Last Thursday our small guy celebrated his one month birthday! I look back at photos of him from the first couple of days of his life and he has actually changed quite a lot in this short time. I guess all fresh newborns look a bit funny and it’s not until they start to put on some weight and become less fragile that their features take shape.
Today he is five weeks old and I am starting to see some progress in terms of his development and also the transition into our new family life. The small guy is now intently looking at us whenever he is awake and his eyes follow the squeaky toys when he is feeling particularly alert. The baby room is decorated with a whale theme and so my mum sent a really cute, handmade mobile with blue whales that I’ve put above the change table. So when we are changing dirty nappies he has something nice to look at. The first time he saw them was really funny as his eyes could not have been wider. Even now, when he catches sight of them he stares in wonderment. Also, good to know he is not blind!
The past week has been overall a good one. We have mainly got the poop situation under control which means everyone is happier. I’ve also been making special efforts to get out of the house every day, even if only for an hour or so. For me this is critical to my sanity! I have been struggling a bit with my husband. He is overall very kind and supportive, but sometimes I think he just switches off and decides he’s too tired to parent or something. So this leaves me – at times – parenting solo and not only is it exhausting, but it’s emotionally draining. I’m not really sure what to do about this as if I bring it up it will only end in some kind of argument.
However, we did get away last week for a few days to the beach. We took our guy around all sorts of places – the mall, shops, cafes, restaurants – and he was overall very good. He is more fussy in the evening than during the day so it can be tough to have a nice dinner together, but we usually do well at lunch.
Age: 5 weeks
Weight: As of last Thursday, he weighed in at 4.4kg. I think the paediatrician was subtly suggesting we are over-feeding him, but he is a tall baby (57cm as of last Thursday) and not looking chubby or anything so I don’t care. Also, how do you say no to a hungry baby, FFS?!!
Feeding: On average, he feeds about every three hours these days. On fussy days he might feed a little more regularly and at night we can sometimes get him to sleep for around four hours. The usual routine is that I give him about 15 minutes of boob time, and then we top him up with around 90ml of formula. For the late night feed (around 11pm – midnight) we give him 120ml formula to try and secure some more sleep time for me. Sometimes he doesn’t have any boob first – such as if we are in a very public place or if I’m asleep and hubby is doing the feeding – but we try and give him some boob both to keep the supply going and also because he finds it comforting.
Sleeping routine: I’m starting to try to make an actual routine these days but it’s a bit hit and miss. In general I try and bathe him at around 7pm-8pm and he sometimes sleeps for a couple of hours after that. Then he will have a feed around 11pm. On a good night he will go for 4 hours on the first night sleep, but then on others he’s been on 1.5 hour cycles. After the 11pm feed, I usually have two wake-ups during the night. After about 8am I just get up and start the day, unless it’s been a particularly bad night and I cannot yet face the day! He does sleep a bit during the day but I am trying to take him out as much as possible during the day so that he does his good sleeping at night.
A friend of ours had a baby 10 days after us and our husbands caught up on the weekend at a party with the other husband apparently “going on for half an hour” about how their baby sleeps for 5-7 hours at a time. I think this is the first time my husband has been exposed to competitive parenting and he might have wanted to slap the other guy. I had to reassure him that our baby sleeps in regular amounts for his age so not to worry but I think he was a bit envious we don’t have a baby that sleeps for 8 hours at a time!
Firsts: We had many firsts this week…
- First trip to the beach (he slept through it mainly)
- First long walk out by the sea (he screamed through this a fair bit)
- First trip away from home for three nights (mainly successful, but OMG so much stuff to pack to leave the house)
- Mamma had her first alcoholic drink and it was AMAZING! I gave up alcohol during the IVF process so for me it has been a VERY LONG time waiting for this moment. I am soon going to be one of those slummy mummies that cracks open the wine at 3pm, I’m sure of it. Hahahahaha!
Hair: I think he is starting to lose some of his newborn hair which is a concern as that will make him bald! I was practically bald for the first year or so of my life so I guess this shouldn’t be a big surprise, but the local kids always have thick, dark mediterranean hair so I think everyone looks at our kid and is worried when they see he has almost none.
Eyes: Very big and round and blue.
Things we have learned:
Getting out and about during the day makes for better evening snoozies.
Coming home too late can make baby overstimulated which is NOT good for evening snoozies!
We are now familiar with practically all air-conditioned cafes and restaurants in a 10km radius of our house. We visit a different one almost every day now.
Wine is good… oh whoops, we already knew that!
Mummy update: I’ve not seen any weight loss this week but I think that’s because I’ve reached a plateau that requires dieting and exercise to drop some weight. I did get into the one piece swimsuit last week and I didn’t look that bad considering. I wasn’t embarrassed to be in a swimsuit, albeit I am quite far off how I want to look.
I headed back to my acupuncture guy this week and he laughed at how bad my chi was (I think the phrase was that it was practically dead). After 22 needles – yes TWENTY TWO – I did feel better, I had less anxiety and I slept better that night. I think I need to go again as I have a cracking headache which has stayed with me for two days now.
Mentally I have been overall better, but I have days and moments where it all unravels again. I am starting to feel more of a connection to the baby and have stopped saying 23 times a day that maybe someone else should take him as they’ll do a better job of parenting. I can look back at the first few weeks of his life and now recognise that I was on my way to PND. I think the change to our feeding regime has helped to reduce this risk, although I still find myself very vulnerable to feeling the blues. This is not unique to having a baby – I’ve had such sensitivities for a long time – but sleep deprivation and not eating properly are huge triggers. If I can get a little sleep and see some of the outdoors during the day I find I am mentally better equipped. And you know, sometimes the baby even sleeps for long enough that I can watch a bit of my favourite TV programs which seems entirely decadent.
I’ve also noticed while out and about that the baby is a real attraction. I’ve found myself connecting with people on a new level before. I’ve previously been kind of ignored (I’m a foreigner here after all) and now I find that strangers talk to me all the time and coo at him when they seem him, so that’s nice. Also, we have some friends who I have found myself having a more deep relationship with, which has been unexpected and wonderful. So the small guy is not so bad after all.
Here we are out and about a few days ago. My husband chose the baby’s outfit. 🙂