New Year

Things are getting better. Lena is eating better, she’s not complaining of hunger after every meal now, so we’re not having to make a supplemental bottle after every feeding (we often offer it, but she usually refuses it less than half an ounce in.)  So that’s really nice. It also means that my feed-pump-serve routine has caught up with me and I’ve gone from barely having enough for the supplemental feeding to quite an extra stash. I mean, it was within a day that we mixed up a few ounces of formula because she was hungry and I had nothing left, to needing all the storage containers included with the formula samples, plus some. I think her better efficiency is due to figuring out a better feeding position for a better latch (football works best), getting pillows to support this better (discovered while at Mom’s that I could feed her better with different pillows than the boppy), her chin growing in, and just getting older. Also, I’ve been watching The Office while feeding her, to take my mind off of the time that’s passed and to help me chill out.

We spent Christmas at Mom’s, where Lena met uncles and another grandma. And they all loved her. I kind of feared that someone would run away with her.

She seemed to do well on the trip up and really chilled out once she was there- she generally ate better and actually slept somewhere other than on somebody: we were able to put her to sleep in the basket, where she napped and even slept overnight in it! The lower guest bed and the ability to put my hand on her when she started fussing really helped, though she did end up back in bed with us by morning, usually, because she fusses when someone is not touching her or paying direct attention to her at that very instant. When she starts waking up in the morning, a little snuggling buys us all a little more sleep.

Lena’s first Christmas was lovely, though she slept through the presents.
Hippo as big as her head!

I really appreciated being able to hand her off to someone else so that I could spend a minute alone or so that TCB and I could have a conversation that wasn’t interrupted by baby screams, had look-at-this-baby focus or was in hushed tones because of baby sleeping. Also- we ate some meals at the same time. Amazing, I know.

The trip back wasn’t quite as calm and successful. We didn’t leave _right_after feeding her this time and we took a longer, though prettier, way home. We had to stop to feed her, but she was fussy and immediately filled her pants to near-overflowing when we stopped. Thankfully, I’d put an extra cover on her over the disposable diaper, so the mess was all contained. We’d stopped at a gas station and I fed her in the car, but the station didn’t really have a good restroom, so we changed her on the hood of the car (we were parked off to the side.) Kindly, she also waited until we were out of the car to share her forceful spit-up, but it was over the side of my arm and the ground caught most of it. Makes me think that maybe we should simply lay down newspaper at home and burp her facing down. The rest of the trip, she just didn’t want to sleep, so we had a bunch of baby screams until we stopped for dinner at a Wendy’s. The ladies behind the counter all wanted to see her (and I wanted to know why they didn’t have some kind of space in a restroom to change her, I wedged her in between the sink and the wall), and one of the patrons getting a refill on her decaf coffee said I needed to feed her. (Little old lady grandmother-type.) And after ordering, I got out the cover, put myself in a corner of the restaurant, and fed her. And she immediately fell asleep afterward. And I counted that as a win. Slept all the way home.

We had noticed that her baby acne didn’t seem to be going away, it seemed to be getting much worse and spreading down her chest. It really seemed to pick up steam over the holiday, too, and at home, we noticed that it would be fairly clear in the morning, then get much worse after breakfast, and maybe kind of bad though the day, or it might clear up. We ruled out dairy, since the formula contains dairy and she had no problems with it (and her face would clear up after having it, sometimes), and traced the pattern of breakouts to getting worse after I ate eggs. So, since getting back, I cut out eggs and her face cleared up and she seems much happier- no screaming with tummy pain after eating. Yay! Today, I had muffins containing eggs and, yup, instant breakout and horrible baby screams of tummy pain. To be fair, I didn’t feels so great after eating them, either. But it seems that eggs are causing some sort of issue with this baby.

We spent New Year’s Eve with the neighbors, where Lena slept most of the time. I like that she’s so portable right now, and that we can just take her with us wherever we go.

She does have more active periods during the day now. We can play with her after she eats for about an hour before she naps. She’s calm, curious, cute, and makes noises other than baby screams. She also smiles, which is pretty awesome. She squirms and lifts her head and likes to play “bounce and wiggle” and “baby rocket.” She enjoys songs about counting, like the “1-30” song from “Sounds Like Fun” and replacing the letters with numbers in “ABC” song. Also likes the “Piggles have Wiggles” song that we made up. It involves a lot of wiggling the piggle. She’s started grabbing shirts (not just chest hair) and pulls my hair with her deathgrip; I pull the hairs she’s yanked out out of her hand because she won’t let go of them. She makes so many faces and still makes piggy snorts and I had to make her a piggy hooded towel. And she’s growing; washcloths don’t work as well for a blanket anymore. I miss the weekly weigh-in to confirm her weight gain, but I can see it in her person (double chin! folds in limbs!) and just realized that I can use the Wii to check her weight.

Cloth diapers are still going well. We only took disposables to Mom’s, figuring that they would be easier, and both TCB and I were surprised at just how many we could go through in a 4-day timespan. In fact, the first thing TCB asked when we got home was, “where are the cloth diapers?” We’d only gotten a few before seeing which fit her best and which we liked best, and gDiapers and bumGenius win. Fuzzibunz and prefolds + (most) covers don’t fit around her skinny legs, which I attribute to them having snaps instead of velcro. Love the velcro, don’t like the snaps. The stash is big enough that, if I do laundry halfway through the stash, the load is done just before she runs out of clean pants. We use maybe 2-4 disposables a day right now.

I’m still recovering from having her, those pulled stitches didn’t do me any favors. Blah. Because I’m not as active as I was even at the end of pregnancy, my back’s starting to hurt. Trying to stretch it out when I can, and trying to sit better, but it’s hard when I have a baby sleeping on me, or bending over to change her, or bending over to do laundry. Going to end up a hunchback. A waddling hunchback if I don’t remember how to walk normally again. Soccer season starts Sunday and I’m hoping to get on the field during the season, though probably not for the first couple or three games.

I can’t believe I’m at the end of my short-term disability leave and I can’t imagine having to go into work on Wednesday, and am really glad that I’m able to take the whole 12-week FMLA leave. Part of it’s because of still recovering and not being ready to face the real world, part of it because she’s still not on any kind of schedule, so waking times aren’t predictable, and part of it because I like being at home and doing anything besides going to that job. Programming’s ok, I’m pretty good at what I do, but I’m ready for some career change.

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5 thoughts on “New Year

  1. Thank you for including so many details. Not being able to experience Lena in person is mitigated with your posts. Sounds like there is something new almost every day. Having to go back to work sans Lena will be challenging.

    Great that you figured out the eggs issue. Had a friend who had to stop eating chocolate during breastfeeding because the caffeine had an undesirable effect on baby.

  2. Yay!! So glad you figured out the egg issue! Even when it’s annoying to have to cut something out it is SO NICE when you figure out what it is.

  3. Loved having you visit. Come back any time. How about some barre exercises to limber up at the kitchen counter or with the back of a chair? I like to stretch in the bathroom starting with bathtub height and work up to the counter. Though until the stitches are fully healed, not such a good idea.

  4. Oh, man. Chocolate would be hard. Eggs aren’t too bad, and likely good for losing the pooch, since eggs are in so many of the cookies and sugary bars that I was eating. Just not sure what to do about breakfast, since TCB usually makes eggs and bacon when he has time. Bacon and peanut butter and banana or apple?

  5. In any case you need to get enough calcium, and iron, and folic acid, etc. Milk products are good?

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