This post took me a week and a half to write, so it’s sort of all over the place.

As of last Thursday, Urijah hit the one month old mark! (As of today, he’s 5.5 weeks.) It seems a lot shorter to me to say 4 weeks, but when I start thinking in terms of ‘months’, I can hardly believe it.  We’re only 2 weeks away from reaching the end of the famed “the first 6 weeks are the hardest” saying.  And really, I must say, in a lot of ways it has been true, but it has also been better, dare I say, easier than I expected.

The hardest part of the last 4 weeks has been the feeding issues that we were facing early on.  We seem to have settled into a new normal of breastfeeding and supplementing (with both formula and Lisa’s milk) and while it isn’t ideal (I desperately wish I could exclusively breastfeed this baby, but I’m coming to terms with the fact that I can’t provide enough, and I need to make sure his belly is full, first and foremost, so supplementing it is!), it is what we have to do and he is thriving and putting on weight, and that’s what matters.  We just switched to Dr. Brown’s bottles two days ago…we were using Green to Grow bottles from the start but he was spitting up quite a bit, so we’re trying different bottles to see if that helps.  So far so good, he still spits up a bit, but it is definitely less than it was.

I hesitate to put it in writing in case I am jinxing myself, but the sleep has been pretty good so far.  AND I AM HUGELY GRATEFUL FOR THAT, powers that be.  Do you hear me?   I’m not taking it for granted!  Urijah regularly sleeps for stretches of 4-6 hours at a time at night, and so far, goes back to sleep pretty easily after eating. I’m starting to see a pattern emerging of nap times and awake times during the day, so that helps, too.  If I know he will go to sleep for a couple of hours and I can eat something, wash bottles and clean up the kitchen, it can make the whole day feel like a win.  Like I know what I’m doing.

It was a rough first 2 weeks of self doubt, though…I was frustrated and disappointed, and the emotional roller-coaster was a bit unpredictable.  It feels like it is leveling out somewhat now, but I still reserve the right to have a cry if I need to.  Just FYI.

So…now here are some first month ‘stats’.  The lactation consultant left her fancy scale here for almost 2 weeks, so I was able to keep tabs on Urijah’s weight…he hit the 7 lb mark and even exceeded it a bit!  His face and belly are noticeably fuller, and he is starting to get that chubby baby look to him.  Don’t get me wrong, he’s still tiny and a bit scrawny, but compared to how tiny he was at the beginning, it’s a big change!

He has more and more awake time during the day (and yeah, at night, too) and his little eyes are so bright and alert.  He is making eye contact and I feel like he might be on the cusp of smiling soon.  I keep trying to talk him into it, but he’s not cooperating yet.  He can hold his head up really well when you hold him up on your shoulder…he loves to look all around, especially at lights or the TV or at your face.  But watch out – he tends to overdo it sometimes and I’ve already had several hard collisions with his forehead and my lip.  We’re working on tummy time – he can move his head from side to side, but not very much consistent head holding up in that position yet.

And I would like to officially extend an apology to every mother that I ever (silently) judged for saying that they didn’t have time to do something.  I get it now.  I’m sorry I ever doubted you.  This kid takes ALOT of time.



Bigger and better

We have weight gain!  As of Urijah’s 2 week check-up he was back to his birth weight.  I felt like we had been cramming for a test for days leading up to that appointment – as soon as the scale registered those numbers, I burst into tears.  It was such a relief to know that all of our effort was paying off.  Heather, the midwife, gave me a good long hug, and let me cry for a minute, and told me I was doing a great job, and I was doing everything right.  It was just what I needed to hear!  I had had so many days  of worry and stress, and disappointment in my body that it wasn’t fulfilling its obligation to this little boy, that to get the news that between my body, Lisa’s body and the Enfamil corporation, we were making it happen.  Go team!

Urijah commemorated the moment by promptly peeing all over the sling they use for weighing.  An appropriate indication that he is getting enough food, I suppose.

The lactation consultant brought her fancy scale back over on Sunday and we did a couple of pre and post feeding weighs over the next 2 days, and we’re up to getting around an ounce or ounce and a half from a nursing session, which is a HUGE improvement.  Still not enough to sustain him, but it’s progress!  The last weight I took of him today was right around 6.5 lbs, so he’s starting to chunk up.  His cheeks are definitely starting to look fuller, even if his legs are still scrawny.

Look! I'm starting to get wrist rolls!

In other news, there’s been a bunch of grandma love going on around here.  My mom came to town and stayed for 5 days, and the day after she left Scott’s parents came to town to help me out, since sadly, Scott had to go back to work. My mom was Urijah’s first ever babysitter!  We took advantage of her capable hands and we went to dinner with some friends while she and the babe stayed home and bonded.  I actually put on makeup and wore my hair down for the first time in weeks – it felt great!  And, if I may pat myself on the back for something that I had absolutely no control over?  I was able to wear pre-pregnancy jeans.  There was sort of a muffin-top situation, but whatever.  They zipped!  The were pretty comfortable!  They looked great while I was standing up! All in all, it was a success.

My mom also gave Urijah his first bath while she was here.  We thought it would be nice to actually bathe the poor kid before we took him to his 2 week check up.  Honestly, he just wasn’t really dirty!  It was just a water wipe down, but he handled it pretty well.  He did pee during it, which we fully expected, but right as he started, he sort of rolled to the side and crossed his leg over in a very gentlemanly fashion, so she was saved from the spray.

Mom cooked up a storm while she was here, and Scott and I ate it up.  It was such a nice treat to have someone make food for us that we haven’t eaten, like, 20 times before.  We have been in a food rut, so Mom showing up with new recipes in hand was just what we needed.  She made tons, so we’ve got a stuffed fridge to keep working through.  Such a luxury to have prepared food that just needs to be heated up!

Scott’s mom took up the torch and she’s been cooking as well.  As I type, she’s working in the kitchen and it smells great!  It really is so nice to have an extra pair of hands (or two!) around the house to hand the baby off to, or to pour up a bottle or to make dinner.  I was even able to make a solo run to Target yesterday while Karen stayed home with Urijah.  Between Ali, Mom and Jim and Karen, we are so, so lucky to have had such amazing and supportive people around us to help out.  Everyone is just smitten with Urijah, and we couldn’t be more pleased to see how happy he makes them.

Next week will be my first real week ‘on my own’ while Scott is at work, and while I’m a bit nervous, I’m also excited to see how we do.  Hopefully we can settle into some sort of normalcy (notice I didn’t say routine – I’m not that naive) and both get through the days fed and somewhat rested.  If I can manage to accomplish both of those tasks for us, it will be a roaring success!

But can everyone please keep your cell phones handy in case of a meltdown?