The First Month as Isla’s Mummy
Isla Sofia – Weighs approx. 4kgs. 54cms long.
So the first month with Isla was hectic but amazing. I’ve already documented the first two weeks, which, in my opinion, were fabulous but not weeks I would like to repeat any time soon! Lots of crying, wind, getting to know each other, and not a lot of response. Of course, Isla had only just exited a very warm, dark, quiet environment, so adjusting to the brightness of the outside world would have been quite daunting! After two weeks, however, we started to see more and more responses.
The Loveliest Parts: (We are so lucky!)
- The intense looks of concentration that started to emerge in week 2/3. She would often stare at your face and listen to you talk for around 5 minutes. It was the first real response we had. She started to recognise Justin and I, and my mum and dad, as we were the ones that she saw all the time. We didn’t have too many visitors for the first few weeks which was really good (despite feeling like a hermit!) because it gave us time to bond with each other and get into a bit of a routine (and by ‘routine’ I mean a vague pattern of behaviour that in no way resembled a proper routine… mostly night time sleeping and daytime playing/feeding!)
- She started sleeping through the night. Yes, It may be short lived, I don’t know, all I know is that I am thoroughly enjoying it. Currently Isla is sleeping approximately 9pm – 5 or 6am – AMAZING! Though I’m not used to rising quite so early (normally a 6.30 start for school!) this is an incredible achievement for her! It was something she started doing by herself, and we certainly didn’t push her. It went from 9 – 2, then 2 – 5, then 5 – 8 for a while. Then she simply cut out the 2am feeds and regulated her own sleeping. Of course, we pay for this during the day when I am feeding her every 2 hours, but it is completely worth it! She wakes up rested (and still naps during the day a bit!) and is very happy with her bath, feed, bed routine in the evening. Of course, this could all change in the next few months!
- Feeding got flipping easy. Like, way easy. I just pop her on the breast and she has a painless feed for approximately 10 - 20 minutes on each side. We are so lucky.
- Little achievements. One day she would grasp something (probably unintentionally) the next she was kicking her legs like a champ, the next she would lift her head for longer periods, and so on and so forth. This month we have achieved;
o Enjoying the bouncer and play mat
o Focussing and following objects with eyes
o Burping (gross, but she had real trouble with this in early days!)
o Bath time kicking and enjoying change time J
o Babbling and cooing – attempting communication!
o Stroller walks with a smaller amount of crying… AND
- Yes people, we have received about a million toothless grins from our little Isla. They started at the end of three weeks (probably just mimicking us!) but then began to occur spontaneously at 4 weeks. She is a very happy baby!!
The difficult times:Although I’m still adjusting to the change of sleep patterns, and the lack of mobility during the day, there are very few difficult times. Some of them involve:
- Going places. The amount of stuff you have to pack in the car for this little person is incredible. Also, car seats are freaking annoying to get babies in an out of. It’s like trying to pick the remote out from deep in between couch cushions.
- The wailing hour. The ‘arsenic hour’ as it is called by many, is sometime between 4 and 8pm when babies are inconsolable and don’t know what they want. Isla certainly adheres to this. Fortunately her bedtime routine seems to calm her down for a feed and a sleep.
- The nappies. Okay so Number 1’s are fine – but Isla only does Number 2’s once a week (checked with the doctor – this is fine and very normal for breast fed babies! Any time from 15 times a day to once a fortnight is okay!) And by golly does she do number 2’s! Basically, we need to change her entire outfit and sometimes give her a bath. Often, we have to change our own clothes. Sometimes we have to wash furniture. There is a lot, and it is unrelenting. Of course, she feels much better after this, but we are left with the aftermath.
- Sleeping during the day. She likes to have naps of up to an hour and a half, but less than half of these are in her bassinet. We can’t whinge too much, as she sleeps so well at night right now, but during the day she hates – HATES – sleeping in the bassinet. I’ve tried her on the couch, bassinet, our bed, etc, but the only place she really has good naps is on me. And only on my right shoulder. So now my shoulder is killing me, and I constantly have drool down my back.
- She always sneezes twice in a row.
- Sometimes she makes a noise like a quack, but it’s actually a sneeze-cough.
- She could be wailing loud enough for all the neighbours to hear, but as soon as she lies for a feed she is silent and looking for boob with a hilarious face.
- Same when we wrap her in her swaddle – Silence.
- She rolled over three times in a row (tummy to back), then never again!
- She loves watching rain.
So that is the first month of living with Isla in a nut shell. She’s actually a month and a half old now so I’ve been a bit slack. During this month we did get her 1 month photos taken from Baby Club (at the photo shop in town) and I’ve dressed her up and photographed her at home a few times. Mostly it was to get her smile on camera, but also to send pictures to people of Isla wearing a gift they had given us. My favourites are strewn throughout this entry, but here's one that I love a lot :)
Love, Rhona (And Isla & Justin!)