Wednesday, September 7, 2016

One Month of Samuel Jacob

As of September 4th, our precious boy is one month old! I can't describe how amazing this first month of motherhood has been. I knew I would love it, but I never could have imagined just how much joy I find in being Samuel's mom. While this first month of parenthood has absolutely had it's challenges, (hello sleep deprivation) it has also been hands down the most fulfilling time of my life and I would do it again in a heart beat.

-At his one month visit, Samuel was 22 3/4 inches tall (86 percentile) and weighed 9 lbs 13.5 ounces (48 percentile) - this sweet boy is taking after his daddy, long, lanky and handsome! Truly though, he is a complete and total mini-Preston. From the day he was born we have gotten soooo many comments about how much they look alike, which I love! Samuel does have my lips though. :)

-Samuel has been a solid eater from the very beginning - the boy does not miss meals. He eats every two hours during the day (except for when he cluster feeds in the evenings in which case our feedings are back to back) and will do 3-4 hour stretches at night. Because he lost some of his birth weight in the hospital (which is completely normal but I still let it get to me!) I will wake him up at night if he gets to the four hour point. I will write more about our nursing experience in another post, while it is absolutely incredible now the first week and a half was painful.

After his first bath at a few days old

-Up until his umbilical cord fell off, we gave Samuel sponge baths which he was pretty indifferent to. When it came time for his first real sink bath, we got him naked and he must have got a little chilly because he spread his arms and legs wide and yet out a SCREAM (not a cry) that let us know he was clearly not happy about the situation. Preston was completely scarred by the situation and told me that he wasn't going to give him a bath again until he was five (I still can't think about the night without giggling). We reverted to showers until he is big enough to enjoy real baths, so now twice a week Preston hands him to me at the end of my nightly shower and he LOVES it. He snuggles up on my chest while I get him nice and clean. Have you noticed the key to our parenthood approach? Put the babe on momma's chest and all will be ok! Ha!

-He is the most alert baby of ALL TIME, as you can see above. People comment on it everywhere we go. From the first day he was born, he has wanted to take in the world. He loves bright lights, being outside and staring at peoples faces. At the very end of the month he started to focus more on specific things (like the pages of books when I read to him) which has been SO fun! It has had it's downfalls, such as naps - this boy fights them! I have become a bit of a nap nazi because if he doesn't sleep well during the day our nights are much more difficult. Overall it is so fun to have a babe who is already so fascinated by life - I hope you always stay way Samuel!

-Samuel's faces are HILARIOUS. He has quite the assortment of wacky facial expressions which completely crack us up. Also, he does the sweetest, biggest, gummiest smile which absolutely melts my heart! I don't have any pictures of it because when he flashes it I just stare and try to take it all in! This upcoming month I want to try to get better about videos of all of his expressions because I know I will want to remember them forever. I can already picture him making the exact same faces as a toddler and then as a little boy and it makes me so excited and breaks my heart all at the same time.

-Speaking of sleep, this was not quite as straightforward as I was expecting. We have the Halo Bassinet, and I was planning on having Samuel sleep in it right next to my side of the bed. On our first night home we found out two things: one, Samuel was not loving the bassinet and two, it felt like he was A MILE away from me even though in reality it was twelve inches. Soon enough we found out that Samuel prefers to sleep on his mama, and I sleep so much better with him cuddled up on my chest where I know he is safe and sound. He also does 1-2 hours a night in the Rock N Play as well (he has a bit of reflux so he sleeps much better when elevated - it isn't recommended for the whole night but our pediatrician is fine with him doing a couple of hours a day/ night in there). We will transition him out into the bassinet most likely when he is two months but for now this situation is working out great (in all honesty I live for the night time snuggles I get with my little man - it is heaven on earth!). As far as naps go, little man loves wrap naps. Loves, as in, that is how he naps everyday. :)

Samuel loooooves being in his Mimi's arms - the first two weeks she stayed with us and I don't think I would have survived without the morning nap she allowed me to have while he was swaddled and snuggled tight in her arms!

-Demeanor wise, Samuel is pretty relaxed and content - as long as he is being held. I rarely ever set him down, and when I do he has no idea what on earth is going on! Hence why his newborn photos and the ones I take are all of him sleeping or being held! I don't mind, I truly do live for the snuggles and I know that I am going to blink and he will be a toddler squirming out of my arms to go on the swings at the park (cue the tears). Besides that, he only fusses when he is hungry (and if that is the case he can go to 0 - 60 in a second flat!), has a dirty diaper, is gassy or tired. During his second week of life, we had some long, super rough nights where he was really gassy and very unhappy. We would burp him, bicycle his legs, etc for hours and nothing really seemed to work. I went off dairy per my mom and sister's recommendation (my sister had to do the same with her littles) and within a few days he was 10x better. I am so thankful for the countless pieces of guidance and advice my mom and sister have given me this month - Mom and Hannah, you two are incredible!

-Little man is also so strong! At just two weeks old he started to lift his head on his own which was nuts. It is only for a couple of seconds at a time (it has gotten gradually longer) but it was waaaay earlier than I was expecting him to! In so many ways it seems like he has already outgrown the newborn phase, I keep reminding him that he is still a baby - no need to rush through all of these milestones, buddy!

-I want to remember what our favorite things this first month have been for future reference, so here they are...

Solly Wrap - This is such a lifesaver! Like I mentioned above, starting around week 3 Samuel decided he had outgrown naps. I had to remind him that buddy, you are a baby, and YOU NEED SLEEP. Fortunately, I have the Solly and if I wrap him nice and snug and walk around our house he can't resist the coziness and falls asleep. Major win for this mama!

Rock and Play - I was not planning to register for this when I was pregnant, but after a sweet friend (hi Rach!) sang its praises and said it was the one thing she would recommend I went for it. I am SO glad I did because outside of my arms this is one of the few few other places Samuel will sleep. Plus it is super lightweight and portable so I have no problem carting it up and down the stairs and it is cheap!

Pack and Play - Preston had this Pack and Play picked out from the moment we saw it at Target on display. It really is so nice that is one button to pop up and I love the simple black design of it. Right now we have it set up with the top as a changing station in the living room which is a life saver. It is so nice to have a designated space with diapers, wipes, sanitizer, etc so we aren't running up the stairs a million times a day (seriously, we go through so many diapers)!

Kickee Pants pajamas - These pajamas are the absolute best. A very sweet coworker sent me a box of hand me down clothes from her boys and there were several pairs of these in there. After one night we are addicted. I looove that they have footies and mitts (to keep him warm since we have the AC running all night) and they are so incredibly soft. They have a decent amount of buttons on them which is a bit of a pain for middle of the night diaper changes, but anytime we have tried other pajama styles they really just don't compare.

Crane Humidifier - Like I mentioned above, we have the AC running all night (hello August in Texas) so a humidifier is a must to make sure we don't dry out little man. This one has a great design and holds a ton of water so it won't run out in the middle of the night.

Dock A Tot - I ordered this (well technically Preston did) after a particularly rough night. While we had high hopes that it would be the perfect solution to safely cosleep, it hasn't worked out 100% that way yet largely because Samuel needs to be elevated a bit when he sleeps. I have a bassinet wedge on the way that I plan to use with the dock a tot for sleeping, but there are plenty of other things

Swaddle Blankets (these and these are our favorites) - These are so amazing for everything. We use one daily (that I switch out each night) and we use them for swaddling, blankets and as a breastfeeding cover up.

Sweet Samuel, you are such a joy!! This month with you has been nothing short of incredible - I'm not quite sure how your dad and I ever lived without you. Every single day I look at you in complete awe that my body grew something so perfect. All of those cheesy onesies couldn't be more true, you really are all of God's grace wrapped up in one tiny face. My son, you are loved, you are loved, you are loved.

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