Saturday, January 9, 2016

Charlie's First Two+ Weeks

Don't worry, I'm not going to give you a day by day journal of Charlie's entire life, but so much happens in the first few weeks that I wanted to capture as much as possible. I'm trying to keep up with his baby book and calendar, but I find it's easier for me just to blog the details.

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- Your first two days of life were spent in the hospital. It was a mostly uneventful stay. Not remotely relaxing for you, Mom or Dad. Because you were a big baby, they wanted your blood sugar to stay above a certain level. You were breastfeeding really well from the start, but because my milk hadn't come in yet, we were having trouble keeping you above the line they wanted. Luckily, GW has a free donor milk program so we were able to supplement a few syringes of donor milk to increase your blood sugar level. The nurse did mention a few times that our room was the calmest on the floor. I think our mini Christmas tree and Christmas music helped with that, but it's also because you are a calm baby. You didn't even fuss much during all the poking and prodding. You even slept soundly through one blood draw. Victoria Guobaitis and Jill Hamilton came to meet you in the hospital.

- We came home from the hospital on Wednesday, December 23rd. Our daytime nurse wasn't our favorite - everything took forever with her so it was no surprise that getting discharged was a long process. We may or may not have lied about your last dirty diaper to avoid any additional delays in getting to go home. We were finally released around 4:00 p.m. I got tired of waiting for the wheelchair so I just walked right out of that joint. We drove home in a major rain downpour during rush hour. Poor daddy didn't love that drive. Schmeema and Papa Butch greeted us at home with big umbrellas. They were so excited to meet you. You went right into Schmeema's arms and stayed there for quite some time!

- Thursday was Christmas Eve. We started our day at the pediatrician for your first appointment. You were nice and healthy, but they did want us to come back on Saturday for a weight and color check. Dan and Rae-Lynn Zeigler stopped by to meet you. That evening, you went to the Christmas Eve service at church. You were a total champ sleeping through the entire service. We had our traditional meal of charcuterie, fruit, veggies and dip before opening presents. I have a confession: I didn't buy you any Christmas presents. I was afraid I would be tempting fate and that you wouldn't come by Christmas if I planned on you being here. Luckily, your grandparents aren't as superstition and Santa knows where you live so you did have presents.

- Friday was Christmas day. It was a quiet, relaxing day at home. Santa came in the morning with lots of toys for you. You'll have to be a little older before you start enjoying them, though. You watched "It's a Wonderful Life" with Dad. Mom took a nap. We had a fantastic steak dinner in the late afternoon. It was the perfect first Christmas.

- Saturday was our hardest day. We went back to the pediatrician for your weight and color check that morning. (Fun fact: you rolled onto your side while laying on the exam table waiting for the doctor. Too soon, baby, too soon). You had gained back a couple of ounces, but your color was definitely not great. They checked your bilirubin level and it was high so they sent us to the hospital's outpatient lab for further testing. If you tested for a certain level of jaundice, they told us our only options were supplementing with formula or being admitted to the hospital for light therapy. I didn't love either of those options, and I had a good cry on our way to the hospital. I felt like I was failing you already. Your official number was 14.2 - high, but not so high that they immediately wanted to do treatment. They told us to go home and feed, feed, feed. We did just that. The three of us spent the rest of the day in bed cuddling and feeding you.

- On Sunday, the home lactation consultant paid us a visit. She was a huge help! She weighed you before and after a feeding and quickly determined that there weren't any supply issues. I was so relieved to hear that. She also helped us work on your latch, which made breastfeeding much more comfortable. There is definitely a learning curve with breastfeeding, but we are in a great rhythm now. You love to eat.

- On Monday morning, we went back to the pediatrician. I was so nervous, but you passed with flying colors. You weighed 8 lbs 10 oz - so you were gaining weight and the doctor said your color looked so good she didn't even bother re-testing you. To celebrate your good report and 1-week birthday, we went out to lunch at Cheesetique with Schmeema and Papa Butch. Per usual, you slept through lunch and even allowed us to make a quick stop at the local baby boutique.

- Tuesday you went on your first shopping trip to Nordstrom. Mom needed nursing bras, but don't worry, we left with a few new outfits for you too. You did great in your stroller save one fussy spat over a dirty diaper. Schmeema and Mom didn't do so great with the stroller, however. When we got back to the car, we couldn't figure out how to detach the car seat from the frame. It took a solid 5 minutes for us to free you. Oops! That evening, your friends from Dubai, Rob and Karen McCutcheon stopped by to meet you.

- Wednesday we spent hanging out at home. Rae-Lynn came to visit you again and our doula Cara came in the afternoon to check in on us. It was fun to talk with her about your birth. She said we all did such a great job bringing you into the world.

- Thursday (NYE) was photo day! You didn't sleep great the night before and despite feeding you for almost 1 hour before the photographer arrived, you were wide awake and very fussy while he was here. It was very unlike you to be so cranky, but you just wanted to eat and eat some more. Hopefully we were still able to get some good photos! We didn't stay up until midnight - we were all asleep well before then. Unlike the previous night, you slept great on NYE.

- Happy New Year! Friday was sponge bath day. Yes, you were 11 days old before we gave you a bath, but you were so squeaky clean that I didn't feel the need to do it sooner. Also, you hadn't lost your cord yet so it was just a quick sponge bath. You hated it, and I don't blame you. Nobody likes a sponge bath. Hopefully you'll like bath time a little more once your cord falls off and you can be immersed in your baby tub.

- Saturday Schmeema and Papa Butch left early in the morning to drive home. We are so grateful for all of their help. They made numerous grocery store trips, did all the cooking, cleaning and laundry and left us with a freezer full of meals. We couldn't have done it without them. In the afternoon, we went to the craft store to buy ink and paper to make your footprints for your baby book. We also grabbed lunch nearby. This was Dad's first time pushing you in the stroller. Kelton & Rebekah Zacharias stopped by to meet you that evening. Even though she is a Vikings fan, she brought you an Aaron Rodgers jersey, which I thought was very big of her.

- On Sunday, we braved church. Our services are long so we didn't quite know how long you would last. You made it through the first half, but spent the entire sermon out in the bathroom sitting area eating with Mom. You wore your Aaron Rodgers jersey and got to meet a lot of Mom and Dad's friends. Of course, everyone thought you were adorable!

- Monday, Jan. 4 was the first day that Dad went back to work for a substantial amount of time. You were great for Mom - spending most of your day sleeping in the rock n' play. That evening, your cord fell off - you officially have a belly button now! Since your cord fell off, we were able to give you a real bath in your baby tub. You didn't seem to mind it at all - you only fussed when you had to get out!

- This Tuesday you rocked your two-week appointment. You weighed 8 lbs 14 oz (66% percentile - but you needed to eat so they declared you back to your birth weight of 9 lbs even though you were a bit shy on the official scale), 21.5 inches long (86%) and a 14.5 head circumference (77%). We were given the official word to let you sleep as much as you want at night. You did great the first couple of nights - sleeping 6 and 7.5 hours, but we've digressed since then. You have developed the sniffles and a little bit of diaper rash so the last couple of days have been much more fussy and much less restful. Also, Dad has been at work quite a bit, which perfectly coincided with your unhappiness. Thank goodness for a weekend...and an opportunity for Mom to shower and brush her teeth.

A few other random notes:

- You are a pretty good baby. You slept through the night with us waking you up once or twice to eat and then going right back to sleep in your first couple of weeks. You generally only cry when you are hungry or trying to poop. You haven't quite gotten the hang of pooping yet.

- You already have such a strong neck and head. When they put you on my chest after being born, you lifted your head right away. Apparently your dad did the same thing after he was born. We call it your turtle face when you really stick your head out and look around.

- We already have a few nicknames for you. Bud or buddy are thrown around, but Mom really likes to call you Bub.

- At first, you weren't good at burping after eating, but you have improved a lot. We are also using probiotic drops to help ease your stomach. You love to eat and get so excited sometimes that you gulp down a little too much air in the process. You've only spit up one time. Sometimes you pull away while eating and get milk everywhere, and you have a pretty great milk drunk face.

- You are pretty content wherever we put you. You like being worn in your baby wrap, hanging out in your rock n' play or sitting in your baby bjorn bouncer seat. You enjoy being in your car seat and riding in the car.

- You don't particularly love having your diaper changed. Sorry, kid, but we can't avoid that.

- We've tried a pacifier, and you quite liked it. Mom, however, got cold feet about the whole thing. I didn't want you to become addicted so I think we'll be cautious with how often we use it. We often let you suck on one of our pinky fingers to sooth you. Dad is the master soother. Mom only has one trick - feeding you. Dad, however, is more patient and therefore a better soother. You love when he puts you in a football hold.

- You are incredibly alert when you are awake. You have all kinds of expressive faces that Mom and Dad are pretty obsessed with. Of course, we think you are the cutest thing ever. We can't get enough of your "stink" face and old man faces.















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