My beautiful little itch baby is 4 weeks old today. I can’t believe how fast the time has flown by! It feels like she just got here, yet it feels like she’s been here forever at the same time.
She was last weighed on Monday and was already up to 9 lbs. She was born on March 31st, weighing 7 lbs, 9 ounces–a great size for a baby who was encouraged to come out 3 weeks early. Then again, my other two bio children didn’t stay in until 40 weeks, so it could be that I just bake my babies quicker. My oldest daughter came at 37 weeks and 3 or 4 days, and my son came just after 39 weeks.
Little lady spent most of yesterday cluster feeding, which put a large turn on my plans to tidy up the house. With her in one arm and a broom in the other, I got the kitchen swept, then did the same to vacuum the living room. Vacuuming with her in one arm had her sleeping almost instantly. A little tidbit for new parents: Babies love noises similar to vacuums or loud running water. It’s soothing for them as they’ve just come from a very loud environment inside the womb.
The dishes, however, did not get done by yours truly as I couldn’t put her down and a baby carrier just wasn’t going to cut it yesterday. And that’s totally okay–sometimes babies just have bad days and we have to be flexible for that. I’m sure you’ve heard of the period of purple crying, where babies just cry and nothing you do seems to sooth them. Holding them, walking quietly to them, feeding them, and keeping their little tooshies clean is mostly all you can do. Basic needs are met and they know they aren’t alone.
She sleeps pretty well at night time with the exception of a few nights where she was harder to settle, which always seemed to line up with the expected growth-spurt ages (7-10 days/2 weeks, and 4 weeks) where their instinct is to eat, eat, eat. Friendly reminder to new breastfeeding moms that the desire to nurse isn’t always correlated with the amount of milk they’re eating! Sometimes, it’s just their instinct to tell your body to make more milk for the upcoming growth spurt. By that, I mean, their bellies could be full and well-satiated, but their instinct to nurse is stronger than their “I’m full” signal because their little bodies know that they are going to need more milk pretty soon. Supply and demand.
As a third-time mom, when I say she sleeps pretty well at night, I mean that between ehr one-two hour wakings, she settles right back into sleep after she is changed and eats.
About me and my recovery
I’m not sure if it’s because she is my third, because I had no tears, the physiotherapist I worked with during pregnancy, or because of the uninterrupted birth we had, but my recovery this time around has been as smooth as can be! With my son (2011), I could barely walk for months because I had skeletal issues with my pelvis related to symphysis pubis dysfunction as well as a subluxing of my sacroiliac joint in the 9th month of pregnancy. This time around, I worked with a physiotherapist who studied the theories of Cecile Röst, and my pelvis just feels great! Granted, it does get sore and tender if I am too active still, but nothing like the last time.
My back has only recently started not being overly sore if I’m upright longer than 20 minutes. I tell you… Not having ab muscles really bites. They’ve recently come back together and have gained some of their strength back, but during those first 2-3 weeks it really takes a toll on your back as your spine relies heavily on your abs for stability. For this reason, I haven’t been doing much cooking for the household, which I hope will change. I feel pretty guilty that my partner works long, hard days at his physically demanding job then comes home and cooks for the family. I’ve only managed a few days of cooking so far.
This is the first time I haven’t had any tears to heal, though that doesn’t meant there wasn’t any “rug burn” as the nurse called it. That healed up pretty quickly, but a word to the wise; around the two week mark, it does get pretty tender. You know how when you have a wound on your body that gets super itchy as it heals? Yeah. Postpartum rinse: warm-hot water, lavender essential oil, copaiba essential oil, and witch hazel.
I think the most difficult thing so far has been finding time to properly care for myself. That includes finding time to shower; if she isn’t settling during the daytime when I’m home alone, I don’t shower during the day. In the evenings, my partner is too busy getting food on the table so I can’t ask him to watch the little one while I shower. After dinner, other people need to shower, so I kind of get thrown to the bottom of the shower list and before you know it, there just isn’t any time for me to have one.
Another self-care task I’m failing miserably at is finding time to eat. Unless there is a pre-wrapped snack item or fruit readily available, I rarely find time to eat until later in the day. My appetite is minimal so the signal to remind me is essentially non-existent and when it is present, it seems baby needs me. As she gets older, it will be easier to feed her in a baby carrier while I grab myself a bowl of cereal or what-have-you 🙂
All in all, no real complaints over her! She’s melting my heart on an hourly basis and I have an amazing partner <3
I won’t share too much about the other kids now that they are getting older and I’d like to preserve the decision to share things about themselves for themselves, but the three older siblings all seem quite happy to welcome the new addition to the family.