Adapting to the new normal

The Leger house has adapted pretty well to our new normal. I anticipate that our normal will be ever-changing, but we’re handling the newborn stage pretty well. As I told Bryan, the newborn phase should be pretty easy because we’ve done it before. I was a little nervous that Quinten would have a completely different personality and we’d have to figure out how to deal with him. For the most part, he’s similar to Maximus.

Baby snuggles are at the top of my list.

He’s a much more efficient nurser and doesn’t ever miss a meal. He’s also a lot more vocal. Not necessarily a crier, but a grunter. We’ve had a few nights that he’s been pretty loud and we haven’t been able to get much sleep. I think that also makes him wake up more frequently. I think part of it is gas, but like I said, he’s not crying about it. He’s also a loud nurser. He likes to coo and make noises while he eats. Maximus did this a little too, but Quinten does it every.time. Eating makes his life complete.

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He’s doing great with sleep. If he goes longer between feedings, it’s during the night. Lately he’s been on an every other night sleep rotation. That means that every other night he gets up every two hours. Then the next night he’ll only get up once, meaning he goes about 3-4 hours between feedings. That every two hours is rough. I’ve been thankful that he’s done it while Bryan has been on break. While Bryan gets up when Quinten wakes, he quickly falls back asleep and it’s me who is up for 45-60 minutes each time. That means that I’ve been able to sleep in* the next day while Bryan deals with Maximus and Quinten. *Get another hour of sleep between the 6 and 8 am feedings.

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Maximus is back to his good-natured self. He’s remembering his manners and giving me hugs and kisses at bedtime. {The first two weeks he refused to say goodnight to me. 😦 } He’s spent a lot of time coloring, drawing, playing with Play-Dough, reading books, and watching a ridiculous amount of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. In the beginning, he spent a lot of time playing IN the moses basket when Quinten wasn’t in it. Now he grabs onto a blanket or other baby item that isn’t being used. He’s gotten comfortable with me nursing Quinten and now simply says, “Baby Quinten eat again?” That’s much better than a few weeks ago when he was saying, “Uh oh! Baby Quinten biting.”

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We’re enjoying this family time and the slow transition into our new normal. Some of us are taking a lot of naps. The rest of us are slowly getting back into the rhythm of cooking and cleaning {and blogging}.

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*These pictures were taken when Quinten was two weeks old. The post written when he was three weeks old.

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It was more than just moral support

Since my breastfeeding experience is over I’ve spent some time reflecting.

I hope I never forget those first few weeks of our journey. Those weeks were so raw as we were figuring out how it all worked and also figuring out each other. It was more than a nursing thing; it was bonding.

I remember constantly being asked if our families were babysitting a lot since they are in town. I was always surprised by this question because I couldn’t imagine not being around my nursing baby. For one, I could feed Jim whenever he was hungry. But that also meant I didn’t have to pump. From the day he was born he was a part of my life. If I had plans, they included him. Now that he’s older we do take advantage of babysitters every once in a while. While I miss him, I his eating habits aren’t impacted by my being away.

I’ve been thinking about what made it work. Aside from the fact that it worked for us. I think a big part of it was my husband. We spent quite a bit of time talking about it while I was pregnant. We both wanted our son to be breastfed. But neither of us knew what to expect. I read a book and we took a class. We both felt comfort knowing that our hospital was pro-breastfeeding and had a very high breastfeeding rate.

After Maximus was born, neither of us knew what to do. We had learned but doing was a lot harder. We needed help and we got it. One of the most important things was Bryan listening and helping me later. He listened to the experts and reminded me later when I wasn’t doing something right. He was amazing! Throughout the first year he continued to support ms in terms of washing pump pieces or transferring milk to the freezer or making sure we took milk to daycare. He wasn’t just there for moral support, he was a physical force and that is what helped me meet our breastfeeding goal.

I nursed Maximus the day after his 1st birthday and he hasn’t looked back since. He’s loving the sippy cup and whole milk world! It was a little touchy that first week when his daycare buddy got to drink so many bottles. He’s past that now and is loving the big boy world.

I couldn’t have ever imagined that I would have this kind of experience. Until I got pregnant, I never spent any time considering if I would breastfeed. My life is forever changed from this experience and I’m grateful for my husband and his support. Because of my successful experience, I look forward to doing it again.