Anna is one month old today. Where did the time go? It's funny--it feels like she has always been a part of our life.
I realize that things change daily with newborns, so perhaps I'll regret saying this a day, a week, or a month from now--but for now, Anna is a pretty happy and content baby...or perhaps we just have a better idea of what we are doing this second time around. Ella was never a "bad" baby, and she wasn't even a "colicky" baby...but she was rather "needy", and I don't think I ever really every figured out exactly what it was that she needed. But I did learn a lot from caring for Ella as a baby, and I've been able to unlock those distant memories to make it work well enough for Anna.
After some initial concerns from one resident about her weight gain, I'm pleased to share that she's been gaining weight fabulously. At her appointment last week, she was up to 8 pounds, 12 ounces, which was an average of 45 grams per day (they hope for at least 15-30, so we're doing great). Ever since my milk came in, she was sleeping great--so well, in fact, that I was setting an alarm clock to wake her up to eat at the four hour mark. However, I found that it was really hard for me to wake up to my alarm clock, and I admit that she went 5-6 hours a couple of nights between feedings. But at her appointment, the doctor agreed that she was gaining weight well, and gave me permission to let her sleep longer and wake up on her own. So now she typically nurses while I'm reading bedtime books to Ella, sleeps until around 12:30 am, wakes up on her own to nurse again, and goes back to sleep until around 4:00 am. This is almost ideal--even for when I go back to work in a little over a month. If she can stretch the morning feeding until closer to 5:00 am, we'll be set.
She remains an awesome traveler. I often find myself looking in the backseat to make sure that the carseat is indeed in the car and not in the middle of the parking lot. She naps well during the day, but is starting to be more awake when we're are home (she seems to just "check out" and snooze if we're out and about). She does get a little fussy in the evenings around the "witching hour"--which always seems to correspond with dinner time--but as long as I try to nurse her right before dinner, she'll usually hang out in her swing next to the table and let us eat peacefully. She cried the first couple of times we gave her a bath, but now enjoys it. She does have a knack for peeing and/or pooping in the middle of a diaper change--and she's already outgrowing the newborn diapers. They said they are designed for up to 10 pounds, but they definitely won't last us that long. We'll use up the remaining 20 or so that we have in the next couple of days, and then start the cloth diapers again.
I do think that some of her easy-going attitude is simply that her tummy is nice and full. With Ella, I didn't start pumping until she was about six weeks old (if I remember correctly). She gained the appropriate weight, so I never really thought too much about it. But when I went back to work, I worried about keeping up both my internal and external supply. So this time, I started pumping the day I got home. It sucks--quite literally--but I try to do it after nearly every feeding. I've got plenty of milk saved up in the freezer (enough that my husband and I briefly considered buying a deep freezer), and Anna seems to be getting her fair share as well. For one thing, she sometimes nurses for less than 10 minutes and is then done--whereas with Ella, she would sometimes spend 45 minutes trying to get every last drop. Anna also spits up--A LOT--and Ella very rarely ever spit up. But as long as she stays happy, I'm happy.
I also wonder if her happy-go-lucky personality thus far might somehow be attributed to her exposure to happy endorphins in my system from running while I was pregnant with her. If it works that way, then I'm going to take my due credit.
Today's blessing is that my husband is really enjoying the new Bible study group that he joined a couple of weeks ago. My husband has been wonderfully faithful about going to church with us and saying prayers before dinner and bedtime. But I think a certain "spiritual spark" had been missing in his own life, but is now lit. I'm excited to see him grow in his faith.