My little Scoober Doo is 23 days old, and currently going through his three-week growth spurt, which means we are nursing approximately every 60-90 minutes instead of every 2-3 hours…so I’m a little sleepy.
I haven’t been sure how to clock his outcomes with what the books say; when a baby is born 3 weeks early, does that make his physical development at Day 0 or is it Day -21? Most babies are able to regulate their bilirubin levels within the first 5-7 days; we finally stopped our daily hospital visits on Day 10 when he started lowering his levels on his own. He hit his cluster-feedings every hour that indicate a growth spurt at Day 14 when the literature says it usually happens around Day 10, but is what I’m seeing actually that growth spurt or is it really a growth spurt that would have happened in utero? I am naturally convinced my child is a prodigy, but he will need to stop taking extra days to do stuff; I’ll have to have a chat with him 🙂
Since the bilirubin nonesuch of the first ten days, our biggest struggle has been breastfeeding. For the better part of his first two weeks, he was not latching well. This was caused in part by his being so little, and in part from his extreme sleepiness, also caused by being 37 weeks and the jaundice. The lactation consultant at the hospital gave him a special pacifier to help him work his sucking muscles since he kept forgetting how to do it. He kept falling asleep after two or three attempts to latch, and we had to resort to all sorts of methods to try to keep him awake: strip him to a diaper so the chill kept him up, rub his head opposite his hair grain, and the most effective, having Annabelle lick his bare feet while nursing. Finally, about the time he hit his actual due date, he finally seemed to get the hang of it, spurred on by the hunger of a growth spurt. My primary goal of breast feeding was the cost savings, but I’m also pretty proud of the fact that my baby is over three weeks’ old and is still alive solely because of me. Losing 26 pounds in the three weeks since delivery isn’t bad either. Chick-fil-A had a promotion a week or so ago advertising that if you came in dressed like a cow you could get a free sandwich. I tried to convince my husband to let me take my double-electric breast pump in and make my case, but he was less enthused than I was…
Since we hit his actual due date of July 24th we have a “whole new baby,” as the nurse practitioner at the newborn clinic promised. Spartacus spends much more time during the day with both eyes open, alert and interested. After a struggle the first two weeks to nurse more than once a day, resulting in a lot of pumping on my part, he is now nursing nearly every feeding, latching well, and staying on for 15-20 minutes. My rudimentary weighing on the bathroom scale tells me he’s over seven pounds, and he has phenomenal neck muscles, moving his head to look all around. Last week he started focusing his eyes on faces, and it’s very neat to see our son as mesmerized by our faces as we are by his. He makes the best faces, both sleeping and awake; he’s such a joy to stare at:
My parents and brother visited us last week to meet the first grandchild, and my in-laws and sister-in-law are visiting this week. While it’s a little crazy to have so many people floating through our house, it’s also wonderful to have the help: my floors are cleaned, grocery shopping is done, dishes are washed, laundry is folded, Annabelle is walked, and I can take a few extra naps because there is someone there to change and feed my munchkin. I am super glad Hubster and I had the first two weeks to ourselves, though; it would have been too crazy to have family right away. I know I am probably spoiling my child, and once everyone leaves he will be incapable of falling asleep outside of someone’s warm loving arms, but this time is so special; I’m not going to deny a grandma a chance to cuddle when they are only here a week, and probably won’t see him more than once between now and Christmas.
We were extra blessed to have Spartacus baptized last Sunday by my pastor-father. A little girl from my Sunday School class at church was kind enough to ask why my baby was wearing a dress like a girl; she seemed unimpressed that it was the same baptismal gown that I, my brother, and my father wore. She also asked why I still looked like I had a baby in my tummy, so I guess my leftover 13 pounds or so still shows…
|I promised my little Sunday School girl that she could hold him after church, forgetting that we had baptism pictures and that he’d probably be cranky by then – she took a rain check and a picture.|
|Staged – we didn’t take photos during the service as that wasn’t the point, but I felt this still captured the wonderful moment. The blanket was crocheted by Spartacus’ great-grandmother; he is so loved.|