Today Olivia is one month old. I can't believe it has already been a whole month since we met our baby girl.
| STATS |
Although Olivia weighed 7lb 9oz at birth, she dropped to 6lb 11oz by the time we left the hospital. This is completely normal for babies to do as they are adjusting to their new world outside of the womb. However, they are supposed to be back up to their birth weight within the first two weeks. Our little girl was a little behind the curve and still holding strong to her 6lb 11oz weight. However she did grow 3/4". This girl is skinny and tall. Her head also keeps growing and is at the 95th percentile while her weight is only in the 25th percentile. Our little bobble head.
| EATING |
She started off as an excellent eater. She would latch every time and nurse for 20-30min on each side. Like. A. Champ. However as we got into the evenings she would start to either favor one side over the other or do this frantic head bobbing thing where its like she had a love/hate relationship with eating. We decided to schedule an appointment with the Lactation Consultant (LC) to see what the deal was. This appointment opened up a whole new can of worms and we learned that Olivia was underweight for her age and that I wasn't producing enough milk to sustain her. Obviously I burst into tears because I realized I was starving her this entire time. At our LC appointments we would strip Olivia down to a dry diaper and weigh her to get a baseline weight. Then I would nurse and we would weigh her again to see how much breastmilk was being transferred. That's the tricky thing about nursing is that you cant physically see how much milk your baby is consuming. You just judge everything based on their number of wet and dirty diapers. Which Olivia had plenty of, so we didn't think twice about it.
At our first appointment she was only transfering 1.7oz and she should be transfering about 2-3oz per feeding. So the LC had us on a strict regimen to nurse every 2 hours, pump immediately afterward and feed her what I pumped from the previous pumping session. Whatever I pumped had to be 1oz otherwise I had to supplement the difference with formula. I was pretty upset about having to already resort to formula, but at this point it was about keeping her sustained more than anything. This method was also supposed to help build my milk supply as it was creating a higher demand. Higher demand = more milk. At the beginning I was only pumping about 1/3oz every session and then it gradually increased to 2/3oz by our next appointment (2 days later). We were feeling hopeful. We had followed all of the rules. However when we weighed her before and after her feeding she only transferred 1.5oz and her weight was still 6lb 11oz. Well as it turned out I had been misreading the graduated cylinders on my pump thinking that it said 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, etc. but it was in mL and was reading 10, 15, 20, etc. which meant what I thought was 1oz was actually only 10mL so we were STILL underfeeding her (30mL = 1oz). We scheduled a third appointment 4 days later and were determined to get some weight on her now that we knew what the heck we were doing. We had to supplement ready to feed formula a few times but it was never more than 10mL (1/3oz) so I didn't feel too bad about that. By our next appointment she weighed 7lb 2oz before her feeding and transferred 2.7oz! Babies are expected to gain 1oz a day at this time, and she had gained 7oz in 4 days! I started crying tears of joy and hugged my LC. All of our hard work was paying off! Breastfeeding is supposed to be easy, but for us it's been a lot of work and I'm excited that we're on an easier road now. As the days go by I've been pumping 2-3oz per session and stockpiling our fridge. I dont even remember the last time I had to supplement with formula. At the beginning she would eat with little butterfly sucks and I thought that was just how babies ate. Now that she is getting enough milk each time, as Derek describes "she's eating like a hyena eating a carcass" haha. Yep that sounds about right. The LC had us schedule another appointment a week later because in theory Olivia would be back up to birthweight by that point and we could start weening off of having to pump and supplement each feeding. And as of this past Tuesday she is 7lb 11oz (!!!) and still transferring 2.7oz on average when feeding. Which means that she will still be behind for her age, but at least she is on the right track. We couldn’t be prouder! Now we only supplement if she still seems hungry and I only pump in the mornings to keep our backup milk supply up, and I end up just freezing it for a rainy day.
| SLEEPING |
This has been the ultimate struggle. The first night we spent in the hospital with Olivia was magic. She slept the entire night and just made little coos. We thought "wow we have such an easy baby!" This was short lived. For the first few days at home we tried getting her to sleep in her crib. She would be passed out in our arms and as soon as we'd lay her down she would start crying. We got her to actually sleep through the night twice, but trying the same method again never worked. From that point on she would only sleep when in someone's arms. So we talked to our pediatrician about it and he had Derek setup a safe pillow supported nest on the sofa where he would hold and soothe her all night but could in no way drop her or roll over on her. Obviously Derek is a saint as he still sacrifices his sleep so that I can sleep in our bed since I am still recovering. My co-worker let us borrow her Rock 'n Play since she had a similar issue with her first born. Olivia sleeps sound in the Rock 'n Play during the day which is great because my hands are free and I can get small tasks done. This past week we have been having her sleep in it during the night and so far it's working. It's not the crib but baby steps okay? One month in though and Derek and I are both still worry warts and sleep so light so that every sound she makes we wake up and check on her to make sure she's still breathing. Does this panic ever go away? Maybe once she goes off to college?
| DOING |
Olivia has been super vocal since day one. She constantly makes the most adorable coos and squeaks and grunts. My absolute favorite is when she sneezes she goes "whoaaaaa" afterward like the sneeze really overwhelmed her. It is so cute though when she's just laying in our arms or in the Rock 'n Play just awake as can be making her little noises. Ugh it just melts my heart.
| MILESTONES |
We have started small sessions of tummy time, although we've learned to wait a bit after she eats or it's spit up palooza. Her neck has been strong from the start, so we're excited to see how quickly she can hold up her head on her own. She's getting pretty good at it but it still bobbles from time to time.
| FAVORITE MOMENTS |
Whenever I burp Olivia while switching from side to side nursing, she is obviosuly still hungry and rooting around. However, she's up by my face and she's trying to latch onto my cheek or neck so we pretend that she's trying to kiss me. Or bite me. It's so cute. She is just so sweet and cuddly.