The New Normal

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’PlaySo 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.

Here’s a cute baby: 2015-05-04 11.35.55



17 thoughts on “The New Normal

  1. Thanks for sharing all of your tips! I *love* the photos. I hope that Ansel keeps gaining weight like he did this week too. Best wishes to all of you! ❤

  2. Yay update! I think the woombie is the one swaddle I didn’t get to work. I am all for the miracle blanket. I need to pull up all of Wallace’s old clothes and stuff, no time like today, and sort through it. I would love to send the woombie to you so you have 3! Cloth wipes are so much better at getting poop off everything than disposable. I had cut up a blanket in desperation for more wipes and eventually they fell apart because I didn’t sew them. I them started using two blankets cut and sewed together. Still use them! I’m so glad to hear he is gaining weight well and things are evening out into a pattern. I had lots of night sweats and nursing sweats in the beginning. Then I got them again when I night weaned in December, Woot! The bacne could be your body dealing with medication or herbs or hormones, or newly reacting to things you didn’t before and during pregnancy. Since pregnancy supresses the immune system and changes it, your body does all kinds of weird things after.

  3. First, he just keeps getting cuter! And he was adorable to begin with! The rock n play was one of the first things purchased off of our baby registry–it made me very happy because you are not the first person I’ve heard this from! I’ve also heard great things about the woombie, but I’m afraid it’s going to be too hot for our little July SoCal baby. Is the fabric pretty breathable? I’ve been trying to just focus on cotton for the summer heat, but it’s not always possible.

  4. Oh, those Wubbanubs are EVERYTHING! we affectionately coined them “Mico the Monkey” and “Gigi the Giraffe”…they can take them out and put them back in their mouths all on their own at 4 months..those things are the best! The sweating is no joke. We had red sheets on your bed, and when I went to change them, Callie’s side of the bed, was tinged pink on the mattress cover from all the sweat…and she stinks! Like, no matter how much deodorant and body spray she uses, the smell of post pregnancy sweat is terrible…like public transportation on a 100 degree day in August terrible…And Ansel is just the bomb! y’all did good…real good…

  5. Interesting – hadn’t heard of the post pregnancy sweats & stinks – ugh! Glad my wife doesn’t blog hehe. Which woombie did you get – there are a lot of options! Your last(ish?) line about poop on scrotum is priceless – I’ve heard it’s easier to deal with than stuck in a girls bits though…

  6. Wow he’s getting huge! You’re doing amazing. Are there different guidelines ecause he was born smaller? Because I was told after the first month they are only expected to gain a pound a month or a quarter pound a week. I know from 4 weeks to 8 weeks bean went from 9lbs to 10lbs 5 oz and I freaked out thinking it wasn’t enough but then the doctor told me it’s only the first month they need to gain about half a pound a week. Regardless he’s doing so well by any measure. Go you two!

    • That sounds judgy and is not how I meant it. He’s just gaining so well that I hope you’re starting to feel more confident in your ability to feed him!

      • Oh my gosh, I didn’t think it was judgey at all! I’m not sure about guidelines – the LC who runs my group days 5-7oz a week indicates good growth, and I think that was about what the ped said but can’t recall now. In any case, he’s exceeded that 3 weeks running now – he was at 8lbs 15.2oz today – so I’m definitely feeling confident. He also seems to be transferring more and I’m pumping more so it seems like my supply is officially good!

      • So then 9 oz is amazing! That’s so great. And I really think his birth weight has to throw off your perception a bit. Because like a 11lb baby at birth that gains a pound becomes 12 pounds which sounds huge. Your guy was little to start so he’s still little. He’s gaining far more than my bean! I definitely understand the second guessing thing though. I constantly wonder if a whimper means my baby has been starving for weeks.

      • Yes, it’s totally all relative! We were laughing today because he is finally – at 7 weeks – the size of our nephew at birth. By 5 weeks, Liam was 11 pounds! And yes, it’s so funny what we thought would be so great and what actually ends up working!

      • Also meant to say, have you noticed the difference between what you thought you’d need as a parent versus what you actually need?! And it’s nuts how babies are all so different, what works for one won’t always work for another. You and Sammie both have such good reviews for wubbanubs but they are a major bust in this house. Bean likes her pacifiers to keep it casual. That Dino is adorable though and I wish I could convince her to like them!

  7. I nominated you for the creative blog award. Please see my recent post if you wanted to participate. Ansel is the most handsome boy everrrrrr

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