Saturday, August 16, 2014

4 things that make the newborn stage easier

1. Breastfeeding: I know not everyone wants to, or is able to, but I love nursing for the bonding, convenience, and health benefits it affords. I'll nurse G in the carrier, on the couch, out in public, anytime he wants. Nothing to pack for going out, or sterilize when we're home. I've never worried about over- or under-feeding, and G is gaining weight like a champion.

2. Co-sleeping: we did this with D after fruitless attempts to have her sleep in her crib early on. M disliked cuddling, and showed a clear preference for her crib. I'm very glad that G is comfy in bed with us, because that means a much more restful night for everyone. I barely have to wake to nurse him, and we both fall back asleep immediately. This way, unless he needs a burp, he doesn't cry much in the night at all. He's also happy to sleep almost anywhere during the day, whether it's on the couch, in the swing, or in someone's arms.

3. Having a great support network: this has been absolutely indispensable. For the past month, the girls have spent about every weekend at my parents' house (in anticipation of labour, and immediately thereafter). My mom has been over almost every day since G was born, mostly to take the girls out to play in the morning, rain or shine. She looks after them whenever G has an appointment, and encourages me to stay out as long as I like. She'll read to them, colour with them, remind M to go to the bathroom/clean up accidents, and when she's here in the evenings (often with my dad), she gives them baths and does their bedtime routine. In the first couple of weeks, she made or bought dinner for us. It's made a world of difference, allowing me to settle in to our new life gradually, bond with G, get breastfeeding established, and take care of our home. We are also blessed with wonderful friends and neighbours who bring us meals and have play dates with the girls.

4. Nursing tank tops: we didn't have Target here last time I had a newborn, and I've never had a tiny baby in the summer anyway, so I hadn't yet encountered nursing tank tops. They had them at maternity stores and other purveyors of all things baby, but they were so expensive that I didn't really care to try any out. I had my nursing bras, and with those, any top can be a nursing top. My sister has used the Target nursing tanks almost exclusively, and she loves them and they're only 20$, so I bought a few to try, and now I have six and they're all I wear, lined with nursing pads. Even with the recent cold weather, I'm still hot most of the time, given how often I'm nursing/cuddling G.

As his sisters like to say, "isn't he the cutest thing?"

This kid gained a pound in a week, mostly in the cheeks, I believe

Friday, August 8, 2014

Welcome, Sesame!

My boy; am I ever thankful for gender-neutral clothes!

The "Welcome to the Flock" hat and sweater set I was able to knit for him
And we have a son! Gavin Ferguson was born almost two weeks ago now, and he was my tiniest baby at 9 lbs 5 oz. Labour was relatively short, maybe four hours altogether, but as painful as ever. He was what they call "direct OP", meaning he was head down but facing the wrong way, which meant back labour for me. When it was time to push, he came out so quickly that no one caught him and he just landed on the bed, poor thing! He was none the worse for wear, though. Present at Gavin's birth were Hubby, my friend Sarah, my sister Hannah, my mom (!), and our three midwives, and everyone was wonderfully helpful, encouraging, and supportive.

Gavin and his enormous cousin, on a gorgeous blanket the ladies from knit night put together for me