Having a second boy inherently makes you compare and contrast a little (or a lot). As a first swipe at things, the fact that Jess had such an easy delivery this time makes an enormous difference. Who knew that NOT going through 5 days of complicated labor would lighten the load so much? Where as last time, Jess was on bedrest for weeks after birth, this time, she WALKED out of the hospital (that one was a little scary)! She missed the spring flowers last time and this time, we are all taking walks pretty much every day enjoying the new blooms. And thank goodness because Caleb has been a little… devious since the new addition and nothing beats simply wearing him out to keep him in line. Daily outings are crucial for that.
It’s interesting what is different and what is the same with a second child. Obviously there are new challenges (named Caleb) that we didn’t have with our first, but simply looking at caring for a newborn and all that comes with it, we are learning what is each boys’ personality quirks but also, what “Marpepp babies” just do.
- Marpepp boys are tanks. Seriously, Andy is currently wearing 3 month clothes at 3 weeks. Caleb did it too, but Andy seems like he’s moving even faster on the bus track.
- Marpepp boys do NOT like a dirty diaper. Andy’s first week he couldn’t have cared less and cared more that you changed him than if he was damp. No longer. One little pee and it’s like the world ended and we must CHANGE HIM RIGHTNOW. We go through somewhere around 110-130 diapers a week. Thank goodness most of those are cloth because that is one heckuva diaper bill.
- Marpepp boys have serious digestive system issues. Part of us wondered if Caleb’s stomach was a little off because he was induced and maybe he “wasn’t quite ready” or something. Nope. Andy immediately started with the same problems and intolerances. So Jess’s diet is limited yet again. Doctor’s orders for 6 months, but with Caleb, it was the full time nursing. Luckily, since we knew what to look for, we avoided the absolute devastation we wreaked on Caleb’s digestive system while we figured it out. Unluckily, Jess can’t eat most of her favorite foods. Again. And also, ew.
- Marpepp boys love a good walk. Now, this is probably just a baby thing, but both these boys NEED to be walked. They will fuss and cry until you just walk a track in the carpet. This time we are savvy and have headphones and tablets that we watch movies on while we take turns pacing. Andy is actually MUCH MUCH better about this than Caleb was, and is a better sleeper in general, but a couple times a day (and once at night) nothing will do but a walk.
- Marpepp boys are not loners. Both our boys thought that being anywhere other than on you for more than 15 minutes should be considered a capital crime. Hanging-worthy offense. Where with Caleb, Jess was out for the count anyway so Caleb spent most of the first month of his life just on her chest. With Andy, we don’t have the ability to hang around all day like that, so this kid pretty much lives in baby-carriers. This gets tricky sometimes with Caleb, but it’s that or a screaming infant and so sometimes we do one and sometimes the other. Mostly the one though. And while we are not big fans of co-sleeping after a certain age, during these newborn months, co-sleeping = sanity. Andy sleeps for 30 minutes in his bassinet alone. He sleeps for 4 hours on our chests. Plus, there is a deep comfort in knowing your child is safe because he is there, breathing on your chest. Sometimes though, the bassinet is worth the wake ups just to sleep on your dern side.
- Andy takes a bottle. For some of you, this may not seem like such a big deal. But for those of you who were close with us during the first year of Caleb’s life, you know that this is momentous. Why? Because Caleb never did. Not ever. We spent hours, days, spent a fortune on different types of bottles, and tried everything. You name it, we tried it. It caused tears, fights, panic attacks, and major conversations with pediatricians, nurses, child care providers, and friends and family. Caleb’s weight dropped off and he was spoon fed, reverse cycled, and was essentially chained to Jess for the first year of his life. It was not pretty and NOT something we were willing to do again. So this time we didn’t waste a moment and have been giving Andy bottles since day 1 hoping that the problem was that we waited until 6 weeks for Caleb to have a bottle. Turns out that it was. Andy fought it at first, but he is now taking a bottle happily and we are determined to keep it that way. Every time he takes one we dance around the house. This is huge for us!!
- Andy has reflux. This somehow apparently is correlated with babies with heart conditions, which we found extremely baffling. Luckily, a little tiny dose of Mylanta before nursing helps substantially, but it took us a few days of screaming and thinking we were losing our minds to figure it out. Caleb was a “happy spitter.” That meant that he never complained, but he covered us, the couch, the floor, our clothes and (once or twice) the dog in baby vom. Andy doesn’t ever spit up – it just gets stuck in his throat and hurts the poor boy terribly. Hence the screaming for hours. Hence the Mylanta. My goodness we love Mylanta.
- Andy does that THING baby boys do when you take off their diapers. Caleb never did that so it caught us seriously unawares, and still does on occasion. The kid’s got reach too. It’s kind of hilarious, but also a laundry problem.
We’d also like to take a moment and thank everyone for your prayers for Andy’s Children’s appointment on Friday. The basic update is that the hospital did not do their appropriate pre-authorizations for the procedures and our insurance refused to cover Andy because of some confusion on their part. So, after hours at the hospital, we finally gave up because we would have had to self-pay, and the doctors took a look at him and said he was doing well and it could wait. Of course, about an hour after we got home, we got a call from the insurance provider saying everything was cleared up. There were choice words for her ears alone. The new appointment is for next week and we’ll remain hopeful and strong that we get good results. Andy is doing really really well and we are so thankful and blessed for that alone.