Sunday, March 18, 2012

2 months old

Wow, 2 months went fast. I look at Mason and realize how much he has changed in those 2 months but it it still seems like we just brought him home. While the first month was all about survival, the 2nd month has been about finding our groove.

Milestones and other habits:
*He moved to his crib at 7 weeks.
*He started getting fussy consistently around 7 PM so we started putting him to bed at around then which seems to be working pretty well. He can be tough to get to sleep sometimes, but having a rowdy 3-year old sister doesn't help that, either.
*He gave me his first 5 and 6 hour blocks of sleep. He is getting closer to sleeping through the night and I can't wait. Now he goes to sleep at 7, eats at 10:30 and is back down by 11:15, sleeps until 5 or 5:30, back down at 6, and then up for the day around 8. He may still wake up sometimes around 2 AM, but I bring him back to bed with us and he goes right back out until time to eat.  I am so blessed to have 2 great sleepers. I really hope that continues.
*He smiles all the time.
*He started cooing and loves to have "conversations" with us.
*He will now suck on his thumb or fingers if he spits his paci out.
*He is starting to follow things with his eyes and loves to stare at the mobile in the pack 'n play and swing
*He went from 3.5 oz of milk to 4.5 oz but also went from 8 to 6 feedings
*He loves bath time and sitting up in our laps.
*He hates being left alone and waking up without his paci.

Mason had his 2 month check up on the 15th. He is 22 inches (20th percentile), 10 lbs, 3 oz (25th percentile) and his head is 39 cm (25th percentile). Dr. Honeycutt said he is a little one but very proportionate. Of course he had pooped in diaper shortly before I put him on the scale so I had to clean him  up right there and bravely carry him naked back to the exam room so I could get another diaper. Dr. Honeycutt was glad to hear his bowel movements were improving and that his face had cleared up. She was shocked that he is drinking 4.5 oz of milk now, but after I explained he is only eating 6 times a day she said he was right on track then. She said he looked great and praised me for going dairy free despite the challenge it presents. The nurse came in to give him the dreaded first round of shots and even though I was more prepared for the reaction it still broke my heart to see him in pain afterwards. Luckily his paci and some cuddles afterwards made him better so it wasn't too bad. Hopefully this will be our last doctor's visit until his 4 month visit because I am so tired of seeing the inside of a doctor's office. He did end up sleeping a lot of the afternoon after the shots and was running a fever and super fussy before bed time. But a little dose of Tylenol knocked the fever out and he slept like a champ.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Cloth diapering again

I knew from the beginning of my pregnancy with Mason I wanted to use cloth diapers again. I learned a lot of things cloth diapering with Aubrey so I felt better prepared to handle it this time around. I knew I would use our Bum Genius pocket diapers again so I bought 6 new boy colors and sold a few of my girly colors. But, I struggled with what to do for diapers in the newborn stage. I didn't cloth diaper Aubrey as a newborn. I don't think I actually started using cloth with her until she was 6-8 weeks old. We spent so much money on disposables and I really didn't want to do that again, especially when we made the decision I would be staying at home full time. After doing a lot of research, I decided to go with prefold diapers for Mason. These are much more like the old-school diapers my parents used when I was a baby. Actually, they used flat diapers, but prefolds are the closest diapers to that. I was able to buy 2 dozen newborn size diapers for $50 and then the next size for about $60. I also bought a few covers for the diapers but I was able to find most of them used so I think I spent maybe $50 on those. I also took it one step further this time and decided to use cloth wipes as well, which cost me $25 for 72 flannel squares that I will used the entire time we use diapers and they can also be repurposed later. Once everything arrived I did the prep work and had them ready to go by December. I was a little intimidated by all of the folding techniques so I practiced on a poor stuffed bear but figured I really wouldn't get the hang of it until I was doing it on a regular basis.

We used disposables for the first week of Mason's life while his circumcision healed and the yucky meconium went away. The first time I tried the prefolds on him was a comedy of errors but over the past 8 weeks I have learned the tricks of the prefold trade. The hardest part has been learning what fold works best for the explosive breastfed poop. I will happily say we've only had 2 blowouts in the cloth diapers as compared to at least 1-2 a week with Aubrey and disposables. And I am sure the 2 blowouts we had were user error in not getting the diaper cover tight enough.While I am not 100% in love with prefolds, they have saved us so much money. We would have probably spent at close to $200 on diapers by now so that's $100 saved so far and we have several weeks left in prefolds. And the best part is I can sell the prefolds for close to what I paid for them if I choose not to use them as doublers in our pocket diapers or even as burp cloths. So that means I have diapered my son for about $15 (minimal loss on the actual diaper plus the cost of shipping) for the past 8 weeks. Pretty awesome in the grand scheme of saving money. I also stretched our money a little more and used some fitted diapers that I used with Aubrey. While they are a little on the girly side they are only used at night because they are really absorbent and easier for me to finagle at 4 AM. I wish I could have used fitted diapers 100% of the time, but that would have cost a lot more to start with and I couldn't repurpose them after he outgrew them. So, overall I am pleased with the prefold diaper decision. I still can't wait to move back into our Bum Genius pocket diapers because they are so much easier but I just can't beat the cost and money saved with prefold diapers so far.

Mason wearing the newborn sized prefold from Green Mountain Diapers. This picture was taken during his last wearing of the newborn size because they were getting too short and snug. We have since moved him up to the next size.

Mason modeling a Thirsties duo wrap cover. These are my favorite covers and I like the hook and loop (velcro) closure best for now.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Mason has been evicted....

....from our bedroom. We had been toying with the idea for a few weeks because we thought it might help him sleep better. He had started getting fussy every night around 7 so we decided to go ahead and put him to bed which started his new nightly routine. The first night we put him to bed at 7 we put him in the pack 'n play which made it hard for us to get ready for bed without waking him up. So the next night we put him in the crib and he did great. We couldn't make the full transition to the crib since the Angelcare monitor was still in Aubrey's room because she was using the nightlight on it. For the rest of the week we started him out in the crib and after the 10 pm feeding we moved him to the pack 'n play. I finally bought Aubrey a nightlight yesterday and took the Angelcare monitor out of her room, which made me a little sad. She still has a video monitor in her room, but we don't run it all night so this meant we were increasing her independence a little. I set up the monitor in Mason's room and got everything ready before he went to bed. The night went rough because he drank his evening bottle early which shifted his schedule so I had to shift things around to accommodate. I put him back down in the crib around midnight, crawled into my bed and hoped for the best. I was too tired to be emotional about leaving him, but it was weird to not hear the white noise machine in our room. Unfortunately, Mason only lasted until 2 am before he woke up. Ugghhh. I knew he probably wasn't hungry yet so I brought him back to our bed and he went right back to sleep until 4. After that feeding I got him back to sleep around 5 for him to wake up at 6. Still not cool.  I pulled him back in the bed with me and he went right back to sleep until 7:45. Hopefully tonight will go better because I really don't like Mason sleeping in our bed for a multitude of reasons but I have to do it for us to get sleep. I want him to get used to the crib and hopefully start working toward sleeping through the night soon. Keeping fingers crossed.

February 2012

Since Mason was born I've lost the extra time to do pretty much anything which includes updating this blog   very often. I am so completely worn out most days that I don't even turn on my desktop computer where I do most of my editing and blogging. But, Mason has finally worked himself into somewhat of a nighttime schedule that includes a 7-ish bed time so I have a few minutes extra to myself at night. I don't remember a the day-to-day or week-to-week details of February, but I keep my camera downstairs to capture moments so I thought I'd just do a photo blog of the cute moments to show our last month.

Getting brave and actually attempting to use the pedals on her trike.

Mason wasn't too interested in his first adventure outside.

Aubrey wanted a picture of both of them in their jammies.

Tea time.

More mild weather meant time at the park.

He was pretty curious about me being all up in his face with the camera.

I love this picture.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

More hurdles in the road

The past 7 weeks have been such a challenge for me. I knew life would be hard for the first few months after Mason was born but I never realized just how hard they would be. I never imagined that feeding my child would be even more of a challenge the 2nd time around. I had these grand thoughts that I would easily breastfeed after all the struggles I had with Aubrey, but that has been so far from the truth. It has been nothing but stress and heartache to feed Mason and it has really worn me down. The lost weight, poor latch, thrush and oversupply issues overtook the joy I had in the first few weeks of Mason's life. I was constantly stressed over feeding him. I thought I would be at peace once the thrush healed and I accepted the fact I would have to exclusively pump again.

But, there has been the nagging issues of the state of Mason's bowel movements. They have been consistently bright green, full of mucous and the nail in the coffin was the appearance of blood. It was not consistent at first so I tried to hold off on calling the doctor. I read that oversupply can cause it so I hoped once I had that under control things would improve. I gave him a mix of formula and milk for a few days, which improved his bowel movements, but made his face break out like crazy. I finally had to admit that I knew there was something else going on and faced the reality that he had an allergy to something that I was eating, most likely dairy. Todd had a similar allergy as a baby and I knew the chances of Mason having it were pretty high.

For a few days I strongly considered throwing in the towel on pumping and just going to formula, but the hypoallergenic formula is sooo expensive and I knew it wasn't fair to give up for Mason when I made the sacrifice with Aubrey for so long. So I made the decision to go dairy-free myself and hoped for the best. It has been such a struggle for me because it is so limiting to my diet. While I am not a huge milk/cheese consumer, dairy is in so much of the things I love so finding things for me to eat has been a challenge. But, I knew I had to make this work so I took on the challenge and found out what I could eat and accepted it as my new way of life for now.

After 5 days of no dairy, Mason had 2 more bowel movements with blood specks in them so I called the doctor and took him in. She agreed it could be a dairy allergy and encouraged me to give it some time and monitor for more blood. The good news of the visit was he is continuing to grow well and weighed 9 lbs, 5 oz.

Finally after 7 days of no dairy, we started to see some improvements in the color and texture of his bowel movements. It takes 10-14 days for dairy proteins to leave my system and then 10-14 more days to leave Mason's so I am hoping things will continue to get better over the next week. I am glad that I am still able to feed him breast milk and even though it is a challenge for me, I know I am giving him the best I can. I hope we are able to stop with just the dairy elimination and not have to move towards eliminating soy because that will be even more restrictive as far as my diet. Todd was able to tolerate soy so I am hoping Mason is able to as well. This wait and see game is tough for me, but I am trying to take it one day at a time and hope for the best.