Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Two months of Rowan

A.K.A. Robocop, Ro-bo Baggins, Ro-bo.


Rowan turns two months old today and memories are already starting to fade; things that I told myself I'd remember - too stubborn / stupid to write down in one of my 6,921 notebooks. For example, I can't quite remember which book I read to Joseph the night I went into labour. I think I know, but I'm not sure and it's annoying me. Urgh.

What I do know is... 
  • His first proper, not-just-wind, smile was during his six week health visitor check just as she'd asked whether he was smiling yet and I'd said 'no'. Ruari said he thought he'd seen one the day before but wasn't sure. But we're gonna go with his six-week birthday as the official date he smiled. 
  • Rowan will drink from a bottle, but prefers boob. My sister-in-law was super keen for us to make sure Rowan took a bottle as she had so much trouble because her little girl wouldn't take one, meaning she couldn't go out and leave her alone to do stuff. So I expressed some milk one morning and Ruari fed it to him. He looked so confused and although it took a while he eventually took 4oz. We gave it to him when he wasn't really due a feed as we didn't want him to be ravenous then get stressed out and worked up over a brand new experience and it seemed to pay off. He's now had a few bottles of expressed milk, but I'm yet to leave him for any amount of time that he'd need feeding by anyone else. I have a small freezer stash now though so I'm just waiting to be asked out! Ha! 
  • His favourite song is 'incy wincy spider'. To be fair, I've not sung many other songs to him, but when I do sing that one (and do the actions) it almost always earns a smile. Today it didn't because he'd had his jabs and was in an awful mood all day. Poor baby. 
  • I'm still convinced he's a more chill baby than Joseph was, and that it's not just a case of me finding it easier / being more relaxed second time around. 
  • He is now 12lb 1. I am still a stone heavier than my pre-preg weight. Meh. 
  • The last few nights he has slept for a six hour stretch, then will sleep for a few more after a feed. He has a big nap in the morning too but this often gets disrupted because, y'know, life. His favoured sleeping position is on his front... because he's a rebel. But I think it helps with his wind.
  • We've started doing a bath and bed time routine with him; and his bed time seems to naturally be around 8pm-ish. Though is sometimes later/earlier. We're definitely not as strict with it as we were with Joseph, but that's partly because he's breastfed from source, rather than from expressed milk as Joseph was so it's a bit harder to enforce, I think. 
  • Rowan's visited four beaches; Folkestone, Sandgate, Margate and Whitstable (nowhere exotic; and I'm not sure Folkestone and Sandgate really count as two different beaches!), has been to the zoo (Wingham Wildlife park) three times and has met the pigs at Badger's Hill. 
  • We've booked two holidays; one to Devon in September and one to Spain in October. Both with friends... who may not want to be friends with us anymore depending on how he behaves!
  • He's had his first set of jabs. They were horrible. He looked at me in the eye whilst squealing as if to say 'how could you do this to me, mum!'
  • He enjoys a bath now and seems to kick back and relax. I love it when his hands fall back into the water from his bath chair and his fists unclench.
  • Joseph still absolutely adores his brother; it is still just so heartwarming!



Happy two months, little one! x
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Thursday, 1 June 2017

One month of Rowan

A.K.A. Rosie, Rosie-bear, Rosenthal, Rowan Tree, Rosenberg, Romany.


So*, it turned out that the last time I blogged, I was actually in early labour and I gave birth to a 7lb 10 Rowan around 7 hours after hitting 'publish'. Rowan has already been with us for over a month, and I feel pretty crap that my blog has been [insert zipped-up-mouth emoji here] despite best intentions, however, whenever I've tried to sit down to write his birth story, or any sort of blog post - including this post - it seems I get distracted by one thing or another (usually a baby or a toddler). I actually started writing this in time for his 4-week-aversary, but then didn't get round to finishing it. And now, here we are, late for his one-month-averysary too! But, better late than never, and I just wanted to get a few notes down otherwise I'll kick myself for not documenting anything and, apologies to anyone who might be reading, this post is all over the place due to having started writing it a week ago and things having changed since then!

[*I feel so Instagram-Stories by starting a sentence with the word 'so'!]

Temperament


Rowan is generally a really chilled baby and doesn't cry much. I know it's early days and that could all change very quickly (according to Wonder Weeks he is due to start a 'Leap' tomorrow, meaning that he is entering his first mental development stage which could make him more clingy and unsettled*), but I can't help but compare this experience to mine with Joseph, and I'm certain we were already in the colic stage with by this point. I can't believe that I'm actually able to put him down in his bouncer and have a shower, and that Ruari's evenings aren't spent walking him around trying to get him to calm the f*** down. 

*For the record, he became grouchy the day I started writing this, so on the eve of his 4 week birthday. He has been clingier and generally less settled. Partly due to wind too so he's been having Gripe Water for the last few days and that does seem to have helped him get some of his wind up and out. 

Rowan's probably happiest when sleeping on me, or up high on Ruari's shoulder, but, unlike Joseph I am often able to transfer him successfully onto the sofa or his bouncer, or the spare bed downstairs in order to make dinner / spend time with Joseph / do housework. In fact the only place I don't seem able to transfer him into successfully is his cot. He loves being wrapped up and carried in our Solly Baby Wrap and he usually just falls asleep. I've done food shops and have just about managed to keep up with the laundry this way. Sometimes being in the wrap - and being so close to me - just makes him hungry though and I've ended up having to feed him in awkward places such as the Tesco's car park or the Sainsbury's loo.



Feeding


Breastfeeding, on the whole, is going really well. I still need to use boob-loob - Lansinoh - otherwise it can be really uncomfortable. I still have about 5 seconds of discomfort upon latch, though this isn't every time, and my let down can be a bit pins and needles-y. My right boob is more uncomfortable than my left, which can sometimes be totally painless, but the pain levels are nothing compared to last time. By four weeks with Joseph I had made the decision - with incredibly heavy heart - to switch to expressing and using formula. I was so desperate to breast feed, but I just couldn't take the pain any longer - dreading every feed, not being able to hold Joseph in between feeds for the pain, and I just felt myself really spiralling. I'd lost a lot of my baby weight by then because I was just so stressed and emotional. This time around, however, I don't dread feeds; I actually look forward to relieving my boobs when they're feeling really full, and I don't think I have a chance of losing the remaining stone-and-a-half of baby weight without going on some sort of diet... and I hate diets. In Rowan's first week, we went to see a lactation consultant at a nearby breastfeeding group and she diagnosed a posterior tongue tie which could be snipped if he fails to gain weight and I keep getting Mastitis, but neither of those things have happened so we're just cracking on... Though Rowan has only been weighed twice since birth, the 2nd time he'd regained his birth weight and more, and he feels heavier and longer so I'm pretty sure we're doing ok.*

We got him weighed yesterday, and he is 10lb 4 and following the 50th centile line perfectly. Hurrah!


Sleep


The night time situation is a little bit awkward. Rowan and I co-slept in the spare room downstairs so as not to disturb Ruari and Joseph for the first 10 days or so, but I started feeling really lonely and felt guilty for co-sleeping, so we moved upstairs to where we have the cot bed set up next to our bed. Sure enough, Joseph and Ruari have both been disturbed by Rowan being up there but Joseph seems to be getting better at filtering the crying out now and comes into our room in the mornings so excited to see Rowan (and poke him in the face). Rowan has slept in his Sleepyhead pod and handful of times, but we've not got as much use of it as I'd have liked to so far. We usually come up to bed at around 11.30pm and he will go in the pod until his next feed which is anywhere between 2am and 4am but will not settle back into it so usually ends up sleeping on his front, either in our bed between us, or more recently, on his front in his cot - without the Sleepyhead. Joseph used to like sleeping on his front too... I know it's not ideal according to the sleep recommendations, but he properly has his head facing to the side and there's nothing that can get in the way of his breathing, so... 


Your Face or Mine


Looks-wise, I think Rowan looks a lot like Joseph did, but much chubbier and with a different nose. It looks a little more Filipino. His eyelashes are starting to show now, whereas at first they were obscured by his puffy eye bags! His ears are different too. I am so interested to know how similar or different they are going to look as they get older. 

On a sidenote, Rowan makes a lot of the same noises that Joseph used to make; the snuffles, squeaks, sqwarks (can't think how to spell that word!), the baby sneezes and the almost-sneezes that are just weird shouts. He doesn't seem to startle as much as Joseph did, but is very head-bobby like Joseph was and makes the 'eh-eh-eh' sounds when trying to find the boob. So cute... and sometimes feels a little bit like I've been transported three years into the past.

Being a mum of two


I've actually only had a handful of days truly solo parenting both of the kids for the whole day whilst Ruari's been at work... and I've achieved the ultimate parenting goal of getting them both to nap at the same time, twice!
Rowan tends to nap in the mornings so it gives me some time with Joseph; playing with his Play Doh or the Duplo set that Rowan bought him upon his arrival (ahem), or just watching TV. This morning we made gingerbread biscuits (using a kit) though it was a little ambitious as Rowan woke up screaming and Joseph lost interest after the first batch, so I ended up finishing them one-handed. We try to go out in the afternoons, though Joseph's such a home-body that sometimes it's just easier to stay at home than force him to get ready and out of the door... then there's the risk of him falling asleep in the car, and as I can't let Rowan stay in his car seat for too long, we often end up just going to Granny's house where we can leave Joseph in the driveway but get Rowan in the house.


Joseph & Rowan


Joseph is so full of love and affection for Rowan; it really is the sweetest thing to observe. He says he loves him all the time; gives him kisses and 'hugs', which are really just little forehead-to-forehead touches. This morning when Rowan was crying, Joseph ran to get his 'medicine', the Gripe Water, and put Rowan's nappy in the bin after he'd been changed. Another time Rowan was crying in his bouncer, Joseph went up to him and said 'aww, poor Rowan', then shouted 'Mummy! He wants milk!!' He'll sometimes fetch things for me whilst I'm feeding; a muslin, my phone, my feeding cushion - sometimes when I've not even asked for them. If only he could fetch me some water! He found Rowan's back-up formula in a cupboard one day and often pulls it out just to say that it's Rowan's milk. He thinks it's funny that Rowan can't eat anything and he doesn't have any teeth yet, and often says 'Rowan can't eat this; he has no teeth'; then asks whether we have teeth about 50,862 times during a meal! Joseph is generally really patient with Rowan's crying, though it took a bit of getting used to in the beginning. He's got into the habit of singing 'Twinkle Twinkle' to him to try and help to settle him, which is adorable... though he's also picked up an alternative version called Twinkle Twinkle Chocolate Star and something about dad driving a rusty car. Joseph is so proud of him and loves telling people that he is a big brother. Of course there are awkward times when Joseph will start crying because Rowan is crying - sometimes fake, just for attention. He'll also want to kiss or prod him whilst he's sleeping and will incessantly bounce of the sofa next to me whilst I'm feeding, or climb on me, but overall he seems to have adjust really well. I hope the love continues!



Right, I can hear a Rowan waking up...

Ciao! x
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