-The First Month-
Wow…a month. A month already. I hate to compare this time with last time, but it really feels like it’s going faster with Elsie than it did with Asher. I also feel like I’m “enjoying” it more. Not that I didn’t enjoy the first month with Asher, but that I was so new to parenting and severely overwhelmed so I was in survival mode. Plus, nursing was a very hard road for me and Asher at first. Elsie is a pro. Maybe it’s because I’m more calm this time and have more knowledge, but nursing has been easier with her, by far. I’m glad I had a Lactation Consultant come visit us the first day, though-I was trying to nurse her like a toddler at first and had to relearn how to nurse a newborn!
So far, Elsie is doing everything she should be doing: eating (a lot, as evidenced by what I can tell is a 3lbs of weight gain), sleeping, and making plenty of dirty diapers.
Even though this isn’t my first rodeo, Elsie has busted out some new ones: She projectile-shit on me. Three times. Even when I took measures to guard against it I’ve been shit on. She even shot some off of the changing table and on to the carpet (to which I said “awesome shot!”). She also started “coo”ing last week. I’m fairly certain Asher didn’t do that for 2 months (but I wouldn’t know because I’m an idiot who didn’t write things down!). Her tummy time has revealed fairly steady head control for her size, as well, so I’m fairly certain she’ll be able to handle her brother as she gets older. She’s already outgrown her newborn clothing, which I cried as I put it away. She’s growing so very fast!
The biggest thing she’s done to throw me for a loop is sleep. She cluster feeds closer to bed time and actually sleeps 2 3hr-4hr stretches at night (of course, now that I’ve put this on the internet she’ll stop doing that…). She’s been doing it since day 3. I know it’ll change as she gets older, and I should enjoy it while it lasts, but I was not prepared for that! And somehow I’m still exhausted. We also loosely swaddle her, vs always having Asher in the swaddle. I wonder if that played a role? During the day she’s not swaddled at all, and at night she’s loosely swaddled. I had been doing it to test out a study I had read (The case against swaddling) and so far, so good. Could also be the cluster feeding. Whatever. I have a kid who actually sleeps. (for now).
Her personality is coming through as well, I recall Asher wouldn’t ever let me know when he was dirty. He was always content to sit in his own filth and I had to guess when he had gone. Not Elsie. That child can not stand to be dirty for a moment! It makes for some very intense car rides sometimes. I’ve found that Asher’s love of Julie Andrews is shared by Elsie, but not as strongly. Elsie’s #1 song that she quiets down for most of the time? “Be Our Guest”. As soon as Jerry Orbach comes on, she stops screaming. She also calms down for “The Rainbow Connection”. We’ll see how long these soothing melodies last on her. I’m hoping she’s like Asher in that she will always calm for certain songs…we’ll see! She also loooooooves snuggles. Elsie will not nap during Asher’s naptime unless I’m laying with her on my bed and nurse her while side lying. Hey, it works for us!
The biggest adjustment for me has been figuring out how to handle two kids under two. Elsie prefers to be held, which is a stark contrast from Asher who was fine wherever. Since she wants to be held so often, I’m left with one hand to play with Asher. It’s getting better, I’ve found a few places Elsie is content hanging out in while sleeping so I can get one-on-one time with little man, but it’s still hard. Matt makes it a point to spend as much one-on-one time with Asher as possible. So far, I don’t think Asher is suffering at all. He’s being a great big brother to his little sister! He helps bounce her in her chair (though sometimes it’s a little rough and I freak out over shaken baby syndrome), and he’ll bring me blankets/paci’s for her. He often checks on her while she sleeps and pats her head or gives her a kiss. It really melts my heart!
So I guess if you’ve managed to get this far you’ve garnered that this first month has been pretty dang good. Still adjusting, but going well and soaking it all in while trying to enjoy each moment of my children’s lives. Children. Wow. I have two kids, y’all.
Till next time…