Miss E at 4 months 5 days.

We missed her 4 month photoshoot. The weekdays are too busy and exhausting to get anything done. But here are some pictures we took today.

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New Challenges – Bottle feeding

Ok, so I didn’t think this would become an issue but starting two weeks ago and becoming worse this week Miss E has completely refused to take the bottle. We literally have to fight on it only to give up and waste several ounces of breast milk. We have been giving her the bottle early on since January with no issues. But lately, she’d just lick the nipple, turn her face, gag, and eventually cry. We would take a break and try again only to repeat the process. After about an hour we would give up. There are times however when she’d take in about 2 oz but not without fighting and screaming, and having milk all over her. The other issue is spitting up. It happens when she gags, or is laying down too soon after eating. We just have to remember to keep her propped up for a few minutes before we lay her down to play. Not sure what I need to cut in my diet to keep her from spitting up. Dairy? I don’t drink milk, but maybe cut out cheese?

We went and bought new faster flowing nipples for the NuK which she was using, a Dr. Brown bottle, and Playtex Ventaire. So far, I don’t think it’s a bottle issue, so we are sticking with the Nuk.

It’s really quite frustrating and defeating. Yesterday was the worst. Brian tried to feed her and she screamed and screamed. I tried offering the boob, but by then she was too upset, so we just put her to bed.

I successfully gave her a 4 oz bottle this morning, but not without the licking, gagging process. It also took an hour.

We’ve talked about exclusively bottle feeding to avoid all the anxiety that comes with breastfeeding. Things like, not making enough milk, etc. But really the big thing holding me back is the bonding experience. Despite the terrible first two weeks, I actually enjoy it. There isn’t a moment that makes me feel closer to her than when we nurse.

But we’ve got to get this bottle feeding under control so she doesn’t become a pain for the daycare folks in a few weeks. We are visiting her grandparents this weekend. I think it’d be a good idea to have them try to feed her, just so she’s not used Brian or myself.

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Getting bigger

Holy moly has this baby changed a ton over the course of 9 weeks. She’s getting bigger obviously but everything about her has changed. I guess being with her 24/7, I don’t notice much unless I look back at old pictures and videos. The pictures below is taken during week 1 and week 9. You can see the difference. In the first picture, you can tell that she’s not really looking at you. Her head is still pointy, her eyes are steely gray, she has less fat in the face.

Today, she can smile, coo, look at you, recognize faces and voices. She can see and likes to peek at the tv whenever she gets a chance. We sometimes have to face her away or just turn off the tv when that happens. She kicks and wiggles, and is getting good about letting us know about her discomfort. She’ll scream when she doesn’t want anymore milk or cry when she’s over stimulated. She prefers to sit up and watch us instead of lay there and play. She’s still working on holding up her head since it bobbles every now and then. Unfortunately, she gets tired of tummy time after about 10 minutes at a time.

From her 2 month checkup she’s still in the 75th percentile in weight and head, and 90th percentile in height. This baby is long! None of her pants really fit, even the 3 month old pair. Speaking of clothing the best outfits are the onesie tops or pajamas with the footies.
Pretty soon, we’ll have to transition her into the 3/6 month outfits.

She still gets fussy in the late afternoons, but I think it’s primarily due to overstimulation and not hunger. It’s when daddy gets home and we’re actually starting to do stuff around the house. Whereas during the day, we’re quietly playing or napping while I try to squeeze one in myself, shower, or put up laundry.

I’m hoping in the last 3 weeks at home, I’ll be able to replenish our freezer with more meals, start (and hopefully finish) on a digital scrapbook, and maybe finish a book. In the meantime, I’m milking all the time I can get with her, since returning back to work after this long hiatus will be a challenge. I’m really going to miss my time with her, sniff sniff.

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6 weeks

We’ll be hitting 6 weeks tomorrow. I can’t believe how fast time flies. I feel like she’s growing up too quickly even though she still fits in her newborn outfits.

We started putting her in size 1 diapers a couple weeks ago, but they’re still a tad loose. Just like when the newborn diapers were initially loose.

I think we’ve got the breastfeeding down, but she still does this funny thing where she grunts the entire time she’s eating. It gets pretty annoying especially in the middle of the night when I just want her to finish her business and go back to bed. She does it when we bottle feed too, but not as bad. I wonder if it has to do with her congestion and breathing.

Unfortunately she’s still sleeping in the swing. I’ve tried several times to have her nap in her crib or pack and play and she’ll wake up screaming after about 5-10 minutes. I’m hoping between week 6 and 8 we can transition her out of the swing. It will be tough. If i can get her to nap successfully, then maybe we can put her in the crib at night. Although she does have her fussy periods during the afternoon where she can’t really get into a deep sleep, so maybe we just try this routine at night. She’ll sleep for 10-20 minutes during the day and wake up fussing, and this usually happens between 2 and 5pm. I’ll eventually swaddle her and put her back in the swing and she’ll sleep until Brian gets home or when she wakes for her evening feeding at 6 or 7. Luckily we don’t have to deal with this at night.

I’ve taken her to the mall a couple times this week. She does so well in the car and carseat. I even got a chance to take her out on a walk earlier in the week with our new jogging stroller. She slept the whole time, but at least she got some sun.

Next week, assuming I get the signoff from the doc, we’ll start on the Baby Boot Camp classes at Stonebriar. I’m excited about getting back into shape. All this laying around is hurting my back and making me feel unproductive. The classes are between 9-10 every morning, so we’ll have to time our feedings around it. The only problem I see is making myself get up. Lately I’ve been sleeping in till Brian leaves for work at 9. The 5/6 am feeding sucks the energy out of me since I usually sleep until 7.

I’m hoping she’ll drop one of the nighttime feedings soon. She’s no longer eating every 2-3 hours, it’s more like 3-5 hours depending on the hour or day.

So far everything is looking good. We’re still spending our days eating, playing and napping (sort-of). If I can get her to nap for longer than 30 minutes, then maybe I can do some actual housework. We still have our Christmas decorations sitting in boxes in the living room and I need to do some laundry, or maybe just sneak in a nap…

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eat play sleep

Trying to get some play time after we eat with tummy time. But all she wants tip do is sleep.

20120118-165910.jpg

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Breastfeeding

I’d go into mre detail when I have the energy, but to say breastfeeding is easy, it isn’t. Definitely not the beginning. Since Baby E’s jaundice levels are a bit elevated, her pediatrician wants to make sure she’s fully fed as often as possible. She recommended pumping to get any addition milk leftover and top her off after my feeding. In addition to doing that, I’m toying with the idea of pumping a full bottle so Brian can help feed her while I take a break. This will take some pressure off the whole process. I hope I’m doing the right thing by not exclusively breastfeeding.

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2011 in Review

I had a 2010 in Review post, but realized I never published it. I guess I wasn’t done with my thoughts at the time.

Anyhow, here goes 2011. I can’t remember much before this fall…not sure why. I usually can remember the smallest details. I suppose it’s my pregnant brain getting to me.

Goals Planned for this year:
1. Have a baby – We’re getting there. There’s very little indication that this baby is coming in any day now. I suspect that when she’s ready these silly contractions will hit hard and fast. She’s probably already got a little bit of both of our traits. Slow like her dad and hasty and impatient like her mom. We’ll see…

2. Get a new fence – Not even close; however, we’ve got a few quotes back.

3. Refinance House – Done, although I wish we had waited a few more months because the interest rates are even lower. Boo.

Things we did this year:
1. We took a trip to San Francisco back in April. San Francisco was great. Much older than I anticipated and smaller even. The trip was fairly short but we did as much as we could. I think my favorite part was walking across the Golden Gate Bridge and seeing Alcatraz. Unfortunately, we’ll have to return to experience the good food. I just can’t remember anything we had thatwas good, especially real Chinese food. I’d also like to go one of the nearby wineries. Maybe this can be our 2012 trip…

2. We took a trip to Montreal in September to celebrate our 5th year anniversary and Babymoon. We picked Montreal after going back and forth on Hawaii and other beach destinations. Our trip to Montreal started with a 2 day layover in Chicago due to the hurricane that hit the NE area. That’s ok because we got to explore some other great restaurants and neighborhoods in Chicago. As for Montreal, to me it was just another big city. It’s interesting to see the French Canadian culture up there. The main thing I’ll recall is that everyone there smokes and looked very pretty. My favorite part of the trip was just lounging around by the hotel pool everyday and our peaceful walk around Mont Royal. Unfortunately, there weren’t alot of attractions in Montreal, even the art museums were disappointing. At least that’s one city we get to check off our list.

3. We helped my parents move to Dalhart so that they can be under the care of my sister and her family. This occurred literally a week after our Montreal trip. It was a tough decision and they were getting to the point where they could not live by themselves. After being called several times at work and having to rush over to help one of them who’s fallen in the house or losing sleep because I’m terribly worried that something bad will happen over night, I just couldn’t let this continue. They finally gave in and agreed it was time that they can no longer be independent. While it’s a huge relief for myself, I can’t help but feel the burden that’s been put on my sister and her family. But I’m glad she’s ok it.

2012 Goals:
1. Learn how to be a parent.

2. Take the baby on a tour to of Texas (to visit parents, grandparents, great grand-parents).

3. Lose the baby weight and maybe run that half marathon I’ve been wanting to do.

4. Fix/replace that fence.

5. Get Reesey’s cataracts fixed.

6. Replace our kitchen sink.

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Nature

Not sure how else to stimulate this baby to come out. I know I have a week and a half left till my due date, but I really want this baby to come out, for many reasons.

My dad is still not doing well. In fact, he’s getting worse. I fear that the clock is really ticking on him and I really want to go see him soon…

It’s hard to grasp onto this reality. There’s a part of me that’s truly upset, and a part of me that’s excited because of the baby.

What terrible timing this has all been.

I should get out of the house to avoid thinking about all of this. It’s just too hard to deal with at the moment.

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