Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bottles!

Before I get to the topic at hand, I have to share this cute picture I took of H-man on Tuesday.

Milk Fu Manchu

What a goof!

Bottles

Since Harry eats formula and pumped breast milk, bottles have kind of over taken our kitchen. Before Harry was born we purchased some Breastflow and Avent bottles to have on hand just in case breastfeeding didn't work out. Good thing, because all of them have been put to good use! We also have a few bottles that attach right to the breast pump and work with the nipples that come with the pre-made Similac bottles (we got a bunch from the hospital when Harry came home).


I'm not particularly in love with any of the bottles we have, but of course, they're all better than nothing. The Avent bottles have this weird extra ring thing you have to attach before screwing the nipple on. The ring is supposed to reduce colic, which I like, but when I'm making a bottle at three in the morning for a screaming baby I want something that I can put together easily without much thought. I've forgotten the ring a few times and have ended up with formula all over me... gross!

The Breastflow bottles also have their fair share of issues. They're designed to be more like breasts (hence the name), so the baby has to work a bit harder to get the milk. Since Harry has been bottle fed since birth it took him a few tries before he really got the hang of them. The nipples of the Breastflow bottles are two parts, and while I haven't forgotten to put them together before a feeding, it does make cleaning them a bit of a pain.

As evident in the picture above, Harry spits up. Ya ya ya, all babies spit up. This afternoon he actually had some projectile spit up. I almost took a picture of it, but I decided to spare everyone with that image :). According to my super scientific research (har har), bottle fed babies spit up because they swallow a lot more air than breastfed babies. Which brings me to my current mission: find a spit up-free bottle!

So, less air = less spit up, right? Makes sense to me. After all that research I decided to order the Playtex Drop-Ins from Amazon.

 

These bottles have been around forever, and a vast majority of the reviews on Amazon, Walmart and Target are positive, so I'm hoping they work for us! The Drop-Ins use a disposable insert that you squeeze the air out of before giving it to baby. And as your baby drinks the insert collapses on itself preventing any air from getting in to the bottle, or your baby's tummy. Plus, because the inserts are disposable there is less to clean!

Once we get the bottles and use them a few times I'll let everyone know what we think.










Monday, November 28, 2011

Baby Must Haves- Part 1

Happy 3 week birthday, Harry! It's crazy to think that today was my original induction date, and I've already been a mommy for 3 weeks. I am still working on my birth story, but I will definitely be posting it, so watch out for that soon.


As a new mom there are a few products that have really helped me get through the first few weeks. I'm sure I'll do a few more of these kinds of posts over the upcoming months, but here is what I'm loving right now.

Breast Pump

 

I rented this Ameda Egnell Elite breast pump from my hospital. Harry and I just never got the hang of the breastfeeding thing since we weren't even able to try until he was three days old. Pumping hasn't been easy either and I have noticed my supply is decreasing, but I am doing as much as I can to provide Harry with the breast milk he deserves.

I am currently trying to increase my supply by increasing the number of times I pump each day, I hope at three weeks postpartum it isn't too late! My goal is to be able to provide Harry with at least one bottle of breast milk each day through the beginning of the year.

Formula

 

Because Harry was born prematurely he is on Similac NeoSure formula, which is specifically for preemies. NeoSure has two more calories per ounce than regular formula or breast milk, plus it has extra vitamins and minerals to help catch preemies up to their full-term counterparts.

Harry's pediatrician recommended we keep him on the NeoSure for ten months, and so far so good. We're lucky that Harry hasn't shown any signs of dairy intolerance, which would require us to switch to a different formula. NeoSure does has a very pungent smell, but you get used to it after a while. If it means helping Harry reach his milestones on time, I'll smell it as much as I have to! I do wish NeoSure was priced more like regular Similac, it's a bit more expensive than other formulas. Thank goodness for manufacturer's checks and coupons!

Nursing Bras

Sports Clip Down Nursing Bra

My aunt was so sweet and bought me a bunch of nursing bras from Motherhood Maternity. Even though I'm not breastfeeding they are great for pumping moms too; easy access to the ta-tas is important! The bra pictured here is my favorite, it's so comfy.

Rocker

 

I've photographed Harry a bunch in his Fisher Price Infant to Toddler Rocker (including the picture at the top of this post). I think most parents-to-be get a bouncer for their baby, but I'm so happy we went with the rocker instead because he'll be able to enjoy it for years instead of months. The Rocker has a vibrating mode which Harry loves; he falls asleep almost immediately after I turn it on! I do wish it came with a newborn head support, but two rolled up receiving blankets work just fine (see above picture).

White Noise Machine

 

The Fisher Price Soothe and Glow Seahorse really helps keep Harry calm at bedtime. The Seahorse turns on when you press its tummy. It lights up and plays a soothing mix of ocean sounds and nursery rhymes. I like how when he gets older he'll be able to turn the Seahorse on himself, but until then I'm stuck turning it on every.five.minutes. Soooo... my only complaint on this one is that I wish it would stay on longer. We did just order the Fisher Price Go n' Glow Musical Turtle, which stays on for 15 minutes, but isn't soft and cuddly like the Seahorse. We'll see which one Harry likes better!

Alright, I think that's enough for now. I can't wait to share more baby must haves as I try and figure out this mommy thing!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

For Your Consideration

Ant used to work as a producer/writer for our local news radio station. While working at the station he was required to join the Writers Guild of America. Every year the WGA hosts the Writers Guild Awards, where members vote on the movies and TV shows with the best writing. Ant gets to vote on the awards, and as an extra bonus, most of the major movie studios send him special screener copies of their movies hoping to win the awards.

The first year he was a member was the best as far as the movies went. He received The Changeling, Benjamin Button and Slumdog Millionaire, all before they were even released in theaters! He got at least seven or eight other movies that year as well, but I think those were the only three I was interested in watching.

The past two years have been pretty dull, I don't think he really got any movies I wanted to see. This year he's gotten five movies already: Contagion, Bridesmaids, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, J. Edgar and The Help.


Obviously I was excited about getting Harry Potter, but I think I was even more excited about The Help. I'd heard a lot of great things about the movie, which doesn't come out on DVD until December 6th. Since we're forgoing our Friday night date nights for the time being, last night we got some Qdoba (had another BOGO free coupon) and watched the movie.

OMG, it was so good! I love movies set in different time periods, so The Help was right up my alley-- the film takes place during the civil rights movement of the early 1960s. If you get the chance, I highly recommend you watch this one!

I'm sure Ant will get a few more movies; I'm really hoping he gets My Week with Marilyn, that looks really interesting. He'll probably get The Descendants too, he already received the screenplay for the movie, and usually they send DVD shortly after.

Since Ant took his new job back in January, he doesn't have to be apart of the WGA anymore. However, he said he'll probably pay his dues again next year (which I guess isn't that expensive) so he can continue to get the movies.

And what would a blog post be as of late without a few pictures of Harry?

First real bath- he loved it!

First Thanksgiving

Awww, I love this one

Burrito baby!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tummy Time

A few nights ago after one of Harry's many diaper changes I thought he needed some baby lotion. So I put him in his crib and started to moisturize him. 



After getting his front side I flipped Harry over on to his tummy to moisturize his back. I figured I'd have to do it quick because he hated the last time I put him on his tummy. Wrong!! He seemed to enjoy it so I let him hang out like that for a bit.





He kept kicking his legs like he was trying to crawl. It was cute, but he better not start crawling any time soon! I'm just starting to get the hang of this "mom thing," I'm not ready for my child to be mobile yet! After giving his legs a workout he decided his neck muscles needed to stretch and moved his head from one side to the other a few times.



I was one proud mama! We've done tummy time on the floor a few times since and he keeps using his legs like he wants to crawl, he has managed to scoot himself a bit, but that's it (thankfully).

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Doctor Doctor

Harry and I were on the move yesterday! First we went to my OB appointment. Basically all they did was check my blood pressure. It was back down to the high side of normal, which was good. My doctor did decrease my my medication, I'm now back down to just two pills a day. I go back in two weeks for my official postpartum check up.

Why do I even bother with the hat?

After my appointment we hung out at home for a couple hours before heading back out to Harry's second pediatrician visit. He got an "A+" from the doctor, yay! H-man is becoming a little porker, he put on a pound in one week! He is now weighing in at a hefty 6 pounds 13 ounces. His next appointment is in about a month.

And here is a video update!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Two Weeks Old

Harry is two weeks old today... how is that possible?!?!?

I guess it feels like he should only be a week old because he's only been home for a week. I really am so in love with this kid. He is my perfect little angel. An angel who has a piercing scream and has some majorly explosive poops :).

Here he is decked out in his Christmas finest right after his bath tonight. 



Annnnd ten minutes later he peed through his outfit... third time today! After asking around on my favorite baby internet forum I think it might be because of the diapers we're using. Currently Harry is rockin' some Huggies Little Snugglers. Apparently Huggies are notorious for leaks with little boys! I have a few Pampers left over from the hospital so I'm going to use those up. If we don't have any leaks we'll exchange our unopened packages of Huggies for Pampers and go from there.

Happy two week birthday Harry, I LOVE YOU!!!!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My Magical Prince

I've known since college that my first born son would be named Harry. A few of my friends knew this as well, so even though we didn't announce his name, it wasn't a surprise to everyone.

Considering my love for the boy wizard, I'm sure many people think I named my son after Harry Potter.

 

Or perhaps because of the royal wedding this year people think my son was named after William's much hotter brother.

 

While my Harry is in great company with his two British namesakes (Harry is the fourth most popular boy's name in the UK!), he wasn't named after either of them. I got the name Harry from one of my all-time favorite movies, Freaky Friday. Yes, the Lindsay Lohan switcharoo movie! As cheesy as it is, I just love it :). Anyways, the little brother in the movie was played by the cutest little actor and, you guessed it, his name was Harry!

 

So, that's basically how I came up with my son's name; inspiration comes in strange forms sometimes! I like how cute it is on a little boy and think it will grow well with my son-- I'm sorry, but I just don't know if I can picture a future president named Brayden or Grayson! Unfortunately, Ant wasn't as enthusiastic about the name Harry as I was.

After we found out we were having a boy we started getting more serious about  what our little one's name would be. Of course I suggested Harry about a bazillion times, but was willing to look at other options since Ant wasn't sold on it. We didn't get very far in our first name discussions, because one day, probably around week 22 or 23, it happened.

Ant looked at my growing belly and called our son Harry. I remember being very taken aback by that. But, it was official: our son's name was Harry.

Then came the discussions of whether Harry was going to be his full name, or just a nickname. Harry can be a nickname for Harrison, Harold or Henry (as is the case with Prince Harry), but it can also be a formal name. Harrison was out right away; I'm generally not a fan of -son names (Jackson really being the only exception). Henry didn't last long as a contender either; I like the name but it is getting pretty popular. So, it came down to Harold or Harry. Neither of us really had a preference either way, so we decided which ever name went better with the middle name we chose would be what we put on the birth certificate.

As you guys know, we ended up going with Harry Desmond. Harold Desmond kind of runs together with the two D's. I was planning on discussing his middle name, but this post is getting kind of long, so I'll save that for another time.

Besides, H-man is getting fussy, time to go make a bottle!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Milk Milk Baby

Feeding my baby. Definitely my biggest concern throughout my pregnancy. Unfortunately our feedings haven't gone according to the plan I laid out for our family.

I had planned to breastfeed exclusively. I was hoping to not even pump for at least the first few weeks as to prevent nipple confusion. I had planned to avoid formula like the plague. Everything I'd read basically called formula poison; and I wasn't about to give my son anything less than the best Mother Nature had to offer.

I really loved the hospital I delivered at, however, I was not a fan of how they handled Harry's feeding situation from birth. When I was in labor one of the nurse's told me that I would not be breastfeed and that Harry would be immediately given a bottle of formula after he was born. I think the reasons given were a) Harry was a preemie and they needed to measure how much he was eating and b) I was on magnesium sulfate during labor (and for 24 hours afterwards), and most people have negative side effects on the drug (I however, had none of them).

Harry's first bottle

The day after I delivered (after Harry was put in the NICU) I did meet with a lactation consultant who brought me a breast pump to encourage my milk to come in. I think I got maybe three drops of colostrum with the pump while at the hospital. When Harry was already three days old, I was finally able to try breastfeeding him. He did latch on, but he never really took to it for longer than a few minutes.

After I was released from the hospital I rented a breast pump to continue to encourage my milk to come in, and to bring the small amounts of colostrum I did produce to the NICU. My milk finally arrived when Harry was about seven days old. Since we brought Harry home last Sunday I've tried to get him to latch a number of times, but it just hasn't worked. It's been more than disappointing, and I've definitely shed a few tears over not being able to breastfeed him. And even though my milk has come in and I am continuing to pump, I just don't make a lot of milk. In a 20 minute pumping session I get anywhere between one and two ounces total, whereas most mothers can produce about three ounces per breast (so I've read).

Ohhhh... and my breast milk isn't good enough on it's own. Because Harry was a low birth weight baby and had a hard time feeding, he was put on the high calorie formula. When giving Harry a breast milk bottle we have to add a scoop of the high calorie formula to bulk it up a bit.

So, right now Harry is eating about two ounces at each feeding. I'm able to give him one to three bottles of breast milk a day, which is better than nothing I guess. And with Ant going back to work this week I don't know how much I'll even be able to pump, but I'm determined to continue to provide my son with the best I can.

I guess the moral of the story is that I should have been more of an advocate for myself in the hospital. I wish I would have discussed his first feeding more with the nurses and tried to see if we couldn't breastfeed first and then supplemented with the formula to make sure he was eating enough. Le sigh...

Okay, enough about my breastfeeding fails. Here are some pictures of my sweet Harry D!


I bought this preemie hat on Amazon. It's kind of oddly shaped, but at least it fits him! 


Harry's first faux hawk!


H-man managed to sleep on his side, which was cute, but hopefully won't happen again!

Hospital Photo Shoot

The hospital I delivered at offers newborn photo shoots to all new parents; usually within 24 hours of baby's birth. Ant was really interested in getting them done for some reason, usually he hates pictures! Because I was on a magnesium sulfate IV for 24 hours after Harry was born and then his NICU stay, we didn't get to do them until he was six days old (about an hour before we brought him home).

Here are the pictures!









They turned out alright I think. It's nice to have some nice photos of when Harry was so young.

On December 3rd we're doing another photo shoot with my friend Jessica. She does an amazing job and I can't wait for Harry to be her little model!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Splish Splash!

Harry's umbilical cord fell off last night. He was nine days old. OMG... my son is growing up too fast! But really, I'm glad that thing is G-O-N-E! It was kind of gross. I was changing his diaper and noticed it was just hanging on by a tiny thread. Harry squirms a lot during diaper changes, and by the time we were finished it was all the way off!

Harry's First Bath
On Tuesday Harry had his first bath at home. He was bathed at least twice while in the hospital. Once right after he was born by a nurse.




And then on Saturday night Ant and I were able to bathe him in the NICU with the help of his nurse.


Here he is during Tuesday's bath.


He did really well, all things considered. I think it'll take a while before he actually enjoys being in the bath, but we'll get there. He'll have another bath tomorrow; the nurses at the hospital said we only need to bathe him every three days or so.



We've also started doing tummy time.


Ya... we don't like doing it on the floor yet. He does much better when we put him on our chests.

Okay, time to figure out what to have for dinner!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Harry is Home!

Wow, have I been a bad blogger, or what! But, I have an excuse... Harry came home Sunday!

We got to be wheeled out like all the other mommies and babies

HOME!

On Saturday Harry pulled out his own feeding tube, ha! Nurses never had to put it back in, he ate like a champ at every feeding. We called the NICU on Sunday morning to see what time Harry's next feeding would be and found out that he would be coming home with us. BEST NEWS EVA!

We've now been a family of three for two days, and everything is going great. Ant took this week off work so we've been tag-teaming most diaper changes and feedings. Next week will be the true test when daddy has to go back to work.

Today was Harry's first outing. Our first stop was the pediatrician's office for his new baby check-up. He now weighs 5 pounds 12 ounces; one ounce more than his birth weight and two ounces more than when he left the hospital! He hasn't gotten any taller though, still measuring exactly 19 inches. Everything else looks great and our next appointment is next Tuesday.

After the doctor's office we had to stop at Target for a few necessities. We got to use our stroller for the first time!


Harry slept the whole time, which made for a nice uneventful trip. All of the excitement today tired Harry out so he's now taking a nap in his crib.

Look at that "smile"!

Little does he know he's in for some more excitement tonight... his first bath! Well, his first since being home. Ant and I gave him one at the hospital on Saturday.

Ohhhh... and I have to toot my own horn and say that as of this morning, eight days postpartum, I was half a pound below my starting pregnancy weight. Take that baby weight! I still have a pooch, but I was very happy to see that 15 pounds GONE!

Here are a few other pictures of our sweet Harry.

Their first meeting

Wiped out from his first car ride

Our real celebration dinner after Harry came home

Don't mind the horrible mess... it's all clean now, I promise!

He's so small none of his clothes fit so we have to compromise a bit :)

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