4-Week Update

Well, tomorrow she is officially one month old. Wow, eh? Today we have her one-month doctor’s check-up. I’ll be updating the Baby Vitals subpage on the site afterwards, reporting on how she’s doing and stuff. Hopefully she’s gained a bit of weight and grown a bit. It feels like she got heavier and longer since we brought her home from the hospital… but it’s hard to tell when we see her everyday.

Her sleeping patterns have been very odd. I’m not sure what to make of them. Until yesterday, she was (for the past week or so) waking up at around 4am (almost like clockwork) and will be wired wide awake until about noon or 1pm, with many, many frequent feedings in between. Like, every hour, at least. I’ve been pumping boobie juice and we’ve been bottle feeding her a lot the last week, since it’s faster and it’s less exhausting. She gets a little fussy during these awake hours too, when she seems to be constantly on the move and doesn’t want to bother with the boob. She wants a quick fix. Then, she’d zonk out, literally, for about 7 or 8 hours straight, waking up between every 3 to 4 hours to feed, and quickly falling back asleep, sometimes even before she can burp. So weird. So, she’s been awake and asleep for longer periods of time. I’m going to ask the doc today if that’s normal. Seems odd for a newborn. Regardless though, she’s eating fine and frequently, and peeing and pooping regularly.

I’m pumping more milk than my boobs can handle. In between feedings, sometimes if I go several hours without feeding or pumping, my boobs get engorged. So, overnights are hard because by the time I wake up, my boobs are rock hard and incredibly uncomfortable. I have to feed her immediately or pump immediately. Pumping only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to fill out a 5-ounce bottle. And that’s just each boob! Dang. So now I’m storing milk in the freezer. Should be good for when I go back to work.

Mommy-Baby cuddle last night before bed.

The “I’ve got attitude, don’t mess with me” look.

The Daddy-Baby cuddle: she loves lifting her head to look!

Three Week Update

Today our baby girl is three weeks old. Three weeks! Wow, how time flies when you’re having fun. Some highlights of the last week or so, since I haven’t been updating a lot on the site. It’s been very, very busy around here. It seems I’ve lost hours during the day, which is understandable. Most of the time we’re trying to just catch up with Lily Bean and her schedule. I’m glad I have Dave at home. I don’t know how new mothers do this on their own. If you’re one and you’re doing this on your own while your husband/partner works or is away, I bow down to you. Seriously.

  • Lily Bean has been almost consistently awake during the night, from about 1am to 7am. She isn’t “fussy” or cries constantly, but she does demand a lot of one-on-one attention and wants to be held all the time during those hours. Talked to, played with, fed continuously. I think she’s going through a big growth spurt. Seems she is insatiable. This has been very difficult for our sleeping schedules, even though we’re both night owls. For the most part, Dave has taken the grave yard shift, except for last night when I switched with him so he can get some rest during the night time. She is quite the attention hog. It’s very exhausting.
  • So, during the day, we’ve been trying to keep her up for longer periods so we can tire her out in time for bedtime at night. We’ve also started some routines with her… turning off all the lights when it’s bedtime, less interactions and stimulation for her during that time, and I will be starting bedtime reading soon too. This is a very slow and gradual process, and we’re trying not to be impatient about it. Hard to do, with so little sleep running through my system.
  • I’ve been pumping milk and breastfeeding at the same time. Lily Bean takes the bottle in the middle of the night, because otherwise my boobs will fall off from her insatiable appetite. During the day, she takes the boob — and requires feeding every hour and a half. Wow. She has learned to take both the bottle and the breast quite well. No more concerns about nipple confusion. She’s a bit fussy from time to time during feedings, but that’s with both the boob and the bottle. My boobs are a lot less sore and tense, and I think they’ve gotten used to boobie-feeding, so that’s nice.
  • My c-section healing is going well, though I am constantly in a dull pain, especially when I don’t take my medication or take it late.
  • My emotions have been very, very up and down. Earlier this week, I was crying during feedings because I had overwhelming emotions of guilt and inadequacy about my parenting. I can’t really explain it, but yeah. It’s like it’s uncontrollable. I don’t like it. Right now it feels better, but I’m still feeling a dull sense of anxiety overall. I’m trying to control it with positive energy, though.
  • Dave has been very good at taking some of the pressure off of me, being at home and helping out with Lily Bean and taking care of her and stuff. I don’t know what I’d do without him. And then again, the dull sense of guilt and anxiety kick in whenever I think of how much he is doing for me and how much he loves me and I wish I wasn’t going through these weird and odd negative emotions so I can be a better wife and a better mother. I know, I know, it’s in my head, but yeah.
  • Lily Bean’s Uncle Dan and Auntie Kami (my brother- and sister-in-law) gave us a Tummy Time play mat for her to practice lifting her head on. She absolutely loves it! She gets so determined and motivated to lift that head and shoulders of hers. She’s really quite amazing. She is also learning to follow things with her eyes, and turn her head to us when we talk to her. She is so smart, for just three weeks old. Our little genius.
  • I’ve been getting periodic sleep throughout the day. At night I get about 3 or 4 hours of sleep (when Dave is doing the graveyard shift) and then taking naps while she takes naps during the day. This is very, very exhausting. I’m hoping she sleeps longer during the nights soon so we can both get some sleep at actual human times.
  • We’re seeing more of her personality come out as the days go by. Her hair is growing longer, her eyes are becoming more aware, and she is trying to learn how to communicate. She’s learned how to signal to us that she’s hungry, often just putting her hand to her mouth once, and we get the signal, and she stops unless she needs to repeat it. She doesn’t even have to cry anymore. She’s also learned that when she needs to burp, she signals it by being really fidgety and “bull dog” towards the nipple (boobie or bottle!). She is very headstrong and determined, and she’s unafraid to speak her mind, though we are also seeing that she is quite patient with us, being new parents and all. We have a very smart little girl here. She is also learning how to answer our questions… “Where’s Daddy?” (she turns to Dave) and “Where’s the pretty flower (on the play mat)?” (she turns to look at the flower). I’m so proud of her!
  • Tink (our cat) has gotten more used to the baby being around, and has even cuddled close by, which is a first since we brought Lily Bean home!

The first Tink cuddle with Lily Bean.

Looking lovingly at Daddy during feeding.

Practicing lifting her head and shoulders during Tummy Time.

Highlights of Week 2

Quick highlights of today:

  • Lily Bean lost her little belly button extra thingamajig. It was gross, but now she has an official belly button. Heh.
  • She’s learned to feed quite frequently and effectively, sometimes only vigorously nursing for about 15 minutes at a time. This is pretty normal, right? I find she won’t take the nipple after that cuz she’s so tired and satisfied.
  • She’s raising her head during our “tummy times,” often raising her head to look around the room and stuff. Wow, she’s strong.
  • She’s two weeks old today!!
  • Daddy got a real, full-on, awake giggle today!!! I’m totally jealous. I was in the shower and missed it!
  • I cut her fingernails this morning. That was a very nerve wracking experience, but now at least she won’t scratch herself so easily.

Cuddles with The Mama:

Boy, do I look tired. Heh.

Another Day, First Laugh

Okay I don’t think I have anything to worry about. She just breast fed for a whole hour. :P My nipples are getting less sore and more used to the feeding. She’s less fussy by the end of today, so it looks promising. I think she just eats as much as she can whenever she can… listening to her hunger and her instincts. We’ll see how the next few weeks go. I think I’m over thinking this waay too much. I gotta relax. This postpartum anxiety is not so fun to deal with. I’m looking forward to being my mellow self again, I gotta tell ya.

We went out for another outing today. She did very well, as usual. Slept in the car seat, slept in the stroller. We’ll go out again tomorrow, for another short little shopping spree (we need some batteries, and maybe get some lunch in the fresh summer air together). Lily Bean loves it outside. We keep her out of direct sunlight, as it’s waayy too bright for her, and it’s so cute to see her just sleep through the whole event. She makes the cutest faces ever.

My parents are coming over end of August, to stay for a week. They’ve been calling everyday since Lily Bean was born. They’re over the moon over their first grandchild. It’s really quite cute. I didn’t really expect them to be this excited about it all, but I am so glad to see that they are. My mother is finally accepting that she’s a grandmother. Heh. I answer the phone to “And how is my granddaughter doing today?” Very cute.

A first today!! This morning, she laughed in her sleep! First laugh!! It was soooo cute!! It was a giggle. I can’t wait to hear more! Dave is horribly jealous that I heard her laugh and he was still asleep.

Cuddles and Latching

Yesterday, feeding went well. Today, it seems to be going in a different direction. Not as bad as the day before yesterday, but it’s frustrating. Today, she isn’t latching on as long as she usually does (which is about 45 minutes to an hour). It’s gone down significantly. She’s only latching on for about 10 to 15 minutes, and then she pulls away, quite insistently. I think she wants the bottle. I’ve been pumping, and it’s going well — giving my nipples a break from time to time, and still being able to feed her with my breast milk. However, I think this is confusing her? I’m not entirely sure. She’s still getting formula about once a day. This whole process is so incredibly confusing and emotionally draining. I’m getting advice, suggestions, and support from every which direction, and I’m just getting so confused and emotionally anxious. However, I’m not as depressed as I was two days ago, so that’s good. I just want her to be able to eat. I’m trying to wean her off of formula completely, but at the same time, I’m afraid she’s not getting enough latch on me, so I’m giving her bottled breast milk, which is good, I suppose.

I suppose my questions at this point are:

- Should I nix the bottle completely, and behaviorally re-train her to like the boob again? Even if it means 10-15 minute feedings every hour or so?

- Should I continue the bottle, but only with breast milk?

- Should I continue the bottle, with both breast milk and formula?

Aahhh, help!

Okay, now for some cute cuddle photos with the Lily Bean. We have lots of cuddle time with the perfect little girl of ours. When we’re not staring at her while she sleeps, or feeding her, we’re cuddling with her. Heh. She kinda looks uncomfortable though, huh, with her squished sleepy face? Hehe. What a cuuttiiieeee!!