Today Hafiz is one month old!
Can’t believe it’s been one month since that morning I woke up with contractions and snow flurries outside; that last morning before meeting Hafiz and knowing who had been with me for 9 months.
I still feel like every day is so different with him. I thought by this point I would know his patterns and cues a little more but I’m still struggling a bit. Here are some things that are consistently true about Hafiz, though:
1. Eating. He loves to eat. And eat. And eat. Most newborns pass out after eating but he “finishes” nursing (12-20 minutes on each breast, really it can vary that much) and he’ll still act hungry and even protest if I don’t let him have just a bit more. If he were underweight I would be worrying about my supply, but he’s definitely gaining weight quickly. He isn’t burping or spitting up excessively either. Maybe my milk comes out real slow? I guess he isn’t eating all that often, compared to other newborn tales I’ve heard. He eats every 2.5 or 3 hrs during the day, usually with a more cluster-style feeding in the evening, every 1.5 hours or so. And then at night he will go 4-6 hour stretches without eating. That brings me to…
2. Sleep. I feel like I can’t complain because he sleeps so well at night. For example, and this is pretty typical, last night he slept 10pm-3am, nursed and then slept again 3:45am-8:30am. This has been pretty consistent since brought him home from the hospital. But I don’t feel like he is a typical baby in terms of napping during the day. Sometimes he’ll go down easily for good 2-3 hrs naps, but other times he will fight sleep like crazy (even though he is so clearly tired!) and stay up for stretches of 4-5 hours, getting grouchier and grouchier. If he’s been up too long, it just gets increasingly difficult to get him to sleep. Bouncing him gently on the exercise ball usually works, while singing or listening to music, but it can take 30 minutes. I am definitely getting a core workout from all this bouncing. But then it’s weird, because last night I was just way too exhausted to rock or bounce him, and he had been up for 4 hours and seemed wired, but I literally just laid him on his back (not even swaddled, just in a sleep sack), put the pacifier in his mouth and he fell asleep quickly all on his own from 10pm-3am. What the hell! I have decided there is no pattern or method to the madness and I need to really just take one day at a time. The only thing I want to be careful about his not letting him get overtired, because that is the only time things get really ugly.
3. Clothes. He can still wear most of his newborn clothes but they are getting snug and a few things definitely need to be retired at the end of this week. This is okay because his 0-3 month clothes are super cute, though he is still kind of swimming in a bunch of them.
5. Bathing. He needs to be in a good mood to tolerate a bath. I think the problem is that it’s so freaking cold in this house, that as nice as it is in the warm water, the time before and after the bath is traumatically cold.
6. Diapers. Speaking of cold, he used to cry at every diaper change because of the cold, but about a week ago he started accepting diaper changes happily. Also, my Aunt Colinda is visiting right now and bought a little space heater for the nursery during the day that I move into my bedroom at night. This will make little Feez’s life a lot better 🙂 We also changed over from the disposable wipes to the cloth ones, and I think they’re a bit less cold on his butt. I wish there were a way to keep my cleaning solution warm though, because it still gets pretty chilly. Sometimes I’ll spray it on the cloth and then breath on it a few times in hopes of warming it. CJ’s BUTTer has been awesome!! Whenever I see even the slightest bit of irritation on his butt I put some on and it vanishes. And I always put on a lot at night since we rarely change his diaper during his one night feed.
7. Playing. He loves lying down on his floor bed and looking at his black and white mobile or at himself in the mirror. He can literally do this for 30 minutes at a time and it allows me to clean up my room and the nursery, brush my teeth, wash my face, etc. I used to keep Pokey out of the room but now I trust her enough to hang out with Hafiz while I’m kind of walking in and out. She just looks at him. A few times she’s tried to lick his face but I think we’ve yelled “No” enough that she’s given up trying that.
8. SMILES! While he isn’t full on smiling yet, they are definitely starting to creep in little by little and I can’t wait. He also is getting better with eye contact and gets very focused on faces, either human or stuffed animal ones. He has also started making little happy yells when he is kicking his legs on his floor bed, which are so cute.
9. Skin. His skin color is already a bit darker than mine, which bodes well for his future. He got a ton of infant acne around Thanksgiving for some reason, but now it’s just a few tiny spots here and there that come and go quickly. I think the best thing to do is just clean his face daily with warm water and not use soap or lotion.
10. Nighttime. For sleeping at night, which is when he sleeps best, this snuggle me cushion has made co-sleeping so easy. It’s like he has his own bed within our bed. There’s no way we could roll on top of him or anything, plus it hugs him and makes him feel safe and warm. I move it onto his floor bed during the day for naps (though he still prefers being held or worn during naps). If we had a king size bed we could probably co-sleep like this for a few months, but since our bed is tiny I’m hoping to move the snuggle me cushion onto his floor bed at some point soon-ish. The snuggle me website says the cushion can be used up until 7 months, which I can’t imagine, but we’ll see. I hope that he is able to keep up his great nighttime sleep schedule outside of our bed. I think what’s most important its keeping him really warm. Like I said, our house is FREEZING and having him in bed with us keeps him super warm. I need to find a way to keep him just as warm in his own bed.
Oh, and how am I doing one month postpartum? My daily crying sessions are over, which is a relief. I wouldn’t say I’m super-upbeat-happy-go-lucky all the time now, but I am at least having happy moments. Husein launched his business and has been MIA for most of the days and evenings these past two weeks, which has brought me some frustration. My aunt is visiting right now and helping with the baby though, giving me some breaks. In fact the baby has been napping for the past 2 hr 15 minutes with her (and counting…) — I might even take a shower today!
My cousin gave me her breast pump so I decided to try pumping for the first time today. Um, I got like 5 mL. I knew not much would come out but 5 mL?!! I pumped about 45 minutes after Hafiz nursed, so I didn’t expect a ton, but still. I know you have to start somewhere with getting your supply up to pump so I’ll try again tomorrow but I’m feeling pretty discouraged. I am wishing I had pumped a few weeks ago when I was engorged like crazy.
I’m trying to get 20 minutes of yoga in each day, which really helps me to feel like myself again. I have this urge to RUN after 6 weeks but the cold might prevent that from happening. My weight is still above my pre-preg weight (I was 117 when we conceived and am 120 now) but I don’t really see myself losing more weight. I somehow still fit into all of my clothes, jeans included, which is what matters most to me anyway. Would like to see my stomach be a little less soft, too, but these things take time.
Last Saturday my friend Emily’s non-profit organization had this huge fundraiser in the city and I had a table set up there to publicize the book I wrote about her and to take pre-orders. Husein was also serving the first batch of coffee he brewed at the event and people were LOVING it. I wore Hafiz in the Sakura Bloom sling the entire time and he slept from 7:30-midnight — waking up at 9:30 just to nurse a little and then fell back asleep. I was really grateful that he slept and allowed me to talk to so many people about my book. It was really meaningful because a few parents of children with Cystic Fibrosis told me how excited they were to buy the book for their kids. I have three illustrations left and really need Hafiz to give me the time to finish! I might have to buy a swing contraption for him to sleep in to free up my hands more during the day…
Oh snap, baby crying. 2.5 hr nap though, not bad. Gotta go, will finish later…
I’m back, many hours later. Hafiz has actually been napping champion today, yayy. I honestly think the amount of dark chocolate I was consuming was impacting his sleep. Yesterday and today were his first choc-free days and I see an improvement. This is sad for me though, to be off chocolate and headed into holiday times. Rough.
Anyway. I think that’s it. Oh and I have been missing Sayulita so so much. I might spend February there. Not kidding. The cold is breaking me down slowly but surely. I need the sunshine and beach back!!!!
Since I’m finishing this post on my phone I can’t figure out how to put the photos within the post so here they are: