I had already posted a recipe for a pre-made smoothie mix, but I was thinking lately about how expensive protein powders are. I had some on mornings when my husband was able to make my shake before me. It was easy to take a nice mix like Vega and blend it up quickly, but the price tag was too much and I wanted to try to make a protein powder that could just be blended on it’s own without too many other ingredients.
I had a brilliant idea of using freeze dried fruit to add flavor to chalky protein powders and I have to say it works pretty well! I remember the days when you could only get the stuff like freeze dried iced cream from the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, but now all sorts of freeze dried things are popular snacks. I got mine from Trader Joe’s for a pretty reasonable price and it is easy to just dump the bag in the food processor to make the mix.
Oh… but wait…. take out that silica gel packet first!
I didn’t and my god did I cry. Sure I am a little sleep deprived, but I was pretty pissed. I used two packages of freeze dried strawberries, two cups of protein powder, and made a smoothie. And it tasted awesome. So I started to pour the powder in a container and noticed a shredded up packet. I had to throw out my smoothie, and all the powder mix. AWFUL!
Well, it gave me motivation to test out a few things a little more. I tried the freeze dried blueberries, which were so-so. The freeze dried mangos were awesome! I tried mixing with just water, just plant milk, or plant milk and ice. I have to say the homemade mix does pretty well with just milk, though I still suggest at least blending with a banana or avocado with ice to make it creamier.
One thing to keep in mind is that since I am not using flavoring agents like most smoothie mixes would use, you need more mix per smoothie. It might feel a little weird at first getting a measuring cup to make a smoothie, but it won’t taste too thick.
Ways Wolfies is Really A Wolfie
- He drools all over the place
- Sometimes he spits up on his toys then sucks off the spit up. Gross
- The cat is kind-of scared of him
- People tell him he is “such a good boy”
- We are teaching him how to roll over
Oh boy. Things are moving fast. Wolfi is starting to be a little more FUN. Less dangling of toys and more efforts from his part. He was trying really hard to grab things and put them in his mouth, but his eye hand coordination wasn’t the greatest. But my sister suggested I buy a play mat at a second hand consignment shop. Luckily I found this cute space themed one, and after setting it up, almost immediately Wolfie started to reach for the dangling toys.
Most of his time is spent trying to shove things in his mouth. Yup, we are in the early stages of teething. There are rings of spit around his neck, and his gums were red and sore. He didn’t want to eat and could barely sleep. It was sooo awful. One night I didn’t sleep longer than 2 hours at a time. The pressure on his teeth has curbed a little, but we still don’t see any teeth yet.
Even though he was having a hard time sleeping, he is now sleeps for most of the night. We are ranging from seven hours all the way to eleven and half hours! Whoo! Mama’s getting almost eight hours of a sleep consistently. Hell, one night I got NINE hours of sleep. It was glorious. Even his daytime naps have been better as well. Most of the time little Wolfie is sleeping 30 minutes, but one week he consistently slept 30 minutes then a longer nap later. Do we have days where he gets no sleep? You bet.
Some good news for my buff new mom arms- Wolfie weighted 15lbs, 10oz, putting him in the 50th percentile. Which means his growth is overall slowing down! Horray! He was starting to get a little hard to manage, but if he growing slower I am sure it will be easier over time.
This month has been both exciting and uneventful all at the same time. Although Wolfie is growing and learning, it is hard to pin-point his skills outside of “better.” He can grab things more tactfully, he can babbles more frequently, etc. But I do have one very interesting story.
See my husband almost always had a little help from me in the mornings. So when Wolfie was first born he had to do everything himself so I could feed him or sleep. He got the hang of it all but still couldn’t make the time for shaving. So he just grew a beard. No biggie. It was winter and it was cold. Now he thought that spring is coming and we have a better handle on things- it was time to shave.
In the middle of his shave job I had to do something (use the bathroom? eat? I don’t know anymore) so I asked if he could hold the lil Wolf for a second. Next thing I know he comes out of the bathroom with a 70’s stache. Holy cow did Wolfie hate it! He gave his Daddy a look and burst into tears. Clearly were were evil parents and torchered him long enough to capture the moment. Don’t worry, Jon shaved the rest of the hair and Wolfie recognized his Daddy again.
If you read my earlier post, you know I am baking my way through the American Cake cookbook. If I can make a good vegan version, I’ll post it on the blog. If I fail, well, I will still talk about the history and how badly I failed. XD But I have good news- this cake was successful!
First lets talk about the history of this cake. Before getting the American Cake book I never knew how American molasses is. Sure it is used in European recipes, but it is used more often in the American colonies since it was so cheap. White sugar was reserved for the upper classes and special occasions. So most Americans bought molasses to sweeten their baked goods.
But there is another aspect of Americaness to molasses. Many Quaker residences boycotted sugar. The sugar industry relied on slave labor, and conditions were considerably worse than slaves in the thirteen colonies. Most slaves were literally worked to death (while in the United States we cruelly let our slaves live long enough to have children and enslave them.) This sugar boycott makes me think about how vegans boycott animal products, and sometimes products that have unethical standards, like chocolate and palm oil. I love learning about historical activism!
In that spirit I TRIED to make the cake palm oil free, but the a lot of the flavor depended on butter. So if you want to be like the colonial quakers, you can try out some palm oil free margarine (which in the states mean Miyoko’s Cultured Butter.) If anyone tries using their own homemade vegan butter, please tell me how the recipe turned out!
Now as usually I can never just make a recipe. No, I had to make this recipes “healthier.” How? Simply using blackstrap molasses instead of regular molasses. You may have heard that blackstrap molasses is much more pungent and it has more vitamins in it. In fact, there is a good amount of calcium in blackstrap. How does this happen? Pretty much molasses is the by product of refined sugar after being boiled a second time. Blackstrap molasses is the result from the third boiling. That means less sugar, and more nutritional goodies.
Although I wouldn’t say this is the most healthy snack, it definitely is helping you out nutritionally. One slice (an eighth of a cake) has almost half of calcium in your daily requirements and almost all of the copper you need! If you want to make it even MORE healthful you could use part whole wheat flour or sub with whole wheat pastry flour or spelt flour. I used all purpose unbleached flour.
Man, what a month this has been. It feels like it flew by but I think it’s mostly because I wrote his “2 month” post pretty late, so it FEELS like the month was just between baby posts. I said it once and I’ll say it again, each day he becomes more and more human like and more and more massive.
Wolfie is now becoming an infant- not a newborn, but a full blown functioning baby. It’s pretty exciting! The crying is much less, he tries to talk, grabs things, and is drooling…a lot. The scary thing is how fast he is growing. I think I can say he is growing at a not-so-normal pace. He is now wearing 6-9 month clothing…. at 3 months! I could kind-of wrap my head around him wearing 3-6 month clothing at 2 months. I mean that isn’t too far away, right!? It was just a few weeks early! Today I grabbed a footsie jammie that was warmer but larger in size since it has been pretty cold. I figured it would be baggy on him, but it actually fit really nicely. At this rate he will be a full grown adult by the end of the year.
All of his rapid growing has actually taken a toll on me. I guess little Wolfie is growing so fast that he has been waking up after only 4 hours of sleep for midnight feedings. This led to me being sleep-deprived, and a sleep-deprived me leads to crying me. At one point I went out for grocery shopping, and it was just a bad day. I was expecting a day off from watching Wolfie, but my Mom cancelled. I didn’t get any continuous sleep like I normally get. And it was incredibly windy so that Wolfie was constantly crying inbetween the car and the stores. It became clear that he wasn’t going to stop freaking out, and I started to get upset that I couldn’t even go grocery shopping. I had lots of produce and bagels, and couldn’t put them back so I went to pay for them. The cashier asked how I was doing, and I just lost it. I started crying, and the poor guy had to deal with a crying baby and a crying Mom. I feel as though I must not be the only Mom to have a meltdown, which helped me to feel better again. I figured I would try and make the trip again for the rest of the groceries, and it was MUCH more succesful.
I have to say though, Wolfie is a champion sleeper at night, just a crummy napper (10 hours and 20 minutes of solid sleep!). In fact the napping gets worse everyday. I rock him for 30 minutes, and he only sleeps 30 minutes. And it is just getting to the point of him getting too big to hold for long periods of time. Worse yet, he is such a light sleeper that transferring him from my arms to the bed usually wakes him up. So I have been trying to get him to cry it out to help him learn how to fall asleep on his own.
Let me tell you guys… it sucks!!!
I know most doctors say it doesn’t hurt the baby. Many people compare it to driving around in a car. You don’t stop the car, and hold your baby till he stops crying. You keep going until you get what you need done. But there is something awful of just sitting around waiting for him to stop crying. In fact this is the first time I waited long enough for him to fall asleep. It felt awful. I hope his crying lessens and lessens ’till I can just put him down. He would be such a happy baby if he just naps for an hour twice a day. YOU HEAR THAT WOLFIE?! THAT’S ALL YOU NEED TO DO!
Overall I am feeling much better. Maybe it is medication, maybe it is the therapy, or just getting more sleep. I am getting all those squishy baby feels, and I am not getting all excited about seeing other people’s babies (who am I?) The other day I caught myself just walking around with Wolfie for an hour and enjoying it. I think it helps that I am getting out more.
Oh and Wolfie (finally) got to meet his Aunt Alexa! I think he was thrown off by her pink hair XD. The visit was great for me, since it has been forever that I’ve hung out with people my age, well, I’ve been hanging with my friend Justine a few times. We tried out a restaurant that will hopefully get posted. Also Alexa will be proofing my posts since I am too tired to notice run-on sentences and misspelled words.
*Editor’s Note (aka Alexa’s note): Guys I am SO IN LOVE with Jen’s lil’ Wolfie. He’s so lucky to have such a great mama and dad on his life and I hope I get to squish his baby face again soon!!!*
I love cake! It was always my favorite dessert as a kid- next to ice cream (for obvious reasons?). I never quite could relate to friends who thought cake was lame. I always had homemade cakes for my birthday. My favorite part was the actual cake part, not the frosting. Having a good frosting is especially important, and something I always remember is my friends having really gross cakes and frosting (probably because they would get cheap sheet cakes with Crisco frosting. Yuck.).
I also remember admiring The Cake Bible. Baking seemed fun and exciting. But as I got older, it seemed that the American baked goods scene was boring. It is dominated with desserts that are made to taste like other things (like french toast covered in crushed sugary cereals, PB&J flavored everything, birthday cake flavored cookies, etc) or cakes that look like other objects. Nothing compared to the creativity with edible ingredients found in The Cake Bible (hello meringue swans on a blueberry jam pond)
Then Jon and I started to watch The Great British Bake Off. I fell back in love. I loved learning about all the different cakes, pastries, and desserts. Even the savory dishes were fun, mostly when they didn’t involve meat. It got me wondering, what about America? Do we have distinctive desserts?
I heard about American Cake from the podcast Stuff You Missed in History Class. I knew I needed that book. It combined so many things I loved, history and cakes. I also knew these cakes wouldn’t be vegan, so I would have to alter the recipes.
I originally was going to make this into a project for Vegan MOFO, but decided to post as I go along in the book. I won’t be making every single cake in the book. Some I am honestly not sure how to make vegan, or rather not sure how similar it would end up being to the original. For example there is an early colonial cheesecake that uses ricotta cheese. Do I bother trying to recreate that? Also there are three or four different pound cakes. Should I even bother? And don’t even get me started with angel food cake.
So follow me in my journey. I will either post about my adventures trying to make the cakes, and if possible, I will share my recipe. I naturally started with the first cake recipe, and one of my favorite types of cake- Gingerbread Cake. Hopefully, I will post it soon.
Yes, it is possible! I do have blog posts that aren’t about babies! Well, this recipe came about because my husband needed a little extra help while getting ready for work in the morning. But I am usually feeding a baby or asleep in bed anymore. So being able to help out is a little hard. I’ve been hoarding protein mixes for myself to make the smoothie process faster with a baby. Just add milk, DHA, banana, ice, and scoop of powder. I wanted to save it for myself, plus my husband probably would want something more calorically dense. So I did the math and figured out how to take everything in his normal morning shake and put it in one mix.
I figured this would be a great thing to share, even if it is pretty basic. Since I had a baby strapped onto me, I just used my iPhone for the photos. Things are getting a little better. He is starting to prefer being in the swing by himself over being strapped to me, which I am okay with.
A quick note- the recipe makes about 5 smoothies, which is just enough for the work week. The photos show me making a double recipe… sort of. For the photos I had leave out some of the oats. Doubling the recipe BARELY fits in a mason jar. So just keep that in mind. The recipe also includes ways to customize the mix.
- Being asleep
- Looking at…uh… anything
- Me saying “Hiiiiiiii!”
- Walks in the stroller
- Falling asleep
- Having Jon blow on his face
- Car seats
- Tummy Time
- Gusts of wind
- Sucking on wrists
- Rolling from tummy to back
- Punching the dangling birds on swing
Oh man. This month has been crazy. I mean something have gotten better, and some have gotten worse. Or rather certain aspects of life has put off to the side. Mostly the blog and my computer using. Wolfie does not like to take naps during the day. I walk and rock him for 30 minutes, and he then sleeps for 30 minutes. Which gives me just enough time to take a shower, pump milk, or eat. I was keeping up with reading blogs because of my tablet but that kind-of went out the window when Wolfie got too big to feed him and see the tablet at the same time. Because of this, my sister is lending me her old laptop. It now gives me time to read blogs, write posts, etc, while pumping or eating.
It also helps that I am now seeing a therapist for postpartrum depression. I am also taking some medication, which I think helps. Luckily I read lots of blogs that helped me cope with depression- taking time to myself, trying to eat healthfully, try and get enough sleep etc. All which can be hard to do with a baby.
So remember how I mentioned how I have a huge nugget baby? Well he got even more massive. When I took him to his one month doctor visit (which happened after writing my post) he went from 8lb 9oz to 11lb 13oz! He was in the 80th percentile, meaning he is bigger than 80% of babies. He is now wearing clothes in the 3 to 6 month sizing, and some of his clothes are getting tight with the cloth diapers, which is a sign he will be too big for them soon. UGH! Just a few days ago we went to his 2 month doctor’s visit and he weigh much less than what we expected. He moved down to the 73rd percentile at 13lb 11.6oz (or 6.225kg) Funny thing is that I was thinking he head was starting to get big… not so much. His head measurements were in the 40th percentile. He has my tiny little noggin.
Wolfie is now giving smiles! This TOTALLY helps. Nothing sucks more than getting only negative feedback. I was patiently waiting for the smile appear. Would it be from tickling him? Cuddling? Feeding? Clearly he was going to smile at ME, right? WRONG! His first smile was at a picture frame. No, the side of a picture frame. My Mom made a needlepoint of Mrs. Tiggiewinkle and I hung it above his changing table. One day he let out the biggest smile at it. I thought I might of been going crazy, but he kept on doing it over an over again. I started to feel a little sad, but he now smiles and squeals for me. He hasn’t smiled at the frame in a few weeks. Take that picture! I’m the new favorite.
I also look at the tummy time photo from last month and can’t help me be amazed. That was impressive to me. Now he is a pro at holding his head up. He actually can even roll over (like a dog!) from his tummy to his back. He actually has done this last month but it was an accident. Then one day he did a very controlled roll. So I thought, so way, and put him back on his tummy, and he did it again. I still was skeptical that it was accidental, until later that day I put him on his tummy and he started to whine and wimper. Then he rolled on his back and gave a sigh. But he isn’t very good at this. 90% of the time he tries to roll over and doesn’t get it. So he tries harder and starts pushing on both hands, making thing worse until he melts down and his head falls to the floor. I eventually feel bad and roll him to his back. He’ll get better, I know.
I’m still getting use to a baby boy. I always have taken care of my nieces, so I am use to that. Not so much little boys, which has meant that pee has gotten all over the place. I’ve had to clean the carpet way too much. And he even has peed on the curtains. That was talent. I think all the pee is getting Toulouse’s attention, and I’ve even caught her smelling some of the pee spots.
Perhaps all the pee is helping Toulouse get use to Gavin. He is hiding a lot less, and is even stays around when Wolfie is making some noise. She is even snuggling with us more again. When I head to bed and Jon stays up, she will come over and stay in his lap. She has even come over and slept on the bed again. He doing some sniffing of Wolfie. Sometimes he sniffs him. Mostly in the car seat, but I got him to sniff his head once.
This post has taken me so long to write, that it is almost already month three! So we are almost out of the newborn stage and off to the normal baby stage. Whoo!
Gosh, I am finally getting around to taking these photos. I actually had to “tidy” up the nursery a little. It is definitely more messy that what the photos show at any given point. Which I was a little surprised, I mean it is a baby, right? He can’t even lift his head up let alone leave things on the floor?! Well, turns out that I always have some food and water left out, and extra clothes laying around, or things fall down and I don’t pick them up since I have a baby in my hands.
But now I have photos, and I am happy to talk about some of the fun projects we did for the room. Let me start with basics. We painted the walls recently, and it took forever. We live in a row home in a housing development, which kind-of means the construction was a little half assed. The house isn’t falling apart, but when it comes to small details, the workers were more focused on speed not precision. So Jon had to a lot of work of the walls before we could actually paint it. Then we had to paint the ceiling all over again because the previous owners did a patch up and never painted it. *sigh*
We were pretty lucky that my sister never throws anything out. I am pretty much the opposite. If I am done using something I give it away. Rarely do I hold on to something until someone I know needs it (anyone in South Jersey need a window air conditioning unit? I got one!) But my sister kept her crib, changing table, rocking chair, and matching toy box. Even better- I looked it up and the crib wasn’t discontinued, though the company looks like they went out of business. We also got a lot of other goodies from her like toys, and books. So it has been very helpful, especially since I don’t like the idea of buying things for the baby when they will grow out of it.
Once the painting was done, and Jon and I started to set up the nursery we quickly realized we needed something put our lamp on. There was a lot of fights over this. I wanted to use an old bookshelf that I had from my parents house. My husband wanted nothing to do with it. But after checking the ReStore we kept striking out on a second hand side table, and buying a new one was too expensive. So we sanded and painted the bookshelf I originally wanted.
I really like it, and I think it grew on Jon once we finished the project. Oddly we aren’t using it for the lamp/side table for the rocking chair. I am actually using the toy chest, since Wolfie is too young for toys- at least for the toys we are keeping in the chest. That is fine since we seem to keep getting books from people and needed more space on the shelf. Which is nice, but I don’t want to get too many. If I remember with my nieces, kids really like hearing the same stories over and over again.
Since Jon wasn’t thrilled about the original bookshelf, he told his parents about our conundrum. We needed storage, but couldn’t afford anything that lives up to our personal quality standards. They suggested a certain shelf from The Container Store. They were going to surprise us with the shelf for Christmas, but when they saw the shelving units in person, Jon’s Father wasn’t thrilled about the quality. So he just built us a totally new one.
It has been really helpful, storing various goods in the drawers, and it also is home for the books that I read while breastfeeding or trying to rock the Nugget to sleep.
Speaking of rocking a nugget to sleep- let me talk about the rocking chair.
If you follow me on Instagram you might of seen this photo of Toulouse sleeping on the rocking chair. There is a cute fox pillow sitting next to her. It ain’t so cute anymore. It is now covered in lots of breastmilk and has been crushed into a rectangle. I tried looking to see if you could wash the pillow but it looks like it is only spot wash only. It will probably find it’s way into the wash anyways out of desperation. My kid is a messy eater, and it isn’t fun since 90% of the mess lands on my boobs, arms, and clothing.
See that mirror? Yup another hand me down from my sister. I kind-of took it thinking it could go in the hallway and it was just way too big. Then I thought I could use hooks in the nursery. Thank god I thought of that because it has been insanely helpful. It holds all of many hats, booties, and his coat. There are so many little things that babies need that don’t quite store well.
There were spots for photos in the shelf and I felt weird putting photos in there. Who would get those spots? Us? Grandparents? Photos of our kid? Finally I printed out watercolors of bears in the spots. If we come up with a better plan then they will get switched up. I also love the mirror because I can see myself when I stand around swaying the baby to sleep. It helps me to remember to take a shower from time to time. XD
There is something about babies and everyone making things. My Mom, her friends, Jon’s mother, and relatives are all busy knitting, sewing, and stitching. So we have a bunch of homemade gifts from family. My Mom pulled out old needlework canvases of Beatrix Potter characters since she wrote some of my favorite stories as a child. She had only finished the one of Mrs. Tiggiewinkle, which was my favorite character. Wolfie LOVES that picture. Well.. less of the embroider and more about the frame. Whenever I change him he just stares at the bottom of the frame. He even SMILED at the frame. My Mom also stitched the “napping” sign for our door that is on the top of the post.
Jon’s Aunt surprised us with some hand knitted toys. She gave us two little booties, which have been helpful as they are warm and stay on pretty well. She also made two cute hats (one that looks like a bear and another that looks like a cat) and he will be able to wear them pretty soon. They are smidge too large. She even made some cute little toys. I know Alexa plans on painting something for Wolfie’s room… so get on that gurl!
Finally we have these cute stuffed animals. We have gotten a bunch- but these are the cutest. My Mom found this posh fox toy at the Winterthur gift shop. He is nice a sturdy and will probably last forever and ever. That other posh toy? Well, it is from family friends from Canada er… Mississippi. Okay they are snow birds who go to Mississippi instead of Florida. They bought this cute white bear, with a note that he can be machine washed when Wolfie drags him in the mud. Again, I am so impressed with the quality. I hope he really likes this bear.
Tip: If you have a friend who is having a baby- DO NOT BUY THEM A STUFFED ANIMAL! I love stuffed animals but geez do we have a ton of them. If you want to buy something cute and squishy, trying getting stuff combo toys. Kids LOVE the stuffed animals that are part blanket.
Well that’s the nursery. Eventually you will see a tour of our office and bedroom. Once we finish up putting up the shelves in the rooms… which might be forever XD
- Being able to put Wolfie in his crib and being able to pee without him crying. Super rewarding.
- I am pretty sure I saw a smile late one night. Right towards the end of the month, but then again, it could of just been a very big smile twitch
- Crying, lots of crying. One night was exhausting, and Wolfie was just NOT tired. At one point I had to put him in the crib crying just so I could loose my shit and wail around on the ground. We pretty much looked the same- one baby and one adult crying on their backs, flailing their arms.
- Desperation to get a baby go to sleep is real. The other night I was rocking Wolfie to sleep with one boob hanging out, soaked in breast milk, my shirt half on exposing my stomach stretch marks, and queefing each time I swayed my hips. Not a flattering picture, but he fell asleep so I don’t care too much in the end.
Let’s start with me. I am all healed up and for the most part my body feels pretty much back to normal. Except for my boobs. Breastfeeding has been a little bit of an emotional challenge. I had a hard time having to be the only source of food for the first week or two. Sadly, I am convinced that I am made for baby making. Fast delivery, very minimal tearing (for such a huge baby), and I am making lots and lots of milk. Breastfeeding wasn’t that hard to pick up, probably because I’ve been using nipple shield. Luckily I have been able to pump, and have successfully transitioned to a bottle, making it possible to share the feeding workload. But sometimes it is hard to find the time to pump, but I am sure it will get easier as Wolfie gets older.
In fact feeding was such a problem at first. It felt like I was nursing every hour, and when we went to the pediatrician Wolfie lost more than 10% of his body weight dropping from 8lb 13oz to 7lb 15oz, which is problematic. We scheduled another appointment to get reweighed. BAM- it really felt like I was nursing all the time, except it became obvious that my milk had come in. All I had in my head was Rufus is a Titman at every feeding. When we came back, he weight 8lb 9oz, gaining 3oz each day. He is still a little eating monster, growing out of some of the newborn clothing before week 2. By week 3 we have only one fleece onesie that still fits.
Before we even reached week 4, we started Tummy Time. If anyone doesn’t know, pretty much to prevent SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) you are suppose to put baby on their backs for sleeping. Because of this, babies can’t practice strengthening their necks, backs, and therefore can’t learn to crawl. So you are suppose to watch baby as you place them on their tummies for a few minutes. Well, Wolfie has such strong neck muscles I figured, why not? Naturally I am setting myself up for disaster as the second he can roll over, he has to stick with crib for sleeping, not the vibrating rocker that makes it easier to put him to sleep at night. But I welcome this new baby who can entertain himself.
As for me? Well, I think it is true what people say, you will never be prepared for what it is like to have kids. I had some idea of what it would be like, and the first two weeks weren’t as bad as what I thought it would be- but it is was still really damn hard. I think what I wasn’t prepared for was the healing I had to do. The first week or two involved lots of steps in the bathroom while everything healed. And since I was in labor during the night, I was just so exhausted and never was able to catch up on sleep. By week two I was just so tired of taking 10 minutes to have to pee, and waking up every 2-3 hours. It is particularly hard if you plan on breastfeeding. At first it didn’t dawn on me that it would be harder. It wasn’t until I realized there was no way Jon and I could take “turns” at night. It would always be me to feed him. Which meant I will always be the one to wake up in the middle of the night. Okay, that isn’t true. Now that we have reached 4 weeks, Wolfie isn’t feeding every 2 hours, that means finding time to pump is easier. I have also reached the point where I am being a little more relaxed to the idea of using formula. Overall, I am not sure if I will continue to breastfeed. It takes up so much time. Some days I think it isn’t so bad, and then other days I think all I want to do is just pass him off to someone else.
Luckily, Jon was able to take two weeks off from work, and since Wolfie was born during the holiday season, he had a few bonus days off. Sadly because of the holidays it made things crazy for the first two weeks. Yes, we got to play “pass the baby” during parties, but it meant a fussy baby. Then we would hear all our relatives saying “oh that’s just what babies do!” but in my mind I am just thinking “it isn’t that way at home, so no, it isn’t what MY baby does.” The worst was Christmas Eve to the day after Christmas. It was just shlepping Wolfie from house to house. By the third day, I just wanted to nap, and I was spending time with a relative that I don’t particularly get along with.
I am also super thankful that my Mother in Law loves babies. I am not particularly fond of them. I know many people might scratch their heads at that idea, but I love kids. Hell, if I had the option, I would of spent more time pregnant if I could give birth to a toddler. It would totally have to be a c-section, but that is besides the point. It kind-of drove me nuts when people would say things like “cherish him now” or “how can you not love this face?” It made me happy when I listened to the podcast One Bad Mother, and the person they were interviewing said staying home with kids was boring. And she said how she loved it more when her kids got older. Anyways, since my Mother in Law loves babies so much, I have been able to get a few hours or days to myself. It is nice and refreshing to not have to lug a baby all over the place.
That doesn’t mean I don’t love my little nugget. Everyday I am growing a stronger bond with him. But I think it is more “fun” to see him grow. He hasn’t made that many advancements yet, except getting massive, being able to hold his head up more, and being more alert. He is starting to see better, and loves to just look at things. But again, that doesn’t really give me much to do with him. I see my Mother in Law dote on him, and I don’t see much of a difference between what she does and playing with a doll.
Oh and speaking of him getting massive…. dear lord is he starting to get hard to hold. I mean, it is fine until I stand trying to rock him asleep at night for 30 minutes. My muscles start to burn. My muscle endurance are really being tested in my arms, abs, and back. He is now grown out of all of his newborn clothing, and there are some other clothes that are too snug/a pain to put on him. The other day there was a day he just kept eating, and eating and eating. I was fed up, walked downstairs and mixed up 4 ounces of formula. I told Jon if he looked hungry to feed him that bottle. I was pretty convinced he was just sucking my boobs like a pacifier, because you really have no clue how much milk is going out when feeding. Wolfie ate the whole 4 ounces, and that was after feeding for 45 minutes an hour earlier, and eating another 45 minutes from me within the next hour or two. The kid clearly was going through a growth spurt, I just wasn’t prepared for it.
Now I am moving to the second month, and I will be welcome it since he will be getting closer and closer to being able to entertain himself a little. I am also hoping he gets even better at holding his neck up. He loves to be held upwards, but his neck muscles get exhausted fast and he flops all around.
Here I am, 2 weeks later and just getting around to writing this post. It isn’t that I haven’t had time, but the time has been spent going to various places to visit family for the holidays. And if anyone knows, going anywhere with a baby takes time. So I have been writing this post a little bit here and a little bit there, so I am sorry if it sounds chunky, and is filled with spelling and grammatical errors (I’ve already tried to write fulled and grammerical, so you know.. sleep deprivation)
So I reached week 40 without giving birth. As I mentioned in the past post, I had been getting lots of signs that labor was drawing near. In fact, my patience was getting thin. My back was killing me, which was more or less a new symptom. The worst part were the contractions. I was getting them almost every night but they weren’t consistent, and would go away after an hour or so. So when I went to the doctors for my 40th week visit, they checked me again, and said that I was 5cm dilated and pretty much ready to deliver. I was asked if I would be interested in scheduling an induction, and I said yes, thinking it would be towards the end of the week.
I get a phone call- I would be induced the next day- Tuesday. It suddenly seemed like a bad idea to get an induction. I had a feeling it I wouldn’t need it, that I would magically go into labor that afternoon. The contractions were starting to kind-of be regular. I tried to keep a level head, and go about my business. I told Jon about my suspicion that I might be in real labor, so he naturally starts worry about the mattress. “What if your water breaks? We should put some plastic under the sheets.” Even though we all have seen TV shows where the character has their water break in public and they sopping wet pants. Everything I’ve read reassured that doesn’t happen often so I brushed off Jon’s recommendations as silly. I tossed and turned all night with various pains, when all the sudden I felt something odd, and I knew exactly what it was. I bolted up from the bed scream “MY WATERS BREAKING” trying to make it to the bathroom so I wouldn’t ruin the bed or the carpet (just barely made it guys.) Yup, I had that over the top water breaking moment.
We rushed over to the hospital as soon as we could, and I was nervous about making it in time. Suddenly my contractions were 8-20 minutes apart to a short 3 minutes apart. When we finally make it to our delivery room, I find out that I am 7 cm. So I figured I was in great condition, I was pretty far along, and still handling the pain. What I didn’t take into consideration was how uncomfortable I was. My back pain was unbearable, and laying down on the bed was excruciating. It made breathing very problematic, and I wasn’t so nervous about the pain as I was about hyperventilating. So by the time I broke down and asked the epidural I was 9 cm, and luckily my Mother was around to explain to the nurses that it would be a good idea (the first thing I hear from people is that they are surprised they even gave me the epidural this late.) The only thing that made me sad was that I had to sit up to get the spinal tap and shifting positions completely took away most of the pain from the contractions. I was just in too much pain to even think about changing positions.
I can say I am glad I got the epidural. I think I would of delivered the baby faster with one, but I think I would of had less control of my actions. Which would of been more wear and tear on my body. I do have to say it sucked to have completely numb legs that I had no control over. It did take awhile to figure out how to push when you have no feeling in your lower half of your body. The other aspects weren’t as big of a deal, though I might of been more embarrassed about it if I hadn’t experienced the pain of the contractions for so long. In fact, since we didn’t really look too much into deliveries with epidurals, Jon got wrangled into holding up my leg for the delivery, which he handled very well considering.
So after 8 hours of being in the hospital and 45 minutes of pushing, on Tuesday, December 13th at 8 am, I gave birth to a baby boy. He came out screaming and peed almost immediately on the nurses, so I am pretty sure he healthy but a trouble maker. Just like my sneaking suspicions, I had a big baby weighing in at 8 pounds and 13 ounces, and measured at 21 3/4 inches in length.
I don’t think the gravity of being pregnant sank in until the plopped a piping hot wet baby on my chest after giving birth. They took him away shortly afterwards to weigh and clean him up (that’s when he peed on everyone.) When they brought him back for our hour skin to skin time, one of the first things I noticed was his very hairy back. It was in fact a full moon as well. Jon and I laughed because one of the names we liked was Wolfgang. We decided to not go for it since it was quite an unusual name, but since we have a unique last name, and for privacy reasons, I will choose to call him Wolfie on the blog.
So what does this mean for the blog? Well, let’s be real, it might be awhile since I talk about food again. At one point I was so stressed that I was getting nauseous whenever I ate. I still do. I have to eat small amounts all day, and even still I worry if I am getting enough calories since I’ve lost roughly 17-20 pounds in two weeks, although most women do loose 10 pounds after delivery, and 17 pounds by week 6.
This blog is partly a journal for myself, and partly to give information to other people. So I will be talking about my kid, and tips for vegan parents and such. There are still some posts I want to write about vegan pregnancy. I also want to create a space for vegan parents to check out. It seems that a lot of vegan parenting blogs are a little “granola crunchy” and it can be hard for some people to relate to that. But I don’t want to exclusively talk about babies and kids, and maybe strike a balance like Bonzai Aphrodite.
So if the next few months I am babies all the time, sorry. It is a little hard when your time is so broken up. But we are already starting to get longer nap times, and things seems like they are getting a little more stable (keyword here is seems.) Hopefully in two weeks I will have an update with a rough outline of the first month of Wolfie’s life.