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Monday, October 6, 2014

Brenik Arli- One Month

Well, we made it to a month old (read, I made it to a month). I don't say this lightly because it was pretty hairy at times. Brenik has been a complete rockstar and has been as self sufficient as he possible can be for an infant. The transition to two littles has been a lot hard on me than I expected though a lot of that has to do with how slow of a recovery I've had, I'm actually awaiting a doctor's appointment to discuss a repair. My limited physical abilities have shorten my patience leading to reactive parenting rather than responsive parenting which has of course lead to days spiraling out of control emotionally for everyone involved. We're getting there little by little with high highs and low lows at times but we are getting there. Enough about that, let's get back to talking about Brenik.

Brenik entered the first Wonder Week right as Chris went back to work. I didn't know about Wonder Weeks with Gabriel but have since learned that they are predictable stages of mental growth that bring about extra fussiness and clinginess for about a week or two depending on which leap. The first week strikes at around 5 weeks from due date which for us was right around 3 weeks of age. This was a rough week to say the least, I felt overwhelmed to begin with now flying solo and then my easy-go-lucky newborn was all of a sudden fighting sleep to the extreme and only wanted to sit in my arms and nurse all day. I remember sitting with Gabriel in my arms days on end nursing without a care in the world but this time around I had Gabriel to take care of in addition to baby- those days of sitting around and doing nothing but nursing were far behind me. I read that during this week (and all Wonder Weeks for that matter) mothers do a lot of baby wearing. I ordered a Solly Baby Wrap but it wasn't here yet. I have an Ergo with an infant insert but didn't care to wear it. My neighbor loaned me her Moby Wrap so as a baby screamed and a toddler wouldn't keep his hands off the keyboard I tried to watch a YouTube tutorial on how to use it but as you can imagine that didn't end well. That whole day actually concluded in my throwing the towel in early and calling Chris to come home. What concluded Wonder Week that makes up for all the crazy is that Brenik smiles quite frequently at me now! Even in the middle of the night when he shouldn't be flirting with me I can't help but giggle at those open mouth smiles. In those couple seconds you forget about the tears, stress, and still existing pain from delivery.

It's funny how your parenting changes from child to child. Brenik is already on a decent sleep, eat, wake schedule. During the day that cycle is only about 2hrs, I'd like it to be closer to 3hrs but in time I'm sure we'll get there. We have some factors disrupting the length of that cycle, such as a toddler waking a baby almost daily... I imagine Brenik will eventually either not wake so easily or just learn to put himself back down when that happens. Gabriel's schedule was more of a sleep, nurse, nurse, nurse, wake, nurse, nurse, sleep, nurse, nurse... I created a snacking monster with him! For the last month we have worked so hard at trying to get Brenik to take a pacifier which I find semi hysterical because first go round I avoided pacifiers like the plague thinking they weren't a healthy habit (says the woman who was a living, walking, breathing pacifier... the big fat joke was on me). Unfortunately he hasn't been too keen on it and has only accepted one a couple of times. To continue comparing the differences between babies... We read the book The No-Cry Sleep Solution with Gabriel and with Brenik have read Baby Wise, Gabriel wasn't swaddled and with Brenik we stopped but then started back up again and plan to continue with it. So far between Brenik being a different child and us doing things differently, he is sleeping better than Gabriel did. By the end of the month we were getting at least one good 4-5 hour stretch of sleep from Brenik at night followed by 2.5-3 hour stretches. Of course there are those super difficult nights were child wakes every 2 hours but they don't feel as awful this time around as they did the first time. Maybe that's because as a parent you're always somewhat perpetually exhausted?

Once again I birthed another beast of a child. We aren't sure how much he is now but at his 2 week he was 10.5lbs which totally amazed the midwife since he was 8lbs15oz at birth. I'd imagine he's a couple pounds up from that now but since he was 22" at birth and has grown longer (of course) he has yet to put rolls on his legs. Oh how I would love a chubby thighed baby! He's now wearing 3-6month clothes for the body length.

This month has been filled with far more surprises, challenges and emotions than we expected; some good, others not so awesome. Through it all it has been a real joy to see Gabriel's excitement and love for his new baby brother. Part of me thinks that more than not Gabriel thinks he is the one taking care of Brenik. Gabriel is so observant when it comes to watching us take care of Brenik and tries to mimic our action and participate routinely in taking care of baby brother. Having Gabriel be a part of the care process helps Gabriel feel involved, heard, and seen but often times as you can imagine makes small tasks large which leads to stress on our behave. It's all one big balancing act and as we get more comfortable with it all and each child gets a little older this will all feel more manageable but for now it's a day at time and some days are best handled hour by hour or minute by minute. At the end of the day we are thankful for this new journey we're on and love that our family has expanded.

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