I can’t believe that Kanan is already a month old. He no longer fits into his newborn clothes or diapers and even though I have taken over a hundred new photos since the first week, I fear that I still don’t have enough to help me capture how tiny he once was. I wish I would have taken more! He weighs 11 and a half pounds now and is about 23 inches long! Thats 3 pounds and 3 inches since his birthday four weeks ago! Despite the initial anxiety I felt at being a new mother, I wish I could have slowed down those first few days because already that little newborn is gone. I had to go through the first ceremony today of collecting all his newborn sized clothes and putting them in a bag to hand down to my soon to be here nephew Ryan. I felt so sad putting the little clothes away. Some of the clothes he wore only once and some, he never even had a chance to wear. It was a sad ceremony. And one that I know I will have to do again in a a month or two with the 0-3 month clothes he wears now. Of course, as I folded the newborn clothes, I realized how many positive things have happend since the first outfit in which I dressed Kanan. I have traded that initial anxiety and little newborn now with an increasing comfort and joy at being a mother and a growing baby who teaches me more and more about what he needs and wants each day.
His Personality and Our Bonding Moments
Kanan’s personality is growing each and everyday. While the first week or so was mainly about eating and sleeping, Kanan does show us a bit of who he is now in the few wakeful hours he has between naps now. Today, I massaged him with baby lotion and then wrapped him in this soft blanket with the silky satin side touching his skin. I kept rubbing the satiny side on his face and body and listened to him cooh and even saw what I think was his first genuine smile because I heard no gas and it appeared on his face during the entire satin rubbing experience. He also is becoming increasingly interested in his Baby Einstein Gym. Originally, he didn’t seem aware of the toys dangling around him and now he does and kicks and stares eagerly around him. He is even getting better at tummytime and seems to even enjoy it for atleast the first five minutes or so. Yesterday, he was laying on his dad’s chest tummy side down and he raised his head up for a good 20 seconds or so and turned it side to side. Mike and I cheered for him so enthusiastically, one would think we were watching him at a soccer game or something. We are definitely Kanan’s number one fans when it comes to tummy time. We even read to Kanan. His favorite books are The Hungry Caterpillar and a pop-up book called Snappy Dinosaurs. I think it’s because of the bright contrast colors in them. He also loves being sung too. I sing to him everyday and he just watches me or lazily closes his eyes and falls asleep–He like’s my rendition of James Blunt’s “Goodbye my lover” and a gospel song in which I changed the words from “I love you Lord” to “I love you Kanan.” Mike plays his guitar for him also and Kanan quiets down and watches him intently. Today, I strummed the guitar with Kanan’s feet and Kanan seemed to really absorb the way the strings felt on his socked-feet. His feet are super sensitive. I rub his soles with my thumb and he pushes them out toward me with a content look on his face when I do.Besides lying back and having his feet rubbed, Kanan’s other favorite positions include being hunched over my shoulder where he enjoys either sleeping, or staring around at the world around him as I walk around, or being burped. He also loves being held under his armpits with his legs dangling free below him—I don’t know how he likes it as it looks uncomfortable to me, but he really does seem to enjoy it. He’ll even fall asleep that way.
He definitely likes falling asleep in our arms or to the lulling sound of the sound maker we bought. He likes the womb sounds it makes and the combination of the ocean waves with thunder and rain. He sometimes enjoys being swaddled, but normally only afterward when he realizes how cozy and warm it makes him feel or how well he sleeps when he is swaddled. But the process of being swaddled really pisses him off and I have to admit, I’ve been slacking off on doing it lately or have been doing it after he falls into a deep sleep. Mike and I call it the “sneekyswaddle.” Its hilarious to hear him wake up and try and break out of his swaddle, which he normally does because I still haven’t mastered the break-free swaddle I learned from The Happiest Baby on the Block. He makes a cute “eh, eh, eh” sound as he pushes out of it. I love his little grunts and peeps he makes as he sleeps. He is such a noisy sleeper, I can’t believe he doesn’t wake himself up–it sure wakes me up on the monitor! (Not Mike though….that man can sleep through most of the midnight cries for milk).
Fussiness and Breastfeeding
While Kanan has been a bit fussy, after 25 days of fully nursing him, I have finally figured out the problem. Kanan is what lactation consultants like to call “The Excited Ineffective.” And I have what they like to call “an over abundant milk supply and Hyperactive Let Down.” Between our two problems, we can get a pretty fussy Kanan during and after feedings. When he eats when he is just a good, normal hungry and my breasts are being good that day, Kanan eats a solid 15 minutes and is lethargic and happy afterward like he is drunk on my milk. But on feedings when he is super hungry (and sometimes this can be as soon as an hour and a half after a last feeding session!) he gets so excited about eating, he cannot latch on or loses his latch. This sends him crying and screaming and he actually seems to be fighting me off when I try and get him to relatch. For the last 3 weeks, when he lost his latch, I tried a few more times but felt he was fighting me off because he just didn’t want it anymore or thought that maybe he just wanted to burp. Then I’d try again afterward and get the same response, so I figured maybe he was just full or refusing my breast because the let down was too fast. But a couple of days ago, I tried a new technique when he was waving his head back and forth over my breast yet pushing away with his arms (a confusing mixed message) that I wish I had tried earlier. I held his head with my hand instead of in the crook of my arm. Then I held my breast with the other hand and shoved my nipple into his mouth. Amazing! He latched and drank for another 5 minutes! Fussiness gone and happy baby there for the last couple of days since the discovered technique. But I still do have a fast let down. When I let down (for those who are like me and clueless to the jargon–let down means when the milk starts to come out on its own), it’s like a fire hose and actually squirts out a bit of a distance. This is a bit hard on Kanan when he is nursing and sometimes he chokes or gasps for air. I feel terrible when this happens and have tried pumping a bit before feeding to relieve the pressure or plugging up the holes with my fingers until the milk drips out instead. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But again, yesterday I discovered that if I nursed from the same breast two times in a row before switching to the other, it relieved the problem. Strange, but it works. Why did it take me this long to figure it out? I was thinking I might just pump and switch Kanan onto the bottle entirely in order to avoid this problem, but I think now, I’ll see how my two new techniques work out before I jump to such extremes. While I will miss the skin to skin contact we share during breastfeeding times, I might at least know how much milk he is getting, Mike can share in on the fun, and we don’t have to hear him cry when he gets squirted in the eye with milk or can’t keep up with the flow. Maybe we’ll switch to half breast and half bottle. I could use the break here and there and maybe go out to eat with some girlfriends or go out a couple of hours and actually buy stuff with the Christmas giftcards I still have.
Our Child The Brain
Despite the fussiness he did have after feedings, sometimes his fussiness comes from being bored I think. There just isn’t enough stuff to stimulate him enough sometimes. He is such a smart kid already and he needs a change in activity about every 5 minutes or else he lets us know. He is already very aware of his surroundings. I know the research says that he can only see 8-12 inches in front of him, but I see him staring at objects on the wall or in the room that are much further beyond him. Perhaps it is blurry, but he knows they are there and is very curious about what they are. He looks adorable staring so curiously at the world around him. We can practically see his little neurons firing away as he just absorbs it all in. Sometimes, he even wants to be stimulated in the middle of the night when I just want to put him back into bed after he eats. At night, Kanan tends to sleep in 2 hour blocks on bad nights where he wants to play and 3 1/2 hour blocks on good nights.
As far as Kanan’s health goes, his pediatrician thinks he is beautiful and healthy. He does have a clogged tear duct in his right eye now, but we are clearing it out by massaging it and wiping his eyes with warm water. Doctor Carpenter does want him to get an ultrasound done on his belly though because she wants to monitor those calcifications we found when he was just a fetus and see exactly where they are and hopefully figure out why they are there. Initially she wanted a Catscan, but Mike and I refused and asked a number of questions as to the purpose and the protocol if indeed she finds out what is wrong. She didn’t seem to have a lot of answers so we compromised with the less invasive ultrasound. That is scheduled in a month and I still don’t want to do it. I think I’m just afraid of what they might discover and of the more stress it might put us through. But I can’t settle with ignorance. If there is something wrong, I’d like to get it solved now. Still, I’m sure he is fine. He is growing. He poops and pees. He is not jaundiced. He seems intelligent and happy. So hopefully, after the ultrasound, we can say goodbye to the calcifications and try and forget about all the worry and stress that came with their discovery.
Pictures and Kanan’s One-month Birthday
Sunday is Easter and that is when I will post this as he will be 4 weeks old. We have a bunny-eared beany for Kanan to wear with some soft pants with bunny paw feet. We will post those pics soon. Until then, enjoy the captioned, hundred and umteen photos we have taken over the last couple of weeks by clicking HERE. We will be sending out baby announcements too if we have your address. To get a preview of the announcements and other photos we had taken at JC Penny’s, click HERE.