Sunday, November 4, 2012

A real post

I mentioned in my last post that I needed to update with a real post, so here goes....

It's amazing how quickly the time is flying by! I mean, we started November last week and on Thursday, I will have been back at work for a month. Tomorrow is also our anniversary.... seven years. Wow.

Hannah is over two and a half months old. At our last doctor's appointment, about a month ago, she weighed 11 pounds 12 and a half ounces and was 23 inches long. She is in the 83% for both of those numbers. She has quickly progressed through her 0-3 month clothes and is wearing mostly 3-6 month stuff now. She doesn't really fill them out, but she needs the length. 

Pumping is going well. I'm freezing almost as much milk each day as I put into her bottles. Eventually I know that she'll start drinking more, but for now, I'm able to freeze a ton. So much in fact that we now own a chest freezer. There just wasn't enough room in our fridge freezer so my parents bought us a small chest freezer for our anniversary. We are still happy with the decision and I am thrilled to be able to provide so well for her.

Hannah is beautiful. She gets complimented daily, and as she grows, she is getting more and more adorable and beautiful. Her smile just lights up her whole face and it's impossible to be angry or annoyed with her when she grins. Her eyes seem to be staying blue. They are just gorgeous.

She still does well when we take her out in public, but occasionally she gets unhappy in the car. If she's unhappy in the car, she will cry whenever the car stops like at a stoplight, but as soon as the car starts going again, she's fine. It's really funny.

We have been dealing with colic, and it's been rough, especially since I've gone back to work. She starts fussing around 6ish and it goes until at least 11. There are brief respites, but it's a pretty constant whining and crying and fussing, even with the pacifier. Things are getting better though. We've had several evenings recently without more than a few moments of fussiness, and some slightly earlier bedtimes, so there is hope. Up until recently, Hannah has been operating on a college schedule: bedtime around midnight, wake for food around 6, sleep more until 10 or 11. Some naps in the afternoon, then a fussy party from 6 until she goes to sleep. But things are slowly progressing. Tonight, in fact, she was asleep before 10. Granted, we turned back the clocks last night, but it would still be before 11 without it. Friday night she also was asleep before 10. Last night it was around 11.

We have been dealing with quite a bit of spit-up. Hannah is what they call a 'happy spitter'. She spits up a lot, but it doesn't seems to make her uncomfortable until afterward when she's messy and wet. It got so bad that we called the on-call pediatrician about a week after my last post. From that conversation, we started adding rice to her milk and it has made a huge difference. She still spits up quite a bit, but it is not near to what it was. We occasionally have meals where it's worse than others, but for the most part, it's not nearly as bad as it used to be. We own A LOT of bibs and A LOT of burp cloths. And she goes through a lot of clothes.

Wubanub is still her favorite pacifier, but she also likes the purple ones she has. With regards to the NICU stay that I referenced in my last post, Hannah spent two days in the hospital for jaundice. When they sent us home on the 17th, we had orders for one final bilirubin test since her levels were higher than they would like, but not high enough to treat. On Saturday, her levels had jumped so they wanted her to come in for treatment. We spent Saturday night, all day Sunday, and most of the day on Monday hanging out at the hospital. We were able to stay in a family room in the NICU wing so we got to see her every three hours. I was allowed to nurse for 10-15 minutes then she got a bottle of formula and eventually pumped milk. The big goal was to get her peeing and pooping to get the bilirubin out of her system. She was quite dehydrated which was part of the problem. She wasn't getting enough to eat since my milk hadn't come in, but no one suggested supplementing. While we were in the hospital, we got lots of one on one attention from lactation and I started pumping as well. She responded really well to treatment, and we were down to only one light by Sunday afternoon in the hopes that even if levels were still high on Monday, they could send us home with a bili-blanket. By Monday, even that wasn't necessary. We had a final test on Tuesday the 21st and her levels were continuing to drop without treatment.

Unfortunately, she developed a dependence on the bottle that we weren't able to break once we got home. She continued to need the bottle after nursing regardless of how long she would nurse. That was part of the reason I decided I wanted to stop nursing. It was not the great bonding experience I had hoped, Hannah didn't seem to respond well to it, and I spent a lot of time feel like I was a failure. I felt much better once I started pumping and we started bottle feeding.

Hannah still doesn't really like bath time. I think it's just going to take time and practice to get her used to it. I can't wait until she likes it as much as we do. She is still super cute afterward, with her fuzzy post-bath hair. And she smells good too....

She still likes tummy time, but with the spit-up issue, we're not doing it as much as we should. She's doing a great job holding her head up and we're practicing sitting in her bumbo chair. She easily focuses and turns her head to look when she hears voices. She likes to watch the TV or the computer screen when they are showing something brightly colored that's moving. She also likes to look at ceiling fans. She has a couple of toys that she enjoys reaching for, and she likes her rings on her car seat.

Obviously, I have gone back to work. I've been back for almost a month now, and it's going well. I spent just less than a week doing observations and getting my room ready. The kids started on a Friday, but I was missing half my students so it wasn't a good representation. Monday, when everyone was there, and my two new kids started, things were definitely more exciting. It's a very different experience, but I'm enjoying it. My bosses seem pleased with the job I'm doing as well. It's a little weird to kick my boss out of his office twice a day to pump, but it's working well.

Overall, we're doing okay. Still figuring things out but we're doing well as a family of three.

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