Archives for April 2005

Baby Smiles

Baby smiles are elusive things, especially the early ones. My books tell me that most babies start smiling between 4 and 8 weeks old. Hannah is 10 weeks old, but since she was early you have to correct her age by 6 weeks, meaning she is just now in the wheelhouse. She is showing signs of smiles–she focuses her eyes well, she mimics mouth movements, and faces will hold her attention for several minutes at a time. I think I may have seen some early smiling efforts–little fleeting half grins, but nothing that leaves me feeling confident that she was smiling intentionally.

Before Hannah was born I would have said that she’ll smile soon enough. Now that she’s two and a half months old, though, she can’t smile soon enough. I just want the confirmation that she recognizes me, and generally likes me. At some point, you need something to sustain you when you drag your butt out of bed for yet another late-night feeding. Someone told me that babyhood flies by, but there are some very long moments. I’ve had enough of the long moments, I’m ready for the good stuff. 🙂

La Leche League

I have joined the La Leche League in Coquitlam. You can read more about them here.

They’re a great group. They get dozens of women at every meeting, with kids of all ages. Hannah’s the youngest, but I really enjoy watching and learning from the women with kids just a little bit older. It’s also good to have a sounding board for breastfeeding. It’s one of those things that, until you do it, you can’t possibly imagine all of the questions and issues that come up.

For instance, a lot of people caution you about eating certain foods. While this is an issue for some women, for most it’s no problem. In fact, nursing women with varied diets tend to have babies with broader palates, since the milk changes taste depending on what you eat. So, the baby gets used to tasting all sorts of things from a very early age. I never would have learned this on my own, so now I know that I can eat chocolate or spicy foods to my heart’s content, and I’m actually doing Hannah a favour. 🙂

Two Months Old

My daughter is two months old today. To celebrate, I took the (now) traditional monthly photo:

Hannah at 2 months old

In the past month Hannah has gained over 3 pounds. She started sleeping in her crib on her own, and has organized her sleep into a predictable pattern (for the most part). She has gained more strength and control over her muscles, and can hold her head up well. She focuses her eyes far better than she did a month ago. She also passed her due date. Our little girl is just a going concern.

Guilt-Trip Mama

Today we took Hannah in for her first round of shots. She got three of them altogether; two in one leg, and one in the other. I made Jon hold her while the nurse gave her the shots. It took longer than I expected, because they give the shot, then they apply pressure to the site and put on a band-aid before doing the next one. So, all three shots took a couple of minutes to administer. Once she was done, I nursed her, and she calmed down pretty quickly.

Of course, I felt pretty guilty. I still do. I realize that this is the right thing to do for Hannah, but nodody likes to watch someone hurt their child. Especially not three times in a row. It seemed like she would finally calm down from one injection, and then we gave her the next one. 🙁

In happier news, they had a scale at the public health unit, and Hannah is now a whopping 10lbs, 9oz. The nurse said that she couldn’t even tell that she was a preemie. So, the kid is fine, and will be fine. It’s just her mama who feels guilty.

Changes

Having a baby changes you in ways that you expect, and ways that you don’t. Here are a few of the things that have changed in my life, since I’ve become a mom:

– I find baby poop interesting, and am surprised when others don’t
– I don’t bother changing shirts with spit-up on them, unless I have somewhere to go, or am expecting visitors
– I plan outings around feeding schedules
– I consider a 3.5 hour stretch of sleep to be a luxury
– I find myself talking to the baby, when the baby is nowhere around
– I eye other people’s baby gear very critically, to compare, and maybe get ideas
– I am constantly worried that my baby is crying or hurt or in some sort of danger
– To quell the worry, I do weird things like wind up the baby’s mobile at 4am, to confirm that the monitor is working properly

No Time

As Hannah gets older, I find it harder and harder to make time for anything other than her. She’s sleeping less, and when she’s awake, she wants to be held. Plus, I want to spend those few precious waking hours with her. So, I don’t do the things that I would like to do, like send emails, make phone calls, post here, or clean my house. I guess that I will have years to do those other things, and Hannah will only be this small for a very short time.

Experimenting

Babies are tricky. Every time that you think you have a system in place, they switch things up on you. Recently, Hannah did just that with her night-time sleep. Instead of waking up, eating, and going back to sleep, she’s waking up, eating, and then partying on for a couple of hours before eating again, and going to sleep. She doesn’t generally cry, but she also doesn’t want to be laid down in a dark room with no entertainment. She also kicks a lot, and grunts, so you can’t just cuddle her and sleep yourself.

After a couple of really bad nights, we had two seriously desperate parents, who realized that we needed to change things up. Instead of having Hannah sleep in the bassinette beside our bed, or in bed with us, we decided to try the crib. I set up a chair in the nursery, so that when she woke up I could go in there to nurse her. No more naps in the living room with the lights and TV on, all sleeping happens in her crib, in the dark and quiet.

We’ve done this for two nights, and it seems to be working. We have an excellent baby monitor, so we can hear her every peep. She’s waking up a little more frequently, but she’s doing a much better job of going back to sleep after she eats. And I’m getting around 7.5 hours of sleep in 3 or 4 stretches from 11 to 9, instead of 6.5 hours of sleep in 2 or 3 stretches from 10 to 10. Much better. Of course, she’ll probably switch it up tomorrow night. 😉

In other news, we had our last midwife appointment. On the 5th, Hannah weighed 9lbs, 2.5oz. The midwife says that she’s doing brilliantly. And my hemoglobin is up to 120–it was only 117 before I got pregnant. So things are good for us. 🙂

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