Sunday, May 16, 2010

Week Three: Whoa! (or Woes)

Everyone says that week two with a newborn is when it gets hard. For me, this time, it was week three. I think it's because the first two weeks we had a very specific goal: get Ada back up to her birth weight. Everything else was organized around making that happen, and since we got to the right weight at the right time, there was a satisfying sense of accomplishment. The label for the first two weeks is SUCCESS.

Then week three came around. I felt kind of direction-less, with no real goals or plans for the week. We hadn't really come up with a night-time routine that was working yet, so we tried some new ones. One night I kept Ada all night in bed with me, nursing (without getting up) every hour or two and letting E Ben sleep. That didn't work very well - by morning I was tired and he was worried and Ada never got a full meal (she doesn't nurse as well in the side-lying position at this point). On the bright side, while I never got any deep sleep, I also never fully woke up during the night, which felt good in a short-term sort of way. I have a funny relationship with sleep: it takes me a long time to fall asleep and a long time to wake up, so anything I can do to avoid getting into the fully awake state really helps. And getting out of bed, sitting in the rocker, and nursing the baby inevitably wakes me up all the way.

The next night, we decided that I would get up to feed the baby for her first night-time feeding, and then keep her in bed with me starting with the second feeding. But when the first one came around, I was too tired to get up, so we had basically a repeat of the previous night. Now my one night of poor sleep was compounded by another one, which started affecting my days. I don't think I actually did anything for two or three days - just fed the baby, took naps when she was sleeping, carried her around the house when she was awake. Zombie-mode had kicked in, and it started affecting my mood. By Friday, when I went in to see Doris, I was worried that Ada's weight would be too low and that my undisciplined nights would have some unintended consequences (like less milk available for the baby).

We had good news and bad news at that appointment: on the good side, she had a really good feeding in the office (3.5 ounces, which is more than the 3 ounces we were hoping to see). However, she had only gained 5 ounces in a week, which is within the normal range but not the 7-8 ounces per week weight gain that we'd like to see at this age. So we came up with a game plan for the next week. Unfortunately, around the same time Ada decided to start doing a lot more crying at night. Before this, she would just drift off to sleep when she was tired, with little work required on our part. But now, she gets into an overtired state where she cries hysterically (as if she is really hungry) and it has been happening at some point in the night for the past few days. One night I worked on getting her back to sleep for two hours, and when I finally gave up and handed her over to E Ben, she fell asleep in about three minutes. The little stinker. The next couple of nights I let him take the first turn, which should have been a lot easier for me, but since I could still hear her crying it wasn't entirely restful for me either.

So, nights are getting tougher in the soothing-back-to-sleep sense. But we did have a great milestone last night. After her 3:45 feeding, I got Ada all comfortable and wrapped up and back asleep and then put her down in her bassinet, where she actually slept ON HER OWN for two hours. This is huge, as we really want her to start the transition to sleeping by herself at night.

On the bright side, I did start and finish a book this week (it was YA, so not the most challenging of my life, but still felt like an accomplishment). I also got out for my first solo walk with Ada. I strapped her into the sling and walked on the trails around our house for 40 minutes. It felt great, and I need to start making that a part of every day, even if it's only for 20 minutes. I also had my first solo-parent-of two experience this week. E Ben had to be out on Thursday evening, so it was up to me to put Jude to bed while also taking care of Ada. I was a little bit worried about it, because getting Jude to bed is a pretty physical experience and I didn't think I could do it very well if the baby needed to be held at the same time. Luckily everything went pretty easily as I was able to get Ada settled in her swing while going through Jude's bedtime routine.

Ada is becoming a little bit more predictable during the day, which has been nice. She has an awake period or two in the morning, eats a few times, and then takes a nice nap in the afternoon. She is awake and hungry in the early evening, then takes a "nap" for a couple of hours starting at around 7pm (just in time for us to put Jude to bed and have some dinner of our own).

One final note - I weighed myself this week and I'm almost 10 pounds lighter than I was when I got pregnant with Ada. I was kind of expecting this, since I only gained ~10 pounds total during this pregnancy (I was sick for most of the first two trimesters and then on a low-carb diet in the third trimester). But still, it was kind of surprising to see the number on the scale! We'll see if it is temporary or permanent this time - with Jude I had an initial weight loss but then jumped up again when I started taking the medication to increase my milk supply. Hopefully I won't need that medicine this time, and won't have the same issue.


Alex, Andrea, Lucia, Magdalena Jones said...

I feel for you! These are the hardest nights. If I were there, I'd love to stay a night at your house and just bring Ada to and from you for nursing so you both could get a good night's sleep. Hopefully she won't be waking up this much for long.

peg said...

sounds like my visit will happen at the perfect time!! I don't sleep much anyway so i will enjoy the early am hours with ADA!! love you, mom oma ama!!

Natalie said...

Hang in there, you all are doing great!