Let's recap a bit. Everyone always says that the first few weeks home with a newborn are the hardest. I didn't find that to be the case at all. The first few weeks home were the easiest. Celena slept all the time, and was only awake to eat. Yes she was a pooping machine, but we got into a routine of change, eat, sleep, repeat. She ate about every 3 hours for 30 mins or so. She was content, she was quiet, and she loved sleeping!
For the first 4.5 weeks, her newborn clothes fit perfectly, and she was still in newborn diapers. She had gained back up to her birth weight by 2 weeks home. Thank goodness. She got a decent amount of diaper rashes (she has my poor sensitive skin, sorry kid!), and we would load her with Desitin, even using sensitive diapers. I will say that I am looking forward to when she fits into our cloth diapers. (I'm hoping to start her on the Green Mountains with covers next week. Just need to pick up a pail liner.)
Celena never really latched well onto my nipples. Apparently mine are inverted and pretty small. So we've been using a shield since about day 3. I've tried numerous times without, and it doesn't seem to work. I didn't pump much at the beginning either. I was more focused on keeping her freshly fed.
At 4 weeks, I was feeling the serious need to get out and socialize, without my little lady. Thankfully the playgroup I joined was having a Mom's Night Out that Friday night, and my in laws were kind enough to come watch our little girl. Since I didn't have a large supply in the fridge, I had picked up some formula. Earth's Best has a Sensitive with low lactose that we gave a shot. She took it just fine, but after a few days of substituting feedings with it, I noticed she was straining to poop a lot more, to the point she was screaming. I had a feeling it might be the formula, so we stopped for a week, and now she seems to be fine.
Which leads us to now.....
I've been attempting to pump in the mornings and build up a supply in the freezer for the nights I want to sneak out for a bit. (Honestly, it's more for when I head back to the gym, and she'll need to eat while I'm gone.) I've noticed that the mornings is the only time my supply is enough, that I can pump and she's not ravenous the rest of the day. If I pump in the afternoon or evenings, she can never seem to get enough. Like last night. I pumped 3oz in the morning, then another 3 at 3:30pm. Well at 5pm the girl was starving, and ate for 45 mins, rested for 30 mins, then ate for another 45 mins. You'd think that would be enough. Nope! She then continued to eat both 3 oz bottles of BM I had pumped that day. Huge fail, and me losing my mind. Thank goodness hubby was home, and gave her the bottles. I needed a break at that point.
The last 1.5 weeks have been the hardest, to be honest. Once she hit a month old, she ramped up her eating sessions to 40-50 mins at a time. Some days she eats every 2 hours, then others it's every 4 hours. I've been trying to get her more on a schedule, but it doesn't seem to be working. So I am feeding on demand. We have implemented a bedtime though, at 10pm. She usually gets hungry around that time, so I've been bringing her up to her room then. We change her diaper, then nurse, burp, and put her in her crib. Yes, she has been moved to her crib! She's sleeping more soundly and doing about a 5 hour stretch (11pm-4am) then another 3-4 hour stretch. I feel very fortunate that she's only averaging 1 nighttime feeding. We've been using a fleece sleep sack with the swaddle sides, which seems to be working great. She's cozy and falls right to sleep.
So why has the last couple weeks been the hardest? Cluster feedings and less daytime naps. That about sums it up. The longer nursing sessions don't bother me one bit. But she's been staying awake for about an hour after each feeding, then resting for 1-2 hours after. But before she falls asleep, she fusses for a good 10-20 mins. Not screaming, just fussing. Most of the time she'll pass out after, but there's been days where she just won't give in. There's been days she's eaten every other hour from 9am to 4pm. There's been days she sleeps for a 4 hour stretch. All I can say is that she's growing like a weed, so whatever she needs to do, I go along with.
At her last appointment this past Monday, she was up from 6lbs 14oz to 8lbs 14oz! She gained 2lbs in 3 weeks! She also grew a full inch in that time, she's now 22". Her cheeks are more filled out and her thighs have some good lookin' rolls now. She's getting that cute baby pudge, and it's freakin' adorable!
Me on the other hand, I have healed so well, and so fast. I feel great. We've been doing some family walks on the weekends, each week increasing our pace and distance. In the first 2 weeks postpartum, I lost 13lbs total. In the last 3 weeks, I'm down another 12lbs. I'm only 11lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight, 28lbs from my "happy body" weight, and 40lbs from my truly healthy weight. I'm just hoping to get to my happy body weight at some point, then focus on my truly healthy weight. All in due time though. (I keep reminding myself that it took 9 months to put this weight on, well really over 9 months, thanks to IVF meds and some poor diet choices, so it's going to take at the very least 9 months to take it off. I'm giving myself until her 1st birthday to get most of the weight off. I think that's a fair goal.)
Biggest changes this week:
Wearing 0-3 month clothing
Size 1 diapers
Headbands finally fit her noggin
Socks fit her feet now
Loves being outside
Loves motion, especially car rides and strollers
I swear she's smiled at me, and not because of gas
Holds her head up for a while
Now sleeps in her crib at night
Wants to be held more often
Awake more during the day
Eating a lot more
Pretty content during bath time
She's a very noisy eater
Makes some pretty funny faces now