Wednesday, April 22, 2015

One Month

Amelie is tipping the scales at 8 lb 1 oz and measuring 20.5". Apparently she's gone from the 5th percentile to the 14th. I'm kind of glad I didn't know she was only the 5th percentile before -- that would've scared me a little.

These are the dog days, for sure.

I loved the newborn period with Calliope but gosh, she was such an easy baby. She put herself to sleep. I just swaddled her, inserted the pacifier, and stuck her in the swing. As long as I hadn't let her stay awake too long, she went right to sleep. She was easy to put on a schedule. I had lots of struggles with feeling sick from a postpartum hemorrhage, but the baby wasn't hard.

Amelie isn't so easy, especially as the day wears on. She's not smiling yet. I'm having trouble remembering that things will get easier. That the newborn period won't last forever. I just can't think past the next few hours. She needs help, sometimes lots and lots of help, falling asleep. Sometimes ninety minutes of jiggling, bouncing, patting, swaying. And then her eyes will still pop open when I finally ease her into the bouncy seat or rock n play. I haven't dared try the crib yet. That just seems like asking for trouble.

The last few days, though, I think I'm starting to see possible signs of progress. At the risk of jinxing myself, she seems to sleep in pretty regular three hour stretches at night. I've gotten over my dislike of co-sleeping because it makes such a difference in how much sleep I get. Without it, I can easily be awake for an hour per feeding, between the nursing (which has now mercifully shortened to ten minutes or so), burping, and getting her back to sleep. So with feeding every three hours, that's a maximum of two hours of sleep followed by one hour of sleep. And if I've had to turn the lights on for some reason, it takes even longer than that to actually get back to sleep. With co-sleeping, I can't sleep while she's actually nursing but as soon as she's done, we are both asleep. I usually wake up three hours later to find that I've been sleeping with my bra open and my shirt undone -- I was too sleepy to even tuck myself back in.

I don't sleep as well, feeling like I have to be so conscious of her little body and its position relative to mine -- a couple of times, her swaddled little self has rolled onto her belly, which terrifies me, even though she turned her head without a problem -- and my hips get terribly sore from lying on one side for such a long time. But there's no doubt that being awake for fifteen minutes beats being awake for an hour or more.

I also just had a night nurse last night, again, and oh, it's blissful. Yesterday evening was rough, which I finally realized might be attributed to yesterday's Hepatitis B shot. Regardless, she only napped for twenty minutes between five and nine PM yesterday. The rest of the time was spent either nursing or trying to get her back to sleep. I felt so guilty about poor Calliope, playing so sweetly by herself in the living room as I desperately bounced and swayed in front of the roaring exhaust fan in the kitchen. I wanted so badly to devote just a few minutes of undivided attention to my little girl who had been gone all day. We did finally get fifteen minutes of Special Time to play before Amelie woke up and joined us for stories on the couch.

When the night nurse arrived, I gratefully handed Amelie over and was surprised to see her dissolve in hysterical screaming. It's amazing to me that since about two weeks old, she calms when I hold her versus anyone else. I don't remember Calliope knowing me so young.

But anyway, the feeling of being able to hand her over and go into my room and know, for sure, that I wouldn't be woken all night is pure deliciousness. I wake myself up once to pump but I don't strictly have to. I just feel too guilty to skip it.

The night nurse had quite a bit of trouble getting Amelie to sleep but... when she finally did, Amelie ended up going five hours without eating! Her longest stretch yet!

During the day, I'm trying to stretch her to eating every three hours. I won't let her cry out of hunger, but I do my best to distract her if I can. I find that going for long walks works well. And luckily I had stopped bleeding for several days which my midwife said meant I could exercise again. (It came back yesterday, a little, after perhaps too much exercise.) And the weather has finally gotten nice so it's wonderful to be outside. Also, my apartment gets boring after a while.

We still have plenty of stretches of only two hours but it seems like today had more three hour stretches than two. Like I said, possible progress.

When I stretched Calliope's schedule from three hour feeding intervals to every four hours (at eight weeks), her night interval immediately lengthened to every eight hours. So I'm hopeful that getting Amelie to every three hours will help at night. I know that conventional wisdom says to let little babies eat whenever they want to but my question is: has anyone ever done a study to see if babies actually gain weight faster by grazing all day long? Again, I won't let her cry out of hunger, at least not for more than a minute or two to make sure she's not going to settle, but if I can get her to sleep a bit longer with walking or the pacifier (today was our best day yet with the pacifier, hooray!) and thus she eats a bit more at a feeding, isn't that a good thing?

Girlfriend is still asleep and I keep waiting for her to wake up but I guess I should go to bed, just in case this is going to be a miraculous long stretch. Photos tomorrow.


  1. Congrats on your little lady, she is absolutely beautiful (as is her older sister)! I am commenting because I found that both my sons fed and slept much better when they nursed at a 3-4 hours interval (compared to nursing them whenever they seemed to signal to nurse), with the intervals they seemed to have substantially less tummy ache and then, when they nursed, we had calmer and longer feedings that left them more satisfied. My second son is 5 months now and he started sleeping through the night at 9-10 weeks similar to what you described with Calliope with that kind of (still flexible ;) schedule. Sending you much strength and energy from Germany, Julia.

  2. When you look back at this part of your life as a mom of two you will be amazed at your strength and capabilities. This newborn/young infancy stage is incredibly difficult but the memory of it will make you smile with pride--because you (all three of you) made it through strong and healthy.

  3. Elsie was a terrible sleeper too. Unfortunately I have no advice. She still is a horrible sleeper!! But use the night nurse as much as you need/can and get the rest you can. I am impressed how well you are juggling a pre-schooler and newborn!!

  4. Sounds like things are going really well. Not easy by any means but you seem on top of it all.