5 months old

Time is flying. This will be the last monthly post I write while on maternity leave, as I return to work on Monday. I know it’s time to get back to the real world, but it’s going to be hard to leave my boys again, after getting used to spending every day with them. At least I won’t have to send them to daycare just yet, as D will be taking the next 4 weeks off to stay home with them.

Here’s what’s going on with Mr. E at five months…

Adjusted age: two months.

Stats: 10 lbs 13 oz and 21.5 inches long.

Milestones: Smiling and cooing! The best. He is such a happy little guy and quite talkative too. I’m really looking forward to those first laughs next.

Sleeping: Dare I say it? I think we may have gotten a good sleeper this time. Or at least compared to Theo. He wakes up one or two times per night, but lately it’s usually just one time. And he slept completely through the night twice! Of course, T was only up 2-3 times per night until he hit the four-month sleep regression, and then he was up practically hourly until he was about nine months old. So I don’t fully trust E’s sleep habits just yet. Naps are pretty inconsistent — sometimes he’ll sleep almost all day and just wake up to eat. Other days he barely sleeps at all. I had hoped to be on a little more of a schedule by the time I went back to work. I guess D will have to figure it out himself.

Eating: This continues to be the area where we struggle most, but has finally turned a corner and we’re doing more nursing than bottles. We’re down to about 3-4 bottles per day (3 oz each) and nursing the rest. Nursing is going better, most of the time, though there are some frustrating days where I can’t seem to get him composed or focused enough to stay latched. When we’re home alone we can usually work through it with a little patience, and I have the option to go make a bottle if he gets too frustrated. But when we’re out in public it’s harder to get him focused. He doesn’t always like the nursing cover, especially when he’s  frustrated, and his frequent unlatching and flailing make it impossible to nurse discreetly sans cover without flashing everyone around me. But if I give a bottle, I have to pump to make up that feed to keep my supply up — which is even more inconvenient in public. When I go back to work I’ll obviously need to pump while I’m away from him, but my ultimate goal is to only pump when we’re apart, and always nurse when we’re home together. I think we’re getting closer.

Personality: So sweet and happy. Even on his fussy days, “fussy” is about as escalated as he gets. He rarely even full-on cries. And now that he’s smiling and cooing, his happy personality is showing through even more.

Likes: Bath time! I’ve started putting the boys in the tub together (well, I put E’s baby tub in the big tub) and they both just love it. E kicks and talks to big brother, who loves to help me wash him. He also loves having his diaper changed. T was like that too. We called it his “reset button.” If he was fussy and we changed him he’d suddenly get so focused on what we were doing that soon he was smiling and talking and forgot why he was upset. So far E is the same.

Dislikes: Still reflux. We’ve got the head of his bed elevated, we keep him upright after feeds and he’s on Prevacid, but he’s still so grunty and arches his back in pain often. I’m really hoping he grows out of it soon.

Mama: Still shedding like crazy, though it seems like it may finally be slowing. I’m surprised I have any hair left. I’m chopping my hair tomorrow and am hoping that makes everything more manageable.

I’m feeling kind of sad about my maternity leave coming to an end, since this is the last time we’re doing this, and I wish I had done more with the time I had. I had visions of taking the boys on frequent outings, having dinner made every night, and doing all the things around the house I never have time for when I’m working. Instead, there were more days than I’d care to admit where I managed to squander my entire morning juggling the very different needs of an infant and a three year-old, and by the time I finally cleaned up the breakfast dishes and reheated my coffee for the eighth time, it was time to start lunch, followed by nap and then we were stuck at home until T woke up, and then it was time to start dinner. Entire days simultaneously dragged on and passed in the blink of an eye. Yesterday, my last day of maternity leave, I felt like I managed to do things “right” – I took the boys to the zoo, took Theo out to ice cream, and then nursed Emmett in the park while Theo played. It was a day full of the things I imaged maternity leave would be… of course, I skipped my shower and we missed Theo’s nap, so something had to give! But it truly was a great day, and I ended my leave on a high note.

Onto month six…(!)

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T loves his brother so.

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Tummy time.

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Shots!!

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Lazy morning snuggles.

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Cousins!

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He loves his birdies.

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More snuggles.

Bath time!

Party at 3 a.m.!

Zoo day.

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NICU day 66

Last night I spent the night at the hospital. Like the night before when D had stayed, Emmett had a pretty long night of just general fussiness. The good news is, he’s having way fewer events than he has lately. But that reflux is just brutal. He spent pretty much the entire night grunting, punctuated by the occasional crying spells. So I didn’t sleep well and was up a lot. It was kind of like … having a newborn.

This morning, after a quick attempt at breastfeeding (still not really getting it), I left the hospital to meet D at the pool for Theo’s swim lessons. Since I was running late, I decided to pump on the way, something I’ve done many times. I’ve mastered the art of pumping and driving. I have a hands-free setup, so I simply get everything situated before I start the car, and then unhook once I get to my destination. I usually wrap a cardigan around myself so it’s not so obvious to the cars next to me. Well, I may have been driving a little fast, trying to make it to the pool on time (I bet you can guess where this is going). Yeah. I got pulled over. While pumping.

I had a moment of panic when I saw the lights. Although a cardigan is sufficient cover from drivers in the lane next to me who probably aren’t looking too hard into my windows, the thin, semi-sheer fabric didn’t exactly hide the outline of my pumping shields. Or the noise of the pump, for that matter. So much awkward. Thankfully, I think it was even more awkward for the police officer, who quickly let me off with a warning. I think he wanted to get out of there even faster than I did.

I had a good day with Theo, watching him swim, and then meeting up with some friends with kids his age for lunch and play time. Then I had to rush back to the hospital (once again pumping in the car, but this time paying close attention to the speed limit!), so I could meet the doctor for E’s frenectomy (tongue tie clip). I was nervous about the procedure, but it ended up being very quick and he hardly cried at all. The eye exams were 100 times worse. They immediately put him on me afterward to nurse — both for comfort and because they want him extending his tongue as much as he can right away. It went a little better than this morning’s session. He’s still kind of a lazy nurser (which will hopefully improve with practice and maturity), but I could already tell his latch was improved, so I’m hoping we continue to make forward progress.

He’s still hanging out on the oxygen tank at 1/32 liter and hardly having any events (knock on all the wood). He got a bath this evening — first time in the sink — and did pretty well. Weight was up 58 grams, bringing him to 5 lbs 15 oz. He very well may crack 6 lbs tomorrow!