Wheew! Life just seems to fly on by. As I write this, Dalton is actually almost five weeks old already, but I thought I’d do a little recap of our first month with him. We’ve already come up with a nickname for this sweet little munchkin. Raphael has been so excited to have an offspring with dark hair, that he started calling him Bean-Dip. The name makes us all chuckle and so far it has stuck. 😉 I have to say, though, that I think his hair is going to lighten up. Poor daddy!
We went to the doctor last week for his 1-month check-up and he weighed in at 10 pounds 10 ounces. So he’s up 2 pounds and 4 ounces from his birth weight. His head is in the 95th percentile, which made me laugh because I consider him to be one of the pinheads in our family…compared to Conner and especially compared to Barrett (the kid with the head so enormous they sent him in for testing when he was a baby to rule out hydrocephalus)! Physically, he is a lot like Logan…tall and thin. I’m sure all of our boys will end up tall and thin, but Logan and Dalton especially seem to have inherited their father’s physique. It’s funny how Conner and Barrett both physically resemble my side of the family more, but their personalities are very mellow like Raphael. Logan and Dalton both resemble Raphael a lot, but Logan’s rambunctious personality is more like mine when I was a kid (from what I’ve heard). Heaven help us if Dalton gets my personality as well!
Anywho, so before Dalton was born I was nervous about how the adjustment to four children would go. I’d heard many people say that having three kids was the hardest and after that it didn’t really matter how many you had. But then there were a few people who thought going from three to four was hard.
For me, fortunately, the former has been true so far! Adjusting to the fourth newborn was by far my easiest adjustment. It helps that he has been a pretty good baby. The first two weeks, especially, he was like a dream newborn! Now that he has fallen slightly from his pedestal of newborn perfection into just normal newborn-ness, I’m still not very rattled. There are moments of total chaos when everybody needs me all at the same time, but that was true of having three children as well. I tend not to venture out to public places alone with all four children, but that was also true of having three children. Our activities and gatherings have significantly changed since we are a large group now and it is harder to find other families who not only have more than two children, but who also homeschool…but that change actually came with the third child. So in reality, not much has changed. We are busy, of course, and there has been an adjustment period, but it hasn’t been nearly as stressful as the previous adjustments.
So, a few details about our first month home…
Dalton and I came home 24 hours after his delivery. I could have stayed two nights, but I am so glad I didn’t because it is impossible for me to get ANY sleep at the hospital. I literally slept a total of two hours in the time I was at the hospital, despite their cute little note on the dry-erase board that tells me my main goal is “rest”. Even with having three other crazy little boys at home, I slept much better once we got home. The nurses and staff at the hospitals are sweet and accommodating, but there are just too many of them coming in and out all day. Uggh! I seriously would have done home-births for my last two deliveries if my hubby were even remotely ok with that idea!
I love the early newborn days where they are comatose and can literally sleep through anything! We used a pacifier in the first few weeks just to give my nipples breaks in-between nursing sessions. I’m telling you man, the first three days of breastfeeding are rough! I don’t care what those lactation specialists say (and they have come to my hospital room to tutor me after each and every birth), there is no perfect latch that would make my nipples not hurt when I first nurse a new baby. I’m sure that there are some women out there with less sensitive skin who can nurse without any pain, but I am not one of them. For me, it’s just a matter of using lots of Lansinoh cream and suffering through the first few days until they toughen up. Usually by the end of the first week nursing isn’t painful anymore.
The first week was defined by trying to sleep and adjust, plus the full-time job of filling out all of the new baby forms and doing new baby crafts. 🙂 Dalton slept a few 6-hour stretches during his first two weeks at home, which was total heaven! Because I was so rested (for having a newborn anyways), I overdid it a little bit when he was a week old. My mom and sister and I hit the town with all five of our boys! We went to a craft store and then out to lunch. It doesn’t sound like much, but when you are corralling five little people, it can be exhausting. Later that evening and for the next three days my entire undercarriage felt sore and bruised and my bleeding increased! I literally could barely walk…it was pathetic. So I scaled back and took it easy for a week or so after that.
Speaking of bleeding, I sent my hubby to the store one day when I ran out of feminine items and he came home with the “overnight” version instead of the regular version I requested. Sounds great and all…you know, more coverage for the same price…except that all the extra weaving and ribbing on the pad chaffed the crap out of me from walking around all day with it. And once again, I could barely walk for a day or two.
And then there was the unfortunate incident a few days after I came home from the hospital where I accidentally took 2 stool softeners within a 6-hour period. Let’s just say it was an experience I wouldn’t repeat…unless I needed to cleanse. 😉
So other than all of those things the first month went really well! Dalton has settled into a more typical newborn lifestyle. He wakes every 2-3 hours at night, but usually goes right back to sleep after eating and burping and changing of his diaper. We co-sleep, which I have found to work very well for my babies and I. Poor Conner was never allowed in our bed because we didn’t want to be any of those poor saps who ended up with kids in their bed until they were five years old. Turns out it’s really not that dramatic at all and I’ve found that I like having them with me after all. Barrett slept in our bed until he was two years old and the transition into his toddler bed and then into the room with his brothers couldn’t have gone more smoothly.
Sometimes I wish I could freeze time and keep them all at their current ages forever. But then I realize I would hate to miss all of their changes. If Barrett had stayed a newborn forever, I would have missed seeing “The Year of the Dancing Bear”…
🙂 Love that kid!
What’s been most surprising, I think, is how wonderful Logan has been with Dalton. For as rambunctious and crazy as that kid is, he just oogles and fusses over the baby. One day Dalton was fussing in his rocker while I was doing something in the kitchen and Logan came over with his stool and sat down next to the rocker and talked to Dalton and rocked him patiently until he fell asleep.
He seems more at ease with new babies than most new fathers. He’ll make a great daddy some day! It’s a good thing we didn’t stop at two children or Logan wouldn’t have been able to hone in on his gift! I’m just trying to help them each reach their full potential over here. 🙂
(Yes, his favorite place to be right now (besides in somebody’s arms) is in his rock-n-play seat. This was a gift at my baby shower and I love it! It replaced my old stand-by bouncy seat that I used often with my other boys.
He looks so much like his daddy. I also think his eyes are turning brown already…so that will make three with brown eyes and one with blue.