It’s a complete shocker to admit that it’s been 4 weeks since Liam’s birth already! I know every parent says that, but as fast as the first 4 weeks went with Marina, they have passed even quicker with multiple children. It’s now a constant juggle between a crying baby and a screaming toddler, and when trying to do work at the same time, there is no time to stop and reflect on newborn life. Just writing that down makes me a bit sad to admit, so maybe it needs to be a small goal of mine to slow down a bit over the next few weeks and try to take in more newborn snuggles before they disappear completely.
How big is Liam?
Liam was born at 7 lbs 5 oz and lost just a small amount of weight before leaving the hospital. He gained all the weight back within 4 days of leaving the hospital (it usually takes babies 10 days to 2 weeks for this to happen!) and by his 2.5 week appointment he weighed 8 lbs 8 oz. So at 4 weeks we’re pretty sure he’s at or over 9 lbs. This kid eats and eats and uses the boob as a pacifier, so we are not surprised by his growth at all. He was born at 40 weeks and 6 days so his mouth/stomach may have been a bit more developed than babies born earlier, or we could just have a monster on our hands. We’ll see!
What is his eating and sleeping schedule like?
First of all, having these postpartum updates is amazing to look back on, as I found myself referencing Marina’s 4 week postpartum update several times in the past week to try to remember what it was like. Marina was waking those first few weeks 3-4 times a night and sleeping 2-3 hour stretches, but was a tiny baby. Liam typically wakes only 2 times at night (around 12:30 and 3:30) then is up again around 5:30 am which I count as day since I can’t fall back asleep anymore. However, last night he slept 5.5 hours in his first stretch of the night, from 9pm to 2:30! I was in complete shock! It was so much sleep compared to what I have been getting for the past month that I was completely unable to fall back asleep after; further proof that postpartum moms are wired to be able to handle the sleepless nights.
For eating, Liam cluster feeds from roughly 7am to noon every day, which is crazy but explains the weight gain. Then he usually takes a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon and I pump in the late afternoon to feed him a bottle around 5 or 6pm. We just started the bottle at 3 weeks and it has greatly helped with my flexibility and definitely with overnight feeds. He is drinking about 4 oz from the bottle, which is a LOT for this age!
What is his demeanor/personality like?
Personality is hard to distinguish at this age but I can tell you he is one gassy baby. Liam and I are both fighting to get the farts and toots out all day long, with me bicycling his legs and him squirming until he lets a few loose. He had his first real social smile this morning when I was playing with him, and I heard a few coos which made my heart melt since Marina never made those sounds! He loves tummy time and can lie on his belly for 20 minutes raising his head a little here and there for strength. I use a lot of black and white toys and cards to stimulate his eyes during tummy time which keeps him engaged.
How is breastfeeding going?
Obviously, fine now. At the beginning his technique was lousy and he wouldn’t open up his mouth wide enough which meant he was just pulling on the nipple alone, which was extremely painful and caused my nipples to crack and scab up. Even though most lactation consultants say not to use a nipple shield unless you absolutely have to, I had a few from my days with Marina, and used them at night for a few days to give my nipples a small break and train him to open his mouth wider. It worked! I only used the shields for about 4-5 days and we were good to go!
How am I feeling mentally?
This is a loaded question that I am not sure I’m ready to answer at the moment. I may circle back and make a separate post about it or I may let my feelings simmer and see what I feel at 8 weeks. Generally, I am fine, but the feelings that go through your mind with two kids are overwhelming. However, there is no time to indulge and feel them, so you just keep trucking on…
How am I feeling physically?
Better by now. I was induced and the labor itself was much harder than with Marina, even though I still had an epidural. The contractions rocked the muscles of my entire body, driving them to a point of spasms and lack of control, which combined with a pretty nasty tear made the first few days postpartum especially difficult for recovery. Everything was sore that first week, including my legs, arms and back, which made engaging with my 2 year old extremely difficult. My husband made me recovery recipes from a postpartum cookbook (mentioned below) that I truly think helped nurse me back to life, including ginger turmeric tonics, hearty stews and luscious oatmeal, which were nourishing and supportive of lactation. Now, 4 weeks postpartum my only ailments are the stitches that haven’t dissolved yet, and my back from carrying around DD boobs and breastfeeding non-stop.
I have lost 19-20 pounds of the 28 I gained, which is pretty similar to last time. However, this time I gained the weight mostly in my stomach whereas last time it was all over my body, so depending on what I wear I look almost completely back to normal (even though I warn you, I am not at all). The last 8-9 pounds are the worst, but I’ve just started getting some yoga and light cardio in (playing Pickleball with my family) and am planning on starting some strength training with Dance Body this week. Will let you know how it goes!
My only other pain is my back. I’ve had back pain for years, but throughout pregnancy and quarantine (no massages) it has been increasingly worse, and now with DD boobs and endless breastfeeding, my back is in a constant state of pain. Sitting in basically any position hurts, but lying down and standing up are fine. I’ve been trying to do more yoga but MAN I can’t wait until I can get to a masseuse or a chiropractor to sort it out!
What products are our baby saviors right now?
Definitely read my 4 week postpartum update from last time, which highlights all the products we still use every day. This time, I will be adding on with favorite products for the baby, for Marina, and for myself, which have made postpartum life with 2 kiddos much easier!
Uppababy Piggyback for CRUZ: Another win for our Uppababy family! We did not want to get a heavy duty double stroller (instead we’ll get a lighter weight one for traveling and for me to keep in the car) but since Liam can’t sit in a toddler seat yet, we want to use our CRUZ and make it as functional as possible. Enter, the Piggyback. At first, Marina was skeptical about it and didn’t really like it, but all of a sudden she has become obsessed with riding on the Piggyback and ‘keeping an eye’ on Liam to make sure he’s ok. It’s super handy for us because toddlers always want to get in and out of strollers anyway, so now we can keep both kids happy and have one less thing in our garage. Win, Win, WIN!
Coterie Diapers: These were gifted to me and I don’t know how we didn’t know about them for Marina. 1. They are literally free of every bad thing you can imagine making them safe for baby and the environment 2. They are soft as hell 3. They have a wetness indicator 4. The newborn size has a cutout for the umbilical cord so you don’t have to fold over the top of the diaper those first 2 weeks which is genius I tell you, genius.
The First 40 Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother : This is the book my girlfriend bought me when I was 6 months pregnant, and she told my husband he better make me a few things from the book to help me out. There were a lot of recipes in the book that were a little too adventurous for me, but I really loved the orange-turmeric-ginger ‘elixirs’ to keep me hydrated during and after labor, the congee and the soup recipes. I felt satisfied and nourished and strong, and I really thing eating the right thing helped because of it! This book makes a fabulous gift!
Dairy Fairy Nursing Bras: These bras are the absolute BEST if you are looking for stylish functionality. Most nursing bras look like kid’s training bras, but these have well placed lace and quality fabrics to make them beautiful and functional. Plus, there are lots of different styles including wrapper ‘sleeping’ bras which don’t have clasps, as well as lace nursing/pumping bras which are impossible to find!
Mrs. Patels Lactation Brownies: I bought these for last pregnancy and absolutely love them. They come in chocolate, peanut butter and salted caramel, and have lots of traditional Indian spices in them including fenugreek, which really helps with lactation. I really want to build up my supply of milk so I’ve been enjoying one as an afternoon snack every other day, and I strongly believe they work! Plus they are delicious and a small San Francisco based business, so I love to support them!
Custom Artifact Uprising Board Book: Marina LOVES reading, so I wanted to make a custom board book for her to document and look back on when baby Liam was born and she became a big sister. I wrote a story about her and how her family grew from 3 to 4, and included lots of pictures of her playing, kissing my bump, helping me get the baby’s clothing and bassinet ready, how we went to the hospital, and how she met baby Liam when we came home. I sent off the book to be made 2 days after we came home and 5 days later we received it! It was pretty amazing and a fantastic memento to reflect on for years to come.