Lu is four weeks old today! I’m sure I’m the first mother to ever say this, but how did that happen?
It’s about 2:40 PM, and it’s that magical moment when both children are sleeping, so I’ll attempt an update and see how far I get…
This girl is easy. Her labor, the first few weeks, everything. She sleeps like a champion, eats well, and cries little. In fact, sometimes I wish that she wasn’t sleeping so much in the night… I’ve had to wake up and pump because she’s in such a deep slumber – for 8 hours at a time! Even in her first week!
So, most notably, Lu is a phenomenal sleeper. Sometimes I wonder to myself if she’s even awake for more than a couple of hours in a 24 hour period. I even kind of worry about it.
Yesterday, I think I may have gotten my first smile. I was nuzzling her neck and making kissing noises, and every time I pulled back, she opened her mouth wide, the corners turned up ever so slightly. She’s also started sticking her tongue out when I stick mine out at her.
Yup. That’s about it. I look at Lily, and she’s a marvel (to me) of development: running, swimming, talking, joking, dancing… (Throwing tantrums, refusing help…) On the flip side, Lu is pretty much the easiest little thing ever: she eats, she sleeps, she nuzzles her little face into my chest, she fills diapers. I remember Lily’s first month as a sea of anxiety. Nursing was painful and hard; recovering from labor was painful and hard; adjusting to life as a parent was painful and hard… I don’t think Lily was a particularly difficult infant, but she cried, she woke up in the night, her jaundice made feeding harder, and between all of those things (and mastitis, and thrush, and an infected episiotomy), I was pretty wrecked.
I’m also realizing that I had post-partum with Lily. I think I didn’t name it as such because I misunderstood what post-partum was: I thought it was disliking your baby or not wanting to be a mom, which is awful really. It’s crazy that one out of four women have post-partum and there isn’t better education as to what it looks like/feels like out there. For me, it was anxiety that I wasn’t doing a good enough job and feeling like a failure all the time. With Lu, and I know I’m not quite in the clear because a lot of women have the hardest time at around four months, I’m feeling more confident. Nursing for the second time is nearly painless, my labor was relatively quick and easy, and I recovered very quickly. I don’t worry about Lu as much or put as much pressure on myself, because I pretty much think that she’ll tell me when she needs to eat, I’ll cuddle her and give her love, I hold her as much as I can, and what else does she really need? My new mantra is “babies are simple.” I’m taking Ina May Gaskin’s advice from my labor (let your monkey do it, don’t overthink it) and parlaying it to motherhood. She needs food, love, sleep, and to be changed. That’s about it.
The hard part, the part that I have beat myself up about (even though I know I shouldn’t), is Lily. I worry about being good enough for both of them, spending enough time with both of them. On top of that, Lily really is more challenging. Between hitting 2 years and change, plus having a new baby sister, the tantrums have emerged in full force. It just destroys me to see her melt into a sobbing, sweating, screaming, (kicking, hitting, “no-ing”) mess. She throws her arm out, telling me to go away, “no!” I just want to pick her up and rock her and tell her how much I love her, but my hands are full or she doesn’t want me to. But more on Lily later.
Lu was 8 pounds about a week and a half ago, so I’m guessing that at four weeks, she’s about 8 pounds 10 oz. She’s been gaining an oz. a day pretty steadily, so that’s why my guess is so precise. At her two day and two week check ups, she went down to 7 pounds and then up to 7 pounds 10 oz, so none of that scary 10 percent weight loss in the first two weeks. She also never got jaundice, even though she was at higher risk because she’s an A and I’m an O (Lily is an O too, but she was much more bruised from labor).
Our only scares with Lu have to do with vomiting. Before her two week appointment, we went in because she had been vomiting large amounts. In turn, her pediatrician scheduled a same-day ultrasound, just to be safe. Luckily, the ultrasound didn’t show any concerns, and for the next few days, she didn’t vomit much. Then we went camping. On day one, she puked twice. On day two, three times, and on day three, four, and so on. We left early from our camping trip and went in to see the doctor. They prescribed a medicine for acid reflux, and she’s been much, much better ever since.
So, in our first four weeks, Lu has: gone to City Park Jazz twice, met her Nana, Grandma, Boobah, Zeydah, Auntie Hannah, Uncle Eamon, Auntie Sarah, and many of our friends. She has taken four or five baths (is that weird that it’s so little?), slept through the night more nights than I can count, and even been camping for three nights. We’ve been to the Botanic Gardens three times and when Joshua went back to work last Monday (when she was three weeks), we spent a few mornings at the Ps. On Friday, we took Lily to toddler yoga, and Lu (predictably) slept through the whole thing. She was also a perfect date for our anniversary on the 11th when Joshua and I went to Duo, as tradition demands.
– Likes: Lu likes being held face in and upright, she also is not adverse to the cradle hold. She’s a quick nurser (I don’t think she’s ever nursed longer than 10 minutes at a time), and she’s usually only interested in one breast at a time. She likes being held, and I like wearing her best in the “moby” that I made (pink!) and in the k’tan. She loves sleeping and she likes laying on her back under the hanging woodland animals (thanks Stacy!). She likes the bouncer and the swing. She loves her mommy and daddy and sister.
– Dislikes: Lu does not like bottles. We’ve tried a few times, and she’s probably had less than 2 oz total. Not interested in pacifiers, either. They seem to make her madder. She does not like the 7 to 9 o’clock hour, and she hates her acid reflux medicine. She’s not a fan of my letdown, either.
– Traits: Lu has a sensitive digestive system (I’ll let you fill in the symptoms), but she’s very, very easy going. She cries very little and doesn’t seem bothered by too terribly much. Joshua and I are predicting a constitution and personality like her daddy and a face like her mommy. (We think Lily is the opposite.)
Lily is just shy of 28 months, and oh man, is she fun. She’s a handful, but the developmental marvels I mentioned are a hoot. I especially love watching her language emerge. I’m stunned by novel sentences and the replication of words I’m certain she’s heard no more than once or twice.
These days, Lily likes: playdough, her kitchen set, mangoes, band-aids, boo boo buddy (an ice pack in the shape of sponge bob), peeling the shell off of eggs (and eating them), walking, play grounds, spotting airplanes, swimming, spending time with her grandparents and her many “aunties” and “uncles,” kissing her sister, dressing (and undressing) Dixie (her dolly), and playing ball.
Lily dislikes: having things done for her, being left alone to fall asleep, having her hair done, getting water in her eyes, and her pull ups with zigzag lines (she prefers the polka dots).
Traits: Lily is very particular about her appearance. She likes to pick out her outfits every morning, and she determines her hair style. Lily is a pretty good eater, especially if we eat in courses (she’ll always go for the sweetest, most dairy filled thing first, if left to her own devices). She’s reserved in big groups and anywhere she’s not familiar, and she loves to “people watch” (her words). Lily is full of life and kind. She gives hugs and kisses and says, “miss you!” indiscriminately. Her face is incredibly expressive, and she’s adorable.
The past couple of months have brought a lot of change. Between moving and having a new sister, Lily has been extra sensitive. There have been more tantrums and some regression in potty training, but overall, she’s adjusting. She’s sweet with Lu, giving lots of kisses and asking at regular intervals where here sister is.
There’s no way I could record all of the cute and sometimes less than cute details of Lu and Lily’s growing up. Nearly every day, Lily says something that I tell myself I need to remember, I need to write down. She’s hilarious. I often feel like I want to hit pause and keep them this age; I don’t want to forget a single detail.
Ok. It’s 11:30 PM now, and I’m feeling a bit brain-dead, so I’m going to hit publish and call it a night.