Category Archives: Lady Jr

Six Months!

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Six months?? Six months!! She’s no longer a squish, that’s for sure. She is a ham and a delight and I know I’ve been saying that since January, but omgosh every week she’s so much hammier.

She had her 6 month check-up this week. We have a 13# 4oz baby, which is somewhere around the 5th percentile (they marked 13# 14oz on her sheet and said 15%, but like, I watched them weigh her and that was not 14oz – also she’d been 13# 2.5oz the week before when she went in for fever/cold/rash). I think they also marked her height wrong, because she dropped from 70% to 50%. Oh well. It doesn’t matter in the long run, but she is a looong skinny baby and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change any time soon.

Otherwise: ear infection cleared up on it’s own, cough is almost completely gone, basically in one of her rare, non-cold instances and feeling 99% healthy – so perfect time for shots! Yaay… boo. Our happy baby quickly became unhappy, but I think we’re through the worst of it.

Sleep

…ahahah.

Well. She’s doing a few 2 hour chunks each night, but she’s refusing to go back to sleep unless nursed, which I have only been reinforcing because a) she was sick and had an ear infection for a week or so and b) my wife was sick and needed as much sleep as she could get. But now we’re on the other side of both of those, so we’re committed to soothing and letting her cry and *not* feeding her back to sleep every 60-120min. She’s six months old. She absolutely does not need to eat 6+ times a night.

But even with just getting those 2 hour chunks most nights, I feel 100% better. More like my usual self. I’ve been able to start organizing the house and even think about cutting down on some of the clutter we’ve accumulated since we moved and some of the clutter we brought with us and really shouldn’t have. Time is still scarce, so we’ll see how much I can actually get done.

So. Sleep currently looks like this:
7pm bedtime
9pm wake up, feed
11pm wake up, feed
1am wake up, feed
2am wake up, try to soothe back to sleep, feed
3am wake up, try to soothe back to sleep, feed
4.30am wake up, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed. Feeding does nothing. Usually goes back to sleep after 30-45min
6.30-7am wake up for the day

Blrgh. Not ideal, but still so much better than it was. I’ve mostly accepted our lot. Problem is, there’s no room for a backslide. If she does any worse than that, my day is ruined. So we really need to work on this, I just… listening to her cry at 12am is difficult.

Anyway. Enough about sleep.

 

Solids

The doctor encouraged us to start solids, even though Lady Jr isn’t really showing any signs of readiness – she can’t sit up unassisted, she’s not very good at the pincer grasp, she’s uninterested in what we’re eating, etc. I thought that was weird, so we’re compromising by making food available, but not forcing baby to eat it. We’ve put avocado in front of her twice now and she mostly mushed it around, but once she stuck her avocado-covered fingers in her mouth, so… progress?

Idk, I think I need to do more research on baby-led weaning, since that’s the approach I want to take. Just… how much mashing, how much purees, how much gnawing? Idk.

 

Stroller

But my favorite part about six months is we’ve been cleared to go running together! I ordered a running stroller off of Amazon last week (the week before?) and we’ve been… getting used to it while just walking. Man, strollers are such a different experience from baby-wearing. For one, she’s so far away. For another, I can’t feel her falling asleep or getting upset. There’s a little flap on top of the stroller cover to peer in, but I can’t see her face, so I still have to stop and go around to check on her.

She’s been… less than thrilled so far. She’s gotten upset both times I’ve taken her out in it. I assume all I can really do is keep taking her out on short walks, but I miss having her snuggled up next to me. But, alas, can’t run with a baby carrier. And I want to run with her…

Any tips on how to make the stroller less of a scary experience for a baby? It might just be that both she and I need to adjust.

What else, what else…

 

Milestones

She grabs for anything and everything and can almost always get it. She’s started reaching, too – reaching for cups and faces and cats. She wants to touch the cats, which is new. She seems interested in them.

She can turn the pages of a board book. We’re 99% sure daycare taught her this neat trick.

She just started rolling belly to back (again), at least at night, while she’s half asleep. I don’t think she knows she can do this, yet.

High-pitched shrieking. Yeah. Not enjoyable.

Can occasionally sit unassisted for a few seconds before toppling over, vs immediately toppling.

Has started rolling over and sleeping on her belly at night. Usually this turns into a longer stretch of sleep than usual.

 

And now that you’ve made it through all of that, have some pics:

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Daycare wanted a family pic, so…
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Five Weeks Old

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Lady Jr: We’re here and there with the fussy days. She’ll be (mostly) content for a day or two then quite fussy for another day or two. There doesn’t seem to be any pattern to it – I’m eating the same things and it doesn’t seem like she should be having a bunch of mini, frequent growth spurts. We’re just going with the flow, though – the fussy isn’t too bad as long as we can trade off and take a break. The worst patch so far was a four hour evening stretch for Dr Lady right after I had gone to bed.

It also helps that her fussy isn’t an hour straight of screaming. We can usually get her to calm down, but only 5 or 10 minutes at a time before she realizes she’s still in the throes of an existential crisis. Having multiple ways we can try to soothe her helps. Right now, loud white noise has been a life-saver. Not only will it quiet her, but sometimes it’ll even send her back to sleep.

Changes this week:

– When I pick her up now, her muscles in her body and neck are strong enough to stop her from flopping like a wet noodle, which means I can finally do some one-handed holding and pick ups. This has made life in general about 200% easier. There’s so much more you can do one-handed than no-handed.

–  She definitely has her nights and days squared away. She still wakes every 2, 3, very rarely 4 hours, but she’ll slip back to sleep with minimal fuss and holding. This means I’m getting more sleep, too, and I’ve noticed the difference. Right now I usually go to sleep around 7 or 8pm and wake up at 12 or 1am to switch shifts with Dr Lady. From then until 6 or 7am, I get a few 20min naps and, if I’m lucky, a full hour on the couch with her in the bouncer. Altogether I get a decent 6 hours each night and that’s apparently enough for me to be a real human being.

– Unfortunately, she’s become more sensitive to the bouncer turning off. She had been in deep enough sleep to sleep through that transition, but I guess the 1 month mental leap, where she’s supposed to be aware of more things, includes that. I’m fairly trained at this point to turn the bouncer back on while half asleep, so it’s almost like I get uninterrupted sleep, right??

– Re: sleep, she pulled an amazing 10 hours without peeing one night. I was so weirded out by her dry diaper that I googled it, but apparently this is normal once they really figure out the night/day thing. Of course she hasn’t done it since, but I’m hopeful. One last thing to do when she wakes at night = more sleep for me.

– We’ve caught a few non-gassy smiles, although they don’t seem  to be in response to anything yet. She’s expanded her noise repertoire beyond just crying and it’s super cute. She’s awake and content more and more during the day. She still hates tummy time with a passion. Her head and eyes will sometimes follow someone as they pass by, especially if it’s me.

One more week until peak fussy. I keep wanting to say things like, this ain’t so bad but I don’t want to jinx it, yet… it ain’t so bad. I think she is a pretty average baby. Phew.

 

Speck: With better sleep comes better moods. Of course, I’m not the one dealing with her evening fussy times, so.

I’m doing well with the healing. Honestly, I think I’m almost 100%. I’ve been on several 3+ mile walks and even went for two (very!) short runs last week. I had to lift and move around the weights in the garage, including the loaded barbell, and that all felt like it had before. And I can even do sit-ups again! My six week PP appointment is next week, so my goal this week is to get the garage gym ready for my return.

The hardest thing for me right now is being so stuck at home. Mom & dad took her on Sunday for part of the afternoon and Dr Lady and I went out by ourselves for the first time in five weeks. It felt so incredibly normal, like nothing had changed at all, and it wasn’t until we were on our way back home that I realized I hadn’t even texted to ask how baby was doing. Then I felt a bit guilty. But honestly, I trusted mom to let us know if something was wrong and it was just great not to really worry – well, except getting back in time to feed the baby.

I looove Lady Jr’s (relative) predictability. Most of the time, she will go 2-3 hours between feeds. Only in the evening and mid-morning does she sometimes cluster feed and get super fussy, so as long as I time it right, we can go out and run errands with her or go for walks or do other things without worrying she’ll get upset. I can take a shower every day because I know once she has her second morning feed, I’ve got 3 hours until she wakes up again. I leave the bathroom door open just in case, but I’ve long since stopped worrying she’s going to start screaming while I’m washing my hair or – gasp! – shaving my legs.

I just… it would be nice to be able to go out whenever or for longer. I know we’ll get there, and some of that is just becoming comfortable breastfeeding in public and some of that is her not having these twice (thrice?) daily fussy periods. One more week until peek fussy…

 

Dr LadyHaving a hard time. There’s some shit at work and when she comes home, Lady Jr is entering into her evening fussy period, so she doesn’t have much downtime. I’m trying to do what I can, but it all seems to come down to bad timing. Also five weeks of just-barely-enough sleep to function for Dr Lady is wearing on her when she has to be alert and awake during the day.

Also, you know, the not really seeing each other part. So very looking forward to when Lady Jr can sleep in our bedroom and we don’t have to do sleep shifts any more. I can see the light at the end of that tunnel, but the distance is deceptive.

She’s also having a lot of trouble with my dad, who voted for Trump. I am, too, but I’ve had a lot more practice with his bizarre politics. It’s particularly difficult right now, though, because he’s here, helping out – getting food, holding Lady Jr, painting the house, doing all sorts of little projects around the house – and yet he voted for that flaming trashpile of a human being. So on the one hand, I’m so very grateful for all his help, but on the other hand, he voted to fuck up the country and our family’s future. It’s difficult to reconcile and it hurt (still hurts) a lot, but he’s just so damn thoughtless sometimes.

Dr Lady is particularly worried because the birth certificate the hospital filled out for us has her listed as father. We’re trying to figure out if that will become an issue, but it’s so hard to know and we’re all in completely uncharted territory. It shouldn’t, but then our VP tried to criminalize miscarriages, so. Logic goes right out the window.

 

Anyway, all together things are going well at 5 weeks, at least on the baby front.

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Four Weeks Old

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Lady Jr: She’s gone through a lot of changes this week. She went from being awake and content and occasionally fussy and sleeping like a pro to almost always fussy while awake and taking a good solid hour of rocking and white noise and other tricks to get her to fall asleep. That coupled with a return to 2-3 hour feeding windows has made it hard on all of us.

That said, her neck control is improving almost daily. We went for a walk yesterday and she kept her head up for a good solid 15 minutes.

She’s officially out of newborn clothes and into 0-3. We’re not even bothering trying to fit any of the newborn outfits anymore because it’s just not worth it. Plus, we’ve got a ton more in 0-3 anyway.

As you can tell in the photo, she did her civic duty this morning. The poll peeps were delighted with her and I think we might have won for the youngest person at the polls. I’m just glad the line was relatively short and quick so she didn’t have time to wake up and fuss.

You can also tell that she has a bad case of baby acne. I’ve been using milk to treat it, but it’s like spraying for ants – they just keep coming back. Oh well. They’re not hurting her.

 

Speck: Oof. The 2-3 hour feeds are rough, especially when coupled with all the fussing and little sleep. I’ve been having a tough time of it and perhaps leaning a little too heavily on caffeine.

But the ergo carrier is still magical. I’m wearing Lady Jr right now, bouncing her at my stand-up desk as I write this. She just needs to sleep a liiittle longer (please please please).

I feel almost fully recovered from labor. Most everything is back in order and I’ve gone on multiple 3+ mile walks. I think I can probably segue back into more strenuous exercise, although I might have to do it behind my mother’s back. She doesn’t think I should be running until after six weeks, but I’m itching to run so bad. So if I get the chance I will, but we’ll just have to see. A certain someone has taken to waking up at 7 and staying awake, so.

I’m trying to participate in National Novel Writing Month this year, but it’s harder to find the time to write than I expected. If I could write without hands or even one hand, it would be a lot easier, but alas. So it often comes down to a choice between sleeping and writing, and well. :/

 

Dr LadyStill having difficulty balancing work and baby. She’s mostly gone down to half days at work for now and therefore going in later in the day, which has made mornings infinitely easier, but it’s still hard to find the time to bond with baby, get sufficient sleep, and get science done. Oh, and eat and shower, but we all know that’s not as important. 🙂

Her mother and aunt visited this weekend and while I love them to bits, holy wow do I understand now why people limit visits. It’s one thing having my mom and dad here, because their sole purpose is to make us food and hold the baby so we can eat/nap, but having someone here to just see us and the baby is a bit more difficult.

For better or worse, life revolves around Lady Jr right now, and visitors are an intrusion on that. Unless they, too, can briefly make their lives revolve around her, but that’s harder for someone coming into the mix. I get it. But when we only have so much awake time to take care of ourselves, it’s hard to be social. And if I don’t get my nap in the small window of time I can take it, it makes me cranky and resentful. :/

Let’s just say I am 100% glad I insisted we stay home for these first three months. I can’t imagine how tiring and disruptive travel would be right now.

 

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Three Weeks Old

3 Weeks

 

Lady Jr:

We’ve noticed a lot of changes this past week. She went through a bit of a growth spurt and now some of her newborn clothes are just too tight and some 0-3 outfits are no longer ridiculously big. Like the above – there’s room to grow but she’s no longer swimming in it.

Her cheeks are filling out and I swear she’s at least an inch or two longer. I would try to measure her, but there are so many other things to do while she’s sleeping.

Lady Jr also has much improved neck strength. She can move her head with a bit more finesse and even hold it upright in the carrier or while she’s being burped. She still doesn’t like tummy time all that much, but she’s making progress with her pushups. Well. She knows where to put her hands, at least.

She might be smiling? At least not just in response to gas. She sat on my lap this morning and we made faces at each other and it was kind of the most adorable thing.

Last but not least, she appears to be well on her way to sorting out night vs day. She’s now awake most of the afternoon, taking a 20min nap here and there and she is consistently treating 11pm/12am to 7am (10am?) as a sleepy stretch. I.E., she goes right back to sleep after every time she wakes to eat/get a diaper changed. She’s pretty inconsistent about how long she’ll sleep, though – anywhere from an hour to four (!!), which happened just last night. And the awake period can be pretty (very) taxing, because she’s really into cluster feeding and being upset about her existence.

 

Speck:

Off and on frazzled, but 100% glad I have help around the house so that at least food is being cooked and things cleaned up even when I feel like I spend half the day trying to entertain/calm a fussy baby. We’re still managing the sleep thing as best we can, so I get 3-4 hours in the evening before taking the night shift with baby. Since Lady Jr is actually sleeping decently during my part of the night shift, I can usually add in a handful of 30min naps and the occasional 1-2 hour stretch on top of those hours, so once the sun rises, I’m less zombie and more functional.

I walked three miles yesterday for the first time since August and felt pretty good after. A little sore in places, but doing way better than I was just a week ago. So I guess the post-partum recovery is going swimmingly. Already out of pads, although still occasionally spotting. Not feeling as weak and dizzy. Just tired, but that’s not going away any time soon. Also surprised by how well I’ve been doing mentally – those 3-4 hours I get at night go a long way towards staving off anxiety.

I also got some really exciting news last week, but I think I have to wait until the end of this week – or heaven forbid, next week – to share. But as soon as I can, I will. For now, all I can say is I’m still 100% stunned and having a difficult time wrapping my head around it.

 

Dr Lady:

Her first week back at lab went all right. She’s really glad to see Lady Jr in the evening and I think misses her throughout the day. Her first day away, she kept texting to check in on what was going on. So cute. 🙂

It is hard for her – for us – because she has to get up and gone by 8.30 or 9.30, which is around the time I was trying to go back to sleep, and then she gets home at 5 and I go to sleep again around 6 or 7. So we don’t really see each other as play pass the baby.

But it’s getting easier – as Lady Jr does better from 12am onwards, I’ve been able to get a little more sleep, and can therefore get up and stay awake by 7am… sometimes. And hopefully I’ll be able to start pushing back that 7pm bedtime for me, but not holding my breath.

 

Sleep, man. I’ve never talked this much about sleep and poop before.

 

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Two Weeks Old

Two Weeks Old

The last week has been even more of a blur. Lady Jr is transitioning out of the sleepy newborn phase and into a more regular wake/sleep cycle. And by regular, I mean no more 4-5 hour naps and now she can be awake for an hour or two. It seems that at least once a day she stays awake/fussy between feedings, but we’re trying to make sure she keeps getting her sleep – for her sanity and ours.

As of her appointment last Friday, she is officially up to and past her birth weight. 7lbs, 6oz! I was so pleased, with her and myself. For one, no more worrying about watching the clock and waking her to feed every 2-3 hours. For another, there is a lot of self doubt in that first week, because who knows how breast feeding is going to go, if you’re going to make enough or if she’ll be allergic to something or if she’ll have reflux or if she’s going to latch right and learn to get enough herself. But she’s on track with weight gain, which means we’ve both got this figured out. That’s one less thing to worry about.

We’ve also stopped trying to get her to sleep in the bedroom with us. Each time we attempted this, we all ended up with less sleep and it was just too difficult to function. Considering Dr Lady and I are both already flirting with sleep deprivation, we decided to just keep doing what was working, even if it’s less than ideal. So Dr Lady takes Lady Jr for part of the night and I take her for the other part and that we both definitely get sleep and can continue to function and care for this little bag of squish.

My parents are in town and helping out, just in time for Dr Lady to return to work. I can’t imagine doing this without help. I already spend seven to eight hours each night on baby duty, I would go crazy if I had to be on baby duty all day. They can at least take her and help her calm down while I get an extra hour or two of sleep.

Aside from the sleep dep, things are going well. Lady Jr is definitely getting fussier (which is normal), but I’m (usually) fairly confident I can calm her. Between white noise and swaddling and rocking and bouncing and sucking and reading and feeding and diapering and going for a walk, something will calm her down. I’m glad we have such a seemingly endless arsenal of things we can try because there have been more than a few times where we’ve exhausted most of those and still had a screaming baby.

I appreciate all of your comments and support on my last post. It’s so hard to remember that survival is the number one goal right now and not to try to do any more than that. There are moments when things are all around better and I think I can do more, but then – nope. I just need to accept that and this’ll be at least that much easier.

 

Last week I tried to do some fancy infant photos. I didn’t get too far, but here’s my fave:
Lady Jr inna hat

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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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