Monday, February 15, 2016

Joey: 2 Months

I don't know if I made it clear in Joey's last update, but that first month was rough. I found myself wishing we could move on from this constantly fussy phase, and then feeling guilty for wishing away the newborn days of my youngest baby. I had so looked forward to this! But time marches on regardless of how I'm feeling, and at the two-month mark I am happy to say things have gotten a lot easier overall. He is now having significantly longer stretches of 'awake and happy/content' time. A few weeks ago it seemed like I spent all but the first few minutes of his awake time just trying to calm him down and get him to go back to sleep. Now I get to enjoy him being awake for awhile and THEN work on getting him to go to sleep. What a difference!

My favorite times with him are when he's rested and fed and I lay him on the changing table. He watches me, his eyes bright and with just a hint of a smile, waiting for me to start talking to him and being silly with him. We play, I change him, then we play some more. He coos, gurgles and smiles, I talk to him, I blow raspberries on his belly, and do "So big!" This behavior is not consistent with grumpy baby behavior as described in The Baby Whisperer. Grumpy babies are supposed to not like being changed. But Joey didn't read the book so he doesn't know that, and I relish our changing table time. I could just eat him up.
I took him to the pediatrician on the 11th. He weighed in at 12.35 pounds and was 22.8 inches long. He's at the 71st percentile for weight and 53rd for length. He is wearing some 3-6, but still fits in most of his 0-3 stuff. The size 1 Pampers from Amazon are finally running out, but they still fit. Target's Up & Up diapers run a little bigger, so I bought him a pack of those in size 1 too.

We don't have any set schedule during the day. He nurses when he wakes up and he's another efficient feeder for me, done in about five to ten minutes typically. He takes several naps throughout the day, but sometimes he fights them. The most time-consuming parts of my day are spent trying to get him down for naps. He doesn't like to be worn unless I'm bouncing him on the exercise ball or walking, so when he's tired I have to get him down for a nap. Besides laundry and dishes I get almost nothing else done. The other day Tim asked me if the kids had been playing with the vacuum because he'd found it abandoned in a bedroom with the cord trailing down the hall. The carpets are soooo nasty, but I can never finish the task of vacuuming all the floors around here before Joey needs me. So I leave it right where it is hoping I can pick it up again later. I enlist Annie's help sometimes with running in there and patting his butt for a little while to settle him back down. Yes, this one sleeps on his belly. He startles far too easily on his back, even in a swaddle. As a result he's getting a super strong neck from all that tummy time.
Most nights he puts up his biggest fight at bedtime. He does not "go gently into that good night." He fusses in our arms and all-out cries and works himself into a sweaty lather when we put him down. He even fusses at the breast. But after an hour or two of that, he abruptly settles down around 9 p.m. You can probably hear my sigh of relief. With the exception of two lovely nights this month when he woke up only once at around 3:30 a.m., he's been getting up twice -- once around 1 and again at around 5 or 5:30. He goes right  back to sleep afterward and is almost always asleep during the 6-7 hour when I'm getting the Big 3 ready for school. How I love on the weekends getting to go right back to sleep along with him for another hour or two. He sleeps in the pack 'n play just a couple steps from our bed.
It's funny how, even though I breastfeed and bed-sharing is the best and laziest way to do it for everyone else who breastfeeds (you don't even have to wake up!), it has never worked for me. For one thing we only have a queen-size bed and it's barely enough room for Tim and me. It's a mess of elbows and pillows, so not safe for a baby. In a pinch we'll clear a space for him and bring him in if I'm just exhausted early in the morning and he won't go back to sleep. But that is rare. The other reason I didn't sleep with Joey beyond night two or three of his life was because when my milk came in my breasts were so tender the next seven to ten days that I could barely stand to feel my clothes against them. But the air was even worse, so I had to wear something. Every time I changed or showered it was this whole delicate procedure to make sure I didn't cause them too much pain. How in the world could I have possibly had a newborn baby lying next to me and my poor sensitive boobs? I shuddered at the thought of one swipe of his hand against them. I would cry. As it was I would tense up while latching him to the point where my back and neck were sore 24/7. Also, how is it that people manage to latch a newborn on while lying down in the dark? I never could manage that with any of my kids. And I certainly couldn't have Joey thrashing around against me searching for it, that's for sure. So much easier to sit in the glider rocker where I can see what I'm doing and control his hands (those crazy hands always scratching at me when he was first born!). Since the first seven to ten days I have suffered no pain and breastfeeding has been a breeze, but I am still happy to sleep separately from him and pull the covers up to my chin and toss and turn without worrying about him.
Master bedroom/nursery: On the right at the bottom is Tim's valet where his cammies go when he's not wearing them. Behind that you can see the changing table. If there aren't curtains on those windows now that we're halfway through our tour here, I guess there aren't going to be.
We plan to move him to Timmy's room at some point in the next few months, maybe after we get back from Massachusetts this summer. That will be a first for us, having a baby and a five-year-old  in a room together. I'm sure it will be interesting.

We had him baptized this weekend while Tim's parents were in town. They acted as proxies for Joey's godparents, my sister Anna and her husband Robert. He didn't cry too much but we were on pins and needles the whole time. I'm really glad we didn't opt to do it in the middle of Mass with everybody watching.
Every night when he finally stops fussing and squirming and sags against me, a sweet-smelling sack-of-potatoes sleeping baby, I am so happy. I press my lips to his downy head and thank God for this baby boy. He is a quirky one but he he's ours and we love him just the way he is.

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