Friday, September 25, 2009

One Month Old Today!

I can hardly believe that Noah has been with us a month. Sometimes time seems to fly and other times, I feel like I cannot remember life before him. I'm starting to understand what my good friend Sherry means when she says "the nights are long, but the years are short." I hope they won't be. Either way, I know I'll treasure every single moment... even those where the crying is incessant or I'm so tired I can barely stay awake to feed him...

It has certainly been an eventful first month for baby Noah. The last few weeks were especially hectic for him. Suffice it to say that he has been to the pediatrician at least once a week every week since he was born, and yesterday he had to go for an ultrasound to rule out pyloric stenosis, a disorder which would have made surgery necessary had he tested positive. Fortunately, he didn't, but he continues to struggle with his tummy, which seems to be bothering him quite a bit. Poor little guy. I'm hopeful that by adopting a strict diet, I can help him feel better quickly. He has been crying a lot lately for no apparent reason and it's just been so hard to watch him seem so uncomfortable. At the pediatrician's office earlier this week, he cried real tears. It was heartbreaking. Fortunately, Noah is usually a very happy baby. Michael and I have certainly done the best we could do to keep him that way!

Over the past 4 weeks and 3 days my little baby has had some significant growth. It will not surprise you to learn that he is in the 75th percentile for height for his age. (Certinaly not something he got from his mommy!) Here are his weight stats:
Birth: 7lbs, 6oz
1 Week: under 7lbs
2 Weeks: 7lbs, 12 oz
3 Weeks: 8lbs, 12 oz
4 Weeks: 9lbs, 10 oz

He is a very long and skinny baby but for all his growth, he is still a little peanut!

It's amazing to watch him grow everyday. Everyday he becomes more alert, his eyes are more focused and he learns more about how to use his hands. It amazes me to think of where he'll be at in another month. I hope it doesn't fly as fast as the first...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Noah's First Bath!

This weekend, my sister and her fiance came all the way from New York to see Noah and take part in one of his first milestones: his first bath! Given that my family lives so far away, it was really important to me that we "save" one of Noah's firsts for a time when they could be here. It was well worth the wait. So far, as shown in the pictures posted last week, Noah has not enjoyed being wet. He absolutely hates sponge baths and sadly, he has needed many as he now regularly pees as soon as his diaper is unfastened. (We are going through about 4 outfits a day so hopefully my reflexes improve quickly and/or I find a way to stop him from soaking himself instantly). Now that my sister has visited, I know that it's not just me that Noah does this to, as he did this every time Christine changed him as well. So far, Noah has been very kind to his daddy and has not yet put his reflexes (or patience!) to the test as he has mine!

Aside from the fact that I wanted my family to share in one of Noah's milestones, I also had another motivation. My sister, Christine, is a pediatric nurse, and so, I just assumed that she would know more about how to bathe a baby than I would. Long story short: it took four of us (Michael, Christine, Anthony and me) to give Noah a bath and not one of us knew what exactly we were doing or supposed to be doing! Areas where we struggled: getting the water the right temperature, getting the excess water out of the tub, figuring out how much water belonged in the tub, holding him up in the tub, using the right amount of soap, keeping the soap from getting where it did not belong, rinsing him off... need I continue?

To begin with, the four of us crowded into Noah's bathroom and ran the hot water in the sinks and tub to steam up the room. Then we had to figure out where to change and undress him. A towel on the floor over Noah's rug seemed to be the only logical place. Noah, of course, did not appreciate being undressed. It's one of his least favorite things in life. Anthony had been saying up until that point that he had not yet seen Noah cry (or turn himself into a "killer tomato," as I call him when he gets truly hysterical). Within seconds of undressing him, Noah did not disappoint and showed Anthony and my sister the full extent of his lung capacity. Noah did not fully show how much like a tomato he can appear until Christine attempted to dry his ears after his bath... He was not a happy boy.

Fortunately, Noah didn't seem to notice that none of us really had a clue as to what we were doing... He slipped easily into the tub and seemed extremely relaxed. He even looked at himself in the mirror -- something Michael has been teaching him to do this past week and something that generally calms him down when he is fussy. He did not cry once during his bath and even briefly fell asleep in the warm water... If only the aftermath of bathtime (as illustrated above) had gone as smoothly, it would have been a better night for my precious little one.

Noah getting his first bath! (video)

After it was all over, we dressed Noah in one of the new outfits his Aunt Christine and Uncle Tony bought him (his puppy pants!) and I allowed Noah to nurse away his sorrows. He had a very good night sleep afterwards. It may be a while before we attempt to give him a full bath again but at least now we know he likes it -- and that we have a lot to learn! :) Next time, I will be ready!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

2 Weeks Old Today

"Has it really been two weeks already?!"

Today, 09/08/09 was Noah's original due date... and on this date, he is exactly 2 weeks old... which means, I had to bring him in to the pediatrician for his 2 week check-up this morning. It was a daunting task, as I am technically not supposed to be driving yet on account of my stitches, nor am I supposed to be going up and down the stairs, let alone doing so while carrying Noah in his car seat! Today, I did all of these things without too much difficulty, albeit a fair amount of pain. A mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do! Noah was none to happy about it and cried from the moment we got into the exam room until the moment we left. Fortunately, they did not give him any shots or take any blood from his tiny feet. I was very nervous bringing him all by myself given that these were real possibilities... Just stripping him down to his diaper proved difficult as he threw an absolute fit the moment the first snap on his onesie came undone... He was not a happy boy... :(

To back up a bit, this past weekend, Michael and I did get around to doing a lot of what we planned to do. We put Noah in his swing for the first time and assembled a few other items he'll hopefully soon enjoy. He really seemed to like the swing. In fact, he is in it right now with his little slate eyes fixed on the window in front of him. As the days go by, Noah has more and more periods of being alert. Usually his mouth is in a perfect little "O" the entire time, as in the photo above.

Aside from introducing Noah to his swing, this weekend, we also introduced him to his stroller. On Sunday, Michael and I decided to take Noah for a little walk in our old neighborhood (South Riding). Though we're keeping Noah out of public places and restricting his contact with children until he reaches the 6-8 week mark, as recommended by our doctors, we figured that a little fresh air would be good for all of us. While we were on our way to South Riding, we got the call back from the pediatrician about Noah's worsening rash. (We had called on the advice of my sister, who is a pediatric nurse.) The pediatrician on call instructed us to take Noah to the Emergency Room immediately, as the rash might have been an infection. We were on our way to Fairfax's Pediatric ER when the doctor called back and asked us to send a picture to her. Once she saw it, she told us that we did not need to take him since I had an appointment scheduled for today and gave us instructions for how to care for him in the meantime. By the time we made it to South Riding, we were all so exhausted that we only walked halfway up the block and back before we headed home. My stitches, which seem to inexplicably get tighter and tighter without much notice, would not permit much more.

So today, I brought Noah in. The doctor told me that he thinks Noah's rash is the beginnings of cradle cap, but that otherwise he is doing great. He has gained some weight and now weighs in at 7lbs 12oz. He also grew a quarter of an inch. I'm very glad that he is growing but there is a small part of me that wishes I could keep him tiny forever. He is just the most precious thing I have ever seen!

All in all, the last two weeks have been very hectic. I find that I am just losing my days just trying to stay on schedule with changings and feedings and tidying up and doing Noah's laundry, which there has been an increasing abundance of since Noah recently decided that he'd pee everytime I am about to put a clean diaper on him. (I am still getting the hang of all this!) It seems that I get nothing else done apart from caring for him, but hopefully it will get easier and soon I can start working on my school projects... Time seems to be flying, while at the same time the nights seem to drag on forever, as I try to get in what little sleep Noah will allow me to get. "It really does get easier." That is what I'm told. I really hope so... In the meantime, I just focus on what a little blessing our baby is and that sustains me... I love him so much!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Quick Update

Serves me right for posting a blog a few days ago about what a good schedule we had Noah on! That very night, after having written that entry, Noah decided to spend the whole night crying and demanding to be fed every hour and a half. That has continued ever since. I suppose it might take a while to have a schedule that sticks... We are surely being taught patience.

Aside from Noah's nighttime irritability, we had a good scare a few nights ago when one of my OBs insisted that I go to the Emergency Room for what she thought was an infection in my incision... as well a case of early mastitis that has been extremely painful. Fortunately, the doctor was wrong about the incision and it seems that the underlying problem is a build-up of scar tissue from where the catheter was inserted into my incision for pain control while I was hospitalized. That is a relief but it gave us quite a scare, especially because an infection would have meant that I'd have to have my incision reopened... something that would not have been fun. Fortunately, my family was in town and they were able to watch Noah while M and I spent the night in the ER. Poor Michael had worked all day long and then sat with me all night long before we came home to Noah who had no interest in sleeping for the few precious hours M had left before his next day of work. It didn't help that we had to drive all over Northern Virginia looking for a 24-hour pharmacy to fill my prescription either... or that M had to fix a flat tire after 3:00AM so that my family could make the drive to New York the next morning. Needless to say it has been a rough few days. Rest has become a fond memory for me though we do get bits and bursts of sleep while we can.

For all his nighttime shenanigans, Noah could not be a more wonderful baby. He is just such a little joy, I can't get mad, though it's certainly hard to keep frustration from creeping in during those late hours. When he grins in his sleep and makes his sweet cooing noises, I just feel nothing but blessed, even at 4:30 in the morning when I have finally fallen alseep and he has lost his pacifier for the 99th time!

Michael finally has a couple of days off from work and I am really looking forward to us having some time to spend together as a family -- not sleeping! Truth be told, these last few days, M and I have spent nearly all of our time together trying to get in quick naps while Noah is asleep. This weekend, aside from getting in some rest, we will hopefully be able to put Noah in his swing and bouncy seat for the first time as well as finish up the nursery. I am so looking forward to it and can't wait to post pictures!

As for the sleep positioner, Noah is still finding a way to turn himself during the night -- but fortunatley, not onto his belly, which is what we are trying to prevent. Today when I removed his blanket, this is what I found. He is a strong little boy. He has also, on multiple occaisions, kicked his way entirely out of the sleep positioner. I'm going to have to get creative to figure out a way to stop him from doing that again.

Well... just thought I'd post a quick update and a few new photos. This one is by far my favorite! What a little doll, our baby boy is! I just can't get over it...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

One Week Old Today!

Yesterday, I put Noah down for a nap between feedings. As instructed by the doctors, I put him, as I always do, on his back. After a few minutes, I heard him make a very adorable sound in the bassinet. I looked upon him and this is what I found. Small as he is, our little guy is very strong! Needless to say, Noah now sleeps with the sleep positioner his Aunt Christine bought him. Let's see him try to wiggle his way out of that one. (I'd rather not see that actually!)

Today, Noah is officially one week old! This week has seemed like one of the longest of my life and it's been so wonderful. Noah seems to get cuter by the day and all his puffiness and redness from birth are all but gone. His newborn rash may still need a little time but it's not a big deal. He is now on a great schedule and doesn't cry to be fed or changed because it's all being taken care of before he has a chance to. (A two-hour feeding schedule, I must say, is ROUGH, but it's working out so well for our baby!) I still cannot stop staring at his little face. I am so in awe of how perfect and beautiful he is. I took this little video of him just being himself today and couldn't wait to post it. I'm just fascinated with what Michael and I have made by God's Grace :)

I know everyone says this but I really do have the most wonderful husband a new mom could ask for. I cannot express what a help Michael has been to me during this last week when so much in our life together has changed. He has been such a trooper about staying up with me all night long to feed and change Noah and help me to have everything I need to deal with the pain as I recover from my Cesarean. He has functioned in this last week on little to no sleep at all and has still had so much energy to hold and comfort Noah for hours every night.

On Saturday, Michael was injured at work, when he caught his hand in the running part of an engine, and spent the last half of the day in Urgent Care where he got stitches and a splint. When he got home, instead of taking a nap as I wished he would have, he offered to go to the Outlets with Vanessa to get some nursing apparel to help make this week easier for me. He and Nessa were gone for many hours. When they came back they presented me with what clothes they had bought as well as a gift (a wristlet) that they had bought at the Outlets. (I've been in need of something bigger for many months). I was so moved that Michael would spend his time shopping for me to try and make me happy when he desperately needed some rest for himself. A little while after I was done looking through what they'd bought, I noticed that Vanessa kept looking at the bassinet. I told her that she could pick up the baby if she wanted to. Michael said, "Why don't you hand him to her?" So I got up to get Noah. I pulled back the blanket and this is what I found.

In the box was a beautiful silver bracelet with a charm on it that says "Mom." Michael plans to get it engraved with Noah's name and birthdate and Vanessa plans to get me a charm with her name and birthday on it next time there is a holiday. Aside from going to the Outlets after his harrowing day, Michael had trekked all the way to Tyson's Corner to buy me this "push gift." I am an incredibly lucky girl. He had been working extra hard in the weeks before Noah's birth to save up and has not stopped working hard since in spite of the long hours he's stayed up with me and the baby. To top it all, Michael started his third semester of college on Monday. He'll now be in class one day and two nights a week in addition to working a full-time job. I was very sad yesterday waiting for him to come home, but fortunately his class let out early and he got home in time to eat the beautiful dinner our friend Kate had prepared for us. Tonight, he will not be getting home from work until after 8:00pm. I miss him terribly. :(

Fortunately, my family is visiting from New York and have been keeping me company. I have tried to get in as much sleep today as I possibly could so that I can try to stay up alone tonight and let Michael get the rest he'll need to get him through a full day of work and a night of classes tomorrow. I hope that will work.

Noah has had fun with his great grandma Nancy. Here is a picture of him making O's with his mouth -- one of his signature facial expressions that I just love! It has been so wonderful watching Noah getting to know her.

Anyway I will end this entry here as it's dragged on pretty long. Everyone warned me the first week would be the hardest. Admittedly, it has been trying. But I would not have traded a single moment of it -- not even when Noah peed at me last night because I wasn't keeping a proper lookout! (Fortunately he missed.) Yes girls, you did warn me!!

We are so blessed.