October 14, 2012

Santiago James: 1 Month Old

How did this baby go from a few days old to a full month old? How is this possible? Is he applying for college already, too?
2 days old vs. 1 month
  He doesn't fit on the sombrero any longer, which is disappointing...
On baby Santiago James:
Every day and each night is different from the last. He is changing so quickly, and we're enjoying every moment of it. God has truly blessed us beyond what we deserve, and we don't take Santi's life for granted. Every sleepless night, every day of countless feedings, every mommy plus baby cry session, every humbling, self-sacrificing lesson, is a gift.

On Breastfeeding:
Going much better, seriously! For all the new mommies out there needing hope... I was right there with you, not long ago. Breastfeeding took over my life - I felt like I existed only to play the part of a human cow, then burp Santi and hand him off to papá or another family member. It brought me down, made me feel blue many times, and I didn't see a light at the end of the milk-factory tunnel. I just hoped for a pain-free latch, for less soreness, for it to be an effortless, enjoyable, natural experience.

On the light:
But there WAS a light, as hard as it was to see. Really, though, each day and each night was a learning process, one that became easier with each feeding session. I thank God so much for the patience He has provided me with, the strength He fills me with each day to continue on and for reminding me to focus on Him through the rough times. The beauty of breast feeding is that mommy AND baby get so so so much practice, as well. Whether it be every hour or every few hours (God willing - I know there are babies that don't do either) we both spend a lot of time working at it and improving with each meal.
Santi is now eating full meals and latching beautifully... he has gained more than four pounds since birth and is a chubby enough one-monther to make a mama feel like she's doing something right. I do still have to help him at times, but it's so worth the extra few seconds of minor re-adjusting.

Amazingly, the soreness is more than 90% gone, and I'm so thankful! That was something I read about very often and had no idea when it was going to subside. I read some ladies swear that they felt relief around week 6 while others said they were still suffering when their babies were half a year old! So I didn't know what to expect - which is what all women should do! Don't expect anything, because we are all going to have different journeys.

Baby's Schedule:
Santi still doesn't have a set schedule with his mealtimes (or nap times), either. He sometimes decides to nap for hours in the day, eat for 20 minutes on one side or the other, and then pull an almost all-nighter (eat, sleep 30 mins, wake screaming. Repeat). But every day AND every night is different which is refreshing and makes me a little nervous a the same time. It promises that a rough night can easily be followed by the best night ever, which just happened this week, and that keeps our heads held high.

A milestone:
Eye contact! Once he hit the three week old mark he started staring deeply into our eyes. Honestly, it kinda threw me for a loop at first, I mean, he suddenly seemed less like a newborn that I just gave birth to and more like a big-big baby! Like the ones that can hold up their own heads with their superman necks of steel! Santi follows people around the room, too. It's so dang cute. Funny enough, he still loves himself a blank stare into space/on your shoulder/ out the window but not really noticing each tree that passes by but more like a blur of greenery. What do I know? He could have magical sight that goes far beyond your average one-month-old, this is true. But for now I'll believe he is a superb, normal sighted babe.

Also, his fussiness does not always mean, "miiilkkk, mommmyyy!" like it used to. We have learned that now it sometimes means, "my diaper is craaazy dirty - fix it!" or, "I don't like you holding me this way - change positions and sing to me!" and even, "play with  me, rub my hair, make funny faces at me - I need entertainment!" and shoot - it's so much fun. Especially since it means we can all make him happy, not just mommy and her fascinating supply of milk.

Reflux baby?
We might also be going through the bumps of a one-month old with acid reflux. Santi has been fussing during some nighttime meals - to the point if screaming and pulling off of me, latching his back and regretting the fact that he left the peaceful womb. I vented to my mom about our struggle, and she spoke to his pediatrician and nurse who gave us the most likely diagnosis of acid reflux. So we're feeding on a slight incline (one of my legs crossed with a pillow under my elbow as he eats in the cradle hold) and really working on getting him to burp often. Otherwise we all get fussy, and that's not ideal. He was also wrestling with trying to nap on a flat surface (the bassinet attachment in the pack n' play in our room) so., per doctor's advice, we are having him sleep at an incline in the rock n' play (it's like a bouncy) where he sleeps muchhhh better. This week we are going to attempt to transition to a flat mattress with the legs lifted for the recline effect, with the hopes of easing reflux discomfort all the while making the future crib transition easier - we'll see what happens!

On mommy:
Life has definitely changed. I didn't hit a low for a while after Santi's birth. We were both so over-joyed and in awe if the baby that was now in our arms (and out if my belly) that it was as if there was simply no time to realize how sleep deprived we felt, or how different our life was.  The fact that each day and night was different from the last meant kept me from breaking down saying, "I can't do this, it's so hard" because I just can't make any generalizations like that about this new life.

My energy picked up at about 2 or 3 days post-partum, I wanted to cook and run up the stairs and be a superwoman. But my body got tired really fast, even going on a 30 minute walk at about 10 days post-partum caused cramping and took my breath away a bit. So cooking frenzies (1-2 hours of being on my feet and preparing numerous meals at a time) turned into one-meal-at-a-time-if-possible, and I am juuuust now walking 30 minutes a day around my neighborhood to get my heart and body back into it. I LOVE that there is absolutely no rush to start training for races again, and I don't long for my tummy muscles to be abs of steal when I wake up tomorrow. My body is still recovering from birthing this sweet baby, and I'm okay with that.

I gained a grand total of 27 pounds or so during pregnancy. People said I was "all tummy" but I saw what they didn't, and know for sure I gained some lovely new hips, thighs and waist during those 9 months. My stomach was pretty swollen the first week after birth, but slowly has been feeling tougher and is a lot less sensitive. I haven't weighed myself except to check on Santi's weight (he's up to 12+ pounds!) but for the sake if this blog I weighed in and I'm down 18 pounds since I went into labor. That's from breastfeeding alone and minimal physical exercise like walking. I'm not dieting or watching calorie intake at all, just eating when I'm hungry and sticking to 100% plants when I grab the grub. I don't even care to reach my pre-pregnancy weight, I just care about being able to run again and sweat like crazy in the garage whenever baby-life gives me 10 or more minutes to. I never cared about my weight before pregnancy, so why would I watch the scale now? My food/fitness philosophy (without ever really announcing it publicly or even to myself) is really this: eat whole foods and exercise often. The end. If I'm doing both, I'm good. Even if my ab muscles aren't tearing through my tank tops!

 amazing & simple, recipe from Edible Perspective: sweet taters, broccoli, coconut oil, rosemary, salt and pepper ~ roasted to perfection!

 kale, apple, lemon, celery, water
 white beans, lemon, garlic, onion, celery, dill, red pepper flakes n' pepper atop sprouted corn tortillas turned tostadas!
molletes: french bread, hollowed out and toasted in oven. pinto beans, mashed with serrano chili, placed in bread boats and baked for a few minutes - topped with guacamole, pico de gallo and hubby's version: salsa galore!
On parenthood:
It's definitely a job. a full-time job. It never ceases to boggle my mind when my hubby asks, "what'd you two do today?" and I stare at him blankly as if I did absolutely nothing all day long. I feed baby, I read, I blog, I burp baby, I eat, I change a diaper, I feed baby more, I change another diaper, I feed myself, I cook a little, I feed baby more, I nap maybe once if I'm a good girl, I take pictures of baby. But never do I just sit there and stare at the wall. I sometimes, however, sit there and stare at a sleeping, or awake, baby boy named Santiago and enjoy ever second of it.

One thing I really want to work on is setting time aside for hubby and me. Talking about our day, reading the Bible together, doing a little bible study from church, snuggling with Santi together, giving him post- and pre-race massages when needed, etc. A crazy, unexpected part of parenthood is that all of the sudden, from one day to the next, you stop focusing on each other and each other's needs and you focus fully, one hundred thousand percent, on baby's needs. This was the first time I really broke down and cried, during that first week post-partum, when I realized that I hadn't done my usual hubby-focused Sunday ritual: cook beans for the week, prepare his lunches for the next few days, make him a juice for breakfast. I shouldn't have felt guilty or sad about it, I mean it wasn't as if I was just picking my nose all day, but it crushed me to realize that I stopped taking care of my husband. I just love the guy so much and have loved serving God by serving Edu as my husband, and to stop it so suddenly threw me off. Thankfully, though, we talked a lot and are back on track - baby's needs still go first, ("hey mom, I'm hungry, so stop making your and papa's pizza and give me the goods!") but we are making sure that our marriage is not placed on the back burner.

Doing a daily devotional has helped me spiritually so very much, as well. Hubby and I just started working on a bible study that the church provides on a weekly basis and being in the Word together has helped us grow spritually as well. I don't know how I would have gotten through these first few weeks without Christ as my Rock and my Light. Honestly, when you feel completely drained physically and frustrated mentally, where can you go but to a dark, awful place? That's when all I do is close my eyes and try with all my might to remember even half of a bible verse. Scripture is what keeps my head above the water, my mind away from stupid things like saying, "I am the worst mom in the entire world and I don't know what the heck I'm doing - why did He think I could do this?!"

So there you have it. In a nutshell. Just kidding - more like in the form of a miniature novel. I'm off to grab some food before Santi decides he wants some food, as well. I will most likely eat my snack while ---oh, do you hear that? Hunger cue! He starts of making baby dinosaur noises, then his breathing gets all rapid and wild, then he whines a little, then cries, then screams - if we let him (if I decide to go downstairs and cut up my apple n' banana with almond butter instead of dropping that idea completely for the moment to pick up my baby and nourish him with breast milk).

Maybe hubby will cut mommy an apple.

"I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD."
1 Samuel 1:27–28


  1. He's absolutely beautiful! I'm so happy for you three! :) It sounds like you're handling things well! And all your meals look delish! I'm loving all the veggies in there :)

  2. great post! I love reading what it's like for new moms. The milk machine is a common theme, hehe ;)

    Santi is such a cutie!!

  3. Congrats on Santi being 1 month already and for all the learning and love God has given through his life! We dealt with reflux with Tyler from day 3 out of womb through 3 months. One thing that helped him was having him sleep propped up on the boppy pillow. We did this even when we transitioned him to crib at 1.5 months. Otherwise we did that in his bassinet (pack n play with bassinet) and it REALLY helped. We found he did super well napping in the Moby and usually needed to be lying on my chest or Kurt's (more vertical) for burping which helped things settle down and not make him gassy and refluxy. Also, we used this wonderful gripe water that is totally 100% all natural, and really, really helped so much, called Colic Ease Gripe water...it's expensive but worth it, you just give a tiny bit. You can find it at whole food stores, organic stores, etc. I'll be praying for that to ease up with time!