Before Edith came along, spontaneous vacations were a regular event for Lindsay and I. When we first moved to Vermont, there was rarely a month where you couldn’t find us traveling to Boston, New York City, Portland (Maine) or somewhere else in the Northeast. Sometimes we would travel to see a band or to celebrate a special occasion but it was usually because we were bored or stir crazy. Our babymoon to South Carolina this past March was thought to be our last spontaneous trip for quite some time. But with summer winding down, we decided this past Thursday to make the most of it and join Lindsay’s parents on a week long trip to the Ocean State. One thing is different about this trip, this isn’t the normal, whirlwind shopping, dinner and drinks trip that we used to take. We’ve rented a beautiful condo on the Narragansett Bay in sleepy Warren, Rhode Island.
We decided to take the trip to Warren on Thursday morning after debating it for, oh, about five minutes. We had decided that we were ready to venture outside the house for our first overnight trip and, well, make a week out of it. Friday night, we rushed to pack everything up and make last minute runs to the grocery store and last minute calls to our good friend Laura to check in on Boo while we were gone to make sure he wasn’t too lonely without us (he really is quite dependent). With a six hour drive ahead of us, we decided that wasn’t enough and went out to breakfast at Magnolia Bistro
with Laura and her boyfriend Aaron and then make the trip to Johnson so that Edith could meet her great-grandmother, great-aunt Carol, great-uncle Brian and her cousin Michelle for the first time.
After visiting with the family for a couple of hours, we decided we should hit the road and begin the long drive to Rhode Island for our first family vacation with Edith. Warren is about four and a half hours from Johnson, but with adult bathroom breaks, nursing breaks and diaper changes along the way we figured we had at least six hours on the road ahead of us. With Edie being gassy and upset for the last hour or so before we left, we really weren’t sure what we had ahead of us. But, we couldn’t have asked for a better trip. After fussing for a few minutes, she settled in and soothed herself for an hour or so until we stopped at the beautiful rest area in Randolph as she nursed with Lindsay for an hour or so and I just took the time to soak in the beautiful weather and enjoy the time with my family. We hit the road, making a pit stop in White River Junction at Tuckerbox for some fuel for the rest of the ride. Once we were adequately caffeinated, it was time to get back on the road and face the rest of our trip. We decided to take the “scenic route”, taking back roads through small, isolated towns in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. We stopped at a rest area or two to nurse and Edie even had her first road trip meal at McDonalds. Everyone has to do it some point in their life, right? (Disclaimer: She nursed in the parking lot of a 24 hour McDonalds just over the Rhode Island border, no actual McDonald’s touched any of our lips)
The First Night
After a rather uneventful six to seven hour trip, we were finally at our home away from home for the week in Warren. We settled in and took a tour of the house and it was even more beautiful than we could have imagined. It was obvious that there was thought put into just about every detail in the home with a nice, modern kitchen, paintings on every wall, books on art and anatomy throughout the bookshelves and nautical decor mixed throughout.
After we unloaded the car, we settled in and visited with Lindsay’s parents for a short while as they fawned over Edith. Before long, with all of being exhausted, we headed upstairs to the bedroom to get settled in and put Edith down for the night. Or so we though… After a long day of being in a loud restaurant, meeting a lot of new people, traveling for 6 hours and being in a new environment Edith had a hard time settling down for the night. Lindsay nursed and set up the pack and play and I pumped up the exercise ball and bounced Edith to sleep. After about a half hour to an hour, Edith was up again, letting us know she wasn’t comfortable with her new sleeping arrangements. I then ventured out to find us some food since we gambled on there being food we could eat at the house and had foregone stopping for food in Worcester, MA. When I mentioned that Warren was a sleepy town, I really meant it. There wasn’t an open kitchen to be found anywhere in the town at 10pm on a Saturday night. As I headed back to the house, I could hear Edith’s cries from down the block. Lindsay and I traded off soothing Edit to sleep in hopes that she could get some rest after a long day. After a couple hours of Edith waking up every hour or so, we decided to bring Edith to bed with us where she would be with us and more comfortable with our smells. We both figured the damp, salty, ocean air added to her feeling uncomfortable away from home. Once we moved her into bed with us, she calmed down and was able to sleep much more soundly through the rest of the night, only waking up to nurse.
The First Day
After not being able to find any food the night before, we both woke up extremely hungry and ready to hit the road in search of breakfast and groceries. We made our way to Wild Flour Vegan Bakery and Cafe in Pawtucket where we both got coffee, scones and a raw vegan raspberry chocolate cheesecake square to share. The coffee was great and the food was as great as I remembered it being the first time. The cafe’s staff and a number of customers all stopped to admire Edith and she calmly sat while we ate and napped off and on. After a long night, the first day started off really well.
After breakfast, we met up with Lindsay’s parents to do some grocery shopping together at Trader Joe’s in Warwick and Whole Foods in Providence. We were approached by several people, stopping to compliment us or talk with us about Edith and their children. It’s something you always here about happening, but not something we’ve ever really experienced at home in Vermont. The common theme of our discussions seemed to be that they “grow up way too fast” and I do find that I agree as it’s an amazing experience to marvel over how quickly Edith changes from day to day and week to week. She’s growing like a weed and her personality is developing more and more every day. After groceries, we headed back home and enjoyed lunch together on the balcony while Edith took a well deserved nap.
After doing a little work, I put Edith in the Ergo where Edith fell fast asleep and Lindsay and I headed out for a walk around downtown Warren to take in all of the cute little shops and restaurants in this quiet little town. We stopped in some of the shops (including one of the tourist traps where we stocked up on salt water taffy), got a coffee and made our way down to the wharf by the house. After a long day, we put Edith down to sleep for the night and enjoyed the sunset from the balcony off of our bedroom. After a rough night the first night, Edith settled in for long sleep, only waking to nurse.
Yesterday was Edie’s 5 week birthday so I decided to track the events of our day. I actually started tracking things on Sunday night and it’s really amazing all the things that Edie and I do together in one day especially once it is all down on paper.
So Sunday we had an awful fussy day that was just exhausting but eventually Edie went down with very little resistance. So I started tracking things at 7pm Sunday night through 7pm Monday night.
- 7-7:30p After hours of fussy at the boob I finally had a good nursing session and then burped me and I was so exhausted from not getting a good nap in all day that I passed out cold.
11:28p I woke up ready for another nursing session with mom and then a burp and bounce session with daddy.
- 12:15a After a good 25 minute bounce and burp session I was finally ready to back to sleep.
- 3:25a I woke up ready for another nursing session followed by a big burp a fart and then mom thought I was ready to go back to bed but instead I wanted to back for another round.
- 4:00a Finally full it was back to sleep for me.
- 6:30a I woke up ready to face the day but first I was in desperate need of a diaper change and a feeding. d
- 7:00a Mom put me in my crib for a hangout session and I just ooh’d and ahh’d for awhile.
- 7:15a Well crib time got boring so I headed over to my new favorite spot my swing for awhile….
- 7:40a Until that got old and I decided to hang out in my blue bouncy chair for awhile.
- 8:05a Okay enough of the cribs, swings and chairs I’m ready to eat again!
- 8:25a All filled up I laid on mom and dad’s bed for awhile and watched them get ready for the day.
- 8:30a Finally time for another diaper change before heading to bring dad to work.
- 9:10a Drop dad off at work but then I was feeling hungry but mom was driving so I just let her know the whole ride that I was in need of a feeding, since I can’t talk yet I chose to scream.
- 9:25a I think I finally got mom’s attention because she took me out of my car seat and finally fed me.
- 9:45a Full again I got back in my car seat and then my mom put me in the stroller and we went shopping at Healthy Living.
- 10:15a Exhausted from shopping I decided to fall asleep in the car until we got home and then mom changed my diaper and I went back to sleep in the blue bouncy chair for awhile
- 12:15p After a good nap I was ready for another meal so I let mom know with a nice big wail but it didn’t have to last long she swooped in and picked me up and we got down to business.
- 12:50p I decided that mom’s day wasn’t exciting enough so I decided to deliver her a “poopsplosion” in my diaper what that is you don’t really want to know but let me tell you it gave me a good smile when she opened up my diaper to find it. It even meant getting an outfit change it was that good.
- 12:55p Since I was feeling good after my diaper change I decided to give mom a good snuggle and took a nap on her shoulder for awhile.
- 1:50p I woke up to find myself in my Boppy Chair (mom must have needed to get some work done) I looked around and then mom decided to check my diaper and boy did it need a changing.
- 1:55p After my nap and diaper change I decided I really needed to eat so mom and I settled in on the couch for a nice nursing session except I wet myself and needed to be changed half way through because I was really uncomfortable. Once changed I finished eating and was ready to relax.
- 2:30p I relaxed in my swing for a bit while mom did a quick workout.
- 3:00p Mom finished her workout and then we hung out on the blanket for awhile and I stared at the fishes (my favorite thing to do).
- 3:15p It’s that time again- diaper changing time! Don’t worry I didn’t surprise mom with another poopsplosion it was just a little one.
- 3:20p Well all that swinging, staring at the fishes and pooping sure made me work up an appetite so it was back to the couch with mom for another nursing session which was interrupted by a diaper change half way through.
- 3:50p Mom placed me back in the swing where I promptly feel asleep.
- 5:05p Time to wake up! I woke up ready for a diaper change and ready to eat.
- 5:40p It’s almost six and since that is my “witching hour” I decided to get started a little early with my screaming especially since daddy just walked in the door and I know he was looking forward to bouncing me all day.
- 5:50p Okay I guess I’ll calm down while you eat your dinner so long as I get to swing.
- 6:05p Alright you calmed me down in the swing so I’ll cuddle with daddy for a few minutes.
- 6:10p Okay over cuddling lets get down to feeding.
- 6:30p Alright back with daddy for a bit while he bounces me in the chair and reads me Pat The Bunny. After we read he swaddles me and tries to get me to go to sleep but let me tell you I had no plans on going to sleep until at least 10:30p. Good thing Grandma is coming over tomorrow because I plan on getting mom up a few times through out the night and waking her up at 4:30a to nurse and play.
Couple’s Yoga for Labor and Birth, with Susan Cline Lucey
This one-time workshop is a great way for you to bond as a couple in preparation for sharing the birth experience together. We will cover yoga poses, breath work, relaxation and meditation techniques helpful in labor and birth. A strong focus will be placed on labor support techniques and ways to build confidence in your ability to birth without intervention. This workshop is a must for first time parents, as well as for those second/third time parents who are not planning on taking a birth class but would like a class to connect around the baby and a refresher on labor support techniques. (source)
Back in June Neil and I took a Couple’s Yoga For Labor and Birth Workshop at my yoga studio along with eight other couples. We started out the class by first setting our intention for the class and for birth. We then wrote down an affirmation to help us focus in on the birth; mine was “I trust my body to birth this baby” and Neil’s was “I know Lindsay’s strength and confidence will guide her through the birth and I am here to support her.”
Much of the class was focused around learning relaxation techniques to help during labor and birth. We discussed breathing techniques (which I ended up using throughout my birth):
- breathing–> relaxing the jaw = relaxed pelvic floor; tried goddess pose with focus on breathing through it just like breathing through a contraction
- groans, moans and screams–> focus on low moans and groans b/c it keeps the pelvic floor open versus high pitched screams/shrieks which tense up the body –> go ahead try it! shriek and see how your body reacts, feel the tension in your abs, your chest, your pelvis? now do a low moan or groan- can you feel the difference?
Along with the breathing techniques we also tried a variety poses for laboring in such as a supported squat. We used this a little during labor as well as the massage that we discussed but the biggest thing I took away from the class was the breathing and the loan moans and groans.
We both loved this class it was very intimate. I really wish that it had been a series and not just one night! Although I learned a lot from our private birth class it was great to be in a room with others practicing the techniques, especially since a few of the moms-to-be were familiar to me from prenatal yoga.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Today at 1:28 PM Edith celebrated her one month birthday (Monday was her four week birthday too). I cannot believe that it has been one month since I was at Gifford with my amazing birth team giving birth to our beautiful baby girl.
Likes: Right now Edith likes to eat and eat and eat, be bounced on the exercise ball, sleep on her daddy’s chest, being naked, laying on her red, black and white blanket while “reading” her Look, Look! book. She also likes going for walks.
Dislikes: Taking a bath- although she had her first non-screaming bath today so maybe things are looking up? She hates having gas and we often spend most evenings bouncing her on the ball (it’s one of the only things that calms her).
Sleeping: Well she was going to sleep between 7-8 and waking up around midnight, 2:30 or 3 AM and then again around 5am to nurse but the past few nights she has been nursing non-stop and hasn’t wanted to go to bed until around midnight. I am hoping that this is just a growth spurt phase and she will go back to her previously regular sleeping schedule….but who knows.
Eating: Little Lady loves to eat and most days if she isn’t sleeping, pooping or bouncing she is eating.
Playing: Right now most of our play time is spent on the quilt with her Look, Look! book. She also loves to stare at things and listen while her daddy reads her a nightly bedtime story. She has just come to start really following objects with her eyes.
Here are some of my favorite photos from her first month:
Today was my first official day as a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom and it really wasn’t as stressful as I thought it might have been! The first two weeks of Edie’s life we were lucky that Neil was able to use five paternity days and five vacation days so we had him full time. The next two weeks he worked from home (the benefit of a computer based profession) and I was able to have his help when needed but today he had to go back to work so that meant I was on my own. I feared that Edie would be fussy all day (she has had some bad gas lately) and that I would end up feeling lost as to what to do without my baby whisperer husband home to whisk her off and bounce with her. However today actually went really well and I even had time for a nap and a shower!
I got out for a 30 minute walk with Edie
Edie took a 3.5 hour nap
While she napped I was able to do a load of dirty diapers…
cleaned up my desk area, take a shower and a nap, change the sheets and
prep dinner! (trust me I don’t expect this to be come the norm)
The afternoon was spent cuddling, nursing, fussing and waiting for this guy to get home
and read her a book and put her to bed.
We briefly covered breastfeeding as part of our Natural Baby Care Class and actually we learned quit a bit from our Doula(Sarah), however she suggested that we also sign up for a breastfeeding education class. So I registered us for a 2.5 hour breastfeeding education class.
We arrived at the class to find eight other couples and our instructor. The first thing we learned from the class is that we were so glad we took private childbirth and natural baby care classes because you never know who you are going to end up with in a group class. Unfortunately, we ended up in a class with a number of couples who thought that the sight of breasts in breastfeeding videos were funny among other things that we don’t need to get into here. But, let me tell you, they made my jaw drop.
Anyways, on to the good things that we learned from our amazing instructor who is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and the breastfeeding coordinator for the Vermont Department of Health, among other things.
Things we covered in the class:
- Hospital practices that support breastfeeding
- Who to call for lactation support
- Breastfeeding Basics
- Positioning and Latching
- How milk is made
- Breastfeeding Videos
- Challenges and Solutions
- The first week
- Perceived low milk supply
- Separated from Your Baby
- Expressing milk and breast pumps
- Storing breast milk
- Introducing a bottle- paced bottle feeding
- Considerations for your day care provider
Honestly I am writing this nearly 2 months after having taken the class (I had the best intentions of writing this earlier) and now I don’t completely remember the details of what we learned. Overall I felt like the class really covered what you needed to know about breastfeeding and how to actually breastfeed from positions to latching and we watched a few videos that provided good examples of positioning and proper latching. We also covered a number of challenges and how to overcome them and where/who to turn to if you find yourself struggling. Lastly, we covered breast pumps, storage and what to do when someone else is taking care of your baby.
What I have learned from breastfeeding:
We are going on almost 4 weeks of breastfeeding now and let me tell you it really does get easier. Don’t get me wrong, we still have some challenges, but it does get easier. Although Edie did pretty well at latching right off the first few days of breastfeeding were the most challenging and I ended up with sore, bruised nipples. I also struggled with finding a hold that worked for both Edie and me. When I left the birth center I felt pretty comfortable with breastfeeding but when I arrived home I started to have a few doubts so I watched a few videos online to help me. I soothed my sore nipples by expressing a little breast milk onto my nipples (oh and my milk came in within 72 hours of Edie’s arrival) and I changed my hold from the cradle to the football hold and found it made all the difference. A few days later we had an appointment at our pediatrician with the family nurse practitioner(who is also a certified lactation consultant) and she observed me breastfeeding and was impressed but made one suggestion that has been a game changer- bring the baby to the boob NOT the boob to the baby.
Since making these changes I have had almost no more nipple soreness and breastfeeding is going really well. The only challenge that I have had since making these changes is cluster feeding which is exhausting and at times frustrating. I ended up having one huge breakdown during our first week home after a particularly exhausting evening/night of cluster feeding that lasted around 7 hours. Today I still find it challenging at times to sit and have back to back nursing sessions especially when we want to try and get out of the house or when I am exhausted and want to sleep but overall things are going well and I am loving breastfeeding.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post all thoughts and opinions are my own.