Has it been a week already? Has it only been a week? I count my days by nights now, which seems appropriate considering a certain someone decided to arrive in the middle of the night.
Lady Jr is doing well. She lost about 1/2 pound in the first four days, or 7% of her body weight, which is just about as expected. Still, it’s hard hearing that your baby has lost weight. We have a follow up appointment on Friday to see if she’s gaining like she should. She’s definitely eating like she should, so I’m not too worried.
She is a long, small baby with ten little toes and ten little fingers. She smells like milk and diaper wipes. Her startle reflex is both cute and oddly heart-breaking.
So far (KNOCK ON WOOD), she seems easy going. Once she’s asleep, she’ll sleep through anything. I vacuumed this morning and it knocked her right out. I love it, because we can be as loud as we want around her. At least during the day – we’re trying to keep nighttime as chill and quiet as possible, because she doesn’t quite understand night vs day.
She likes to clusterfeed and fuss in the middle of the night, so I’ve spent quite a few nights holding her and rocking her and feeding her and listening to her grunts and whistles and gurgles while she sleeps on my chest – the only place she’ll sleep when she’s worked up like that. The last few nights were the first few I actually treasured and now I weirdly look forward to being awake at 2am, watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on Netflix and listening to Lady Jr breathe.
The toughest part seems past us (again: KNOCK ON WOOD). Lady and I have figured out a sleep schedule for ourselves that gives us enough to function. My anxiety got pretty bad in those first few days to the point where I was shaking with exhaustion but couldn’t sleep, because I knew I’d have to get up very soon and feed the baby again. Lady solved this by buying formula so that she can feed the baby at least once and let me get a full REM cycle of sleep. Holy shit guys – that makes a BIG difference. My anxiety dropped immediately and now I feel like I can function again. I’m still getting maybe 5 or 6 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period, but I’ve always functioned best at 7.5, so that’s not a big drop for me.
Lady’s having a harder time… she needs about 9 hours of solid sleep to function and the most I can usually give her is 6. So she naps in the afternoons, which is working well.
Sleep (mostly) sorted, the hardest thing right now is that we just don’t see each other as much and we’ve been home almost constantly since coming home from the hospital. This is slowly changing as Lady Jr sleeps longer stretches in her crib (instead of on someone) and as I’m able to, you know, actually walk and stand without being instantly worn out. I barely managed a walk around the block last week, but today we went three blocks and I felt pretty okay. Postpartum recovery is no joke, guys.
Our current challenge is figuring out how to get Lady Jr to sleep in her crib like she will in our arms or in the bouncer. She hates being in that empty space without any movement, but idk how to fix that. I’ve started sleeping with a hand on her chest (the crib is side-car, so we’re co-sleeping but not bedsharing) and that gets us another half hour, easy, but if anyone has any tips or tricks or sage advice, I will gladly listen.
Once we can figure that out, we won’t have to divvy up the night into shifts, which will mean more sleep for everybody. Hopefully. Right?
One more pic for good luck: