Vivian is three weeks old! Ahem, plus two days. And I have barely written anything about her! We have managed to keep her alive, and mostly keep our heads screwed on, for twenty-three days… But I still am not getting much computer time. (Sacrifices!)
Mostly it’s just been a series of days spent figuring out how to own and operate a tiny human, albeit a pretty easy one. Like I mentioned in passing last time, feeding has been tricky. At her two week visit to the Navy clinic, Vivian’s weight had not yet started to rebound and she was still down near 8 lbs; and therefore I was instructed to start supplementing with formula. (I’ve come to believe that breastfeeding must be a conspiracy designed to make women feel inadequate.) A week later, she was up to 9.0 lbs at her re-check. A full pound gained in a week! The doctor called her a porker. So, the supplementation has been working. My goal is to gradually start weaning her back off of it… Breastmilk or bust, dammit.
Honestly? I still am not really prepared to do a real long quality post here, in this sitting. I really do have actual intentions to write: the birth story (before I forget everything), and about breastfeeding (like I said, breastfeeding = inadequacy), and about what a bureaucratic ordeal it’s been giving birth to an American citizen abroad (huge pile of paperwork). But right now, for the remainder of this post, I’m going to copy and paste from a post I managed to get up on my family blog a couple of nights ago. Because it’s been easier (and not at all inaccurate) to post happy fluffy updates to satisfy the aunts than it has to write anything that requires actual thought. And so! Self-plagiarization begins here.
I’m really enjoying getting to know her, figuring out what makes her happy and how to fix the things that make her unhappy. At three weeks old, almost all of the major crying is about hunger. Other things that may make her fuss or cry include:
- Having to poop. Apparently it’s uncomfortable. (Solution? Pooping.)
- Needing her diaper changed. (Solution? Fresh diaper.)
- Having her diaper changed. (Solution? Power through it; the crying will stop when the changing is over.)
- Having her clothes changed. This is way worse than the diaper changing. (Solution? See above.) (B says his personal hell is an eternity of changing infants’ clothing… Putting their squirmy hands through sleeves that are a little too long and a little too narrow.)
- The time immediately before and immediately after a bath. Some overlap with the clothes changing, coupled with the extra-cold factor. (Solution? Warm water / dry and dressed baby.)
- Being put down/left alone, i.e. in the bassinet, swing, car seat. (Solution? Movement, or pacifier, or in extreme cases, picking her up again.)
- Pacifier falls out of her mouth. (Solution? Mommy/Daddy/Grandma fetches pacifier. Solution part 2: work on pacifier retention skills.)
Things that Vivian likes (besides food) include:
- Being held.
- Being stroked, especially on her scalp or her legs.
- Her hands, and keeping them on or near her face.
- Exercising: mainly kicking her feet; also, lifting her head. (She is so advanced.)
- High contrast books and toys. Just like the literature says, she will track black and white or brightly colored objects held 1 to 2 feet from her face. Especially when those objects rattle.
She spends more and more time awake and not eating or crying. Just contentedly alert. It’s lovely. Holding Viv while she is peacefully sleeping (and watching the silly REM cycle faces) is awesome, but the happy alert times are the best.