Where in the world did the time go? How are we 28 days into parenthood?
At four weeks old, K is still thriving and we feel very lucky to have a healthy, good-tempered baby.
We spent the past week continuing to have adventures and visits. We went to two different support groups, one for breastfeeding moms at the hospital and one for parents at a local store, both of which served to remind me of just how good we have it. We went to lunch with C’s brother, took a trail walk with Wonderdog, hung out with all of the local grandparents (and a great aunt and uncle), and spent time with friends. We even had a friend over and made dinner AND dessert (break and bake cookies, but still!)
Nursing is going well, much better than last week. K eats like a champ most of the time, except when she is overtired or during her fussy hours. I feel like we’re both far more competent than we were and seeing her chunky little face gives me pride in my ability to provide nourishment for her. We didn’t get a ton of support at the breastfeeding group, but the LC did note that my recurrent nipple pain might be related to a too-shallow latch; since then, we have been practicing deeper latches and that does seem to help. We also did a “weigh-feed-weigh” on K and she weighed a full 3 ounces more after less than ten minutes of nursing. Reassuring that our relatively short feeds are still pretty productive! I’m still negotiating “public” feeding but did a good job at a family member’s house yesterday both finding some private space when the room was very crowded and nursing in the open when it was not.
Socially, K has had improved focus this week and has been turning her head to follow our faces. She is making more cooing kinds of sounds (instead of just grunts, hiccups, burps, and cries) and she has been more observant of the world around her. She, like most newborns, is very interested in contrast and particularly likes looking at light coming through the window. She also showed interest in her elephant rattle this morning. She is still doing well lifting her head and moving it around (and has been since day one). Today, she has also had a couple of extended periods of awake-but-not-nursing-or-fussing time and has been more interactive with both of us. She is still liking bathtime and it has become one of our favorite times because of the funny faces she makes and her level of calm alertness.
Sleeping is going very well and knowing how I am when I am very VERY sleep deprived, I am very pleased. K has slept for three or four hour stretches at night since birth and last night slept for over six hours – C and I actually woke up before she did at 5:30 am and while we did let her sleep, we also definitely picked her up the second she became restless out of concern for the super long length of time. Outside of last night, K’s general pattern is two long sleeps overnight followed by a shorter early morning sleep. We are hopeful for more long periods of sleep but both agreed that the several-hour sleep made us almost more tired than sleeping in short bursts (we’re not complaining, though, last night was the most sleep we’ve had since the night before she was born!)
As for me, I feel like my relationship with K is getting stronger by the day, and I am grateful. C and I have had a couple of bumps this week because of sleep deprivation and general grumpiness on my part, but overall we’re doing well too. We find that it helps tremendously for us to get out of the house at least once during the day. We are both getting nervous about C’s impending return to work (2 weeks away) and sad that this very special time will be coming to an end (and in disbelief that we’ve had so much time already). I am starting to think about my own return to work and am getting nervous about all of the logistics. That being said, we are also very excited about the time after we return to work, which will include birthdays and holidays and general merriment and we are glad that getting back to work will include frequent breaks to be with our little (and bigger) family.
Four weeks and one day ago, I was out with C and our niece, eating Chinese food. Four weeks ago, I was in a hospital room with family, amazed at all that had happened. Today, I am blown away that life, even a life prepared for change, can change so much overnight. And I’m incredibly grateful for all that we have.