Yikes, there’s been a lot going on since my last post! You know how I was amazed by how easy it was to be home with just the baby? Well, I spoke too soon. Things got hard! And then they got easier again, but still hard. I’m not going to be able to tell the whole story in this post, but it involves a second trip to the emergency room.
I’ll start back where I left off!
In Sam’s third week things were still feeling pretty okay – it was A.’s first full week back at work and Ari got sick, which was hard, but my parents were here for half of the week, including most of the time that Ari wasn’t at school/daycare, and that helped enormously. But the sleep deprivation and the reality of our new life started to hit during the weekend at the end of that week, when we got overly ambitious and went out with both kids and the dog to a kid-friendly restaurant where we sat outside, with me unable to eat while I was holding and nursing Sam and A. having to chase Ari around and keep the dog from causing trouble (while I was holding and nursing Sam). It was overwhelming and A. was exhausted and feeling sorry for himself because it was a beautiful day and he wasn’t out on any of the Pedalpalooza bike rides that were going on. And toddlers seem to enjoy trying your patience just when you’re pretty much out of it! Then we went to our old college campus so we could throw the ball for Andrew and had a pretty nice, although not totally relaxing, time. (Pictures are in the post I linked to above.)
The following week, Sam’s fourth, was our first full week with no help and A. back at work. I had my first two full days with both kids (days that Ari wasn’t in school) and the first library story time with both of them!
Story time worked out surprisingly well. I don’t know how we got out the door on time with Ari dumping his cereal bowl out on the rug and Sam’s unpredictable eating schedule, but we did it (although I did allow Ari to watch Dinosaur Train while he ate breakfast). We were a little late so I was sure it would be too full and they wouldn’t let us in, but for some reason there was hardly anyone there! I’ve never seen it so uncrowded. That worked out well with me having brought Sam in the car seat (instead of wearing him in the wrap), too. Ari thoroughly enjoyed the participatory reading/singing of The Croaky Pokey and did a fantastic impression of a frog jumping up and catching a fly in the air with its tongue. His favorite librarian led the session and at the end of it, when she came over to admire Sam, Ari pointed out the baby’s dark hair to her and told her that “he grew in Mommy’s tummy”! We also saw another mom who I’ve chatted with a little and her toddler there, with the baby that she had a few weeks before I had Sam, and somehow I felt really encouraged by the sight of her seeming to manage the two of them pretty calmly. She asked how things were going and how much sleep I was getting and reassured me that she’s in the same boat with staying up too late because after getting both kids to sleep is the only time she and her husband have to themselves or can get anything done. And when she left, she told me that I was doing “awesome” or “amazing” or something like that. 🙂 Of course, then Sam started crying and Ari wanted to sort through our big bag of books over and over to choose the perfect one to carry out of the library himself, and when I picked up the bag with one hand and Sam with the other and headed for the door, saying that he’d have to pick a book once we got outside the door because Sam was crying, Ari followed me, also crying, and collapsed in sobs right in the doorway, at the same time the alarm went off because one of our books apparently wasn’t checked out. So, back to the desk we went! But we survived.
On the other day I was home with both of them, we ended up spending some time in bed together with a Maisie video because I was exhausted but Ari wasn’t napping.
It was a beautiful day so we finally left the house in the evening (only an hour after I had intended to leave) and went to meet A. at the park on his way home from work:
Followed by dinner at the carts:
Ah, a sleeping baby!
Another day, when I was alone with Sam:
During the 4th of July long weekend, A. took Ari to the zoo:
We gave Sam a bath:
His wet hair looks just like his Daddy’s!
Ari got signed up for Summer Reading at the library and got this tattoo:
That holiday weekend was also when things started to get harder not just because of the lack of sleep hitting us, but also because Sam started having huge spit-ups, like this:
It would just gush out of his mouth and nose two to three times a day! (Later, it was three to four times a day.) I was frequently changing all of my clothes and having to wash and change the sheets on our bed pretty much daily. We spent most of the 4th of July holiday weekend home doing laundry, and I became afraid to leave the house with him! In between throwing up, he just wanted to eat and eat and cried, sucked his fists, and banged his head on my chest if I wasn’t feeding him. We tried to give him pacifiers but he usually didn’t want them. If I pumped, he’d take five ounces from bottles and still want more. Then he’d throw it up! And he wasn’t sleeping. They say newborns need to be fed 8-12 times a day and sleep 16-20 hours, but on a typical day for us, I fed him 16 times (for 10-30 minutes each time) and cleaned up three giant vomits, and he only slept about 12 hours, including the nighttime sleep.
On the night of the 4th, after three days of the vomiting, we called our clinic and talked to the pediatrician on call. We were concerned about pyloric stenosis, which A. had read was a rare but serious cause of projectile vomiting in infants. The doctor told us that he probably wasn’t vomiting amounts that were as large as we thought (I had said at least two to three ounces), and that if it were pyloric stenosis they would be shooting at least six feet across the room, which they weren’t. But she suggested that we bring him in for a weight check if we were worried.
So, the next day after I took Ari to school, we had a nurse visit for a weight check. He hadn’t quite gained an ounce a day since his 2-week visit, but he was close enough that the nurse said he was probably fine, and told me about a kid in her family who had reflux and had to wear a bib every day. I told her that I didn’t think a bib would be enough for these spit-ups, but that it was a good idea or something agreeable like that, even though I felt frustrated that no one believed me about how much was coming out. (When I went home, he threw up and I took the photos above so that I could show them to someone later.)
On my next day home with both of them, we made it outside once, just to our yard. Ari wanted to play with his trucks in the sandbox.
Also, Sam turned one month old that day!
The other thing that happened that day was that in the afternoon, I noticed I felt a whole new level of exhaustion and a little bit chilled. Within an hour or so, I had a fever and realized I probably had mastitis. I wanted to try to beat it on my own, but A. insisted that I call the clinic right away for an appointment. I got in that evening, after he got home, and they said it was a good thing I did and prescribed a course of antibiotics. The next day, I still had a fever and a lot of pain, but I felt a lot better by the day after that.
A couple of cute Ari stories from the beginning of July:
One day he was trying to get A. to do a “fist bump” with him and he kept saying, “Make a beehive!” because he learned a song at the library where you make a fist and it’s a “beehive,” so apparently he thinks that’s what it’s called. A. started joking about a teacher breaking up a fight, saying, “Children, put your beehives away!”
A few times, now, he’s said something like, “We reached really far in your tummy and got Sam!”
He started calling us both “sir” for some reason. So he’ll say, “Can I have some milk please…sir?” I told him you don’t call women “sir” and then confused him with a discussion of “miss” and “ma’am” so then he asked me for something, paused, and added, “Dude?”
And now there is so much more to tell, but I’m going to leave it here because I’m still writing the rest of it!