Wednesday, May 4, 2016

38 Weeks with Baby L!

We tried to take regular photos during the pregnancy with Baby L to capture every moment we had with him. After losing Sloane, we didn't want to miss anything.

Physically, the pregnancy was great, although I seemed to experience a lot more of the stereotypical pregnancy symptoms than I did with Sloane. I had strange cravings (pickles and chocolate for dinner, anyone??), was forgetful, and more emotional. For most of the pregnancy however, I really enjoyed being pregnant. Like everyone, I got to the point where I was tired of wearing the same 4 outfits over and over, tired of sleeping on my side, and tired of feeling so large, but I really did try to appreciate being pregnant. The process of creating and carrying a new little person is incredible to me and I love seeing how my body changes to accommodate this new little person.

Emotionally, this pregnancy was tough, not surprisingly. It took me a long time to even accept that I was pregnant again and I felt pretty disconnected for awhile. Every ultrasound was scary until I could feel him move regularly. There were so so many times I convinced myself he was dead. I think this was a self-preservation coping mechanism, because if I convinced myself he was dead, and he really was, then it wouldn't be a surprise. But if I convinced myself he was dead, and he was alive, then I could just be relieved.

So here is my pregnancy journey with our little guy!

One Month

Baby L is one month old! Our monthly picture set up needs some work, but maybe by month 12 we will have it perfected.
By now life has somewhat normalized. Breastfeeding still isn't my favorite thing in the world, but it's manageable. We met with the lactation consultant again and she said that we are pretty much at the best it is going to be for the time being. Which was what I needed to hear to help me accept where we are at with it. I'm happy to be done with the nipple shields and optimistic that at some point in the future, maybe I'll start to enjoy it more. We have made tremendous progress since where we started, evidenced by the fact that I don't dread and cry through every feeding anymore. Now I just need to work on relaxing my back, neck, and wrists...
L has some pretty terrible gas at times and we think he likely has reflux. This means a lot of the time, he screams when he's hungry, then he eats and it's peaceful, then he screams when he's done, then he sleeps and it's peaceful. So we try and soak up the peaceful moments as much as we can to get us through the screaming. He really is so sweet and adorable and it's painful to watch him be in pain like that, so we keep trying new ways to help him get through it. I am happy to be able to enjoy his cuteness more now that he is not the source of so much pain breastfeeding. 

My hormones have also mostly stabilized, so I spend far less time crying than I did two weeks ago. It was so rough for a bit there, I honestly did not know how I would survive. But the funny thing is that we don't often have too much of a choice when it comes to survival. It may not be pretty (and I assure you, it wasn't!), but if we just keep going, at some point it does get better. With newborns, as with so many other things in life ;)

Things to remember about L at one month: 
  • Weighs over 9 lbs. Way to go baby! This means he has outgrown some of his newborn clothes and is starting to fit into some of his 0-3 month clothes (pictured above). 
  • He loves tummy time and is starting to stay awake for longer periods of time after he eats. 
  • He started using a pacifier this week and it seems it may become his new best friend. 
  • On a good night, he sleeps for 3 hours at a time. On a bad night, he sleeps for 1.5 hours at a time and we all cry. 
  • He loves staring out windows and being outside.
  • He grabs onto your clothes when you hold him. 
  • He likes to take naps resting his head on his hands. 
  • He continues to make the funniest face while stretching after he eats (pictured below from when he was about 2 weeks old).
  • He fits in and likes to be carried in the Baby Bjorn. We've tried a wrap a couple of times, but I'm not skilled enough yet to feel comfortable with it. 
Here's to one month of survival and one month of breastfeeding! 

Ragnar Richmond!

After doing the Ragnar DC in October for Sloane, one of the team members signed up to do the Ragnar Trail Relay in Richmond. The date was to be April 28-29. We hoped we would have a baby by then, but wanted to be able to participate anyway. We figured Josh would be able to run it, and hopefully I would be able to go along for fun.

In the midst of barely surviving the first two weeks of newborn life, there were many times I thought this sounded crazy. But the idea of staying home alone for a weekend without Josh also sounded crazy, so I booked a hotel and determined to make it work. Luckily one of my friends decided she was up for the adventure with us, so she drove down and stayed the night with me in case of any catastrophe that I needed back up for.

We left Friday morning, and made it down to Richmond in 5 hours with only one stop for lunch/diaper change/feeding/bathroom break. Everything went great!
We checked in to the hotel and took Josh to his campsite for the night at the race. We hung out at the site to see Josh's first leg start and finish. Lewis did great!

I was most nervous for night because typically I have Josh to help with diaper changes and my middle-of-the-night craziness. But Lewis did so well! The night went smoothly and we made it back to the race the next morning to see Josh's last leg finish. 

By Saturday night, even though Lewis had done well, I was just exhausted from being outside all day and trying to figure out diapers and feeding in a tent. Josh was exhausted from staying up all night running. It was a rough night, but we survived our first family trip together :) The last leg of the trip came on the way home on Sunday. While it took us 5 hours to drive to Richmond, it took 9 hours to drive home. There was a 20-car pile up on I-95 which left us completely stopped for 2.5 hours+the slowdown surrounding the stop. Lewis still did really well, and only screamed when he was hungry or dirty. His routine got a little out of whack from the trip, but we are working on getting back to 3 hour stretches of sleep. 

While it may have been a little crazy to take a 4 week old on a 2 night overnight trip, it's important to us make sure the little man becomes incorporated into the things we like to do and gets out to have different experiences. Hopefully he will learn to be versatile and flexible and we will continue to learn to be patient. It was also important because I was pregnant with L at the last Ragnar we did, so it seemed fitting for him to be at this one!