doing it wrong

I feel like we must be doing the sleep thing wrong.

Not that it sounds like anyone has figured out how to do it right in the first few weeks, but I really think that there must be a better way than what we are doing.

From the beginning we've said that we will do whatever it takes to get the most sleep. I was raised with a family bed, and figured thats where the baby would end up sleeping, but wasn't opposed to other arrangements. We inherited lots of other hand-me-down places for the baby to sleep - a crib, pack-n-play, bouncy chair, swing, etc, but decided to wait and see how things went before we set any of it up.

The first couple nights I nursed him whenever he fussed, and he stayed in the bed with us. I worried about having any blankets or pillows near him, so tried to set him on the far side of the bed in between feedings. That didn't work so well, so he ended up sleeping on our chests, which also prevented us from sleeping. ML figured out that the poor kid was probably cold, which made me feel awful, but was probably true, so we started dressing him much warmer for bed.

It was near impossible for me to fall asleep or stay asleep with Baby Cakes next to me, as I felt like I couldn't move around at all and every noise he made caused me to wake up. About a week in, someone suggested we move the swing next to our bed and put him in the swing in between night feedings. We tried that and I slept much better, but it was so much harder to get up out of bed to move him back and forth everytime he needed to nurse. And if I botched the transfer back to the swing I had to start over with the nursing. Exhausting. It ended up being easier to just keep him in the bed.

ML figured out how to swaddle Baby Cakes which has been wonderful and really helped him sleep for longer periods of time.

Luckily, we had the nursing figured out. I was able to nurse while laying on my side so we both ended up drifting off to sleep while he nursed, which was great that I didn't have to be fully awake, but made the transfer back to the swing a bit more difficult as I'd often rouse realizing that it was actually time to nurse again. And side nursing is awesome, with the exception that I have to hold my body 'just so' to ensure that my breast is perfectly positioned to Baby Cake's head. Not exactly relaxing.

We then ditched the swing, and tried setting up a baby bounce chair next to the bed. It was easier to move baby cakes in and out of the chair, but still hard to stay awake enough to make the switch after each feeding. We ended up having some success setting him him the chair as we went to bed, but I rarely made a successful transfer back into the chair.

Last week I randomly set Baby Cakes in the swing which had been moved to the living room one evening, and he liked it! It was right before we were going to head to bed, but we were afraid to move a happily sleeping baby. I sent ML off to bed, and I grabbed a blanket and curled up on the couch. I slept better than I have all month! The swing was across the room, and we had the air filter turned on high for the white noise. I didn't hear any of baby cakes's baby sleep noises, and didn't have him right next to me. It was glorious. And the best part is that he slept for 3 hours! THREE! He woke, cried, I jumped up, nursed him, changed him, and attempted to join ML in bed. Baby Cakes started fussing again so I came back out to the living room, set him in the swing and was amazed that he settled right down. I curled up back on the couch and we slept for another 2 hours!

I feel like we must be doing something wrong when a few hours sleep is such an achievement that it is worthy of the level of celebration that it elicited. It felt like a freakin miracle!

We've had a ton of success since then using the swing for daytime naps, and the first sleep shift of the night. Mostly though, baby cakes is sleeping next to me in the crook of my arm, swaddled up, partially under our comforter. I nurse one boob, then we sleep, when flop him to the other side and nurse the other boob, then we sleep, every hour or so.

The weirdest past for me is that I actually feel guilty wishing that I could just leave him in another room for the night. I just want to sleep. in a bed with my husband. peacefully. uninterrupted.  It feels wrong to wish my baby away like that.

I could go on and on about this sleep thing, but it has seriously become the center of my world. I know that there isn't any answer or solution, and that it will get easier, but my god, it is hard.


i licked him

It was shocking.
I was holding this perfect little baby.

I couldn't help but question where in the world he had come from.
How did he get here?
How did he end up in MY arms?

I was struggling to wrap my head around the past 24 hours, thinking about how hard I'd worked to bring him into this world.

This baby I'd thought I'd never hold was looking up at me with clear bright eyes.

Without thinking, I leaned down and licked his little forehead.

He was mine.
I was his.

It was real.


week 3 with baby cakes

Sitting in the rocker with a sleeping baby tucked close to my heart. I've had posts running through my head, there are so many things I want to write about, but its been a challenge to get more than few minutes at a time to work on anything these days.

Baby Cakes is growing like a little weed, gained two pounds in his first two weeks. I swear he feels heavier today and predict that he is going to keep gaining at this pace. Our little porker :)

Parents Place
We went to baby class this week. To our age-based class on Wednesday and to the wee-chant baby singing class on Friday. It was so special. This is at the school my mom started over 25 years ago and still runs today, with the teachers who I've know for decades, where the non-profit I started has funded so many projects. ML and I couldn't even get to the office before we were stopped by 4 different people who wanted to meet our little guy and offer their congratulations. It was so special. Some of them knew the details of our story, and others were just excited to share in the excitement of my moms first grandchild. They'd all been waiting with us on pins and needles for the arrival of this baby who was nearly 3 weeks past due.

ML came with us to the age class, wearing baby cakes in the Moby wrap. We snickered a little when the other women/couples told their "how this baby came to be in your life" stories. Half of the ladies shared that they conceived in the first month they tried. I was glad that ML took the lead in telling our story simply saying that just about nothing has happened according to our plans, but that we are so happy to have little baby cakes with us now.

ML's mom came with us to wee-chant on Friday. It couldn't have been more perfect. ML held baby cakes while both grandma's sat nearby singing sweet lullaby's. Towards the end of class there is time for announcements and my mom officially introduced her new grandson. It was so sweet. I almost lost it during the final song, my heart just exploding with love. Instead I nuzzled my head into ML's neck peeking over his shoulder at our sweet sleeping son.

Oh wow, we've had so many visitors come over to meet baby cakes. Everyday. It is so wonderful to have so many people who want to bring food and gifts and blessings. and Yet, we are looking forward to having some quiet time in the coming weeks.

Nighttime Parenting
While we started off with a little guy who was generally happy when awake and willing to sleep for decent 2-3 hour stretches in between feedings at night, things seem to have changed. We are having more periods of fussy during the day and have had a few really long nights where he is awake and unhappy unless being bounced. 

We hadn't made any arrangements for where he would sleep, figuring that he'd be with us in bed for a while. It turns out that sleeping next to a tiny little baby is not so restful for me. I still wanted him close enough that I didn't have to get up to nurse, but didn't want to worry about blankets and pillows getting too close to him. We pulled the baby swing close to the bed and used that for  few nights. It was better, but still hard for me to get him in and out to nurse. We've since set up the little baby papazan chair (hammock style with the vibration) on a table next to the bed. It is working really well. I don't get him back into it after every feeding, but it is helpful to have a safe place for him to sleep so that I can get some deep sleep for at least few hours every night.

The past few nights have been extra challenging. He'll wake up for a nurse and get fussy. I'll spend about an hour trying to calm him, change his diaper, burp him, wrap him in the swaddle, bounce him, nurse him again. Finally I'll pass him off to ML who jumps into action. He's been up for hours bouncing our little boy on the ball in the living room, letting me sleep. I feel guilty sleeping while he is up, but am just so desperate for sleep. And while I know that ML stirs everytime I nurse, I actually have to wake up in order to get baby cakes latched on and set up to nurse. It wasn't until yesterday that the sleep deprivation finally caught up with me. I just felt exhausted.

Labor and delivery kicked my butt! Recovery has been much slower than I anticipated. One of the risks of induction is post delivery hemorrhage, which I had, and meant that I lost more blood than normal leaving me feeling quite weak for about a week postpartum. I've been drinking Floridix iron supplement and feeling much better this week. I also had multiple nasty second degree tears requiring more stitches than the dr bothered to count. Instead of a standard perineal tear, I managed to tear up both labia and inside my vaginal walls. Standing and walking put a lot of pressure (and pain) on my bottom, so my upright activity has been basically limited to being around the house. I would really like to start walking soon, but am going to have to work my way up to it. The other big complaint I have is pain in my tailbone. Lounging on the couch is ok, but sitting on anything hard for more than a few minutes is not happening.  I have pain when i stand up from sitting. Walking also seems to make it hurt more.  I'm taking it easy, but feeling a little anxious to start moving around a little bit more.

my iPhone the most awesome device ever! I take about 100 pictures everyday, Send a little video to the grandmas every morning and text daily pics to aunties and friends. I read facebook and email, and can access the internet while confined to my rocker with a babe in my arms.


Dear Baby Cakes - 10 days old

Dear baby cakes,

One week in and I have loved every second of being your mom and being a parent with your daddy. There are so many things that I want to remember about this time, and yet simply 'being present' is so beyond satisfying that I don't want to be distracted trying to capture the moments.

At your weigh-in yesterday you showed off some champion nursing skills with gain of a full pound! in less than a week! You were born at 8lbs 5ozs, dropped to 7lbs13ozs 24 hours later and then down to 7-11 48 hours after birth. Yesterday (at 8 days old) you were back up to 8lbs 11ozs! Breastfeeding has been so natural and easy with your started suckling minutes after delivery and feeding like a pro since. I'd been so worried about the early pregnancy vasospasm's coming back or the awful nipple pain I'd the past nine months. Instead my nipples feel fine, my breasts are producing milk at the perfect speed, and you, my sweet baby, are growing bigger and stronger everyday. I love it.

 With the exception of yesterday, you've been generally happy, with long periods of being awake and alert, carefully studying our faces and listening to our voices. You eat about every 2 hours for 10-15 minutes, fuss briefly for a burp or two, and sleep peacefully for nice long 2 hour stretches. We've got a good thing going because you love to be held and we love to hold you. In fact I'm not sure that we've set you down, other than for a changing, just yet. Between me, your daddy, your grandma, and the steady flow of visitors who are showering us with love and food, there are plenty of arms available to hold your perfect little body.

Nighttime is different, but we are all adjusting well. Going to bed a bit earlier, staying in bed a little longer. We often fall asleep as you nurse, and then you curl up in the crook of my arm to sleep. You are also a fan of sleeping on dads chest. We really like sleeping at night around here, and are so glad that you seem to appreciate nighttime sleep as much as we do.

So many people have come to meet you already. I ordered a little baby book and am hoping that I'll be able to jot down some notes throughout the day so that you can someday read all about the world of love that you have just entered.

I think often about the birth experience that transitioned you from inside my belly to outside my belly. It was more intense than anything I could have ever imagined. I worked so hard, giving you every bit of energy and strength that I had to give.  I thought that I was prepared for the experience, but I was not. Your daddy and grandma were there with us every second, even though I felt like I was in an alternate reality where the only things that existed were you and me, working together to deliver you into this world. While there are some details that are so vivid and clear in my memory, other parts are so hazy. Grandma took a lot of pictures that I've been looking back over. What an incredible 24 hours we shared.

We feel so incredibly lucky to have you here with us. 

love, your foxy mama


sneak preview

I can't believe that its been almost a week already. 
For those of you who aren't following along on facebook, here are a few pictures of our son. 
We think he is perfect. :)

Posing for Grandma this morning - 6 days old

Wishing all of his new friends a very Happy New Years Eve - 4 days old
I have a birth story coming. Its amazing how little time there is when my only responsibility is to lay around on the couch taking pictures of this little guy. My cup runneth over.


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