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Baby’s First Month: The Lifesavers


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As of yesterday, Owen is 7 weeks old! I can’t believe that we’ve come this far, and so quickly. I remember with Olive, time seemed to crawl by; but this time around, I feel like I can’t keep track of where the time is going.

We’ve had a couple of rough patches (particularly Week 6, which combined a Wonder Week, a growth spurt and what Weissbluth calls “The Peak Of Fussiness” ) – but I’m starting to see a light at the end of the newborn tunnel. Owen has started to give us his first social smiles; and a few night ago he slept his first long stretch! A couple of 4 and 5 hour stretches might not sound like a lot, but trust me, it really is!

I’ve put together a list of my First Month Favorites: a few things that have really made my life easier these past 7 weeks. Some of them I’ve used before with Olive, and others are new additions to my arsenal. None the less, i’m grateful to those who have recommended them, and hope you find them useful too!

Boppy Newborn Lounger: This pillow pod has been great for us to just plop Owen down on around the house. When they are that little, they’re really asleep most of the time, and you want them near you while you do other things around the home. We left this on our couch and were able to hang out with him while we folded laundry, played with Olive or watched TV – while having him at arms reach.

Haakaa Silicone Manual Breast Pump: I never realized how much milk I was wasting until I used this device, which captures letdown milk (and a little more) from the non-nursing side. When your milk lets down, it obviously can’t just do so on just one side – so all that precious milk just gets absorbed into your nursing pad! It attaches by suction, so it’s mostly hands free. I’ve collected up to 4oz off one boob! A great time saver, and I’ve actually used my hospital pump a whole lot less this time around because of this little device. Genius. A video on how it works, here.

The Miracle Blanket: This intense looking swaddle blanket worked wonders with Olive, and has also been awesome for Owen. I’ve never, ever been able to figure out how nurses swaddle the babies so well in the hospital, so my  kids have always wiggled free, which means they often wake themselves up from sleep. The Miracle Blanket takes all that guesswork away, and keeps the baby swaddled all night. It takes a little getting used to (like all things) but soon you’ll be an expert at this, and won’t be able to live without it.

The Brest Friend Breastfeeding Pillow: This is also something I used with Olive, and loved it so much that I saved it for my 2nd child. It supports the baby so you’re not constantly grasping onto that 15lbs giant kid while trying to feed him, saving your wrists and arms. Also, it leaves my hand(s) free to do other things with Olive, like read her a story. I liked this pillow so much that I bought an inflatable one to keep in the car with me as well, in case I have to breastfeed on the go. Love this thing, can’t live without it.

Sakura Bloom Ring Sling: I knew that this time around I needed to baby wear Owen more than I did Olive, because I needed to keep my arms free to do things with my firstborn. I’ve tried a lot of carriers, and while each has their own benefits, I’m currently obsessed with the Sakura Bloom Ring Sling, which was introduced to me by my friend Melissa. Not only does it come in many, many luxurious fabrics and colors, but there is something about wearing Owen in a ring sling that makes me feel so close to him – kind of like an earth mama. My other favorites are the Ergo and the Solly Baby Wrap.

Onto Month 2! Wish us luck!

 

 

 

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One Month Down


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Holy cow we’ve made it a whole month.

Time really does fly by with your 2nd kid – I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because every waking moment is filled with “something to do” when you have two kids. When Owen is napping I try and make sure I’m bonding with Olive….or cleaning the house, or doing the laundry, or pumping, or cooking….there really isn’t a moment awake that I have for myself. (Other than this rare, rare moment I’ve found to write this post, which is a complete surprise today, yay.) There also really isn’t as much time to think about how mind numbingly exhausted you really are when you’re awake. There is just too much stuff to do.

The transition between 1 to 2 kids has been kinder to me than the transition between 0 to 1 kid. I think it’s because of a few things: Firstly, you aren’t so shellshocked at the your complete loss of independence. You’re already knee deep into the Mom Thing, so you know what you have to do, so you just bite down and do it. You aren’t lamenting about that party you’re missing, or that monthly spa day you’ve had to give up. You already went through that psychological stuff the first time around, so you’re set on that front. Secondly, when you’re in that tough newborn period where the baby nurses every 2 hours, your nipples are raw from use, the gassiness starts….you know that this is a short, temporary phase that will soon be replaced by smiles and giggles. All this lethargy and discomfort will pass, and it’s really such a short blip of time in the grand scheme of things.

If you’re a first time mom in the throes of Newborn-Anxiety-and-Disillusion….. and you’re sad, and frustrated, I promise you that it will get better, and very soon.

By the way, this doesn’t mean that I haven’t completely lost my shit yet; because I have. When Owen was about 2-3 weeks old, Olive caught this nasty cold from school. (OF COURSE SHE DID. #Life) She was pouring snot, and coughing everywhere, and had a fever. I was petrified of Owen getting sick as well, so I spent about 5 days intensely stressed out, disinfecting everything and breastfeeding Owen non stop to give him antibodies. Everything came to a head one night at about 10pm when Olive threw up in her bed because of all the coughing. She was screaming and crying, and Owen had gas at the same time and was also screaming his lungs off. In that moment, the combination of the two screaming kids, the illness, the stress and the lack of sleep just took over and I broke down crying. If Patrick wasn’t there to help me divide and conquer (he took care of Olive, and I took care of Owen), I’m not sure what I would have done. In that moment, I was truly lost. It sucked.

Hopefully, this juggle-two-sick-kids-while-dealing-with-vomit thing will be a rare occurrence – and the days (and my hands) will be filled with healthy kids instead.

By the way, it’s taken me a full THREE DAYS to write this one post. I’ve written it in bursts of rare spare time and energy, so if it seems scattered and disorganized, well – it’s because that’s the state of my brain these days, so you’re going to have to excuse me.

I hope to check in again soon, when I get a better sense of my bearings. I hope everyone is well!

GOODNIGHT!

With Love,

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Introducing Owen Che


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Meet our son, Owen Che – born on August 27th, 2016 at 11.27am in the morning, at 39 weeks.

So far, being a mom of two has been pretty awesome – yeah sure, there are the rough nights of no sleep; my breasts are getting used to breastfeeding again, and the recovery from this pregnancy isn’t the prettiest. But, I am so happy to report that 2nd Time Motherhood (is that a phrase that’s used?) does come around much easier than First Time Motherhood…. I’m more relaxed, my heart is more open and ready to love, and I know my own limits now, and know when I need to ask for help. Thankfully, my mom is also here to be with us for a month, so that has been a big help to ease us into life as a family of four.

Olive has been an amazing older sister already. She hasn’t acted out one bit, and has been super excited to involve her baby brother in everything she does. I have to be really honest when I tell you that I really miss her, and have (ugly) cried several times about the fact that she isn’t my only child anymore. I feel immense guilt, but it’s also coupled with intense joy because of the new addition to our family. She might not have any trouble sharing me at this point, but I am having a lot of feelings about having to split my time between two kids. I wish I could be everything, to everyone, all at once.

I hope to be able to update soon, and to share a little bit about my birth story this time around. Thank you everyone for your sweet well wishes, and for following my family on this journey.

With Love,
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