Monday, June 18, 2018

Baby Baby

It's four in the morning, and I find myself singing Amy Grant's "Baby, Baby" over a changing table, though it's clear I don't really know the words.

Baby, baby. 
Your poop is an explosion. 
But if you get a rash, we'll use the lotion.

I've become the kind of grown up that my teenage self always feared I would: a dorky homebody, embracing the dulcet soft pop of Amy Grant, without irony or shame. 

But with a perfect baby boy in your arms, who cares?



Mrs. Done by Forty was amazing at the hospital. If I were the one giving birth, I would have ordered the epidural the minute I walked into the hospital. But she pushed through ten hours of contractions and laps around the tiny hospital floor, until she had her water broken and was at four and half centimeters. The birth somehow went according to plan: we didn't have to use Pitocin to induce or to speed up labor, she had a vaginal birth, and we avoided any bad complications or the dreaded episiotomy.

As always seems to be the case, we are just very lucky, or someone up there is looking out for us.

The little guy had higher levels of bilirubin so he had to have this little LED blanket on him for half a day, but that seemed to clear things up. It seemed stressful at the time, but I guess it's all pretty normal. After a couple hours under the blanket, the nurse asked me, "Sir, are you Asian?"

"Um..."

"I'm sorry, that's a weird way of asking that. Asian babies, I mean, babies from Asian parents, an  Asian parent...of Asian descent....they have a higher rate for jaundice."

"Okay."

Awkward interactions aside, we experience at the hospital was great. As soon as we left though, we learned that being a new parent is an exercise in sleep deprivation. By the time Baby by Forty eats breakfast, burps, gets changed, gets changed again, and is down to bed, we had time for a cat nap before we were at it again. Those first days were rough.

It took the better part of two weeks, but we seem to be finding our rhythm now. Breastfeeding is thankfully getting easier for Mrs. Done by Forty and, after some lactation consults, our hope is that she will get to enjoy the serene, pain-free, meditation-esque breastfeeding that the videos in our class at the hospital described. I assume that with a deep enough latch, a waterfall and mandolin music will appear out of nowhere, while mother and baby levitate three feet above the couch in lotus position.

Something weird that immediately changed with money after the little guy was born? The cash system was temporarily thrown out the window. Even though I don't take the little guy out on errands, I'm running on fumes any time I work up the energy to head out of the house. I have just enough mental capacity to hand someone a card, then put it back in my wallet. Picking out bills and making change, then keeping the receipt in a jar so I can properly track that purchase later? Ain't nobody got time for that.

My company just started giving employees parental leave, so I'm enjoying four weeks paid, and will supplement that with a week of vacation time. Mrs. Done by Forty has the summer off, and will get to work from home, part time, for her R.A. position once it starts in August. As of right now, with both of us at home and with some flexibility for when we need to put in our hours, we're thinking we might be able to get away without needing any daycare the first year. Fingers crossed, but our good friends have recommended a couple places that take infants, just in case.

Our ongoing debate is whether we should use cloth diapers or disposables. Mrs. Done by Forty is pushing for cloth, I just see a life of laundry in hopes of saving $1,000...over two years. Dear readers with experience, is the juice worth the squeeze?

Well, my brain is mush so it's time to wrap up this post with a photo of the little guy. I have some ideas for new post topics that I'm tabling for when I'm a little sharper. For now, I'm just going to enjoy having this little dude in our life.


25 comments:

  1. He is ADORABLE. Congratulations to you three (can't forget your dog!) on the new family member, and congrats on the event-free delivery to Mrs. That makes a HUGE difference in recovery.

    The haze you are in is normal and I'm impressed you were able to type this post at all - I can't tell you the number of things that PiC lost in the first month of baby life.

    JB was jaundiced too, took a full week to clear up, but it was fine once ze got some breastmilk in zir.

    Congrats congrats congrats!

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    1. I'm just now getting back to comments, and thanks for starting off with such a nice one, Revanche.

      We actually have two golden retrievers, so we're already a pretty packed house with five. :)

      We had to supplement with some formula for the little guy for a few days but once the jaundice cleared up, he went straight back to breastmilk. Fingers crossed, but so far, so good. Thanks again!

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    2. Aw, you too are a 1-kid 2-dog home, then! :)

      I should have said that the formula was actually what kept JB alive until there was breastmilk so the jaundice had to clear up on formula too. Doesn't matter, it just matters that you keep the kids fed :)

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  2. Congratulations! What a cutie! You are all doing great, and that's all the matters. The receipts will still be there in a few weeks!

    Smoosh those baby cheeks while he's still small!

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    1. Thanks, BB! And yes, the receipts will still be there when we need them, but this little dude is already getting big. And heavy!

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  3. Awwww... congratulations! If ever there was a time to let penny pinching go out the window for a while, this is it. Enjoy your time with your little one. Here's hoping the goddess of luck continues to shine upon you all! :)

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    1. Thanks, ECL! We're definitely loosening the purse strings (and my latest consumer obsession is buying a VW Sportwagen...thankfully, I haven't gone through on that yet).

      We're enjoying time with Baby DB40 and yes, let's hope we continue to be lucky son of a guns.

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  4. Congrats on the baby! He's adorable :)

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    1. Thanks, Savvy Financial Latina! We think he's pretty good looking, too.

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  5. Congratulations! As for us, it was 100% disposable, and Costco is your financial friend, in that regard.

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    1. I hadn't even considered Costco for diapers, Tin, but that's a good idea.

      I am really hoping we go the disposable route but everyone seems to like cloth for whatever reason. I just see a lot of laundry to do, poop to scrape into the toilet...

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  6. Hah I'd like to second the fact it's very impressive you wrote a blog post full stop after 2 weeks let alone one that was so lovely/funny as well.

    He's a handsome looking young chap! I'm guessing he gets his looks from Mrs DB40 :)

    Being zoned out is obviously natural but it does get better (after about a year... Ah sorry about that).

    Regards to the diapers, we tried cloth and it was a nightmare. Poo went everywhere and ended up using twice as many baby wipes which are disposable anyway (I guess we could have used a towel? Does anyone do that surely not. You'd be washing indefinitely). Anyway for the extra hassle we didn't think it was worth it. Felt bad from an environment perspective but money wise disposables are totally worth the money!
    Saying that I wouldn't want to put you off trying them so maybe ask around if anyone you know has one to lend?

    Just to be clear we used the actual Terry toweling ones. Not those fancy pants velcro ones, which may be alot easier to use.

    Congrats to all of you :)

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    1. A whole year before it gets easier? Oh, man. You're bringing me down, FireStarter.

      Most of our friends, maybe all of them, are going cloth. Internet resources seem to be split.

      We do have some cloth ones we got from the shower that we could try out, so I think we'll do some test runs before we drop any serious coin on a full set of cloth diapers.

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    2. Your mileage may (hopefully!) vary of course!
      I know parents who had a great sleep pattern after about 3 months, and others who didn't get a decent nights sleep for around 2 years (notably my sister... so in that case I feel very lucky!).

      Also bear in mind its a gradual process. It's not like it's hell for 1 year then all of sudden they sleep like the proverbial baby. It generally gets better over the course of that year but we found around the 1 year mark, we were pretty much getting a "full nights" sleep (ok maybe around 6 hours but you'd bloody take that right now I bet haha)
      I think around 18 months we started getting near enough the 8 hours required, in fact sometimes we now have to wake her up, lazy bones! :)

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  7. Congrats to you and your family! He's adorable. Giving birth is definitely a stressful time. I remember with the first one, the docs kept sending us home because my wife was dilated enough and said we had time. They were wrong and baby came fast. For the second one, they kept asking if we wanted to induce labor (like they want us out of there so the bed could be used for the next customer, I mean mother-to-be)...I'm like relax...the baby will come fast! Anyways, I remember being in a daze too...I didn't care about price, I just wanted to go to the store, get what I needed and go home. And props to you for going with cloth diapers. We didn't even attempt it since we're in an apartment and would have to bring the stuff to wash down in the laundry room which would require paying as well as possibly waiting.

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    1. Hey there, Andrew. I'm still pushing for disposables -- I think it's a coin toss right now.

      It's good to hear that the haze is normal! I have to go back to work in a few weeks and I suspect they're just going to have to accept that I'm not as sharp as I used to be.

      And I hear you on the hospital wanting to get people in and out of there. We luckily didn't have to use Pitocin to speed up labor: our OB just broke her water and that sure sped things right the hell up.

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  8. Congratulations! My husband and I have a one-month-old, and we're doing cloth diapers. So far, we like them a lot. We're using pre-folds (with snappis) and covers, and cloth wipes. Our purchase costs were about $20, since we got a lot of things as gifts and hand-me-downs. If you're doing cloth, you should definitely do cloth wipes as well - it's way easier to just throw everything in the same diaper pail rather than having to remember that wipes get thrown in the trash but diapers don't, and they don't add much to the laundry. We wash every other day (although I think we have enough diapers and wipes that we could do every third day now, every other day seems better for reducing smells and yuckiness). The Fluff Love University website has been really helpful for figuring out a good wash routine, and how to prep hand-me-down and new diapers.

    (We also have one newborn-size pocket diaper, but it's a pain in the butt to stuff/unstuff it, and it didn't hold the pee in, so we haven't used it again.)

    FWIW, our pediatrician told us that cloth-diapered babies typically have less diaper rash than babies in disposables, although he said that most babies in any kind of diaper will probably get a rash about once a month. We have not had blowout issues with the prefolds/covers.

    As far as I'm concerned, the biggest downside of the prefolds/covers is that they're unfamiliar to a lot of people, so family and friends who want to help change diapers face a learning curve and may not change as many (or any) diapers as they otherwise would.

    If you have questions or want to know more about our setup, I'd be happy to go into more detail.

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    1. That's really informative, Katherine. Thank you! We have a few different styles of cloth diapers to try out (all in one, pocket, snaps) so I think we'll give them a shot and then see if we can make a decision.

      But maybe I'll take you up on your offer and see if we can learn more about your setup, and maybe copy it.

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  9. Those songs you hear and sing will stick with you even as they grow up. Granted we didn't sing any poop related lyrics (that I recall anyway *lol*) but there are quite a few songs that remind us of the time we spent with them as newborns.

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    1. Wait, you didn't also sing about poop?

      I don't buy it.

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  10. Congrats to you guys - What a lovely little addition to your family! So happy for you. =)

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  11. Congrats on the baby! It seems everyone is having a baby (or maybe it just seems that way since my wife just had our first child!)

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  12. Congratulations!!! Exciting stuff. Oh how I laughed at the breastfeeding part. They always make it sound so easy and wonderful when it's really hard as hell and painful!!!! But it does get better about 8 weeks in (I know that sounds like a lifetime at this point. I never could do cloth--was never that organized, but if you can, I think that's amazing and so much better for the environment. Wishing you lots of sleep (as much as you can squeeze in, anyway!) in the coming months!! :)

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  13. Congratulations! Enjoy your time getting used to the sleep deprivation :) We used cloth, and it was worth it for us. We had a longer stay in the NICU because of jaundice though - a week. Things really started improving for us about 5 months in - she started sleeping (mostly) through the night. Make sure Mrs DonebyForty gets out with new mom's groups and makes friends to trade clothes and stories with - I'm still great friends with many of the women I met through the one at our local hospital.

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  14. He is super cute. Congratulations on the smooth childbirth. I remember those early days. It was super stressful, but full of love too. It's amazing how such a tiny being can change your life completely. Enjoy your time off! Our son is 7 now. Time flies.

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