First bath

Last night we were able to put Tristan in his bath tub and give him his first proper bath (What with the cord stump taking a full month to fall off and all of that). Well, so far he absolutely HATES it, but we’re hoping that will change once he learns how to splash us. We got him in and out of there as quickly as possible, since he was screaming bloody murder. It’s very handy to have two people available to deal with said kicking and screaming baby, especially when attempting to wash the back of said baby (the whole sitting position doesn’t help much in that department!). He settled down once he was wrapped in the towel and dried off – he was probably somewhat chilly in addition to being weirded out by the process. Anyway, we now have one temporarily squeaky clean and fresh-smelling baby – well, we did until he immediately crapped the fresh diaper he had put on him directly out of the tub. Ahh, what a punkass our child is.. but I’m willing to bet that’s nothing unusual. At least he didn’t crap IN the tub!

Tristan is a month old.

He doesn’t look much different than when he was born.  That said, he hit 12 lbs., 3 oz. today.   Remember how I may have mentioned that he can wreck your back?   I wound up at the doctor’s office Tuesday for just that.   Strangely, the chiropractor managed to do more than the doctor (Indomethacin + Cyclobenzaprine < a cracking which put everything back where it should be).

Also:  his cord FINALLY fell off today.  Innie or outie, only time will tell.

We’ve also found that while everyone suggests that you put him on his stomach each day to work on the muscles he’ll need to crawl,  he takes this as an invitation to take a nice little nap (unless, of course, it’s bed time, in which case he’s happy to sprawl out).

Baby progress

We’ve been spending all of our time flitting about from appointment to appointment, most of which aren’t even for the baby. Thankfully, Tristan has been quite a trooper throughout his many voyages in the car. Today was the first time I drove with him in the car – usually James drives and I sit in the back to adjust his head in the car seat (read: keep it from flopping) because it doesn’t fit properly in the head rest. Today’s appointment was for James, who threw his back out lifting a bottle of milk.

We got a bouncer chair for Tristan, since he’s occasionally inconsolable and we were hoping it would be a distraction. For the most part, he seems to enjoy it – he looks like he wants to play with the toys attached to it. The unfortunate part of said chair is that we can’t put it on the floor in the living room, as it has “I’m a cat toy” written all over it and it’s hard to keep kitties out of there. Speaking of cat toys, we still don’t let the kitties in the room at night since I am paranoid about well-meaning snugglekitties jumping into the bassinet. And while I’m on the topic of the bassinet, the baby is starting to get more comfortable sleeping in it and he usually wakes once smack in the middle of the night (which is mid-morning to most people) to eat.

Tristan has begun to make little cooing sounds, which are so cute! It’s really trippy to hear this young baby almost babble words accidentally as he makes random sounds. Also, he may or may not have smiled without the bowel movement association, but if he has it’s been fleeting and we can’t yet replicate the results.

I was not getting along with the diapers today. First of all, during the middle of the night feeding (which was around 8 or 9 am) I had to change his diaper three times. One of these three times was accompanied by a fountain which was mostly caught by this lovely little piece of fabric, although dumbass me saw the diverted stream and removed the thing to check it out and that resulted in a mess anyway. Another diaper change of doom was at the doctor’s office – I had my first encounter with a bathroom baby changing table and I am very grateful for those, as it is difficult to change a baby while dangling off the edge of a sink. I put a bunch of toilet seat covers down on the table and I’m so glad I did – the kid managed to shit UP HIS BACK, and this ended up all over said covers, his own outfit (thankfully we keep a spare in the diaper bag), and MY shirt. Oh, but if not for our comprehensive Earth-sign diaper bag we’d have been up Shit Creek.. heh heh.. oh, wait, I sort of was, but more literally. I’m guessing the next thing to pack is extra clothing for us as well!

Oh, since I forgot – we’re disappointed in Fry’s Electronics and considering not spending money there for awhile, at the very least. Since our diaper bag is a backpack, we may not bring it into the store. That’s very annoying.. because we chose ergonomics, we can’t clean our kid up if he shits while we shop for computer supplies? I’m personally fine if they have to search bags, but not being allowed to take it in at all was utter bullshit. To top it off, the photo paper we bought there that day had to be returned because it was dented!

Anyway, he’s currently passed out on his portion of the couch and likely due for a feeding soon. Oh – just messing around I was able to get him to latch onto an actual boob the other day! I feel far more confident that if I were to give breastfeeding another try, it would be possible. Right now, the pumping is ahead of his consumption so we’re building up a small frozen supply. I’m having a small amount of luck pumping semi-hands-free with this nipple cannon bra of doom – while it does require some hand assistance, I’ve been able to use pumping time to put hours into Dragon Quest IV on my Nintendo DS instead of shitty TV shows – yay!

Time is flying

I swear that we were just yesterday noting that Tristan is three weeks old already, and it’ll be four the next time we blink. The days are quite busy with both the routine of making a baby happy and the other shit we’ve been thinking to get done since we’re up and feeling a little more ambitious. That being said, if I’m managing to post here, I’m on a less ambitious streak since that means I had time to sit on the couch, have two hands free, and mess around with the internet.

I really appreciate the comments – thank you for the kind words and congratulations and also for the advice and experiences. Please continue to share your thoughts with us!

We’re gaining our skills very slowly but we are gaining them, and it’s so wonderful when we figure things out and this “newborn care” thing becomes more effortless. Not to say that there aren’t millions of roadbumps ahead set out for us, some of which will be quite rough and others which will be merely learning how to calm our kid down when he’s pissed off. I’m just hoping that we will have our wisdom and wits as time goes on..

Lately, Tristan is:
– taking about 4 oz of milk per feeding
– waking up for one feeding during the night about halfway through
– crapping up a diaper almost immediately after I change a crappy diaper
– holding up his head while on his tummy or on one of our shoulders
– fussing at any temperature that James would find comfortable environmentally
– fussing right now.. punk!

First pediatrician appointment

We met Tristan’s pediatrician on Friday and asked her twelve thousand questions, most of which were paranoid new parent concerns that I can’t even remember (waaah, he’s peeling! What’s this mark? Why do his legs look curvy?). It’s nice to see that they have his name in the system now and he’s no longer “Male Long” – which will likely be amusing to him when he’s about 13. Aside from that, his “stats” are now:

Weight: 10lb 11oz
Height: 21.75″
Head: 15.25″

He had his first diaper rash, which thankfully presented itself fully at the doctor visit. It turned out to be the yeasty type, recognizable by the doctor without us having to try slathering on Butt Paste for three days first to see if it improved. The cure for that is essentially.. vagina cream for yeast infections. Our baby boy is using vagina cream. His ass is looking way better, though. Damnit, we went through a lot of effort to make sure his butt was dry before rediapering him, like paranoid parents likely do everywhere.

We’re also concerned and/or confused about why the center of his upper lip seems to be a blister. Is it just that the coloring isn’t complete yet? Or is that an artifact of sucking? Is it normal? Is something actually amiss? His doctor had no clue, but said she’d seen that a few times this week.

Also, his cord stump hasn’t fallen off yet. It seems to be partially detached, though.

Other than those things, he’s doing really well! Right now he’s doing pseudo gymnastics on the couch (it’s a soft recliner couch with the cracks protected from little baby feet, and he’s far away from the edge). He’s opening his eyes and he looks like he’s trying to discern what the hell is going on in his general vicinity – which is nothing altogether odd for adults but to a little baby, it’s likely quite novel.

Two weeks old

The time has flown so fast! So far, Tristan has:

– managed about three times to sleep through most of the night if we go to bed around 2-4 am and he’s swaddled in this thing
– performed “the fountain” three times; once for an unsuspecting grandparent, once for the nurse at the Newborn Club where they do after-release checkups, and once for James while measures were being taken to prevent it
– fed at the breast for a good half hour, although we’re still going to mostly pump even if we get breastfeeding right
– managed to consume 5 oz. of milk in a single sitting (whereas his “normal” is ~3 oz.)
– lessened his screaming that initially came with every diaper change
– been out in public countless times and only twice started fussing, both in boring situations (in a bank and while shopping for adult shoes)
– surpassed his birth weight, despite an initial loss of 10%
– lifted his head for short periods of time while being burped. He kinda looks like E.T. with his neck stretched out.

Out in public

We all went to the mall tonight to try to spend the gift card that my mom gifted to us. I’m so glad that he managed this trip and each prior trip without incident. We’ve been to the mall a total of twice, out to dinner twice (once tonight at Todai with the mall trip and once on 8/30 to Chevy’s), and twice to Babies R Us. Of course, bringing a baby out into the world is a bit stressful; who knows when we’ll have to abandon our plans because we won’t be able to console him? Hopefully the future holds luck for all of us where the public domain is concerned!

Feeding baby

This post contains information that those with an aversion to breasts, specifically mine, may not want to read.

Our strategy with feeding Tristan was that I’d breastfeed and we’d supplement with formula, but things haven’t worked quite that way. He’s thankfully eating anything we feed to him, but as long as it comes from a bottle. He seems interested in breastfeeding, and we were semi-successful in the hospital, but due to our inexperience, it’s not working properly. I can’t get him to maintain a latch, basically. We’re thinking that the size of my breasts and the size of a newborn’s mouth are not entirely compatible. In order to breastfeed successfully, the nipple and a good chunk of areola need to make their way into the baby’s mouth, and without getting too specific, I am not in any way small-chested.

It also doesn’t help when many, many people (well, women, who were nurses and lactation consultants) have entirely different advice about how to make breastfeeding work. “Hold the baby this way, put your hands here, move your breast, don’t move your breast, pinch your nipple this way, pinch it another way, make sure you try to feed for this amount of time..” – it all makes me want to scream! I had to start exclusively with the “football hold” because of the surgical delivery, but the incision has healed enough that I can experiment with other positions.

In any event, I am now a pumper. When we bought the pump, my milk had barely come in. I am currently able to almost keep up with the baby’s intake, but I worry about whether my supply will continue to increase. I spend at least 5 hours a day pumping, during which I can’t do anything besides watch TV because my hands are tied up holding the breast shields. On a positive note, James has been on board with this, which is important because he has to take care of the bottle feedings and most of the diaper changes while I pump. I also have caught up with random shows I’ve seen but not paid much attention to. Also-also, we can actually keep track of how much Tristan is eating, which you really have to guesstimate when you feed directly from the breast. On a negative note, we really do sink a lot of time into this process.

As far as amount goes, the baby is currently taking from 3 to 4 ounces of milk or formula (he gets the formula about once per day) per feeding every 2 to 3 hours, which is a bit beyond a kid of his age. Of course, he has the overdue baby factor; he’s a little older developmentally than his time out in the world would suggest. After a bit of a bump where he lost about 10% of his birth weight (due to inept breastfeeding, the fact that colostrum comes in smaller quantities than he probably wanted, and us thinking he was supposed to be taking less), he’s almost back to his good old giant birth weight.

Now, we’re hoping he will need to be fed less during the night…

Tristan’s birth, mom’s perspective

It’s been so long since I’ve been able to spend time online for more than a couple of minutes at a time, and as a result, our baby’s 8 days old without much description of that time from me (or, really, either of us). Expect this entry to read as if a zombie were writing it..

So, on the 25th, we went into the hospital to get Tristan cut out of me, since he had no interest in coming out on his own. James detailed the morning phone calls that were necessary to make sure the baby wouldn’t be stuck in there until he’d be a Libra or something, and everything went smoothly with getting me into there and prepped for surgery. Way too many people were in and out, asking questions and shaving and poking me. We had to wait until the main doctor performing the c-section was back from clinic duty in order to proceed, so it was running a little bit late.

And when I was ready for the surgery, I completely flipped out. James was banished to his aforementioned chair in the waiting room, and the anesthesiologist prepared me for the spinal block.. not the typical epidural given with labor, but the full-on spinal. That shit hurt like hell! I wasn’t even having contractions that I had to ignore, yet I still could not stop myself from cringing. After what felt like forever, the real forever began. My legs began to feel warm (like they told me beforehand) and I was pushed onto the table lying down. Progressively, my legs went from tingly to ‘holy shit I’m paralyzed’ – but the worst part was that my legs and toes felt like they were jammed into an uncomfortable position, sort of like they were sticking together, and it was completely distracting since I could not do anything about this. Basically, I had a panic attack while lying down on the table being prepared for a surgical birth. It’s sort of odd to be so removed from the experience of your child’s birth like that!

James was allowed back into the room somewhere at this point, and he managed to calm me down somewhat. A drape was placed so that the details of the surgery were nice and hidden, and the doctors agreed to be kind to me and not discuss said details. Somewhere in this whole mess, I realized I was about to vomit and the anesthesiologist administered something through my IV to stop that. The actual feeling of being operated on was quite odd – I could feel it but it didn’t hurt. It pretty much felt like people pushing and pulling on my abdomen. After some instance of forever, I wondered if there really was a baby in there or whether this would turn out to be a huge tumor.

Suddenly, I felt a few yanks, a distinct relief of pressure in my abdomen, and the sound of a baby crying filled the room. I succumbed to the whole mommy pride thing right there. The baby crying was just hiding inside of my body a moment before and had been kicking me and stealing my energy for quite some time! James followed the folks taking care of the baby as they did the stuff they do at birth, and some time later he returned and the baby was placed in his arms right next to me. My arms were strapped down (probably because of the earlier panic attack) and I could not really interact with him, but it was amazing to see this creation that James and I collaborated to produce. I was so happy that the baby was so healthy and quite taken with how cute he was.

The next few days were even more of a blur. There was the recovery room, and then the private room, and being stuck in a hospital bed. The postpartum rooms at this hospital were designed to allow the baby to remain in the room with the mom (and partner) so we all got to spend time together while I was lying all stitched up in bed. I remember having urine drained out through a catheter and then when I was able to get up and walk around, it was removed. I started learning how to breastfeed and it seemed to be going well at first, but the success was limited and it took both me and James to get Tristan into the proper position and it was precarious at best. We met nurse after nurse, and I learned most of their names although I couldn’t tell them apart otherwise – other than the one who read off the expiration dates from medications and the one who wore the interesting perfume. My IV machine was highly irritating, from the rhythmic ticking to the incessant beeping when the bag was empty. Whichever nurse was on duty when it began beeping tried to have me wait 10 minutes to get it shut off, but I almost got out of bed myself to get someone when James kindly did so for me. I ate a lot of hospital food and James ate a lot of fast food.

At this point, I am too sleepy to continue thinking or writing this, so I will continue when I can find awake computer time next. Right now, Tristan is napping in his stroller and we’re hoping that when we move him to his bassinet he remains asleep. He stays awake during a good portion of the night asking for more to eat. Several of the grandparents are in town and have been a lifesaver with helping with baby care and cooking. But it’s time to steal some sleep for now.. I will work on keeping in contact and writing more later.