Monday, October 17, 2011

14 Weeks

This week continued the usual pattern of Josie being fussy and gassy at the beginning of the week, and gradually getting better so that the end of the week she is back to being the "best baby ever". After talking with our daycare provider, I'm realizing that I really do need to buckle down and try harder at eliminating the foods that Josie may be sensitive to. I had told her I felt bad for them since I thought Josie was going to be really fussy on that particular day, and she said not to feel bad for them, but to feel bad for Josie since she's so uncomfortable. Oh. That was a lightbulb moment for me - yes, I realized Josie was uncomfortable and I felt bad for her, but for some reason I never quite made it to the next step of realizing the importance of figuring out what she's reacting to, and how her discomfort should be the primary motivating factor in figuring this out, not the effect of her fussiness on the adults in her life. It's an inconvenience for us, but is causing her discomfort and possibly pain. And if I'm as dedicated to exclusively breastfeeding her for her first six months as I claim I am, then I really should be trying harder to ensure her food isn't upsetting her system, because that's just not fair to her.

So even though I thought I was being so unselfish be continuing to try to eat well and not drinking alcohol or caffeine (although both are apparently fine as long as I time it right), I was still being selfish in not being as careful as I could be when we eat out on the weekends. I do look forward to that - especially certain meals that we've come to love over the last several months, like the sandwiches and sweet potato fries at Ledo's - but given that Josie is always fussiest at the beginning of the week, I think I have to admit that it must be something I'm eating over the weekend that's not agreeing with her. So I will be trying to eat in on the weekends instead whenever possible to see if that helps, and I've also started to keep a food log to see if I can start detecting which foods in particular are bothering her.

In the meantime, her gassiness at night has forced me to expand my repertoire for getting her to sleep, which is a bit of a silver lining since being a "one-trick pony" is not useful if she's not hungry. She is continuing to nap better at daycare (except for Tuesday, when she was crying half an hour after each feeding and couldn't sleep from being so gassy and uncomfortable), although she still crashes almost as soon as we get home, leading to her falling asleep in awkward positions like this:

For whatever reason, I'm starting to have crazy dreams again. And I feel like this is something I'm not supposed to talk about, but here it is: I got back to my pre-pregnancy weight within the first month, and I am now almost 10 pounds down from that. I'm not too pleased about that, though, since I don't want to risk affecting my milk supply by losing too much weight. So instead I'm eating nearly constantly - probably a triple-serving of oatmeal every morning with peanut butter, a full dinner-size portion of meat/vegetables plus fruit for lunch, multiple snacks of fruits, nuts, and whatever cakes people have brought in at work, and then another heaping plate of meat/vegetables for dinner. And yet I was barely able to maintain my weight this week, and then it led to having a dream that I had a 8-month pregnant belly again - only this time it was definitely a food belly rather than baby belly. I knew breastfeeding would help get rid of some of the baby weight, but this is a little bit ridiculous - and more difficult too since I'm having to watch what I eat more because of her food sensitivities. But Josie is clearly thriving, and I like the relationship I have with my little nurseling, so I'm going to do whatever I can to keep up with her - luckily I like to eat, so I guess there are worse things that I could have to do.

So there have been a couple of times this week that Josie has nursed for less than 10 minutes before falling asleep immediately and so deeply that she doesn't wake up when I burp her or try to switch sides. She will then wake up after her first sleep cycle, which is good so that I can try to get more food in her before she's down for the night, but then she's been more difficult than normal to get back down again, leading to nursing her, moving her to her crib once she's asleep, her waking up, and then cycling through nurse/move/wake, walk her/move/wake, push her legs up and rock her in her crib/wake, rock her from her belly in her crib/wake, until finally - finally - she stays asleep. And then she's usually asleep for 9 hours straight before she wakes for a feeding, then back down until it's time to get up at 7am. So she still sleeps fantastic at night and I'm not complaining too much, but sometimes it is a pain for it to take multiple attempts and an hour+ to get her to sleep. Especially when I have a sink full of bottles and pump parts that I still need to wash, food to prep, laundry to do, etc. And yet despite all of this, I think this week went much better than last week - I didn't feel so overwhelmed and exhausted at work, and I still get to go home to our ridiculous smiley little baby every night who likes to try to eat my arm like it's corn on the cob :)

I do think daycare is a good thing for her, too. Even on the days following nights she didn't sleep too well, Josie is apparently happy and smiling, and giggling and talking at the other kids. She seems like she really likes the activity and stimulation she's getting there, and she loves being around the other babies... and they all seem to love her too. Almost every day this week, one of the other little ones would excitedly show their parents "Baby Josie" or try to help me put her in the carseat. So sweet :)

They also stopped swaddling Josie at daycare, which is great since hopefully her startle reflex has subsided enough that we can wean her from that at night now too. She has been breaking her arms out of the swaddle if she's having a rough, flaily night, and then she proceeds to gag herself on her fist or smack herself on the head - neither of which are conducive to her sleeping. So we tried her completely unswaddled Friday night, and it seemed our theory was correct that if she has her arms free from the start, she won't wake herself up as readily when she suddenly regains her hands in the middle of the night. She slept pretty well the first part of the night and only sucked on her fist when she got hungry, but after I fed her for the first time at 2:30am (two hours earlier than she normally wakes up for her first feeding), she then proceeded to flail and kick most of the rest of the night, although she never opened her eyes so it seemed like she didn't actually wake up. But I spent from 3am-9am only sleeping in 20-30 minute increments since I would rock her in her crib and she'd settle down for a little bit but then start right back up again, so I would not say her first night being unswaddled was a resounding success, although it may have been because she was gassy rather than because of being unswaddled. We'll see. We're now trying to only swaddle one arm, which seems to be going much better so far. She's still moving around a bit more than normal, but is back to her more usual 4am feeding, and then I'm fully swaddling her after that since she seems to sleep a bit lighter for the remainder of the night.
[Josie's first unswaddled nap on her own]
[Monitoring Josie's first night unswaddled]

As far as her development for this week, she continues to get more deliberate and precise with her hand movements, she's grasping and batting at objects more, and and she's getting to be more entertained by her toys. She also seems to be much more aware of her feet, and I've caught her staring at them quite a few times now.

[Hanging out with Ryan on her playmat with her new seahorse]

Ryan also did an outward-facing carry for the first time in our carrier - Josie needed to have good head/neck control before we could do an outward-facing carry, and while we weren't sure if she would be up to that for an entire walk, we figured we might as well try since she spends every walk straining to turn her head when we have her inward-facing. She did well, although she still fell asleep within about 10 minutes and Ryan had to hold her head up the rest of the 40-minute walk so her nose wouldn't be smushed on the front of the carrier, so I think she's going to stay inward-facing for a little while longer.

Even though she may not be ready to hold her head up for an outward-facing walk, she has been able to hold her head up enough now for an exciting new development: the emergence of her neck. I think she looks like a completely different (and older!) baby when her head doesn't rest directly on her shoulders ;)

Here's the random multimedia section of this week's post:
[Josie doesn't look too sure about my ability to put together a color-coordinated outfit]

[Me with a sleepytime Josie at a friend's birthday party]

[Ryan blowing on her feet, which she usually finds highly entertaining]

[A video Ryan put together, including clips of Miss Josie valiantly fighting sleep (and losing) and her Dr. Evil hands]

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