One Week Old

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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:

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23 Comments

Filed under gaybies, Lady Jr

23 responses to “One Week Old

  1. Congratulations!! She sounds like she’s doing great. Taking care of a newborn is tough work, but you are already doing some great things that will help you all keep your sanity. šŸ™‚ Hugs to all!

  2. I’m sorry–I know you wrote actual words, but I’m stuck on the baby pictures. Oh, she makes my uterus ache! She is just so perfect and tiny. As for sleep, all I can say is that all 3 of you will adapt to this new life in time. For now, you’re doing great.

  3. AndiePants

    Yay! She’s so lovely!
    My #1 new baby sleeping trick is the rock’n’play. It provides a kind of hammock like space and can rock (either manually or automatically, depending on the cash you’re willing to drop) and it saved us for the first three months.

  4. So beautiful!!! Loved watching your journey and so happy for you!!!

  5. Vanessa Fawley

    Are you swaddling her? My girls slept better that way. My oldest was definitely the type to only want to sleep on me too. So I’d usually bathe her (sponge baths when we weren’t doing ones in the tub), put her in a onesie and then swaddle her and feed her in a dim room. That would put her in a milk coma for a few hours and that made such a difference when she was that little.

    • We swaddled for the first few days, but I started to worry when she kept rolling to her side and the swaddle – no matter how tight – kept rutsching up towards her face. Now we swaddle when she’s in a fussy mood and try to sleep-sack her when she’s lying by herself.
      I probably just need different swaddling material, but of course last night she did just fine on her back in the baby box for several hours, so we’ll see.

  6. Gina

    Welcome to the world, beautiful Hazel. You really are a sight to behold.

    As for sleep, in the beginning we found going with the flow to be the best transition from in utero to this big place….ours also loved the bouncer so we placed the bouncer in our crib/co sleeper for awhile. Any changes we made we did during the day, like okay one nap in the crib then the rest in the bouncer. Then a couple days/week later we’d go to two naps, and so on. It was fits and starts and lots of gentle surrender and some “ahh fuck it!”

    She sounds like she’s doing amazing, as do you and Lady.

    • Yeah, I’m torn between letting her do what she does and trying to direct her a little. It’s probably way too early for direction and she is easing into things on her own, just those first few days home were pretty chaotic.

  7. AmyApplesnail

    Oh my god she is so cute it hurts my heart. Sounds like you are managing things really well! The sleep deprivation can be really hard and it’s really great that you’ve worked out a plan to get a little extra sleep. šŸ˜Š With Avery, we followed her sleep cues and put her down on her own when she was yawning and rubbing her eyes. It also worked to transfer her when she was already passed out cold on us. However, she seemed to want the closeness of sleeping on us when she was really newborn and during her growth spurts, and we let her when she wanted it. She had days where she seemed more ready for independence.

    • AmyApplesnail

      I say this in the past tense but obviously we are still working on all of this. She sleeps well away from us now, but she very well may revert!

      • It’s okay, I’ve come to subconsciously add that caveat to everyone’s experiences over the years. Baby’s are definitely pros at keeping everyone on their toes.

    • Lady Jr isn’t quite to the point where she has sleep cues – she just conks – so I suspect we’re just trying to rush things.
      Of course now that I said something, last night she slept for four solid hours (broken by me for feedings because I’m a cruel, cruel mother) in the baby box.

  8. She is TOO CUTE. Such a perfect little face! No advice to you on the sleeping thing…we succumbed to bed sharing at about 6 weeks. Frankly, I love it, and we all get more sleep. Baby just wants to feel our bodies and breath near her and she sleeps like a champ with a few easy side-lying feeds each night. Maybe I’ll regret it later, but it’s working for now.

    As for that deep, sound sleep through all the noise? Seems like that wears off around 2-3 months and you find yourself tip-toeing around the house and threatening to murder the Fedex delivery man if he knocks on the door… šŸ˜€

  9. After playing musical sleep surfaces for a while, we also side-carred our crib and for ages my wife slept sort of half in/half out of it because it was the only way to get J to sleep in it. It was rough, but eventually J got used to the crib and now is happy to sleep there (with sides on and mattress on the lowest level, but still right next to the bed).

    She is soooo cute. And you and Lady sound like you’re an awesome team. Wishing you all sleep!

  10. Ich gratuliere!! Congratulations!

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