Ansel will be 7 weeks old tomorrow!?! 7 weeks feels like a big/miniscule number. I mean, I still occasionally wake up at 3am and forget that we have a baby (ironic since it is the BABY that is waking me up) but we have also started to acclimate to this new life. We have started to know him, to the extent we can. We are starting to get into patterns with our days (of course we have now, since I’m going back to work part time in two weeks.) Here are some things I have thought about telling you all over the last few weeks:
- There are a LOT of my blogging friends who are coming up on babies being outside the belly, and while I am certainly still at novice level with this stuff, I do have a couple of product recommendations:
- The Woombie: Ansel love/hates a good swaddle. He has an intense moro and startle reflex and is way into being snuggled tight. He also deeply craves having his hands as close to his head and face as possible. We discovered early on that he was strong enough to break out of even a nice tight swaddle with a muslin or flannel swaddle blanket. We then started adding a zip up pod swaddle thing over the blankets, but he then started breaking out of the blanket layer and sticking his hand up through the neck hole of the swaddle pod, which freaked me out. My friend recommended the woombie, and after doing some research, we decided to shell out for it. It’s amazing! Ansel is able to move his arms (not all the way to his face, but up to his chest) while also staying snuggled and keeping the reflex in check. Because he can move his arms a little, he doesn’t try and reach them out of the neck hole, and there isn’t a blanket to come undone and get all up in his face. We love it so much we ordered a second one so we don’t have to do a wash when it gets a pee leak!
- The Auto Rock’n’Play: So far, Ansel will only sleep in the following places: on my chest (or La’s), in a carrier (which is really just a variation of #1), in a swing for very short periods of time and in this, the auto rock’n’play. Our first two nights home, I slept approximately 2 hours in 15 minute stretches while either trying to lay him down in a co-sleeper (and then having him wake up) or letting him sleep on my chest while I “slept” sitting propped up on pillows (and actually didn’t really sleep because I was so terrified of dropping him.) I posted something about this on the mom’s group I’m a part of on FB (which is affiliated with the Longest Shortest Time podcast – both of which I also recommend!) and 9 out of 10 comments told me to get a rock’n’play. We found a cheap version on c’list and bought it immediately. It worked beautifully, but I did still have to spend a lot of time rocking it sleepily from bed. So, when my mom offered to buy Ansel an Easter gift, we mentioned that the auto rock’n’play was at the top of his list. We still have the other one in the living room for naps. That’s how much we like it.
- Other stuff getting me through the day: Our Moby and K’tan wraps (I prefer the moby because I can make it tighter and the k’tan gets stretched out, but you can’t beat the k’tan for ease) – La also loves the ergo, but I haven’t used it yet; old flannel receiving blankets cut into smaller parts to use as burp cloths and cloth wipes (add to that a wipes warmer filled with water and a few drops of Dr. Bronner’s lavendar baby soap!); the wubbanub – Ansel could suck on something 24/7, so we introduced a pacifier fairly early on after we established a good latch and I felt solid about reading his hunger cues, it’s especially helpful in the car when he is constantly spitting the pacifier out – we just tuck the dino stuffie into his straps and it keeps his pacifier in! So good!
- Post Partum Body: I lost 10 of the 30-ish pounds I gained within a week and a half of giving birth, and dropped the rest of my pregnancy weight by a month out. At my 6 week appointment last week, I’d lost another 7 lbs – so below my pre-pregnancy weight (we might call this pre-pregnancy fertility drug weight.) Thanks to my c-section, I have mostly been in elastic waist pants due to pain, but all my pre-pregnancy pants fit. Despite being at my pre-pregnancy size, my body is so different now. All the chub that was once somewhat evenly distributed on my mid section has all migrated down to the area right above my pubic bone – the mom ‘pooch’ is real! My boobs are bigger too, which is nice (and I know is a short term change, unfortunately.) I’ve also developed post-partum bacne, which is apparently a pretty common thing, thanks to changing hormones and excessive sweating (y’all, the sweating after you give birth is *intense*) and it is making me feel disgusting. My face, hands and feet all quickly returned to their normal sizes. My body is the same as before I got pregnant, and also totally not. It’s like I’m bizarro-Andie – recognizable but also kind of off. Mostly, I feel ok about these changes. I’m proud of what my body did (I mean, it made a REALLY cute baby) and continues to do, but its strange to only sort of recognize yourself.
- Ansel Update: At last week’s LC group, the dude was 8lbs 5 oz, up 9oz since the prior week! I’m hoping he’ll have gained in this range again (he gained 7 oz the week before) when we go tomorrow, bringing him to 9-ish pounds (worth noting my nephew was born at that weight – so strange to have such a different experience!) He’s still mostly in newborn sized clothes, although they are getting kind of short. The 0-3 stuff is mostly too big (although with his cloth diaper butt, less so when it comes to pants) but is the right length. I’m still pumping a few times a day and mostly feeding it back to him, but hoping to phase this out so I can save the pumped milk for when I go back to work. He’s sleeping 3-5 hours for his initial stretch in the evening, then usually in 2-3 hour chunks afterwards. It’s really awesome, and I know it may or may not last, so I’m enjoying it for the time being. He is having good stretches of quiet and alert time, when we let him look at stuff, play on his infant gym, or walk around. He’s definitely beginning to really SEE things in a different way, which is so wonderful.
- It seems strange, but I really didn’t realize I would have to wipe poop off of my son’s scrotum quite so much as I do.
I think I had some more to say but . . .Ansel woke up halfway through this, and now I’m finishing it and . . .I can’t remember.