I seriously cannot believe my little man is already a month old on Thursday. How is it possible we have already been a family of four for a month? I really don’t know.
My boys. 2 y/o Julian in constant motion and baby Caleb, almost 1 month, waking up to eat.
Time dragged so slow when Julian was a tiny newborn. The days and nights faded together and in my exhaustion and overwhelm it felt like years before we made it to a month. And a huge accomplishment! But this time I’m left scratching my head at how we are already here.
The biggest challenge and adjustment we’ve had to make is with Julian. He’s amazing with Caleb. Better than I ever could have hoped. He asks to hold him on the boppy pillow a few times a day and loves to give him kisses and hugs. He “helps” me burp the baby and gets so excited to choose a new diaper for him during changes. During bathtime I pull a chair over to the sink and Julian helps me bathe the baby. I’m trying to involve him in as much as I can since he responds well to helping (even if its not really that much of a help sometimes).
On the flip side we are seeing our strong willed child digging his heels in even more when he feels strongly for or against something. He’s developed a fun and goofy jokester side that when we’re trying to get through to him and be serious he also uses to try and distract us from the matter at hand. Frustrating. He says “no” 95% of the time. His energy levels are sky high and between it being winter, all the flu and sicknesses around and being chained to the couch nursing a newborn we do not get out very often. By the end of the day that pent up energy explodes out of him as he runs circles around the house singing and yelling at the top of his lungs. He is so excited for his ” fun” dad to get home from work to play that its hard for Jeff and I to even have a conversation. I mean, probably all normal 2 year old stuff but I feel its been way exaggerated by the change in family dynamic.
Whenever the baby is sleeping I try to sit down with Julian for a few minutes to play or read and try to connect with him. It doesn’t always happen as I have cleaning, laundry, picking up and meal prep to do but I do try. I also try and have Caleb sleeping so I can focus on Julian solely during nap or bedtimes since those are quiet and sweet moments with him and I find them redeeming for both of us after a long and usually trying day.
Speaking of nap and bedtime, Jeff’s been helping out huge with both these routines. He does most nights and naps on weekends which is great because Caleb seems to want to eat at both these times no matter how I try to plan it.
Which brings me to Caleb’s schedule. We are on no type of schedule over here since he’s still only a month old. However, things seem to be happening a bit more organized than they ever were with Julian even in the first 6 months, which is promising to me. He typically wants to eat every 2.5-3 hours during the day although I wake him up if he’s not already awake. After i get him down at night for his last feed I just let him wake up on his own naturally and *praise be to god* he’s mostly slept in 3-4.5 hour stretches. Caleb only lost 5% of his birth weight in the hospital and less than a week later at his first pedi appointment he had already way surpassed it so I felt ok about letting him sleep and wake up on his own at night. Julian was up at least every two hours for months and months on end so I feel so grateful for this. I dont have that intense, all consuming tiredness that I did with Julian. On the other hand, I am also used to not sleeping through the night so I’m sure that helps a lot.
I am breastfeeding Caleb just like I did with Julian but I started pumping about 1.5 weeks postpartum, as soon as my engorgement died down, and Jeff’s been giving Caleb a bottle a day. We waited 3.5 weeks with Julian to introduce bottles of pumped milk and he never, ever, ever would take one so this time we said no waiting. So far so good! He drinks between 4-5 ounces out of the slowest flow bottle nipples and while it sounds like that’s a lot from the online research I’ve done he’s just not satisfied with anything less and he’s not spitting it back up. I still pump during those bottle feeds to keep my supply up and I’m building up a nice freezer stash which makes me feel good “just in case”.
Let’s see. As far as things with me go, physically I feel great. I honestly feel like I could jump back into exercising as early as last week but I just don’t have the time juggling the two boys. To my disappointment the weather has been either too cold or snowy or wet and rainy to get out and walk – downside of having a winter baby. Nap time really cuts into any good weather opportunities we have. I am missing being active and look forward to longer daylight hours and warm weather.
Mentally, of course, I am struggling with those lovely postpartum hormones. The smallest thing will make me cry. Even though I’m getting OK sleep I am still tired from being awake 1-2 times every night and I am finding my patience really lacking. Not to mention feeling stressed about how to give my attention to both boys. 😬 They both never fail to need me at precisely the same time, which is also when I am in the middle of something totally different. #momlife I guess.
Overall it feels so natural to be a family of four and things feel very settled with Caleb being here. This surprises me a little because one of my biggest thoughts being pregnant this time around was What is life going to be like? But it feels so normal!
I’m so excited to watch Caleb grow over the next 12 months – so many exciting things to come! Smiling, rolling, crawling, solids foods, maybe walking! But I am trying to remain present and soak in this newborn phase while I have it. His sleepy face, his newborn milk breath, the stretches and even the night wakings and his cries. I know it’s not going to last and soon I’ll be contending with another energetic busy two year old before I can blink.
Here’s to staying present.