Sunday, January 17, 2010

Deja #2

From Felix week 2

It's amazing how quickly you forget what it is like to have a (preemie) newborn, but at the same time, how quickly everything comes back. I am constantly in a state of deja vu with #2 (deja #2 I call it). And during the spells of desperation (e.g. not getting more than a 2 hour stretch of sleep in 2 weeks), remind myself "this too shall pass." Unless you are Miles and still cannot stay asleep past 5:30am at 20 months.

We have had our first 24 hours with no guests at our house since the beginning of December. While unloading the dishwasher and doing multiple loads of laundry today (have I mentioned Felix pees through EVERY outfit?) have been slightly welcome chores since I truly haven't done much in months, I know that in a matter of days (minutes) I will long for the extra set of hands. Even more so, I miss having family around. I won't lie--it is difficult sharing your space for such a long time, especially when you are establishing breastfeeding with a sleepy newborn and would prefer to traipse around the house topless...and there is also an element of possessiveness that happens when you give birth. All you want to do is hold your baby all day and stare at him--and it can be hard relinquishing your baby in fear of him changing beyond recognition during the time others cuddle with him. But knowing our families will establish relationships with Milix (what we call the boys...courtesy of Nana...better than Files) over skype is slightly sad; but thank God for skype.

So here we are, the family of 4. Things are remarkably quiet, but I know once Felix really learns to wail, we are doomed to a life of constant noise, poop and silliness.

Things that I forgot about this 4th trimester/newborn stage:

-Breast milk poop smells like hot pretzels and looks like mustard...but there is nothing appetizing about it. People think, oh, it is just because it is your own son's poop that it doesn't bother you. No, Miles's poop makes me gag, but all newborn poop is pretty darn tolerable.

-Newborn cries pierce through the heart despite their minimal volume. And sometimes, the shrill resembles the screams of a cat being de-clawed.

-You don't really need clothing--for the baby or you (unless your house is witnessing a revolving door of guests). That is, if you are one of those obsessive attachment parents that I tend to be, kangaroo care/skin-skin dominates. And when you do put the baby in clothes, he just pees right through them. Following, you'll get pee and poop on you quite often in the early days...and it will "be cute." When it happens at 20 months, you want to call the hazmat team.

-Circumcision care makes diaper changes much more complex--especially at 3am. Yes, I just gave you the 411 on the controversial tiddly bits decision. Don't judge. Added with the umbilical stump, it's like diaper origami for 10+ days.

-Our Heintz babies continue to look like old men throughout the first few weeks with ridiculous amounts of hair--but there is no threat of the dreaded "is it a boy or girl?".

-Your baby will smile a ton--but only when sleeping...and you are convinced they must be dreaming about you (or at least a part, rather, 2 parts of you). Felix had this spell where he must have really been hamming it up in his sleep and I quickly got the camera and barely captured a smile. The rest of his face looks nothing like him, but I did get the smirk!
From Felix week 2

-Newborn skin peels as the transition from amniotic fluid to outside air occurs. And newborn skin (save maybe the highly touted bottom) isn't always so pretty. Baby acne, cradle cap (haven't gotten there...yet), scratches, unidentifiable red marks...

-Breast milk makes everything better--including clogged tear ducts and the multitude of ailments I just described above.

-Newborn nails should be first on the list of WMD--they can tear into your face and cause permanent damage.

-Newborns (perhaps this is more a preemie attribute) sleep...a lot. Except between the hours of 1-4am when they apparently think pooping feels like passing razor blades and grunt/cry every hour, only to be pacified by the boob.
From Felix week 2

-Babies in the beginning really don't "do" anything. I keep wondering who this little 6lber really is? (Oh yes, did I mention he is 6lbs already?)

-Nursing still gives me that feeling in my stomach at times where I kind of feel nauseated. I am not sure what it is, but I had it with Miles, too. It has no bearing on how much I actually love nursing, though.

-That being said, I don't always love nursing. Sometimes in the middle of the night I just wish Felix would give me an hour break. Or that he would latch on to Eric, just to comfort suck (we prefer not to do pacifiers. I know--what kind of brutish parents ARE we?)

-Pumping always sucks. Period.

-Sleep is overrated. Okay, that is a total lie, but I tell myself that.

-Showers are not overrated.

The nice thing about Deja #2 is that I am so much more relaxed. I will say that I may even border on dangerous. Tonight, I placed Felix swaddled on the boppy lounger pillow ON TOP of the table while I played with Miles while Daddy cooked an insane grilled dinner. Felix was always in my sight, but you all should go and consider calling the dept of child and family services right now. Especially when you hear that Felix is already sleeping on his side, sometimes with a blanket slightly wedged to keep him in position--or my arm if he is...get sleeping between me and Eric. I think we are dealing with reflux and am trying to make his sleep at night (what little he has) conducive to better digestion. And most nights, Felix sleeps right on my chest as I am sitting up.

The bottom line is that things are going well. In fact, Felix must have just heard some incredibly witty joke in his sleep as he just cackled for a good 10 seconds while on my chest. If this was my first child, I might have just panicked he had a seizure.

We went on our first outing today as a family of four. I am not really supposed to have Felix out, but we all really had cabin fever. Know where we went? THE GROCERY STORE. I bundled Felix up and wore him in my wicked awesome new (but bought used) organic Ergo carrier. I was tempted to wear it topless so he could just latch on in the frozen foods section if needed, but I guess I am not that sleep deprived (or insane). We had a blast. And I say that with complete sincerity. Miles hasn't shopped with me in months, and just kept saying "Mommy!" over and over when I would appear in the next aisle as he and dad carted to me and Felix.

It feels good to be Mom.

Full album of redundant 2 week Felix pics here.

PS (how I love the use of a good post script): I may decline in my posting as this mommy x 2 thing dramatically affects my time in front of the it should!)


  1. Witty observations, Alison. It's good for the 4 of you to bond, even if it's in a grocery store.
    In regards to illicit sleeping, you do what you have to do. I remember plunking Nicholas in the middle of the pull out couch, nursing him on one side and then later nursing him on the other, all without moving him because it would ignite his colic. Alternatively, he slept in an infant seat that kept him at an angle which helped him digest. Unconventional but pragmatic.
    The pictures are great, and Felix looks more and more like Miles - the adorable Milex boys!

  2. I do remember those newborn days. :) We thought that Tilden's poop smelled like popcorn, so we used to call it poopcorn. It was so much more tolerable than poop these days. I have an Ergo (bought it used) love it and still use it even with my big guy! I never thought I would, but I use the hip carry. I haven't had the nerve to put him on my back. I will say I can't do the hip carry all day, but I love carriers and am so glad I can still use a carrier with Tilden. BTW, I have a sleepy wrap that I used to wear Tilden around the house in when he was a lot littler and would be happy for you to borrow. Just let me know.

  3. Forgot to say how much more awake and baby-like Felix is in these photos!
    Hi, Jenni & Tilden!

  4. AWESOME post! I love the update. You guys are total rockstars!

  5. love the new pics. glad you are enjoying the ergo... i think you will get so much use out of it this summer!!! i was driving through inman park this week on way home and all the moms of two had the littlest in a carrier and older in stroller or one of those push trikes. i seriously do miss that newborn poo...