Thursday, June 4, 2009

Early Intervention, Babywearing, Punching Bags

You know what sucks? When your baby who has consistantly gained something akin to an ounce per day since birth suddenly goes for an entire week without gaining any weight at all! She weighed in at 10 lbs. 13 oz. on 5/26 and at 10 lbs. 12.5 oz. on 6/2. It's enough to drive an already food paranoid mother like myself out of her freaking mind! My very first impulse was to start defrosting some of the hundreds and hundreds of ounces of EBM that make keeping any food in my chest freezer impossible so I could cram milk into Paloma's gullet, but then if she's drinking that, I run the risk of having my milk dry up. Instead, I called the pedi nurse, who said that they like to measure weight gain by month instead of week at this age, since there are all sorts of variables... Was her tummy empty? Her colon full? On 6/4, she weighed in at 11 lbs. exactly, whatever that means.

Breastfeeding Paloma means feeding on hopes and a prayer, because unlike many other babies, she swallows silently. Richard, the only male NICU nurse, used to call her a stealth swallower because you could feed her an entire bottle of EBM and not hear a single swallow. What this means is that I, her breastfeeding mother, have no way of knowing whether a single drop of my milk is making it into her tummy other than monitoring her weight gain. This is why I do things like sneak into the Women's Health Building's kitchenette to use the mother's group baby scale on the sly. Oh, Tedd and I try to keep tabs on her output, but until today I was convinced that she's supposed to be filling 12 diapers per day. Apparently it's more like 5. Whoops! And what is a "full" wet diaper, anyway?

Babywearin' time

In other news, I recently bought a vastly overpriced strip of fabric otherwise known as a Calin Bleu sling. So far, I have managed to get it properly tied once, at which time Paloma fell asleep and I aganized over whether I was cutting off her oxygen supply (and compromising her future intelligence quotient) by wearing her in it. I'm told that if baby is uncomfortable in the sling, baby will let you know by fussing and/or crying. I'm guessing this is true, since Paloma doesn't hesistate to fuss when she's PO'd. For example, after week 2 of life, she decided swaddling wasn't for her. Swaddle her, and she grunts and fidgets until she manages to work her arms free. It's actually rather entertaining to watch.

This is what the living room looks like after Early Intervention appts

And you know what else is entertaining? Our weekly play sessions with our Early Intervention specialist, Tracey. Paloma likes Tracey a lot -- so much so that she tolerated about a full minute of tummy time (aka torture time) this past Wednesday. When I try to put Paloma on her stomach or practice side lying, all I get are screams in response. Actually, Paloma is getting a little better at tolerating side lying, especially when there are other babies to look at. The baby in the mirror counts, thank goodness.

Now usually, I keep my home pretty tidy, but after Early Intervention, the living room looks like it does in the photo above.

Work that bag, baby!

And that's okay! I keep having to remind myself that while Paloma is going to be 16 weeks old this coming Saturday, she's only just about 10 weeks old from a developmental perspective. Currently, her big accomplishments include smiling and giggling and whacking whatever comes within arms reach. Mostly, that means toys, but she's punched me in the nose and eyes plenty of times now. Oh, and in the tits. That's right, people -- I have a titty-punching baby!

3 comments:

  1. You know that picture of Ev and I on FB where I'm shirtless and he's cuddled really close (not a hospital photo)? He followed that beautiful moment by giving my nipple a good hard twist. Nice.

    If she fell asleep in the sling it means she was warm and comfortable and felt safe. Your heart beat was also probably nice and comforting. And yes, when they don't like their sling they let you know.

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  2. Girly - stress less about your milk output!!! If she's peeing, and her gums look moist, she's hydrated. The rapid weight gain will slow - that's normal for her age. You are doing great, she looks healthy and wonderful.

    I have a Calin Bleu too - it's like a bike, hard to learn at first, but once you've got it, it's there forever. Learn one tie for now - babywearer.com and mamatoto.org have great tutorials. I slip B in and out of the front carry, no problem. I also have figured out how to tie him on my back - she's so little you can probably do a tibetan - great for cooking and dishes. If you want we can get together and babywear some afternoon :)
    She's such a cutie!!

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  3. Audrey: Titty-twister!!!

    Mira: Get together? Hells to the yes. My workload is pretty slow lately and I can only do so many chores when she's not up for playing, so I get pretty bored sometimes! My schedule is almost always open.

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