7.18.2012

Baby's First Six Weeks

New born

Just born! You can still see the crease in her head and she has all her dark hair.  I found it interesting that the hospital put three bands on her for ID purposes - one on each wrist and then one ankle.  They might as well have made it four so she could have one on every limb.

Six weeks old


Six weeks later and this little chickadee has lost quite a bit of hair (mostly in weeks 3-5).  It has started to grow back much lighter.  It's almost strawberry blond, especially her eye brows.  I am hoping to see some curl like Jeff's.  Although it's normal that curl won't show until six months to two years old, so I have a while to wait.  

It has been an incredibly hot dry summer.  The part of Indiana we are in is "extreme" droughty which is less than 1/3 the average rainfall for this time of year. The whole week of the 4th of July it was over 100 degrees.

Drought Monitor

I took the babe on several walks and down to the Farmer's Market.  When we got home she would be sweaty and hot.  There have been several flair-ups of heat rash on her chest, upper back and cheeks.  I've cut back on outings and the rash is mostly healed.  We are disinclined to use air conditioning, but no one was sleeping well so we have it set to cool the house to 82 degrees.  It has been running every day this July.

Milestones and achievements

We weren't shy about taking our baby out and about.  At four days old we took her out to the Hawkin's Farm for pizza on Friday night with my mom and aunt.  She slept through the whole thing in her car seat carrier.  We also went for lunch at the local coffee shop and grocery shopping.  She slept through both of those as well.


We breathed a sigh of relief at two weeks when baby had gained back her birth weight and a couple bonus ounces.  Not that it's a definitive sign of health, but it's one of those things doctor's look for in newborns.

The first time I was holding her and Jeff said something from another room and she swiveled her head and looked in his direction; is one of my favorite firsts.  That happened in week one.

I had my first baby-less outing at the end of June.  I renewed my driver's liscense and went grocery shopping; not very exciting.



In this last week we have even gotten what Jeff and I think of as real smiles.  They are most common after a long nap.  We also get some cooing and noises other than grunting and crying.  I had no idea that newborns were so grunt-y.

video


We love having a guest room in our new house and being able to put up a steady stream of family and friends.  We've also found friends locally.  It's nice to know there is someone in town to have a BBQ with or go to Pizza Friday.  This has been an exceptionally fun and social summer!

And we didn't even get a picture of everyone who came to visit! Nor does this include the local friends.  


Feeding

This was such a worry for me.  I read a bunch of books on breast feeding in preparation because I expected it to be hard.  So many friends have had trouble breast feeding.  I'm not sure how much the books helped, but we are an excellent breast feeding pair.  About an hour after birth we tried breast feeding and although it took a couple tries and the nurses' assistance (kind of weird to have someone else touch my nipple) baby got a latch.  I could get her to nurse on my own before we went home at 24 hours.

My milk came in on the 3rd and 4th day.  I started pumping a little that first week.  With the pumped milk it became an option for Jeff to feed her.  For weeks 2-5 I would go to bed at midnight and Jeff would stay up until four or five in the morning and take care of baby so I could get some sleep.  Then I would get up for the next feeding and Jeff would sleep until noon or so.

In this last week she has been sleeping longer and Jeff has done just one feeding.  Jeff stays up with her until the first feeding after midnight then he puts her down in the Co-sleeper next to me. Then I nurse her a couple more times through the night (and change a diaper or two) until I get up around eight in the morning.

A more recent development is scream-nursing.  It used to be I could reliably calm her down by offering her a breast, but now if she's upset she'll nurse a couple of sucks then stop and scream then suck again.  It's really disconcerting.  The trick seems to be to get her to settle down enough first then she'll nurse and relax.

Breast milk for donation
I'm happy to find that I have excess milk; enough to donate to Indiana Mother's Milk Bank.  I've filled out the paperwork and will soon do the blood screening.  So far I have 80 oz of milk frozen, roughly a half cup a day.  It makes me feel good that I will help IMMB provide pasteurized donor human milk by prescription or physician order to hospitals and outpatients throughout Indiana and the Midwest. Premature and ill infants in hospital neonatal intensive care units are the highest priority.

Cloth Diapering




We decided to use BumGenius cloth diapers which are a pocket style.  We started using them after the first week.  We have about 30 in rotation and wash them every other day.  I prefer the ones with the snaps.  The cloth wipes are easy once your doing cloth diapers.


Sleeping

Some folks say they can get their six week old to sleep through the night.  Not our little niña. She usually only sleeps a couple hours consecutively with occasional four hour naps.  She does like her bouncy seat or as we have dubbed it "the crash couch" which is a nod to some sci-fi novel we read in Peace Corps. She also enjoys just kicking around in it.


video




During the day she sleeps in her crib in her room which is in a more central location and at night in the co-sleeper attached to our bed.  

Me - Physical and Emotional

My baby and me

At four weeks I felt back to full strength.  Those first couple weeks were rough.  I didn't expect to be so worn down and sore.  I'd heard stories of mother's doing incredible things like running marathons or fixing their roof the week after having a baby.  And that's just what those are stories.  They are remarkable because they seem impossible.  Just walking for long was hard and I couldn't carry water out to my tomatoes.  The first time we went to the grocery store and I had her strapped to my chest in the mei-tai carrier while I pushed the cart was too much.

I only have about ten pounds of baby weight, which is good, but I feel like my middle needs some help.  I hope that gardening will be good for more than just veggies and will get my core back in shape.  If it doesn't, I'll have to implement some more direct measures this fall.  You'd think all this breast feeding and pumping would help, however, I am always hungry and I am eating more.

Emotionally I did experience the cliff of hormones and had a couple crying jags at the end of the first week.  Jeff would find me sniffling to myself and I couldn't tell him why.  I didn't feel particularly sad or anything, it was nothing I could pinpoint.  With a good night's sleep I made it through and have felt good ever since.

Back to the Farm


Sleeping at the Farm

At the end of the first month I emailed the farm and told them I was ready to start working again.  Then we got the heat wave and the baby got heat rash and we stayed home.  Last week I took her out a couple times to hoe a row and harvest some produce.  She just sits in her baby carrier in the shade while I work.  When I can't sooth her in the field it's time to go home.  It feels really good to get out and do some physical labor after being at home so long.


It got hot again this week and we had more guests so I haven't been back out to the farm.  If the heat continues, I might work in the evening and leave her at home with Jeff.  We are in peak garden time and the garden needs help. 


Simple Lives Thursday

1 comment:

  1. She's so cute!!!!! (I obviously have been totally out of my blog reading rhythm too..) Hurrah for the both of us!

    ReplyDelete