I have no idea who she’ll end up resembling, but I’m very happy to say that she’s going to be boasting the same beautiful smile as her brother! Look at that!
Rosie has hit the double digits – 10 weeks old!
This has been an awesome/awful week. First, the awesome news (other than Rosie hitting 10 weeks):
Daddy is now Dr. Daddy!
Justin successfully defended his dissertation – and even earned honors! We’re very proud of him. But mostly, Mitchell is just happy to have him home. Justin was only gone a few days, but it felt like forever!
Now to the awful. Rosie and Mitchell both had RSV a couple weeks ago. Rosie was diagnosed at her 8 week appointment, where she weighed 10 pounds 9 ounces. When she was born, her weight was in the 55th percentile, but that weight put her at the 35th percentile. The doctor was worried, but not terribly, because she was sick and expected to regain that weight once she felt better. She scheduled her for another weight check (as well as daily breathing checks). At the next weight check, she’d gained about an ounce. Hooray for weight gain, but it still wasn’t enough to get her off weight checks. On Wednesday (the day Justin left to defend his dissertation), we went to another weight check, where she weighed 10 pounds 13 ounces. Again, she gained weight, but had dropped down to the 27th percentile in weight. The nurse had me nurse her, then weighed her again. She’d gained two ounces. The nurse said that was a great weight gain, but made several comments about needing to supplement with formula because I must not be producing enough or nursing enough because she wasn’t gaining enough weight. She even said something about second babies needing supplemented because the mom is always busy with the first child and unable to properly breastfeed. My hormonal (and already slightly irrational) brain heard: “You’re starving your child because you aren’t paying attention to her. You’re a failure of a mother.” They scheduled another weight check for Friday, which was also the day Mitchell met with the doctor to discuss his speech development.
Wednesday and Thursday I nursed Rosie pretty much constantly. I also wore her in the ring sling and tried to focus on her as much as possible. Between this and Justin being gone, Mitchell decided to push every boundary he encountered. I generally am very proud to take him out and about. He walks along with me and behaves very nicely usually. Wednesday and Thursday, though, he ran in every direction, grabbed stuff off shelves, etc. But I was still pretty confident going to the appointment on Friday because Rosie had been nursing a lot and was so happy and healthy, I thought for sure she’d gained several ounces.
Nope. One ounce. She gained a single ounce. The doctor said it was time to start pumping and offering her a bottle after every feeding. So the feeding routine would consist of nursing (twenty minutes per side, forty minutes total), offering a bottle (who knows how long that would take), and then pumping (at least a fifteen minute ordeal). And I’m supposed to sit there doing this while Mitchell entertains himself. I’d be doing so much couch-parenting I’d start to resemble Gilbert Grape’s mom, both physically and in parenting style.
Mitchell was also referred to speech therapy, but the doctor assured me he displayed absolutely no signs of autism or disabilities She was actually more pleased with his progress than I thought she’d be. He’s been gaining at least a word a week for the last couple months, but he still only has 15-20 words that he uses regularly. His favorite word right now is “beep beep”. He’s constantly asking me to make my car go beep beep.
Anyway, I came away from the appointment Friday morning feeling like a total failure of a mother. All day Friday, I tried the doctor’s recommendations with Rosie. Needless to say, it didn’t work well. I cried, Mitchell cried, Rosie cried. I convinced myself I was a total failure. The more I stressed about it, the harder it was to nurse Rosalynn, and I even dried up Friday afternoon/evening. My failure to nurse was pretty devastating. At a couple weeks old, Mitchell was taking 6 ounces per feeding. The ladies at the breastfeeding clinic treated me like a rock star. I encountered many issues (mastitis, clogs, etc.), but throughout it all, Mitchell nursed and gained weight and lingered at the top of the charts. So to be told I wasn’t sustaining Rosie on my own…the one thing I did really, really well…it hurt. A lot. I can’t even describe all the emotions that were racing through my head. It was awful. Basically, when Justin got home Friday night, he got less than the enthusiastic homecoming he was probably expecting. I considered it a success just to not be curled into the fetal position crying.
I ended up contacting one of the La Leche League representatives here locally, and she made me feel a lot better. She said, based on my history and everything I’d told her, I wasn’t actually drying up. I was probably still producing just as much as ever, I was probably just sensitive to stress and unable to nurse while I was stressing out about it. Between her reassurances and Justin being home, Saturday and Sunday I was able to nurse Rosalynn with no problems, never dried up, and even pumped a few times. I figure building up my supply isn’t a bad idea.
We have another weight check this week. I’m not sure what I’ll do if it turns out badly, because I’m feeling so confident right now.
Moral of the story: hormones are bad, m’kay? But my children are adorable.
Mitchell was running a random fever and fell asleep on the couch the other night. It was so weird. But kinda adorable.
Rosie is 9 weeks old today!
She’s almost fully recovered from her bout of RSV, but I have a new diagnosis to add: bipolar (or maybe just gas). She’s adorable during the day. Absolutely adorable. Full of smile and coos and cuddles. But once evening hits, she starts screaming. She’s always had a grumpy hour in the evenings, but for the last week it’s started earlier and earlier. And so we pace. I find the perfect position she wants to be held in and we pace. Usually from the closet to the bathroom and back again, because the light and sound level is perfect there. It takes me nine steps to get from the bathroom to the closet, but for some reason only eight steps to get from the closet to the bathroom.
And I question myself. I worry. I fret. I overcome multiple panic attacks. I lose feeling in my arms. I wonder why she’s so angry. I wonder why she doesn’t love me. I can’t remember why in the world we thought we needed two children.
And then she falls asleep, and she’s adorable again, and I can’t imagine my world without her. And in the morning, I dress her in the cutest outfit I can find and I make silly faces at her and forget about the crying (at least until the evening).
A while back, I bought Mitchell a giant tub of foam stickers. And he taught me that I can’t be trusted to make decisions. He climbed the shelves to get them, and, while the stickers were mostly placed on the paper, the paper backings went everywhere. Every. Where. It was bad. So, I got that all cleaned up (he made efforts to help) and swore I’d never make that mistake again.
Until yesterday, when Target had a book of Sesame Street stickers on clearance. I thought it would be fine. He can’t peel them off the paper himself, so he had to being them to me to do. Perfect, right? Until I’m stuck on the couch. He started bringing them to me and running back to the dining room with them. But that’s where his easel is, so I didn’t think much of it. Playing nicely, I thought! Look at me, rocking the two children, I thought!
He was so darn proud of himself, too.
Rosie is officially two months old today. She had the worst birthday celebration ever. We went to her doctor’s appointment this morning, and the doctor was very anxious about her breathing. She said it was too labored and when she was really upset, she was wheezing a bit. She checked her oxygen levels, and they were great, so at first she was going to just send us home and have is come back tomorrow for another check, but after coming into our room about five times to look at her again, she decided she was having to use too much muscle to breathe and needed to head to the ER for observation for a few hours, possibly overnight. It’s a very good thing I didn’t get a chance to eat breakfast this morning, because my stomach did a number of flops at that point. I was shaking so bad trying to carry her and Mitchell to the car that the car seat probably felt like it was vibrating to her. Justin met us at the ER and we proceeded to experience a very traumatic hour. I know those nurses are concentrating on doing their jobs, but c’mon. A little compassion would be lovely. They did deep suction on her, which was awful, both for her and for me (Justin and Mitchell left the room for that). In the end, the ER doctor concluded that her pediatrician was being a little overly cautious in sending her to the ER. She did get diagnosed with RSV, but he said she was on the upswing of it and I was already doing everything he would have recommended.
So, while it was an awful way to spend her two month birthday, there were some bright moments: In the doctor’s office, I was holding Mitchell and the doctor was holding Rosie. Rosie was crying, and Mitchell started getting upset, then started patting my shoulder and saying “Baby night night”. He then got down, went and put his hand on her belly and said “Mama baby” several times, getting more upset each time. He definitely did not approve of anyone else touching his baby sister! The other bright moment was when the doctor was rattling off all the recommendations for making her more comfortable and I was answering with everything I’d been doing. After the doctor left, Justin said, “I love going to the doctor with you. Because whatever they say to do, you’ve already done it.” It was probably the best compliment I’ve ever received, and it was perfect timing. My whole ride to the ER, I was thinking about what a terrible mother I was to have let my baby get sick like this and to not have even known that it was bad enough for an ER visit (thankfully, it hadn’t been). I kept thinking that my entire purpose right now is to keep my children happy and healthy, and I’d failed at that. Trust me, plenty of tears were involved. Another kind of bright moment was the car ride home. My gas light had come on as I left the doctor’s office, so I did a Google search for the closest gas station when I was leaving the ER. It took me to a very scary house in the ghetto. I didn’t see any gas pumps, but I didn’t exactly stick around to look too hard. Leaving wasn’t easy, though, because the GPS kept trying to send me the wrong way. At one point, I was trying to turn left at a stop light and sat through a couple rotations because cars coming the opposite direction weren’t slowing down for yellow lights. I would have had to run the red light to turn. Which I eventually did, because the car behind me started honking his horn. Mitchell decided that was the sound a car made when it was hurt, and the whole rest of the way home he kept saying “mama car go ow”. Well, until we got to Sonic. As soon as he saw Sonic he started saying “mama juice”. It was hilarious.
But, all is well, and at least now I have my very first ER visit out of the way. Hopefully that doesn’t become a trend!
Unfortunately, she’s caught the plague from Mitchell or Daddy, so she’s feeling a bit under the weather right now. Mostly just a stuffy nose, but some pretty rough coughing every once in a while. She’s a lot better while she’s upright, though. I’m sure just because that means she’s being held.
She’s learning to entertain herself, though. Her best friend right now (other than Mitchell) is the turtle on the playmat. She tells him all her joys and concerns (“I got a boob today!” “I got my diaper changed!”).
She’s even started to enjoy nursing, which makes me very happy. 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. is still a very rough time filled with lots of screaming, but outside those hours, she’s turning into quite a happy little girl. She’s perfect at outings, too, because if she’s driven around for more than ten minutes, she’ll stay asleep for hours in her car seat. And since it takes twenty minutes to get anywhere around here, she basically sleeps a lot.
Oh, and do you notice that shiny bald head? This poor child has nothing but a ring of old-man-hair around her head. Absolutely nothing but wisps on top. But she tolerates head bands and hats, so we’re dealing with it. And she pulls it off splendidly!