Another week down, and I feel like last week flew by at a frightening pace. Hoping my entire maternity leave doesn't go this quickly but I sort of know better and therefore I'm trying my hardest to really be present in each moment. Even when it's freaking HARD caring for a newborn. Yep, this weekly post isn't going to be all puppies and rainbows, I'm afraid. You are lucky I'm typing it right now at 1:00 in the afternoon instead of some evening when I have a fussy baby in my arms. Because one thing I've learned about myself: I can go from the highest of highs, loving life and feeling like I'm kicking major A in the game of mothering two kids. But then within a matter of minutes I can feel totally panicked and doomed, most likely because of a newborn and/or toddler meltdown. Yes, these early weeks are both the best and the worst:) I sort of remember that now.
Sleep: well, nighttime sleep is about the same and still pretty darn good. She is sleeping for about 3 or 4 hours in her first stretch and then wants to eat every 2-3 hours after that. Which means it's still only two wake ups in the night before Nate's alarm (and our little toddler alarm named Truman) goes off at 6am. Not too shabby. She is falling asleep really well in the night after feeding and I'm not always changing her diaper anymore unless she seems uncomfortable or I'm sure she's pooped.
Daytime sleep is just all over the place, though. Sometimes she will nap for two full hours in between feedings and it's like she is out to the world despite Henry barking and Truman being a loud toddler. But other times she will seem super tired but will only sleep 5 minutes at a time before waking up and being ticked about it. She still likes to be held when sleeping and it's almost comical how her eyes will pop open as soon as I set her down somewhere. I know this is normal and newborns aren't supposed to have a cookie-cutter nap schedule just yet but it definitely makes the day a little more unpredictable because I have no idea if she will mostly sleep or be mostly awake. Definitely more awake in general this week, though. I'd say she takes a pretty good solid nap in the mornings/mid morning, again the afternoon, and then she is basically awake for the evening until bed. I've been using our Moby wrap and Bjorn this week and these are both SO helpful to keep CC sleeping while letting me use my hands for other things around the house. Too bad it's 90 degrees outside and therefore REALLY hot when I wear her outside---we both end up sweating within minutes wherever our skin is touching.
Temperament: CC is proving to be calm and relaxed, just like her big brother. Well, most of the times I'd call her 'calm' and happy. But other times? Not so much.
Sister is sort of dramatic, you guys. Like, she loves to make really intense faces to show us how she really feels. For example, if I try to give her a pacifier she will honestly gag and grimace like I've just poisoned her. When she is trying to poop she will still turn bright red and raise her eyebrows and make it a very definite event. It's sort of hilarious because, well, she is her mother's daughter and I've been known to be a little dramatic at times.
Also, she is definitely a fuss bucket in the evenings from about 5-9pm. Man. She just can't figure out what she wants to do or something. Now, to her credit, it's not like she is screaming non-stop this whole time because although she is mostly awake, she really isn't ticked the entire time and shows long stretches of being awake and content. When she is happy (which is most of the time), she is really peaceful and content but when she is mad--watch out! During these evening hours she wants to keep moving, changing scenery and keeping us on our toes every few minutes. Typical newborn stuff, yes, but I definitely forgot about fussy evenings and even asked Nate if he remembers Truman crying like this. He does remember, for what it's worth, but I must have blocked it from my memory.
She still dislikes the car seat but has been doing better about falling asleep in there and not caring....until she reaches her breaking point of about 30 minutes when she just HAS.TO.GET.OUT of it. Case in point: we had our first major newborn meltdown in public on Sunday at the grocery store. Cece was snoozing away in her carrier, like NBD, but then all of a sudden about a half an hour into it, she freaked the eff out. Crying, would not take a paci, would not be soothed with me swinging or rocking her seat at all. Of course, all four of us were together for this trip (thank you, God, because if were just me and the kids I might have started crying) so I left the boys inside to check out while I took C outside for some fresh air. I wanted to take her out of the seat to cuddle her a bit but I knew we'd have to drive home in a matter of minutes so that didn't make sense. Even outside little lady was super pissed off. I met a 'friend' outside who was an elderly lady and very sweet, saying that Cecelia is a doll and I look great, blah blah blah but all I could hear was the sound of CC's high pitched cries. Finally, after Nate had to endure one of the dumbest checkers ever, we headed home with a screaming baby in the back seat and her big brother trying desperately to soothe his sister from his own car seat. Super cute and super heartbreaking. As soon as we got home I bolted inside with CC and nursed her which worked. Hallelujah! Poor sister was just over it, in a big way. And it was about 90 degrees outside so she was hot and sweaty after her little episode and I was fine to just sit and nurse/cuddle for a good hour or so after all of that. We both needed recovery time!
Before all hell broke loose:
A few things that work to soothe miss fussy pants Cecelia: Dave Matthew's Band, specifically his song 'Two Step'. Which means both of my children totally dig this song to the point that they immediately stop crying when it comes on and will just stare contentedly into outer space during the entirety of his lyrics. Truman did the same thing at this age and Nate remembered this weapon to fend off the fussies, and tried it on CC the other night with great success. Thank you, God, for making DMB. Also, she likes being held on her side---not flat on her back and not really up on my chest (well, sometimes during the day she digs that and will pass out there---fave!) but on her side. Although she dislikes being swaddled and is a little Houdini that can get those tiny arms out of her blanket in record time, if she does keep her hands down inside the swaddle she is a lot happier. So swaddling, while being held on her side, listening to Dave = one sure way to get her to calm down. And also? That really big splurge of a rocker in her nursery? Proving to be a great purchase because all three times I've taken her in there for a change of scenery she relaxes and becomes totally content when gliding with me in there (while swaddled and listening to Dave, of course). She also likes Simon and Garfunkel's song 'Cecilia', even though they spelled her name wrong. What can I say? She is really into her self at this point:) And the last thing on our short list of 'last resorts to use when attempting to soothe a newborn'? Walking up and down our driveway while baby girl stares up at the sky. I'm sure our new neighbors (who are all over the age of 50) must smile to themselves remembering 'those days' when they see me wearing a path in our driveway with Cecelia.
This seems silly but I really think Cecelia loves Truman already. I promise you, whenever he is near her she perks up and tries to look in his general direction. We really play this up for Truman, saying that CC just loves her big brother and he is such a great kid that he eats it up, too. Still gentle and caring and loves to help mommy with baby sis.
Nursing: Still going well, although I still wonder if my supply is a bit much for her at times.
Sometimes when she nurses in the evenings she actually gets mad when my milk comes in. Like she would rather just suck for comfort and cannot deal with actual milk entering her mouth. I think she is just so overtired at this point and probably overfull from eating so frequently, that she has no desire to actually swallow milk. Kind of funny when I think about it now, but not at all funny while it's happening. So I'm still wondering if maybe my supply is too much for her, or my let down is too strong but it's really only in the evenings when it seems to bug her. Daytime and during the night she is seemingly pleased with my supply but evenings do cause some choking and pulling off the breast and stress for both of us. I try to keep her feedings about two-ish hours apart during the day, but by the evening hours during her fussy moments, all she wants to do is nurse. But only for a few minutes at a time and even then, it's really hard when she is upset and pulling off. Again, if she actually took a pacifier we'd be golden but alas, she hates all 4 kinds I've tried.
She is usually taking both sides usually and lasting a good 10-15 minutes at a time which is great. Aside from occasionally choking and lots of grunting when my milk lets down I'd say nursing is going swell. Still pumping once a day and plan to give her the first bottle sometime this week. Why do I dread this milestone so much? It's dumb because I know it will only give me a rest at times but I hate thinking about her not 'needing' me as much.
Spitting up comes and goes---as in, one day I was totally convinced she has reflux because she was spitting up after each feeding and it was a lot of milk each time. But then she has had days when she barely urps at all and I'm not really doing anything differently. I have been better about keeping her upright during feeds and for about 20 minutes afterward. And I will burp her if she seems grunty or like she has gas but otherwise I'm not pushing it because it will most always make her barf a little bit. At this moment, I feel confident that Cecelia is just a typical newborn who is a 'happy spitter' and we just have to deal with the occasional vomit. But like I said, some days I'm just convinced it's more serious. Time will tell, I suppose.
Milestones/growth: She is totally chunking up and looking less and less like a squishy newborn so I know milk is treating her well overall. I have no idea how much she weighs but her newborn onesies are getting harder to snap over her diaper already. Sister might be long and lean, that is for sure. I feel like Truman was fatter at this point and he was outgrowing the newborn clothes by 4 weeks and maybe Cecelia will be the same just due to her length? Some 0-3 onesies are fitting better than the newborn stuff now. Not because of her fat gut like her bro, and she definitely doesn't have the double/triple chins that he did but it's still pretty early in the chubby baby game. Kids grow up too darn fast, you guys!
I survived my first two days at home alone with both kids last week! They were no freaking joke and were full of highs and lows, of course. CC's remaining broken umbilical cord fell off just 2 days after the big part broke off, so she's been getting 'real' baths now. Hates them, but needs them:) We all survived our first grocery store trip (just barely) and little lady is still a trooper, running lots of errands with her mommy whenever I can build up the courage to put her in the car seat. I also felt VERY proud of myself last night when I took both kids to the playground by myself. I did that last week once, too, but I used our double BOB and kept C in there the whole time. Well, last night I put her in the Bjorn and pulled T in the wagon. That was equivalent to running a marathon if you ask me and I was sweating bullets trying to keep an eye on Truman on tall slides while praying that C stayed asleep on my chest. Both times I've braved the playground alone with two kids have gone well but both times were seriously so stressful for me that I was dreaming about having an ice cold beer after. And by the way, I have had a beer or a glass of wine here or there and my goodness----I've missed the occasional drink! Tastes SO good especially in this heat. Oh, and for the other 'no-no' during pregnancy/breastfeeding---I'm still surviving on 'just' decaff coffee. I find this amazing because I'm certain that I was inhaling the real stuff by week 3 with Truman. I just figure that if I can get by without it then I don't have to worry about caffeine affecting CC's sleep at all. And man, caffeine withdrawal headaches are THE WORST so if I can avoid getting back on the hard stuff all together, even better. We'll see if this lasts all maternity leave or not, but honestly---my fresh cup of decaff coffee in the mornings is every bit as satisfying as the real stuff. For now, that is. :)
Ready for the weekly photo dump??
Happy Father's Day!!
Our gift to Nate. ALMOST got the guy to cry!
On her 3 week birthday, classic ATNR reflex for those PTs out there:)
And some Instagram/iPhone goodies...
I love maternity leave so much:
My precious cargo:
What was I saying about her not being too fat yet?
Me and my little lady
Her first birthday party was a success! Eli turns two, and the second children are adorable all lined up:
Sleepy time, all propped up in the co-sleeper:
The hair: before and after a bath
Oh, and this has nothing to do with Cecelia being 3 weeks old but Truman got to go to A Day Out with Thomas in Green Bay with his grandpa last week. He had an amazing time and it was SO worth it to see these pictures that grandpa took. I love that my little guy is so obsessed with Thomas and he is still talking about 'riding Thomas with Paw Paw'.
his favorite part---where grandpa had to physically remove him from the train tables at the end of the trip