I get a ton of questions about the necklace I wear everyday so I figured I’d make a post here so I can refer back to it without having to search through my Etsy history every time, haha.
The necklace comes from Betsy Farmer Designs on Etsy and is the New Baby Necklace, in the lowercase bookman font. I received my “Holden” necklace as a gift (perfect gift!) and loved it so much that I reached out to Betsy for the matching “Gatsby” charm to add to it once he was born… and a replacement pearl for Holden because I, of course, lost it.
I wear my necklace every day and I absolutely love it.
Prediction: I myself will have to refer back to this post after one of my children (probably GB) breaks off one of the charms.
Welp, after 4 short months, this day has come: my freezer milk is finally gone.
I have never been a fan of pumping. I find it to be a necessary evil, but I’ve always really really hated assembling all of the parts and pieces, putting on that hands-free bra and hooking myself up like a cow. Since going back to work part-time, I’ve only ever been able to squeeze in one pumping session a day–with GB was drinking two bottles while I was gone–so I was always playing catch-up and not-so-slowly making my way through my freezer stores.
So now here we are. The freezer milk is gone and it’s time to begin supplementing with formula.
With Holden, I pumped twice a day at work until she was 7 months and then gave up and resorted to the freezer. The day I made the decision to stop pumping altogether was straight-up joyous. I think the freezer milk lasted us a few months and I began supplementing with formula around her 10-month mark. I breastfed when I was in her presence and formula-fed when I wasn’t until she was 13 months old and totally over my nips.
The plan with GB will be similar: Breast feed when I’m around. Pump at work (ugh). Mix breast milk and formula when I have milk; and just use formula when I don’t.
I certainly don’t judge anyone who formula feeds their kids but I do feel a little bummed that I’m tapped out so early. The plan is to keep up with the pumping until I just can’t stand it anymore, but good lord do I hate it. Glad to have some reliable back up in trusty ol’ Enfamil.
At 2:31 pm today, Mr. Gatsby will officially be one month old. Here’s a snapshot of the little man:
Nicknames: GB (from Holdy), G, Stinky (from me)
Weight: according to my unofficial stand-on-the-scale-without-him-then-stand-on-the-scale-with-him method, he weighs about 10 lbs.
Likes: being held, milk, nipples (mine)
Dislikes: not being held
Tolerates: the swing, the car seat, the Boba carrier, the Moby wrap, his sister’s “affection”
Eats: whenever he wants, but generally every 2-3 hours during the day, cluster feeding during his fussy “Witching Hour” from about 6-10 pm, every 2-3 hours at night
Sleeps: he has more alert time now but he generally takes a 1-2 hour nap in the morning, a solid 3-4 hour nap in the afternoon, on-and-off between fussing in the evening, and then in 2-3 hour chunks at night (sometimes he gives me 4 hours, woo hoo!)
Places Visited: Central Market York, Gymboree, CoWork 155, foodstruck, Target, the grocery store
I was kind of joking when, before Gatsby was born, I said he was a mama’s boy and didn’t want to leave me and that’s why he hadn’t come out yet. Turns out that may not be too far from the case.
Little man always wants to be held. Like, all the time. Like, hates every infant seat and swing. Like, barely tolerates his bassinet.
If I could snuggle him all day and night, I would. But he has a rambunctious older sister. But I have a house to manage (ha.ha.). But I have to pee sometimes. So I have to put him down and let him cry.
Now that his neck is a little stronger, I can put him in the Boba Carrier to free up my hands a bit. He usually fusses at first and then he falls asleep into a hot little ball of fire on my chest… for a bit. It’s never a cure-all.
I was carrying him in the Moby Wrap but the damn thing is so complicated to wrap and it never felt entirely supportive. I found myself still using a hand to support him, so that was a little counterproductive.
I’m rereading all the stuff about how you can’t spoil your newborn and it’s… comforting. Though in some ways, I do want to spoil the little guy. He’s already getting shafted by his attention-sucking big sister… and just the fact that he’s the second-born.
I wish I could snuggle him more. Maybe not at 4am, but, you know.
So it finally happened: Holden has crawled out of her crib. I opened the door to my bedroom this morning and there she was, standing in the hallway. There had been no thud; no crying. Just Holdy and her bedhead, ready to shake up the status quo I had been enjoying for so long.
I’ve been dreading this day since I first took notice of Holden’s athletic prowess as a 7-month-old. I was hoping we’d be able to skip this stage and I’d be able to just transition her to the toddler bed when we were both ready… but it looks like that’s not going to happen.
Here’s my dilemma: My plan was to keep Gatsby in a bassinet in my room for the first three months, which would bring us about to Holdy’s second birthday. At that point, I was going to transition Holdy across the hall to her big girl room and toddler bed (which has a twin-size mattress, but is low to the ground and has side rails). The room is already quasi-set up and Holdy likes to play in the room, but she hasn’t napped or slept there yet.
Today, after the escape, I wanted to see if Holdy would nap in her big girl room. She said she wanted to and seemed excited about it, but when the time actually came, she wanted to go back to the nursery for her nap.
So what do I do?
I did put a baby gate up at her nursery door now so she can’t just go traipsing about the house. The nursery is baby-proofed and I have a video monitor in there.
Should I move the toddler bed over to the nursery for a few months to make the transition one step at a time? Go for it all at once? This may be a good time to remind you that I have a 3-week-old and am already not getting much sleep myself, haha. Don’t even get me started on the fact that she’s ready to potty train and I’m not…
I don’t know if Gatsby is just a really good baby, if I’m that beaten down by motherhood, or if Holdy is just that crazy but he’s really been a breeze so far. He gets a little gassy sometimes, but that’s pretty much the extent of his distemper at this point. I’m even handling the up-every-hour-and-a-half nights during his current growth spurt pretty well. I’m sure I just jinxed myself horribly with this paragraph.
Also: I got a few packs of Luvs as gifts, so I’m going to give them a shot and see if they can persuade me to give up the Pampers (I love the Pampers Rewards, lol: I use them to buy Shutterfly stuff…)
You may congratulate yourself the morning after that first night with your new baby—even with the nurses in and out of your room all night, you’re still kind of running on adrenaline so the sleeplessness doesn’t bother you too much. You may think, “Hey, that wasn’t so bad. I totally got this.” But… you don’t know. You. don’t. know what awaits.
When I had Holden, a lactation consultant visited my room specifically to warn me about Night #2. There was even a special page dedicated to Night #2 in the “Your Newborn for Dummies (aka You)” manual the hospital gives you. Do not brush off these warnings; be prepared because Night #2 is coming.
This time, I don’t know if I was blocking out my memories of that night in a survivor/PTSD-type situation, or if I was thrown off by the nurse telling me that my little boy would be really sleepy after his circumcision (it’s a trap! Don’t believe it!) but once again, I found myself unprepared for Night #2.
It starts in the evening as visiting hours are winding down and you find yourself alone with your new baby (and possibly your partner if you’ve decided to enlist their support for the night). You feed your bebe one last time before a few hours of sleep… or so you think. But no: this is Night #2, aka New Mom Hazing Night, aka The Cluster Feeding Night aka Nurse All NightNight.
There will be no sleep. There will only be nursing. Every time you take the kid off your nip, he will cry and the only thing that will soothe him will be more nip. Forget about him sleeping in the tupperware hospital bassinet; he will only sleep on your chest with your nip in his mouth… therefore you will not sleep, as the nurses make damn well sure you don’t fall asleep in bed with the baby. You will still fall asleep with the baby in bed with you at least once this night, against your best efforts. This sleep will be fleeting. Your partner will be useless. You will cry. Your nipples will hurt. All the nursing will require frequent changing of your pad sandwich. Your baby will cry while you’re in the bathroom and you will shout, “Okay! Okay! Yes, Mommy will be right there!” out the bathroom door. You may try to make it through the night by watching TV, or reading Twitter on your phone, or ordering little flowered headbands on Etsy at 3am.
You will doubt yourself. But don’t let that baby break you.
Because soon it will be 5am, then 6am, and you’ve survived. They’ll be bringing your shriveled scrambled eggs and blueberry Yoplait soon. You’ll probably be going home today. Your kid is worn out from hazing you and there’s most likely a nap in your future… unless your nesting instinct waits until the day you get home from the hospital to kick in, like mine does. But that’s a different story.
And that, my new-mom friends, is Night #2.
I highly recommend that you check out “Baby’s Second Night” on KellyMom.com for the legit info on why Night #2 is a thing (spoiler alert: it’s because the baby is out of their coming-through-the-birth-canal fog and is all like “WTF?!?” and needs some comfort; and also because cluster feeding helps to build your milk supply) and for some helpful suggestions on how to get through it with your dignity (somewhat) intact. I’m pretty sure that information is what was shared in my hospital manual.
The good news is that it gets better (…and then it usually gets worse for a while, but it’ll get better again. Maybe. Hopefully. Definitely). You got this.
Bottle-feeding moms: how do you get through the terror that is Night #2?
Yesterday was my first day home alone with two kids under the age of two. Here was my day:
7:30am: got a shower while G screamed at me from his infant seat. Guess I’m not shaving today.
(Technically I guess I could mention 12am, 1:30am, 4:00am, 6:30am: nursed G)
8am: G back to sleep after pretending to nurse for a bit. I slap on some face, dry my bangs (if I don’t, my hair will look ridiculous for the next two days) and go downstairs to gulp down some coffee before…
8:45am: The Holdy Monster wakes up. To my relief, she’s pleasant. We change her diaper, brush her teeth, go downstairs for milk and a “manana,” eat some waffles, dance to Yo Gabba Gabba, all before G Man wakes up.
9:45am: Gatsby is awake. We go upstairs and I change his diaper and clothes while Holdy throws every washcloth, bib and blanket in the drawer of the changing table onto the floor.
We go downstairs so G can nurse while Holdy watches Dora the Explorer… and poops, which means I can now safely give her a bath to wash off last night’s blue birthday cake icing from my Dad’s birthday dinner without fear of a bathtub surprise… which I definitely experienced two weeks ago.
10:30am: Holdy gets a bath while Gatsby hangs out in an infant seat. Basically I have some sort of infant seat in every room. After the bath, G hangs out in the infant seat in Holdy’s nursery while we get her dressed.
Head downstairs; tummy time while Holden grabs every single shoe out of her shoe basket and displays them in a line.
11:30am: Begin to prep for a walk which requires nursing G, changing his diaper, finding two shoes that match for Holdy, chasing her around the house to put her jacket and hat on, bundling up G.
11:50am: Head out for a walk in our new double stroller, the Joovy Caboose. We’re very lucky to live in a neighborhood that adjoins an amazing park with a really great playground. Unfortunately, despite the 50-something degree weather, that playground is still covered with remnants of last night’s freak snowstorm. Holdy falls down four times before I decide to pull the plug on the playground venture.
Holdy cries the whole walk home, while also saying, “nap,” which I take as a good sign. G has been sleeping the entire walk.
12:30pm: Holdy lies down for a nap. G is still asleep.
1-3pm: I clean up the toy carnage from this morning, which takes all of 3 minutes. I heat up a piece of pizza. G wakes up. My mom shows up to drop off leftover sushi from last night’s birthday dinner. She holds G for about 10 minutes before she has to leave. I nurse him again, then lay him on the Boppy around my waist while I type a blog post, seated in an armchair with my laptop on a TV tray. Grey’s Anatomy reruns play in the background on Lifetime.
I try, unsuccessfully, to nap with G on the couch.
3:15pm: Holdy is up. Diaper change, milk, PBJ sandwich. Grandma comes to take H to her house for a few hours.
4pm: I nurse Gatsby and then put him in the Moby wrap and we go for a walk in the park.
5-7pm: Harry Potter on ABC Family. Gats and I nurse and then chill on the couch. I fall asleep for about 20 minutes (sorry, Harry).
7:30pm: Holdy is home. I get her ready for bed while grandma sits with Gatsby.
8pm: How I Met Your Mother finale. While Gatsby sleeps in the living room bassinet, I laugh. I cry. I scream. I eat leftover sushi. I drink a beer.
9pm-12am: Upstairs to bed with G, cuddling and nursing on and off, while I play around on my phone.