February 21, 2013

nearly two weeks in...

Tomorrow Elsie will be two weeks old.  I've been at this whole mom of two thing for two weeks.  It is still crazy to me.  Crazy that Elsie is here.  Crazy that this little baby will some day turn into a toddler like Ry.  Crazy that I have two kids.

I wanted to write a little bit about the newest member of our family, and doing that revolves a lot around this whole nursing thing, so this is kind of two for one post (which means yes, boob talk.  if that is tmi, come back another day!).  I mean honestly if I want to get anything done right now I have to multitask anyway, so why not?  Side note, the post I wrote about my decision to breastfeed climbed to the most popular post on my blog in roughly four weeks.  I can't believe how many people have read about my boobs...

Lastly, I should add, I'm not sure how cohesive and well flowing this post is going to be.  I already feel like it is coming out a jumbled mess, but that is good as it gets right now.

Miss Elsie Jo, 5 days old

Everyone said it would happen, but I didn't really believe them.  They said somehow my heart would double in size to accommodate this new little person in my life.  I just didn't see how it was possible.  Ryann was my whole world.  But the minute they put Elsie on my chest she had stolen my heart.  I spend a lot of time staring at her, wondering how she is so absolutely perfect.  Her sweet little nose, her absolutely kissable lips, her extra long fingers and toes.  It is all perfect.  Her little body molds into mine when I hold her, like she was made just for me.  I love her so much.

When we were in the hospital I was certain she was going to be high maintenance.  Shortly after birth she latched on, and was pretty great at nursing from the start.  She would spend up to an hour nursing every three hours.  Now we definitely had our issues.  That girl was hungry, and you could tell she was pissed that she didn't really get instant satisfaction and everything she wanted from me.  So it would always take her a while to really get latched and get going.  We ended up resorting to putting sugar water on my nipples to get Elsie to stay latched long enough to get things going, without getting overly pissed.  Also?  Elsie's cry is much louder and more demanding than I remember Ry's being.  Despite that, Elsie is actually a pretty chill little girl.  Especially since my milk came in.

As long as she is fed and dry (and doesn't need to poop, burp or puke), she will lay in your arms for an hour or more just staring, without making a peep.  Obviously she needs to sleep, and sometimes it is tough to get her there, but she isn't mad about being a awake.  I can even set her in the rock 'n play completely awake and she will just hang out.  Occasionally she will just put herself to sleep, but it usually takes some cuddles.  Apparently she doesn't want to miss anything.


I have taken to calling Elsie the Queen of Bodily Fluids, or Little Miss Bodily Fluids.  I swear there is always something coming out of that kid.  No joke, the nurses couldn't believe her diaper output in the first 48 hours.  She pees and poos like a champ (sorry Elsie, I know you'll hate me when you read that one day, but really, you love me).  But if she doesn't fall asleep immediately after nursing, I can almost guarantee that she is going to spit up.  Especially if you move her around too much.  And frequently when she sneezes (or spits up for that matter) milk comes out her nose.  So between leaky diapers (blaming it on the chicken legs :o) and spit up, I change her outfit at least twice a day, if not more.  I don't remember Ryann being quite so spitty this early on, but I'm sure it was similar.  So I'm settling in for the long haul with another super spitty baby.

Nursing really is going so so SO much better this time around.  Elsie must have an amazing latch, because even though there is some discomfort when she initially latches, I haven't really had any notable pain associated with nursing.  No cracked or bleeding nipples at all.  Nothing.  And I pretty much only used my lanolin the first few days.  I have no idea how I got so lucky.  Elsie did lose at least 8% of her body weight, but was just over her discharge weight at our first pedi appointment (discharged at 5lb 12oz, weighed 5lb 14oz at our appointment) and the doc said she looked great, her color was excellent, so she didn't have us schedule a follow-up weight check.

Now I'm just trying to figure out our 'schedule'.  Obviously I can't really put her on a schedule per say just yet.  I will nurse on demand.  But in order to nurse on demand, she has to actually demand to be fed, and that just hasn't happened yet.  When I left the hospital, they suggested I feed every two hours during the day and three hours at night, to get my milk supply established and because Elsie was just a small babe in general.  I've had to wake her for nearly every feeding.  She has only woken up on her own maybe three times?  And that is when I've been letting her go three hours at night.

hello little wrinkly knees... and chicken legs :o)

I think part of the problem is that Elsie can be kind of a tough cookie about going back to sleep.  If she doesn't fall asleep while nursing, she really will stay up for almost two hours at a time.  She just can't settle back down to sleep.  So I'm guessing she gets really tired, and even if she is hungry, isn't going to wake herself back up right away to eat.  Sometimes I have a hard time waking her, she just doesn't want to get up.  Yet when I do finally get her awake, and she realizes she is hungry, she goes a little nuts.  Gets relatively upset, is rooting like crazy, attacks anything that comes near her face trying to find a boob.  So yeah, I'm not really sure what to do. 

With all that, I kind of wish we had scheduled a two week follow-up with the pedi.  I'm sure I could still call and ask to take her in, but, um, snow is coming.  I just want to have her weighed to see where we are at (but I'm pretty sure she's gaining, I swear her cheeks look fuller!).  And to just kind of ask some questions and make sure I'm doing everything 'right'.

Oy.  Babies.  Why don't they each come with their own personal instruction manual?  Overall though, I'd say everything is going well.  I wouldn't mind a little more sleep, but Elsie seems to be doing good and that is what matters.


Elsie girl, I love you so much.  I'm so happy that you've joined our family and can't wait to watch your personality develop, and see how you 'fit in' with us.


Amanda said...

I think anytime you are new at nursing is stressful, but it definitely works itself out.

I had so many questions the first few months and around month 4-5 I felt like a pro! Luckily, our pediatrician's office has a lactation consultant on staff and she was only a phone call and/or appointment away!

Also, my daughter was tough to wake up too, but eventually we both figured it out! You're doing great!

Kristal said...

She is beautiful Ashley!! I love all her wrinkles. Man, newborns are just so squishable.

I'm glad breastfeeding is going so well! No nipple pain? Girl, that's something to cheer about. Regarding waking her up, I'm sure you'll get tons of advice, but general consensus is that once they've hit birthweight, let them sleep. If that makes you uneasy, wake her during the day but let her sleep at night. Do y'all have a scale? I know it's not the most accurate, but we weigh Miriam by stepping on the scale by ourselves, then stepping on with her and taking the difference between the two.

E jones said...

I second kristal. My second was the exact same in terms of nursing. I would nurse every 3 hours during the day and then 11 was my last feed and I would wait for her to wake rather than waking her. I found that she would eat longer and more substantially if I let her wake to tell me she was hungry rather than going through the circus of waking her. I also foun all of the people in the hospital who told me to wake her didn't have kids.

You are an increadible mom and doing a wonderful

Erin said...

ugh, waking up a baby who doesn't want to is so hard! I'd try to feed Luke every 2.5-3 hrs during the day and he was like, F you. No way, no how. Of course at night he woke up fine :) I never had to deal with either kid going below their birth weight though, so I don't know. I'd have to completely disrobe him and sometimes put water on him to wake him up. Glad things are going relatively well!!

Alynn said...

I usually don't respond to your posts. But I say let her sleep! I know people think it's crazy to let a newborn sleep for long periods of time without eating, but every baby is different. As long as she seems to be eating enough through the day and is having plenty of wet/dirty diapers, I would let her sleep at night. You may have been blessed with a good night sleeper. I started not waking my son up after he hit his birth weight and he was sleeping 8 hrs through the night at 9 days old and has been a great sleeper ever since.

Congrats and Elsie is adorable!

christa said...

She is adorable!! Congrats to you all!

Michelle said...

She is gorgeous! :) Love the wrinkly knees!

Before Scarlett was too big, we used to weigh her using our kitchen scale which easily showed ounces. I felt it was pretty accurate too.

Also, spitty babies.. i get it but i really think that thing in their stomach that helps hold food down should develop fully in the womb! :)

Sarah Bosch said...

You're doing awesome cuz!! She is absolutely adorable. There's a blog out there that I really like about nursing. She has read every nursing book out there and shares what worked for her. What I really took away from it was a schedule cheat sheet. Since my brain was total mush it helped me remember what time I would ideally feed her.
OH and check out the iphone app ibaby feed. It's AWESOME!! Helps you keep track of it all.

Julie S. said...

She is just precious!