I cannot believe it, Belén is already three weeks old. Time most definitely flies! We have been busy taking care of her and getting to know her while accomplishing very few other things…the standard line from parents of infants.
Belén is starting to seem less like a newborn and more like a baby. She get fussy more than she did the first two weeks, but she is still a really good baby. We see more of her personality every day, she is energetic and sweet.
We tried introducing both a pacifier and a bottle this past weekend. She was not overly enthused about the pacifier so we do not use it much at this point. She felt the same about the bottle until she realized there was milk in it and she was starving. Then, according to Andy, she “pounded” the milk and went through two bags of milk I had previous pumped and frozen. More on that later.
Last Thursday, my mom and I took Belén to St. Lukes Hospital for an ultrasound on her hips. Apparently there is a high percentage of first born, female, breech babies who have congenital hip problems so it is standard procedure to do an ultrasound on the hips of babies who meet this profile. Unfortunately Belén was a little hungry for the test so once I stripped her down and took off her diaper for the test, she became pretty fussy. I tried to comfort her with various means but the only thing that worked was having her suck on my finger. This made me think that she would take to a pacifier after all, but she didn’t. We received the results of the ultrasound the next day and they basically said that she does not have the congenital hip problem but her hip socket is “borderline immature.” In most cases, normal growth corrects this but they will check again at seven months of age. We are relieved that she does not have this problem as it would have broken our hearts to have to put braces on her legs to correct the problem as she grew.
Last Wednesday, the remnants of Belén’s umbilical cord fell off so she is now able to do both tummy time and full baths. We try and spend at least ten minutes twice a day doing tummy time and each time we are convinced her neck is quite strong. Depending on her mood, she either fusses or just squeaks during tummy time. Either way, it is adorable and Andy and I enjoy cheering her on during this time. Check out the pictures under the Belén Rose -> Newborn for some pictures of Tummy Time.
Starting last weekend, we started to venture out to non-public places, besides just doctors offices. I went out for the first time without Belén on Friday night when I met some friends for dinner at Bittercreek in downtown Boise. The closer it came to the day, the more anxious I became about leaving her. I was very tempted to back out, but Andy pushed me to go and have fun. He said that he would try feeding her a bottle and if she didn’t take it and was hungry, I would only be ten minutes away and could come home. I reluctantly decided to go and planned the whole afternoon around trying to get her to eat late enough that she wouldn’t be hungry while I was gone, while also having enough time to change into clothes appropriate for the outside world. It worked out and I met my friends at 6 pm. I enjoyed the dinner but by 7:15 I definitely felt like I needed to get home. It was about this time that Andy called and said that he was going to try and give her the bottle since she was hungry. I was both nervous that she would hate it and even more so that she would love it so much that she would no longer like breastfeeding. He called back a few minutes later and said that she at first was not interested until he put some of the milk on the nipple of the bottle and then she “pounded it.” While I was glad she both took the bottle and was no longer hungry, I felt very anxious that she would no longer like me for breastfeeding. I left dinner before 8 pm, just in time as Andy called on my way home saying that she was “looking for a boob” again. I was thrilled to get home and learn that she still wanted me and was willing to breastfeed. All in all, it was a good experiment, both getting out of the house and introducing the bottle. It will be necessary that she is able to take one for daycare and it can definitely give me more independence even before that. I was really surprised by my reactions to the events of the evening. If you had asked me a year ago, I am sure that I would have told you that I would want to have the baby be more independent using bottles with breast milk, etc. This just goes to show that you really cannot predict how you will respond to motherhood until it is upon you.
Saturday, I went on another outing with my sister shopping. She picked me up at my house just in time to see Andy giving Belén her first bath. She looked so cute in her little bathtub until Andy poured the first water over her when she looked at me with a very uncertain look like, “mom, aren’t you going to do something?” Anna and I left before the waterworks started, but I understand it was a bit dramatic and needless to say, she is not a fan of bath time yet. Anna and I enjoyed a quick lunch and then shopping at two of our favorite clothing stores, FoxTrot and Anthropologie. It was my first time shopping for non-maternity clothes. My body is definitely not at the point where I can buy clothes in my old size and I still have excess skin and such in the belly area so I concentrated on finding clothes that I can wear (and are flattering) both now and later when I am more back to normal…I so look forward to that day.
Later that evening, we went on a family outing for a BBQ at Anna & Derik’s house. It was a great evening except for the ten-minutes of crying on the drive over when Miss Belén was hungry. Once she was fed she was a happy camper. Like mother like daughter.
This week is my first week on my own with Belén. So far so good. The days go really fast. Monday I had an appointment at an allergist to find out what I am allergic to (seasonal allergies.) I was nervous about taking Belén with me mostly because I was concerned I would be in the middle of the test and she would get fussy. I took precautions by feeding her for a long time before we left and it paid off. She was really good for almost two hours while I was there. I fed her a bit more while I was waiting in the exam room and we were golden. I also realized while at the doctors office that it is quite common for people to bring their kids with them to such appointments and that they were patient and even equipped to entertain kids.
When we do not have an appointment, our routine has been to wake up, feed, shower (me), go for a walk stopping on the way at our local coffee shop, lunch (both of us), tummy time, read, nap (Belén) and miscellaneous things for me followed by trying to get dinner ready before Andy gets home. It is really quite amazing how quickly the day goes. I am also surprised by how enjoyable it is.
I have recovered very nicely and am off of all drugs now. My external (skin) incision is completely healed and is absolutely amazing. It looks like a faint scratch. I really cannot believe a baby was delivered from that very location three short weeks ago. I have virtually no pain and am up to walking (while pushing the stroller) three miles a day. The only time I feel any pain is on the internal knot when I sneeze after I have done a lot of physical activity like at the end of my walk. I am hoping that goes away soon because according to the results of my allergy test, my allergies should be flaring up real soon as grasses are the main culprit of my seasonal allergies and they are in season May and June.
I am dying to go for a run. I have never gone this long in my entire life without exercise. Walking is nice, but goodness do I miss running at this point!!
Yesterday, Belén and I went up to CM Company in the afternoon. My sister, sister in-law and father in-law all work at CM and it just so happens that they have about four people who are public notaries. We received the information for Belén’s birth certificate and it was missing the accent over the e. Not a big deal, but we figured if we could correct it, we would like to. Just to make that change, it required the signature and seal of a notary, thus the trip to CM. It worked out good because I had also promised Margy, Andy’s aunt, who also works at CM that I would bring Belén into the office. Everyone loved meeting Belén and it was fun to see everyone. I also always like seeing how small businesses such as CM operate since I have only ever worked at HP.
We want to get Belén a passport soon so when we feel brave enough to travel with her, we have the option of going abroad. I looked into the process this week and was fooled by a company who I thought was the US Government, but was actually a third party. I thought I was applying for a passport with the government and incorrectly signed up for a service to expedite the passport. Once I realized my mistake, I called to cancel and found out that I would have to pay a $50 cancellation fee which I apparently agreed to by checking the “terms and conditions” checkbox. I was pissed and only mention this to warn you to not repeat my mistake.
As of this evening, our two “square foot gardens” are planted. They look nice, the next test will be to see if they actually produce some crops. Belén and I will spend a few minutes in the garden (with the Baby Bjorn) each day keeping it watered and weeded.
There are so many cool products for kids and I want to mention a couple of the must haves we have discovered so far. The first one has nothing to do with kiddos but has been crucial for me. I am not really that vain, but I don’t want to look like hell even if my sleep pattern is a bit disturbed these days. The concealer I have from Bobbi Brown makeup is a lifesaver because I can make myself look more “bright eyed” than I really am and it hides both zits and dark circles under your eye. From a kid perspective, we love our kiddopotamus fleece swaddle getup, our carseat/travel system and about ten other things (bouncy/vibrate chair, Baby Bjorn, Pack & Play, etc.) that I cannot believe our parents had to survive without when we were kids. My mom is so amazed with all of the cool gear we have and I often hear her remark about how they had nothing of the sort 30 years ago.
Breastfeeding continues to go more or less well but man do I do it a lot. I figure that I probably feed her 10-11 times a day and often times, one “session” will consist of two to four latches, burps, etc. My boobs are a complete wonder to me now and they continue to have a life of their own. When Belén starts on one side, she typically sucks for a short period and then releases to catch a breath or something. At this point, that nipple often shoots her in the face with milk. I try and explain that she cannot tease it, but of course we cannot reason at this point. At the same time, the other nipple gets jealous or something because it begins to leak milk. I now have the smell of breast milk permanently etched into my brain as I smell it from both this scenario and from when it comes back up before being digested in Belén. The smell is unique, almost metallic-smelling. The other smell I have become quite used to is a wet or “poo” diaper. Neither is a bad smell at this point, but again, distinct. Between her bodily functions and my own, I feel like both her and my clothes are constantly moist from milk or barf or something…and the number of loads of laundry I do has dramatically increased.
My only true complaint at the moment is with maxi pads. I am getting sick of having to wear maxi pads. I thought that perhaps since I had a c-section, I could immediately move onto tampons to capture what is being released from my body. Apparently even though I had a c-section, they still advise against tampons because the uterus was open in preparation for labor. Anyway, I might give it a try this next week because really what is the benefit of nine months without a period if you have to wear maxi pads for six weeks after the pregnancy. Ugh.
All in all, life is good, we are enjoying every minute of being parents and we are savoring these moments because we absolutely recognize how fast she is growing and that they will not last long.
- Old Folks Home On top of it all, I had ordered an exercise ball about two weeks ago with plans to use as...
- We made it home! Original Post Just a quick note to let you know that Bryan, Jen, Beth and I, as well as the...
- Home Again But Missing My Husband Back in the US after 1.5 years abroad living in Shanghai, China....
- Dinner for Two, At Home She speaks about as much English as I speak Chinese, so it was a struggle to communicate all day long,...
- Hospital Stay They had taken my catheter out Wednesday morning but then I wasn’t able to go to the bathroom on my...