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Baby Log: Week Four

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What a difference a week makes. 7 days. 168 little hours. I reread last week's posts, and I don't recognize that whining woman! In fairness to myself, sleep deprivation + a sick baby DO NOT mix. I was so delirious that I was questioning my natural baby care plan (breastfeeding, cloth diapers, baby-wearing) and whether I had spoiled my newborn!!! I will repeat...a week can make all the difference. So what has changed? For starters, I dedicated this week to learning my baby (still reading books and web sites, but trusting my gut more). I am proof that caring for a newborn does get easier (once you stop stressing). Here's what happened:
  • Marlie is responding to mommy's new take-charge attitude. She senses my confidence and is less fussy because I am letting her know that I will keep her safe and secure.
  • We ventured on our first public outing as a family last weekend. It felt so good to be out like a normal person and not on house arrest. Saturday we went to the new Babies R Us grand opening and the grocery store. She created a stir wherever we went. We took her to church on Sunday. I carried her in the Moby Wrap that I had abandoned in a pile in the closet because I was so intimidated my all the material. Of course I tied it wrong and had to support her with my arms, but I didn't take it off (another example of my re-discovered determination). Our pastor saw my dilemma and gave me a tutorial (I ♥ Pastor C!). Marlie loved it so much that she slept the entire service! I plan to use the wrap every day so she can be close and I can be hands-free to do other things (like eat!). Then, we had a mommies lunch date on Wednesday with a friend and her 5 1/2 month-old son. Marlie was so cooperative while her mommy chatter boxed for two hours. She must have known that I desperately needed some girlfriend time.
  • Tummy time has become our favorite part of the day. All of the adults gather around her to see what she will do! She has graduated from cobra pose and baby push-ups to rockiMarlie winkingng and (almost) rolling! I love this photo of her mid-rock and squinting. She looks so determined. She also grunts like Serena, which to me is an indication that she is going to be competitive.
  • We are still on the fence about the pacifier. We have been getting along fine mostly doing 4 out of 5 S's (swaddling, stomaching, shushing, swaying). I know, that as a newborn, Marlie has an incredible sucking reflex, but so far she has done well without a binky (not counting the week she was sick). She has discovered the back of her fist, which is okay for now. We did buy a set of pacifiers on Saturday at BRU (just in case). For getting her to sleep, nothing works better than laying her on her stomach across my arm in a football hold. Damon compares it to a wrestling sleeper-hold because she is out like a light! I sometimes allow her to do the occasional recreational sucking on my breast after a feeding, wait until she is asleep, de-latch, then proceed to swaddle.
  • Marlie cries. This is a reality that I have to accept no matter how much it pains me. Instead of getting stressed when she cries, I am learning her what her cries mean (i.e. "Neh" = I am hungry) thanks to a friend who turned me on to Priscilla Dunstan's Baby Language (watch this clip).
  • Miss Marlie developed that pesky neonatal acne over the weekend. I left it alone. Then I noticed her cheeks, chin, neck, eyelids and ears were covered flesh-colored bumps that were inflamed in some areas. I panicked when I couldn't find any matching descriptions in the books. Luckily, the Mayo Clinic web site has a slide show of baby rashes, and her bumps look like the picture of heat rash. Well, duh! Texas is hot! That just killed any plans to take her for a walk around the neighborhood. I had a phone consult with my homeopathic doctor who advised that I keep a 100% cotton barrier (blanket, burp cloth) between her face and our skin and synthetic fibers (clothes, her car seat and bouncer), both of which generate heat and irritate the rash. Dr. E also recommended the sparring using of pure aloe vera gel.
  • My phone consult also covered the topic of taking control of my diet. I am guilty of consuming various bad foods since giving birth, and Marlie's little tummy has been suffering the consequences. She had bad gas one day because I ate pizza. Now she has a bit of thrush on her tongue. So, I am re-committing to my wheat/gluten-free diet and cutting out dairy to avoid fueling the bacteria and hopefully it will clear up on its own and we won't have to use that purple stuff.
  • This is my mother-in-law's last week with us. I cannot describe how incredibly helpful she has been. She has done everything from changing diapers to fixing meals. I had a minor freak out when I realized that I wasn't going to have her extra pair of hands anymore, then I stopped and started to plan how I was going to manage on my own during the day. This week I made myself do things without running to my MIL for help. I learned to take my shower with Marlie strapped in her bouncy chair, and I made a smoothie while cradling her in one arm. Ya me!
  • I can't believe my baby girl is a month old! People warned me that time would speed up when you had a new baby. They were not lying.


Darcel said...

I'm glad your feeling and doing better. Having a baby changes your life like you wouldn't believe.

Sounds like you have a handle on everything. Don't feel you have to know everything all at once. Just take time to relax and enjoy Marlie. The times goes by so fast!
She is such a cutie.

Kim @ What's That Smell? said...

I am so glad you are falling into the rhythm of it!

It really is hard when they cry because as moms we are responsible for meeting their every need. We sort of blame ourselves that we "missed something" but it does get easier ans you recognize the cries like you said.

I love that picture of Marlie!!!

jmt said...

Glad to hear that all is going well. Everything you've described sounds perfectly normal and logical. :) Keep up the good, HARD work!

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