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Emilia: 6 Weeks old

14 May

What a week! We celebrated my 30th birthday AND Mother’s Day as well as a number of other “firsts.” Like my first trip back to the gym, a dinner out with my friend Lauren, my first solo trip with Emilia to Target, and our first family trip to brunch.

My birthday was absolutely amazing. Brian put together this hilarious video of friends and family wishing me the best for my 30th, treated me to some beautiful flowers and tear-inducing cards, and even coordinated to have my favorite Italian sub delivered to the house during the day as a surprise. I was out for a walk with E at the time, but arrived home to find the entryway perfumed with the scent of Italian hots and delicious french fries.

My friend Lauren flew in from Cleveland on Friday, so we met up for the day and did an early dinner at Dali in Sommerville. Some highlights from the night, in addition to a delicious tapas dinner and pitcher of sangria include the hostess complimenting both of our necklaces and commenting how similar they are, then excitedly saying: You’re best friends, aren’t you?! I can totally tell! I dress like my best friend too! Hahaha. We quickly showed her that we were also wearing the same bracelet, too.

 Emilia was pretty fussy all day so I wasn’t as able to primp before our big “birthday night out” dinner date to Lineage, but I didn’t really mind since we managed to make it through all the traffic to Brookline just in time for $1 oysters. Definitely one of the highlights of my birthday — finally being able to enjoy some oysters for the first time post-pregnancy. At dinner, Brian gave me the rest of my gift, in addition to this, which was an assortment of clothes he’d picked out for me after I’d complained about how nothing fit me right anymore but I didn’t have any time to go out to shop for myself. He is the sweetest. I actually wore the pretty cream maxi dress he selected on Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day was lovely. Brian did such a sweet job making it special for me starting with the sweet card he had Emilia “give” to me. His card had me in tears. He also personalized a sweet necklace for me with Emilia’s name and his initial, along with a little charm silhouette for a girl from a company called Merci Maman. I just love seeing her name every time I put it on!

We started the morning off with a delicious brunch in Newton at Farmstead table where everyone oohed and ahhed over Emilia and happily wished me a happy first Mother’s Day. That might have been my favorite thing about the day — how so many people asked if she was my first baby and then sweetly wished me a happy first Mother’s Day.

We walked around Newton center for a bit after brunch, then got ice cream at J.P Licks before heading home to cool off before my family met up with us to head into the Boston Public Garden. The tulips were out and the light was perfect. It was the perfect close to a wonderful first Mother’s Day!

Some of the things I want to remember about Emilia at 6 weeks old are:

– The  “super hero” pose she does when she wakes up. She arches her back and neck and extends one fist up above her head as one leg bends into a figure four, like she’s about to take flight. It’s hilarious! I also love how she keeps her eyes closed, all scrunched up, and raises her eyebrows which pulls the corners of her mouth down, so she looks like this little grump who was disturbed from slumber.

– Her “poop face!” Sorry, E. I don’t want to embarrass you here! I can always tell when she’s about to poop because she’ll pull off and stop eating and get really serious. Her eyes become really focused, but not on mine, and her little lips purse and her firsts curl. Then there’s usually some grunting.

– The snuggles on my chest. Lately, she’s been very into falling asleep hugging my chest as I sit on the couch. While she’s still drowsy, she’ll snuggle one cheek above my heart for a few seconds, then turn her face so the other cheek is on me, repeatedly, nuzzling me. It must be a self-soothing technique because before long she’ll settle and I’ll hear her snoozes and check her to see her eyes closed, her face relaxed so peacefully, and her mouth smooshed open against my chest. It’s a struggle to force myself to put her down because it is the cutest.

– Her smiles and coos. This is definitely the week of the more regular smiles! She regularly “chats” with her daddy when she’s on her changing pad and I’ve been chatting with her after feedings, when I switch sides. I tuck my feet into a cubby on the coffee table and prop her on my knees, facing me and sing scales. When I pause, she’ll coo to me, like she’s trying to imitate me. I melt every time I hear her little voice! But it’s also the expression in her eyes. She so wants to talk! It’s adorable. Yesterday I tried “meow-ing” and barking like a puppy and she loved it. She cooed SO MUCH with every meow. I might have sounded crazy, but there isn’t much I won’t try if it means I can hear her sweet little voice trying to communicate with me.

– That everyone says how gorgeous and beautiful you are — not just “cute” or “adorable.”  I can’t go anywhere without being stopped by someone who wants to know how old you are because they can’t believe how alert you are. Usually they guess you are 3 or 4 months old.

6 weeks old — May 7th, 2015

Breastfeeding Update 2: One Month In

30 Apr

   
 What a roller coaster. The pain of the first two weeks seems like a distant memory now that we’re a month in and I’m relieved to be able to share that I longer dread the next feeding or have emotional, “I-can’t-do-this” meltdowns every few days! Wahoo! Progress, eh? I haven’t had to use the APNO or Soothie Gel Pads since about 2.5 weeks, or “prepare” before each feeding with warm compresses (and prayers that she’ll latch well)!

The other day, I even said how much I loved breastfeeding. Out loud. I couldn’t have imagined that three weeks ago but I totally get it now. It’s almost addicting how much I crave feeding her; it’s so bonding. It makes sense though, since oxytocin is released while you breastfeed. There are times when I’ll tell Brian, “let’s do a bottle for the next feed”, usually only because I don’t want to waste the pumped milk in the fridge, then as that hour approaches, change my mind and decide to nurse anyway. I can’t really explain it — it’s crazy! 

I raced home from a solo grocery store run the other night when I felt my milk let down (it’s a tingly, pins and needles feeling). I was so worried that I’d miss a chance to nurse and snuggle her.

We definitely turned a corner and hit our groove around 2.5 weeks and I got into a nice routine with Emilia. We’d sit on the couch, I’d have a movie or some tv shows DVR’d and ready to go,  a huge glass of water with a bendy straw, and some sort of snack, and we’d spend about 45-minutes to 1-hour on a feeding session start to finish when you figure in the time for burping, soothing and a diaper change. 

But then around week 3, we think she must have hit a growth spurt and started to cluster feed and fuss at 7 pm every single evening and I got SO worn out. And then in the last week, she’s started to fuss a LOT more at the breast before and during feedings, leading me to worry that something I’m eating is causing her tummy troubles or if she suffers from reflux. She’d been easily nursing on both sides, then suddenly in week 4, refusing my right breast and screaming her head off when placed on her back to nurse. It’s been awful. Paired with her limited napping and increased need for snuggles ON me, I’ve felt really worn out and exhausted lately and can’t get anything done most days. 

We talked to her pediatrician earlier today about all this and decided to try having me eliminate dairy and chocolate in case those are bothering her tummy. I’ve been craving hot cocoa for weeks now, and sometimes drink two cups a day, totally not realizing that hot coco is chocolate — duh. And one of the 10 foods to be wary of while breastfeeding. Oops! So that one makes sense and I hope is what the problem has been. 

I may also try pumping on just the one side she is having trouble on, for now, to keep up supply, until she grows out of this fussy stage. 

It’s weird because she’ll take that side sometimes, but not always. This morning we even successful nursed in side-lying position which we haven’t successfully been able to do so far. It was really nice! I actually snoozed a bit while she nursed this morning and must have fallen back asleep because when I woke, she’s finished and was peacefully snoozing in front of my chest, a little milk mustache and beard splashed on her sweet little face to show for her nursing efforts. I melted. And then proceeded to stare at her, propped up on my elbow for about 45 minutes this morning. 

This was really useful info I wanted to share about milk production

Emilia: Three Weeks Old

16 Apr
Dear Emilia, 
 
You’re three weeks and three days old and we are so completely in love with you that it hurts. Sometimes after I feed you, I just sit with you on my chest or in my arms, snuggling you and inhaling your sweet baby scent. You are SO CUTE after you’ve had a really good feeding. 

We jokingly refer to this state as “milk drunk” because your whole body relaxes into this peaceful, languid state; you smack your lips in the cutest little satisfied way, and you usually have milk on your chin or lip. It is adorable. 
 
You’ve grown so much since you were born. You’re starting to get some rolls! Your little butt is still non-existent though and you have little chicken legs that still scrunch up toward your body. (I’ll miss it so much when you stop doing that.)

You love to look around.Your neck is so strong and you’re constantly lifting your head and pushing up on your arms for a better view when we put you up on our shoulder to burp you.  On the rare occasions that you fuss and cry, but aren’t hungry, wet, or tired, I think you’re just bored and want a change of scenery from the bedroom or couch, so I’ll walk all over the house with you, talking you through the sights to check out in each room. You especially love the bathroom shower curtain and the headboard in our bedroom.
 
We wish we knew what you’re always looking at, but you definitely follow things with your eyes. To distract your during diaper changes, we keep a little stuffed lamb near the changing pad and you’re not just looking at it anymore; you’re starting to grab it. You HATE being held too flat on your back. Usually I assume it’s because you have a little gas, but the more we get to know you, the more I’m starting to think it’s because you prefer the view! I love the little glimpses of your personality that we’re starting to see. 
 
Occasionally, you smile in your sleep, but we know these aren’t intentional. We can’t wait for real smiles!! Hopefully, soon! 
 
Breastfeeding is finally improving, too thankfully. To say that the past three weeks have been a challenge is an understatement. We’re old pro’s at latching on the left side at this point and I’m able to nurse easily in cross cradle and even reclining position, which I absolutely love, but we still struggle with the right side. We’ve done a few bottles here and there, but I noticed you didn’t latch or suck normally after having the bottle, which I’d read can happen, so we’re going to try to stick exclusively with breastfeeding until we’ve both really got it down. I think we finally turned a corner as far as the pain I’d been experiencing, though. I’m actually getting to the point where I look forward to feedings and love the time we get to spend bonding (and snuggling) afterwards. 
We gave you your first “real” bath on your 3-week birthday and you LOVED it. You are a very calm, mellow baby in general, but the warm water soothed you even more. It was so fun to watch your face as you experienced the warm water. You loved having your hair washed too. You looked practically comatose after we finished and had you toweled off.
 
This past week we slept apart for the first time since coming home from the hospital. I was so exhausted and sore from sleeping with you in the crook of my arm every night that we tried doing a few hours in the rock n play, and you slept beautifully for 2.5-3 hours. It’s been about 4 nights now, and I miss co-sleeping already. When you’d co-sleep with me, I’d keep you in just a diaper and bolster you with the snoogle to protect you from being rolled on, but now that you’re in the rock n play, I usually swaddle you snugly with an Aden & Anais swaddle blanket. I LOVE those things! I can get the snuggest wrap with them, of all the swaddles we’ve tried. 
You must be going through a growth spurt or maybe experiencing “the witching hour” because for the past 3 nights, you’ve inconsolably cried starting right around 6:30-7 PM. You won’t eat, you don’t have a dirty diaper, you won’t sleep, and you don’t want to be put down. I’ve Googled just about everything under the sun and assume it’s either a growth spurt or gas. It breaks my heart to hear you cry so hard!!
  

 We took SO many walks outside this week since it was so beautiful out. We’ve covered almost the entire neighborhood at this point; we even ventured all the way to Starbucks once last week. 
  

  

 Today we brought you for a walk around the Boston Public Garden. The city was so busy since tomorrow is Patriot’s Day, or “Marathon Monday.” We can’t wait to take you on the swan boats once they’re open for the season. 

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