Saturday, January 14, 2012

Carter’s First Weeks

I know it’s been a while since I’ve blogged actual words about how we’re all doing over here in the Morris household.  The only things I’ve been able to post about are videos and pictures.  Well, Justin and I are in bed, it’s 9:15pm and we’re actually waiting for Carter to wake up to get his feeding, so while I’m waiting, I figured I’d go ahead and post about a few things and put up a couple of pictures.

First off, the first several days home were VERY rough.  The day we got discharged from the hospital, we found out that Carter had a heightened level of jaundice.  Instead of keeping him in the hospital, they sent us home with a nurse from a company that provides in home photo therapy for jaundice for newborns.  The second we got home the nurse met us at the house.


This is Carter on his way home.  Carter was born with VERY long nails and he managed to scratch up his face significantly before we ever even got discharged, as you can tell by this picture.

So when the nurse met us at home, she gave us a little contraption to put in Carter’s bed.  It was like a baby tanning bed.  The lights helped to knock out the jaundice so he had to lay in this “baby tanning bed” all day and night and the only time he could come out of it was during feedings, diaper changes, or baths.  This meant that anytime he was upset and crying, we couldn’t take him out to console him.  We were supposed to just leave him there.  Like I said, worst four days of my life.  This is what the “baby tanning bed” looked like:


The little outfit he’s wearing is actually attached to the bed and he is in this contraption with a diaper on only so that the lights are hitting directly onto his skin.  This also meant that he woke up SWEATING during the night.  I really just wish they would have kept us at the hospital.  Even if I was discharged and he wasn’t….I’d rather him be comfortable than have to deal with that!  But after four days, his jaundice numbers went down and we were finally able to have the nurses get that ridiculous bed out of our home so our baby boy could sleep in his own bed.

I truly believe that the intenseness of Carter’s experience in his last day in the hospital (his newborn screening, multiple blood tests for jaundice AND his circumcision were all done on the day of discharge instead of being spread out like they should have been) on top of four days on this horrible light device affected his sleeping.  Carter hasn’t been the best sleeper the past two weeks, but it’s something we’re trying to work through now and we’re getting much better.  Previously, Carter would only sleep anywhere from 10-12 hours a day when he should be sleeping more like 15-18, like most newborns.  Justin and I even decided to feed him formula at his night feedings because he slept more hours off of formula than he would off of breastmilk. 

We had to call our pediatrician to make an appointment to talk to him about the lack of sleep Carter was having.  He gave us a different kind of formula to try which we are using now and it seems to be working incredibly!  I am still breastfeeding during the day though and pumping when Carter gets formula at night.  At 2 1/2 weeks, Carter feeds about 8-10 feedings a day, he has about 6-8 wet diapers and 4-6 poopy diapers a day, and we’re working our way up into the 13 and 14 hours of sleep a day range.  This week I started a strict feed, wake, sleep schedule that Babywise and my pediatrician suggested and so far it’s working out for us.  We’re having issues getting to sleep after waketime though.  I’ve gotten to where I put him down and he’ll cry but I just walk away and let him cry it out.  Usually after about 5-10 minutes, he’s fast asleep. 

As far as weight goes, I was so worried about whether or not he was getting enough milk from me when I was breastfeeding because unfortunately, you can’t measure how much he’s getting like you can when you feed formula.  So on Monday the 9th, Justin and I took him to the lactation department of Saint Vincent’s to have him weighed to see if he had gone back up to his birth weight.  Carter was born at 7lbs, 11oz.  When we were discharged, he went down to 7lbs, 4oz.  This is completely normal, however.  When the nurses came to our house daily to check his jaundice levels, they also weighed him.   He stayed at 7lbs, 4oz for the first 3 of those four days.  Finally on the 4th day, he was up to 7lbs, 4.5oz.  A very small increase, but an increase nonetheless.  When we went to lactation on the 9th, he weighed 8lbs, 1oz.  I was so excited!!!  Not only had he gone back up to his original birth weight, but he had surpassed it, which meant he was getting plenty of milk from momma!!  Wednesday the 11th was the day we went to the pediatrician and he also weighed him and at that appointment he weighed 8lbs, 6oz.  Holy cow!  He gained 5oz in just two days!!  We may have a little porker on our hands!

So basically, at 2 1/2 weeks, we’re doing much better than we were at 1 1/2 weeks.  He’s learned to fall asleep at the right times, even though every now and again he’ll give us a hard time and won’t go back down once we give him a night feeding.  On average, Justin and I get probably 5-6 hours of sleep broken up into three different increments.  This sounds bad, but it is much better than the 1 hour and 45 minutes of sleep we got the first week.  Also, Carter was originally sleeping in a co-sleeper that attaches to our bed, however, after a week of sleeping in the same room, mom and dad decided that little man needed to be kicked to the living room.  Our son makes SO MUCH NOISE when he sleeps.  He sleeps just fine, but during his sleep he grunts, snorts, snores and makes all kinds of noises.  This keeps me and Justin awake even though Carter is technically sleeping soundly.  So he now sleeps in a bassinet that goes in his pack n’ play in the living room.  We have a video monitor on him so we can hear and see him whenever we want. 

Another interesting tidbit, when Carter sleeps, if he is having a good dream, he will smile.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing this smile.  On even rarer occasions, he will literally laugh out loud.  Seeing the corners of his mouth raise that much to see him laugh when he is completely unconscious makes my heart melt.  It makes me feel like he’s happy.  I haven’t been able to get a picture of this, but when we did his newborn photos with Lindsey in Tuscaloosa, she was able to get a GREAT picture of this laugh while he was sleeping during the shoot.  I can’t wait to see this picture when she’s done editing!!

Ok so that’s about what’s going on with us.  Here’s a few more pictures of Carter’s first two weeks.  I wish I had more, but I can’t even explain that my time is not my own.  I’m so busy watching Carter and playing slave to his feed, wake, sleep schedule, that I rarely have time to take pictures.  I have to get better at that!


I actually didn’t take this picture.  I think that either my mother or my sister did when they came over one day. 


This is one of Carter’s waketime activities.  He usually does this midmorning when mommy takes a shower and dries her hair and gets ready for the day, hence why it’s in the bathroom floor.


As much as I wish I could say this was his first bath, it wasn’t.  It was more like his third.  I actually didn’t even give him his first bath.  Justin and his mom did.  I was napping when they did that and I wasn’t able to get a picture.


Loving bathtime with daddy


The question we probably get the most is how is the Giz taking it all.  Well, she’s taking it pretty well actually.  At first she was really confused as to what Carter was and how long he was planning on staying with us.  But I think she’s realized that he’s here for good.  She always comes running to him when she hears him cry and sometimes she’ll even cry when he cries.  She’s very protective. 

So that’s where we’re at right now.  Please pray for Carter to continue learning how to fall asleep on his own and how to stay asleep for mom and dad’s sanity.  Also, pray for our patience as well.  I know we’re not the only parents out there that struggle with the lack of sleep and late nights when a baby won’t go down to sleep, so we need patience on our side.

And here’s our family Christmas picture to end this post:


Oh and a fun side note for me….I’ve lost 26 pounds in 2 1/2 weeks.  I feel so much better!!  Only 10 pounds of pregnancy weight left, but I really want to lose 14-16 more.  Once I hit three weeks post partum, which is next Wednesday, I plan to steadily increase my activity.  I will start off with just walking around the neighborhood or at the gym and then build up to elliptical and stair master use until I can finally start running and doing P90X routines at 6 weeks.  Hopefully the 14 will drop off before I know it!