3 Weeks Old

In case you’re wondering, I’m only planning to do the weekly updates for the first 4 weeks of Jack’s life.  I did a similar thing with Joe and want to keep up the tradition.

Yes, Jack is 3 weeks old today.  Time has zoomed by.

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Here’s how things are going since his 2 week update…

General Health

We had another midwife visit on Tuesday of this week.  At that point, Jack weighed in at 4280 grams (just under 9 pounds, 7 ounces).  All told, he’s gained 670 grams since birth (just over 1 pound, 7 1/2 ounces).  He is less jaundiced and eating lots.

Sleep

Jack continues to take a nap of sorts in the morning and again in the afternoon, with fewer and fewer cat naps in between.  He normally eats a lot in the evening, falling asleep between 8 – 9pm, waking up a bit during his nappy change and eating some more, and then either waking again around midnight or, if I’m lucky, around 2am.

Jack has had a lot of gas and “bowel issues” this week.  His digestive system is still developing and he’s working out the kinks, so to speak.  Unfortunately, most of these “kinks” need working out during the night, or so it would seem.  When he does wake around midnight, I’ve found that this is usually more for comfort nursing to help him have a poo than because he’s hungry.  He’s usually only up for a little bit and then goes back to sleep, whereas when he wakes around 2am it’s usually because he’s h-u-n-g-r-y.  There was one night this week where he was up quite frequently and was pretty uncomfortable.

Nursing

Getting better each day.

General Activity

Jack is becoming more alert and opening his eyes more often.  He becomes especially alert in the evenings.  This is nice, because it allows Chris to see him with his eyes open and awake.

Jack has really taken to using his pacifier.  I used to be nervous about letting people know that our boys used a pacifier, but now I don’t care.  In the past, some people were critical about the fact that Joe used one (my last midwife, in particular).  I had strangers comment on it in public, too (once, a saleswoman at Smith + Caughey’s reached over and tried to take it away from him, but Joe wasn’t having any of that!).  Now, I don’t care what someone thinks.  I won’t say that it doesn’t bother me if someone criticizes me about it, but I’m not influenced or worried the way that I was with Joe.  Yes, Joe used a pacifier.  Now, he has one at nap-time and one when he goes to bed in the evening.  I’m pretty sure that if we said, “No more pacifiers” he’d fuss, but get over it quite quickly.  He’s almost 2 years old and I think that once we’re settled in Williamsburg, we’ll take it away.  We haven’t had any issues with him taking the pacifier from Jack, which was a bit of a worry for me.

Milestones

Jack is opening his eyes more and lifting/turning his head more often.  He also loves taking a bath.  Honestly, the biggest milestone for me has been him using his pacifier and sleeping longer during the night.

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Jack and Joe

The boys continue to get along well.  Joe loves to give hugs to Jack and will “help” with burping.  Joe is such a good helper and almost always in a cheerful mood.  He will help bounce Jack in his bouncy seat, though I continue to have to keep an eye on him to make sure that he doesn’t bounce him too hard.  Joe is fascinated with Jack’s tiny fingers and toes and, if I find it’s a bit quiet, I can usually look up from whatever I’m doing (dishes, vacuuming, cooking) and see that Joe is playing with Jack’s feet 🙂

Postpartum Fitness and Health

This week has been a bit rough.  Some people have remarked on how I seem to have it so “together” and am doing so well postpartum.  Today was a week to disprove all of that!  There were 3 days in particular that were difficult, most of which usually came after little sleep where I woke up to find the apartment a mess.  There are few things quite so depressing as getting up in the morning and seeing a sink full of dishes.  I have been trying to stay on top of the housework and am so thankful for a husband who is willing to help in that regard but, sometimes, we’re both exhausted at the end of the day.  Our dishwasher is pretty small so there are times when even after filling it and setting it to wash, there is still a sink-full of dishes waiting to be tackled.

So, I’ve felt a little low this week.  I’ve lost my temper a few times, cried a few times, felt overwhelmed a few times, and wanted to shut myself up in the bedroom a few times and tell everyone to go away a few times.  I stayed home from church on Mother’s Day for just that reason.  I didn’t feel like going out and having so many (well-meaning) people ask me how I was doing.

I’ve felt a lot of guilt and pressure about how I’m interacting with Joe.  With the rainy weather and and a newborn, the options are limited.  I’ve made homemade playdough which has now disintegrated from overuse.  We’ve done puzzles.  We’ve read books.  We’ve sang songs.  We’ve made upteen batches of muffins and cookies where Joe has helped to stir and “smush” the ingredients.  But sometimes, Joe watches a movie and I can hear various voices in my head telling me that this is bad, that I’m increasing his likelihood of developing ADHD, that I should be breastfeeding Jack while simultaneously entertaining Joe.  Or simultaneously helping Joe eat his lunch.  Or simultaneously helping Joe go to the bathroom.

I’ve done all of those “simultaneous” things (helping him go to the bathroom while breastfeeding is a real trick, let me tell you) but sometimes, I’ve had enough and need to just sit on the couch, nurse Jack, and tell Joe to go entertain himself for a few minutes.

I need to re-read the “Love and Logic” parenting book because I want to make sure that I’m encouraging Joe to be creative and to develop his imagination by entertaining himself rather than relying on TV, but I also don’t want to ignore him or resort to yelling when I get frustrated.  Joe has had a bit more time in his cot these days because of whining and not listening.  I’m sure that part of this is the normal boundary-testing of a nearly two year old, but I’m also sure that some of it stems from boredom and finding that his mother is now not as available as she used to be.  Sigh.  There have been a few mornings where I wake up and instantly have Lamentations 3:22-23 running through my mind, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning.  Great is your faithfulness”.  Parenting is not for the faint of heart.

I’ve talked to Chris about it and we both agreed that it’s OK to tell Joe that he needs to entertain himself and that putting him in his cot because of not listening is a far better alternative to yelling at him, even if it does make it seem like he’s in the cot a lot.  So this morning, I walked Joe to his room and told him that he needed to play with his toys in there, then partially shut the door while I nursed Jack.  I could still see and hear Joe, but it was a way to encourage him to entertain himself.  I also told him that he needed to read a book to himself and gave him the choice of reading the book in his hand (that he was wanting me to read at that moment) or choosing a different book but that, again, he needed to read it to himself or read it to me.  I’ve also tried to word things so that I’m not “blaming” Jack or making it sound like I’m only focused on Jack’s needs (i.e., “I can’t help you because Jack needs to be nursed” or “Jack needs to be burped”).  Instead, I say things like, “My hands are full at the moment” or “I’ll be happy to help you in a minute or two, but I’m breastfeeding at the moment”.

So this week, exercise and physical fitness weren’t much of a focus.  I gained a pound.  It would have been nice to have some good news on the scale, but I’m not going to fuss about it.  My weight fluctuated a lot during the first few weeks with Joe, too, and I figured it would be the same way with Jack.

Other Odds and Ends

I’ve started the process of listing a few of our things on TradeMe.  Oh, TradeMe – I’ve written before about my love/loathe relationship with that website.  There are a lot of things that I’m listing for only $1 and if people quibble with me not giving enough details, I can just say, “Look – I’m selling it for $1 – it’s not worth getting out the measuring tape over.”  Mostly I’ve just started listing DVDs.  I’m thinking that when it’s time to get rid of the bigger stuff, I’ll have a “Come Raid Our House” party.  Order some pizza.  Buy some drinks.  Send out e-vites.  And let people haggle amongst themselves about what they want.  That way we don’t have to worry about finding a way to get it from here to a charity shop.  Whatever is leftover can go to the Auckland City Mission or on Freecycle.org.

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4 comments

  1. emilie says:

    thank you for your honesty and taking the time to process all this out loud. seems to me like you’re a terrific mother. & jack is super cute!

  2. Priscilla says:

    I agree, hang in there, you are doing a great job 🙂 I’m happy to come take Joe to the park etc next week once i’ve finished work (my last day is this Friday) if you like 🙂

  3. Sarah says:

    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers! Hang in there – balancing a newborn and a toddler must be so tiring. Just try to sneak in some extra rest when you can, I know that always makes me feel a bit better. And, I agree about the pacifier thing. I was desperate for Alex to take one, but he never would. And, I don’t understand those people who criticize others for that choice. If it helps them to soothe/sleep/etc, what’s the big deal? I am just starting Love & Logic – hoping it will help with some of the boundaries Alex is already starting to push… Hope you have a great week with your guys!

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