Friday, May 9, 2014

Life With Shipton...

It's been a whirlwind of a month!  With 2 placentas to deliver, I lost quite a bit of blood in the process.  That has made for physical tiredness that I have never experienced post-partum with a babe in arms.  It has been a blessing in disguise and has compelled me to slow down.  I have enjoyed this little guy in ways I didn't my others.  I was in  too much of a hurry to establish a routine and get back to my responsibilities.

My mom and husband were fantastic helps!  I basically took care of myself and my baby for the first 2 weeks.  The past 3 we have slowly added things back here and there to our routine.  We are getting there.  I still feel overwhelmed, but I am confident that things will continue to smooth out.

I had being a Mommy of 3 down pretty well.  I've spent the past month-ish learning to be Shipton's I will spend the next long time figuring out how to do both at the same time.  I am a different Mama than I was 7 years ago.  I didn't realize how much I use 2 hands for things with my new parenting style until the past month.  It has been challenging when I usually would pick up an upset preschooler and hold him or pick up Gavin to help him have some "happy time."  It's not as possible when I'm breastfeeding, etc. :)  We are all learning together and I appreciate Mark and the kids' patience with me as I figure it all out!

 As for Shipton himself, he is adjusting to life earthside much better the past few weeks.  Physically he has been healthy and things have gone smoothly that way.  More later, but he struggled a bit at first.  His cry seemed to only have an ON/OFF switch.  He would cry as hard for a diaper change or when he needed to burp as he did when he had the heel prick for the PKU tests.  Singing, speaking to him, etc. did not make it easier.  After some energy work, he is crying less.  It was interesting to me because it wasn't a colicky cry or an unconsolable cry.  He just would full out scream until his need(s) was met.  This isn't all negative.  Being the smallest, it may prove useful to have a voice. :)  If he is comfortable voicing his needs as he grows, I would feel happy about that too.

Shipton isn't a lay down kind of baby.  He will occasionally do the swing for short periods of time if he is in deep sleep.  He does pretty good at night, but during the day wants to be held.  That's what babies are for, right?  I'm glad we babywear.  Using the wrap has made it easier to get things done around the house and take care of the other kids too while Shipton is also getting what he needs at the same time.

I realized last week as I was trying to fold laundry one-handed that I will have laundry to fold for the rest of my life, but right now I had a newborn who wanted to be rocked.  Laundry didn't get folded that day, but I soaked up the fleeting time with my new babe.

He is our most snugly baby and loves to be swaddled.  The past week or so he has been more and more okay with being un-swaddled at times.  He will still let us know when he is ready to get wrapped back up by turning his cry ON.

He just started smiling this week and that has been heart-warming.  He usually smiles when he first makes eye contact with me after a nap.  I love that!

When we took him in for his 2 week well check he was 9 lbs, 11 oz.  The goal is to get baby back to birth weight by 2 weeks (which he surpassed the 8 lbs, 3 oz easily).  Mama makes him cream to drink. :)

 We just cannot get enough of this little guy!  He is adored by everyone in the family.  This is the first baby that everyone has been happy about AND excited for.  I have loved watching the kids with him and their tenderness.

 Leland has done a great job with Shipton.  Anyone who knows Leland well knows he loves hard.  He is a very physically affectionate kid, but he will knock me over when he hugs me and squeezes so tightly.  We worked on a "Mom hug" vs a "Shipton hug" the first night and he has had it down every since.  He is so sweet with Shipton and will stroke his head and pat his cheeks.  He reminds me to "shhhh," because "my baby is sleeping."  He has not minded at all being booted from "baby" position.  He has gladly given up the title and joined the big kids.  Don't tell Sennika or Gavin, but Shipton actually likes Leland the best right now.

Gavin has been super cute with him too.  After 5 weeks he still tells me the same things every day: "It's so fun to have a baby."  "I can't believe we finally have our own baby."  "His skin is as soft as silk."  He is such a good "babysitter" and keeps an eye on Shipton if I need to leave him on the bed for a minute.  He is the only one of the big kids that will keep holding him when he cries.

Sennika has been such a good little Mommy.  Shipton smiles at her the most out of the kids and it seems like he almost tries to talk to her too.  She was so proud to rock him to sleep by herself one day.  She has been such a big help with the other boys too with my hands being so full.  She has gone out of her way to notice ways to help around the house and/or me and has done so often without even being asked.  I have appreciated her big help!

As for Daddy: I have appreciated his patience and tenderness with me.  He has been generous in his compliments and forgiveness.  When he comes home from work, he washes his hands then asks if he can take the baby.  With his demanding work schedule he helps where he can, but it's more limited than with our other newborns.  He has also taken the other kids to the park or to play outside, encouraging naps for me and Shipton when he is able.  I have appreciated him!

Shipton has continued his routine from pregnancy of waiting up for Daddy to come home.  He sometimes even saves a poopy diaper for Daddy to "get" to change too.

And just because our newborn and other kiddos are so sweet...a few more picture:

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