January 23, 2013

2 Months Old.

This Saturday Livvy will be two months old. So much has changed already in the past month (here's her one month post). The sort of information found below may only be interesting to me, but I want to capture it here in her digital baby book so I can remember what it was like when she was too tiny to hold anything or say anything or roll over or crawl or walk or do anything much besides gaze up at me and smile so big and so wide. And also puke on me. She pukes on me a lot, which is why I did six loads of laundry yesterday. (Six!) But still I am her biggest fan, the champion of all her coos, the companion of all her days.

Slept in her crib for the first time
This past month we stopped co-sleeping, mostly. She normally still spends several hours in my arms at night because I fall asleep nursing her in the early morning hours and don't bother to carry her back across the hall. It's cold and dark, and she's so lovely. Several weeks ago our pediatrician and Nekos agreed that it was time to get Livvy out of our bed and into her crib. The pediatrician, who I adore, said it would only get more difficult to get Livvy to sleep in her crib because she's now old enough to develop habits and preferences. I drove home from that appointment with a sinking feeling. I loved sleeping with my baby those first six weeks or so. As an acquaintance said, "co-sleeping kept me sane," and I really think it did. With Livvy in my arms, I didn't have to wonder if she was breathing or not. And she was still almost as close to me as she'd been for the previous nine months. But after awhile, I missed stretching out. I missed sleeping on my stomach, on my back, however I wanted, without regard to her tiny body, and most of all her tiny nose and mouth and keeping covers and pillows away from them. I don't really think I was sleeping fewer hours than I would have been if she'd been in her crib, but I think that the quality of my sleep was worse. Luckily it took only a couple of nights of fussing for us (all of us) to learn how to put her to sleep. And now she goes down in her crib without a problem between 7 and 8. She wakes to eat sometime between 1 and 3 and then again around 5. Then she'll sleep until 7, which is when we all usually get up for the day. The best part about this change is that we are actually able to put her to bed when we put Tessa to bed. Before, we would just hold her and soothe her cries until we went to bed. It was exhausting because there was never a break from caring for her. But this way Nekos and I get a few kid-free hours at night. He usually watches TV and I work. And we both have a beer. It's nice.

Had her first bottle and continued breastfeeding well
I've heard so many times that breastfeeding gets easier after the six-week mark. For me it was less of an overnight change and more gradual; I don't have to feed Liv as often and certainly not as long (feedings have gone from about 30 minutes to usually around 10). This means I don't have to stress about making sure she's fed right before I walk out the door. I'm also so much more comfortable nursing in public now; I just knot one of those Aden + Anais blankets around my neck and go. I'm grateful to be able to nurse, all the more so because I wasn't able to for very long with Tessa. After Tessa, I remember saying to several people that I wanted a "do-over" with the whole breastfeeding thing, and I got my do-over! That said, I enjoy nursing, but I'm not enamored with it. I mean I hope to keep it up for the first year of her life, but I really don't feel like it's contributing to our particular bond any more so than if I were holding her and feeding her a bottle of formula. I take comfort in this discovery, and it's helped me to heal from my experience with Tessa. Livvy also had her first bottle this past month and did great with it. I'm lucky to have a good supply so I haven't had trouble coming up with extra milk to store in the freezer for bottle-feedings. This way, Nekos can take care of one of her middle of the night feedings while I snooze.

First overnight visit at Yaya's 
Livvy stayed overnight with my mom last week for the first time. This may sound early to a lot of people, but it's actually late compared to when my mom first kept Tessa (around two or three weeks old). My mom still keeps Tessa almost every Saturday night, but she kept Livvy last Saturday instead. I think the plan is for her to take turns keeping the girls every Saturday. She says she won't keep both at the same time, and I understand. Their needs and demands and schedules are so different right now. Managing them both while taking care of myself has tested my patience more than anything in my life. Anyway, the stay with my mom went terrific--she ate well, slept well, and wasn't fussy. Livvy's not old enough yet to have separation anxiety, and she truly adores my mom. The feeling seems to be mutual. It was a good break from the round-the-clock demands of this little spirit.

Behavior changes
We survived a baby's fussiest period, which is around six weeks. We had some tough moments, but it really wasn't bad. Livvy is generally a very mellow, quiet baby--even when her sister is throwing a tantrum loud enough to warrant a neighbor's call to Child Protective Services and her dad is playing a record loud enough to thump the floorboards and her mom is so obviously stressed, wishing with all her might for peace and quiet and order. We have unfortunately passed the exhilarating but fleeting age where we can take a baby out somewhere loud--to dinner or a party--and she'll sleep soundly through the whole thing. At a dinner party the other night, she was awake the whole time--not crying, just awake. Speaking of, she is alert so much more now. But there's not much I can do to entertain her, beyond wagging a stuffed animal in her face. So I do a lot of just smiling at her and talking to her and tickling her cheeks and rubbing her back and a lot of hoping that she knows and feels how much she is loved.

I also recently captured the best sister picture yet:

And a few more favorite Instagram pictures of the girls from the past month: