Saturday, October 17, 2009

4 WEEKS!! Can you believe it!!

It's officially 4 weeks!! I can't believe we've come this far, and yet it almost seems like forever.  I guess that's what happens when you're learning about babies.  Things are going soo much better!  Raiden has been gaining weight and he's pretty much breastfeeding only (with a bottle about once a day, just to give mom a break).  We've been pretty lucky that things are going so well.  We feel extremely grateful to both our moms for all the help and support that they've given us.  They have taught and relieved us from the initial fears and anxieties of being new parents.

Well Raiden has now moved up a notch in his car seat!  Ever since his double chin has appeared, I kept asking Brandon to make sure that his car seat straps were at the right level.  He's getting to be a big boy!

We had about a week of fussiness that we weren't sure exactly what was going on.  With books and people giving their opinions about growth spurts, colic, and just plain fussiness, I was pretty concerned that Raiden was just going to be a pretty fussy baby.  Well turns out that mostly Raiden just gets tired.  Unlike his first 2 weeks where he could just eat and sleep and poop as he liked, now Raiden needs some pacifying before he gets to bed.  We've learned to notice the yawns and the fussy behavior, and sometimes rocking and swaying him will keep him calm, but nothing can compare to his bottle/pacifier... that's me.  Yup, it takes less than 5 minutes and his eyes are getting heavy and then suddenly he's pretty much out.  After that it's only a matter of rocking him until he's limp and then into the crib he goes!  It's a pretty neat trick, but it only works some of the time. But I guess Heavenly Father is looking out for Brandon and I and our sleep!  It's been pretty nice!  Plus with both Moms help we've had so much more time to do things.  We are soo spoiled and we know it, but we're infinitely grateful.

We wanted to share a few funny stories about Raiden that definitely make him pretty cute.

Diaper Change:
Since the first few days of Raiden's life outside the womb, he's been pretty consistent about 1 thing... Pooping is much easier when the diaper is off.  It was probably the 2nd or 3rd day of Raiden's life and we were changing his diaper in the hospital, when suddenly he decided that he wanted to keep going. Luckily we caught the poop before it hit the sheets.  I'm not sure why we didn't reflect on that experience before.  Since then we've had to be sure not to change his dirty diaper too quickly.  You have to give him time to finish. It's pretty funny to watch Raiden grunt and get a very focused look on his face as we change his diaper.  You just have to be sure to make sure he's able to squirm a little before you put the new diaper on. When Obachan was here, we went through 4 diapers before he stopped.  4 diapers!  Now that Abuelita is here she taught us to put a rag over his little boy part, since he also likes to go shishi (Japanese for pee) after he poops.  She has a lot of experience after 4 little boys!  So now we don't get a fountain of shishi all over us after he poops ;-)

Well as we explained above Raiden likes to use me as his pacifier.  However he doesn't like to get the milk that comes with pacifying at the breast.  It's so funny, because once I have a let down of milk, I can almost always expect a very frustrated cry that sounds a lot like "Ooohhh! That's not what I wanted!"  It's pretty funny, but it's also sad at the same time, for Raiden's sake.

Well to wrap things up, Raiden went for his first stroller ride.  We decided to accompany Brandon to the dumpsters.  It was pretty cold out and Raiden liked the change of environment at first, but then it was pretty clear that it wasn't fun anymore and that it was too cold!

Raiden got his most recent toy!  It's a swing!  A rain forest swing!  I don't know if the type of swing even makes a difference to him.  But it seems to keep him stimulated enough.  Although I don't think that Raiden's ready to fall asleep in it.  Oh well, but at least we'll see if he likes it enough to give me more time to do other things, other than just hold him. 

Things are going pretty dang well in our cozy woodland home.  Thanks to all for your love and support!  Stay tuned...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Finally Here!

Well it was a long 9 months but we finally have our little boy! Raiden Robert Jay Woodland! Born on September 20th 2009 at 10:48pm. It was a grueling 12 hour labor, but worth it all! He was 6lbs 9oz and 18.75 inches. As the first grand baby on both sides of our families he's the definitely the center of attention right now! We'll see though as Ally and Jared get married. We can't wait for our kids to have cousins ;-).

We've been lucky enough to have a full month of grandma's to help. Obachan (Christine's Mom) came the first 2 weeks. She got the full on postpartum experience with Christine's anxieties and little Raiden being so little. Now we have Abeulita (I don't think I spelled that right, and we're still figuring out what Grandma Woodland wants to be called, so right now it's temporary). She's here with us for another 2 weeks or so. It's been a real blessing to have such wonderful moms on both sides of our families. I don't know how Brandon and I could have made it through. Being a new mom is something that no one can prepare you for. There's tons of emotions and worries that you don't expect to feel. Lucky for me I had my moms and they've been the biggest support and help. I recommend mom month for anyone that's having a baby!

Well back to our little guy... We initially thought that breastfeeding was going to be great and was the perfect option for our new family. Well, we ran into some obstacles along the way. Raiden over the first 4 days lost about 13oz, which made his weight 5lbs 12oz. After Dr. Thomas our pediatrician saw how much weight Raiden lost, he recommended that we start supplementing with formula. Poor Raiden! He was sucking but not really getting anything out. Fortunately we saw a lactation consultant, who recognized Raiden had difficulty sucking. Because he wasn't able to suck efficiently my milk wasn't coming in and so he was pretty hungry. Well, over the course of another week, I pumped and gave Raiden breast milk, formula, and breastfed him. That was an exhausting week--I'm sure my mom recalls that. Finally it was just so hard to get Raiden to latch on and suck that we started to just give him the bottle. I pumped and fed him my milk with bottles, not my idea of breastfeeding. I felt pretty bad giving up and I had quite a few meltdowns, but really I was just afraid of trying to give him the breast, since it hadn't gone so well in the past. Well after Day 16, I just couldn't fully give up without trying one more time. Brandon stayed with me during every feeding and we tried really hard to give him the breast. This time it was working. Now we're still making formula as a back up, but I'm not really pumping-Raiden keeps me busy enough, and he's mostly just eating from the breast. This has been a crazy and hard experience but I'm so glad that we're getting through it.

So that is what has happened these past few weeks. Life is definitely changed, going out to do errands and even house work is just kind of on the back burner until Raiden gets a little older. He's pretty fussy when he's tired and it's a big job to get him to sleep sometimes, but once he's worn out, he's a goner. We're still figuring out what his cries mean, but I definitely know when he's hungry, his sucking is a lot more frantic. Anyways I hope this give a little insight into our lives for now. Stay tuned and we'll give updates as we learn to live as 3 Woodlands instead of just 2. Love you all!