Survival Of The Hungriest

September 12, 2012

Monday.

Lots of snuggling going on!

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My parents left yesterday after a final lunch on the porch

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Mom made us tomato + cheese sandwiches with plum, fruit salad and quinoa

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And then we were a family of 3. A while later, Matt had to run to the bakery to tend to something urgent, so Maze and I were all by ourselves! It was fun and a little scary being home alone – especially the first time I realized I had to go to the bathroom! Luckily we are equipped with a handful of baby seats that held him safely for a quick minute.

We spent some time snuggling in the nursery after lunch. I used to sit in there pregnant just like this – his little backside feels just like my stomach used to – only upsidedown!! (I’m amazed at how flat my stomach is just 4 days postpartum. Of course it’s not toned or anything, and it’s not flat like it used to be, but I figured I would still look about 6 months pregnant right now!)

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We were very very excited when Matt returned! It was like in the movies – he kissed us both when he arrived!

And we celebrated our first moments alone together with the famous 9 Month IPA – just a taste because this is a strong one!

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While Maze ate, Matt whipped up a quick dinner.

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Whole wheat pasta with zucchini, garden tomatoes, and heaps of goat cheese that melted into a sauce. Topped with basil. Tasted AMAZEN!

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We went to bed as early as we could last night. Well, I did! After his last late evening feeding, I went down for a nap while father and son played downstairs so my bedroom was quiet. This seems to work well and gives me a head start on sleep. When he’s ready to nurse again (hopefully around midnight), Matt brings him to me, and I take over for the rest of the night in the nursery so Matt can get rest in our bedroom. And then during the day Matt can watch him while I nap. This tag-teaming seems to be working well for now.

My night last night was quite chaotic, though. We are still figuring out how to breastfeed with a proper latch (been spending time on Kelly Mom), and the little guy alternated 10 and 45 minute sessions (with one 90 minute one!?) with no more than a hour’s nap in between. I kept reminding myself what others have told me: this time is about survival. Although I am exhausted and frustrated in the dark night, I feel pretty good during the day, especially with a few naps. I told myself I would make every effort to “sleep when the baby sleeps” and since Matt has been home to watch him when he’s both sleeping and playing, that gives me plenty of time for napping. I also have the goal tonight to focus on quality. Last night I felt rushed to get back to sleep ASAP and probably took more shortcuts than I should have to try to keep him sleepy. After talking to the pediatrician today, she said make every feeding count, so that’s my goal for tonight.

I’m writing posts a day late now (if you haven’t noticed Smile ) and that seems to be working well too! Can’t wait to share today’s adventures tomorrow! (=Confusing)

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{ 158 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chelsea @ Dine & Dash Diaries September 12, 2012 at 7:04 am

Glad the schedule is working out for you and Matt! Keep posting when you can—we love hearing about your new little adventure!

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2 Khushboo Thadani September 12, 2012 at 7:09 am

I feel like a broken record with my comments lately but I can’t help it- YOUR BABY IS TOO CUTE FOR WORDS!!

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3 KathEats September 12, 2012 at 7:32 am

That’s one broken record I don’t mind being broken :)

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4 Mom September 12, 2012 at 10:38 am

Me neither. And Go Duke Socks!

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5 Meredith September 12, 2012 at 7:11 am

Hang in there! If your milk has not come in yet, that is why he is nursing so much. Even after mine came in, my baby (now 15 weeks) nursed a LOT the first 6 weeks. They are trying to tell your body how much milk you will need for the duration. I spent a LOT of time on the couch with my little guy for what seemed like forever, but the non-stop feedings eventually ended. You can do it!

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6 Rachel September 12, 2012 at 7:14 am

i can’t get over how precious he is! keep up the good work mama :)

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7 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table September 12, 2012 at 7:15 am

Those little Duke socks are too cute!

I hear the nursing thing is not easy – which is mind-blowing to me. It seems like a caveman easy thing but I know my best friend had fits over it. She ditched it after the first 3 crucial months. Plus, then she didn’t have to “pump and dump” long. LOL!

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8 Casey September 12, 2012 at 7:16 am

My big baby sleep lesson (I have a ten month old) was that no matter how tempting it is to put him back in his crib after he falls asleep after the nursing on one side, try to get him to nurse on the other side too. You will be rewarded with a longer stretch! I also cluster fed every hour on the hours before bedtime which really helped. It gets so much better!

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9 KathEats September 12, 2012 at 7:33 am

Good advice… The past night was awesome and I think quality nursing was why!

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10 Jen September 12, 2012 at 7:55 am

Right…you have to nurse long enough on each side to make sure they are getting some of the filling hind milk. The first part of the milk is watery to quench thirst, and the latter part is full of fat and protein. Fill that tummy to get better sleep for both of you!

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11 Willemijn @ Fashion Food Travel September 12, 2012 at 7:17 am

Such cute photo’s and I love to read your new family stories!
Question, why is Maze wearing a shirt without his hands coming out?
Probably something I don’t know about…

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12 KathEats September 12, 2012 at 7:31 am

To protect from baby claws!

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13 Jen September 12, 2012 at 7:56 am

Have you trimmed them yet? My kids came out of the womb with long nails!

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14 KathEats September 12, 2012 at 8:41 am

Trimming was too scary, but I did file them a bit. We have our newborn shoot today and then maybe we can test to see if the filing helped enough

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15 sarah (SHU) September 12, 2012 at 8:58 am

trimming tips (from a vascular surgeon/nail cutter dad) –>
a) LOTS of light
b) patience
c) tiny scissors (we have the PIYO baby ones)
d) do it while you’re feeding so he’s distracted and less likely to move his hands all around (may not be as important now but becomes so later)

i still dread a’s nail cutting sessions but they are definitely a necessity! okay i should probably get out of blogland and back to work :) sending <3!

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16 sarah (SHU) September 12, 2012 at 8:59 am

(to clarify i wrote that not josh but he is the one who always does a’s nails!)
((okay really back to work now!!))

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17 KathEats September 12, 2012 at 9:00 am

I need to buy those scissors!

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18 JessicaE September 12, 2012 at 9:16 am

My son is 7 weeks now and my advice is to trim them while he nurses.. he is still and distracted. :)

p.s. can’t wait to read your birth story <3

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19 Erin September 12, 2012 at 5:47 pm

I filed for probably 6 months because I was scared to clip. :)

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20 Ali September 12, 2012 at 6:05 pm

I’ve heard the trick is to basically bite their nails for them. If they suddenly move, you won’t accidentally prick them with pointy scissors!

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21 Caitlin Boyle (@CaitlinHTP) September 12, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Trim them when he is sleeping ORRRRR… Chew them off. That’s what I do. :)

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22 KathEats September 12, 2012 at 7:40 pm

That’s what the nurse told me but I’m not sure how to do it!? Haha

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23 Hope September 12, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Definitely bite them off! My son is 9 months old and I still bite his nails. Weird, I know, but effective and safe.

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24 Caitlin Boyle (@CaitlinHTP) September 12, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Stick his finger in your hand and chew!

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25 KathEats September 12, 2012 at 8:59 pm

: )

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26 Chand September 13, 2012 at 6:07 am

If you trim his bite his nails then guess what he learns?!? You do not want to have a nail biter. Not sure I spelled that right. Just a thought.

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27 Tameeka September 12, 2012 at 7:19 am

One day late posts? I think that is awesome that your getting that much! Take as long as you need. Part of me just wanted to type try this or try that but then I realized that you are doing and need to do exactly what you need to do to get thru this season! So keeping my mouth shut! Hehe :)
Also yay for your Tum Tum! I was suprised with mine as well and I had a c-sect! Hope u have a fantastic restful day!

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28 Erica { EricaDHouse.com } September 12, 2012 at 7:20 am

That belly picture is precious!

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29 jen September 12, 2012 at 7:27 am

Yes to survival mode! We lived it for 7 months with a terrible sleeper and had “surviving” down pat by the end! :) Our little one is 14 months now and whenever we have a cold or teething related sleep issue re-surface we both dive back into survival mode immediately!

And yes to marathon nursing sessions! My girl was always a long nurser. Even as she got older she’d nurse for 30 to 50 minutes at a time and want to nurse again just 2 hours from when we started! It blew my mind and was exhausting, but I trusted that she knew what she needed. I found lots of reading (even in the dark of night – with a headlamp or book light) helped me pass the long nursing hours.

Boy those early months can be equal parts rough and totally amazing and wonderful. Takes me right back and makes me want to do it all over again right now – though at the time I was afraid at some points I might not survive the sleep deprivation. Glad to hear you’re taking time to be kind to yourself as you adjust to your new life :)

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30 Molly @ RDexposed September 12, 2012 at 7:29 am

My posts are a day late…I just have the excuse of a full time job-no baby!
I’m liking that you are tasting beers! It’s the small things in the evenings.

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31 Holly P. @ A Year in Wichita September 12, 2012 at 7:29 am

He’s so cute! You new moms always impress me with your ability to still make regular posts while adjusting to life we a newborn. That’s some good time management, right there.

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32 Kate September 12, 2012 at 7:35 am

Hang in there. It really and truly gets easier. Parker has those same socks! :) (And about 6 Duke onesies.) Go Devils!

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33 Allison September 12, 2012 at 7:37 am

I really think that how flat your stomach is after giving birth is, in large part, genetic. After both my kids were born, everyone who saw me would comment that I looked like I was never pregnant….of course, that was because they were looking at my stomach and not my butt!

He is super cute!

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34 Ashley R. September 12, 2012 at 7:38 am

Hello Kath,
I have not commented before, but have greatly enjoyed your website which I discovered a few months ago! It has been wonderful to re-live my first pregnancy through your blog. (Which was…um…11 years ago — I have 3 children now, at age 36). I so much remember the feeling of fear the first time I was alone with my son, and the overwhelming exhaustion and conflicting feelings. (Look, if you could just give me a week to recover from all the exhaustion, physical stuff, and emotional roller-coaster, I’ll be in great shape to take care of you, okay?”) Well, that isn’t how it goes, but we survived, and I am strangely longing to go back as I read your posts. I remember having to buckle down a week into nursing, working on the latching properly. My husband helped me so much, and one day we just tackled it together. I remember “nope — try again” and we would unlatch my son, and as a team reposition him. Finally, I would say …. “ah, I think that is better” (though everything was so sore, it was a bit hard to tell), but we got it, and within 2 weeks, all was as normal as our new normal could be. We were living in Panama at the time, miles away from family, and doctors that wanted to help you breastfeed properly (they were extremely nice, and great, but the breastfeeding support was non-existent). With my subsequent two babies, my midwife always told me “right now, your only job is feeding your baby”, which was strangely comforting. With your positive attitude and great supportive husband, you will do just fine, and a few weeks from now, you’ll wonder why it seemed so overwhelming!

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35 KathEats September 12, 2012 at 8:43 am

Matt has been helping to move his lower jaw down, which is nice. My third hand!

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36 Nicole September 12, 2012 at 7:40 am

Survival mode is 100% correct! It WILL get better and he will start to make more of a routine when it comes to sleeping and eating. Right now, he’s still in the 4th trimester (as Dr Karp calls it) and in his mind, is still a fetus in utero with NO schedule or circadian rhythm. Babies usually start “waking up” around week 4 or 5 (hence “colic” commonly being diagnosed right around this time). This is also when they start to have more awake time and more defined sleep patterns. Sounds like you’re doing amazing with him and just remember to follow his lead and you can’t go wrong since you’ll be meeting all his needs ;)

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37 Sara T. September 12, 2012 at 7:47 am

When my daughter didn’t want to latch on correctly in the beginning the nurse showed me how to do the football hold and that really helped her a lot. Once we had that down I was able to switch her to the “regular” hold. Good luck!

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38 KathEats September 12, 2012 at 8:42 am

I’ll have to try that one again. I did in the hospital but haven’t since.

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39 Emily September 12, 2012 at 9:17 am

Football hold is the easiest for newborns. I also found after they latch to shove as much nip into their mouth as you can. Gently of course.

The pain will greatly decrease at two weeks. Good luck!

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40 Carrie September 12, 2012 at 9:33 am

I did the football hold almost exclusively for the first 10 days. It’s so much easier for them to get a really good latch. And once we hit the two week mark, we could do any latch without pain and now at three weeks I just cradle him in my arms and that’s probably what we’ll do from now on (no pillows or strategy necessary – yay!!!) and side lying at night which is a lifesaver. Hang in there – it won’t be long before it all feels much more natural!!!

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41 KathEats September 12, 2012 at 11:23 am

I can’t get a good latch while side lying (although I’ve done it a handful of times and love it). I’ll keep trying as we get better.

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42 Clarie September 12, 2012 at 11:42 am

Side-lying doesn’t really work until about two months for most babies – I think that for babies younger than that, it’s just too difficult for them- they have so little head control. Once Mazen is around 6-8 weeks, though, it will be a lifesaver!

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43 KathEats September 12, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Cool – I look forward to doing it more

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44 Lindsay September 12, 2012 at 1:07 pm

I agree football hold all the way. On your breast friend pillow or other pillow. I know you are getting lots of advice but squeeze it like a pancake.

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45 Leslie H September 13, 2012 at 6:39 pm

football hold is great. All three of my boys preferred that hold in the early weeks. Glad things are going so well!

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46 barefootgirl27 September 12, 2012 at 7:47 am

I love the first pic!

We dropped our middle child off for his freshman year of college 2 weeks ago on the complete other side of the country! My husband and I had one day to explore on our own while we were there ( Oregon) so we went to wineries in the Willamette valley and bought some nice drinkable wine, but we bought one extra-special bottle that we are saving for his college graduation :)

I love that you saved the 9 month beer :)

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47 Shana September 12, 2012 at 7:47 am

Good choice with the IPA! I don’t normally like IPA’s but the 120 is insanely good. Love seeing how the family is adjusting to this wonderful, new life-thanks for sharing!

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48 Anele @ Success Along the Weigh September 12, 2012 at 7:52 am

Looks like everything is going beautifully for your new little family!

Your reference of family of three made me think of this Schoolhouse Rock favorite especially when they say “a man and a woman had a little baby…they had three in the family and that’s a magic number.” And now I’m crying like an idiot! LOL

http://youtu.be/aU4pyiB-kq0

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49 Susan H. @ The Food Allergy Chronicles September 12, 2012 at 7:57 am

Sounds like you have it all under control. Kudos for getting any posts out at all…there is no pressure…your prescious son needs you! Take care…enjoy!

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50 Anne Weber-Falk September 12, 2012 at 8:08 am

I love those little baby feet, especially in those teeny tiny socks. Be sure to save a pair of his newborn socks so when you are doing his toddler laundry you can compare the sock sizes. You will hardly be able to believe he was once that small that they could slip off his feet when he kicked.

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51 Anna September 12, 2012 at 8:12 am

If I could give any advice to a new Mom it is to relax. I exclusively BF my 15 mo. old and even though she was a great newborn, it’s HARD. If you have a good latch, the baby is peeing/pooping then you guys are fine. They don’t do schedules, they don’t sleep in a predictable pattern, they get pissed for no reason – seriously, ride the wave and like you said, survive. Use your intuition and realize it gets way easier around 3-4 months.

It’s funny now that I have a toddler and we’re going to have a second baby next month — trying to use the bathroom with a newborn seems baffling. However, now that we’ve been through it, it’s so ridiculous to reflect back on it. Seriously, the baby doesn’t move and a wide open floor space is always a great place to put them down! Using the bathroom with a new crawler/walker is way more interesting. You’ll figure it out and just when it all seems OK, the baby will change gears!

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52 Jen September 12, 2012 at 8:12 am

90-minute nursing sessions are totally normal. My daughter nursed for that long a lot in the beginning (which can be really frustrating when she’d nurse for 90 minutes, sleep for 60, then be ready to do it all over again, but that’s just what breastfeeding is for the first few weeks/months.)

Even when I went back to work when she was 12-weeks, her first-morning session was always 90-minutes at least (she was starting to sleep more at night then, too, so her first feed was long.) I’d get up and shower, make my breakfast, get a book and the remote, and snuggle in on the couch with her. I did still usually make it to work on time, amazingly enough!

I’d also recommend mastering the side-lying position for breastfeeding. That’s how I fed most nights. Everyone makes their own choice on bed-sharing and I chose to do it with all the safety precautions listed by Dr. Sears and it was fine.

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53 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More September 12, 2012 at 8:14 am

He is so adorable! And I love how you guys are finding a way to make it work for you – get the rest when you can!

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54 Amanda September 12, 2012 at 8:15 am

You have an awesome attitude towards breast feeding, which in my opinion is half the battle! I nursed my older son for 13 months. He was a great eater & “latcher” right from the start; it just came so easily or at least that’s how I remember it. My almost-2-week-old son is doing just “ok” nursing. He takes longer to get that good latch, especially at night. I am so thankful that he is my 2nd because there are definitely some frustrating moments that I don’t remember having with my first. Good luck and keep at it!

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55 KathEats September 12, 2012 at 8:41 am

Everyone tells me his latch looks great, but I can tell he needs to open WIDER! I’ve been working more on taking him off and restarting, which has helped

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56 LE September 12, 2012 at 9:13 am

I had this same problem with my babe who is now four months old – he would only get a really good latch if he was screaming and his mouth was open as wide as it could be, and even then it was still pretty pinchy. Obviously I didn’t want to only be able to nurse him when he was screaming mad, so the other things that helped were: gently rubbing his chin downward when he was latched (which also pulled his lower lip out, he liked to suck it into his mouth), having him relatch and try again if it was really bad (usually this made him angry anyway so he’d open up more), and side lying nursing which was really more for me so I could be more relaxed (when doing side lying, be sure baby is also on his side facing you, not on his back with his head turned).

Honestly though, things didn’t really get better until he got a little bigger because his mouth was just too small and he physically couldn’t open up enough to get a really good mouthful for it to be pain-free for me. His latch looked perfect but it still hurt. So, it might just take a few weeks (I think for me it was around four?) for him to grow a little.

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57 KathEats September 12, 2012 at 11:25 am

I think if his mouth was just a little bigger we’d be great too – it’s just that lower jaw! Getting better though

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58 Sarah September 12, 2012 at 9:30 am

Good for you for recognizing this and re-latching as needed. It should also get better as he grows and his mouth gets a little bigger.

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59 Amanda September 12, 2012 at 9:34 am

I know the feeling! Everyone sort of dismissed me at the hospital because I had said that I nursed my older son. They were like ” oh, you’re a pro!” Um, no. I don’t exactly remember this early NB phase, didnt have time to brush up on the basics either, AND not-to-mention that older son was born 3 says past my due date and came into the world hungry! This little guy was born at 37 weeks and was/is sooooo sleepy that he’d rather sleep, than eat. Not something I am used to. Andplusalso every baby is different.
Once I expressed the need for help in the form of LOTS of ?s and some guidance with a lot of those reasons, the nurses & LC checked in more often. I know what to look for and how it should work-BIG, OPEN-WIDE mouth but it’s getting to that point and that’s it is on *both*sides that is challenging right now.

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60 Clarie September 12, 2012 at 9:52 am

This just may be an issue of his size – as he grows, he will “grow into” a better latch (at least, this is what happened with my daughter). I was super sore for two weeks, and then I toughened up and my baby just got more experienced with nursing, and it was much much easier. My daughter would also nurse 45-60 minutes every hour or two for the first month. Perfectly normal! Don’t expect ANY type of routine or pattern until the end of the “fourth trimester” (three months). As everyone else said – go with the flow, sleep as much as you can, hold your baby every second you can, and SAVOR every moment!

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61 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) September 12, 2012 at 8:16 am

Seriously, you two make one pretty baby! He is just adorable! I know you three will get things settled soon. I’m glad you’re keeping things positive though. Enjoy your family time today!

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62 Evelyn September 12, 2012 at 8:16 am

Mazen is a perfect little bundle, and you are glowing! Congratulations!

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63 McKenzie Morgan September 12, 2012 at 8:17 am

I thought you weren’t supposed to drink while breast feeding? Isn’t it unhealthy for the baby?

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64 KathEats September 12, 2012 at 8:40 am

No it’s totally fine – with 1 drink or less or so.

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65 Clarie September 12, 2012 at 10:00 am

Man, more power to you, but I felt so worn out and exhausted from labor and sleep deprivation, that the thought of alcohol postpartum was just awful! What do you think of the newer studies that recommend waiting until drinking until 12 weeks postpartum so that the baby’s liver can develop more and be better able to process the alcohol that makes it into their system? (it’s been about a year or so since I did research into it so things may have changed since then, lol!) I think it was research done in Australia.
To be honest, I stopped drinking caffeine and alcohol cold turkey when I got pregnant, and I have NEVER felt healthier or more full of energy, even though I have a nine month old (who is NOT a good sleeper, I haven’t gotten a stretch of sleep longer than 4 hours in almost a year!). I know it’s not for everyone, but, MAN, living “clean” and eating healthy has been life-changing for me.

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66 KathEats September 12, 2012 at 11:23 am

I think the amount I’m drinking is probably not enough to really get into my milk enough to get to him in a way that would affect the liver. A few glasses of wine, maybe, but a few ounces, I’m not worried about.

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67 Sarah September 12, 2012 at 8:34 am

You’re right – it’s definitely about survival the first few weeks. I had no idea that I could function on so little sleep. But seeing that sweet little face looking up at you helps!

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68 Becky September 12, 2012 at 8:35 am

I’m glad they tell you it’s survival mode! Too many people make it sound so blissful and perfect and the fact of the matter is, especially for us highly organized and efficient types, it’s really quite stressful! I was kind of like you in that during the day I felt OK but felt a bit frantic at night. I was stressed out if I didn’t immediately go back to sleep when I did return to bed. The good news is that eventually they fall into some kind of routine. Not having any idea how many times I was going to be up was the worst. I was fine getting up every two hours as long as I knew it was going to be that. Again, type A coming through a bit :) Hang in there and keep surviving! It may not feel like it right now, but this time does go EXTREMELY fast.

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69 Jillian September 12, 2012 at 8:42 am

Hey chickie!

Where did you get Mazen’s onesies with the foldover cuffs from? My baby boy is coming any day now and I would SO prefer something like that over baby mitts.

Thanks!

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70 KathEats September 12, 2012 at 9:02 am

They are from Babies R Us – I LOVE them and the fold overs have been amazingly helpful. Carter’s brand

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71 Jillian September 12, 2012 at 9:04 am

Thanks girl!

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72 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats September 12, 2012 at 8:45 am

That last picture is too cute!!! It’s great that you have Matt there to tag-team, and I’m sure he is loving being involved. I can’t even imagine how single mothers do it!

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73 Cailin September 12, 2012 at 8:47 am

Beer helps the letdown so enjoying a beer is a great idea.

Cluster feeding in the evening helps as someone said. Sometimes (this is going to sound cruel) when my littles would fall asleep while feeding I would put a cold carrot on them to help wake them up to try and feed a little more.

That being said, try and go with the flow. He will tell you what he wants when he wants it. With my first I was dead set on getting a routine with the feed, sleep, wake thing (hello Happiest Baby on the Block!)—- and it turned out to be more frustrating than not. IN the first 6 weeks, it’s not so much about routine. Just nurse when he needs it. Unless he is latching for an hour or more at a time to feed, I wouldn’t worry (if you sit there all day and keep him latched of course you are going to develop mastitis or something!). My husband hid “The Happiest Baby on the Block” from me and as soon as I let go of that idea—- all went incredible smoothly. With #2— I just “went with it” and it was amazing how it all fell into place stress free.

Sometimes- too much reading/researching can make things more complicated and frustrating.

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74 KathEats September 12, 2012 at 9:02 am

I think the beer helped – I was dripping everywhere!! Haha, tmi.

Love the cold carrot. A friend told me a cold washcloth to the feet – just a tap. I did that yesterday and it worked wonders!

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75 Caroline September 12, 2012 at 8:47 am

The first few days/weeks seem like non stop feeding! BUT the magical thing is they are still soooo sleepy – definitely sleep when he sleeps! I know i struggled with that idea, feeling a million things to do instead but trust me, it will be time well spent!! The first few weeks are fleeting, so take advantage of every little moment.. they will never be that small again, I tried to just memorize every little detail while he nursed. My dudes almost 7 weeks now and I can’t get over how huge he is!
Take comfort in the fact that your body is a magical thing – you will adjust to the choppy sleep and begin to fall into deeper sleeps between feeds once things settle down a bit. I know its rough transition but I was truly amazed at how little I could function on! (Not ideal I know, but momma’s are super powered!) It WILL get better – and even though its hard to believe – you will miss all of these (now) frustrating things! I even miss being in labor now, crazy! Its just they grow so quickly – as cliche as it may be.
Also — make every feed count, I am always tempted during the wee hours of the morning to put him down when he conks out on my boob – but that only ever backfires! I did this last night and we regressed on our sleep progress! Always offer the other side and you and maze will both be happier :) Just make sure to empty one before beginning the next to keep your supply on target. Good luck, and be well – I applaud your commitment to the blog! Your doing great!

Caroline

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76 Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) September 12, 2012 at 8:49 am

Y’all are very smart to tag team the nights (when you can). We were not that smart and our first week home from the hospital (before Brandon went back to work) we both got up every time Clara woke/needed to eat. This left us both exhausted the next day. After a few weeks of this we got smart and after the 2nd to last feeding I would go to bed and sleep a few hours before the late night feeding, while Brandon had one on one time with the baby. Then after the late night feeding he would go to bed for the night and I would take over. Those few extra hours of sleep at the front end of the night really helped.

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77 Alison September 12, 2012 at 8:53 am

You guys are doing so awesome!! The love in your house is just oozing through your pictures. That will carry you so far! He is so lucky to have you two as parents!

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78 sarah (SHU) September 12, 2012 at 8:55 am

1. you are doing GREAT! just know that. there’s really no right or wrong at this point when it comes to feedings – just follow your instincts. they will space out in time (and he will start sleeping longer!). as you know, the cluster feeds are just his way of him learning the ropes and ensuring the perfect supply for him.

2. LOVE the duke socks

3. um, your posts are making me ready for another tiny, sleepy, snuggly newborn like, now. although probably would be best to wait until a can actually make it through the night first :)

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79 Cassidy September 12, 2012 at 9:03 am

It’s funny, but I look back at those early weeks full of sleepless nights and get kind of nostalgic. Those nights, while the hardest I’ve ever had, were so precious and fleeting, and were when I really got to know my little girl. Hang in there with the long nights and I promise his latch will get better everyday. I remember a nurse in the hospital told me that in a week I would be nursing like a pro. She was right, and six months later we’re still going strong!

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80 Caroline September 12, 2012 at 9:03 am

Also! NOBODY could have prepared me for how difficult and painful breastfeeding was going to be. I remember sitting in bed crying while my husband slept one night feeling so defeated and in pain. Get help if you can/need!I saw a lactation consultant/post-partum doula who was a tremendous help. I also go to La leche league meetings in my neighborhood – they are great! If times get trying, just keep on trucking- I am finally bf’ing pain free and its incredible :) I highly recommend the “Boobie Tubes” by Earth Mama Angel Baby — used hot or cold, they are awesome for a lot of different things!

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81 Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles September 12, 2012 at 9:06 am

Learning breastfeeding is just like the contractions in the hospital- concentrate on the contraction you are on- not the next one! ….I found that mentality to be super helpful as we both figured breastfeeding out/are still figuring it out!
When my true milk came in things got tough- but worked themselves our rather quickly! ….I’m sure you’re doing great! Isn’t kellymom THE BEST!
Have a wonderful day and give him lots of kisses!

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82 Sarah September 12, 2012 at 9:10 am

The first month is always frustrating and exhausting. It’s one big blur really. You can get through it mentally by telling yourself it’s only temporary. It really is only temporary although it doesn’t feel like it at the time :)

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83 mary @ minutespermile September 12, 2012 at 9:20 am

isn’t it crazy how these little ones can turn your schedule on its head? love it. so humbling and loving!

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84 Allison k September 12, 2012 at 9:29 am

LOVE Kelly mom! And, as hard as this is…now is the time to let go of your type a tendencies. Just let your sweet boy eat when he wants for as long as he wants. He will get more efficient sooner than you think, and this will all be a distant memory. But, now is the time to let him suckle as much as he wants to establish your supply. Don’t worry about schedules, cleaning your house or blogging. Other than eating and showering, I pretty much lived in my nursing chair. I sound like a broken record but go see a board-certified lactation consultant. She might have some tips for his latch. I was holding my breast in such a way that it wasn’t positioning the nipple correctly in his mouth and she showed me a slight correction and made a world of difference. This is the hardest time of nursing and it really does get better.

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85 Jess @ JessieBear What Will You Wear September 12, 2012 at 9:30 am

That striped onesie an little sleeping face is too precious!!

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86 Rachel September 12, 2012 at 9:34 am

He is just so adorable! I’m so glad to hear you guys are doing well! :)

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87 Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy September 12, 2012 at 9:40 am

I’m glad to hear you have a schedule that works for you both :)

Oh, and goats cheese on pasta dishes is the best. Infact, you may have just inspired my dinner for tonight – thanks :)

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88 Andrea September 12, 2012 at 9:52 am

Oh. my. goodness. WHY IS MAZE SO CUTE?!?!?!?! Can’t. Deal.

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89 j3nn September 12, 2012 at 10:16 am

Seems like you guys are finding your groove! I’m sure it will take some time to adjust to. We use this timer: http://www.sleepyti.me to calculate naps that work with our circadian rhythm; so even if you only have time for a 20 minutes or 90 minute nap, setting it to those times will give you ample rest without sleeping too little or too much. It really does work! Dustin and I take 90-minute naps often and wake up feeling like we had a full night’s rest. Good luck!

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90 Melissa September 12, 2012 at 10:16 am

I read all the time, but I think this is my first time commenting. I am studying to be a lactation consultant. I am nowhere near ready, of course, but had plenty of hands on experience with my own daughter (who is now almost FOUR! *gasp*) and have researched so much. Friends/family ask me for advice and I’m honored to be able to help! :) I just want to say 1. kudos for deciding to nurse and be 100% commited and 2. keep with it and relish it. It might be something that’s an instinct, but not everyone is a natural, and even if you are, every parent and child has to work the kinks out and develop a nursing routine. That said, you get a routine going, and then baby wants to change it up (sickness, teething, growth spurt, whatever) just to keep it interesting haha! I know these first few light nights are tiring, and it’s sometimes frustrating and confusing, but just remember, one day, he’ll be weaned, and trust me, you’ll want these nights back! (I know I do!) Sleeping when he sleeps is an awesome idea, and a lifesaver for sure! I was on my own the day after my daughter came home from a 3 week NICU stint. I had a c-section, so in the morning, he’d get everything I need for the day, and we’d spend all day in bed, nursing and sleeping. Ahhh those were the days! LOL. Trying different positions is a great idea as well.

Congratulations, and he is ADORABLE!

Oh, and the tag team thing?? BEST IDEA EVER! My husband was (and still is!) my team mate in parenting, and that is so so so so important!!!

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91 Melissa September 12, 2012 at 10:17 am

(above comments he = my husband).

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92 KathEats September 12, 2012 at 11:21 am

Want to come over!? : )

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93 Melissa September 12, 2012 at 11:37 am

If only I was closer, I would in a heartbeat, if not only to see Mazen in person! LOL

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94 KathEats September 12, 2012 at 12:02 pm
95 Averie @ Averie Cooks September 12, 2012 at 10:17 am

You are doing amazingly well! The early days of motherhood, new nursing, new everything….and you’re blogging! That’s amazing, Kath! Write whenever you can and yes, latching and wondering if they’re just sleep-nursing or even doing anything? or just hanging out and if you should unlatch or what? yes…it’s all a bit of a blur in the beginning and I too spent tons of time on kellymom. Oh, the memories!

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96 Robyn September 12, 2012 at 10:22 am

Don’t be discouraged! The first couple of weeks are a whirlwind, and breastfeeding is definitely an adventure. My little guy wanted to nurse allthetime too, and it got tough at times. Nights were always the hardest! But it does get easier! Keep up the great work, you go momma!

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97 Julianna @ Julianna Bananna September 12, 2012 at 10:25 am

all the food looks absolutely delicious!

also, mazen is ADORABLE! wishing you the best as you all get settled into your new life! :)

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98 Paige @ Healthy Hits the Spot September 12, 2012 at 10:27 am

Hi Kath! You are doing great! Just wanted to say that posts a day late are just as good as posts the same day. To a reader, or at least to me, they’re just the same :) love your posts either way!

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99 KathEats September 12, 2012 at 11:20 am

Glad to hear it

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100 Abby September 12, 2012 at 10:39 am

I have a 2 week old right now and feeding in the first few days was rough. One thing that really changed my thinking was when the nurses at my OB told me his stomach was the size of a marble!! Seriously, when you think about how small that is, you realize it doesn’t take much milk to fill that up!

Did your pediatrician tell you it was ok to nurse for that long of time? We were told in the first few days and weeks that feedings didn’t need to be longer than 30 minutes total for both sides, otherwise they are burning more calories than they’re taking in. Plus they said if he nurses for more than 15 minutes on one side, he’s really just using you as a pacifier and not actually eating anymore. Just something to think about as your nurse for that long!

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101 KathEats September 12, 2012 at 11:19 am

She said it was normal – that every baby and really every feeding is different and to just let him lead. Thankfully we’ve had mostly 30 minute feedings since!

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102 Jen September 12, 2012 at 3:41 pm

I don’t see anything wrong with letting a baby use you as a pacifier when he’s that young. Nursing is just as much about comfort as it is about feeding at this point.

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103 Jen September 12, 2012 at 3:43 pm

But also, I never had latch issues or sore nipples. (I had my fair share of supply issues though.) So I can see if you’re having soreness, the long term relationship will benefit from you not becoming the pacifier and giving yourself time to heal.

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104 Kori September 12, 2012 at 10:53 am

Mostly a lurker, but I’ve followed for a long while…I admit I didn’t read ALL the comments, so this might be a duplicate: but the lifesaver with my first one’s latch was the “nipple sandwich” recommended to me by my lactation consultant. With your first two fingers in a “scissor,” sort of pinch/cut your nipple so that it’s more…flat? Like a line? Hard to describe, but man, it was like NIGHT and DAY compared to the way he was latching the first few days. I’m sure it partly depends on his mouth formation and your nipple formation, but it’s worth a shot. Hope I described it well enough, and good luck! He’s a doll, and you look fantastic!

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105 KathEats September 12, 2012 at 11:19 am

I’ve heard of this and do think it helps some, but I’m going to go google some more pictures because maybe I’m not doing it totally right

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106 Clarie September 12, 2012 at 11:47 am

That’s what I did in the beginning – it’s why I felt like I needed three or four hands! One to manipulate the nipple into the right “shape”, one to hold the baby’s head, and I needed a third to hold up my breast (and of course the nursing pillow help, but that’s a given!). It can be TOUGH for the well-endowed, since there’s so much you need to move, hold and adjust.

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107 Allison k September 12, 2012 at 2:04 pm

GO TO AN IBCLC!!!!!! She will tell you what hand position works. I tried the “c-hold” after some Internet research, and while it was ok, it turned out that FOR ME, putting my thumb on top moved the nipple too much. I feed with just a hand under my breast. It means I can’t cradle hold and feed, and while I’d love too more thank anything, my breasts are just not shaped the right way.

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108 elizabeth @ chronic venture September 12, 2012 at 11:03 am

what a cutie!! glad things schedule wise are working out at the moment!

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109 Jess September 12, 2012 at 11:15 am

I remember those first few days and weeks well. It was so, so hard. I promise you – it gets easier and better! You are doing a great job so far. Remember to be kind to yourself.

With nursing, if you feel you need help, hire an LC to come to your house. I did and it was well worth it. Also, if you get sore, ask for triple nipple cream. Loved that stuff.

Keep the pictures of your handsome little guy coming!

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110 kris September 12, 2012 at 11:24 am

maze is adorable!! glad to see how amazing you all are doing!

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111 Christina @ The Beautiful Balance September 12, 2012 at 11:35 am

Hopefully Maze will start on a schedule soon. Such an exciting time for you, I wish you the best and love all the posts, even if they are a day late :)

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112 Ashley September 12, 2012 at 11:40 am

I am not sure if anyone else has mentioned this, but your side ad on the right has been overtaking some of your text/picture space. I thought it was just the one ad the other day, but it has continued to happen every time I click over here for days now with different ads. I find it really distracting and annoying and wanted to give you a heads up in case others feel the same way.

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113 KathEats September 12, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I’m on it!

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114 Ashley September 12, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Thanks!

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115 Ashley September 12, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Ugh, I also meant to say left not right. I don’t even have a newborn and I am messing up my sides! Hope all is well with you and the cutie!

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116 Jennifer September 12, 2012 at 11:49 am

He is SO cute!!!

I’m glad you seem to have a schedule working for both of you. What seems hectic now will get much easier. :)

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117 Annette @FitnessPerks September 12, 2012 at 11:53 am

YAY! He is adorable–and that meal looks awesome.

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118 Rachel S. Gerber September 12, 2012 at 12:39 pm

As a mother of 3, Kath, pace yourself. These moments of adjusting to a new baby are exhausting and can feel overwhelming at times. Please don’t put too much pressure on yourself to post, even everyday. Life is not so much about capturing the moment as enjoying it. Enjoy this time.

http://www.aholyexperience.com/2012/09/the-importance-of-putting-the-camera-down-now-then/

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119 Julia @ Girl vs. Food September 12, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Don’t worry about being a day behind- the super duper adorable pictures of Mazen totally make up for it! He is so perfect- congratulations!!

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120 Kerry @ Totes My Oats September 12, 2012 at 1:02 pm

I love the pics – he is too cute! And, the pasta looks awesome.

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121 Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker September 12, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Kelly Mom has been and continues to be my Bible. He is SO SWEET. Aw. I miss newborn times :)

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122 Kathy W. September 12, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Hey, new BERF post, too! I’m in awe of all you’re doing!

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123 Michelle (Peachy Palate) September 12, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Only a day late, your blooming super woman!!!

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124 Mama G September 12, 2012 at 1:47 pm

As a mother that succesfully breast feed two children,you are in adjusting phase of breast feeding. It is important to have each feeding to be a quality feeding experience. My advice given to me by other mothers.

Drink some fluids around an hour before feeeding
Try not to feed every 3 hours. This gets your milk in a cycle.Please too long nursing may make you very sore and you need to stay in good nursing shape
If the baby cries prior to this timing. Remember this is his only way of communicating. May be tired, have gas or just feel like “talking” to you.
Prior to feeding place a warm wash cloth on you to help relax the area to let the milk release. Nurse up to 20 minutes on one side. Burp 20 on the other side . That should be enough time for a good feeding. Take a break and give your self some time to get the milk coming in again. Just some suggestions from an experienced mom

Good luck These are all suggestions that worked for me from other experienced moms.

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125 Ellen @ Wannabe Health Nut September 12, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Amazen! Love it! Sounds like you are more than just hanging in there…hope it just gets easier from here!

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126 Lori September 12, 2012 at 2:22 pm

I had been too busy to check the blogs and just found out the good news! Congratulations!! I am so happy for you guys! He is beautiful! I am due with my first child, a boy, on Oct 21. I LOVE to hear others’ stories about making it through without medication. Gives me inspiration! Love it! Congrats again!

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127 Bella September 12, 2012 at 2:36 pm

How long will Matt be home to take the late evening shifts? When does he start back to his early mornings? How nice to have him home in the beginning.

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128 KathEats September 12, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Not really sure! Maybe a couple of weeks. He has been working from home plus a few shifts in house and will gradually transition back

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129 Blessing September 12, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Oh my word, Mazen is cute and I love that it rhymes well with “AMAZEN = AMAZING” You guys are so good with words! Can’t wait to see the newborn shoots. You inspire us all woman with your candor!

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130 seana September 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Mazen is adorable- both baby and name. Just watch out with the nicknames. Cute now,but later they can stick. My son, Jacob Henry James Shannnon (2 grandpas 2 middle names)- I thought it would be cute to call him Jake the Snake when I was pregnant (I was only 24 when I had him so what can I say) or HJ (middle names). Family members took to calling him Jakey Cakes. By the time high school rolled around he was “Jake the Cake”. And then referred to as “The Cake”. All I can picture is Mazen being called “Raisin” when in high school. Not that there’s anything wrong with raisins and cakes :)
I even did one worse, my daughter is named Rachel. I was at a baptism and the priest asked the names of my kids. I told him and he said what nice biblical names. I’m not very religous so I googled it when I got home. Jacob and Rachel were married in the bible. I’m smarter and wiser now. ha ha.
Your family is beautiful.

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131 KathEats September 12, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Haha The Cake is cute : )

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132 seana September 12, 2012 at 3:17 pm

I meant to put my comment on BERF where you talked about the baby’s name. Oops.

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133 Bec September 12, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Your post totally made me want to have another… beer.
(Cute baby but I’ve already had two.) Much happiness to you all.

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134 Lynda McCue September 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Hi, Kath. Mazen is big enough to go 3 hours between feeds. Cluster feed him every 2 hours in late afternoon/early evening (last feed @ 8 is bed time) & then do his last feed at 11pm. Midnight is too late to start – babies are naturally sleepier earlier. Let him wake you up after that, then start over in the morning.

Cluster feeds stop at 4-7 weeks & late night feed at nine months.

At 4 months you switch to feeding every 4 hours.

This approach worked for me and my friends. Regulate his metabolism and he’ll be a better sleeper. Our babies slept 8pm – 7am with only the 11pm feed starting at 7-8 weeks.

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135 KathEats September 12, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Thanks!

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136 irene September 12, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Thank you for this advice! My baby is 3 weeks and I will be taking your advice.

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137 kate September 12, 2012 at 6:27 pm

feed em when he’s hungry!

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138 Jasmine September 12, 2012 at 7:10 pm

That is a pretty big over generalization – this is coming from a mom of 3 – all of whom nursed to the age of 2. I think it is super important to listen to your baby and realize that they will have growth spurts throughout their babyhood. Cluster feeds, especially with a newborn who is helping you to establish your supply, is more then normal! Nursing patterns and needs change accordingly – teething often changes their timing too. To each their own but I tend to take cues from the baby rather then the clock and what some people think ” should ” be happening by a certain age. Enjoy your little one and do what feels right for your family.

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139 jen September 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Kelly Mom is an awesome site, Berekley Parents Network is good to for lots of stuff. Congrats and good luck!

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140 Laura September 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Kath, you’re doing amazing!!!! I am a mom to 3 girls (ages 5, 6, and 7!!) and I know how hard those first weeks are. You’re rockin’ it!! Even when it doesn’t feel it, you are! Hang in there and it really does go so, so, so fast! For me, the best way to sum up motherhood is that there are minutes that seem to last forever, but the weeks, months and years fly by!!

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141 Kate September 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm

I have to say, I am so happy for you! I am a mommy of twin toddlers and I am enjoying reading as you are nagivating through mommyhood. It brings me back to those new, precious moments. They are so fleeting. Enjoy it! Congratulations!

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142 Cait's Plate September 12, 2012 at 6:20 pm

He is just so sweet Kath! I can’t get over it!

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143 kate September 12, 2012 at 6:29 pm

on facebook look up and join the “Mothering Circle or Charlottesville” group. It is a good resource

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144 Alicia September 12, 2012 at 7:27 pm

As I read this, I clicked on the link going back to where you talked about sharing the news and the 9 month IPA. I got a little chuckle when reading that you were afraid Matt wouldn’t be excited because he would rather just skip the infant part. So ironic, when it is obvious he is so in love with sweet Mazen!

You are doing great, remember that soon this early survival mode will be a distant memory. I went through what I will call baby remorse. I was mourning my pre-baby life. One night when Marcus was about 5 days old, my husband and I just laid and bed and cried, wondering what we had done. We soon realized that life hadn’t changed that much and we were always so happy to have our little fella, but no one had ever warned us that we might feel that way at some point.

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145 KathEats September 12, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Thanks for your honesty :)

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146 Jenica September 12, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Sounds like everyone is doing great. I wish I had any advice about the evening feedings, but I have zero idea. But you seem like you’re doing a wonderful, nurturing job :)

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147 Emily @ Life on Food September 12, 2012 at 9:20 pm

Dinner does look AMAZEN. I wish I had some shirts that kept my hands hidden for the winter. So cute!

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148 Catherine September 12, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Kath — Just as you had a doula for the birth, I recommend that you get a lactation consultant to come to your house, or make a connection with the La Leche League in your area. I had a lot of latch issues with my son and quickly got really sore and frustrated. If it had not been for the help of the lactation consultant, I think I would have given up. As it turns out, I nursed for more than 2 years, because my son essentially refused to stop at the 1 year mark. I now have a 13 year old who is a healthy as a horse, and I attribute much of his good health (and complete absense of ear infections and other things that plague babies/toddlers) to the long term breastfeeding.

Maze is adorable, and i really think he looks like Karen in this picture.

Best wishes!

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149 Kristi Rimkus September 12, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Congratulations! The best is yet to come. My son turned 30 this past year and married the woman of his dreams. For you, right now, it seems years away, but you’ll be amazed at how quickly it goes by. You’ll hear that a lot from people and it’s completely true.

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150 Cindy September 12, 2012 at 10:53 pm

You had your baby! I’m so happy for all three of you! Congratulations!

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151 Sandra September 13, 2012 at 1:12 am

Sounds like you are enjoying the first week of motherhood. What a sweet thing to say about Matt kissing you both as he walked in the door. Must of been very hard for your Mum to leave, I was so very lucky with both my Mum and Mum In Law living in the same suburb.

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152 Mom September 13, 2012 at 5:31 am

It was! But I’m coming back this Friday.

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153 Sonal September 13, 2012 at 5:38 am

Mazen is so adorable! Your first time alone with him must have been a little scary but soon you’ll grow so used to each other :) The scene when Matt comes home is too cute!

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154 Lauren September 13, 2012 at 6:53 am

An adorable baby, a delicious-looking dinner, and an AWESOME beer. I can’t even think of how you’d make that any better!

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155 Meredith September 13, 2012 at 9:05 am

That child has the cutest little nose I’ve ever seen! I hope that doesn’t sound weird. Some people notice a baby’s fingers or toes, or ears or eyes; I always notice the noses. And his is adorable! Glad to hear you are surviving the first days at home.

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156 Meagan September 13, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Aww how cute. I love the Duke socks by the way;)

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157 Amy @ changing the now September 14, 2012 at 5:18 am

You’re doing amazing Kath… you’re making it look easy LOL! I remember the first few weeks with all the feeding, i gave up on day and night for a while and just slept/eat when i could, sometime i would be eating sandwiches in the middle of the night and getting my main sleep during the day! I loved it though and now my little one is 11 months old, it is so much easier.

Hope the boobies aren’t too sore!… I wish someone had warned me that it was going to be so painful to start with, once the latch is right it feels so natural x

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158 Angel7 September 14, 2012 at 9:53 pm

I had a hard time getting our daughter to properly latch while breastfeeding, & actually bled & was extremely sore for quite some time. However, she finally got the hang of it after maybe a month or so, & I was able to breastfeed for 15 months.

http://faithfulsolutions.blogspot.com/

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