Emily at One Month
Wow. Having time to sit down at the computer feels like such a novelty now. This post has been in the making for several days little bits at time. I have no idea how new mothers resume posting so quickly. I’ve found the best way to catch up on blogs is in the middle of the night feedings, at least for the time being. It’s such a pain to comment on the iPhone and iPad so I don’t do it, but I can comment on twitter so that’s how I’ll have to roll for a while. I have been reading and catching up the last few nights and it’s been so great to reconnect with you guys, even if it’s a on the DL.
Thanks for all your sweet comment on the birth story. I had a great time writing it. I forgot to mention a couple of things:
- We didn’t call anybody the whole time we were going through labor. In fact,we didn’t call anybody until the next day several hours after she arrived. It just felt right to keep it an intimate moment between my husband and I. Plus things progressed so quickly, I truly didn’t get much opportunity to think about anybody else. I think my family was a little hurt I didn’t call right away, but they understood. I’m glad I did it my way and didn’t feel pressured to include anybody. If there is any piece of advice I can give somebody who is getting ready for the big show (because pregnant women don’t get nearly enough unsolicited advice!) is that this is all about YOU and YOUR family (husband and baby). Don’t feel pressured or obligated to go with the masses. They may be hurt at first, but they will get over it. The people in the room next to us had a ton of visitors and although that may have been right for them (or not) the chaos and noise emanating from them totally solidified our decision. They were annoying as hell. Maybe she had a cesarean birth and was there much longer. Once Emily arrived we only had 24 hours by ourselves and we wanted to soak up the experience as much as possible.
- Also I would highly HIGHLY recommend bringing your own pillow to the hospital. I’m a little fanatical about my pillow so maybe it wouldn’t be such a big deal to the next mama, but the pillows at the hospital were terrible and I used mine during labor and recovery. It was probably the most important thing I brought with me.
- I also wished I would have urged my husband to take more pictures of the whole experience. We didn’t take too many and that is my one and only disappointment.
Ready for the biggest cliché of a new mom….I can’t believe it’s been one month since we brought Emily home from the hospital. Throughout the day I find myself singing that Darius Rucker song, “It wont be like this for long,” in my head and it keeps things in perspective: To appreciate EVERY moment good or frustrating.
Some of these ramblings might seem long winded, but one of the things that brought me solace and comfort when I thought I was failing this little girl as a mother was reading other blogs and realizing I wasn’t alone, everything I’m feeling is totally normal, and it will get better. Maybe this will do the same for others.
Nursing/Feeding: Ugh! Where to begin?! First, she has gained one pound from her birth weight! Still a tiny little peanut at 6lbs, 12 oz but she does feel and look bigger which makes me killing myself over feeding her all worth it. Second, nursing is hard. At the end of the first month it is easier but we are still a long way from where I hope to be. There will be a full post on this in a couple more weeks. Until then here are the cliff notes: I haven’t had to supplement with formula yet. I’m pumping much more than I’d like to (about 6-7 times a day usually after a feeding but sometimes I squeeze one in while she’s napping and after nighttime feedings), and I’m using the nipple shield which is also annoying but the only way she will stay latched.
She has a very hearty appetite in the evening hours which unfortunately, is also when my Prolactin levels are the lowest because I can never seem to give her enough milk. She will typically nurse then 20 minutes later scream like we’re starving her so I’ll try to nurse, but there isn’t enough so we’ll resort to bottles for the next couple of hours. Hopefully my milk supply gets the message soon.
Sleeping: The first week I though we hit the baby jackpot. She would have slept through the night had I not woken her up to eat. HA! Such a newborn! and me, SO naïve! Once she hit a week old, she started sleeping a little less. By two weeks she was much more alert during her awake times which was fun, but she was also more awake during the night. I followed all the rules: keep the light down low in the nursery (she sleeps in our room, but I go to the nursery for nighttime feedings and diaper changes – a dimmer on whatever light you use is a MUST and I just keep it on low all night), don’t talk to her, don’t make eye contact. Still she would be wide awake for at least an hour. I’m happy to report that she’s much easier to fall asleep now. Our typical feeding times are about 8:00 (right before bed), anywhere between 12:00 (I set an alarm on my phone for every 4 hours but she usually wakes me before to feed), then again between 2-4. Our nursing and falling asleep routine usually take about an hour given she is easy to put back down, otherwise it can take up to 2 1/2. Her best sleep is that first block from 8-midnight. Usually after the first nighttime feeding she’s a little more restless and tends to wake up only a couple hours later. At a few weeks, I started feeding her a bottle and nursing thinking she wasn’t getting enough milk which may have been true, but for the last couple of nights I’ve been only nursing and she’s doing pretty good.
She sleeps the best when she is on my chest and for me it’s one of the best feeling in the world. Only problem is I can’t sleep like that. I also can’t sleep with her in the bed. Co – Sleeping is not for us. I’m too paranoid. But she also can’t put herself to sleep on her own yet. She hates being laid on her back so we finally tried the car seat and it seems to be working the best. In an attempt to get her out of the car seat (because it just feels weird to be using it as a sleep tool) I ordered one of those rock n plays and she didn’t like it as much as I’d hoped. The second night I made my husband set the car seat up again and she did better. Veteran moms encourage me to do WHATEVER IT TAKES the first couple of months to get some sleep and not worry about setting up bad habits, so I’m rolling with this routine: Nurse (99% of the time she falls asleep nursing day or night), hold her and pat her back for as long as necessary until she is in a deep sleep (usually 30 minutes or so), put her in car seat. Repeat every couple of hours. It’s working the best.
During the day her naps are totally random and became more random as the moth progressed. Right now she takes several 30 minute snoozes (always after nursing) and then a couple of longer naps that last about two hours. Recently she’s started fighting those longer naps a little which makes her a bit crabby until I can get her to sleep, which takes longer that usual because she is overtired.
One more thing about sleep: I had no idea how NOISY newborns are. Like really really noisy while they sleep. The first week or so I was constantly by her side (although she really does sleep in our pack and play next to my side of the bed) at every peep before I realized I would drive myself crazy. I wish somebody would have told me how normal all those grunts were from the get go.
Fiery Personality: Everyday we are learning more and more about this little girl and while everyday is a little different, one thing is for certain – she is not shy about letting us know what she wants. She farts like her father but has the patience of her mother. It takes about 20 seconds for her to escalate from a sweet-precious little newborn to a raging-mad-red-faced-lip-quivering baby girl. I cannot handle the lip quiver. It completely breaks my heart and I need to stop it immediately. She loves being held and cuddled and hates being put down except for when completely asleep (as apposed to in a light sleep). Her roughest time of the day is in the evenings from about 6-8 and we usually walk her around the house while she follows everything with her eyes and sucks on a pacifier. She LOVES having her back patted while being held and sometimes you’ll think she’s asleep, but as soon as you stop patting her back she’s awake and stirring until you start up again. She likes the swing, but can only tolerate it for about 20 minutes. She hates having a dirty diaper and if there is even a teeny tiny bit in there she lets us know right away. We usually end up changing her diaper about 15-20 times a day. No joke. She absolutely loves walking around outside surveying the grounds with her dad while he teaches her all about generators, sheds, and things in the garage. I’ve taken her out in the Bob a few times and she falls asleep almost immediately. Thank God she enjoys it. SUPER hopeful that doesn’t change! While she sleeps wonderfully in her car seat she hates when we strap her in. I think she is a wee bit too small for it so hopefully in a few more weeks she will be more comfortable and it wont be such a challenge. Luckily as soon as we get moving in the car she is soothed. I can see the makings of some sassiness in her already. I’m sure my mother is silently grinning and murmuring something about karma inside her head.
Other notes: She is finally fitting into her newborn clothes so it’s been fun dressing her up. I’m in love with putting her cute little head in headbands that I bought on etsy. Her head is so soft and warm and she has the best smell in the world.
Aside from family, I’ve only had one friend visit. Partly because I decided to only allow people to visit if they’ve had their Tdap (pertussis) booster shot. Some people don’t have it and wont get it. [totally understandable – kinda. Not because I think it’s rude they wont get it to visit, but because we are having an epidemic and it’s the socially responsible thing to do. Last month there were 2,520 cases of pertussis were reported in Washington compared to 180 the previous year source). This decision is 100% backed and supported by two of the pediatricians in my doctors office. It’s awkward asking people if they have it and tell them they can’t come over unless they do, but so far everybody has understood because they are all moms.
Another reason why I haven’t had any visitors is because I’ve had such a hard time with nursing and I feel that having people over hinders the time and effort I’m putting in. Also, I’d rather save my visitors for when Chris leaves next week. Then I’ll REALLY need some company!
I’m really just going with the flow and resisting trying to get on a schedule. I’m hoping by week 6 we might be able to restore some order especially with the napping.
I’m sure there is much more I want to mention but this post has been dragging on long enough so I’m publishing as soon as I get some pictures uploaded. Sorry if there is redundancy, I’m not proofreading.
Thanks for reading and wish me luck when Chris leaves in a few days. I think it will only be for a week and he will stay in the US so we can talk and skype, but this will be a huge sink or swim adventure for me.
Baby wearing – so far I love the Moby wrap. The fabric is so soft and really snuggles her into my chest. The only downside is the fabric is so long. If you put it on outside you will get it dirty or wet if it’s raining. I just bought the infant insert for the Ergo so I’m anxious to try that out later this week as well.
She is mesmerized by the photo gallery on the nursery wall. I think it’s the black frames with white matting that catches her attention. Also, you can see part of the nursery chair. It finally showed up AFTER she was born. Post on nursery coming…someday.