Wow…Beatrice has been here for six weeks now. I’m trying to remember what my expectations were for the six week mark and if we’re actually anything like that. Unfortunately, I don’t know how much she weighs but she looks like a little chunk with nice plump rolls at the tops of her arms and thighs. For some reason I was pretty sure she’d be a fatter baby than Camilla and that’s been true so far, thanks to her great love of eating. (Incidentally, the fat seems to be moving from me to her — I was only four pounds over my pre-baby weight at my six week checkup yesterday!) She’s still the sweetest-natured baby and when she does cry, there’s usually a discernible reason (hungry, tired, wet, bored). And let me tell you, after an unpredictably screamy baby, this is so incredibly liberating!Because of this, we’re more mobile than I thought we’d be at this age. We’ve managed drives of up to an hour with both kids, as long as we time it such that Bea is really tired and falls asleep in the car. Short drives around town are the worst, really, since she tends to scream the whole time. Camilla has been so good lately that I forgot how agitating it is to drive with a screaming baby in the car.
Sleeping is still not great but it’s a lot better than it could be. I have discovered two keys to sleeping with a newborn that I wish I had known when Camilla was small:
(1) Wake yourself up as little as possible when you feed the baby during the night. I don’t know about you, but it is reaaaaaallly hard for me to fall back asleep after I wake up. If I check my email, read a book, watch a movie, or even just spend much time thinking or moving around, it can easily be an hour or more before I drift off afterward. And then, like as not, the baby has woken up and we have to nurse and repeat the whole process all over again. This has led to our current system where I spend Beatrice’s first sleep stretch in bed (she’s in the bassinet), and then after she wakes up I stretch out as much as possible on the sofa with her on the nursing pillow. That way, when she wakes up to nurse we don’t have to move and we both fall back to sleep pretty quickly. I admit that I do long for the day when I spend the whole night in bed and this system doesn’t seem to be getting us there very quickly, but at least I am not awake half the night. Her first stretch does seem to be getting a little longer, so I have some hope that she might just eventually start sleeping through the night or have just one feeding, which would entice me to put her back in the bassinet afterward and deal with my own sleep issues. (Some of you are going to see another easy solution and suggest that we just nurse in bed. We tried, and unfortunately that doesn’t work well for Bea or myself.)
(2) Don’t keep track of how much sleep you are getting. I used to be obsessed with how much sleep I got so I could make a full report to Josh in the morning (only four hours! and in 45-minute segments!) but I have since learned that this isn’t helpful for anybody. Plus, if I know that I got only a few hours of sleep it’s like shooting myself in the foot when the new day begins in the morning. Trust me: it’s a lot better if you just don’t know. I do look at the clock occasionally since I’m trying to roughly keep track of Bea’s nighttime sleep patterns, but I don’t keep track of how long we’re awake during the night. And you know what? I think I’m doing pretty well on levels of sleep that would have seemed impossible to sustain when I was in college.
Of course, things are going to get shaken up a bit when husband goes back to school the week after next. He starts with three weeks of short teacher prep days and then the full drive-him-to-work-at-7:30, pick-him-up-at-4:00 routine begins at the end of August. I am simultaneously scared of being alone all day and looking forward to the boundaries imposed by the schedule because, let’s face it, nobody gets as much done during the summer as they could. Getting out the door by 7:15 is stressful but it really jumpstarts our day. I haven’t really scheduled naps up till now, but I’m hoping that things will start to fall into a predictable pattern once we have a consistent morning routine.
Okay, enough talk about our lives. Here are this week’s photos:
(Gotta love that half-smile!)
(Helpfully showing sister how to find her feet.)
The socks, incidentally, were an accident: I realized that they’d been on all morning and would leave sock lines if I took them off right before the photos. Even babies look silly with sock lines.
Because Camilla was in a silly mood, I also took a few photos of the aftermath:
The fabric is some really lovely Missoni(!?!) knit that I found in the clearance bin at Joann’s. It is very stretchy and probably snags easily so I’m saving it for a grown-up project…someday I would just love to try to make my own version of this Mociun dress, and I think this fabric might work. We’ll see if “someday” ever comes.
(P.S. I forgot to take a pic of the new glasses, which I really like. Mom & Marian, I will try to remember in the next day or two.)