~ Smiles all around!
Things are going great! I am having so much fun! I can't express enough the difference it makes to have Katelyn's reflux and colic under control: with Thomas, it took many different medication trials and many heartbreaking months before we managed to help him and I am SO happy that Katelyn's has improved so quickly. She is a happy little girl now, almost all the time, and even when she does vomit (which she does quite often still), she usually isn't bothered by it thankfully. She just smiles and lets it all spurt out! LOL!
Katelyn was smiling last month, but this month it has become a very regular occurrence. She even started laughing at the beginning of this month! When she smiles or laughs, her whole little face lights up and it is so incredible to see. The joy I experience from seeing her happy is amazing! She has also started "chatting" a lot more with us, making all sorts of different cooing noises. One of her favourite "words" is "er-ga". I'm not quite sure what that means, but she seems quite sincere! She seems to be developing so quickly!
One day when she was 5 1/2 weeks old, Thomas and I thought we might play with her on the floor, so I put her on a little play mat I bought when I was expecting Nicholas. She got a bit grumpy on her back, so I put her on her tummy. I knew already that she had great head control, but what she did still amazed me! (Warning: proud Mummy bragging here!) She pushed up on her arms and lifted her head all the way until her face was vertical, then she turned her head from side to side and took a good look around! For a baby just over a month old, that is quite remarkable!
In the middle of last month, I was wondering how I was ever going to cope, let alone enjoy things. Now I am managing quite well and getting so much enjoyment with both Katelyn and Thomas. It is a sheer joy to see them together! Katelyn often smiles when she catches sight of Thomas, and Thomas is so gentle and sweet with her. Her loves her so much and isn't showing the slightest bit of jealousy. He actually raves to people about what a little cutie she is! One day he even said to me, "Mummy, I am so glad we have a baby!" Ahhh . . . It adds such a dimension to parenting to have two children - to see them loving each other and interacting is so wonderful. It brings me such joy to see Thomas being such a good big brother.
We are finding a bit of a groove now. I, of course, haven't put Katelyn on any sort of schedule, but I am finding that she is starting to show some predictability to her feeding and sleeping, what sorts of things she tends to like at various times of day and so on. I have got myself into a rough routine as to when and how I get the chores done as well. Katelyn tends to feed about every two hours or so, which is quite different from Thomas, who was practically constantly attached to my breasts! (Probably why he gained about a pound per week as opposed to Katelyn's half pound gains!) When she feeds, she tends to take it in "courses", coming back to the same breast three or four times over about an hour, having some smiling, chatting, playing time in between. Then she tends to get a bit grumpy, and I cuddle her off to sleep, patting her little back, and put her in the sling. Once she is there, I can do some washing, make up her medicines, play with Thomas, do some computer work and so on.
The evenings are when this pattern changes, and she does get a bit "fussy". Thomas also starts getting a bit fractious, and I am feeling tired. We have developed a bit of a routine now that is so great! I fell into it by accident actually: one night, Andrew was going to be quite late home, too late to be able to hold Katelyn for a few minutes while I took a shower, or to bathe Thomas. I REALLY wanted to get washed, Katelyn had just vomited all over herself, and Thomas was grubby after being at preschool. So.. we all jumped in a bath together! Whereas Katelyn had been hating her baths in the baby bath, taking a bath with us kept her so happy and actually settled her down for the rest of the evening. Now late each afternoon, I put on a CD and we all have a nice long bath. Something funny! The first time Katelyn was in the bath with us, she was clearly enjoying it. Then I was cradling her in my arms and she realised she could nurse in there: the look on her face was priceless. Kind of like, "Hey, you mean I get THIS in here too! Bonus!!"
At night, she is able to lie next to me now (rather than needing to sleep on my chest) and she will nurse lying down too! I can even attach her in the dark. Many nights, she will have a 3 or 4 hour sleep without nursing for the first part of the night, which is amazing to me, as Thomas didn't do that until he was over two years old. Then she often nurses about every one to two hours for the rest of the night. Sometimes I wake up a few hours after latching her on and find her still sucking. LOL!
Some days of course things aren't as simple, and she is somewhat unsettled. I think that is just the way with babies who have reflux. Even so, on the whole I would have to say that life is GOOD, and it is sheer delight to spend the days with my little Missy Moo. She hardly ever cries anymore and when she is happy, I am happy!
I have been cutting some corners to make life as easy and pleasant for myself as possible. For example, even though we intended on using cloth nappies from the word go, we are still using disposables! I actually tried cloth one day but found them so bulky and the poor little girl looked so uncomfortable. I might try them again when she is a bit bigger: for now, I think I will enjoy the convenience of Huggies! I have also been putting the washing in the dryer rather than hanging it on the line, as that is manageable with a baby in my arms and much quicker. I have been staying home most days, as I still find car travel when I can't have my finger in Katelyn's mouth too stressful. Taking Thomas to preschool is about as close as I have come to taking the two kids on an outing without Andrew or my parents there! LOL! We will get there though. I will work my way up to it.
It is quite funny how different Katelyn is from Thomas with the breastfeeding. Thomas wanted a breast in his mouth practically constantly, and in fact for the first few months would only sleep attached. Katelyn, even though she clearly loves her "bees", will only go to the breast when she is hungry, and even then will often pull off when let-down occurs (although she is getting better at coping with it) . Rarely will she fall asleep at the breast, except for the first couple of feeds during the night (thank goodness for that!). I am hoping that as she gets older she will start using the breast more for comfort and for helping her get to sleep, although there are some advantages in the way things are currently: Andrew can put her to sleep (well, in theory anyway), which he wasn't able to do with Thomas. That means I am not quite so indispensable - either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it!
We found and set up the swing we had for Thomas this month. We don't use it much, but Katelyn does seem to enjoy spending a few minutes in it every now and then, and it can give my arms a brief break (she is getting heavy!). We have a nice little chat while she swings! A few times, she has been tired and really fussing in my arms, so I have put her in the swing to try that and she has fallen straight asleep. I guess she really likes the movement! We have some great video of Thomas doing the biggest belly laughs in it when he was about five months old. I was playing peek-a-boo with him as he swung towards me and he obviously thought that was hilarious. I have also finally started to use my Maya Wrap sling and really like it. Katelyn's favourite position is the "kangaroo carry", even though she is technically a little young for that (but she has such great head control that it's okay for short times). She especially likes it when I put her in like a little joey and then stand in front of the mirror so she can see herself. She gets quite a laugh out of that!
I had my six-week check-up with the obstetrician and all was just fine, as I expected. We discussed birth control and I am seriously considering having a newish form of permanent contraception, which has the same effect as a tubal ligation but can be done under a local anaesthetic. We feel our family is complete, I am 35 now and I had always planned to have finished having children by then, and on top of that, I think another pregnancy would probably send me to the funny farm! LOL! Having said that, the thought of actually doing something so permanent has me feeling quite emotional.
My weight loss is going nicely. I now only have about 4-5 pounds left to lose, and without even trying I am losing about 2/3 to 1 pound each week. I am eating quite well, and not even doing any organised exercise, but of course the energy expended walking around with Missy Moo, making all that breast milk, running after Thomas, doing housework etc must be doing the job. I can fit into my normal skirts, shorts and so on: it's just the tops that give me trouble as my "bees" are so huge compared to normal.
I am finding parenting Katelyn to be quite different from my experience with Thomas. I was quite ill after I had him, both physically and with PPD. He was also VERY unsettled and unhappy, so it was really tough going for some time there. I loved him unbelievably of course but with the way things were I don't think I was able to enjoy the experience as I am this time. Also, after losing little Nicholas, I think I am able to appreciate things more if that makes sense. With Thomas's pregnancy I just expected him to be born perfect, and even though I was (and still am) incredibly grateful to God for the fact that he was so perfect, now that I know first hand that things don't always happen that way, I am all the more in awe of the perfect children I have been given. I don't want to miss a second of the experience.
I have probably also been more anxious this time around, although I am not letting it overtake me. Thomas has had a virus this past week, and I have been so worried that Missy Moo might catch it. Thankfully he is pretty much over it now and Katelyn seems to have escaped being ill. We are due for vaccinations this coming week though and that thought has me terrified - both because I don't want her to be in any pain (although we will be using EMLA patches) and because I am scared about side effects. Unfortunately in South-East Queensland, such illnesses as whooping cough are so common that I would be even more scared to NOT get her vaccinated though. Parenting is just a scary job sometimes! All I can do is my best and I am so grateful that so far she has been extremely healthy.
It is hard to believe that she is already two months old! She is such a beautiful, wonderful little baby and I love her so much! I am so very thankful for her and am enjoying her immensely!