When Milla was a baby, I kept a diary of her first days in pen and paper format. Since she was born, blogs have appeared on the world scene. I started keeping track on this blog because honestly I had nothing else I was interested in writing about and this seemed as good a place as any to write about her. However, someday when I actually feel like writing about something other than Isabel, I would like to have this blog for that purpose so I set up a blog especially for Isabel. It is called Days of Isabel and can be found here if anyone is interested. In the meantime, this blog will continue to be what it has been. I will leave up the Isabel posts, although they are transferred completely to the other blog as well.
Fifteenth day of life.
Not much exciting to report. Today we went over to Gramma’s house for dinner because Daddy’s birthday was the day after Isabel’s. We had turkey dinner and Gramma, Aunt Sarah, and Cousin Caroline held Isabel. After dinner, Isabel and I took a nap that felt amazing. I’m so tired all the time, so any nap is welcome. Milla dressed doggy Ava up in baby clothes, then retired to the basement to play Rock Band and sing. Isabel and I slept through this. Other than that, we didn’t do much today. It was nice to relax. Isabel is beautiful. I took a lot of photos of her, but then left the camera at Gramma’s so I could not download them as I had hoped to do tonight. Ah well. I will get it done later.
Today Isabel is two weeks old. She had an adventurous day, of sorts. Considering she slept through most of it, I’m not sure how much of an adventure it really was.
First we went to Sauvie Island to the pumpkin patch. We were going to go to the main big one with the giant corn maze, but when we arrived at about 2 in the afternoon on a Saturday a couple of weeks before Halloween, we discovered that everyone else in Portland had the same idea. There was a line of cars a half a mile long on the road to the patch so when we got there, we just kept driving on past the patch. We told Milla we would come back during the week when things would likely not be as crowded. She was amenable to this when she saw the crowds and lines. We drove on around part of the island and in the process, discovered another, more unknown pumpkin patch with animals, caramel apples, a smaller corn maze, a hay maze, hayrides, orchards, and flowers.
Milla and Daddy went off in search of a pumpkin while Isabel nursed on my lap as I sat on a hay bale under a fruit tree. The sun was beaming and warm, and sitting under the heat nursing baby Isabel was quite pleasant. After she had milk I changed her diaper in the shade under another tree. By then Milla had found her pumpkin. She and I and the baby went to check out the corn maze and animals, I picked out a pumpkin for me, and Milla picked out a little one for Isabel. Milla pulled the wagon up to the checkout where we stopped first to buy caramel apples and cider before heading on our way. It was certainly an enjoyable afternoon.
Later in the day, Daddy was playing with the Portland Jazz Orchestra doing a tribute to Buddy Rich. Isabel and I went to watch him. The Jazz Orchestra is a 17 piece big band. I sat in the way back because I expected the music to be loud. It was loud, but Isabel slept through the whole thing. The only time she wiggled a bit was after a piece when the audience erupted in applause. She was not terribly fond of the clapping. The music was fantastic and the stories from the band member who played with the Buddy Rich band in the sixties were entertaining. It was a fun show.
After the show, right after I got Isabel strapped into her car seat, she pooped. I removed her from the car seat and changed her diaper in the front seat of the car, bundled her back up, strapped her in the car seat, whereupon she promptly pooped again. Silly girl!
Overall the day was lovely. Milla is looking forward to carving her pumpkin. I’m looking forward to sleep. Isabel is looking forward to milk. Easy goals, I think.
Twelfth day of life.
I love my baby. She is lying her on my arms as I type, completely sacked out. She is so cute. She just drank a bunch of milk and crashed. She loves her milk.
Today she had her second checkup with the midwives. They weighed her (8 pounds, 15 ounces) and pronounced that she would likely be back up to birth weight at two weeks after birth (this Saturday). They checked her belly button because it has been kind of oozy and said it looked normal and the ooziness would heal. They had to perform the second half of the heal stick test where they take blood to send to the state. Isabel did not like this but she didn’t flat out cry. Rather she whimpered. This was not fun for Mommy and Daddy.
I called a friend today who has been expecting a baby to adopt. It turns out his baby was born on the same day as Isabel! He and his wife have been waiting for a baby for nearly two years. I am so happy for them that they finally have a daughter to love.
I have been having baby loss fears like I had with Milla, where I worry about SIDS and other disasters taking my baby from me. I force the thoughts from my mind and do my best to avoid dangers, but the thoughts still lurk there, worries unbidden. I just love this little person so much and do not want anything to happen to her.
Today I bought her a night light for her changing table and some pictures of duckies to hang there as well. Cute stuff.
Oh, she just made me laugh. She is lying here sleeping on my lap and started to squirm a bit then pooted a big poot that made her jump, her eyes flying open in surprise. This made me giggle. Now that the bubble is out she is sleeping soundly again.
Isabel has more and more alert awake times. She coos and talks, waving her arms and making faces. She is a sweet baby. She is wonderful to sleep with. She wakes up to drink milk then falls promptly asleep. She hasn’t awakened to chat in the middle of the night in a few days, probably because she has been having an alert, awake time right before we go to bed. I am going to check and see if the next time she doesn’t have an alert, awake time right before bed if she wakes up in the middle of the night.
In spite of these mostly sleeping nights, I am still really tired and have been taking daily naps with her. I just can’t feel completely rested when the longest sleep stretch is three hours, but that will come later. I am enjoying having her this age. She is delightful. I love her so much and am so thankful she was born.
Tenth day of life.
Oh, tired. Tired to the bone. I sleep. I actually sleep many hours. I just don’t sleep that many in a row, so I’m tired. Isabel and I took three naps together today. I was falling over in my soup I was so tired. I had to just get up and go into the bedroom and lie down on the bed. Normally I tend towards insomnia and cannot sleep deeply without earplugs. Since my baby sleeps with me I am not using the earplugs and have learned to sleep without them. This is useful. The funny thing is when I had bad insomnia and was a walking zombie I could not fall asleep without them. Maybe it helps to be flooded with baby love hormones.
Isabel has a cold. I have instituted a no visitors policy. When visitors do come again, they cannot touch my baby without first washing their hands. She has congestion and this morning she had a fever. She is so tiny, I hate her feeling ill at this age. Apparently it is good for the immune system, but I still don’t like my babies to be sick. Breastfeeding helps, considering it has immunities in it she doesn’t have and won’t for a couple of years. She has been drinking a lot of milky.
Cutting the frenulum helped immensely with nursing. She gulps her milk now. I have also discovered that I basically cannot eat sugary things at all. It gives us both gas. Since making this discovery both of us have felt better in the gas department. I wasn’t even eating that much, just dessert after a meal. I don’t sit around forking candy into my face or anything. But the amount was enough to bother both of our digestive systems, so no more for me. I’ll have fruit for dessert instead. It’s healthier anyway.
Thoughts certainly fritter off into the ether when I’m tired. I had a thought about something I wanted to write when I was writing about fruit for dessert and by the time I get here the thought is gone. This is how it has been for me, but oh well, I have a baby to love so I don’t care.
Lara Gardner’s Weblog, so long full of angst and loneliness, heartache and concern, now a lovefest to her new baby. I’m giddy in love with this little person. She is lying here nursing right now and making these little hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm noises between gulps. Her little right hand is resting on her cheek, her left hand on her chest. She is so relaxed, so content, such a delightful little human. She sighs, then hmms, then takes another drink. Pure and utter bliss. How boring I must be to read right now! I don’t even care. How wonderful it is to be bathed in gobs of loviness. I cannot complain.
Today we went to the little shop where I bought her g diapers because I could not figure out how to use them properly. I bought a couple of newborn sizes, and received several small sizes from Daddy’s mom. The newborn ones didn’t work. The small ones were too big. It turns out that the cloth inserts really don’t work that well when they are really little. There are disposable, biodegradable inserts that work for these little ones. We went and bought some of these inserts and lo and behold, they work! I’m pleased because we have been using some disposable ones, but they just aren’t as soft. They are supposed to be biodegradable. Maybe that is why they aren’t very soft, but the non-biodegradable ones aren’t soft either, so that’s probably not it. They just aren’t cloth, which is softer. That’s all there is to it.
Our little dog Ava is very curious about the baby, but she is also very good. She sits a bit of a distance away and leans her head forwardly, cautiously sniffing. What is that thing? she seems to ask. She looks at the baby, then looks at me, then looks back at the baby, giving her a good sniff. Between Milla, Ava, and Isabel, we live in the land of cuteness. It is nice place to be.
Sixth day of life.
Tomorrow it will have been a week since Isabel was born. Wow. What an amazing week. The first days with a baby are so visceral, so present. I love it. I spend time simply looking at her, memorizing her face, her hands, her feet, her body. Baby love is wonderful. Pure bliss.
Today was an eventful day for Miss Isabel. She had her first pediatrician visit, and because she had a short frenulum, her first surgical procedure. I really like our new pediatrician. He is a naturopathic doctor, very practical and down to earth. I adore his bedside manner. He’s been a physician for years, and his relaxed manner and confidence is evident in all he does.
As I said, Isabel had a short frenulum. The midwives pointed this out the day she was born, but I didn’t think anything of it. After five days of nipple hell though, I decided to look up the ramifications of it. One of the most common is the inability to latch on properly. Isabel was doing her darndest to try, but it just wasn’t working. Her little tongue didn’t reach far enough. No wonder she was nursing all the time–she was hungry!!
All the websites on short frenulums (otherwise known as being tongue-tied) said clipping it was quick and painless. I’ll agree with the former, but to call the procedure painless isn’t quite accurate. The doctor takes a pair of scissors and clips the skin under the tongue, the frenulum. It is a cutting and it stings and bleeds. Isabel cried for a minute until she was able to get on my breast, but I have little doubt the mini wound was sore for a little while. I’ve cut that skin before and it smarts. Things seemed to heal up quickly though, and the differences while nursing are remarkable. The procedure was definitely worth it. Isabel gets tons of milk now and her constant nursing has stopped. The nipples appear to be on the mend, although they are still very sore. They had cracks and scabs on them. Ouch!
Later this evening my friend Sara came to visit, bringing her little daughter Leah and dinner for the two of us. Daddy had a concert tonight and Milla went to watch him, so it was girls’ night here with my friend and our daughters. It was a pleasant way to spend the evening.
Milla came home excited from the concert. She apparently fell asleep at the end of the first set and then danced through the second! Silly girl. She loves big band music. She also loves dressing up, so the evening provided her with pleasure on both counts.
Tomorrow it will be a week. This has been one of the best weeks of my life, filled with baby love.
Fifth day of life.
Today was fairly uneventful. Miss Isabel decided to be awake again last night, which was actually pretty wonderful. She woke and ate around 1:30, then woke again around 3:30 and was up for about an hour and a half. We went into Milla’s room to hang out because Milla has some pretty butterfly lights she leaves on at night. The light in her room is cozy and warm, perfect for a middle of the night Mama/Daughter hangout. Isabel cooed and kicked, waved her arms, stretched her neck, and looked directly at me, practicing using her eyes. Long-legged Milla snuggled next to us, the dog at the foot of the bed. It was a most pleasant manner in which to spend the darkened hours.
Once we went back to bed, Isabel awoke again around 7 for some milky, then fell promptly asleep until 11. We both slept until 11 actually. When she woke up she stayed awake for several hours. We went for a quick visit to the store and she slept the entire time in the front-pack carrier. We also had 2 visitors. My friend Rita came for an hour at 2 and my friend Kathleen came for a couple of hours at 6. Both times she slept through the visits except to have a small bit of milk. I guess those long stretches of being awake just wore her out.
Seriously? I am in love. I know I have said it before, but it is true. Baby bliss is truly blissful and amazing. I love it.
Fourth complete day, starting the fifth.
Today Isabelle pooped. The funny thing about babies is that it is easy to be happy about things like poop. She has not pooped since the first day of her life when she pooped a bunch of meconium. This isn’t much of a surprise since my milk really didn’t come in fully until yesterday so she has only been eating colostrum, which generally doesn’t make poop. Today she pooped really early this morning, like 3:30 a.m. Then she did it again this evening. Sweet darling little pooper.
Last night was very different than the night before. Something I learned with Milla is that the only thing one can count on with babies is that the will always change patterns on you. Isabelle is too young to have developed any patterns anyway, so I’m just observing how she is. The night before she was awake for several hours. Last night she ate at 12:30, then woke up at 3:30, fell promptly asleep after, then woke again at 7:30 and fell promptly asleep after. She had a couple of days where she was awake a lot. Today she was asleep a lot.
Today was also her first venture into the world outside. I needed several baby things and also really just wanted to get out of the house so she had her first car ride and visit to the store. She slept the entire way to the first store and through the whole visit. I wore her in my front pack and she snuggled against me. Oh, I love her so much.
We then needed to go to JC Penney because we need a curtain to cover this high window in our room, the light through which really bothers Isabelle. It is in the wall behind our bed so when I sit and nurse the light comes right in at her face. I also needed some nursing bras. This trip was exhausting. I fed her in the car before we went in, but she did not want to be in the carrier anymore and was awake. I did not want her hanging out in the mall. I hate malls and especially did not want my tiny baby there. We sat in the curtain area and she nursed some more, but when we tried putting her in the carrier with Daddy, she got upset again, so I just carried her to bras. They did not have a bra with a normal fastener.
An aside here. Why is it all the maternity bra companies have gone to these horrible clips that cannot be opened with one hand? Is it a conspiracy by formula companies to keep women from breastfeeding? Damn annoying.
Anyway, I nursed her a bit again in the bra section, then just put her in the carrier. She fell promptly asleep. We decided to look for bras at Motherhood Maternity since we were already there, I was tired, and wanted to get something and get it done. The trouble is that store is at the other end of the mall. The walk there and back wore me out completely. Motherhood Maternity bras had the same unworkable clasp as every brand at Penney’s so I just gave up, resolving to look on the internet. I fell asleep in the car on the way home I was so tired.
Now we are home and Isabel is still asleep. After I get off the computer I get to snuggle and nurse my little baby again. Right now Isabel, Milla, and Ava the dog are sprawled across the bed sleeping together. I love my girls. They are wonderful.