Nugget: One Month

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I’ll have to ask your forgiveness in advance, because I’m totally going to do that annoying mom thing – just like I did in every monthly update with Peanut – and lament how fast the time is going.  Because I seriously cannot believe that Nugget is already a month old!  It feels like just yesterday that we were meeting him for the first time.  (Hubby saw him before I did and got to watch him being cleaned up and weighed, and what I heard from across the room was “Hi!  You look just like your sister!”)

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Nugget really does look an awful lot like Peanut, which surprised me.  We had a record number of ultrasounds (I was high risk, because of the complications Peanut had, and went in for twice-monthly growth ultrasounds during my last trimester) and I never thought that his ultrasound pictures looked anything like hers.  So I really was shocked when he came out looking so much like her – I mean, I know they’re siblings so they were going to have some similarities, but some of Nugget’s pictures could pass as a baby Peanut, and you could just knock me over with a feather.  Even so, I still maintain he looks more like his dad than anyone else: they have the same eyes and nose (Nugget’s nose is different from Peanut’s) and mouth (which Peanut also shares).

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Of course, there are a lot of differences between Nugget and Peanut as well.  The main difference is that Nugget was full term, so he got to room with me in the hospital and come home from the hospital two days later.  Three cheers for no NICU time!  I’d actually gone to great lengths to deliver in a particular hospital because it boasted the top NICU in our region – after going through a transfer with Peanut, which was the worst day of my entire life, I wanted Nugget born in the hospital with the NICU that people transfer to.  As a result I transferred doctors and started going to a clinic I hated, because they were the only place I could find that delivered in the hospital that I wanted.  And after all that, we didn’t end up needing the NICU… and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

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A full-term baby, blessing that he is, is definitely a different animal from a preemie, and we’ve had to re-learn (or learn for the first time) how to parent a newborn.  It’s been a very different experience from our experience with Peanut.  That’s a good thing – I wouldn’t wish the NICU on my worst enemy – but it’s also brought some different challenges.  For one thing, I think my recovery was easier with Peanut.  I wasn’t getting up to care for her during the night in her first two months of life; I was able to sleep nine hours and really let myself heal at night (even if my days were hectic jumbles of pumping, talking to neonatologists about things like gavage tubes, and giving baths through isolette portals).  With Nugget, the healing takes a backseat to 3:00 a.m. feedings and chasing a toddler.

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Another difference: the NICU got Peanut onto a very regimented schedule of eight daily “hands on care” and feeding sessions, which we continued when she came home.  As a result, she rarely fussed or cried as a newborn (except during her 5:00 p.m. witching hour) because the schedule let us anticipate and fulfill all of her needs before she realized she needed anything.  3:00 p.m.?  Time for temperature, diaper and a bottle – before she even realizes she’s hungry and needs a change!  Nugget, however, is not on a schedule at all.  He’s fed on-demand and we check his diaper when he fusses.  I much prefer this way of parenting, of course, but it does mean that we need to work a little harder to figure out his cues.  There’s been a learning curve (we’re still learning) and plenty of head-scratching.  Why is he crying?  He can’t be hungry; I just fed him.  And I changed him three minutes ago.  Is he overstimulated?  Cold?  Hot?  Just ticked off at life?  Each day hubby and I get a little better at reading his signals, but it’s going to take a few more months before we’re really in tune with him.

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Speaking of Peanut, although this is Nugget’s update, I should say a few words about her, since a lot of people have asked me how she’s adjusting to being a big sister.  In general, she’s been wonderful.  It helped that, right around the time of Nugget’s birth, her class spent a week talking about all things baby.  (Not for us, but the timing sure was good!)  She is a very sweet and gentle big sister – stroking Nugget’s downy head, giving him little kisses, and telling him she loves him.  Bestill my heart!  That said, she has had her moments.  At two-and-a-half, she is willful and attention-seeking anyway, and a new person in the house demanding lots of Mom’s time was sure to be an adjustment.  In some ways, her behavior has really taken a nose-dive; she’s spending a lot more time in time-out for throwing food, throwing toys, and (a new thing) hitting and pushing.  Her aggression has been directed at hubby and me – mostly me – not at Nugget, for which I am grateful.

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I’m trying very hard to ease Peanut’s adjustment by giving her plenty of individual love and attention.  That sometimes means Nugget doesn’t get picked up immediately if he’s fussing, because I’m reading her a story, doing a puzzle, or saying bedtime prayers.  And I am looking forward to planting our garden together in a few weeks, once the weather warms up for good (it will, right?).  Hubby’s been working on Peanut’s adjustment, too – often doing bathtime and getting her ready for bed on his own, while I feed Nugget, and then I join them for stories and prayers even if he’s fussing.  It’s a balance that we’re working out, gradually, and each day things seem to make a little more sense.

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Nugget at 1 Month:

Weight: 8 pounds, 8.5 ounces – wow!  Up from 6 pounds, 9 ounces at birth (and 6 pounds, 3 ounces at discharge).  I guess this guy likes to eat!

Height: 20.5 inches – added an inch since birth.  Grow, Nugget, grow!

Clothing Size: Still in newborn clothes, but he’s very close to growing out of them.  Peanut was in newborn clothes until she was almost five months old (well, once she grew into them, that is) so the idea of getting only a month’s use out of all those tiny onesies and sleepers is crazy to me!  Nana washed and folded his 0-3 month clothes, so they’re ready to go and I have a feeling he’ll be in them any day now.

Nicknames: “Nugget,” of course; “Tough Guy” (he sometimes side-eyes Peanut’s toys); also “Squeaker” and “Puppy” because of the squeaky little puppy cries he gives.  And Peanut calls him “Nayyyyyyyy-fin!”

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Likes: Mom.  MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM.  He’s definitely a mama’s boy.  He settles down faster in my arms than for anyone else, and hubby jokes that when I’m holding Nugget and he’s in quiet alert state he gazes up at me with pure adoration on his face – a look that’s reserved for me.  With everyone else, he’s mainly quizzical.  I’m quite flattered by this.  Peanut is such a daddy’s girl, and while I love that she loves hubby so much, it’s kind of nice to have a kid who is wild about me in particular.  He also likes his food – he’s an enthusiastic eater (aggressive, even) – and it shows in his weight gain, for which I’m patting myself on the back!  And (thanks, pregnant running!) he loves being bounced and shuffled about the room with buoyant little steps.

Dislikes: Baths, like most newborns.  He’s also not fond of diaper and outfit changes, feeling hungry, or his late afternoon/early evening witching hour (just like his sister).  And he’s not into being put down anywhere, ever; major hysterics (the back of his head gets all sweaty!) whenever I ask him to sit in his swing or seat while I eat or go to the bathroom… the boy wants to be held and bounced all day long!  All pretty standard newborn stuff.

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Milestones: In developmental milestones, the biggest news is that he rolled over three times from prone to supine!  The first time he did it (on the day before his one month birthday) I thought it might have been unintentional.  But then he did it two more times the next day.  This seems so early to me – he’s a strong little guy!  We’ve been working on tummy time and he’s really quite good at it.  He lifts his head and turns it from side to side pretty readily, and he does so without the help of rage (which Peanut needed to motivate her to move).  Nugget, by contrast, will nonchalantly turn his head to the other side as if he’s just gotten tired of the view on the one side and wants to check out what’s going on across the room.  In other milestones, we celebrated Nugget’s first major holiday – Easter – and he wore a sweater vest!  He also took his first walk in the great outdoors; he wasn’t a fan of the stroller, but I’m hoping that he’ll grow to enjoy hiking as much as we do.

Quirks: Hmmm, not much to report here; we’re just getting to know him.  Other than being a total mama’s boy, as mentioned above, of course!  (I’m not complaining about that!)

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Happy one month birthday, little man!  We’re having so much fun watching you grow.

2 thoughts on “Nugget: One Month

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