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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fun at the Pedi

Today was Levi’s 1-month checkup at the pediatrician’s office today. Ugh…I’m exhausted. Bringing a toddler along is not fun at all, unless you like being embarrassed and out of breath. It all started out fine. I put Levi in my sling carrier, and Samuel was able to roam free. We didn’t have to wait long, which is abnormal.

They called us into the red room (each room has a color). ‘Oh no,’ I recall, ‘this is the hot room.’ The red room is the room of the office that is always hot for some reason. Not a big deal, I’m sure you’re thinking, that is, of course, unless you’re slinging a baby, chasing a twenty-one month old, hormonal, and taking an herbal supplement that makes you hot all the time and makes your sweat smell like maple syrup.

So we waited in the red room for what seemed like forever for the doctor to see us. During that time, Samuel tried to find as much trouble as he could get into. He discovered that he could climb onto the chairs to turn the lights on and off and try to pull the signs off the wall. While I was nursing Levi, he tried to sneak up to the sink to play in the water. Later, I smell an all-familiar odor: Samuel’s man-poop. It smelled up the whole room. On top of that, they ask that you bag up your diapers and take them with you (understandable since they don’t want their office to smell like poop all day). So I put the man-poop diaper in a bag in my purse to dispose of when I got home.

At some point during the wait, Levi spit up for the 3rd or 4th time. As I was wiping him off, I turned around the see Samuel playing with the soap dispenser at the sink. He was getting soap all over his hands and wiping it all over the counter. Soap was everywhere. Thankfully I caught him right as he was about to squirt it into his mouth.

The doctor (who I really love) FINALLY came in to do the exam. She was almost finished when the secretary came in and said that she has a call. NOOOO! She left for a while to take the call. Meanwhile, Samuel continued to find more trouble. She finally came back and finished the exam, and we were on our way. Samuel made sure to find one more bit of trouble before we left by knocking over the stand for the stickers (that they give kids) on the way out.

Now both boys are sleeping, and I’m able to have a moment to blog about it all. Ahhh…life really is good. I’m sure I’ll look back on all those things and wish I could relive them. My sweet boys…they wear me out.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Little Levi

Oh my gosh, I can’t believe we’re almost out of the first two weeks of Levi’s infancy! The first two are the hardest, in my opinion, so I’m just about out of the woods. Levi has been such a champ these two weeks. He’s really a low-maintenance baby. I refrain from saying “good” baby, because the fact that other babies, like Samuel, cried a lot doesn’t make them “bad” babies; it just makes them “high-need” babies. Yes, Samuel was definitely high-need. He had GERD from the beginning and cried just about all day and well into the night. Poor thing. I felt so bad for him because there was very little that I could do for him (the medication helped, though). Levi rarely cries, although, he really likes to be held, which I’m totally fine with. He spends a lot of time in my sling carrier.

Breastfeeding was a great challenge, especially the first week. I was oh so close to quitting. I was planning my trip to Babies-R-Us to buy bottles as I was on my way to the lactation consultant’s office. I was talking myself into it and listing off all the positive aspects of bottle-feeding to Michael as he drove. The pain of breastfeeding was completely unbearable at times. After one feeding in which I cried out in pain for most of it, I sat on my glider and sobbed for about 5 minutes because I was so tired of hurting. Now, if I was reading this a month ago as if someone else wrote it I’d be saying, “Well, you probably just had latch problems, because it’s not supposed to hurt.” Yes, thank you, Judgmental Annie. I did have latch problems, but it was mainly the fault of Levi’s tongue-tie (when the frenulum is too tight underneath the tongue). I had a few other issues, but I think that was the big one. We got it clipped last Monday, and things have improved little by little each day. Today it hardly hurts at all.

I can’t believe that I almost quit! This was something that I wanted to work out so badly, and I just had to make small goals for myself– just make it until the lactation consultant visit tomorrow; just make it until Monday when we get the tongue-clip. Now we’re smooth-sailing! This time last week, though, I was so hopeless. Something valuable that I learned, though, was to reach out to people that have experience and wisdom in the area that I’m lacking. I sought a lot of help from the lactation consultants; I emailed my nursing mom friends; I put several messages on a breastfeeding support forum that I’m a part of; and I went to a La Leche League meeting to ask for help. All of those things were necessary in the success of our breastfeeding relationship. If I had not done just one of those things, then I might still be having issues now. Why am I so afraid to ask for help sometimes? It makes life so much easier! Also, it allows others to share in your victories, and it makes them feel good about themselves, too.

Another big question that people keep asking me is how Samuel is handling the transition. I think he’s doing pretty well. Every now and then he’ll get jealous, but for the most part he loves the baby. He constantly wants to point out and declare where Levi’s nose is, as well as his head, hands, ears, mouth, cheeks, and eyes (although we discourage this one as he tends to poke his fingers into his eyes). He also tells me when Levi’s crying, which is the sweetest thing in the world.

I love having two boys. It feels like a family now.

Oh, and if you want to see some really ugly pictures of me and cute ones of Levi and Samuel, you can read about his birth on Samuel's blog.

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