Monday, December 31, 2012

10 Weeks

And we're back!  From our whirlwind east coast tour!  We were scheduled to leave Pittsburgh on Saturday, the 22nd, but we woke up on Friday morning to snow, so we hauled out of the house fast, to get through the Laurel Highland mountains before we got stranded here.  Moving with a baby though, inhibits my expediency!  Billy wanted me to "move with a sense of urgency" but that is not easy, when you're trying to feed, change and dress a baby!  Luckily, we got out of here, and to Billy's grandmother's house in Maryland unscathed.  It's a good thing we left a day early though!

The next day, we went to Billy's big family Christmas party in DC.  Everyone got to meet Will - all of his aunts, his GrandPaul, great grantparents and his little cousin.  He was so good, and didn't fuss for anyone!  I think all of the noise was soothing to him!  There was NO shortage of noise!  Not with the Hudgins in the house!

The next day we traveled another 6 hours down south to visit my parents.  We were originally planning on only staying 2 days, but extended it to four because of MORE snow up in Pittsburgh.  It was so nice - in the 60s and Will got to go to the beach for the first time!  It was so nice to have help!  My back and arms got a nice rest and the food was soooo good!  In our house, we get whatever is quickest and easiest to clean up!

Christmas really is more fun with kids.  Not that Will had a clue what was going on, but everything is a lot more joyful and exciting with him around.  He received a lot of toys for Christmas.  It's a good thing, because he really had none!  Grandma also got him a playmat, which we have had fun with every day since!  Sometimes, I'm at a loss for what to do with him while he's awake, so this is great for us!

Our trip home was TWELVE hours!  We had to stop about every 3 hours to change and feed him, but other than that, he slept most of the time.  We made a little progress with the pacifier, and this baby is no match for the car.  He screams for about 2 minutes, and then is out like a light.

Our little guy is over 2 months old now and it seems like he's been with us for so much longer.  How can it be that I was in the hospital only two months ago??  He's also on the large side, so when I see other 2 month olds, he just seems older to me.  Large in, in the 97th percentile for weight!  This baby clearly has never missed a meal!

He has started grasping things(intentionally or not?) sucking his thumb and entire fist, and lifting his head up a little during tummy time.  He also makes a lot more noises, especially when he's getting his diaper changed.  When he was first born, he HATED changing time, but now he seems to love it, and to look at the fish on the wall.

What has NOT progressed is sleep!  For the past 2 nights, I was up every two hours...or less.  I am thankful for coffee, and for nap time!  He is napping as I type this, and I can usually count on an hour or more in the mornings.

Nap time for the next week or so will be used for finishing up packing!  We're set to close on the house in WV on January praying everything goes through!

Today is the last day of 2012 and it was a WONDERFUL year!  I don't think we could have asked for anything more!  Happy new year!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Eight Weeks

Will is going to be 2 months old this week!  He is such a different baby now and he has us laughing a lot!  He loves being on the changing table and squeals a lot...the other day it sounded like he said "ok!" and "hi!"

Last week I decided to be brave and take him shopping again.  Instead of lugging his giant car seat around, I put him in the moby.

I used it when he was a tiny baby, but now it is even easier to use since he can hold his head up.  The trip went pretty well and we got almost everything we needed.  Afterwards, we went to visit Melissa and Teagan, which was so nice to eat and relax!  I love that some of my friends have kids now!
I had to take him to work on Friday because the policy is that I have to work one day to keep our health insurance for the rest of the month if I resign.  So I packed him up and he was asleep most of the morning.  I ended up leaving around 3, when he wanted to be entertained, and I couldn't finish my work.  I went back with Billy on Saturday to pack up my office.  

I've been trying to give Will a pacifier, so he will use it at night, but that is a no go.  He rarely cries when he isn't hungry or needs a diaper change, so I don't know when else to give it to him.  When I try, he'll suck on it for a minute, then just spits it out.  Maybe he just sees me and would rather have the real thing?
This little boy LOVES bath time!  When Billy gives him a bath, he'll let Will float by just holding his head.  I'm not that brave - he's a slippery little thing!  Hopefully he'll love the water just as much when he's older and gets to go to the beach!
We finally got our Christmas cards in and in the mail!  I love sending and receiving them!  Luckily, we got a redo from our first attempt at the picture.  When Patton learns how to sit and stay when using a self-timer, he can be in the picture!
I love our little family!  And I'm glad I have this documentation to look back and see what Will was doing each week and how much he changes all the time. 

I tell Billy that I am the manager of Will's bum.  I am happy to report that the rash is GONE and Grandma El's rash ointment is made of miracles!  It cleared everything up in a day and I am so thankful!  We're back to cloth diapers and a happy baby bum!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

7 Weeks

I have a feeling that I am going to be late for life for the next year or so.  Between getting myself ready, the baby fed and changed, and taking the dog out, getting out the door is proving to be a challenge.  Will is also sort of like a ticking time bomb, so as soon as he eats, I race around to get everything accomplished, before he wakes up and wants to eat again.  Which leads me to be hot and sweaty, even in 30 degree temperatures, with carrying around his large car seat.  With his large body!  This seven week old is 13.5 pounds, in size 2 diapers, and growing out of some of his 3 month clothes.
In the past week or so, he has started to smile some, grab on to my hair and drape his arm around my shoulder when I'm holding him.  He has also been starting to self-soothe, which is so helpful!  He eats his hands(yum!) and is ok being put in his Rock-N-Play without anyone rocking him or entertaining him.
We've also been battling a diaper rash, so I've had to use disposable diapers, since I'm still waiting for Amazon to deliver my rash cream that is approved for use with cloth diapers.  A little disappointing  because for this month, I'm using a cloth diaper service, that I received a gift certificate for and have to use before we move in January.  

I don't get this little guy dressed too often...unless we leave the house.  He is either in his fleece PJs or no clothes at all.  Sometimes, he feels like a tiny furnace  so I don't think he wants clothes on.  Other than that, with as often as I need to change his diaper, it is just a nuisance to put clothes...especially pants on him.  Here is a rare picture of Will with pants:
We're gearing up for our Christmas travel next weekend.  I hope he learns a few more tricks, to impress all of our family members before then!  :)  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

6 Weeks

Six weeks in now and a few thoughts...

I need a drive-through grocery store!  Sometimes, I just need milk and the thought of lugging the giant car seat in, is enough for me to skip the milk.  

My command center during the week is in our bed.  I have a nice set up of the iPad, my phone, the baby, the remote controls and my planner.  Unless I need to eat, shower or change a diaper, I am pretty much fine hanging out there.  Billy asked if I was getting bed sores.  Answer: no.  We did go for a long walk with the stroller for the first time yesterday!  It was almost 70 Pittsburgh!!

Will always falls asleep in the car and so I just lay him in his car seat by the front door when I get home.  Billy saw that the other day and said I was treating Will like a pair of shoes.  No need to wake a sleeping baby!!!

Being a mom is really awesome.  So much better than I ever thought it would be!  I never knew how to interact with other people's kids...and I probably still don't.  But I know how to handle my own baby, so that is a bonus.  As of tomorrow, I will be a full-time mom.  I'm resigning from my job which is a little sad because I really liked the people I worked with the job I had.  It's been the best out of my working adult life, by far.  But I also can't imagine what a wreck I would be if I had to give him to someone else for 8 hours/day.  So for now, we'll tighten up our budget and make it work for us.

I went to visit Lisamarie and her baby this week.  Anders sleeps through the night, and I only get 2 hour stretches.  Part of me makes me want Will to speed to that stage, but I also don't want to rush any of my time with the tiny baby stage.

We tried taking our Christmas picture with a self timer this weekend.  What a disaster.  We had pending rain, a 5 week old and an easily distracted dog.  Maybe we can try again this weekend...but if not, Patton will get a separate spot on the card just for him!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

5 Weeks

We had Will's 5 week Well Visit yesterday and he did so great! The vaccine shot barely phased him and the doc confirmed that we have a healthy baby! He weighed in at 11lbs, 13oz, so he's still packing on the pounds faster than the average baby. He eats all the time, so at least my efforts are paying off!
It seems like overnight, he became an alert baby and he's holding his head up!

He had his first Thanksgiving with his little buddy, Anders. But he could not be bothered to smile for this picture!
We also attempted to go shopping on Monday, which was glorious while he was sleeping, but extremely stressful when he woke up screaming! Another kind mom pointed me in the direction of the dressing room in Marshall's, where I could feed and change him. Crisis: averted! We are learning how to navigate life outside the safe confines of our house!  I do think, that much of my Christmas shopping will be online though!
We went on our first long card ride, too. It was 2.5 hours each see the house we put an offer on in West Virginia! He made it about 2 hours to and from without crying. It was just a sneak peek into Christmas traveling.  We'll need to practice a few more times over the next month!
Still working on sleeping in the crib.  I don't swaddle his legs tight, so they flail and wake him up about every 1.5 - 2 hours.  Which is fine for a nap!  The pediatrician said he should gain more control over his limbs around 2 months, which should make sleeping a little better.  Somehow, my body seems to be adjusting to the lack of sleep...or very interrupted sleep.  I would certainly prefer 8 solid hours, though!
Life with our little buddy gets more fun all the time!

Monday, November 19, 2012

4 Weeks

I have never done so much laundry in my life!  And that is 2 sets of stairs, every time!  I did realize last week, that the cloth diapers we have DO fit him, so we are doing it part time.  At night, it's easier right now to just put a disposable on him, and Billy isn't a cloth diaper fan.  The leg holes are still a little big on Will, so there is a chance of a leak, but we have not had one.  They also don't have the "wet" indicator like the disposables do, which Billy doesn't like.  But I have been using them a lot during the day.  But oh yes, there is a lot more laundry with them!

We also have a crib sleeper!  You would have thought someone told me I won a small lottery when I got him to take a 2 hour nap in the crib last week!  Now, we have the monitor set up and as long as he's swaddled, he's pretty good in there.  I mostly follow the Happiest Baby on the Block guide to sleep.  I read the book and our pediatrician's office recommends the "5 S" system.
Billy have Will his first bottle today.  Success and fail...he took it right away, but we didn't realize we needed a slow-flow bottle because he chugged it right down like a champ, but then threw a lot of it back up.  Rookie parents at it again.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Week 3

Week 3 already!  No official weight update because we don't have a pediatrician appointment this week.  His next appointment will be in 2 weeks for his one month visit.  My home scale says he weighs 10.6 pounds, which sounds like it could be close to accurate.  Not only does he make the piggy sounds when he's hungry, but he also flails his head around and headbutts whoever is holding him.  This baby is serious about meal time.
We had our 3rd weekend visit from Lisamarie, Aaron and Baby Anders this weekend.  They live about an hour away, but every time they are near the city, they pop in.  Billy was gone for work Saturday and Sunday, so they brought me lunch and Aaron took Patton for walks.  I love this picture of the baby chaos!  
Since Billy was gone, I was on Patton duty.  For the first 2 walks, I used the Baby Bjorn and it really hurt my back.  For the rest of the weekend, I used the Moby Wrap...after watching some helpful YouTube videos about how to correctly carry a newborn in one.  I felt that he was much more secure in the wrap, and it hurt me a lot less!  We also got laundry and dishes done while he was wrapped up!
Last week, I was beginning to feel antsy about the house chores not getting done, but then someone in the New Mom's group I went to, referred me to this poem: Babies Don't Keep.  And since reading it, I've chilled out a little.
Mother, O' Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth.
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due,
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek - peekaboo.

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew,
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo.
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow,
But children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

~ Ruth Hulbert Hamilton
A lot of people have asked me about how cloth diapering is going, but we haven't started yet.  Even at about 10lbs, he's still too small for the one-size diapers.  Maybe in a couple weeks.  I didn't even realize how expensive disposable diapers are!  We go through about a box of 100 diapers per week.
We also took Will to vote with us on Tuesday.  Obviously, his carseat cover was the wrong color.  Red would have been more appropriate to support our ticket!  He was very popular with the elderly ladies in line with us though!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Week 2

Our little buddy is continuing to thrive, tipping the scales at 9.4lbs today!  That makes me feel like all the time I spend feeding him is really paying off!  He's a bit of a lazy eater and usually falls asleep about 10 minutes in, so I have to find ways to keep him awake and alert.
I get Babycenter daily alerts, and today's message was about umbilical cord care.  How timely, because until yesterday, we forgot to clean it and forgot that he should only be getting sponge baths!  Whoops - parenting fail.  The good thing is that it fell off today, so that is one less thing to worry about!
Sleep may be getting better...we went for 3 hour stretches last night.  We'll start working on crib naps this week.  I used to look forward to bed, but not so much these days!  I know it will be smoother sailing soon!
We tried the moby wrap with some success this weekend!  It is not easy to get it wrapped up and put him in, but once he was in there, he was loving it and I was enjoying having use of both arms again!
I picked up a Baby Bjorn today at the consignment store for more regular use...and I imagine it will be easier to manage on my own!  I'm taking my first venture out this week on my own.  I need a carseat instruction class from Billy before Wednesday!
Another week down, and we're both getting better at this new`life of ours!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

1st Week

Will’s first week ended with a trip to the pediatrician, where we learned that he his back to his birth weight, plus 3oz.  On average, babies gain 1-2oz per day, but this little piggy gained a little more than 2oz per day!  We call him “piggy” because when he is hungry, he starts rooting around for milk, and making little snorting noises.  It is so funny to watch and listen to!

Here is Billy, helping the nurse take his measurements.  He is very hands-on and I am so thankful!

Our first trip to the pediatrician, when he was 3 days old, was a learning experience!  The Dr. asked about where we have him sleep, and I boasted that we figured out that he sleeps like a brick in his Fischer Price Rock-N-Play.  She quickly let me know that it does not meet the safe sleep standards and that he should only nap in it during the day.  Sad face!  I know a lot of parents with babies that use it, though, and it really is a sure-fire way to get some sleep!
I had been taking notes during the appointment, and while the Dr. was checking my vitals, she must have glanced down at what I wrote and saw that I wrote 105 degrees was the temperature we need to be concerned about when he has a fever.  She took my pen, crossed it off and wrote 100.5!  Ok, so that is a big difference!

I also keep saying that we took him to the vet.  Nope, Will is not a dog.  I frequently call him Patton too.  Speaking of Patton though, he has been so good!  We brought Will home, and all of the sudden, Patton is so obedient and not nearly as emotionally needy as he once was.  He’ll come over and sniff the baby every once in a while, but generally, he just leaves him alone, and doesn't pester us as much to pay attention to him.  For me, though, it is a little sad and strange because before Will, I gave Patton so much love and attention and couldn't imagine that changing.  Well, it changed!  I do need to get better about having some quality puppy time though.

Will watched his first Steelers game with us on Sunday.  Billy had to tone it down a little, with less screaming than usual.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Delivery Day

Baby Will finally joined us on Monday, October 22.  That stinker was six days late, and had us all very anxious to meet him.  We tried everything to get labor moving, starting when he was 2 days late.  I don’t think any of it did anything, other than make me tired!

I started having contractions around 5pm on Sunday, but the timing between them was not showing any patterns.  Some of them were 20 minutes apart, and some were 5 minutes apart.  I was waiting for them to be 5 minutes apart, and last for one minute, for one hour, like we learned in class.  We were watching the Steelers game and decided to call the midwife to see if I should come in, because on occasion, the contractions were very close together.  She encouraged me to come in, and lucky enough for Billy, it was half time, and the waiting room at the hospital had a big screen TV with the game on.  The triage room did too, so we were able to see the Steelers get a W.  Priorities, people.

Upon admission, I was 5cm and I was able to move to the Labor & Delivery suite.  They made me lay down in the bed to monitor the baby which was, what I thought the most uncomfortable position to be in, when each contraction came.  I only had to be in bed, with the monitors for 15 minutes every hour, but it was still felt awful each time I had to lay down.  The pain became increasingly worse and I was vomiting frequently.  I wanted so bad to deliver without drugs, but after nine hours in the hospital and only dilating two more centimeters, I asked for the epidural.  Once I made the decision, I wanted the anesthesiologist there STAT.  

When they stuck the needle in my back, they put it in too far and explained to me that I would have a chance of severe headache the next day.  At that point, I did not care because I was pain free in the moment.
Fast forward 6.5 blissful and painfree hours later, it was time to push and our baby was delivered after 45 minutes of pushing.  It was the best moment!  I couldn’t believe he was finally here, and thinking back, it seems a bit like a dream and a blur.  I’m glad we have some pictures, so we won’t ever forget it.

On our way out, to the recovery room, Billy told the nurses that we would be back in 10 months.  They said they were surprised I did not punch him on the spot!  Oh…he thinks he is funny!

What the anesthesiologist predicted, came true and I had a migraine-like headache the next day.  They came back to do a blood patch, where they put my own blood in my back to clot the leak.  It helped for a day or so, but I was back to the hospital later in the week to have the procedure done again.  I mean, who doesn’t love needles in their back?  These complications seem minor compared to the awesomeness we have experienced in the past week and they by no means overshadow any of joy we have, now that Will is here.
So there is the birth story…with a little extra.   I will try to write more later, or later this week with some of the funny stories and pictures.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Due Date

Baby Will is due today and he is showing no signs of being ready to join us!  He's still moving and shaking in there and I'm not having any contractions as far as I know....braxton hicks or otherwise.

Seeing a midwife, means that I have signed up for the least amount of interventions necessary, so there won't be any talk of induction until approximately 42 weeks.  I think he'll be here sooner than that, though!  A lot of people ask me about dilation and effacement, but that is something they only check for if you ask them to.  And to me, it doesn't mean much, so I am fine not knowing for now.

In the mean time, maternity leave has begun and I've finished Emily Giffin's Where We Belong and I'm now working on The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls.  I'll be back to the library tomorrow if he's not here.  I do love getting to watch the full Today Show, Ellen, and a Baby Story throughout the day!

The belly is big and so is my face!  Water retention?  Too much ice cream?  I don't know.  The end is near, though!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

39 weeks

Size: A mini watermelon and 20 inches and 7+ pounds.

Interesting fact: His nails may extend past his fingertips and his outer layer of skin is sloughing off.

Symptoms: Foot swelling, acid and back pain. Still not so terrible, compared to  many women, it seems.  I think coffee was giving me worse acid, so maybe that was more self-induced than caused by baby.  So no more coffee.

Maternity clothes: Four working days left! It turned chilly this week, which means dress season is over. Good thing maternity season is for me, too!  I cancelled my last 2 days of work because it is getting to be rather uncomfortable to be there 8 hrs/day.

Cravings: Work is taking me to Cheesecake Factory on Wed, so I will be looking forward to that and hope I hang on until then!

Aversions: B cooked Steak-ums this weekend, which looked good...until you see the fatty aftermath on the griddle! That was a first and a last for me.

Fun things: Waiting!  Nine months is a LONG time and I'm so happy we're nearing the end! I thought 39 weeks would never get here! My Mayo Clinic Guide to Pregnancy calls this the 10th month. What? I thought there were 9!?

What I miss: Sitting/laying down easily and comfortably.  Long walks.

Misc: The ringer on my phone has not been working since June, so now that Sprint was offering free iPhone 4s, I broke down and renewed my contract. I really don't even use the features of a smart phone, so I would have been ok w a flip phone, but I don't even think they are an option anymore! So in 3 to 5 business days, I will have a fully functioning phone!

I don't feel as big as I look, but I guess you really could fit a watermelon in there!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

38 Weeks

Size: A pumpkin - how appropriate!  19+ inches and about 7 pounds.  The midwife guessed last week that he was 6.5-7lbs just by feeling his size.

Interesting fact: and don't have much to offer this week.  He's got a firm grasp now?  He's basically just plumping up from now until the end.

Symptoms: A little bit of foot swelling, especially by the end of the day.  Everything else is pretty much the same though.  GO AWAY acid!!!  Still an innie belly button though!

Maternity clothes: Exactly 10 days left of work, at most, so this is doable! 

Cravings: I wanted a McD's milkshake on Saturday on our way home from Latrobe, and to my horror, they had posted the calories on the menu board!  I downgraded to a caramel sundae.   

Aversions: We had shrimp & grits last night and SOMEONE forgot to take out the trash, so I was tempted to drag B out of bed to take care of the smell in the kitchen this morning.  Woof.

Fun things: We got to go visit LM's baby this weekend.  I really don't think I have ever seen a newborn baby.  He was just so tiny!  He was barely over 7lbs at 2 weeks, which is what Baby Will is predicted to be right now.  They made everything look so easy, which was comforting.  They have two loud dobermans and the baby didn't even flinch when they barked.  

What I miss: Sitting/laying down easily and comfortably.  Long walks.

Misc: I've been going back and forth on newborn photos.  They are not too pricey, and I like looking at other people's photos.  Two things that are keeping me from it are: rarely do people do them for their 2nd is that really fair?  And Will is a boy. Seems like a more cute and girly thing to do.  So we will probably not do them.  As if there will not be enough pictures taken of him!