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July 27, 2012

We have been cloth diapering Alban from day one, and it is going well. Because we don’t have a washer in our apartment, and there is no way in hell I was going to launder diapers at the laundromat every three days, we decided to use a diaper service. Diaperkind serves Manhattan, and they have been wonderful. They pick up our dirties once a week, leaving clean ones in their place. It’s like magic. We never have to do laundry, and they even bring them right up to our door. The overall cost is higher than home laundering and conventional disposables, but lower than other diapering options when you account for the fact that cloth diapered babies tend to potty train faster than babies in disposables. (*fingers crossed*) I think even if we move to an apartment with laundry, we will probably still keep the service. Because, magic, people! Plus, using the service also leaves the smallest eco-footprint because they use commercial, high-efficiency machines and can wash several sets of diapers at once. Economy of scale and all that, plus plant-derived detergent and super-hot water for pH balance and sanitization.

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July 13, 2012

Along about four months, the most amazing thing happened. Alban got hungry, and I fed him. Voila. No fuss. No big production. No pillows. No pain. No tears. Just a happy baby and a happy momma.

It was a few days later when I realized what had happened. We had finally achieved an easy breastfeeding relationship, something I wasn’t sure was ever going to happen, and about which I had copious amounts of anxiety for months, practically from the point I found out I was pregnant. One month later, I was able to donate 72 oz. of frozen milk to a brand new family who had gotten off to a rocky start with dehydration. If ever there was something to be grateful for, this is it.

In recent years, there has been more and more of a push to breastfeed. “Breast is best,” as they say. And it is, but although we are a nation of breeders, we are not exactly a nation of breastfeeding supporters. ┬áThere are plenty of places where you’d be hard pressed to find a nursing mom in public, and there is a reason that the “attachment parenting” cover of Time stirred up so much controversy. For many of us, seeing a baby, much less a toddler, eating “the way nature intended” is downright weird.

Even five-plus months in, it’s still a little weird for me. This little person gets ALL his calories and nutrition from milk I make. How is that possible? How does a human subsist, nay, thrive, on only milk? And he is enormous! (OK, that’s an exaggeration. He’s still on the growth chart, but he’s closing in on the 90th percentile.) Read more…

Three Months

April 30, 2012

Alban is three months old! He weighs 14 lb., 14 oz. and he is 24.25″ tall. It has been a pretty exciting month. Some days it seems like he has completely changed overnight. Other days it feels like he may never learn to do anything on his own.

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Alban’s birth story

April 20, 2012

In some ways, I feel that Alban’s birth story is the most boring story in the world because I had such a “textbook” labor. Truly, I progressed through every stage in the right order, and everything took an average amount of time to happen. However, the more birth stories I hear, the more I realize that even “textbook” cases are filled with little moments that make them special, and aspects that deviate from whatever “plan” may have been in place. And since this is the first birth I’ve witnessed first hand, and it happened to be the birth of my own child, it is obviously special to me. So here it is as I recall it 11 weeks and three days after the fact. Read more…

Cleared for battle

March 15, 2012

And by that, I mean life with a baby. Alban turned six weeks old on Tuesday. Kimm came for one last follow-up on Friday, and gave me the OK to get on with it and resume normal activity. So far, there is nothing normal about caring for a newborn. At least, nothing that resembles the normal I once knew. It is by turns exhausting, exhilarating, heart warming, frustrating, and everything in between. Like giving birth, it is both exactly what I thought it would be, and much, much harder. Also, rewarding in a way that is hard to describe.

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4 weeks of Alban

February 28, 2012

My son is four weeks old today. My son! It’s still sometimes hard to believe that I have a son and that I am a mother now. What a blur the last four weeks have been! Between feedings, naps, staring adoringly, trying to do basic household tasks, and keeping the business going, it is often 3 p.m. before I have a moment to get anything not baby related accomplished. But it has been a wonderful time so far. Alban seems to be a pretty chill baby. He really only cries when he’s hungry, and while that seems to be fairly often in the dead of night, he makes up for it by being so damned adorable I can hardly stand it.

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It’s a boy!

February 10, 2012

Alban Lee Bates was born at home on Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 7:08 a.m. weighing 8 lbs., 4 oz. Birth story to follow at some point, but right now we are marveling at this new little person, falling in love, and adjusting to life as a family.