Another week down with our baby boy! Overall theme of this week: figuring out a new normal with three kids, coming down off the highest of highs after birth, but still enjoying this transition as much as possible.
Nicknames: P-man, Porter-Port, Mister P, and I hate to even admit this one but it seems to be rolling off my tongue more and more these days....Porter-Poo. Truman even calls him that sometimes. Very manly, obviously.
Sleep: I considered skipping this weekly post just because last night was epically horrible in the sleep department. Like, the worst night he's had since his first horrible night at home. But whatever, I will mention last night and then focus on the other BETTER nights of last week to convince myself that last night was the fluke and he actually is a decent sleeper.
Last night he slept for a measly little 2 hour stretch, then 1 hour, and then he was awake for nearly THREE HOURS. Awful. He's had a few other nights in the past week when he refused to fall back to sleep after nursing but they've been rare, and usually he will throw me a bone and sleep for at least 3-4 hours at a time minimum. Not so much last night. He wasn't hysterical or anything but just would not settle down to sleep: lots of grunting, fidgeting, fussing around every time I placed him in the swing. I think he just wanted to party all night long after taking a few gigantic afternoon naps yesterday but I also kept wondering if he was just working on a poop, needed to be swaddled tighter, was super hungry despite nursing non-stop, uncomfortable in the swing, etc etc. So annoying to brainstorm ideas on how to 'fix' bad sleep when it's probably nothing fixable anyway. I cried the ugly cry at 4:30 am because I was just so freaking exhausted and didn't want to expend any more brain power on the situation. Low moment for sure and one of those nights when it seems like morning will never come and I will never sleep again. Here's hoping tonight is better. I already feel more stable mentally and can still see the light: I realize broken sleep is a temporary thing and we'll find our routine eventually. Would just really like these bad nights to be few and far between if possible!
USUALLY he sleeps like a boss at night, mostly waking up only twice around midnight and 3 am. Last week he boasted a few 5 hour stretches and commonly gave us 4-4.5 hour stretches. Sometimes 3 hours but hardly ever less than that. He will USUALLY fall back to sleep after nursing with just a few grunts here and there. Still sleeping in the MamaRoo 100% of the time that he isn't sleeping while being held. The swing is a freaking godsend and worth it's weight in gold around here. I'm back to our bedroom instead of sleeping in the family room with him but I swear, he really does sleep better on the main level versus our room. No idea why that is but may consider sleeping on the couch one night with Porter in the swing again---just to see if it's more restful for us all.
Daytime naps are all over the place but he will almost always sleep for a solid 2-3 hours in the morning, then will be awake for about 30 minutes or an hour, then naps on and off for the rest of the day. You just never know with this little two weeker!
Nursing: My buddy loves to nurse and since I'm feeding him on demand, sometimes he will eat almost every hour and other times he can go 3-4 hours as my boobs almost explode. It's usually both sides and he seems pretty efficient, only needing maybe 5-10 minutes each. He does this really cute thing when he's full and doesn't really want the MILK but still tries to latch on and suck anyway: he will snort around and halfway latch then pull off and get kind of mad that he even attempted to nurse. Because he's not hungry but wants to give it a try, I guess. I'm learning that when he does the weird half-latch-snort thing he just needs the pacifier for soothing and he'll be back for actual milk when he is ready.
Sometimes I think my letdown is too forceful for Porter as he will cough, pull off, and promptly get sprayed in the face by my big dog right side. I don't like listening to him frantically gulp while he tries to keep up with the milk but it's not every session and he doesn't seem to mind too much. He has had a few large spit up episodes but maybe only 3 times total. I haven't weighed him but I'm assuming he's gaining weight right on track and all is well with nursing. His size newborn diapers and also his NB clothes seem to be really tight already, and even fatty Truman wore NB clothes for about 3-4 weeks before upsizing to 0-3 months. I put Porter in a 0-3 onesie the other day and it fit surprisingly well, and a 3 month Carter's sleeper also fit just fine. Waaaaah, my baby is growing up! We are onto size 1 diapers, now as well. I guess it makes sense because he is likely over 9 pounds already being my biggest baby...but still! It feels nice to feed on demand and I'm not tracking how often we nurse during the day since it seems to be working itself out nicely without much of a plan/schedule. Definitely more relaxed about everything this third time around.
In his first 3 month romper.
I started pumping this week but only every-other-day so far, getting about 4 oz in 5 minutes right after feeding him. I just can't get myself geared up to truly begin this pumping journey although I know I want a hefty freezer stash by the end of my maternity leave. For both Truman and Cecelia I think I had 200-250oz stored up and those stashes were HUGE for me at the end of the year when I could stop pumping and just give the stored milk we had saved. I'll figure out the routine of pumping and nursing on maternity leave soon enough but I find myself a lot more laid back about it. If Porter is my first baby to need formula supplementation then so be it. I will not kill myself over the pump this time around, so help me God! Right now we are rocking the nursing relationship and hopefully that continues well beyond my return to work, hopefully making it to a year of nursing with him like I've done with the other babes. I sure do loooooove nursing this baby and wish I never had to pump!
Personality/Temperament: Porter is one chill little dude. When he is awake he likes to look around quietly and seems content to be left alone. On my first 12.5 hour day of parenting three kids alone (Wednesday), Porter even laid on a blanket in the playroom and watched Truman and CC while I made dinner in peace. WHAT? I know. That day was ridiculously long and exhausting but really all three kids treated me kindly and my beer tasted a little bit like heaven that night.
P loves to be worn in the Bjorn even more than the Moby. But his favorite is just being held by anyone at any time. My little cuddle bug;) His least favorite thing in life is the dreaded car seat. It's so horrifying to hear him scream until he nearly pukes that I have vowed to avoid the car seat over the next few days because I cannot handle the hysterics. All five of us went on a little shopping trip one evening and I wanted to die listening to Porter cry his face off the entire time. I physically cannot handle that type of crying, it makes me hot and sweaty and very anxious when it just won't stop and it sounds like he's being tortured. Luckily my mom is here for her SEVENTEEN DAY VISIT (!!!!!) and so she can stay back with Porter while I run the other kids around town if needed. Hoping the car seat hatred is a phase or at the very least, that he stops clawing his own face in defiance of being in the car. It's just dreadful and not worth it.
Firsts: First bath at day 10--major success, he loved it and didn't even cry! His cord is still attached so we had to keep his tummy dry but I was shocked at how content he was in the water. Both of my other kids hated baths at this age. Maybe it's the 4Moms Infant Tub that did the trick?
First long walk on day 13-- in the Bjorn while mommy pushed the big kids in the double BOB. Almost died hauling around 70+ pounds of kids along with the stroller but we made it to and from Starbucks in one piece. Totally worth it.
First trip to the pool on day 9--no pictures from that excursion, but he did great in the Moby and barely made a peep. Definitely will not be taking all three kids to the pool without another adult, though. Way too overwhelming to consider the logistics at this point.
After the pool, Porter's first trip to YoMama to watch us eat frozen yogurt;) He was alright missing out on the yummy goodness. Definitely a 'Holy cow, we have three kids' moment!
Comparisons: Here is a post from Truman's two week mark: apparently he had his first really horrible night of protesting sleep around this time, too. Hmmmmm. We were enjoying a few family walks, braved Target for the first time, and I was figuring out how to roll with the punches of having a newborn who was on his own schedule.
Cecelia's two week post reminded me that she haaaated her car seat around now, just like her baby brother. She also preferred to be held at all times (sounds familiar!), was just starting with her crazy projectile spit ups, her cord broke off on day 14, was sleeping 3-4 hour stretches at times, and didn't love her pacifier already. Oh, the foreshadowing for the bottle wars that would ensue with our girl.
All of my babies in their newborn glory.
Sibling love: Truman and Cecelia are still blowing us away with their love for baby brother. They both ask where he is immediately upon waking for the day, request to hold him, give him kisses and hugs, and want to help with diaper changes and pacifier placement. Both T and C seem to be adjusting really well without major behavior issues. CC still needs mommy a LOT more now than she used to and sometimes Truman gets a little naughty with his sister but overall it's going well for the big kids. When Truman says, 'I love my Porter, I'm so glad he's out,' I sort of want to cry. Totally agree, Truman!!
Things I never want to forget:
-His dramatic faces he'll make in his sleep. I love when he looks super scared, then he will grin, then he will gasp or sigh as if he's having a vivid dream that is both happy and sad. What on earth could you be scared of right now, Porter? Not getting the boob in the first five seconds of waking? God, I love milk drunk smiles so much. It's like a sneak peek to what his real smiles will be in a few more weeks.
-Seeing him root around in my general vicinity when he hears me talking. Like, 'Hey lady! I hear you. Feed me or I'll start sucking on my blanket/shirt/hand to show you I'm serious.'
He loves his family;)
-The way Nate looks at Porter with sheer pride. And/or watching Nate hold this tiny little baby that is sure to grow just as big as his daddy someday. Mind-blowing.
-Porter's smell. Cannot get enough of his baby head!
-Making eye contact with P even though I'm not sure he can really 'see' me yet. Everything is so big and stimulating and new to him in this big world---it's just crazy to think of all that he's taking in compared to being in the comforting, dark, relatively quiet womb.
-His pouty, milk blistered lips when he's sleeping. Total perfection.
-Just learning this baby and discovering what his cues mean. The weight of him in my arms. Getting into a new routine as a family of five and the newness of it all. Marveling that this child was inside of me two weeks ago----wondering how in the heck he fit in there!!??
What a difference a week makes! 40w2d and 1 week post partum.
What a week! Still going really well over here but the reality checks of car seat hatred and a few really awful nights of sleeping have brought me down a few notches from the 'high on life' mentality of last week. And yet, still so freaking happy to have this boy with us.