In the name of 'keeping it real' for you, dear readers, this post is going to contain complaints. A smidge of whininess. A veil of negativity. Because everything is NOT awesome at all times over here and I feel I owe it to you and to myself to write about the challenges and difficult moments we've been having, instead of just focusing on the happy stuff.
Porter turns eight weeks tomorrow and since I skipped his weekly post last week, I'll turn this sob-fest into an update about our boy.
(Siblings are still madly in love, we all are, really!)
Overall, Porter is still freaking awesome. He is smiling so much that it's almost too much to handle the cuteness. He might even be getting close to a chuckle here and there with all of those open mouthed grins he flashes our way. Oh, the validation that comes with a simple smile, assuring me that this child DOES actually like me a little bit.
Could you die?
We've been calling him so many ridiculous nicknames, but we just cannot stop the madness: Portie, Porter-P, Port, and P-man are all favorites around here. Cecelia will regularly ask 'Where Porter P?' and she tells strangers that is his name when they ask. Whoops. I sort of love it though. And doesn't he look like a 'Portie'???
One big change in the past week is that we all re-joined our gym and even put all three kids on the membership this time. Mister social has been awesome in the 'Kids Clubhouse' and seems to be the star of the show. Many of the workers in the baby area are grandmas and cannot get enough of Porter---so they do not mind to honor his request and hold him the entire time. I was worried he would scream during my workouts and they would have to come and get me, but so far that hasn't been the case. I'm only gone for about an hour or so and I have to time our feedings and diaper changes to happen right before we leave, so it's been fine in the five times I've gone so far. He usually doesn't sleep there but he does seem really happy and stimulated when I return, so that's a big event for this little man. Being watched by someone other than family? Check!
(hanging out at the duplex before dinner with the in-laws---such a sweet moment sitting on their porch with my boy, reminiscing about the days we spent with baby Truman here).
The only time he will really truly cry is when he is over-tired, hungry, or overstimulated. He still loves to be swaddled, sucking on the pacifier, and walking around with us. If he is particularly fussy, we will do all of those things OUTSIDE and he will usually calm down right away.
He also loves selfies, obvi.
His naps are all over the place and he is making it known that crib naps will not be met without a major fight. One day he DID sleep in the crib for 2 hours but that included one nursing session and one cuddling from mommy to make it through. Otherwise he will only sleep for 15 minutes in there and will be done, but obviously SO tired. He sleeps in the Ergo and in my arms like a charm though. Go figure. Really looking forward to a time when his naps are more scheduled because right now we have no idea if he will sleep for 15 minutes and be awake for 2 hours or vice versa. Still a newborn with this part of life, for sure!
A particularly awesome swaddle by me, right before he napped in the crib for 2 hours. Big time.
He's nursing well, usually every three hours or so during the day. Porter will make it obvious when he is full, by pulling off and squirming around, as if to say, 'That's enough of that, lady, do something else with me!'. Which is great because he seems to be old enough to actually interact with us a little more! I completely forgot about the play-yard we had in the attic, but I pulled it out last week and he loves staring up at his little friends as they frantically swing past his head (since his siblings cannot let him play ALONE, duh). P loves ceiling fans and will stare at them happily for some time if he's in the right mood, and I even caught him flashing his gummy grin at a ceiling fan the other day. Sweet boy just seems so happy. Most of the time.
The flip side is this: he still HATES his car seat and he's not sleeping the best anymore. Which means I'm pretty much emotionally spent after every trip we take in the van, hearing my baby scream so hard I think he might gag. And I'm sleep deprived, hence the negative veil over life right now. Here me out so we can move onto happier things: but the crappy stuff must also be recorded in the name or REALITY with a third baby.
The car seat thing is not totally new to us, since I remember Cecelia hating it, too. But her eight week post did not mention this horror anymore and it just seems like Porter is not getting even a teensy bit better with time. He seriously screams hysterically from about 5 minutes into the car ride until I pull him out once we've reached our destination: both of us sweating, he has scratched his face, tears rolling down his cheeks. It is just dreadful and seriously affects how we plan our days, obviously. I posted about this on IG and FB and got some really awesome ideas to try----like removing the infant insert, covering up the window since it seems like it's motion sickness (not mad until we are moving, not really mad when in the seat inside the stroller), using extreme white noise, and maybe even considering a convertible car seat. I mean, he has fallen asleep ONE TIME EVER so far, so it's not like I would miss the ease of moving him from place to place without interrupting a nap. I'm desperate here. This sucks.
(He really does hate it, swear)
Another thing that totally sucks? Sleep deprivation that slowly builds up to the point of mental instability. Porter used to be a great sleeper, frequently stretching 4-5 hours at a time, with 1-2 wake ups per night. I figured it wouldn't last and it hasn't, because in the past week it's just gotten so....sloppy around here. Last weekend I started putting Porter in his crib at night, inside the Boppy for a little elevation that he seems to like. I started to miss the kid-free 'unwinding' hours after bedtime, because I was holding him while he slept in the evening and then carrying him upstairs when I went to bed myself. So therefore, I started placing him in the Boppy in the crib instead of just holding him after the big kids went to bed. It is really nice to form some sort of bedtime routine with all of the kids and the unwinding from 8-10pm is truly magical.
He will usually sleep for about 4 hours in the crib, which takes us to 11-12am. Not bad. But I've also started nursing him in the glider and attempting to replace him in the boppy/crib without luck. Usually I will fall asleep sitting upright in the rocker and now my neck and back are all jacked up. If I do remain awake despite the incredibly sleepy nursing sessions, Porter will either snap his eyes open immediately upon being laid in the Boppy or he will sleep for an hour MAX after that first wake up. Last night he was awake five times total, and nearly every hour from 3-6 am. If I cave and just take the kid into our bed with us (gasp, I know!!) he isn't the best at nursing side lying so constantly having my boob out for a non-stop milk sesh doesn't really work either. Sitting up in bed to nurse = jacked back and accidentally falling asleep again.
As I type this, I have him in the nursery in the swing to see if that works for bedtime like it did when he was just a few weeks old. Aaaaannnnd 50 minutes into sleeping in the swing he was crying and wanted to eat. Awesome. It's not even 9:00 yet but my baby has already woken up once for the night, so we aren't even getting a good stretch at first now. Blech. Maybe it's a growth spurt? I like to blame everything on those.
(update: he did sleep from 9-2am after that first wake up, which is awesome! Then was awake to eat again at 4, 5, and 6. Meh.)
My life blood:
I'm with you, P.
So basically, it's been about a week of this nonsense when I'm so tired at night I don't even know how many times we've nursed. Waking up at 11 or 12 for the first time, and then 1-2 hours thereafter isn't the WORST but holy hell, it's pretty bad. It all adds up over the days, too, and starts accumulating this giant black cloud over my head that makes me think, 'This is awful, I'm a horrible mom, my kids obviously all hate me and won't listen to me EVER.' Really productive thoughts, I know, but I'm sure many of you out there can relate to the nightmare of sleep deprivation. I've been here many times with the other kids and hope we figure something out with Porter soon. I realize he is only eight weeks old which is why I feel so torn between 'must be strict with a schedule and get our lives back on track' and 'he's too little anyway, just do what works and don't stress.' This is why it feels so sloppy and inconsistent because I am too tired to decide what to do, if anything, about this change in his sleep.
No, it's not the end of the world. Yes, newborns mean sleep deprivation and I knew this was coming. But still--I think the lack of sleep combined with a lot of other 'life factors' that I will not get into right now, make everything worse. I had another paragraph here full of complaints/anxieties not related to Porter but deleted it. Because really, life is good even when it's sort of murky and tiring.
Love watching the kids at night!
Writing this all out makes me realize that both the car seat and lack of sleep both show that Porter really just prefers to be held. If I could stand up and walk around with him all night he'd surely sleep like a charm. And if we were in the 1940s when people just held their babies in the car, he would be fantastic. Alas, no such luck. My little cuddle bug sure knows how to turn on the charm and MAKE me want to hold him at all times but it's just not feasible, little guy!
He really isn't so little anymore and mostly seem so LONG these days, but I have no idea what he weighs. I do know that reading Truman's eight week post makes Porter seems super skinny (though still bigger than Cecelia was) because T was a porker!! Porter is still in 3 month clothes but could definitely bump up to 3-6 soon because of his length. I love his chunky thighs and his super alert eyes that make him seem like a REAL baby now, and not so much of a newborn.
Also, I really love to dress him in stripes. And yes, the bowties were made by my mom and are freaking adorable. Nothing like dressing him to the nines on a random Tuesday 'just because.' Ha!
So really, besides all of that garbage up there about the car and sleep, things are good. I'm just tired and not in the best mental place because of it, but I know it will eventually get better. Because Porter is still the best and those smiles? They absolutely help with the crappy moments. He is such a sweet, happy baby and we all love him so much. Now only if he would sleep better at night and tolerate traveling by van....gotta have goals, I suppose!
Love you, Porter-P. You are the best.