3 months old! (1 day late)

I’m starting this post early in hopes that I actually post it on time (ha! So much for that since I passed out soon after putting C to bed last night). C turned 3 months old yesterday, and just as we’re becoming comfortable with our new normal, everything changes tomorrow when I return to work. Hubby will stay home with her for 3 weeks, with a half-day trial at the sitter’s once a week to ease everybody in. C already spent one half-day there last week, and it went pretty well. The sitter was able to give her a bottle, even while hubby struggles to get her to take one (I blame this on poor timing – he’s just not home when she’s hungry and not tired!). C did fight napping as always, but the sitter’s husband very sweetly serenaded her on his guitar and she slept a bit after that. We also checked out a nearby daycare yesterday that has drop-in hours on weekends for date nights and if I get called into work when hubby isn’t home. We’re planning our first official date night in a couple weeks for hubby’s birthday. It took us a while because we couldn’t easily find an appropriate babysitter. This center was really clean, and I feel comfortable leaving her there given all the positive reviews I’ve heard from friends and patients’ parents.

It’s crazy to see how much C has grown and changed in the last month. She’s now 13 lbs (more than double her birth weight!), and proportionate for weight and height. Her 3-month clothes are getting tight, meaning she hasn’t worn any of those sleepers even once, thanks to the heat. I plan on putting these away today and she’s worn 6-month outfits starting yesterday.

Tummy time gets better and better, with her pushing onto her elbows and even hands, and I expect full cobra will happen soon. She recently started laughing aloud, especially when talking and playing with daddy, which we adore! I’m relieved that she’s able to amuse herself in her bouncer when I need to cook or do laundry. Her fussy moments are easier to manage now, and I don’t give much thought to taking her along on errands or meals anymore. She won’t last a whole meal in her car seat (she gets too sweaty especially in this heat), but will happily sit on one of our laps looking around, while we eat one-handed. Workout classes are more enjoyable now, as she stays happy for most of the time. She really enjoyed yoga with me yesterday, and I’m very sad we won’t be able to attend more classes together. Currently my goal is to make it to one stroller workout class a week, and two if my schedule allows.

She is still an inconsistent napper, but sleeps pretty well at night. Bedtime is currently 8:30-9, since I just can’t seem to get her down any earlier than that. In the last week, I’ve been able to put her down in her crib while drowsy, turn on her aquarium soother, and she’ll go to sleep on her own maybe half the time. The other times, she fussed after the soother turned off, and I picked her up to nurse her briefly which puts her out. She will no longer accept a pacifier, for better or worse. She wakes up at 1:30-2 to eat, then goes back in her crib easily. Lately she wakes up again from 4-5 to nurse briefly, which is the toughest feeding since we’re both super tired then. I will literally pass out during the feed until the alarm on my nursing app goes off. She generally wakes up around 6:30-7 and is always very happy to see me, usually with an overflowing diaper. I need to put her in one size up at night since lately I’ve dealt with more leaks than usual. I tried to dream-feed her before I went to bed at 11-midnight to see if that would push her to go through until 6 at least, but no such luck. She still woke up at her usual times. Maybe I’ll try again in another week.

We continue to nurse well, and I have much fewer qualms about nursing in public now, though we still hate the cover. It just gets so hot for the both of us. Of course, now we’re dealing with a dislike of the bottle. Crazy for a baby who took 95% of her feeds from a bottle until she was 6 weeks old! Of course hubby blames the full-time nursing, until I reminded him that I’m the one who’s been home alone with her during the day and what did he expect me to do with her while pumping? Along with all the pump and bottle parts to wash, etc. Now I have to add scalding milk to all of that come Monday. I guess if all else fails, hubby can bring her to me at lunch time, but I’m really hoping she’ll accept a bottle from him soon!

Lot to do today, including packing my new work bag with the pump and accessories, so I better get to it. I think I may cry tomorrow before leaving 😦

2 months old! (late post)

It’s been a hell of a week with the water damage/mold disaster in my house, and we haven’t even started remediation yet. At least we can run the A/C now without worrying about adding more damage to the problem. But it looks like we’re in for a week of construction in a containment zone, presuming the surface testing comes back negative for asbestos (and I will *SOB* if that comes back positive…).

So I’m finally getting around to C’s 2-month update, 3 days late, and oddly enough 34 hours into being alone with her while daddy’s out of town. He’ll be back Monday night currently, though he’s thinking he’ll head to the airport early that morning to see if he can hop on an earlier flight stand-by. Guess he misses us… that and it’s 100 degrees where he’s at and he doesn’t feel like playing tourist in that heat 😛 So far she’s done pretty well, I’ve been able to put her down fairly easily 2 nights in a row, and am keeping tabs on her over the monitor until I go to bed in the same room. I definitely sleep better not being right next to her, but am still close for any wake-ups and feeds.

C now weighs over 10 lbs, and was 22.25″ long at her check-up a couple weeks ago. She still has some room in 3-month clothes, but I have a feeling we’ll be moving onto 6 months pretty soon, and there are tons of outfits she likely won’t wear, since it’s much too warm for footed sleepers these days. She is becoming more interactive by the day, loving music and when I dance with her. Her neck is getting stronger, and she tolerates tummy time for up to 15 minutes at a time without major complaint. She’s managed to rotate herself even, though no signs of trying to roll over yet. Her hands are open more often now, and she’ll grasp toys briefly. She especially loves laying on her IKEA play gym mat, and has figured out that kicking the posts makes the dangling objects move.

Her sleep is starting to regulate a bit more, though I’m not tracking daytime naps, and I have yet to get her to nap in her crib. I’m attempting to follow the eat-play/activity-sleep routine, but it’s been hard with the house mess, and we were pretty cooped up all this week. So sad to miss stroller classes and Mommy & Me, and she really loves Music Together – first class she didn’t fuss at all! She definitely starts to get cranky after 6pm, and though I’ve tried putting her down earlier, I don’t have much luck until 9:30-10pm. I read her a book, nurse her, wipe her face and mouth, wrap her in the Miracle Blanket, and sing and rock her until she’s drowsy before putting her in her crib. She was waking up twice at night for a while because she’d only nurse one side before passing out, but last night I un-swaddled her and that kept her awake enough to take both sides, so she stayed asleep until she woke up at 6:30am. Hopefully I can nudge that wake-up to 7am, so that it buys me some time to get myself ready for work before having to feed and get her ready for the sitter’s.

She’s been exclusively nursed other than the rare bottle from dad, for almost 3 weeks now, and we’ve been able to nurse sitting up when needed. I guess we did our part to kick off World Breastfeeding Week when I nursed her at our nearby shopping mall this morning. I just really wanted to get out of the house, and it was time to feed her. She fed great, then slept through lunch with a friend before we headed to another friends’ house to pick up tons of hand-me-down clothes for 1 year and up, and I fed her there as well before coming home. Thankfully the nursing cover doesn’t bother her, but we’ll see how long that lasts.

With the big increase in breastfeeding, I was pretty surprised to see some light flow today. It’s VERY light, but not just spotting. I sat there for a moment, thinking that it’s been a year since I’ve had a period. I felt a rush of emotions, but mostly thinking, crap, we really do need to use some birth control. Ugh… I’ve put that decision off for a while now, but I am finally starting to feel like having sex again, and though we’re both exhausted, I know at some point it will happen. And while we still haven’t decided about a second child yet, I know for sure we don’t want another child just yet! Even though the chances are low, I don’t want to take that tiny chance right now.

OK, that’s quite a long post already, and I need to shower and get to bed. No big plans tomorrow, but I know she’ll be up around 6am whether I like it or not!

1 month old!

My tiny baby is turning into a chunky monkey at 1 month old! She’s about 8 lbs and 21.5″ long. She adores it when we talk and sing to her, even starting to smile responsively. She does pretty well with tummy time, holding her head up for a few seconds several times before she gets frustrated. We’re definitely not on any set schedule, though she consistently goes down for bed from 11pm-midnight after a routine of reading followed by me singing Over the Rainbow to her, and currently only wakes once to eat. I’m still up pumping every 4 hours at night, though I think tonight I’ll try waiting until she eats, to see if that gets me more sleep without getting too uncomfortable.

Her feeds currently average 3 ounces 8 times a day. I’m pumping about 2/3 of this amount over 8-9 sessions in a day, and thankfully switching back to my PJ’s Comfort pump still seems to be maintaining this. I’ll try the rental Medela Symphony again tomorrow for a back-to-back comparison, but there’s no question my own pump is much more comfortable, and causes less nipple trauma. I was even able to pump >3 ounces this morning, which is amazing for me. I did go ahead and order the Domperidone again, so that should be arriving next week.

As for nursing, I gave myself a good week’s break after she started biting me with the nipple shield on. My left nipple was starting to develop a couple milk blisters possibly due to thrush, and I had a clogged duct on my right breast last week. Thankfully I was able to avoid mastitis with aggressive icing between pumping, and heat just beforehand to encourage good letdown. I made up my own APNO (all-purpose nipple ointment), and that seems to have helped a lot in the last few days. We also switched her bottles to ones with more breast-like nipples to promote a deeper latch. I tried nursing her again this morning, and it was more comfortable, and she stayed more alert than in the past, though she still didn’t seem completely satisfied at the end, and will still eat the same bottle amounts today.

All I can do is keep trying and practicing, though at this point the only benefit I can see to nursing her directly is not feeling stuck when I’m pumping and nobody else is home to help. I think my strategy will be to give her a bottle when she’s hungry, hopefully get her settled in the Mamaroo or bouncer, and then pump right afterwards. There is no way I can hold her while pumping. If my supply was better, I’d try Freemie cups, but given this would require more connections (reducing suction), and isn’t compatible with my own pump, I don’t see them working well to maintain my supply right now.

As for myself, I face a birthday tomorrow, where all I want is a nap and a take-home dinner from one of my favorite restaurants. My parents left last week, and now my sister is staying with us. Since she’s arrived, I’ve managed to pull myself away from C twice to run some quick errands. I was exhausted the first time, and ended up with some very sore feet (looks like my feet did go up a 1/2 shoe size). Today was better, but I of course forgot to empty my bladder before leaving the house – won’t be making that mistake again! I’m OK with being 10 pounds up from pre-fertility weight at this point, even though my dad, of all people, kept harping on my needing to exercise soon to get rid of this. I think I’m actually more upset that I developed a stretch mark AFTER delivery – what?! It’s tiny and pale, but still – I thought I was in the clear!