I had a sneaky feeling that there would be no such thing as "free time" after Claire got here. At least I was prepared to not have a life.
First things first:
Claire is growing like a weed. She is mellow and content. The only times she isn't happy is when she's had a dirty diaper for a while (my fault for trying to save a diaper or 2 when I know she is going to dirty one right after she eats so I wait until I'm done nursing her to change it) She is also fussy when she has to burp. She gets REALLY upset if she has a bubble sitting on her belly. Oh and if I forget the towel in the bedroom and have to carry her from the bathtub to the bedroom without a towel. She doesn't like the cold air. Other than those few things, Claire is almost always perfectly content. When she wakes up from a nap or in the middle of the night, she isn't crying, it's more of a grunt/fuss. In fact, I'm thinking of renaming her "Billy" because she sounds just like a baby billy-goat.
She smiles with her eyes. I asked the doctor about it when I went in because they say that the cognitive developmental ability to smile isn't there until at least 6 weeks. The doctor said not to believe it. If she is repeatedly "smiling" at the same thing then she is actually smiling at us. I don't know what to think. Maybe there is some truth to that but I know when she gives us a big dimply, toothless smile, there is usually a bubble coming out one end or the other sooner or later.
She pretty much sleeps through the night. In fact, last night I fed her at 10. She slept until 3, then woke up and ate. Was awake for 30 minutes (which is unusual), then fell asleep on her own and slept until 730. I have to say: I'm pretty blessed. Mine and Aaron's biggest fights have been the times that we are rudely awaken in the middle of the night. We both don't know what we are saying are doing and it usually ends with us waking up in the morning not remembering much and wondering why Aaron's on the floor or sleeping on the deck. So, to have a second child who values their sleep as much as her parents and big sister (who sleeps through the night even when Claire is crying) is pretty much an act of God himself.
Claire had her 2 week check up yesterday. Emily tagged along and was an AWESOME big helper for me. You quickly forget how much of a pain newborn doctors appointments can be!
My plan was to leave the house 20 minutes early. If I'm lucky it only takes me 10 min. to get to the doctors. This way I would be 10 minutes early to an appointment that I was already schedualed to be 15 minutes early to for paperwork. Emily was ready. I was ready. I was putting Claire (who was asleep) in her carseat when she started screaming bloody murder. I had no idea why. I tried to rock the carseat and calm her down, but that didn't work. I thought "GREAT, she's hungry." I took her out and tried to nurse her. She screamed more. I sat on the end of the bed and bounced her until she calmed down. She finally stopped crying and fell back asleep. This time I did the carseat in stages. First, I set her in it. Then I put in one arm at a time. Rock the seat. Snap the arm straps. Rock the seat. Snap a leg strap. Rock the seat. Snap the other leg strap. Rock her back to sleep. Walk out the door and shine the sun right in Claires eyes. She starts screaming. At this point I ALMOST called and cancelled my appointment. Luckily, the side to side swaying motion that I quickly invented did the trick. We got in the truck and drove to the doctor. Unfortunatly I am still a crazy woman about driving a car with a newborn. Which means I didn't drive much over 45mph the whole way there.
I finally get to the appointment 15 minutes late, technically on time, but I was SUPPOSED to be there early. They handed me my paperwork as Claire was called back. I remembered the routine almost instantly, and paniced. The nurse asked me to take Claire, who was now snoring, out of the carseat and undress her down to her diaper. What? you mean you can't just subtract the weight of the carseat and we can just put the whole thing up on the scale? Alright, fine. I don't know why the nurse feels the need to watch every move I make but it always makes me nervous, like she's just looking for a reason to call CPS. I could feel the heat in the back of my neck as I slowly unbuckled Caire. I've done this before!! Why is it so difficult? I started to take her clothes off. WHY in the world would I opt to put multiple layers on her when I KNOW that I have to get her undressed to go on the scale? because I want to appear to be a good mom who layers her baby when it's 45 degrees and raining outside. Truthfully I would have put some socks on her and full length, zip-up feety pajamas if I really would have thought about it. Once down to her diaper, I find what I think might have been the cause for the temper tantrum when I put her in the car seat earlier...her umbilical cord stump is bleeding pretty bad. Wonderful. I have a bleeding infant, at least I'm at the doctors. The nurse said we would take care of it later and led me to the scale.
The scale: Again, one of those things that make you panic. I don't know about you but just the word "scale" gives me goose-bumps, but there are several reasons here why it scares me even more.
1) Emily was always lean. No matter how much I fed her she always spit up an equal amount. She always maintained a healthy gain, but I was always nervous that at one point she wouldn't. Therefore, the scale and I have some bagage.
2) ITS METAL!!! Have you ever gotten in the bathtub, gotten all warm and cozy and relaxed just to lean back against the freezing cold wall and jump/gasp/or scream? It just ruins the moment and there is no getting relaxed again. This is what I imagine being carried down a long corridor without clothes on and then placed on a freezing cold scale would be like... It always results in a wide awake screaming baby....and if you remember, Claire skipped nursing earlier because she was screaming about her belly button.
3) You have to take their diaper off! Do you know how many times I've slung poop everywhere because I was unaware it was in there?...Only once actually, but it was enough to traumatize me for life!
Don't worry, I didn't forget about my other daughter. Emily was tagging along, eagerly soaking up every moment of what was happening to her baby sister.
I set Claire on the scale, she startles and wakes up, then fusses a little and is wide awake. What a blessing mellow children are. 8lb 7oz. I thought for sure I was going to see 10 pounds. I rediaper Claire and carry her back to the room. I am then requested to leave her undressed and on the table....freezing to death. I disobey and use my nursing cover to wrap her up and lay her on my chest.
The dr. comes in and smiles at me. I like him. He's a pretty laid back guy but tells it like it is. First words out of his mouth are "we have a good eater on our hands". HUH? "breast or bottle? must be bottle" uh....no. I breastfeed her. "How often do you feed her?!" I'm confused at the shock on his face. He explained that by 10-14 days they are hoping that babies have AT MOST reached their birth weight. It had been 13 days and Claire had gained back to her birth weight PLUS half a pound. Apparently the sign of a good eater. I don't know what this is like. Claire actually probably eats less than Emily did, but Claire doesn't have the projectile vomit, colic, and gas like poor Emily did so it all stays in her belly and puts on the chunk! The doctor said in order to make my life easier I could start putting her on a schedual...I don't know if I agree. I think she's 2 weeks only and if she's crying because she's "hungry" then I'm going to feed her and make her happy. Ironically it seemed like after he said that, she listened and started eating every 4-5 hours instead of every 2-3 like the day before. Crazy how that works.
He takes Claire from me to check her reflexes and hips and sees her belly button. With a quick flip of the wrist her stump is off. A few more quick movements and the bleeding spots are cauterized and cleaned with alcohol. Done. I am so glad that nasty thing is gone! She hardly cried but she is for sure wide awake and it won't be long before she realizes that her tummy is empty.
As a side note: Emily was complaining about her ear the other day. I tried to look inside and thought I saw something, but wasn't sure. Whatever it was it was in there far. I decided that now was as good as ever to ask the doctor about it. He graciously looked in it for me to tell me: She has an ear infection. WONDERFUL. He prescribed some antibiotics and said it would be just fine an a week or 2.
I dress up Claire and head out...remember: I have paperwork to complete. I sit down and she starts sucking on her hand...the doing the turn-your-head-to-the-side-and-root-for-the-food motion. I knew it. So like any good mother, I sat down in the waiting room, got out my handmade, very convienent nursing cover and set Claire up. With my other arm, I filled out my paperwork. I know... I'm amazing. I actually was proud of myself. With Emily I would have avoided that situation or any like it. I did what had to be done and it made the rest of the day so much easier. I was able to go by Aaron's moms work so that she could show off Claire and of course Emily. Emily was spoiled with chocolates and a piece of cake (that her mean mommy made her wait until after dinner to eat. I made it home safe and sound and Claire was still happy as a clam because her tummy was full.
Emily is temporarily a daddys girl. She doesn't want much to do with me. Probably because I have this constant appendage that needs tending to every second of the day. I'm sure it gets old for her so she clings to daddy. Aaron is more than okay with that. A newborn is high maintenance and can cry for no reason. Emily is pretty self-sufficient and has a personality. He LOVES his Claire so much and does enjoy playing with her. Unfortunatly for me, I think both of my girls are going to be "Daddy's Girls". Claire wakes up for Aaron to "play". She won't even wake up to eat for me....sigh. :(
Emily is awesome as far as big sisters go. She is always wanting to help. She is quickly figuring out things like "Claire doesn't eat candy because she only eats milk right now?" "Yes, Emily" or "I'm going to go upstairs because Baby Claire is sleeping" "Okay Emily, thank you. That is nice of you." Emily's idea of helping change a diaper is getting to put it in the diaper genie for me. Right now the little things make her feel important and included. Right now my world revolves around Claire. If I'm cuddling with Emily and Claire wakes up, I have to go get Claire. If I am watching Emily jump on the trampoline and Claire is hungry I have to feed her. I am very soon going to have to make the transition to my life revolving around my daughters. I'm going to have to start up the play dates at the park again and start taking Emily to gymnastics. I've had 2 weeks of newborn time. Now it's time to start living again....and honestly, I'm pretty scared, but I think it will make Emily an easier and happier child.
I won't make this long and I promise, not every doctors appointment will have a 10 page detailed account of everything that happens and how I feel about it. I just wanted to give you an idea of what it is like for me.
I had my first check up appointment today.
The doctor said I'm doing amazing. and the most exciting part of the whole visit... I only have 4 more pounds before I'm back down to my pre-Claire weight!!!
Unfortunatly that does mean I still have 25 pounds before I'm down to my ideal goal weight, but that is a bridge for me to cross later. Right now, I'm just trying to be a good mom.