Vivienne: Week 4

Four weeks ago at the very moment that this blog is being posted, I had just given birth to my beautiful baby, Vivienne Emma-Leigh. I was shaking, crying and had just endured the most excruciating, yet gratifying, pain of my life. I had a very alert, wide-eyed, calm and quiet baby lying on my chest and all thoughts of the pain of the last 7 hours melted away. I’m sure that was just yesterday…right? *sigh* I guess not. It’s been four crazy weeks. Here’s a recap of this week for you…

I’m loving seeing my baby girl grow and develop this week. So much is changing and it’s changing fast. It makes me sad and teary at the same time that it makes me antsy and excited to see more of how and what kind of person my girl will develop into.

Oh That Voice!
This week she is finding her sweet voice. We get little snippets of it here and there. Mostly in her sleep with a gentle sigh. It’s pretty cool to hear the little coos and ahs that come from her little lungs. I can’t wait to hear more of her tiny little voice! However, in addition to hearing little snippets here and there of her voice, we’re also getting a good taste of how powerful those lungs are. That girl can belt out a cry! And it is heartbreaking to hear!! Luckily most of the time as long as she’s being held, she won’t belt out the big cries. She keeps it to whimpers and complaint cries.

Gummy Smiles.
We are seeing more smiles from her. In her first two weeks, we saw smiles but they were always in her sleep. Whether they are intentional or not at this point, we love getting them all the same. Maybe one of these days we’ll catch it on video to share!

Oh Dear. The Car Seat.
This week has continued our battle with the car seat. She absolutely hates it. As a result I hate having to put her in it and feel bad every time I do. She is okay at first and is generally okay while she’s being carried in it (basically, while it’s in motion), but as soon as it’s stationary in the car or sitting still, she starts whimpering and then full out crying if she isn’t soothed soon enough. We finally found a solution that works for us most of the time. After the recommendation of a few people, Leighton watched a few videos of the Happiest Baby on the Block method of calming your baby. One of the steps is “shushing” your baby very loudly in her ear. We tried shushing her the next time she got upset (it was not car seat related) and it totally worked! We tried it in the car next and it worked again! The downside to this method is we have to do it really loudly and almost constantly until she calms down. This is quite a lung workout and gets really old, really fast. Finally, it dawned on us that we were just imitating white noise and instead of me wasting my breath “shushing,” Leighton turned the radio to a static radio station and turned up the volume. What do you know? It worked! We also put white noise apps on our phones so we can have it anywhere. It almost always works to settle her, calm her and get her to sleep.

The Great Paci Debate and Argument.
She still mostly refuses a pacifier. We’ve even tried a new kind and most of the time she is just not having it. Somehow my mom gets her to take one but she just will not take one from us. Lucky for us we now have white noise now because it pretty much accomplishes the same thing. Toward the end of this week she has started to take a pacifier from Leighton and me a little bit more but it still won’t stay in her mouth so we have to sit there and hold it. But, inevitably she gets angry and spits it out. Turn up the white noise!

Scheduling, Schmeduling.
I still haven’t started to try to get her on any kind of schedule. The only thing we consistently do is eat-wake/play-sleep during the day (7 am-ish to 7 pm-ish) and at night, I make her go right back to sleep after nursing. But that is more of a routine than a schedule. She has it down pretty well except the first night feeding and first morning feeding can be challenging to get her on cycle. She’s getting better at it though! She has been consistently letting me get 6-8 hours of sleep (non-consecutive, of course) per night. I am thankful for that. However, she has not been sleeping the past few nights. That is frustrating. It may help if I would stop being lazy and try to get her on a schedule. I guess I was just hoping to have one of those kids that naturally fell into her own schedule. Since she won’t, I now have to decide which scheduling “method” I’m going to go with.

And sleeping. I love to listen to her sleep…when we finally get her to sleep. Little baby sighs and her snorts and her general grunts as she stretches and changes position just make my heart happy. ❤ We’ve started to put her to bed in her cradle alone (meaning, we haven’t gone to bed yet so she’s in our bedroom alone) and I’m glued to the baby monitor. I can’t decide if video monitors are a good thing or a bad thing at this point. I am really unproductive when she’s sleeping in another room because I’m just watching her.

Doctor! Doctor! Gimme the News!
Her 1 month appointment was on Monday with the doctor. I nearly cried on the car ride there, but didn’t. (go me!)  Vivi is a healthy 12 lbs. 1.5 oz, 23 inches long and is in the 95th percentile for both. Wowza! When we first brought her in, the nurse said, “So this is our 2 month appointment?” Well, no…ha! They checked her over and sent us home with a clean bill of health. So happy, fortunate and blessed that we have a healthy baby. I have seen some people close to me go through many struggles with children with health problems and I thank God every day for my girl and her health.

Do You See What I See?
I’ve noticed that she can now see quite a bit further than before. She will stare for rather long periods of time at different objects 2-3 feet away. This means good news for us because now we can put her in her swing because she will stay entertained with the built in mirror and mobile for a good 20 or 30 minutes. That gives me time to do dishes, a load of laundry, or just take a break for a minute. It’s been successful twice at rocking her to sleep…But I still prefer to do that myself most of the time. This also means that we can start using the floor activity centers and the plush toys that hang on her car seat for entertainment. Two weeks ago she had no interest in the activity center, probably because she couldn’t see well enough to have any interest in it! I think we’ll try the activity center again today. 🙂

Well, so concludes your week 4 Vivienne update. Hopefully I’ll have my birth story ready to post tomorrow for you to read.

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