Like a champ

I knew from the night before last when she was running her little hands back and forth across the crib bars like a convict with a tin cup that our baby had the soul and grit of a prisoner.

Night two of exile, she resigned herself to her fate. After a couple of back-patting reassurance visits around 9 and 10 ish, and a weird, but amusing, laughing/gleeful squealing before self-soothing episode around 11, she slept right through until 7 am. Special shout-out to my Sharper Image sound machine and its “surf’s up” setting.

She is such a good little baby.  And thank god, because her stupid parents tried to stay up to watch the WSOP final table (and failed since it went on until 5 am).

Exile island

Remember that game-changing twist in Survivor where they banished a contestant to a separate camp, alone, away from the tribe? That’s what we did with our daughter last night. Yup, she spent her first night in her real crib, in her own room. While I’ve heard many moms say they looked forward to getting baby out of their bedroom, I can’t say I shared this sentiment. What can I say, I’m a “keep your enemies close” kinda gal.

She’s been napping in there for months, so she’s “used to it”, but night time is a whole different ballgame, apparently. It was pretty fussy going from about 9 pm until about 1 am, although we’ve been dealing with some new night-waking issues off and on for the past couple of weeks (more on that in the next monthly update) so it’s hard to say if the switch of venue was entirely to blame. In fact, we had sort of decided that recently we were most likely waking her up at night with our ramblings and rumblings as much as the other way around, which was part of the reasoning for the transition away from our room.

I couldn’t leave her in total isolation, so we assigned a kitty cat “lovey” and a mermaid to the task, while mom slept with the stuffed mouse and the monitor.

I’m willing to chalk this one up as a win. After one last comfort feeding around 10:30 (she had gone down at 7:20), we would just go in and rub her back and talk to her every so often when she fussed (which was about every half hour until 1ish) and she would resettle. And then she slept. Until my husband got her up at 6:30 and brought her back to bed with me, where she belongs.


Baby & Body: Month 2 Update

This should have been posted on or around June 25, but as long as I manage to get it in before the 3 month deadline, I’m gonna go ahead and count it as a win.

June was crazy y’all, complete with a triathlon (Andrew, not me), an extended visit from the Newfoundland contingent of grandparents, a business trip to Washington D.C (again, Andrew, not me), a trip to Revelstoke B.C for a friend’s wedding, a vet trip for Twitchy (let’s call it butt-explosion preventive maintenance), and finally my 6-week check-up (actually closer to 8 weeks) with the OB-GYN who delivered Sloane.

I believe I have adequately covered all of my excuses. On with it then.

Sloane continues to amaze on a regular basis. She is so smiley and happy, it’s really quite absurd. I’m trying to remember when she started to – for the most part – sleep through the night, and I almost can’t remember a time when she didn’t. Mommy amnesia is for real. For maybe the first 3-4 weeks she was going down around 10 or 11, waking to feed somewhere between 1 & 2 am, then up again around 4 or 5, and up again around 7 or 8. But from 5 or 6 weeks she started pretty consistently going down at 10 and sleeping until 6. Occasionally, she’d still wake for a 3 or 4 am feed (maybe every 3rd or 4th night) and now I can’t remember the last time she did that. A normal night was a solid 10 pm to 6 am stretch of bassinet time. We tried to put her to bed sleepy but not sleeping, and she’d wind herself down in her bassinet for a while (cooing, kicking, sucking her soother, looking around, searching for her thumb) before going to sleep. This could actually take quite a while, sometimes up to an hour, but she seemed quite content to just hang out until she was tired enough to close her eyes. And in the morning she wakes up in the best mood ever. I rarely wake to her crying, I just hear noises from the bassinet (sometimes gurgling or babbling, sometimes farting or pooping) and when I peek into the bassinet she is all smiles and giggles. Nothing makes her as happy as that first morning diaper change.

She grew like a weed in month 2 – I’m dying of curiosity to see how much she weighs at her next appointment. I’m betting it’s close to 15 lbs. She also gained more head control (less bobbly-headed) and began to seem more focused when looking at objects and people. She is a great eater, and still eats a ton during the day (I think she compensates during the day for that long fast at night) feeding on-demand every 2 or 3 hours – sometimes less frequently if she has long naps in the day and more frequently in the evening as bedtime approaches. During this month she still had a bit of a witching hour, becoming pretty fussy between 7 and 9 pm. Some nights more so than others. Never anything too crazy. The biggest change this month was that we started to get to know her and be able to tell what kind of a mood she was in, when she was getting tired or overtired, what might soothe her and when she just needed some space – it seems weird, but we learned that sometimes she just wanted to be left alone – this, I get.

As for me, I was surprised to find that I pretty much started to feel like myself again. I had expected this to take quite a bit longer, having always subscribed to the “9 months in, 9 months out” school of thought that it takes about as long as you were pregnant to totally recover from pregnancy and birth (and I’m sure it technically does – I just found that I felt pretty good, pretty fast). When I finally weighed myself after 5 or 6 weeks (out of negligence rather than avoidance) the baby weight (32 lbs by the very end) was gone, but I actually know (women always know) that it was gone after 2 or 3 weeks. The old-school advice goes that if you “take care of baby, the baby weight takes care of itself”. And while that sounds a little too good to be true, it has proven accurate in my case. I believe now that if you are able to pour your energy into caring for your little one and breastfeed on demand, that’s really all the workout you need in the early days (months). I’m still not my personal “ideal” weight. And I still don’t care. Frankly, this kind of vanity is a little bit off my radar right now. The things that currently concern me about my body are keeping my nipples from falling off (lanolin ointment is your friend), when and how much milk to pump, and eating well and often enough to avoid the dreaded “hanger” which I’ve always struggled with and has hit me extra hard post-natally. I walk a lot, which I think is really beneficial for both Sloane and me, but that’s about as much exercise as I can get my head around for now. Pilates keeps popping into my head and I know that it’s a GREAT idea for ab, hip and pelvic recovery, but for now, that is where it has stayed – in my head.

Breastfeeding continued to be a work in progress in month 2. If I had to give it a grade, I’d give it a B. Luckily, I was able to iron out the serious problems very early on with the help of  a really great doctor at my final appointment with the maternity clinic and a lot of YouTube videos. Seriously. I just had to google around until I found the right advice that clicked for me to sort out my shitty latch issues. Yet still, it wasn’t entirely comfortable all the time. I understand why a lot of people would give up at this point, especially if baby seems to fuss and not enjoy it either, like some of the moms I know. What kept me going was that even when it sucked for me, Sloane really loved it and that encouraged me to persevere. I’ve come to accept that although they say “breastfeeding should never hurt”, you’re still going to have to deal with a certain amount of soreness and discomfort (what normal humans who don’t work for La Leche League would call pain) for a while until your body totally adjusts. Just like breaking in a new pair of shoes. But with nipples. That’s probably as good of a place to sign off as any.