How big is Marina?
She was just weighed today and came in at 8 lbs 6 oz! Even though I’m so happy she is finally over 8 lbs, I want her to stop growing so fast!
What is her sleep schedule like?
Still a mess, but getting better. We just brought her bedtime feed up an hour from 8pm to 7pm because all the ‘experts’ say that they need to go to bed earlier, but so far no real progress in making it through the night. We’ve had 2 nights (not consecutive) where she has slept until 5am, but then most other nights she wakes at 2am, 4:30am, and is up for good at 5:30. Last night she wouldn’t eat at her bedtime feed and woke for the first time at 12, which was particularly brutal. No matter what, she never seems to be able to go back to bed after 5:00 in the morning, so Mr. R starts his day extra early by changing her diaper and calming her down for 30/60 minutes before waking me up to feed her. Our pediatrician said not to expect her to make it through the night until she’s 10 or 11 lbs, so it could definitely be awhile before we see any more consistent change.
During the day she still struggles with naps, as some days I am able to put her down for 2-3 hours in her crib, and some days she will just fight off a nap like its the plague. But then when I go on errands or events she naps in the car or when I’m wearing her. As long as she sleeps for 3 hours during the day I am not worried, but they don’t often all happen in one chunk!
What are her likes/dislikes?
Marina is in her second leap and is going through all of the symptoms like a textbook. Right now she couldn’t be happier staring at the ceiling fan in our bedroom, which fascinates her whether its turned on or off. If I really feel like getting her riled up, I start and stop it every minute or so which sends her into a smiling and laughing fit.
Marina gives smiles more often now, and seems to be able to hold eye contact with me and Mr. R better, but she still doesn’t smile immediately upon seeing us or hearing our voices. She also doesn’t really make the cooing noises that our pediatrician told us to look for, which is slightly concerning but we are not worried yet. Our doctor said that if she isn’t making those noises or smiling at us more in the next few weeks to bring her back, so fingers crossed those actions will develop more in the coming weeks.
Marina is also discovering her legs and feet. Probably because I bend them and play with them so much to relieve her gas, that she is starting to figure out that they belong to her. She loves to push them off against something stiff, like the arm of a chair or my hands, and then pulling them in tight to her chest. While none of this sounds remarkable, it’s pretty amazing to watch her do it again and again and stare at herself with awe.
While Marina is generally a happy baby, she still tends to be fussy during the witching our (4-8pm). She has also discovered new octaves that her voice can reach, if I don’t get to her in time. Her cries start mild, but have started escalating to what sounds like a painful cry a lot quicker and easier than they used to!
How is breastfeeding going?
Beastfeeding (this started as a typo, but now that I read the spelling back it’s actually quite on point) has evolved over time, and with her growth, we no longer need a nipple shield to help her latch. She still acts like a crazy animal for every feed except the middle of night, which is funny but also impossible to wrangle. It is nice that Mr. R does the 8pm feed with a bottle though, because it ensures that she gets a lot to eat (5 oz!) and gives me a break to pump. Since I pump about 2 feedings each session, it’s fantastic to have that freedom to feed her at and event or on the go without ‘freeing the nipple’. Although I don’t mind breastfeeding in public, I don’t always wear nursing clothing, and it can be tricky if you are not an event where we are sitting down.
How am I feeling mentally?
Still generally tired, but with the glimpse ahead of longer sleep sessions, I am staying positive. My biggest mental issue is something all moms struggle with, and that’s guilt for putting themselves first. I took only 2 weeks leave from writing this blog, so for the past 6 weeks I have had to continue to create content, take photos, dress up, go to events, not to mention still manage my household duties. The problem is that because I can just put her in a chair, a dockatot or on the bed with a pacifier and she won’t move, I do. Then there’s breastfeeding, which happens 5-6 times a day. Of course I look at my phone or turn on the TV- I am a multi-tasking queen and am always trying to do multiple things at once. I know I should be spending more time playing with her, but how much playing can you really do with a newborn? People always say to enjoy every minute because it goes by so fast, so I feel guilty about getting in my 15 minutes of yoga, blow drying my hair or writing this blog post while she is squirming on the bed. Of course I want us to bond and her brain to be stimulated, but I need to make sure my life is in order too or we both will end up in our pajamas all day (not that there’s anything wrong with that!)
How am I feeling physically?
I am ‘healed’ from the birth, but unfortunately I have been having knee issues again and have to have surgery for another torn meniscus. While this had nothing to do with the pregnancy, it is definitely unfortunate timing. I want to begin working out more and getting my body back in shape, but knowing that I have a surgery on the horizon has me in a difficult position. I have been trying to get in 15 minutes of yoga or strength-training at home when I can, which leaves my body sore EVERYWHERE, and reminds me of how weak I am still. I am planning to get in as many barre classes as I can before my knee surgery, as the combined flexibility and strength is doable with my knee pain and great for my postpartum recovery. I wanted to have a lot more to share on this topic, but given the recent surgery news, my physical recovery will take longer than I had hoped.
One more topic that might be TMI… and that’s urinary incontinence. I tried doing some jumping jacks last week and realized-the hard way- that I still have zero control. Everyone says to do kegel exercises but I always forget. So I decided that whenever I am in the car and hear an Ed Sheeran song on the radio (because when is Ed Sheeran not on the radio?) I will do kegels for the length of the song. I can’t tell you if it’s working yet, but I can tell you that you will never listen to an Ed Sheeran song the same way ;)
What products are our baby saviors right now?
MAM Pacifier – On our first road trip we had no idea how to calm our 3 week old screaming baby, so Mr. R had to make a quick pit stop at Target for a pacifier. Since neither one of us knew what style to get, he picked these on a whim- and we are thrilled with them. They are orthodontic pacifiers which means sucking on them won’t impact Marina’s teeth when they come in, and she has no problem with nipple confusion. Plus, they also come in glow in the dark versions which will make bedtime even easier!
JuJuBe Backpack/Bag – I packed this bag for Marina’s stuff for both our weekend getaways and it was beyond helpful. Not only can it be worn as either a backpack or a bag, but it has great handy dandy pockets for all of the necessities. For instance, the two outside pockets on either end of the bag are great for our hand sanitizer and bottle soap, which makes transporting these things without spillage a breeze!
Ring Sling Wraps – Right now I am using both my WildBird and my Tulababy ring sling wraps, which makes going on walks, cooking dinner and writing this blog post a LOT easier. When Marina is being fussy both Mr. R and I carry her in these slings (with her pacifier) and just like that she’s calm, and we can go handsfree. Win-win!
Graco Duet Swing – We are borrowing this little naptime savior from a friend who gave it to us the moment we mentioned Marina hates to nap. She was a bit too small at first, but now the swinging motion puts her right to sleep, and if not, at least calms her while she stares out at her surroundings. We have it in our office so she can watch us while we work.
UppaBaby Cruz – Our Cruz stroller has been absolutely perfect so far, and we have zero complaints. It’s not too big that I dread taking it in and out of the car (which I do almost every day) and not too small that I can’t fit her diaper bag, my purse and other things when we are out and about. Sure, it can’t fit a month’s worth of groceries, but I wear Marina in my ring slings when I want to do some big time shopping! We can’t wait until Marina is big enough to fit into the toddler seat (right now we are using the MESA car seat) because our life will get even easier!