Yesterday marked exactly one month since our sweet Tess was born. You guys. My heart is simultaneously bursting with joy and breaking over the fact that one moment I was in labor and now suddenly I no longer have a newborn and will never have a newborn of my own again. This is definitely a decision we're happy about and sticking with. But since I've done this before, I realize more than ever how quickly it flies by (understatement!). With all of these hormones still coursing through me, I'm feeling all the feels about how much she's grown already. Cue the hormonal tears.
During my pregnancy with A, she was extremely regimented in everything she did in the womb, moving at the same times each day, in the same locations. While I had my share of discomforts, she generally went pretty easy on me. T, on the other hand, was the honey badger. She didn't give a shit. She was very erratic in her movements, they were all over the place. At times she would even starfish all of her limbs in different directions. If I hadn't seen three different single-baby ultrasounds, I would have sworn I had more than one in there. T also sat much lower and had no problem using my bladder as a punching bag and taking Sciatic nerve pain to the next level. The whole time I swore she would be my wild child.
So you can imagine my surprise when T turned out to be the most chill baby ever. Seriously, she doesn't often cry unless she has a good reason. She's generally content to hang out in someones arms and is very generous in handing out those amazing newborn snuggles to anyone who will accept them. Now lets not get confused, she has fussy moments here and there, in fact I suspect she has a bit of reflux (though not nearly as badly as A's reflux had been) but they are just so much less than what we expected, which has been a blessing.
T eats like a champ. From the moment she latched shortly after she was born, she is all about dining at the boob buffet all day, every day. It's like Vegas around here, the buffet is always open. During the day she feeds around every two hours, although sometimes more frequently like during her three week growth spurt. Her feeds are for shorter periods, around 10 minutes and maybe longer once in a while. I was a little concerned about this, but she's gaining weight beautifully and filling those diapers like crazy (more on that later!). Cluster feeding can be exhausting, and I'm still fairly certain that I still hate breastfeeding, but I'm just thrilled it's going better this time and so we'll carry on.
We introduced a bottle around three weeks, which has been a mixed bag of results. I had read somewhere that it's best to have someone other than mom introduce the bottle to a breastfed baby because baby can smell Mom's milk and is more likely to reject the bottle. So I gave J a bottle of pumped milk (ugh, pumping!) and hightailed it into the other room to play with A. T was really not feeling the bottle so I asked J if I could give it a try and sure enough she latched right on and went with it. Since then, we give her one bottle of pumped milk per day, usually before bed and then I top her off from the boob buffet. She's still not really a huge fan of the bottle and after that one good go of things it's been a lot more hit or miss, but we're working on it.
While we're definitely not getting full nights yet, T has slept like a champ since day one. She gave me a three hour stretch at the hospital, which basically blew my mind. Once we made our way home, T started out giving us two to three hour stretches from the beginning, with a random four hour stretch thrown in there. At the end of week two we had one or two rough nights where she went every two hours. I believe this marked the beginning of her growth spurt. Shortly after that in the third week, she began giving us a couple five and six hour stretches during her first stretch of sleep, which is down right luxurious. Now we're back to around every three to four hours, which we're grateful for considering our Gal's young age.
We haven't yet started a specific bedtime routine, but we generally put her down around 8pm. We've already started putting her down drowsy but awake. She may fuss for a couple minutes, but we find that if we wait a few minutes to go in, she usually chills out and goes to sleep. Don't be mistaken, we do not let her cry it out, it's much to early for us to be comfortable with that. If that few minutes of fussing doesn't turn into sleep (or back into sleep in the even that she's in between sleep cycles), we go in and feed her. We're both of the belief that we're teaching her healthy sleep habits now to avoid having to cry it out later. It worked well with A, so we'll see if it works with T (so far so good!).
We're finally started to get more awake time from T at times during the day around week three and four which is great! She hasn't yet fallen into the eat/play/sleep routine that infants tend to fall into. Since it's still pretty early, I have been making note of what her general patterns are so that we can eventually create a routine around what works for her. T has been sleeping at night in her crib since the middle of her second week and still naps wherever during the day. I'll probably start working crib naps in around six weeks when she has a more established routine.
In addition to being a beast when it comes to eating, I have never seen a baby poop and pass gas the way this little girl does. She is totally her Daddy's girl in this regard (don't let him try and push all of that blame onto me!). I have gotten shit-sprayed no less that three times! It was definitely surprising and there were a few nights in a row early on that we had to change our sheets at 3am. I tend to be the one on the receiving end of her power-poos and each time I was simultaneously horrified and impressed by the power behind these. I had previously heard people talking about their baby doing this but I always just thought it was a bit of an exaggeration for entertainment value. I could not have been more wrong. Apparently, poop-shooting is a thing, and it's alive and well in our home!
T-girl lost her belly button stump around two weeks of age and got her first submerged bath shortly thereafter. She was lukewarm about the bath (see what I did there?) but the tears were minimal and A didn't seem to mind sharing her bath with the blue whale tub and her sis. T also doesn't really mind tummy time, although she lets me know when enough is enough.
Overall it's been a pretty fantastic month, though it's also exhausting. I was much more prepared for the hormones this time and while I certainly have my moments of baby blues they are rare. I've been trying to get out of the house a few times a week because I find maternity leave to be kind of isolating and I'm more prone to getting a little bit down when I haven't left the house for a few days.
My freezer meal stash has certainly come in handy. I've been dipping into that stash along with making a few things fresh each week. J returned to work after the first two weeks and while I was sad to see him go, I do find that I get a little bit more done without him on most days (what can I say? Men that hot can be distracting!).
Be aware that I when I say get more done, it's subject to where we are at in life right now. I'm certainly not sitting around doing Pinterest projects all day long or eating bonbons. I generally force myself to get out of bed and shower when J and A leave for the day because if I don't do it right away, I'll end up in my PJ's all day binging on Hulu Plus (although, in all honesty there is still some Hulu Plus binging because T-girl sleeps a lot and loves to snuggle with me). So I drag the rock'n'play into the bathroom and leave the curtain cracked enough that I can keep an eye on T while I quickly shower (yes, showering daily can be done with a newborn).
My mornings usually go feed, pump, shower, eat, tummy time, and then whenever she naps I try to at least unload the dishwasher, throw a in load of laundry in and do a few blog things. Does every day go this smoothly? No. But we play it by ear with T being my top priority and the rest coming after. It helps that I've had a much easier recovery save for some pain from my stitch during the first couple weeks.
I'd like to add more walking into my days because I'm definitely feeling pretty fat right now but I'm not yet approved to actually work out (and I not-so-secretly hate working out). After my follow up appointment at the end of the month I'm hoping to start a couch to 5k program. A friend and I are planning to sign up for a 5k in the coming months. Even though I hate running, money is tight and joining a gym is currently not an option. I figure if I have something to prepare for and a friend in it with me, I need to be accountable and will be more diligent about getting moving.
Right now my diet remains me eating everything in moderation- a mix of healthy, balanced meals and some junk. J is thrilled that my penchant for chewing ice has dwindled quite a bit. I'm not the best at guzzling water anymore but I'm working on it.
So that's where we're at right now. It's busy, it's a bit crazy and it's definitely a big change. We're all working on getting used to our new normal and while it can be challenging at times it's pretty positive overall and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
You can view all of my parenting-related posts here.
Don't forget to follow The Life Jolie on Pinterest for more parenting tips!