever and truthfully there’s nothing more heartbreaking than hearing my son scream and cry for even a minute, so I’m not in the biggest rush.  I have yet to attempt a solo drive to town [which is about 20 minutes away], but I’m thinking it’s gonna have to happen soon, as I’ve got some errands to run during working hours.  I’ll have to get up the guts to do it.  We’ll see.

For now, I’m just grateful he’s getting into his car seat without crying. 

The little one’s asleep in the Ergo yet again – I swear it’s the only way he’ll sleep – so I’m off to try to rest while he is.  Enjoy your day! 


Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts.  Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!

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