M at Three Months

Stats:

At her last weigh-in she was 12 lbs 12 oz and she seems to be gaining just under an ounce a day, so I’m thinking she’s well on her way to 13 lbs! I still don’t know how long she is, but Matt measured her (sort of) while she was napping on me and says she’s easily 24 inches.

Nicknames:

We’ve just been calling her by her real name, or ‘baby’ or ‘baby girl.’ Creative, I know. But we spent a lot of time picking out her name, so we want to use it as-is! One thing we have been calling her, shamefully, is Droolia Roberts but I really, really don’t want that to be a real nickname.

Temperament:

In the first part of this month she was a bit feistier than she is now. She always needed to be moving, rocking, bouncing — anything to distract her from wanting to eat constantly. Now that she’s being fed bottled breastmilk she seems more content to be on her own. I don’t know if they’re connected or it was a developmental thing waiting to happen, but she’s okay being on her own, playing, now, for at least a few minutes.

MDonuts

Most of the time she’s all smiles, as long as we get to her food needs quickly enough! She’s incredibly alert, still — it’s something nearly everyone comments on, when they meet her. And she loves to smile.

Skills:

She spent a lot of this month wanting to bear weight on her legs, and ‘stands’ really well with some help from us. She has also learned how to put her pacifier in her mouth (though most of the time she just flings it at the general direction of her face). She’s started to mimic us with sounds and facial expressions, and is a lot more controlled with her movements.

Recently she started vocalizing like crazy. She coos and aaaaaaahs at her toys, and sometimes us.

Sleep:

Again, better with bottles. The first time I gave her an evening bottle she slept for eight hours. Of course that was a total fluke, and for the last few weeks she’s been on a streak of being up every two hours, but now that she is transitioned to her crib overnight and used to both mom and dad feeding her, she’s been extending those stretches.

MSleep

She’s getting better about falling back to sleep with minimal help if she’s startled in the middle of a nap, and I’m grateful for her daytime sleep because it affords me the chance to pump. Except for when it doesn’t happen at all, and everything falls apart, but hey, nothing is predictable.

Eating:

M had a tongue tie clip right after she turned two months old, and was an excellent latcher for about a week. It gradually got worse and worse until she was just hanging on the end of my nipple, or worse yet, not even closing her mouth or sucking when I tried to attach her. Her gag reflex has really flared up, to the point that she’s gagging when she touches her face near her mouth with her own hand. I’ve heard from one chiropractor in town that the other local chiro is good with babies, so I might call in and see what they can do for facial tightness.

With bottles, M eats 2-4 oz. a time, every hour and a half to three hours or so, during the day. She can’t flange her top lip around a bottle very well (I think she’s a bit lip tied, honestly, but I don’t even know where to start working out our feeding problems and I think the gag reflex/high palate is a worse problem than anything else) and she clicks and slides off the bottle occasionally, but she’s getting better.

I was breastfeeding her at night for awhile but it became too painful and frustrating, so she’s getting just bottles, now. I read up on ‘bottle nursing’ which makes me feel better — I cradle her to my chest, make eye contact and interact with her much as I did with breastfeeding. In fact, I’m probably less likely to be doing anything other than paying attention to her because it’s generally a two hands required kind of thing.

Clothing:

Mostly into 3-6 month stuff! Some of it is still loose, particularly the onesies, but the pants are long enough as are the sleepers. I tried to put her in one of my favourite pairs of 0-3 month pants and they were comically short, so I think we’re barely clinging onto that size. I feel sad putting it all away/consigning it, but I’m also excited to get her into her next wardrobe stage!

Loves:

Eating, her Wubbanub, eating her Wubbanub, people really close to her face saying Hiiiii!, fires in the woodstove, stretching after being unswaddled, a toy wooly mammoth I gave to her on a whim one day, kicking things, being in the Maman Kangourou wrap facing outward. Still loves going new places and meeting new people. She has also developed a bit of a fascination with Marbles, who runs away as soon as she makes eye contact. She is madly in love with her Oball.

MoBall

Doesn’t Love:

Having to wait to eat, breastmilk that hasn’t been warmed up (we tried it once), being in her swing without a soother, waking up in the dark, waking up after a long nap.

Things to Remember:

The tongue tie clip and that one week of glorious feeding. Grandma’s visit and all of the fun we had sharing M and showing off where we live. The marathon trip to Thunder Bay and back in one day to get M’s passport. That hilariously awful morning involving numerous diaper changes and two bath attempts. Our first time getting out of the house for a walk together.

MLaptop

Mom & Dad:

Feeling a little like we are never going to accomplish the things we want/need to do, but grateful to have the ability to prioritize M and know that our time to paint, shovel, etc., will eventually come. We are trying to treat one another with kindness and care, and most of the time there’s more of a sense of calm in our household. The hardest parts seem to have faded out, and we’re carving out our new normal, again.

MandMom

Looking Forward to:

Our vacation! I can’t wait to escape snow, see family, and let M get some warm fresh air on her face in South Carolina.

M at Two Months

Stats:

She’s somewhere up around 11 to 12 pounds depending on whose scale you ask. I have no idea of her length, but she’s tall!

Nicknames:

Mare-Bear, Bearigold (she has a lot of bear-eared stuff!), Bubba

Temperament:

At the start of the month she was really, really smiley! Nearly every morning started with a round of grins. Now that we’re sort of in the muck with nursing, stress levels have been running high for everyone and she’s a little less content, honestly. We’ve changed things on her and she’s not thrilled about it. Still has smiles when she wakes up, though, and since yesterday she has been a zillion times happier.

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She’s very focused and determined when it comes to mastering a skill — and she’s very focused on things she likes to watch! She made our nurse practitioner laugh at her six week appointment because we were having a conversation while Matt held M, and when she glanced over, M was staring very intently at us, listening in.

Skills:

We got our first smiles at the beginning of January! She is still a bit stingy with them, but if you really animate your own face and it’s during one of her smiley times (first thing in the morning, and sometimes at night after Matt comes home) she’ll light up.

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Around six weeks she seemed to somewhat realize that she could use her hands to do things. She didn’t always do it and didn’t always get them to go exactly where she wanted, but she’d try to guide Matt’s finger to her mouth, or reach out and try to spin the toys on her play gym after I did it for her. She may or may not be discovering that she has legs.

Her head/neck control got better and better throughout the month. She’ll hold up her own head while being propped up, if she has the energy, but when she’s tired she still needs support.

Sleep:

She’s up to five to seven hour stretches in one go, at night, which is awesome. Sometimes she seems to wake a bit earlier and we suspect that it happens when the fire goes out, which it does on occasion — the room gets a bit colder and then the furnace kicks in with a noise, and then she’s stirring. In the last week or so she’s been waking up to eat at least once.

M2months

She’s not really one for putting herself to sleep. She still needs to be nursed or rocked or snuggled. I’ve read that you aren’t supposed to do that stuff because a) your kid expects it and can’t sleep without it and b) it’s disconcerting for them to fall asleep in one place and wake in another, but she seems fine and it’s working for us, right now. Again, in the last few weeks she has been outright refusing to nap, but today she seems to be back on schedule.

Eating:

Do I need to write more about this? Hah. We are having problems. Right now they’re likely attributable to thrush and a tongue tie, which we are going in to address this afternoon. I’m SUPER nervous about it and desperately hoping it gets better.

Clothing:

All of a sudden she got really big and didn’t fit into her NB stuff — and then her 0-3 started getting tight! Especially over cloth diapers. At seven weeks I put her into a 3-6 month sweater because it was chilly day, and it fit although it was still a bit too big. Most of the 3-6 stuff seems to start at 12 lbs. and I think she was not quite there. Some of the smaller stuff in that range fits, although it’s big, and I’m looking forward to some new clothes for her!

M-Fire-1

We did start using more of her clothes this month. She wears pants and jeans and hoodies and socks, now, because diaper changes are less frequent and less complicated.

Loves:

She seems to have a love-hate relationship with the bear toy hanging from her IKEA gym. She wants to hit it and gets great joy out of hitting it but when she can’t coordinate it she gets really mad. Her change table is her favourite place — she stares at the photos on the wall and grins and coos and sometimes even yells with excitement and we have no idea why! Watching a big roaring fire is more enjoyable for her than any toy I can offer.

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She also particularly enjoys staring at the glowing Apple on Matt’s MacBook, and one of the living room curtain finials (seriously). She is really digging her Soothies pacifier, but she isn’t capable of holding it in her own mouth so we have to hold it in or prop it up with a stuffed animal — her tongue tie clip should help with that and I’m also going to get her a Wubbanub. She loves meeting new people and going new places!

Doesn’t Love:

Being put in her car seat, still. But as soon as you lift it up she’s cool. Being put down anywhere if she’s awake. Being removed from nursing until she gets a good latch. Keeping a good latch. Basically anything to do with nursing unless she’s being cradled and clamping on. Naps. Mondays.

Things to Remember:

Our first successful trip out of the house, just the two of us (to the hospital, which was extra nerve-wracking because I figured if I did something stupid it’d be in front of a bunch of medical professionals). Her Ray Charles dances. Our first Christmas, all together. Nursing her for what I thought might be the last time.

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Mom & Dad:

Well, I’m so thankful we don’t have the flu anymore. Matt is still dealing with some respiratory stuff and we don’t always get good sleep so we aren’t always nice to one another but we’re improving and learning constantly. The nursing problems are really a struggle for all of us and I would definitely highlight that as our massive challenge this month (and ongoing). It has been truly miserable and awful and really dragged me down and Matt along with me, but we lift each other up eventually and keep soldiering on. The public health nurse gave us some excellent ideas for combating the stress of it all, and I think we’re on the right track.

Looking Forward to:

Getting out of the house if the weather is nicer, or at least getting out on short errands more often! Matt’s mom is visiting really soon and we can’t wait for that. Getting our nursing problems sorted so we can enjoy it again (please please please) or at least get the baby fed in a way that doesn’t create misery. Putting on more of her bigger clothes!

Dear M,

This has been an awful month. I think you know it, even though you’re just a baby, because you’ve been sad and frustrated, too. It’s been a pretty bad way for all of us to learn about perseverance, but I promise you, things will get better — in fact they already are, and your smiles show it. One thing I’m learning about is how to find balance and peace, and we need to restore some peace to this place. Your happiness and health is more important than anything.

Those times you shoot us big gummy grins, even in the middle of the worst pain or the biggest heartbreaks, sooth the soul. I’m so glad you can smile, now.

We have had to make some pretty big decisions that affect you, this month. You need to eat and we deserve to have a better relationship in that regard so we are clipping your tongue tie, which is nerve-wracking because I don’t want you to hurt but don’t want you to lose out on nursing either. I hope it’s the right choice. We also need to decide how we’re going to feed you, if we can’t get you back to nursing. It’s the first time we’ve had to make such a big decision about your care, now that you’re on the outside, and it’s really rough.

I’ve never really been a big believer in intuition but everything in my heart is pushing me to trust that I know what is the right choice. It scares me to know that I could be totally wrong, but I guess that’s what parenting is all about. Know that we’ve made every decision with your best interests at heart, M, and that we love you, so much. You truly are the light in our lives.

M at One Month

Stats:

She was at 9 lbs 12 oz (approximately — they use metric and sort of transpose it for me) on Monday, so one pound up from her birth weight and over a pound and a half from her discharge weight (and I’m sure she weighs more now!). I missed the head and length measurements, but I’ve been told she’s growing well.

Nicknames:

Munchkin, Pumpkin, Lovey, Bunny, Lovey, Buddy, baby girl (and baby in front of any of those other ones!)

Temperament:

She’s usually a quiet, relaxed girl. She doesn’t often wake up crying — she’s more likely to wake us up with grunts and baby horse noises. She’s happiest being held. She has her every day fussy time, anywhere from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., lasting for anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, and sometimes she has a fussy time in the late morning/early afternoon. It’s basically just a bit of crying and general displeasure with everything we attempt to cheer her up with, but it goes away as soon as she gets hungry enough to nurse herself to sleep.

M-Hat

Skills:

She’s picked up a lot of new skills over the last week or so! She found her hands to suck on, and has been tracking people and things around the room. She seems a lot more alert, though she’s been pretty with it since the beginning. She has great head control, but again, it’s been like that for awhile. She’s a tummy time pro! And her coos and gurgles have come out in full force.

Sleep:

For awhile, she was really predictable — asleep from 10 p.m.-ish to 3 a.m.-ish, up for a half hour to an hour, back to sleep until 6 a.m. or 7 a.m., down again until 11 or so, then up with one more nap until 5:30/6 p.m. and the aforementioned fussy time. But then we got sick and started keeping weird hours ourselves and she’s all over the map (although I know babies this young aren’t really scheduled in the slightest).

M-Sleep

She will generally do two to three hour stretches during the day, though she’s in a ‘can’t sleep unless being held’ phase that has been shortening those naps. At night, she’ll go anywhere from four hours onward. Twice, she’s slept eight hours, which is insane but both the internet and our nurse practitioner said it’s an awesome thing. If she’s comfy and happy she’ll generally do a six hour stretch at night then another three hour and she’s up for a bit, so we’re getting decent sleep, even if it doesn’t feel like it all the time. I’m hoping this means she’ll be easy to get on a routine once she’s older!

Eating:

Nursing is still going fairly well. She’s pretty unpredictable with it — sometimes she’ll stay on for half an hour and still be hungry, other times she’ll pop off in six minutes, shut her eyes and sleep. Her evening fussies coincide with not wanting to nurse: she’ll pull away, on and off, shake her head and eventually start crying. Sometimes it seems like she just wants to suck and doesn’t want to eat, because she’ll suck Matt’s finger (our stand-in pacifier) until she seems truly hungry, then eat and sleep easily. So I don’t know what that’s all about, but she’s gaining weight and seems happy nonetheless.

Clothing:

Matt is still getting her into newborn onesies but I can’t seem to fit them over her head! She’s still in newborn sleepers, but I think she’s in 0-3 month stuff just as much. I’m trying to dress her in the NB clothes we have while she still fits, because she can wear the 0-3 for quite some time, still.

That being said — pants for a newborn are just impractical! She has lots of adorable stuff but more often than not she’s in a onesie (which may or may not be done up), or a sleeper, or just a diaper, depending on how hot it is in the house (we’ve been sick, so it’s pretty hot!). For her first doctor’s appointment I dressed her up in an actual outfit and I swear it took twenty minutes to get her dressed and undressed for her weight check.

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I’m looking forward to using all the cute socks and sweaters and tiny pairs of jeans, but we’re still doing enough diaper changes that basic = better.

Loves:

Being held, eating, bath time now that she can go in an actual tub (until she’s been in for more than five minutes), her car seat while the vehicle is moving, lights, classical music (really!), the crazy bullseye toy with the big red flap

Doesn’t Love:

Being swaddled (until she IS swaddled), hats falling down over her eyes, getting dressed, her car seat when she’s being put in it/the vehicle isn’t moving/we’re going too slow

Things to Remember:

Warm 5 a.m. snuggles by the fire in the living room — I get up to nurse (our bed is not comfy for nursing so the couch is currently easier to handle) and Matt stokes the fire, and we stay there until she’s back to sleep. Baby dinosaur noises, all the time. The hilarious way she stretches and grunts when she wakes up. Trying to figure out if she’s giving us real smiles or if it’s still just gas. Visits with her family members. Matt’s birthday, spent sick in front of the TV (sorry, Matt).

Mom & Dad:

I have to say, being feverish with a three week old is hellish. This last week has probably been worse than even the crazy sleep deprivation of her first week home. You really need to be functional for taking care of an infant, and you need both people functional, or things become not very fun, very quickly. I’m happy we survived and seem to be getting better, albeit slowly.

Overall things are better than I was expecting, knowing how I can get when I’m tired. It’s been rough, but we’re getting through it. I feel a lot better, physically (aside from the plague) and I’m two weeks away from getting my lifting restrictions over with which will be nice. I think we’re getting into our stride.

Matt has been awesome with diaper changes and dinner-making when he’s home. I’m excited to have the Christmas break as a family.

Looking Forward to:

A definitive real smile! The ability to get out of the house with her without needing a ride and help from Matt. Getting back to ‘real life’ after being sick and camping out in our basement for a week — even if she’s not on a routine, I like having mine! And I think Christmas with her will be lovely even if we’re not doing much and she won’t remember anyway. 🙂

M-Santa

Dear M,

How has it been a month already? I’m probably going to be saying stuff like that forever — I can’t imagine you as a six-week-old, right now, let alone a two-year-old or an 18-year-old or someone with babies of her own (if that’s something you want). It feels like I just had you yesterday, but then again, that hospital room feels like a million miles and hours away, now.

I’m excited to see you growing and changing already. Even the strides you’ve made in the last week have been amazing. You’re so conscious of the world around you! I sort of miss your tiny newborn-ness but I’m so happy for you, that you are getting to blossom into who you really are. I’m excited to learn more about you.

You’re both everything I expected you’d be, and a huge surprise, all at once. I love every discovery you make, and I love discovering you. Our lives feel complete now, with you. I didn’t realize you were missing, but you really were — now, the house feels like home, and even the most mundane moments feel special.

We love you!

Always,

Mama