Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Day of Firsts in the Campbell House

Yesterday was a very eventful day of firsts in the Campbell house. Looking back, it was quite the day so I will write about it as a memory to look back on in the future. Such a roller coaster of a day!

First Practice Morning Routine:
Dan and I have been hoping to start practicing our morning routine. I will slowly start returning to work next week, working from 8 hr/wk up to my full time normal schedule. We have a goal schedule for Jackson to help me figure out when to pump and give him some normalcy, but that schedule is still a work in progress. So, while Dan got ready for work, Jackson and I got up to practice us getting dressed, my getting ready, nursing, packing the bag and getting out of the house on time. I had a few errands to run, so I figure we might as well practice the morning routine and also do a daycare dry run to time the traffic.

Our goal morning routine:
6:00am- everyone awake
6:00-6:30- Mom and Jackson nurse, Dad gets ready for work
6:30-7:00- Mom gets ready, Dad and Jackson play/ get baby ready for daycare
7:00- Dad goes to work
7:00-7:30- Mom, Jackson and Wally finish getting ready, packing up and leave by 7:30 for daycare

First Crying with Tears:
We were in the car only 10 minutes late and our daycare run and morning of errands went off without a hitch- until Target. The oil change/ tire rotation took longer than expected, so Jackson started to stir while we were in Target. We still had one more errand to City Hall, and I had a choice to make. I could either go to City Hall to pay our bill and set up auto debit, risking a waking/ crying baby, or I could surrender to the house and attempt to go out again later. I chose to chance it. By the time the paperwork was done at City Hall, I had an awake and very hungry baby- and a 10-15 minute drive back to the house. By now it was 10:30, and I had expected to be home nursing by 10, so Jackson was already 30 minutes past feeding time. Well, the whole drive home he was MAD, and he let me know. It broke my heart to hear my sweet boy wailing and crying, knowing that there was nothing I could do to ease his hunger except try to get home quickly and safely. (Of course every slow, yahoo driver was on the roads- or so it seemed). When we got home my sweet baby boy had huge tears rolling down his cheeks, and we rushed inside to nurse. Finally, by 10:50 we were in the house, nursing, and I once again had my very happy baby boy.

First Smile:
I guess since I waited so long to feed Jackson, I deserved what came next. Jackson spent the few midday hours cluster feeding. We nursed until he fell asleep, then upon putting him down he'd wake up within 10 minutes and want to be held/ nurse again. This put a delay in my mental to-do list, but I got extra cuddle time with sweet Jackson so I can't complain. With me returning to work next week, I especially enjoyed these extra moments together. And then it happened. I showed Jackson a picture of his newest cousin, born yesterday, and he seemed especially alert. So I started talking to him saying "Hello, Jackson. Hello sweet baby. Hi! Hi Jackson." Jackson's pupil got big as he listened to my voice, then his eyes shifted, he looked at my face, and smiled a huge smile! Instantly my heart melted and I couldn't wait to see his smile again. Jackson soon drifted off to sleep, but I could have cried tears of joy! We have been waiting to see his first smile, and finally it happened. What a good day :)

First Workout:
Later in the afternoon, Jackson finally went down for a decent period of time and I was able to get some chores done. Dan decided to duck out of work a little early so we could get in a workout as a family. Up until now I've taken a few short, flat walks, but no substantial physical challenges. We decided to go to the Hathaway Bridge here in town- a 1.5 mile long bridge that is shaped like a huge hill. To walk up and over the bridge, and then back, is a 5K (3.1 miles). The weather was wonderful, Jackson slept through the whole thing, and we kept a great pace walking, even adding in about 3 minutes of uphill running on the return portion of the bridge. We were feeling great and I'm very relieved to say my body still remembers how to breathe when running, even after almost a year without running (thank you knee injury and pregnancy). I can't wait to make this bridge part of my regular workout routine! We followed up our workout with Publix fried chicken for dinner. We may have reversed all of our hard work with our dinner, but it was a delicious, cooking-free reward for us. We rented a Redbox and settled in for a night of family cuddling and hopefully an early bedtime. Jackson had been following our ideal feeding schedule all day, we got in a workout, and Jackson smiled. Yet again, it was a good day.

First Puking Session (and second crying with tears):
As we settled down for the night, Jackson took his time with our long nursing session followed up by cuddle and play time with mom and dad. Although he had eaten a substantial length of time, and burped well, he continued to be restless and require position changes. We'd cuddle on his tummy, sit him up, hold him, burp him, all sorts of things. Jackson was loving the attention and was not fussy at all. Then, I realized he must have peed out of his diaper because he had a wet spot on his PJs and our sheets. As I changed him, Dan grabbed new PJs for Jackson and new sheets for our bed. Dan started changing the sheets, and a newly changed Jackson and I sit down to nurse. Then it happens. Vomit. Everywhere. Who knows where it came from, or how a baby can make so much vomit. The nursing chair, all over me, all over Jackson, the boppy, the blanket, everything.

I quickly ran to the bathroom with Jackson in tow and stand in the bathtub in case he continues to vomit. Dan intercepts Wally to prevent him from licking everything. Wally gets out of Dan's way and proceeds to lick Jackson and I standing in the bathroom while I yell at him to stop. Around this time the vomiting stops, and a terrified Jackson starts screaming. So imagine it: Dan cleaning up puke and yelling at Wally to 'leave it!'; Jackson and I standing in the bathtub covered in vomit, Jackson screaming, Wally licking us both, me yelling at him to 'leave it!'; our bed half made; the nursing glider covered in vomit. Quite the scene. The panic in poor Jackson's eyes when he was getting sick was so sad to see, and then to have him inconsolably terrified with tears rolling down his beautiful, chubby cheeks was awful. Dan helped Jackson and I strip down, then put Wally into his crate while we cleaned up. Dan took Jackson, still crying, to try to comfort him while I grabbed all of the vomit covered materials and throw them in the washing machine to run after we shower.

First shower:
Thankfully at one of our baby showers we received this awesome duck that tells if the bathing water temperature is suitable for sweet baby's sensitive skin. We used the duck to find a shower temperature safe for Jackson, then the three of us jumped into the shower. Jackson had fallen fast asleep by now, quite exhausted by his crying. He practically slept through his first shower as Dan and I took turns washing our vomit covered bodies, then holding/ washing Jackson. We made short order of the shower, because big surprise: baby temperature is really cold at 11:30pm! We all get dried off and dressed, then after a short nursing session Jackson drifts off to sleep once again.

The rest of the night was uneventful and we woke up for nursing sessions like normal, with no more puking! It's a good thing, because in the height of the chaos, we called the pediatrician on call from the base, and she was less than helpful. I am almost positive it was the same Ped who made the measurement mistake at Jackson's 2 week checkup. The first number they tried to reach her at had no answer, so after trying a second number we were connected. The voice on the end of the line was half-asleep with one word answers. The conversation went something like this:

"Hi, yes my son just vomited everywhere, he's not running a fever, do we need to bring him in?"
"Was this the first time?"
"Yes ma'am, he's never gotten sick before. He just started puking everywhere."
"So, do we need to bring him in."
"Ok, so he's fine? We just have to watch him? Is there anything we should look for besides him getting sick again?"
"What do you mean getting sick again?"
"I mean getting sick, like he just did. If he gets sick again do we need to bring him into the clinic in the morning?"
"When you say getting sick you mean..."
"Vomiting, like he just did, the reason I called. (frustrated pause) Excuse me, let me rephrase. If my child projectile vomits again should I proceed to the clinic?"
"Oh, if he keeps getting sick after he eats, then ya, bring him in."
"Oh, ok, thank you.... hello?"
(nothing on the end of the phone... she hung up.) Let me just tell you, Lord help this woman when I see her at the 2 month check up, we are scheduled with her.

All things considered, everything turned out fine. I had not eaten any new foods yesterday, so I know Jackson's getting sick wasn't from a new food exposure. We think he was just very full from nursing, and we shook him up too much playing and adjusting- like a soda. Good news is he is wonderful and cuddly today, and we still have our happy healthy boy. Through the whole day, the moment of his first smile still sticks out in my mind and outweighs everything to make it a good day :) In reflection, I give thanks to God for our healthy son, for access to healthcare if needed, for our washing machine!, and most of all, I am thankful for my partner, my love, my wonderful husband Dan. I can't imagine doing any of this without him, and I am so glad that my son gets Dan for a daddy- he is one lucky little boy.

Monday, February 4, 2013

One Month Old!

Size: If Jackson is gaining an average of an oz per day, he should be near 9 lbs now. I can't believe it! He's a great eater, so I guess there's no shock here. We weighed him at home by holding him, and the scale says something like 9.5-10 lbs. So I really have no clue. But I do know our little man is very quickly outgrowing Newborn diapers and is on his last day or two of newborn size clothes. Such a big man :)

At our two week well baby, the tech read the scale wrong and we spent a week thinking Jackson wasn't gaining weight appropriately. The day after our appointment, after spending 24 hours crying at every feeding thinking something was wrong, I took Jackson to the health department to be weighed in the WIC office where I used to work. Low and behold he was gaining weight great- averaging an oz per day! The next week, at our weight check, the Dr. informed us of their mistake and cancelled his weight checks- much to our relief. (Side note- the day I weighed him at WIC I called the Dr. office to see if we could re-weigh and they told me I was welcome to come sit in the waiting room with the sick kids and see if they could fit him in. Talk about one mad mama!)
1 mo old

Not pleased with my picture taking

Obviously eating sounds better than mom's photoshoot

Health: Jackson came into this world with a minor heart murmur and has some moderate jaundice during his first two weeks, but now Jackson is healthy as can be. He has the normal baby sneezes- but I can already tell he takes after his daddy with 3-4 sneezes at a time. He does this little sigh/ moan thing between sneezes that is just the cutest thing you've ever heard. As far as his tummy goes, Jackson seems to be gassy at times (namely late at night when mommy and daddy are sleeping). He gets these tummy bubbles and he's so uncomfortable. We burp him, move his legs like a bike ride, stretch his legs up and down (occasionally working out a fart or two- haha). Due to this gassy tendency we invested in both gripe water and Lil Tummy's gas drops. One thing we've noticed is when mommy eats spicy Mexican, it upsets his tummy. This is a trend that started in utero- big sigh from this mama. Mexican is our favorite. We're going to just have to work him up to liking it, again.

Sleep: At our one week checkup for his heart murmur and jaundice, we asked the doctor if Jax was sleeping too much. Although we are SO grateful for his sleeping, we can't wait for him to be awake and interact with us each day. We try not to let him sleep more than three hours at a time during the day so he can nurse and get diaper changes. In the evenings though, we let him sleep away! So far he averages 4-5 hour stretches, for which we are very grateful :)

Some of my favorite moments with Jackson have been in his sleep/ sleepy state. He makes all kinds of funny faces while dosing off to sleep. He recently has started making smile and grimace faces in his sleep, as well as cooing and grunting in his sleep. I think he's going to be a sleep talker like his daddy because so far he talks up a storm in his sleep. My all time favorite sleep activity so far is his giggles. Sometimes in his sleep he'll be cooing and then just start giggling, which makes me smile with excitement for the day we get to hear his giggles while he's awake.

Napping Away on my lap

Silly faces while falling asleep
Napping with Wally 

Schedule: Schedule right now is still on-demand. He sleeps/eats/interacts on his terms and his timeline. In the next two weeks we are hoping to get him into a regular routine to prepare for my return to work. We are still trying to iron out the details of what morning/ evening routines will look like with chores, meals, work, etc. It will be a learning experience for sure! So far we've already learned that our plans or timeline of events needs to be relatively fluid with a newborn dictating things. We'll see how this adjustment goes...
Alert little monkey ready to head out with Mom to scope daycares

Social: Jackson is a very happy baby. Although he doesn't interact with us much yet, we know he is learning so much and taking everything in. He loves to be held and sleep on our chests. Some of his other favorite things include hanging out after nursing (he doesn't actively nurse, but instead uses me as a pacifier) and he also loves outside and windows. Our changing table is next to a window; when the weather is nice and the window is open, the warm sunshine and the wind blows in Jackson just calms down right away. He also is relaxed by car rides and walks around the neighborhood or backyard when the weather is nice. So far Jackson likes the bath most days, which is such a relief. The first few bath times were accompanied by a beet red, crying, unhappy baby so to see him actually relax and enjoy the bath is a relief.
Enjoying the sunshine on the changing table

Alert little man just hanging out, taking it all in

Walking in the neighborhood with the Baby Bjorn- Jax went right to sleep

In the stroller for walk with Mom and Wally- quite the adventure when the dog is afraid of the stroller
Diet: Exclusively breastfeeding still!! We've made it through the hardest part of breastfeeding- the first few weeks. The next hurdle is returning to work/ Jackson starting daycare. To prepare, we've recently introduced the bottle for feeding. I've been able to freeze over 100 oz of pumped milk so far, and plan to pump each day I'm away from Jax. So far we plan on using the Tommy Tippee bottles for feedings, but we will see how he tolerates these as we move forward to more regular/ frequent bottle feedings. I can't take any of the credit for still breastfeeding, Jax enjoys it, he does all the work, and I have an oversupply of milk- all things that have made it fairly easy so far :)

I suspect Jackson has some food sensitivities given his daddy's lactose intolerance and my food allergies. He's had intermittent rash/ baby acne on his face as well as occasional greenish stools- both signs of food sensitivities. I'm going to try weeding our dairy first to see if that's the culprit, which makes me very sad because I can go days without eating meat and get all of my protein from dairy and peanut butter.
Milk drunk  baby in a milk coma after nursing

Exhausted during a growth spurt cluster feeding session

First bottle with daddy 

Crying: No complaints about crying so far. His growth spurts weren't bad with fussiness and Jackson is very good at communicating his needs without getting worked up into a full cry. His rooting signals are easy to read, and when he's not happy or uncomfortable in a position, we are able to tell he's ready for a change.

Given his easy going demeanor, I was very surprised this afternoon when Jackson LOST IT. We were out to eat with a friend and he woke up hungry and needing a diaper change. Dan volunteered to change him, and after what seemed like forever, Dan returned with a half dressed baby. Turns out, right as Dan entered the bathroom Jackson started SCREAMING at how upset he was, which only got worse with removal of his clothes. He then proceeded to pee all over the changing table, his onesie, pants and even his socks. All of this is happening as about 6 men enter the restroom. Needless to say Dan covered him up quickly, and returned to the table (the diaper bag) for a change of clothes and a baby hand off. I then took him to redress him in clean clothes, and he was not happy about still not being fed. I knew he was a breastfeeding champ, but when he wants to eat apparently he wants to eat right now.

Milestones: Jackson may have been three weeks early, but he has not let that slow him down for a minute! He is right on track with all of his milestones so far. For those who are unaware, at 1 month old babies should be able to move their face to the side when on their stomach, roll from their back to their side, eat/ nurse well, be having 3-4 poopy diapers and 5+ wet diapers per day, and be responding to lights and sounds by turning their faces.

Mom and Dad: We are adjusting to this new parents thing. Sleep deprivation has definitely taken it's toll on more than one day, but in general we are getting into a routine. One night, I fell asleep in the glider nursing, Jackson slept in my arms, and Dan and Wally fell asleep on the bed. This particular time we were all in our street clothes still, lights on, TV on, at 8pm. We woke up a few hours late and went about getting ready for bed like nothing was wrong. Tonight the whole family napped from 530-830 after running around this afternoon- naps have become our best friend.

Dan returned to work after two weeks at home with us, and Jackson and I have spent two weeks at home alone during the days. We're getting more comfortable with taking excursions from the house to run errands, eat out, etc. I spend most days in various stages of undress due to the on-demand nursing schedule we've been on, especially during growth spurts. There have been days when Jax and I both manage to be showered and in clean clothes, other days neither of us are out of our PJ's.  Wally has been wonderful since Jackson's arrival, especially when it's just he and I at home. When Dan gets home, Wally gets rowdy and playful- but that's likely because he spends all day lounging and guarding Jackson and I.

We've learned to be more fluid in our plans in this first month of parenting. Sometimes (like today) is a two loads of laundry, multiple outfits, peed on, two bath, vomit kind of day. Other days are easier. Seeing our baby smile, listening to him giggle, and getting sleepy cuddles with him make it all worth while. I love our family so much- and all three of my boys Dan, Jackson and Wally. Each of the three boys has already taken their turn as my least favorite at any given time, but all in all my love for all of them grows daily. We are so blessed and so truly grateful for our wonderful life, we can't wait to see what the next month (and months) brings to us.

Upcoming Events: We have our first road trip next month to Sarasota for the Sierra/ Pigozzi nuptials. Jackson starts daycare in two weeks when I return to work. Jimpa comes to visit next weekend, as well as my best friend and her family! While my dad is in town Dan and I plan to attempt a date night for an early Valentine's Day, which will probably just be dinner out alone and a quick return home to our sweet baby. Lots of things changing has kept us busy and helped the time to fly by, I just hope we're taking enough time to smell the roses along the way :)