Jack is 14 days old today!
Here’s how things have been going since his 1 week update…
Jack now weighs 3.9kgs, or about 8lbs, 9 1/2 ounces. He lost a bit of weight by his 1 week check but he’s since gained it back, plus more. All told, he’s put on roughly 10 ounces since birth. Not bad, little man!
His jaundice is improving and the bilirubin levels weren’t high enough to warrant a phone call from my midwife, so we’re continuing with our sun therapy + lots of breastfeeding.
Jack is taking a morning and afternoon nap of sorts. He cat-naps throughout the day but generally speaking he has one long, uninterrupted sleep in the morning for about 2 hours, then wakes up to nurse-nurse-nurse, then sleeps again in the afternoon for another 2 – 3 hours.
Once evening rolls around, Jack will nurse a lot around our dinner time and up till about 8pm, then nap for an hour or two, nurse again around 10pm for another hour or so, and then sleep for 3 1/2 – 4 hours before waking up to eat some more. When he does wake in the middle of the night, it’s usually to nurse for an hour, hour and a half. After that middle-of-the-night nursing session, he’ll sleep for another hour, hour and a half before waking.
Jack has been doing a lot of the grunty newborn routine. Translation – he’s having a little difficulty passing wind/gas and poos. When he wakes up that hour, hour and a half after his middle-of-the-night nursing session, it’s usually to pass gas or have a poo. He struggles with it and so needs to be held, rocked, or even nursed to help him relax. These last 2 nights, I’ve let Chris get up with him when he wakes so soon after a big nursing session, and both times Chris has said that within about 10 minutes of holding him, Jack has a big poo and then goes back to sleep. So rather than me waking up to nurse him again, we’re going to keep trying with Chris cuddling with him and see if that continues to do the trick. I don’t mind nursing him but for the second feeding, he usually would nurse for a grand total of 60 seconds, go poo, and then go back to sleep, even sleeping through the nappy change. I would try to nurse him some more thinking, “OK, lets make the most of us getting up and being awake”, but Jack would only nibble a bit. As I said, I don’t mind nursing him but if that’s all he’s going to do, then I think it’s more worthwhile for me to sleep and be better rested to take care of him and Joe in the morning.
So, how is nursing going at the 2 week mark? Much better than it was when I was nursing Joe. I don’t have the anxiety about Jack waking up and needing to eat that I did with Joe. With Joe, he would start to grizzle and my adrenaline would shoot through the roof. I’d be instantly awake and just lay there, thinking, “Oh no – he’s going to want to eat again!” It was that painful.
This time around, however, it doesn’t bother me so much when Jack wakes in the night and wants to nurse. It’s still a little sore but nothing like with Joe. I’m very thankful for that. I’ve even been able to stop using the lanolin cream and the skin is still intact.
Jack is getting more alert with every passing day. He’ll follow us around with his whole head turning in our direction when he hears our voices.
We’ve been on several walks, a few bus rides, and even made it to church on Sunday. I was happy that not once, but twice this week I got both boys and myself out the door by 9:30am. We are all fully dressed, teeth brushed, shoes in place, hair and make-up done (for me, not the boys!) and even remembered snacks and drinks.
Me, Jack (in baby carrier), and Joe (in stroller) on our way to Ponsonby Library
Gorgeous weather – so thankful for sunny days without rain now that winter has arrived
Auckland Harbour Bridge waaaaay in the background
Jack’s umbilical cord fell off this past week. We also received his NZ birth certificate in the mail on Saturday, today (I’m posting a day late). And on the NZ birth certificate in black and white? “New Zealand Citizen by Birth: Yes” – reading that gave me a little chill. We weren’t able to get NZ citizenship for Joe and when it came time to either renew our 2 year visas or apply for residency, we debated. Should we apply for residency even though (a) I wasn’t pregnant at that time and (b) we were likely moving back to the USA?
We decided to go ahead with it, even knowing that it would mean that 1 child had dual citizenship while the other didn’t. I wondered if Joe would feel left out, but then I said to Chris that I hope that our children want the best for one another and that Joe wouldn’t be resentful of Jack for taking advantage of this opportunity, but would rather feel sad if he knew that we could have gotten Jack dual citizenship but didn’t for his sake. If Joe wants to purse moving to and living in New Zealand or some other country once he is older, we will most certainly support him in that in any way that we can.
Jack and Joe
These two are growing a little bit closer every day, though I’m not sure that Jack is aware of it! Joe loves to hold Jack and will ask, “Hold Jack? Kiss Jack?” Whenever Joe leaves with his daddy for a trip to the park or a walk or what have you, Joe will always say, “Bye Momma, bye Jack!” It’s so sweet. Joe will also rock Jack in his bouncinette seat, though I have to remind him to be gentle and to not bounce Jack too hard.
Postpartum Fitness and Health
I’m still at 7 1/2 pounds to lose before being back to my pregnancy weight, so no loss but, then again, no gain!
I have kept up with doing squats and planks in the house and was able to do some stairs this week (our apartment is on the 10th floor of our building), but my exercising is limited both by Jack and Joe. My sister-in-law, Lynette, has sent me a PDF of a book that she’s been working on. The book contains all sorts of postpartum “Mommy and Me” exercises, complete with full descriptions and photos. Lynette taught classes for new mothers out of one of the hospitals in Wisconsin for several years and I’m grateful to her for sharing this information with me. I printed it out and have had the opportunity to do a few of them this week and then went through almost all of them today. They’re nice, because not only can I do all of them with Jack but there are several that I can do while holding Joe, and Joe of course loves to try to do them with me.
Still, I know that any real change won’t come about until I’m able to do some more intense exercising, which likely won’t be until we’re back stateside and I’m able to enroll in a gym.
Other Odds and Ends
I’m going to admit it – I’m worried. I know that I shouldn’t worry (Matthew 6: 28 – 34) but I am concerned about getting all of our paperwork together in time for our departure on the 18th of June.
We had an appointment for the US Consulate on May 9th and everything was going smoothly – we had Jack’s passport photos and all of his paperwork was completed, we had our necessary original documents (US passports for Chris and I, our birth certificates, our marriage certificate, etc.). I saw that the NZ Births, Marriages, and Deaths office had charged us for Jack’s NZ birth certificate so I knew that it was on the way, it just needed to arrive in time for the appointment and all would be well. Based on when I thought that the registration and application had been sent, it should have arrived in time.
Except, Chris and I had a miscommunication about when it was sent :-/ I thought it was mailed on a Friday, so I was basing all of my time-frames on that. Turns out it didn’t get mailed until Wednesday the following week. Unfortunate, because the birth certificate didn’t arrive until Saturday… 2 days after our US Consulate appointment. By then, the next available open appointment wasn’t till the 10th of June… 6 business days before our departure from New Zealand.
I’ve been told that it only takes a week to get your US passport here in NZ. I can’t recall how long it took when we got Joe’s. Still, 6 days is pushing it. So, if you think about it and you’re the praying type, please pray that we can get an earlier appointment. If nothing opens up by the end of May, I plan on calling the US Consulate and explaining our situation. I may call sooner. We’ll see.
In the meantime, we’ve sent off the application for his NZ passport. We were waiting to send this until after the US Consulate appointment because our original marriage certificate is required for both passports. The thought was “Do the US appointment, show them the original documents, then mail in the certificate when we apply for his NZ passport”. When we had to cancel the appointment, we sent his NZ passport application and the marriage certificate via overnight mail down to Wellington. Supposedly it only takes 10 business days to get the NZ passport, perhaps less, so even if an appointment opens up at the US Consulate I won’t be able to take one that’s any earlier than the 27th or the 28th of May.
The thing that really kills me in all of this? We had an appointment for the 30th of May but when I saw the appointment open up for this past Thursday, I thought it would be great to get it sorted sooner and so cancelled the later appointment for the earlier one, only to have cancel the earlier one and get one even later the appointment we had originally.
So, I’m trying not to worry but only succeeding for some of the time.
Another thing – this one is a good thing – we have been so blessed by our friends here in New Zealand. My friend Brooke organised a meal roster for us through MealBaby.com and the meals started last week. At first, I felt a bit guilty having people bring us meals and thought that it wasn’t really necessary. They started a week after Jack’s due date because I had enough food in the fridge and freezer and ready-made meals on standby that we didn’t need them until then. We had done pretty well that first week so I thought that the 2nd week and the weeks thereafter would be even easier.
Ha! This second week has been harder than the first, emotionally speaking. I’ve also been a bit more tired and felt like the lack of sleep is catching up with me. I have definitely appreciated those meals, even more than I would have the first week after Jack’s birth. We are so thankful for our friends, many of whom I’ve met through this blog and through our church. If you know a pregnant woman and are wondering what you can do for her, then take my suggestion: bring her a meal! Organize a meal sign-up for her! Even if it’s just a gift certificate for food delivery, trust me – she will appreciate it more than you know.