Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The first month

Apparently I lied, and the birth story is still pending.  Because I haven't even started it yet, so clearly it's not done yet. 

Instead I will share with you the minutiae of Greta's first month on this earth.

She came home two days after she was born, and the next day her Grandmother arrived.  We planned that trip in advance, but the timing worked out perfectly.  Even just one night with two parents and two children was rough, so we were thankful for her arrival.  She stayed for three weeks, and the third week Greta's uncle came out.  We were sad/terrified to see them go, but have adjusted well.  Over the past week, Greta has started to give us a consistent 5 hour stretch at night.  This is usually followed by 2 hours of total wakefulness, and a couple more hours of fitful sleep.  However, a couple nights in the past week she has eaten and then gone straight to back to sleep.  So hopefully that becomes a thing. 

The night of rough sleep is usually followed by MJ waking up at 7 o'clock.  We put a fake clock that has hands permanently at 7 o'clock to put next to her real clock, and have told her she can't leave her room until they match.  It works, sort of. 

Although breastfeeding has been challenging, I am proud to say she hasn't had a drop of formula.  We spent most of our month pumping and bottle feeding, but this past week we've been nursing more.  Last night I nursed her when she woke up, she ate and fell right back asleep.  It was awesome.  I hope it happens again.  I've gone for half a day now without pumping, just breastfeeding, and it seems to go pretty well.  She's still pretty slow, but getting faster, sometimes about 30-40 minutes.  I actually think we might have luck just breastfeeding at this point, but I'm so nervous about having my supply tank that I just don't want to go there.  I'm so used to freezing some every day that if I go a day without I get nervous that my supply is going down.  I've purposely tried to reduce my supply a bit just so I'm more comfortable, and then I found myself nervous and ramped it up again.  It has definitely been a 2-steps-forward 1-step-back endeavor, but we're getting there.  Not sure what our plan is now, we'll just take it day by day and do whatever seems to be working. 

As for Miss Greta, we got our first smile out of her last Friday, two days shy of 4 weeks.  It was absolutely amazing.  Her smiles are still few, but I find myself working hard to earn them.  She's absolutely addicted to her Nuk; not much for swaddling, but it helps keep the Nuk in so she'll tolerate it.  She's been sleeping in a rock n' play next to our bed, has yet to even take a nap in her crib.  We'll get there, I suppose.  Hasn't even crossed my mind to try, yet.  I enjoy having her close.  I have also loved the month of cuddling.  The first week or two I found myself addicted to holding her.  I felt like I was going through withdrawals if I woke up after a stretch of sleep without having her in my arms.  I've become a little more sane about it now.  I spend enough time holding her every day that my arm hurts, and that has been enough to satisfy me.  As much as I have loved this cuddly newborn stage, the smiles have reminded me how much fun there is to come. 

MJ has really been a phenomenal big sister.  No part of her seems jealous of the time or attention that Greta receives.  She loves being helpful, and is expert at helping pop Greta's Nuk back in when she spits it out.  Greta was born with a wound on her hand from sucking on it so much, so the suck reflex is strong in her.  Although at first she was a bit rough with Greta (not in a mean way, just in a rambunctious toddler sort of way) she has become more gentle and seems to understand the need to be calm around her.  I know much will change when Greta is older, but I couldn't ask for a better start to their future relationship. 

It concerns me a bit that no part of me is missing work.  A month spent with an infant; shouldn't I miss the company of adults?  I do miss that a bit, but it's not like I had much company at work, most of it was silent computer stuff.  Three more months to go.  That doesn't sound like enough at this point. Already the thought of leaving this peanut is rough.

That's all I've got for the moment.  As for the photos, I'm hoping that will be easier to sustain than the little signs I made last time.  Only time will tell.  Soon, I'm sure she'll want to knock them over. 

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