Although I know that babies and children grow quickly, it is still hard for me to believe that our little Chocobo is already a month old (five weeks, if I am being precise)! And what a hectic month it’s been! We celebrated Thanksgiving with our families at our house just one week after Chocobo was born. My mother returned to our house to help out for a week after everyone left, and my husband and I went on our first post-baby date! At the end of my mom’s week with us, we discovered that I had developed a blood clot in my lungs and I ended up spending nearly a week at the hospital. Getting a blood clot while trying to recover from a C-section is no joke! I was put on three different medications and felt like the recovery process from delivery was significantly slowed down. I also felt a bit robbed of the opportunity to have a normal post-partum experience in which I could be at home with my baby, caring for him and learning more about him. It drove me crazy to be away from my (then) 3 week old – even though I was only away from him for a short period of time! But I am grateful that the hospital staff made accommodations so that I could keep baby with me in the hospital, and that they did their best to keep him from being infected with the illnesses of the other patients that they were caring for. Once I was released from the hospital, I began going to weekly doctor appointments that are designed to monitor the medications that I am on and how they affect my blood.
I am so grateful to finally be able to be at home with my baby! When he first came home with us, we had lots of trouble breastfeeding. He went from being 8 pounds and 13 ounces to being 7 pounds and 5 ounces over the course of 6 days. While all babies lose some of their birth weight in the beginning, our pediatrician thought that this was too much weight loss and instructed me to supplement with formula. We did what was suggested, and Chocobo began gaining back his weight and having normal amounts of dirty diapers – which are good signs that he is eating well. Once his weight began to come back, I stopped using as much formula and have been striving to breast-feed exclusively. We’re not totally there yet, but we are down to about one 2 ounce bottle a day and other than that – exclusively breastfeeding. He is beginning to dislike the formula, though. Lately he has been giving me the “this is nasty” facial expression whenever I try to feed him any of the formula. One cute thing about feeding him is that we have always said “Ahhh!” right before feeding him in an effort to get him to open his mouth wide enough. Now, whenever we say “Ahhhh!” he will open his mouth and look around excitedly for the incoming food.
From the very first day of his life outside the womb, Chocobo hated being in a crib/bassinet. At the hospital, whenever he was swaddled and placed in his crib, he would cry incessantly until he was taken out and held. He is still this way. We are working on getting him to sleep in his own space, but we often end up bed-sharing. I know that there is a lot of controversy about bed-sharing, so perhaps I’ll cover that topic in another post! For us, though, bed-sharing has been the only way that everyone gets any sleep. It has also helped me not to hurt my incision by constantly having to pull myself up out of bed every thirty minutes. It has definitely helped with the overnight nursing sessions and diaper changes, and we are pretty meticulous about how we bed-share, in order to make it as safe as possible.
Choco is able to lift and turn his head, and can hold his own head upright for a few seconds! Whenever we lay him down for tummy time, he begins kicking his legs and – though it takes a long time – he can scoot a few inches from wherever we’ve laid him. He enjoys grabbing his little blankets and holding them tightly in his fingers or against his body. He also enjoys music, which is to be expected as he has been surrounded with music since his conception.
He dislikes being left to sit in anything – carseat, bouncy chairs, bassinets, cosleepers, etc. The only item he will contently sit in is a swing that was given to us by our friends. Oddly enough, neither of their children liked the swing. Our little boy will happily swing for up to 45 minutes before beginning to cry (his time limit in anything else is about 10 to 15 minutes)! We think this is because he really likes movement. In order for me to get anything done (without him crying) I either have to carry him around and do everything with one hand, or I can wear him around in a carrier. Although some parents believe in letting their children cry it out, I am not a huge fan of that at this stage and I don’t mind being at his “beckon and call” while he is only a few weeks old. He also dislikes diaper changes, but he is getting better about that! He used to scream whenever we changed his diaper or his clothes. I am thinking that he probably doesn’t like the cold air hitting him. But the more we’ve change his diaper and clothing, the more relaxed he has become. He probably realizes that we will are not going to allow him to remain cold, but that we’ll put another diaper/outfit on him once we get the original one off. He is the same with getting out of the bath. He loves the bath but used to cry when we took him out. Now, he seems to know that as soon as he is taken out of the bath he will be wrapped in a towel – and he doesn’t cry about being taken out.
He makes a lot of funny noises! He snorts right before he is about to cry. He moans a lot during sleep and feedings, and I have often heard him say “Ugh!” in a very forceful manner, right before or after I hear him poop in his diaper. Sometimes he snores, as well. He is a smiley baby. He has smiled often from the day he was born! We can’t wait for those smiles to become less reflexive and more social. We hope he’ll still smile just as much!
Even though it has only been five weeks – sometimes it feels like we’ve had him all along. I would never have imagined, a few years ago, that our dream of having a child would actually become a reality – or that parenthood would be as good as it is! I’m really looking forward to seeing how he grows in the coming months and years, Godwilling!