Saturday, February 26, 2011

1 month today!

It's February 26th and Palmer is 1 month old! This is when they sleep through the night, right? HAHA, not quite. He has decided to give his mom one 4 hour stretch though usually around midnight to 4 am. I wake up surprisingly invigorated after that! What he hasn't quite figured out is how to get to sleep before midnight- between 9 and 12 he is one hungry, fussy boy and that's pretty exhausting at the end of the day.

At one month he's starting to focus in on objects a little better and is now interested in/concerned about some of his toys as you can see below. He's also making a bigger variety of sounds now instead of just crying- some contented sighs when he finishes eating and panicked grunting when he knows he's about to eat. Palmer is looking at our faces more and likes listening to his musical giraffe while he gets his diaper changed. We can't wait for a real smile!

He has already changed a lot from his first few weeks- I already miss his wrinkly knees he had as a very new newborn! He's getting some thicker hair on top of his head now which Tyler always reminds me to brush after his bath. Palmer's wearing 0-3 month size now since his long legs have definitely outgrown the newborn footie PJs. He figured out recently how to really suck on his thumb and fingers which he does with surprising vigor when he is hungry! After a while though when nothing comes out he gets a little upset.

We swaddle him at night and to calm him down during the day if he needs it- has anybody has read Happiest Baby on the Block? I am a believer. The 5 S's work wonders! That book got us to start using a white noise machine that was a gift from my brother and his girlfriend and I really do think it helps him stay asleep longer! If you're pregnant or know someone who is, I highly recommend the book. It gives you some really logical, practical ways to stop your baby's crying and to help them sleep for the first few months when they're too little for "sleep training".

Something that was surprisingly easy this month was getting Palmer to take some breast milk out of a bottle. My breastfeeding class instructor recommended starting around 3 weeks to get them used to it if you plan on going back to work, so every few days I'll pump a 1/2 oz to 1 oz and have Tyler give it to him in between feedings (so he's not too full or desperately hungry). It takes Palmer a couple minutes to figure it out each time but we haven't had any problems with him rejecting the bottle at all. Yay! I'm a little hesitant to give him a bottle more often than this though since I really don't want to mess up how well he's doing with breastfeeding.

Wow, I had a ton of time to post with Tyler and Palmer taking a nap in the living room :) LOVE the weekends!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

update on baby stuff!

Palmer is doing great at almost a month old! He's a little easier to handle during the day now since he doesn't mind sitting in the bouncer or swing for a few minutes while he's awake. (A couple of weeks ago he was having none of that!) We go through a couple of outfits a day since his poops are pretty explosive, so adding that to the burp rags, swaddle blankets, and bed sheets makes for a pretty constant flow of baby laundry.

Palmer has started really liking his baths every other day- until you take him out of the water, that is. I usually feed him right after and love the way he smells with his Johnson's and Johnson's wash and lotion- YUM!

Breastfeeding is going well, but it is definitely a lot of work! I'm pining for a full night's rest and know that would be possible if Tyler gave him a bottle of formula, but I'm going to stay the course knowing nursing is truly the best thing for Palmer. One obvious pro is that his diapers don't really stink at all!

We've been getting out of the house a little more lately and I'm going to take a chance and try to get out to Kohl's this afternoon. Sometimes I feel like I'm holding my breath the whole time we're in public, just hoping he doesn't suddenly realize he's hungry and have a meltdown. That boy can SCREAM when he is hungry!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Palmer's 2 week appointment

Palmer had his first appointment with Dr. Nail on Friday and he's doing great! He's two ounces above his birth weight now at 8 lbs 10 oz- 50th percentile in weight and 75th percentile in height. No shots yet- not looking forward to that in a couple of weeks! It was good to get out of the house for a little while- kind of weird to drive my car though. . . I haven't driven myself anywhere since before his birthday!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

home from the hospital. . .

Let's backtrack a little bit since I'm a couple weeks behind on updating- I figured out that wearing him in the moby wrap lets me type on the computer- amazing!

Coming home with Palmer from the hospital on Friday the 28th was a little surreal! Not scary, just weird to leave with a whole additional person! We were hungry for some lunch so we stopped at Whataburger on the way home and our sweet boy slept in his carseat in the living room long enough for us both to eat- simultaneously! One thing I've noticed about having a newborn- it is quite a feat to sit down for a meal together and have the baby cooperate.

Our first two nights at home were a little rough- little Palmer was awake and VERY fussy from about 1 or 2 to 5 or 6 each night. The second night I had a mini-breakdown with lots of tears (I tend to cry when I'm tired. . .). Since then we haven't had such a long stretch of crying, so that's been a relief. Now I'm feeling completely recovered from the birth so that makes things a lot easier too.

We took him to his first pediatrician's appointment and to the lactation consultant the following Monday and he got rave reviews all around! They said he was eating well, gaining weight, has no jaundice whatsoever, and is a strong boy with good reflexes.

The nurse practitioner commented on how his mommy was already combing his hair- actually that was daddy! Sunday night before the doctor he got his first bath, lotion, and hair brushing. Johnson's & Johnson's smells soooo good, doesn't it?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

labor and delivery part II

OK, so we're in the thick of it. . . very painful, painful pain. The pitocin was VERY effective for me, so much so that the nurse dialed it back to a lower dose than I even started at and I was still having some major contractions! At this point I was shaking pretty badly from the pain and I guess the adrenaline my body was pumping in response to it. The anesthesiologist came in and asked me a bunch of questions, none of which I could answer because I was trying to be calm and breathe. Lucky for me, my husband could answer them all for me. The epidural needle was pretty painful, but only for a couple of seconds at first. He had a little trouble getting it into the correct space and told me that the next time I get an epidural to let the doctor know that I have very "tight spaces".

The worst part of it was having to sit there hunched over while having the worst contractions of the day and wondering if he'd be able to get the needle in there. He did get the needle in after a couple minutes and then the first push of meds hurt quite a bit- probably because I'm not used to liquid being injected into my spine! Once the drip was set up the meds kicked in pretty quick. Basically it changed the contractions from unbearable to barely noticeable. I commented that it was ridiculous how well it worked! Here's a post-epidural pic:

I was able to relax and rest for a few hours in the afternoon and both grandmas and my sister came in to visit around 2:30 or so. I made really good progress in dilation, a little more than a cm an hour I think, and at about 4:30 the nurse said I was 10 cm and could start trying to push! I think they gauged my epidural dose well because I could feel pressure with each contraction and knew when they were coming and going.

Tyler counted out 3 sets of 10 at a time and almost right away they said they could see his head- crazy! After a little while, the nurse went and called Dr. Michelsen to come in for the grand finale. He moved a little more with each set of pushing which made me feel good that I was doing it right. Let me tell you, even with the epidural, pushing is exhausting! I felt pretty good all day despite the epidural and pitocin medication, but after pushing for a while I got really nauseous. I think it was the combination of having an empty stomach since the night before and the physical exertion. They gave me a barf bag, (which I didn't end up using), I put all I could into each contraction, and after about an hour, Palmer arrived!

The doctor and nurse were surprised at how big he was and so was I when I heard the weight. While the doctor fixed me up, Tyler got to go over to the bassinet and watch Palmer's APGAR before I fed him for the first time. We spent some time in the room just the three of us for a while and then the family couldn't wait any longer and a few of them came to meet our boy.

Even though throughout my pregnancy I was adamant about not being induced- I think it ended up being a good choice for us. Who knows how long he would have stayed in there and how much bigger he would have gotten! Hopefully with my next baby he or she won't wait so long and I can experience natural labor as compared to pitocin induced. Tyler and I had a great delivery day experience and I'm so happy that we share those memories together.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

labor and delivery part I

In case you weren't in the loop with the twitter updates, or if you want more details, here is the story of Palmer's birthday!

We got to the hospital at 7 and were in our room, I was changed into a lovely hospital gown, and got hooked up to an IV pretty much right away! I can't remember ever having an IV before (maybe when I got my wisdom teeth out?), and I wasn't too excited about it. She put it just on the inside of my left wrist instead of the top of my hand which was nice and after a half hour or so I didn't even notice it anymore. After answering a LOT of health questions she started the pitocin drip. Dr. Michelsen came in not long after that to measure me and break my bag of water. Let me tell you, that was a weird sensation. . . but I won't go into too much detail.

Tyler and I played words with friends and listened to some George Strait on the iHome as my contractions started to get stronger. I had a couple grape popsicles which were delicious after not being able to eat or drink after midnight the night before. Eventually I became uninterested in the words with friends game as my contractions got stronger. They were painful, but if I just focused and breathed I could make it through. Our nurse shared with us that all of them at the nurses' station were just marveling at how long my contractions were! GREAT.

The long contractions were bearable when I was getting a minute or two of rest in between, but as she raised my pitocin dose about every 20 minutes I got less and less of a break. Some contractions were coming in pairs or triplets without letting up and it was pretty rough to say the least. I made it about 3 1/2 hours without the epidural and looking back I'm surprised I lasted that long! It was kind of a blur once they started really hurting. Alright, I've got to go feed a crying baby, so part II will come later!!