Technically four weeks was yesterday, but we didn’t want to take anything away from the boy’s special day. (Speaking of which, we got a garbled report of the first day of school, and it sounded like there was some weird kind of grade one/new kindergarten split class happening, which is mystifying, because kindergarten is so labour-intensive for a teacher I cannot imagine one having time to teach grade one as well. Any split class is hard to juggle, but K/1? Very odd. We should get intro letters today or next Tuesday clarifying things. On the other hand, the grade one desks were set up in the boy’s old kindergarten room, with his old teacher, so maybe he’s mixing up last year being kindergarten with having the same teacher and room for grade one?)
At four weeks old, Miss Owlet is starting to smile at people. She’s filling out a bit, although she’s still tiny and thin; I can see folds beginning to develop in the skin of her arms and legs. We’ve moved from newborn to size 1 disposable diapers (we use them at night while she’s still soiling so many diapers, because she sleeps downstairs with us and all her cloth diapering stuff is upstairs, and trust me, you don’t want us carrying her upstairs while half-asleep or trying to handle the mess of cloth in the wee smas on the bed). Except when I went out yesterday to buy new ones I bought the newborn size again, and while they fit, they’re tight. Same with the cloth diapers: the newborn size covers we use with flats are a just-fit, but the small covers and prefold diapers are still too big.
She’s gaining weight slowly. Last week she passed her birthweight, hurrah! A week late, but she got there. I had an unpleasant experience with a CLSC nurse who told me she wasn’t gaining enough or fast enough even with the supplement four or five times a day, and that I had to supplement her more. I couldn’t, I told her, because I couldn’t pump any more milk. “You’ll have to use formula, then,” she said right away, and I was stunned. She didn’t seem to listen to me when I explained that we were a week behind because of nursing issues in the first ten days, which explained her apparent slowness, and didn’t even address the other health concerns I brought up. It’s my right to ignore the health advice given to me, so I did. Instead, I started taking fenugreek to boost milk production (just to get a head start on a freezer stash, since supply is not the problem; it’s that we can’t make a baby who is satiated eat any more than she already does, and that baby spends most of the day nursing anyway) and worked out an extra time to pump when HRH is home and can take care of her while I do. I saw our new pediatrician on Monday (whom we love, and who will also be my new GP, hurrah) who was equally horrified at the nurse’s suggestion and commended me for ignoring it, saying that if we switched to formula we’d be jeopardising an already shaky breastfeeding situation. She understood right away that it wasn’t my milk supply that was an issue, it was the fact that if the baby is nursing most of the time, I don’t have the opportunity to pump. She’s fine with the slow weight gain (there is weight gain, after all; it’s not like it has stopped or has become weight loss), but she’s asked to see Owlet every two weeks instead of the usual four to keep track of it. Her head circumference and overall length have increased, so there’s definitely growing happening. I have another weigh-in at the CLSC this afternoon, and I’m kind of dreading it. I hope I get one of the two other nurses I’ve dealt with and like very much.
I dislike sleepers because of all the snaps, which are a pain when changing a diaper, so Owlet wears tiny leggings and t-shirts or tops most of the time. Today I put the cardigan I knit on her over her sleeveless shirt for the walk to the boy’s bus stop, and it fits!
It’s a bit short, but I knit it that way thinking of how crumpled newborns are, and I seem to remember mentioning that I was considering crocheting trim on the bottom anyway; that will add length. Or I may knit a flared open skirt-type thing to stitch onto it, making it more like a swing coat. I’d forgotten how soft the yarn is.
The ring sling my mum bought us while she was here is a boon. I use it around the house when I need to get stuff done and can’t sit with her in my arms. I also use it on the walk to the boy’s bus stop, and it’s brilliant. I especially appreciated it yesterday, because the boy’s bus home was an hour late getting to the school to pick them up (traffic, we hate you), so we were standing in the sun for a long time. I covered her head with the long tail of the sling, and even nursed her for half an hour while waiting.
She likes looking at vertical lines, and keeps an eye on the posts of the bed headboard, and the lines of the wall board, too. She likes looking at the sun patterns on the windows, and at the window frames. She’s so much more engaged now, sitting up propped against someone and looking around, examining people’s faces and making all sorts of interesting noises. She likes sitting in her swing at supper time; we pull it up to the table so she’s sitting with us while we eat. Sleep at night is going well, too; she usually does two three-hour stretches and goes back to sleep easily after nursing. (Now that I’ve said that publicly, watch it blow up.) Daytime sleeps are getting slightly better, although anything would be better than Not Sleeping At All, which is what was going on before.
Sparky is in love with her, and cuddles her whatever chance he gets. He is a very proud big brother:
I came into the room the other day to find her on his lapâ€¦ sheâ€™d been fussing, and heâ€™d managed to lift her out of her Moses basket then sit down with her. Iâ€™m glad I didnâ€™t see it; it probably would have given me a heart attack. As it is, we had a talk about only doing it under supervision, and once sheâ€™s less squirmy.