On Friday, Analise will be six weeks old. For me, that's six weeks of sleep deprivation, six weeks of watching this little human grow before my eyes, and six weeks of falling more in love with her every minute of everyday.
Six weeks : 42 days : 1008 hours : 60,480 seconds. And it has flown. Does time speed up when you become a parent? Sure seems so to me. While I'm eager for things like her first real sustained smiles and hearing her coo and babble, I desperately want time to slow down.
The last thing I want to think about is going back to work and leaving this little sweet thing every day, but I know it's inevitable. I just have to focus on the moment and enjoy every one of these 60,480 seconds I have left.
We're still figuring eachother out, I think, and I want to take the next 6 weeks to understand as much of her little personality and dispositions as possible. I'm starting to pick up on a few patterns- such as her waking up every hour and a half between 12:30am and 7am (ugh!) - mainly for soothing and assurance. She doesn't necessarily want to eat, but rather, to be held and cuddled. I usually feed her too because it soothes her back to sleep. But as soon as I lay her in the bassinet again, she starts fussing and crying out. Sometimes I can calm her with my voice alone, but usually I have to lay a hand or two on her chest and a rub on her belly also helps.
She is still nursing around twelve times a day (or more)- I'm not sure how to lessen this, as it seems she is hungry a lot. I love nursing and connecting with her in this way, but every two hours (or sometimes more often) is tiring and also makes it challenging to do other things like get out of the house- my timing has to be perfect. Luckily, I'm getting better at nursing in public and also feeling totally confident nursing in front of most anyone. It's completely natural and if someone else has a problem with it, that's none of my business- they can deal with it :) I hope eventually we can move to nursing every 3-4 hours, and hopefully soon. It might help if she ate longer than 7 minutes at a time (that's about her average), but normally she falls asleep. I try to encourage her to continue on the other side, but it usually doesn't work. This girl loves to sleep. And she loves to decide when she wants to eat and when she is finished.
Her most alert and awake periods tend to be in the afternoon, around 1pm, 4pm, and 8-10pm. We have a lot of fun during those brief periods and I try to get a lot of chatting, singing and engagement in that time. The late period is the best because Kevin is home from work to connect and play with her. We've also started a new evening routine of bath (every other night), reading books and cuddling. It's the best. Right after this routine of bath, books, nursing- she tends to get the longest sleep stretch- normally 2 hours but once we even got 3 hours!
Along with my baby goals for the next 6 weeks, I have 6 weeks to focus mentally and physically on myself before I go back to work full time and I have a few goals I hope to accomplish. First, I want to get back into some sort of a modified workout routine. Besides walking, I have done zero physical activity for six weeks now, and it's starting to drive me nuts. I know it's been good for me to rest, relax and get into a routine with baby- but I miss good physical activity. I want to move slowly into it, but get back up to my usual activity within the next three months. Next Wednesday I have my 6 week post partum checkup and I hope to get full clearance from my doctor to workout! I FINALLY feel like my 10 stitches are fully healed - wooo!!! And in addition to strengthening my arms, abs, etc, I want to work on my pelvic floor (bladder control is not easy, people, I will never take it for granted again!). Speaking of abs, I'm still freaked out by the fear of diastasis recti (look it up...not fun!) - so I want to workout with an instructor or trainer or two for extra guidance and support to get started.
My other personal goal is to work on my mental well-being and centeredness. I'm going to focus on this through yoga, meditation and a new book I've had on the shelf ready to read, "The Conscious Parent." I'll be sharing some excerpts and reflections especially on this work in the coming weeks.
Thank you all for following along with our journey! Here are some photos below of the past week weeks. You can expect many more in the weeks to come :)