So here we are rounding out three weeks with Finn and I’m FINALLY getting a few side-by-side Ethan and Finn pictures together. I look down into Finn’s eyes when he’s nursing, watch his little body squirm as we change his diaper, listen to his “Naaa naa!!” cries when he’s hungry and think of Ethan…these two boys are like little twins.
See for yourself…
Ethan – One Day
Tough to find pictures to compare since most of Ethan’s early shots include a nose tube and a lovely jaundice hue, but I thought these did the trick. The one of Finn is at two weeks, Ethan’s is from day one. You’d never know there was a four pound size difference between them!
Last week was our first without help and it went swimmingly. Stu was back to work, Ethan was his usual patient, big-helper self, and Finn ate, slept and pooped. Finn’s little belly is rounding out and his awake periods are getting longer, usually about twice a day. He’s got to be over 7 pounds by now. We had visitors almost every day, bringing food and coffee, spoiling us, and getting some baby snuggle time in return.
Though most of our outings were school drop-offs and quick errands, we did venture out on Friday for a very fun morning at the zoo! The Wild Wonder Outpost at the zoo’s North entrance is our favorite winter hangout. It’s pretty much the perfect place to take a four year old and newborn as Ethan needs minimal supervision and there’s plenty of comfy baby holding/feeding/stroller space. Also a great place to meet friends. Plus it’s only $2 for members. Score.
Seriously, you will find us here a lot this winter.
We even ventured outside to check out the zoo’s awesome holiday decorations and a stop at the ape house—probably the only corner of the zoo we had never explored and just so you know, it’s awesome. Orangutans, chimps, and gigantic gorillas right up in yo face.
Some love from the “Queen” Orangutan
Finn had breakfast #2 at the zoo room and slept for the remainder of our time there. He missed the sea lion feeding, ape watching, and lunch but seemed pretty snugged up in his fleece-filled carseat. It was the first time in about two years using the good ole Bob stroller on anything other than a walk/run in the park…weird pushing a stroller around the zoo again! But wow will it be helpful now that we have hats, scarves, and coats to drag around with us.
Finn continues his rock-star sleep status each night. I fill him up at around 9:45pm again at 2am, and again at 6am when Ethan climbs into bed with us. Not too shabby! We’ve given him a few tub baths, during which he screams a little less each time. Washing Finn’s dark, fuzzy hair causes more flashbacks to Ethan’s first few months—it’s just uncanny.
I can’t wait till Finn is big enough to take baths with Ethan…they will have a blast. Till then, we’ve been improvising.
Another first this week? Snow! Finn’s first snow fell all night Saturday and is still coming down today. It’s a perfect winter wonderland outside. Ethan couldn’t wait to wake up to “piles and piles of snow!?” but seemed pretty happy with what we got.
This snow just solidifies my holiday mood…it’s officially the season! We’ll be here for Thanksgiving and plan to do a turkey and all the fixins for just our little family for the first time quite a few years. Fires in the fireplace and hot chocolate with marshmallows will be the daily theme from now till the end of the year.
The days seem to be flying by faster than ever. It will be nice to slow down in hibernation mode for a while.
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It feels like a miracle I’m even sitting at my computer. All the boys are napping and my parents are out for the afternoon. So while a shower was up for consideration, I figured it would be a great time to recap the last eleven days.
They went like this:
Get Ethan dressed
Feed Ethan breakfast
Take Ethan to school
Take a shower
Go to a doctors appointment
Pick up Ethan
You get the idea. This boy is hungry. And growing! At our 25th (ok 3rd) doctor appointment yesterday he weighed in at 6 pounds 13 ounces—officially above his birth weight which means no more waking him up to eat. Any question about my milk supply went out the window…whew.
A fourth doctor appointment was with St. Louis’s tongue tie specialist, Dr. Grawey at Little Flower, way the heck out in O’Fallon, MO. I noticed Finn’s little tongue was pretty tied down—just like Ethan’s—the day he was born and his latch solidified my suspicion…ouch. I limped by using a shield, visions of mastitis and thrush floating through my head, until we could get the tongue clipped and ahhhhhhhhhh we are already doing so much better.
I realize once more, breastfeeding is no joke. While this time is easier than last time, there always seems to be a road block. But it’s so worth it. We all just need to ask for help from people in the know, who for me has included my doula, hospital lactation, and Dr. Grawey. We will probably head back to Kangaroo Kids support group starting next week—it was a lifesaver for Ethan.
For the last week I’ve had lots of help in the form of my parents. They came to hold baby boy and play with Ethan. My mom cooked meals and dad built a fabulous little cubby by our back door. They took on some school drop-offs/pick-ups and have made trips to the zoo and science center. They’ve made the transition for Ethan very smooth, we’ve had no meltdowns or regression due to the new arrival.
Ethan hasn’t been asking to hold Finn, he just mostly likes to touch his little hands and rock him in the bouncy seat. Sure a few toys have had to be confiscated due to potential baby-impalement, but for the most part Ethan has been very gentle and respectful. I did make him hold Finn once…it lasted about 23 seconds.
Finn flailed and screamed his way through a couple sponge baths before, just like his big bro, immensely enjoying the hair wash (which clearly did not happen before the above picture). His little fuzz head is a spitting image of new born Ethan, though Ethan’s hair seemed to be thicker.
More about our adjustment. Diving in head first seems to be working. Ethan climbs in my lap to read books while I soothe Finn, we head out the door for short trips, I’ve baby-held while reading bedtime books, we’ve been on a family walk (now that the sun came out!), and I began baby-wearing the day Finn came home…not sure how anyone survives without some variation of wrap to provide hands-free baby snuggling.
This new kid is a snuggler. He calms down very quickly with just a nuzzle to a bare neck. We’ve seen him lose it a few times—bath, tongue clip, and weigh-ins—but once you pick him up, he’s mostly chill.
I hate writing something like this on the blog, but so far he is an awesome sleeper. We decided this time co-sleeping was the way to go, something we only occasionally did with Ethan. Ethan had been in a crib for 6.5 weeks at the NICU, whereas Finn came straight home and we just couldn’t leave him alone in his room. It seemed drastic. So he wakes up to eat twice a night for food and after goes right to sleep in my arm or between us in his own little area. It makes him so happy, and we get to wake up to this.
Remember the nursery? The one of which I’ve yet to post finished photos? Well other than the yet-to-be-used crib, it’s working out just fine. It’s the perfect nursing sanctuary (until we get the side-lying maneuver figured out) and the changing area is perfect. We’re still using disposable diapers due to skinny baby legs not fitting the Bum Genius yet, but we’re hoping to make the switch soon.
Everyone keeps asking, “How’s life with two kids?”
Well, I’ve had lots of help this week so I can’t say I totally know. But so far it’s just time consuming and exhausting. I have every nutrient sucked out of me 10 times a day and, while I keep trying to deny it, recovery is still taking it’s toll. By 9pm I’m wiped. But luckly I have a helpful four year old that only needs to be told 9 times to put on his shoes. Hey, at least he does it eventually.
Our most “welcome to two” moment yet was last night when Ethan puked all over himself in bed—twice—directly following Finn feedings. Brutal.
Overall, we can’t get over how much easier it is to bring a full term baby straight home. It certainly helps a lot that this is our second go-round, but wow do the rules change when you have a big healthy baby.
I can’t complain, things are really going great. I just hope I have time to document it all before the details fall out of my head. I’m just going to have to get faster.
The amazing gifts, food, and congratulations keep on arriving—we are overwhelmed. Thank you for celebrating Finn!