The First Weeks

September 26, 2012

How is motherhood going?

It’s been pretty much exactly what I expected, so far. Hard and frustrating at times and pure bliss at others. A roller coaster of ups and downs that changes by the minute. The selflessness that comes along with caring for this little baby of mine has manifested deep within me. And I swear just after breastfeeding I feel huge rushes of oxytocin in my veins – rushes of love and emotion like you’d feel during a wedding ceremony or when you watch a family reunite after a long time apart.

Some comments on how it’s going:

-The Baby Connect app has been wonderful. I love tracking feedings and sleeping, as it gives me an idea of timing. I’m feeding him on demand – whenever he cries or roots – but it’s been helpful to know that it’s been an hour and a half and he will probably want to wake up and nurse any minute or that I’ve been asleep for 53 minutes since we last woke up at night.

-My house has always been spotless and decluttered. Obsessively so. Now, it’s more lived in, and I don’t mind a bit. As cliché as it sounds, our house feels more like a home. Baby swing in the kitchen and all.

-We’ve been aiming for “12 hours of bedtime” a night. I put that in quotes because it’s not really all sleep. I’m up anywhere from 5-7 of those hours nursing, rocking, swaddling, diaper changing. But getting in bed early when Mazen does has really helped us out on the sleep schedule. And despite the fact that this is the least amount of sleep I’ve ever had in my whole life, I feel pretty darn good in the daytime. When the sun is out and I’m up and dressed for the day, I don’t really feel tired at all. It’s really only nighttime that I very realllly sleepy at times.

-I absolutely LOVE all the little faces he makes! Especially right after he nurses, he reaches his arms up and stretches and makes the funniest little frog face. And his burp face is too cute. I love the way he looks up at me while he’s nursing with one eyeball open. And when he smiles (intentional or not) it’s priceless!! I haven’t been able to catch one of those on camera yet…

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-Everything about our nursery is going well. I am SO GLAD we decided to keep the bed in there. It has been a lifesaver for getting quality sleep as we trade off. And great for breastfeeding too – I can sit up or lie down. Maze has been sleeping in his Rock and Play next to the bed and that’s going fine. He has slept in his crib a few times too, but the RnP is just a little easier and makes me feel better to have him closer.

-Speaking of having him close, I totally went out and bought a video monitor. I still like the Angelcare for when he sleeps in the crib – the peace of mind of the motion sensor is great – but I could not leave the room without coming in to check on him every 5 minutes! I was so worried he would roll over (seriously, it wouldn’t surprise me if he did because he’s been close!) The video monitor is GREAT and I wish I’d known how much I would like having one (well I sort of did know, but they are expensive so I talked myself out of it). It’s been fun to play with Matt on it too – “I SEE YOU!” from the kitchen : )

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-The biggest surprise about baby care is how hard it is to get him to go to sleep. Feeding him is easy. Playing with him is easy. Changing diapers is easy. But getting him to sleep is HARD! According to the books I’ve read, babies this young need help with soothing to get them to sleep, and ours is no exception. He cries out and asks for help as soon as he’s tired, and he goes from wailing to sleeping in seconds when we get the soothing just right. Sometimes the process takes minutes (he loves to sleep in his Boba wrap and I can get him to settle quickly most of the time) but other times it takes 45 minutes to get him to sleep. During the night is hit or miss – sometimes he goes right back down; other times it takes a hour and then he gets hungry again and we start the process over from the start!

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-Speaking of soothing, what on earth would we have done without the Happiest Baby on the Block techniques?! That book is LIFE CHANGING, and every new mom should read it. Lots of our medical professionals have recommended it too (pediatrician, baby care classes) so I think it’s pretty well respected. The 5 S’s have been so helpful – Maze would probably still be screaming if we didn’t know about them.

-I just spent YEARS teaching myself how to eat slowly and savor my food and that has all gone out the window. I am eating faster than ever because otherwise I might not get to finish my meal while it’s hot!

-The second hardest part about all of this is just that my body is still recovering from birth and my boobs, from the breastfeeding shock. Now 2.5 weeks out, my body feels pretty good, but in the beginning it was hard to walk and get in and out of bed, sit in a chair, etc. Add baby care on top of that 24 hours a day (I can’t imagine having a c-section incision! Although I guess you trade that for the complete bottom soreness.) And if I could just get over the hump of breastfeeding pain, I think we’d all be better off. I have only had a few moments of tears – generally breastfeeding is going well – but I can totally understand now why a mother would turn to formula. I’m lucky that he is nursing well, but I can’t say I look forward to each session yet. Unless Downton Abbey is ready to play… : )

–Matt and I both wonder if he loves or hates the fact that we kiss him constantly. We are leaning toward loves : )

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-When I was pregnant, I was totally overwhelmed by the thought of having a toddler, a child or a teenager. I could only focus on the little newborn that would come out. But now that he is here, I can’t WAIT to see what he’s like when he’s older!! I’m not wishing away this age at all – he is too precious – but now that I can see his looks develop and watch is personality unfold, I’m truly excited for the years to come.

-Every day gets a little easier than the last as we figure this whole thing out. Single parents – I bow to you. Because having Matt home is a difference in night and day. Just having another set of arms to rock, change and play with him makes everything 100% easier. Even though I’ve worked from home for years, the house seems lonelier when it’s just me here. I can see why “it takes a village.” I sometimes just stop and say “You are doing it. You are being a mom.” It’s so surreal at times. I don’t even have a sense of time passing – I’m living in a bubble right now. A bubble of love and joy!

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{ 103 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chrissy September 26, 2012 at 9:42 am

Congrats! Glad to see you’re doing well!

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2 Kristin September 26, 2012 at 9:55 am

Our little one rolled over at 6 days old so I def understand that fear! We had him in the Rock and Play until he was 3 months old, we were ready to unseaddle and he was and starting to consistently roll. You are doing a great job! Hang in there with the bf-ing. It took me a couple months to really start enjoying it.

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3 Ann September 26, 2012 at 10:02 am

Breastfeeding hurts so bad that you cry sometimes? :( I had no idea. Having experienced all of these “birth things”, all you mothers must look at YOUR mothers through a slightly altered lense now … all the sacrifices and things they have gone through to ensure your health and safety and love, now you’re experiencing. I bet all us non-mothers can’t FULLY appreciate it within that scope, having not experienced it ourselves. I must remember to thank mine again for all she has done :)

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4 Kim September 26, 2012 at 11:59 am

Ann~ the first thing I said to my mom when she was met my son in the hospital was “Wow! You really love me.” That’s the first time I got it!!

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5 whitney September 27, 2012 at 10:52 am

kim- your comment made me tear up! that is such a sweet way to look at it. :)

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6 Mm September 27, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Man, I sobbed in pain daily with my first for six weeks. With the second, it was a teeny bit better, only because I knew it would get better. There were different challenges though, like doing it all with a six year old and a job.

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7 Andrea September 26, 2012 at 10:05 am

Congratulations Kath, Maze is so adorable. I can’t even believe he’s real!

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8 Meredith September 26, 2012 at 10:07 am

Your shoutout to single moms reminded me of (the only) part I liked in the second “Sex and the City” movie, where Miranda toasts single moms everywhere and wonders “How in the !@#$&#! do they do it?” Hear hear!

Glad to hear motherhood is going well for you. I know what you mean about wanting to see what Mazen will be like when he’s older. I wonder the same thing about my niece and nephew. They were adorable as newbies, but it is fascinating to watch them develop their own viewpoints and personalities as they age!

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9 Sara September 26, 2012 at 10:08 am

Do you have a sound machine in the nursery? We used the sleep sheep too, but I swear, whenever the timer ran out on the sleep sheep, my daughter would wake up. We bought the Homedics sound machine (can be found in baby section at Target) for $20 and love it–so much so that I ended up buying two others secondhand for each grandparents house. It has the heartbeat, rain and ocean sounds, plus lullabies (which we never use). It also has a projector on it, which we put on at grandma’s house since there’s not night light in the room. I HIGHLY recommend a sound machine for the nursery. Plus, I like hearing the “white noise” on the monitor coming form the nursery too to help me sleep! :)

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10 KERF September 26, 2012 at 10:23 am

We do have one and I do think it really helps!

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11 Mm September 27, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Totally helps. In addition to Happiest baby I have Healthy sleep habits, happy child, which basically states that most babies need soothing until 4 months.

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12 KERF September 27, 2012 at 7:13 pm

I just finished that book

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13 Mm September 28, 2012 at 12:30 am

I’m impressed. The beginning of the book says “Have your husband read it. You are tired and hormonal.” Which was totally true. I’m an engineer and a manager. I read for a living. I COULD NOT understand that book in my sleep deprived state in the first 4 weeks.

My husband had to give me the cliff’s notes.

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14 KERF September 28, 2012 at 1:01 am

Agreed… It was nor very simple!

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15 Anele @ Success Along the Weigh September 26, 2012 at 10:09 am

I love that little “Popeye” face he makes in the pic of Matt kissing him. I think I’ve seen it in a couple of other pics. So cute!! Glad mamahood is going over well even if tiring at this stage.

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16 Carol September 26, 2012 at 10:09 am

You are doing a WONDERFUL job, thanks so much for sharing your first few weeks of motherhood with us! I look fwd to reading any and all of your updates on pregnancy/motherhood, I had a baby boy on June 14th and reading this post took me back to those weeks in late June, and I felt exactly the same way, exhausted/frustrated but madly in love with the new life! It gets easier, you’ll still have your moments but overall things will get easier! Thanks again for sharing your experience! Mazen is SUPER DUPER ADORABLE! (we have the same swaddling blankets, and changing pad cover YAY!)

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17 Erica { EricaDHouse.com } September 26, 2012 at 10:12 am

I love these more detailed posts about baby-life! I’m hoping to have my first in the next 2 years and am reading everything I can about how to prepare for life post-baby!

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18 Lauren September 26, 2012 at 10:25 am

Sleep is so hard but you will get there! I have a nearly 2 1/2 year old and we’re still getting the sleep thing down. Now we’re up a few times at night potty training :) And then there will be another baby and it starts all over again. Ha! But it is amazing how worth it it is. When they begin to smile, roll over, say Dada. Best moments ever!

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19 Marci September 26, 2012 at 10:26 am

Sounds like y’all are doing great. We had a baby nurse for 3 weeks, and near the end, I realized I have to learn to get him to sleep at night! It is much harder than I expected too. Gets better when they learn to do it themselves around 4-5 months! I was also surprised that comforting baby took more than just rocking in a chair. Logan likes to move–bouncing, shhing, walking, etc. It was so tiring for me, especially middle of the night.

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20 Diane September 26, 2012 at 10:43 am

You’re doing great and I love all of the photos and updates! With our third, we finally decided to use a pacifier when she was done nursing but not quite asleep…the tight swaddling along with the pacifier worked like a charm. And the pacifier never interfered with nursing which I was able to do exclusively for 22 months. Every baby is different but just thought I’d share because we were against pacifiers with our first two and I’m so glad we tried it with our third. ;)

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21 Haily September 26, 2012 at 11:07 am

Kath,
thank you so much for this post. I have followed your pregnancy / early endeavor into motherhood religiously, and this post was just what I needed. I’m due at towards the end of October and as I get closer, my anxiety level about parenthood has increased. The positive nature about this post eased my mind – especially about being ok with the house being lived in – I am crazy clean like you! I hope that you keep up with BERF, although I know you may not, but I love it and find it so encouraging!

Also – I just finished Downton Abbey yesterday. I am so glad Thomas …..( don’t want to spoil it) and I was ready to punch him in the face. LOVE ME SOME BATES!

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22 KERF September 26, 2012 at 11:09 am

: ) My house is pretty darn clean today!! Love Bates too : )

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23 Diana @ frontyardfoodie September 26, 2012 at 11:30 am

Yeah, the soreness in the boob region is annoying but it goes away pretty fast considering the length of time you breastfeed.

I’m so glad you’re making that investment though! It’s precious precious preciousness.

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24 Kathleen Ojo @ Onward; Inward September 26, 2012 at 11:36 am

Your “12-hours of bed time” idea is wonderful! We try to do something similar – my daughter goes to sleep around 8ish, and my husband and I are in bed by 9 most nights. She’s a good sleeper (usually) so I end up getting 6-8 hours a night. Not perfect, but enough to function fairly well.

I also had those moments where I absolutely sympathized with moms who throw in the towel and offer formula. I never seriously considered it, but for the first three weeks feeding was absolutely excruciating. My nipples would be so sore in the evenings, after a day of nursing and cluster feeding in the late afternoons, that I would cry just from anticipating the latch on. About a month in it got SO much better though, and now it really is something I look forward to. Hang in there!

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25 Alexa September 26, 2012 at 11:44 am

Where did you get those cute striped onesies??

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26 KERF September 26, 2012 at 12:54 pm

They are Carters from babies r us

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27 Jennifer September 26, 2012 at 11:48 am

What a well written post. :) You ARE doing it and doing a great job!

I like how you mentioned how you are looking forward to his being a toddler, child and teenager. That is so exciting because they do change so much in all those different stages. One day, too, maybe he’ll have a brother or sister to interact with and that will bring on a whole new world of excitement. :)

Yes, you will find that eating meals sometimes feels like a race. (haha) I laughed when I read that part because I have totally been there.

Love his baby faces, too. :) The unexpected smiles are priceless.

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28 Kim September 26, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I love this post!

Thanks to the shout out to single moms! I was on my own and had a very difficult time with nursing. I still look back and wonder how I survived.

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29 Kelley September 26, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Couldnt have said it better myself. Wish someone told me some of those things sooner too! People said ‘babies will sleep anywhere’. I had no idea it takes them so long to fall asleep. Love your observations. I can relate to most of them for sure!

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30 Jody September 26, 2012 at 12:04 pm

I had a feeling the swing wouldn’t stay in the living room corner where you originally placed it!! Glad to hear it is all going well :)

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31 KERF September 26, 2012 at 12:53 pm

I actually just moved it back there… Until he starts to love it : )

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32 Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles September 26, 2012 at 12:12 pm

I don’t know what I would do without Baby Connect app- it has turned me into an iPhone junkie; I need it allll the time just incase I need to input some info! It has really helped figuring out sleeping & eating schedules! Those daily charts & graphs are FANTASTIC!!!!!
….I’ve been wanting a video monitor! I think I’ll really want one when he is moved into the next room instead of next to our bed!
Keep up the amazing work, mama! :)

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33 Averie @ Averie Cooks September 26, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Glad the Happiest Baby was a lifesaver. I read it when mine was maybe 3-6 mos old…and yes, one of those books that the earlier you read it, the better. If even one tip works for you, it was a success I say!

And eating slowly…never did I shovel my food down so fast as when I had a newborn. Yes, I totally remember that feeling of QUICK eat now and shovel it b/c you never know when you’ll be tied up for a hour(s) and can’t get back to it!

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34 Marcia September 27, 2012 at 6:48 pm

That and also eating even if you aren’t hungry because you don’t know when your next window will be.

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35 J September 26, 2012 at 12:14 pm

pacifiers help a lot with the soothing. that is what they are made for!

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36 Sara September 26, 2012 at 12:45 pm

I THOROUGHLY enjoyed reading this post! My favourite post, hands down!

We went through the newborn phase just 2-3 short months ago and have already forgotten a lot of the little details you just mentioned (and especially laughed out loud to the ” other times it takes a hour and then he gets hungry again and we start the process over from the start!” I remember that!! And it’s especially bad when you’re delirious!! Awww … little love!

Congrats again!!

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37 Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) September 26, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Glad things are going well and mostly as expected! Does your Baby Connect app have a tracker for pumping/bottle feeding? Ive been using the Similac Strong Moms Baby Journal app and it is awesome. It has a tracker for breastfeeding, pumping, bottle feeding, sleeping, diaper changing and growth. It charts trends over time and gives you estimates, based on averages, of when your next feeding will happen. It’s so great for me b/c now I am pumping exclusively and giving bottles so it lets me monitor how many oz I pump per day compared to how many oz Clara takes in per day. Love it!

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38 KERF September 26, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Yes it does!

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39 Karen September 26, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Hi Kath! I love your blog! As a new mom as well, I was introduced to “all purpose nipple ointment” from my doctor which helps heal cracked and sore nipples… Also, Madela breast shells for sore nipples really helped with the healing process and decreased pain! Good luck to you! :)

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40 Emily September 26, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Thank you for this post! We’re due in January and I think there are a lot of “unknowns” you face with a newborn no matter how hard you prepare. I know I’ve been doing a ton of research but there’s nothing like an honest post from a new mother experiencing these things as they’re happening. Much better than the traditional “oh it’s hard at first but then it gets better” advice from other parents. It is somewhat similar to morning sickness…everyone would tell me it would get better…but to make it through each day I would read your blog for comfort that I wasn’t the only one gagging over the sight of broccoli.

PS – I finished Season 2 of Downton Abbey this summer. Of course, Season 3 is set to begin on my due date. Thank goodness for DVR!

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41 Andrea September 26, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Love this post. Would it be weird if I said Mazen looks a bit like karen in that first picture? Haha!

I agree with you on breastfeeding. I wish I had known how painful it was beforehand, maybe I would have been better prepared? Who knows. I thought the issue when people gave it up was always supply. My supply was huge, but I couldn’t get over the pain. Good for you for sticking with it!!!!

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42 Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength September 26, 2012 at 1:24 pm

HAHA…I totally eat so much faster now that I am a mom. Something I need to work on for sure!!

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43 jen_alluisi September 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm

I’m curious how much time you find to do work during the day when Matt’s at the bakery. When I go back to work after this baby comes, my husband is going to be trying to care for the babe and work from home simultaneously. We obviously expect his productivity to go down, but I don’t know how much it will decrease!

3 more weeks before my due date – after she arrives, maybe we should do another lunch date downtown with babies this time :)

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44 KERF September 26, 2012 at 2:02 pm

It really depends on napping! I wouldn’t count on any more than an hour in the beginning…and of course I’m not sure yet about later months, but I hear around 3 months a nap schedule gets somewhat predictable – maybe 4 hours total?

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45 jen_alluisi September 26, 2012 at 4:37 pm

If he was able to get in 4 hours of work, that would be awesome – beyond our expectations, even. Of course, being a freelancer, it also depends on how much work he has to do – sometimes I imagine there won’t be much, and sometimes he’ll be really busy. In those cases, we may have to configure our schedule a bit so I can take the baby off of his hands for a few hours of uninterrupted work time, I guess…

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46 KERF September 26, 2012 at 4:38 pm

If he can work in the evenings when you’re home if he isn’t able to get it done during the day, I think that would work well. For us now, it all depends on naps and fussy hours

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47 Tracy September 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm

I have absolutely LOVED every stage my kids have been through. I have to say as a mother of 4 teens, this is definitely BY FAR the most difficult stage thus far. Being a parent of teens is quite a challenge! The anxiety, nerves, huge emotional swings (by them and my husband & me) keep us on our toes for sure. We have really really great kids, too. It could be even worse!

Enjoy your sweet newborn!

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48 Aly September 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm

All of this sounds so familiar! I have a 13 month old baby boy. Breastfeeding was painful for me until about 12 weeks. Between 8 and 12 weeks it started getting better. Hopefully it won’t be that long for you, but I thought it would never end and it finally did :) You’ll get there before you know it.

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49 Lisa September 26, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Keep on enjoying. Motherhood is a gift in too many ways to count!

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50 Cindy September 26, 2012 at 3:14 pm

What brand video monitor did you get? I’m due in the middle of November and haven’t found one I love yet. Thanks! :)

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51 KERF September 26, 2012 at 5:14 pm

I linked to the model in the post… It’s a Motorola and we love it !

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52 Cindy September 26, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I’ll check it out – thanks so much!!

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53 Susan September 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm

LOVE having a video monitor. Ours has a two-way speaker. When we first got it the girls would hit the deck in their cribs every time I spoke through it. I felt like god.
Now I use it nightly to remind them it’s time to sleep or to say “good night. I love you” in the middle of the night. I love parenting without having to leave the couch or my bed. ;)

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54 KERF September 27, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Haha

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55 Alisha Pearson September 26, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Follow Nancy Holtzman on Twitter. She is a baby/breastfeeding specialist in Boston at Isis Parenting, lots of great webinars to listen to, at anytime you can tweet her and she responds immediately w/ answers!

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56 Melissa September 26, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Isn’t it crazy at just how much your life can be turned upside down by such a little person?! I can tell you that it only gets more challenge yet so much better from here on out! Now that my daughter is almost four – just 25 days away ahhh! LOL – her personality is shining through (more than I’d like to at times haha) and her looks change, even from day to day. She is a total firecracker, and is the queen of temper tantrums, but at the same time, she is a total girly girl and melts my heart with her randomly saying ‘I love you, Mama’ throughout the day. It will continue to blow you away how much he looks like you then your husband at times, even with different expressions. Enjoy the nursing while you can – one day he will wean and you’ll want your bitty baby back (even with the somewhat painful breastfeeding).

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57 Maria T. September 26, 2012 at 3:52 pm

He is so cute! You guys did a great job. Don’t blink. Take lots of pictures because he will grow up fast…they really do. Enjoy him!

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58 Lindsey September 26, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Your family is so adorable! The sleep thing is tough. I think it got easier for us when we stopped changing his diaper so much at night – which happened when he finally stopped pooping after every meal. Now we put a little coconut oil on his bum, put a night time diaper on (we cloth diaper so that is a Thirsties Hemp prefold with and extra hemp insert) and don’t remove it until morning or poop, whichever comes first. We would keep everything dim and quiet in the evenings – seriously we have the dimmest bulb we could find in our lamp. It is so frustrating when they do not want to go to sleep. Sometimes going outside for a walk was our saving grace. And try side lying nursing too – that helps to nurse him to sleep. Good luck!

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59 Lindz September 26, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Hi Kath, been reading BERF since day 1 : )
Two things!
1. Thank you so much for introducing me to the pregtastic podcasts!
2. Do you plan to post about your placenta encapsulation experience? Hope so!

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60 KERF September 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm

I probably won’t do a whole post Because I’m not sure all what I would say, but I might touch on it just a little in a post like this. I’m happy I did it and my milk came in really quickly. And I haven’t really felt down at all. Who knows it that’s why?

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61 Kristen September 28, 2012 at 10:33 am

I was also hoping for a placenta encapsulation post. I’m very curious about how the process worked for you. I want details! :)

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62 Mary September 26, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Congrats! By the way, it’s “Downton” no second “w”!

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63 KERF September 26, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Haha OOPS!

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64 Deirdre @ Oh Well Whatever September 26, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Beautifully written, congratulations. Looks like you have settled into this Mom thing very well. It is so hard to believe cause you are so happy right now and things are wonderful but it truly does just keep getting better and better. My girl is 20 months now and I am still in awe of how lucky I am. Enjoy.

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65 Emily Malone September 26, 2012 at 5:44 pm

I love his little CHEEKS!!! They kill me!!

Have you guys tried/considered a pacifier? I know some people feel really strongly about them, but they can be such wonderful soothers for teeny guys who don’t know why they are fussy. I was adamant that we wouldn’t use one until about week three – as soon as we offered it, it made a huge difference. But it’s not like C became addicted to it and now we’ll have to wrestle it away from him. He really only ever has it in the carseat or stroller, and he can take it or leave it. But it’s a nice option – especially as they get LOUDER. :)

Also, we have the Angelcare Video monitor combo, and I am obsessed.

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66 KERF September 26, 2012 at 6:07 pm

We have just started offering it and it has saved the day a few times, although he doesn’t always want it. But we also wanted to wait a little bit – now that we’re here, glad we can use it!

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67 Emily Malone September 26, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Yay! Cullen went through phases of loving and hating his. Sometimes he’d take, other times – forget it. Eventually he realized he wanted it most of the time (that it was offered). Biggest lesson I learned as a newbie mom was to keep trying things over and over again. He’d hate something one day, and love it the next. So don’t rule anything out or give up to soon!

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68 ES September 26, 2012 at 8:16 pm

My little guy would NEVER take a paci. We bought four different kinds. Eventually we gave up. I just assumed all babies would take them, but I learned that was not the case! I guess I was his pacifier.

On a different note, do you plan on offering a bottle soon? I’ve read giving it before between three weeks and a month is optimal and it worked for us!

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69 KERF September 26, 2012 at 8:19 pm

The only type M likes are the Soothies – the weird circular ones.

If I can figure out how to pump I will probably next week when he’s 3.5 weeks old. Pumping seems hard!

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70 ES September 26, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Aww, it’s not hard, albeit a little confusing at first. Keep in mind a few things:

1. The flanges might be too small. I had to buy two sizes up! If it hurts, they are too small.
2. You do not ever need to turn the knob to 10. Most times I pumped at half power.
3. DO NOT expect to get a lot this early. You won’t reach your full pumping potential until you are six weeks at least. So don’t pump, get two ounces and freak that Maze isn’t getting enough.
4. You can refridgerate pump parts between uses <– saved my life.
5. Hands free bra. Get one!

I pumped while working for the first year and I won't lie, it's not fun, but we do it for our kids!

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71 KERF September 26, 2012 at 8:46 pm

I just have a hand pump for now and I only got about a tablespoon! but I didn’t do it very long, so that’s good to know about 6 weeks. I imagine I will just go ahead and buy the electric, although I still hate to for just 1 bottle of day at most.

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72 Jackie September 26, 2012 at 10:24 pm

I only had a hand pump for my first child and for my twins. I ended up buying an electric pump for my fourth child (because by then I didn’t have the time to sit still and pump for very long with other kids at home.) It was really nice to have, but looking back I only used it a handful of times. You might want to see how frequently you use the pump before you buy an electric one. Also – I never had a problem with any of my kids switching back and forth between breast and bottle. Those early days were all about survival and I gave them whatever was easiest at the moment. Hopefully you’ll be lucky like I was!

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73 Jackie September 26, 2012 at 10:30 pm

I also have to add…another blogger described breastfeeding like putting your nipple in an electric pencil sharpener. I had to laugh because that is exactly what it was like for me. It gets better, though. By my fourth I was pain free from the beginning.

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74 KERF September 27, 2012 at 2:19 am

Haha… Very true!

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75 KERF September 27, 2012 at 2:20 am

Glad to hear that!

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76 Marcia September 27, 2012 at 6:54 pm

It’s totally worth getting the electric. I’ve used Medela pump in style for both. I pump 2x a day right now. In the morning when I’m pretty full, I nurse one side and pump the other. Then I pump at work. I also will likely add another time at work when my hours go up to 6.5 per day.

You don’t need a hands free bra. Go to Kellymom.com for instructions to pump hands free using rubber bands or hair bands and a regular nursing bra. Way easy.

Also, depending on how much you pump and give bottles, a microwave sterilizer is nice. We use ours a ton because I work. After a year of that last time, I was ready to be done!

Funny that your baby likes the smoothies, mine hates those. Loves the same bottles and packs that his big brother did.

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77 Marcia September 27, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Soothies …stupid autocorrect

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78 Marcia September 28, 2012 at 12:31 am

And pacis…ugh!

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79 Marie September 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm

About the hands free bra – make your own!! Cut “nipple holes” from a sportsbra and there you go! I’ve been using this for 5 months and counting. Works just as well and saves you money. :)

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80 Leslie September 27, 2012 at 9:56 am

Just had a memory. When my daughter was three weeks old I really wanted to go on women’s retreat with my girlfriends. (It was a no baby retreat in Palm Springs that I had attended every year.) I pumped and pumped in preparation and had enough for her when for I was gone. (I’d feed her and when she seemed done, I’d pump some more to save.) What I forgot about was how much pumping I’d have to do while away from her! My friends still have memories of me pumping in the corner, while they were doing fun things. (I had a super inefficient electric pump too, so it seemed like I was pumping all the time).
I will say though, that as involved as my husband was, it was so good for him to be the sole provider of everything she needed that weekend and they really bonded.

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81 Natalie @ will jog for food September 26, 2012 at 8:47 pm

I love these posts! I am 12 weeks along, and so glad that I can watch your journey as a mom unfold :) I am learning alot!

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82 Lynda September 27, 2012 at 12:09 am

Hi Kath,

How long does he feed at a time? How long does he go between feeds?

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83 KERF September 27, 2012 at 2:19 am

It depends! Average feed is about 30 minutes, average interval is about 1 hour 45 mins

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84 aimee levance September 27, 2012 at 7:25 am

congrats! my baby was born 9-9, so we are close. i hear ya about breastfeeding! i knew it had potential to be difficult at times, but no idea the pain could be so unbearable! i had to resort to a nipple shield at all feedings, but it makes feeding so much better. and the oxitocin rush is fantastic..such an overwhelming emotion :) do you need to wake M at night or does he wake on his own? if i dont set my alarm my daughter Hazel will sleep 7+ hours! dont know if thats a good thing or a bad thing ?? congrats again, he is delicious!

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85 KERF September 27, 2012 at 9:27 am

7 hours! Lucky you!!! Although I guess the need to keep the nursing going is a bummer :) Last night was our longest stretch – 4 hours, 10 minutes. I woke up in a bit of a panic and Matt and I decided to wake him (per the recommendation of Baby 411..)

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86 Juliet September 27, 2012 at 9:17 am

How could you resist kissing on that fuzzy baby head? I’d be kissing him all the time too!

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87 Leslie September 27, 2012 at 9:43 am

Love this post. I would encourage all new moms to put their words down, because even though you think you will never forget these feelings, it really is hard to remember it all later on.

You wrote:
But now that he is here, I can’t WAIT to see what he’s like when he’s older!! I’m not wishing away this age at all – he is too precious – but now that I can see his looks develop and watch is personality unfold, I’m truly excited for the years to come.

It reminded me of my daughter’s senior year. We were on our way to meet her friends for prom. She was dressed, in a beautiful yellow dress with her hair and make up done and looked gorgeous. I started to tell her about how I had always wondered what she would look like when she grew up and without even realizing I was doing it, I started bawling. It just hit me so hard there in that moment that she had grown up. I cannot believe how fast it happened! And the funny thing is, I can look at any baby, toddler, or childhood picture of her and see that she is the same kid, just bigger.

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88 KERF September 27, 2012 at 10:05 am

Awww

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89 jen September 27, 2012 at 11:11 am

I hear you all around & totally second the “How the Hell do you do it ALL” to single parents!

Getting our LO to sleep took a lot of doing when she was little, and it changed so often we’d just feel like we got it down and then BAM – doesn’t work anymore Mom & Dad, please try again later! Things got a lot easier for us around 9 months, but I know for some people it happens much sooner. Man – we spent a lot of late night hours pacing the halls, jiggling that little bundle, or even walking on the treadmill at midnight when walking outside wasn’t an option.

As someone who loves her sleep (sorry if that makes me lazy) I wish you longer and more quality sleep just as soon as possible :)

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90 Heather September 27, 2012 at 12:39 pm

That burping picture is…toooooooo cute. Aw. He really is adorable. Do you talk about who you think he looks more like? So far I am seeing Matt.

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91 KERF September 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm

That post is coming tomorrow!! :)

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92 Rebecca September 27, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Hi Kath.

I know some people are against this, but does Maze fall asleep while he is nursing? I know that “experts” say allowing a baby to fall asleep while breastfeeding will create a bad sleep association, but as the book, The Happiest Baby on the Block states, you are in your fourth trimester. Breastfeeding is so naturally soothing for a baby that it is totally normal for them to be comforted to sleep, and then you can just gently detach him and put him down. This worked wonders for my daughter. She was very similar to Maze, nursed for 30-60 minutes at a time every 2 hours like clock work, and it was very hard at first, especially at night. Once I realize that breastfeeding was such a huge comfort for her and found that she would fall asleep during a session, night-time became great. She would nurse to sleep at night, I would take unlatch her and she would sleep a good 4-7 hours at a time. After about a month, she would only wake up once in the early morning and nurse right back to sleep. I also found that although I felt glued to the couch since she nursed so much and often during the day, she was storing up for night and would sleep for longer periods of time. It made me nervous the first few nights, too, but I realized she was getting enough during the day to make up for the long sleep sessions at night. Also, this did not create a bad sleep association with my daughter, she falls asleep by herself just fine without having to nurse now and she is 2.

Sorry this was a little long, I just remember how hard those first few nights were until I realized how amazing breastfeeding is and just let it work its magic! You are a great mom and will figure everything out in time. Then you will look back on this and think, “piece of cake, can’t wait to do it again!”

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93 KERF September 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm

We have started doing this – I will nurse him, burp, change diaper and then do the second side so that I can just slip him to sleep. It doesn’t always work and sometimes I offer it again as a midnight (heh) snack after I’ve done a bit of rocking and bouncing and that seems to work sometimes too. I agree with you – in the first months it’s probably fine but in later months might be more habit forming.

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94 jen September 28, 2012 at 8:44 am

I agree Rebecca. Nursing to sleep was one of the few bits of sleeping magic that worked for us and we wound saying to heck with all the naysayers about habit forming – we relied on it. And when we were ready to wean she gave up nursing to lseep so easily I was amazed. I decided there must be a reason that BFing releases powerful sleepy chemicals for both mum and baby.

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95 Susan September 27, 2012 at 2:34 pm

I describe motherhood as “relentless selflessness rewarded with incomprehensible joy.”

I think you are really doing fabulous. The sleep thing gets most of us … you’re not alone! It will get easier and then you’ll forget about it and decide you want to do it all over again!

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96 Christena September 27, 2012 at 7:57 pm

aaahhhh! I didn’t know you were blogging over here anymore! I’ve missed several posts! :)

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97 Kattrina September 28, 2012 at 9:31 am

Wow – I could have written this post! Congrats to you! I had Baby Evan exactly three weeks ago and it has been practically impossible to get online. I am not sure how you do it. I was thinking about you though, and wondering how you were doing. I agree with so much of what you said! During the day Evan sleeps so easily but at night it can take soooo long to get him to sleep and then he’s hungry by the time he finally falls asleep. It can be so frustrating. And exhausting.

I am also feeding on demand, which turns out to be every hour all day long until the evening (and then it’s every two hours). I worry that he’ll never get a “regular” schedule and he can’t feed every hour when I go back to work. However, I am hoping it just works out somehow.

I had serious nipple pain my second week breastfeeding and my friend suggested rubbing coconut oil on my nipples. Apparently coconut oil has natural antibacterial properties. It worked super well and my nipples healed in a day or two. And just having the oil on my nipples softened them a bit so it wasn’t quite as painful when I fed Evan. If you’re still in pain, I’d recommend buying some. It also works really great as a moisturizer for the baby and helps with diaper rash.

Ok, I’ll end this comment now! Just wanted to let you know that you definitely aren’t alone!

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98 KERF September 28, 2012 at 10:01 am

Thanks for the coconut oil tip! I have the Mother Love cream which is also excellent.

Wish we moms on the same timeline could all get together in person!

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99 Jeanette September 28, 2012 at 11:53 am

As someone who could only pump out 2-3 oz of breastmilk for my newborn I had to ‘turn to’ formula. And let me tell you that it is a huge pain in the ass! I envied my friends who could take their baby to their beds and flop a boob out and snooze while the baby ate. Imagine a crying, hungry baby and trying to mix a bottle of formula correctly and heat it up at just the right temp in a sleepy haze. Even if I would pre make bottles waiting for the water to heat up on the stove and get the bottle from really cold to the perfect temp while trying to soothe the little one…Gah! When ever I think I want another I remember those days and think of how happy I am that I now have an eight year old who can get his own cereal in the morning! :)

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100 Ella September 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Take the baby to bed, flop a boob out, and snooze while baby eats? I WISH it were that easy to BF in bed. That never once happened to me. Grass is always greener!

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101 Vidya September 28, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Great post again Kath! Brings back all the sweet memories when I had a newborn and that was just two years ago!! I have just one word to describe the first few weeks or rather the whole first year…. TRANCE!! Oki….two words… Happy Trance! I was over the moon and the first year is very very special. It’s full of milestones, the first smile, the first bath, the first word, the first step….oh! It’s such a fun time. Enjoy yourselves and cherish each and every moment with that precious lil baby. They grow up VERY fast!

The last photo of Maze is beyond adorable. I think you should get it framed :-)

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102 Lisa @bitesforbabies September 28, 2012 at 8:34 pm

I hear ya…getting them to sleep is the hardest!!!! I also learned a lot from the Happiest Baby on the Block-good thing my doula recommended it! Also, since my son was born, I have never eaten so fast in my life…and I’m a fast eater!! I’ve been trying for so long to slow it down but it just doesn’t seem to work! ;-(

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103 Jen July 17, 2013 at 9:07 am

Kath, thanks so much for this post. I had my baby one week ago today, and this post really made me feel better about how our breastfeeding is going. Milk is in and she’s a champion eater, but man, that makes for some sooooore nips, good latch or not!

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