Joaquín: One Month

Monday, April 26, 2010

And there it went: the first month with Joaquín. And yes, it definitely went by fast. I certainly could not have asked for a better first month. Joaquín certainly has his fussy times and tough times in the middle of the night, but that is certainly to be expected. However, for the most part, he just slept the first month away. Some days, I don't think that I saw his eyes open at all!

Since his last weigh in a couple of weeks ago, he has gained a ridiculous two and half pounds - now, at 11 pounds and 5 ounces. My doctor couldn't believe it so he weighed him twice. Apparently with my children, my doctor is always asking me what I am feeding them. I guess I produce some kind of breastmilk concentrate.

Compared to Sofia, Joaquín is one fast nurser. I remember with Sofia, every feeding would take at least an hour. After diapering, feeding her the instructed twenty minutes on each side, burping, and not to mention, the constant task of trying to wake Sofia to get to drink (blowing on her, stripping her down to her diaper, rubbing her hands and feet, tickling her, etc.), it would definitely be an hour. And she fed every two and half hours. With Joaquín, he's done feeding and burping in about twenty minutes. And he is fed about every three hours - although sometimes I have to wake him. I am really happy that less of my time is taken up with breastfeeding because with Sofia I felt like that was all I was ever doing. I already have one kid, and so I am happy that I do have more time between feedings to spend time with her, or accomplish other things around the house (which is often not very much).

Now, diapering is the real challenge! I am a lot better now, but the peeing everywhere takes some getting used to. One of the first days he was home, I was changing him in the livingroom, and he managed to pee himself in the face. First few weeks, we were going through four sleepers or more because I just couldn't find a way to keep him from peeing when I opened the diaper. Now, when I go to diaper him, I have the new diaper unfolded. I have the barrier cream uncovered. I have the extra paper towels torn off the roll. I have the wipes box open. And then race against time begins. But, even worse than the urine sprinkler is the massive amounts of poo that can come out of that butt. A RIVER OF POO flows out of him at times, and it won't stop. No diaper on earth can keep it from flowing everywhere. I have developed the technique of laying down layers and layers of paper towel to absorb it and now I am more successful than not at keeping his clothes unsoiled. Gee, boys are a lot harder than girls in this area.

Now that he has gained a significant amount of weight I have been looking forward to seeing how his sleeping patterns will change (i.e., SLEEPING THE NIGHT). For those without children, newborns feed around the clock without regard of day or night. Every three hours is every three hours whether the sun or the moon is out. Because their tummies are so small (about the size of a chickpea apparently), they can only hold so much "fuel". They need to refill often. But when they start to get enough calories during the day, they will not look for it during the night. And last night, I am pleased to announce, that he slept a stretch of six hours. I woke up deliriously happy. Think: since he was born, at night, all I have had are a series of naps. We'll see how he does tonight.

Randoms about Joaquín:

• He is a smiley kid. I realize that smiling at this very early stage is completely
involuntary, but when I look down and he is smiling after his nursing session, I can't help but feel happy too! The other morning, when he slept while I held him, he was laughing. Laughing like someone told him a joke. It'll be ironic if he grows up to be a grump.

• He has a wicked temper. I change his diaper before nursing time. I made the mistake a couple of times of not changing him before eating time and diaper overflowed. But this means a few more minutes before he gets to eat. He'll cry until he is purple from head to toe. He is the Incredible Hulk - just a different hue.

• Over the last few days he has started cooing. It is refreshing to hear his voice. It is nice to hear his voice in a form that is not delivered in a shriek.

So it has been a really nice month. I have had so much help from my parents, my husband and my sisters. Plus, Joaquín being the second time around does make it easier. Just the fact that I don't feel like they are going to break, or they are going to die, if I don't deal with a situation as swiftly or as correctly as possible, sure takes the pressure off, and eases the stress. I sure am still tired, but I haven't even come close to a middle-of-the-night breakdown, like I have had when Sofia was only a month old. It has been sure nice.

Joaquín: Two weeks

Saturday, April 10, 2010

joaquin awake, originally uploaded by kathy photo.

Joaquín turned two weeks old yesterday. Gonz said, that's all? He was convinced that he was already three weeks. Well, I guess when you're up at all times of the night, each day can feel a lot longer – or, you lose track of days passing. I have no idea what date it is any day.

Today we took Joaquín to the doctor's for his two week appointment. I was excited about this follow-up appointment 'cause, I guess, I love feedback, and so you can imagine how pleased I was to find out that he was now 8 pounds and 13 ounces, having gained 20 ounces in 12 days (since his last appointment with our doctor). Apparently, for newborns they're looking for them to gain at least one ounce per day. He gained almost double that! But really, it is a relief to me because he got sick on Saturday and was coughing and stuffy nosed for a few days after that.

We've been enjoying him over the last two weeks... even if he doesn't really do anything. I have A SON. What the heck?! It has been so nice to watch Sofia with him. She cares about him so, so, so much. First thing she wants to see in the morning is her brother, and the last thing she wants to do in the day is to give him a kiss goodnight. She gives him hugs and kisses regularly throughout the day, even if she is in the middle of doing something. She wants to share her food with him, whether it's a lollipop, almonds, ice's obviously difficult for her to understand that the poor boy will only be consuming milk for the next 6 months.

Speaking of which... gotta go!

Sofia makes up the answer

Monday, April 05, 2010

We often ask Sofia to recount her day to her grandparents. Here is today's outcome.

[me] Hey, Sofia! What did you have at McDonald's today?
[Sofia] I had E-I-E-I-O.

Joaquín Hugo

Joaquín Hugo, originally uploaded by kathy photo.

He is finally here. FINALLY!
Joaquín arrived on March 25, 2010 at 12:56 pm, at 7 pounds and 10 ounces. His due date was March 27, so he arrived two days early.

I managed to wrap up work without going into labour and leaving work unprepared. I left lots of instructions and notes for my replacement and so felt good going into my one week of vacation before my due date. Who knew, though, how much of that vacation I was going to get to enjoy. The baby could come at the end of the week, or on Monday when I start my vacation. He let me have three days.

Towards the end of my pregnancy I was really getting weary. Not really during the day, but at night, trying to get comfortable enough to sleep was hard. And with thoughts of perhaps going into labour while at the office, or somewhere else as equally awkward, stressing me out it didn't help with my shortage of sleep. And yet despite all of this, I was still hoping that he wouldn't arrive too early so that I could have a few days to enjoy with Sofia, and have some time for last preparations for his arrival.

On Wednesday at 10:15 am, I had a scheduled appointment at my OB's where he planned on doing an internal to determine what we'd do if it didn't look like the baby was coming anytime soon. Fortunately, he said I was on the brink of labour and performed a procedure that would help it along... even daring to say that labour may occur within 24 hours. Well, he was certainly correct. Joaquín would start making his way the next morning at 7 am.

I woke up on Thursday morning at 6:30 to settle Sofia back into bed. I took her into my bed with me and tried to sleep a little more, but with no avail. Just after 7 am I felt my first contractions, which I wasn't sure whether it was contractions, like as in going into labour, or just some soreness that I had been experiencing over the last week. I decided to wait it out and see if was going to get worse. I didn't want to be calling all of my family and set into motion what I may not be able to stop if it happens to be false labour.

As nerdy as this totally sounds, I used an app that I downloaded onto my iPod Touch called "Stage1" that helped me track the length and time between my contractions. I am really happy that I had it 'cause it helped to convince myself that i was really going into REAL labour and make the decision to call my husband to come back home and take me to the hospital. If i didn't have it, I think that I probably would have stayed at home far too long and it would have been a really stressful and painful trip to the hospital.

My contractions started about 20 minutes apart, but immediately started dropping after that. In one hour, they were 9 and half minutes apart. And fifteen minutes after that, they were only 5 minutes apart...and I was still sitting at home. At that point I called Gonz to come home. Fortunately, they hovered around 5 minutes for a while but they were getting stronger and much more uncomfortable. There was definitely no doubt now that labour was well on its way and I was going to see my baby soon!

My labour was about 5 hours with a half hour of pushing at the end -- which is half of what I had to do with Sofia (10 hours of labour and an hour of pushing), so that was great. Couldn't complain. I managed to do this drug-free again, and I really feel great this time around. I was out shopping for an Easter outfit for him four days later. Today, I haven't taken a single pain killer although I have been only taking it once in the morning over the last week. I am so thankful for uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries. I do not take it lightly.

Joaquín is doing well. He is so sleepy though. I CANNOT wake him to feed him sometimes! At the hospital, I tried to wake him for a good 45 minutes to feed him (the medical staff encouraged us to feed them every 2 to 3 hours to make sure that they keep jaundice away). But once I wake him, he is ravenous. Now, he wakes up to nurse every 3 and half hours and apparently this works for him 'cause he gained most of his birth weight back four days after his arrival - he was only short 1 and half ounces (where on average it takes 14 days to do that).

Many people have been asking how Sofia had been handling the arrival of her new baby brother. I really couldn't have wished it to be going any better. Sofia adores her brother, really wants to help with him, and cannot stop showing him affection. The first few days she was acting up a bit: being demanding, throwing mini-tantrums... basically being a two year old. But all of that is already gone, and she is doing great. And this all happened without having to do all the tricks that I have been told I should do to ensure my first born doesn't try to murder the new baby within a week of his arrival home. Phew!

I am a mother of two. I have kidS. We are a family of FOUR. Even though this is the second time this has happened to me, bringing life into this world is an unbelievable event.