THE FIRST WEEK:Madeleine - The biggest struggle I had with Madeleine the first week was breastfeeding. It took her five days to figure it all out, and we fed her with a syringe until she did. I also remember trying really hard to keep her up in the evenings so she would sleep more at night.
Seamus - Seamus spent his entire first week in the NICU at the hospital. It was one of the hardest weeks of my life. He was a month early, and his lungs were a bit underdeveloped plus he had a bad case of jaundice. It was just heartbreaking to see him with a tube down his throat, IV's in his arm, and blindfolded under UV lights; but we knew it was for the best. It was days before they would even let us hold him. When we were at the hospital, there was literally nothing we could do but be with him. We could touch him, and changed his diapers, but until day four that was about it. When we did finally get to hold him it was always difficult with all the wires attached to him. We were also exhausted from all the back and forth between the hospital and the house. Every morning we would drop Madeleine off at daycare and then spend the day at the hospital. Then we'd leave around 4pm, pick up Madeleine, and spend the evening with her. After she went to bed I would go back to the hospital until my bedtime. I never stayed overnight at the NICU as we figured he was in good hands, it would be better to sleep in our own bed, and we wanted to be there for Madeleine in the mornings. I cannot tell you how happy we were to finally take him home with a clean bill of health.
Madeleine - Like I said, it took Madeleine five days to figure out the whole breastfeeding thing, but once she did it was smooth sailing for us. I nursed her when I was home, but I also pumped so she had breastmilk for bottle feedings.
Seamus - Since he was early, it took awhile for my milk to come in with Seamus. I pumped every three hours like clock work and gave what I could. We told the hospital it was fine to supplement him with formula when needed though. When I could finally try nursing him, he did pretty good...at first. Eventually he started to fight the feedings though. He had (still has) reflux and would arch his back and writhe his head back and forth whenever I tried to feed him. You could tell he was hungry, but he would not latch on. So, I started pumping and using bottles instead. He fought the bottles too, but with medicine and lots and lots of burping per feeding he's gotten better (he still has bad days sometimes). Pumping was taking up too much time though. He was eating every two and a half hours, and I could easily spend half that time with just the pumping and feedings. I was tired and miserable, so I made the call after month one to just switch to formula. It was a hard decision, but the right one for me. I had more time to rest, which I needed, and be with my family. Three months in, he's eating much better, but still occasionally has difficulties.
Madeleine - We had some difficulties getting Madeleine to sleep at night, but not much comparitively. After her middle of the night feedings she would cry and cry when you put her down. After two weeks we tried the "cry-it-out" method. The first night it took her 45 minutes to stop crying and go to sleep. It only took her three nights to learn to self-soothe herself to sleep. At 7 weeks old...yes, 7 WEEKS OLD, she started sleeping through the night (9pm to 5am). Actually, by month four she was sleeping 12 hours a night (6pm to 6am). We were spoiled.
Seamus - Seamus does not sleep through the night yet!!!! We are so tired. Unlike Madeleine, he goes down to bed and falls asleep with no problems, however, he still is waking up usually between 2-3am for a feeding. He eats quick and goes right back down, but the interruption to our sleep has been brutal. We're getting there though...he actually slept very well the last two nights, so I'm hoping we're close. He is an awesome napper though. We quickly got him on a 2-nap a day schedule. He takes a nap after his 8:30am bottle, and again after his 12:30pm bottle. The best I think I did was get them napping at the same time. They both sleep from about 1-3pm everyday.
Madeleine - never wanted anything to do with them. She also has never sucked her thumb.
Seamus - loves them!! If he is fussy, it instantly soothes him. We never leave home without it. He recently started sucking his fingers too. Basically, if the pacifier is not in his mouth, then his fingers are.
TUMMY TIME / BOUNCERS / SWINGS
Madeleine - I don't remember that Madeleine had any problems with tummy time. She would do it for pretty long stretches at a time. She never minded hanging out in a bouncer, and would instantly fall asleep in a swing.
Seamus - Seamus hates tummy time. He's usually screaming after 30 seconds. He seems to really like our bouncer, and is now starting to reach out and play with the toys. However, he really hates the swing. If he's already sleeping, he'll sleep in the swing; but if you put him in it awake he does not like it.
Madeleine - Madeleine spit up a lot. We always had a burp cloth with us, and she wore a bib all the time. She also would have diaper blow-outs here and there.
Seamus - Seamus never spits up...like I can count on one hand the number of times he has done it so far. He never wears a bib either (although he is just now starting to drool a bit). Other than being sprayed a few times the first couple of weeks, his diaper changes are not messy at all.
Madeleine - Madeleine was a great baby, and hardly ever cried.
Seamus - Seamus cries, but I feel that is more our doing than him. With Madeleine, the second she started to fuss we were there to cater to whatever need she had. However, sometimes Seamus has to just wait. Madeleine has to go to potty, or she needs help with something, or I need to get her meal on the table - basically I try to get her set up first, so then I can hopefully deal with the baby's needs with less interruptions. That sometimes means he has to cry five minutes longer for a bottle. I will say though, that I think he interracts and smiles a lot more than she did at this age. Madeleine was always content...Seamus is happy.