Hi again everyone,
A huge thank you to everyone that read the post last week and either reached out or used the post as inspiration to check-in with their own mental health too. This week I figured I'd bring it back to postpartum life.
The most important news of the week: we've started listening to Christmas music. Yes, I know it's a bit early but given the year we've had I figured it's close enough to the one month countdown.
This week we hit a huge milestone - she fits her carrier! When we first tried the carrier about 10-14 days ago she was definitely too small and the carrier basically ate her up. Now that she's a bit bigger she can sit a little higher and looks much more comfortable. The fact that she fits is actually a huge game changer. Due to her very gassy nature she really dislikes the stroller because lying down on her back is very uncomfortable for her. As soon as you put her in the carrier she falls asleep though, it's a great trick. She can go from screaming to sleeping in about 45 seconds. The carrier also not only gives me much more independence but it also means I can start getting my steps in again! For the first time since Noah was born I managed to average over 10k steps a day this week!
As for the rest of the usual newborn stuff....
Noah in General
This week was the first week where I thought she has started to look and act a little less like a sleepy newborn. She's much more animated, she definitely recognises faces and people, and she can be quite chatty and squeaky. She absolutely loves tummy time (and has a weirdly strong neck) and is starting to like lying down flat a little bit more (it's definitely not her favourite though).
She's always been very grabby and very kicky but she's really upped her game recently. My grandmother said she looks like a kung fu fighter.
Her eyes continue to pierce your soul - there's no hiding from her. I think she already has Jack under her spell...
This week the most common eating times were:
12/12:30am, 3:00am, 5:00am, 7:30am, 10:30/11am, 1pm, 3/4pm, 4/5pm, 5/6pm, and 9pm. Noah tends to cluster feed between the hours of about 3-6pm which means I need to find a comfortable chair and post up for a while. It also means I need a minion around to bring me water and the occasional snack.
Noah continues to love to eat and spit up. We think the probiotics are helping though because even though she does still spit up, I don't think she's spitting up as much as she was a few weeks ago. She's also definitely gained weight and, to be honest, long as she's eating and sleeping, I'm not too fussed about much else!
Side note: I don't know how everyone else's kids come off the breast but every now and then Noah does this great thing where she takes one final mouthful, comes off, spits the milk back at me, and smiles. What a legend.
Now that we're 4 weeks into our breastfeeding journey we're going to introduce a bottle in the upcoming week. Mostly to ensure Jack and Noah bond more but also to hopefully give me a break overnight. We've opted to use Dr. Brown's glass bottles because HashtagNoMicroplastics but also because I didn't pull myself together fast enough to order glass bottles from anyone else.
Hopefully Noah takes to the bottle (apparently neither my sister nor I did as kids), I'll let you know.
Yes, she still sleeps on my chest. Once her cold is well and truly gone we are going to attempt to put her back in the bassinet though. To be honest, as much as I do really wish I could sleep on my side again, I'm getting used to the whole sleeping with an infant on your chest thing. It's not so scary anymore and I think I'm sleeping a bit more deeply because I'm less terrified of hurting her.
On Noah's end, because she eats pretty well, she also sleeps pretty well. Now that her sleepy newborn phase is over she'll be up every 2.5/3 hours during the evening to feed. She'll feed for anywhere from 5-15min and then promptly fall back asleep.
On Wednesday morning she did request 2am, 3am, and 4am walkabouts though which was great fun for me. It's been many many moons since I last got that many steps in from 2-5am...
On Friday and Saturday morning she needed slightly more convincing to go back to sleep after the 3/4am feed. On Friday morning she legitimately wanted to play at 4am. She was chatty and smiley through her diaper change and burping, so I did what any overtired new mum would do - I nursed her back to sleep. Winning.
For the first week we were back at home Jack would get up to take over the burping and diaper changing after a feed so I could rest a little longer. Then Jack got hit with a cold and it was more important for him to rest. Then Noah got the cold, then I got the cold. Long story short, I'm now the sole night manager unless I wake Jack up to tell him to watch her so I can do super simple things like pee/brush my teeth.
Paternity Leave Over
The main reason Jack gets a pass for shirking his previous nighttime duties is because he went back into work this week which means he needs to be rested. His original plan was to work from home so he could continue to bond with Noah and also help out but with work a little too busy he did have to go into the office. I feel quite bad about that because it means he leaves in the morning when she's either napping or eating and then gets back home just as she's finishing a cluster feed and is then starting to pass out for the evening. He really didn't get much time with her at all during the week.
With Jack back at work the family really stepped up (not that they ever stepped down) to offer help and make sure I wasn't alone during the day. My sister (Emily) and Jack's brother (Max) accompanied me on my strolls, we lunched, and we chilled. I also managed a walkabout back in the Valley with a friend, it'd been ages since I was last down at the field!
Confession: I should probably focus less on the walking and focus more on the pelvic floor and core rehab work. I think I got a little carried away with the carrier this week. I hardly did any core rehab and I definitely didn't do enough pelvic floor work given all the walking I was doing...The aim for next week is to make sure I get some solid rehab work in. Now is definitely not the time to push my body to a limit.
On the food front: as a vegetarian I was hesitant with introducing salmon into my diet while I was pregnant so I only ate it a handful of times. With all the food restrictions I'm currently on due to the gassy nature of Noah (no dairy, no onion, no garlic, no caffeine, no citrus, no beans, no legumes) I simply had to start eating seafood again. I had 3 days in a row of variations of eggs and tofu on rice and I couldn't do it anymore. Now that I'm back on the seafood train (albeit temporarily), meal times are MUCH more exciting.
On the mental health front: the exercise last week I think certainly helped and I'll make sure to do that every 2 weeks or so just to make sure I don't like my head get away from me. I do really appreciate the moments where someone comes and physically removes Noah from me and says something to the effect of "let me give you a break" versus asking if I want a break though. So huge thanks to all of you for helping with that. It's actually a huge mental health game changer. That simple act of almost giving me a forced break versus asking if I'd like my child removed from me.
On the normal health front: On Monday I went through multiple stages of a cold all at once. Noah was also congested so she was nursing ALL the time. This meant I was tied to a chair whilst also trying to combat a cold. I've never taken on so much water in one day ever before. I should have taken a nap to help myself but I didn't have the time to. Normally when I'm sick I go for a run, hit the sauna, and then sleep it off. It's all over and done with in about 36 hours. This time I couldn't do any of those things though so it took a good 3 days to go back to feeling normal again. HashtagWelcomeToTheRestOfMyLife.
All things considered, it was a pretty great week! The weather was glorious, leaving the house is becoming easier and easier, I'm much more mobile, and I'm definitely much more comfortable with her. She throws some seriously adorable smiles my way when she sees me and we're already having great conversations too (mostly it's just her airing her grievances).
This week Noah has hopefully her final round of chest x-rays to make sure her pneumonia is well and truly gone and also has to go in for a vaccine and follow up appointment with the paediatrician. I'll keep you all posted!