Friday, March 13, 2009

March Marches On

I can't believe that Annalise is already 6.5 weeks old. How time flies!

We are getting used to each other, I think. Back when she was around 2 to 4 weeks old, she had much more of a tendency to cry without clear reason. Some of it was mere fussing, and some of it was downright wailing complete with red face, trembling jaw, and tears. This is the kind of cry that makes you feel like the worst parent in the world when you can't make it stop. I literally could not get anything done, and at times I felt almost trapped in the house because I didn't think she would tolerate going out. I think I had a touch of the baby blues, too. I could cry at anything. In fact, I started crying when song "Another Day in Paradise" (early 1990s song by Phil Collins about homeless people) came on the radio. S was back to work, and it was hard for me to deal with solo newborn care for ~12 hours per day.

These days, Annalise still has her moments of fussiness, but they are not nearly as frequent as they were. In addition, she rewards us with heart-melting smiles like this:

That was at 5 weeks.

We have gotten into a pretty good rhythm with breastfeeding. It is no longer painful, and she gets near the breast and knows what to do. I still have problems with what the lactation consultant calls "over-active letdown." This means that not only do I leak and drip milk, but sometimes jets of milk squirt all over the place. This does not only happen at the beginning of a feeding; it can happen even if she is basically finished on a particular side. The milk goes all over the place -- most of it on Annalise's face and head, but some onto the nearest couch, desk, Macy's dressing room... wherever I happen to be feeding. It is pretty crazy.

One thing we have not mastered yet is bottle feeding. We tried the first bottle at 4 weeks, and while she eventually took it, it was followed by her fussiest night ever and lots of gas. We weren't sure if the two were related, but we were concerned enough that we didn't have the mettle to try again for another week or more. I also got fancier bottles: one Dr. Brown's bottle, and then a pack of Playtex VentAire bottles on the advice of a friend. I have gotten her to take them a couple of times each, but usually she'll only take it after fussing and after she holds it in her mouth for ~20 minutes without seeming to understand that it is a nipple and that she can eat from it. I'm wondering if she is so used to a fast flow from me (see paragraph above) that she should go to the next stage of bottle nipple, which has a faster flow. We need to get this down because I'll be going back to work in about 5 short weeks (cry). I am writing an entire post devoted to the topic.

I just typed a LOT more about sleep and other topics, but the post-monster ate it. I didn't think that happened with blogger, but it just did. I'll have to write it all out again later.


Jen said...

She is absolutely beautiful. That smile does melt your heart! I feel for you on the fussiness. I remember those times when Jillian would just cry and cry for no reason at all. It was so wearing. It does get better though as you are already finding out.

poppy.f.seed said...

she's gorgeous.
I watched my baby brother from 6 weeks on(I was 16) and man, do I remember those hours of him crying and me at my wit's end.
G;ad breastfeeding is going well.