Tuesday, July 30, 2013

First Month at Home with August

Let's do this as a list; my mind is too mushy to form entire paragraphs!

1.  The first few days home with August, JP and I were a mess.  We were up at every coo, arm movement, and burp.  I know this is totally normal for first-time parents, and am really not worried at this point about spoiling him with too much holding or attentiveness.  That being said, our sleep cycles were pretty much nonexistent the first week.
Now, a month later, I feel more comfortable with the noises he makes; a little grunt at night probably just means he's adjusting or trying to pass a little gas, so no need to get up immediately.  We're lucky in that, so far, August just cries when he needs something from us or is getting a diaper change.  When he does get legitimately fussy...

2. ...JP and I are firm believers in Dr. Harvey Karp's 5 S's for calming a baby.  A friend gifted us The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD, which we studied before August got here, and it has been truly amazing to see in action.  We practiced swaddling on stuffed animals to prep, and can testify to its effectiveness!

3. We've kept track of his diapers, nursing times, and night feedings through the Baby Connect app on iTunes.  It's amazing, as my visiting family members will attest.  It syncs between my and JP's phone, so we're both updated on August's busy schedule of pooping and eating, and organizes everything into tables.  You can check it out above, and, if you're a parent-to-be, I highly recommend downloading this.  It's a lifesaver!

4. If you are a woman who is nursing/has nursed, or a man who has watched a woman breastfeed, you know that requires a lot of nourishment.  I've consumed a lot of food and liquids while feeding August, and have started a list of foods that have been dropped on him during our 'meals.'  This list includes: tempeh taco filling, a square of honeydew, lactation cookie crumbs, and drops of ice cream.

5. A tip for new parents: clear memory space on your phone or camera.  When that baby pops out, he will be the only thing you take pictures of for at least a month.

6. One of the most nerve-wracking things to do is bathe a little baby.  The first time JP and I did it, I was sweating at the end, even though it was over in less than 8 minutes.  August was so little (less than 6 lbs when he came home from the hospital!) and squirmy, and we were so afraid of getting water on his umbilical cord, in his ears, or him slipping out of our arms.  Now, a month later, he gets a bath pretty much every night, and we've got it down to a really manageable routine.  It's totally worth it for that 'clean baby' scent!

7. I love holding August.  Having that little head fall against my collarbone and nuzzle into my neck has to be one of the greatest joys imaginable.  I don't want him to outgrow it!
Equally sweet is seeing the people I love holding this little bundle of cuteness; he's definitely a cuddle bug!

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Basics about August

I'm so excited to have a little 'baby week' here on The Lovely Prelude.  We'll start with some info about August, move onto what's been surprising about the first month with a baby, and close it out with the whole story about our 31-day-early delivery.  Fun stuff!

What's in a name?
While I was pregnant, JP and I had an ongoing list of names in consideration for our baby.  Unfortunately, I'd been told that 'The Churro' was inappropriate for an actual child, so we had to start from scratch.  Because of JP's Spanish heritage, we knew the name should be easy to pronounce and sound the same in both our languages, which knocked out some of my favorites (Thaddeus was high up there).  We've also had 'Augustine' picked out as a middle name since March; how could we not show some appreciation for the city that brought us together?  If not for St. Augustine, FL, this whole saga would never have started!

I kept telling JP that we would decide on the name while I was in labor, anticipating the standard 18-hour delivery time for a first-time mom.  "It'll give us something to do," was my mantra.  Well, my delivery time was significantly shorter than expected, and we had NO time to discuss a name while I was pushing in the labor room.  Our son was born first name-less!
When we got to our recovery room, we couldn't stop looking at our blank slate of a baby.  Our children will grow up with the Diego last name, so JP's family is honored in that way, and we loved the idea of representing both of our families.  David, my dad's name (and his dad's), goes just perfectly with Augustine.  We decided on the name when August was 5 hours old.
Oh, and David means, 'dearly loved,' while Augustine is, 'majestic dignity.'  Pretty awesome combination.

Why did he come early?  Is he really a premie?
My doctors insisted that there was no reason for him to deliver early; he just did.  Even though he is a generally healthy baby with all his fingers, toes, and major organs accounted for, August was born with a pretty low birth weight compared to other babies born full-term (the royal baby was over 2 pounds heavier than our kid).  He was 4.5 weeks early, so his sucking/latching skills for breastfeeding weren't fully developed (we're pretty much okay now), and we had to take him in for some additional tests that most babies don't have to do.
I haven't had my 6-week post-partum check-up yet, so maybe there will be more info then.  Despite tons of research into the topic, there's actually no agreed-upon reason for babies to be born when they are.  Only 5% of us are born on our scheduled due date, so August is definitely in the majority with this one!

How is Mia doing with a baby in the house?
Goodness, this dog is in love with August.  She is a protective and concerned older sister, sticking close to him when he cries, trying to clean his feet with her tongue (we do our best to dissuade it), and watching us closely when he's getting a diaper change.  The first week with both the baby and Mia at home was really stressful; she's not used to babies, and he wasn't used to, well, anything.  Now, one month in, Mia and August are both doing really well.  Mia has calmed down a bit, and isn't quite as up in his business.  We're all adapting pretty well!

So, how is August?  Does he do anything other than sleep?  
Contrary to popular belief (I'm looking at you, Aunt Nesi and Grandma in North Carolina!), August does have his moments of alertness!  He's definitely awake more now than he was at just a few days old, which gives us more opportunities for tummy time (which wears him out- see below), singing little songs, and 'chatting' with him.

At one month old, he likes having his hair washed, napping (obviously), laying tummyside-down on our chests, and eating.  He does not like diaper and outfit changes.  
He's a pretty good sleeper and isn't super fussy unless there's a reason (dirty diaper, gassy, hungry).  Right now, we're nursing on demand, which means about 5 hours of me feeding him throughout the day, and one or two feedings at night, depending on his 'schedule.'  I can't wait until he's a bit older so we can have a routine, even just at night.  I hear things get a bit calmer and easier to predict at 3 months, so we're 1/3 of the way there!

Does JP help out?
Seriously, I could not have asked for or created a better partner in all of this.  JP was made for fatherhood: loves kissing August's little cheeks, volunteers for skin-to-skin time with him, and takes over one of the night feedings.  Oh, and he's back to work (took a couple of weeks off to be present at home), but still finds time to visit August and I at home during lunch 3 days a week.  
Beyond how swoonworthy he is with our son, JP has been an amazing husband.  He's helped out in the kitchen, watched August so I can take a nap, and is unbelievably patient with my incessant baby talk.  Even during labor, he was encouraging and so sweet.  It's a cliche and probably obvious, but I'm even more proud to be his wife since we brought August home; I married a great man.  August and I (and Mia!) are lucky to be part of this family.  

Come back on Wednesday for more on our baby!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

David Augustine

You'll have to excuse the radio silence around TLP these past few days; I've been falling head over heels for our baby boy, who decided to come 31 days earlier than scheduled.  David Augustine was born Friday, June 28, at 6am after a very quick and surprise delivery.  August is absolutely wonderful, and John Paul and I couldn't love him more.
I'll be back here early next month, but am totally taking the rest of July off to get to know this kid better.  He has completely stolen my attention and heart.  xo