It’s hard to believe that almost 7 weeks ago, this little girl was in my belly. It feels like she has been here forever. Maybe it’s the sleep deprivation!
This post will contain lots of personal stuff (including boob talk). If that’s not your cup of tea, skip the text and look at the cute baby pictures at the end
Birth Story? I feel like you guys probably don’t want to hear the gory birth details. I actually write for a pregnancy/baby blog for WhatsInMyBelly.com and wrote an incredibly detailed birth story over there, if you want to check it out! Here’s the basics: I was induced at 38 weeks, 5 days (because of gestational diabetes and my blood clotting disorder). I got the epidural, which was AMAZING – it is SO weird to feel pressure, but no pain. Induction was about 24 hours, including the overnight stay for a medicine called Cervidil. It really was not bad at all – I just napped and ate lots of sugar free popsicles! Pushed for an hour (holy work out) and then she was here! I was so grateful that the induction went well, no scary moments for me or Seraphina, and no c-section.
Name? The two reactions we get to the name Seraphina are:
1. Oh my God, I love it, it’s beautiful!
We weren’t afraid to choose an unusual name, especially since my husband and I both have super common names. We wanted an old fashioned name, feminine, beautiful. We both loved the name Seraphina from the moment we heard it, so it was a no-brainer. Plus, it means “ardent/fiery one,” and she is living up to that!
We also get a lot of questions about what we call her. We just call her by her full name most of the time (or Seraphina-beana), or a random nickname (snowflake, chompy, etc.). But, just Seraphina most of the time!
Size? As of last week, Seraphina is 10 lbs, 3 ounces! She is growing fantastically. She still fits into some newborn things, since she is all legs, but we’re moving into more 3 month stuff at this point.
Milestones? Babies don’t do a whole lot for the first month or two. The one beautiful and wonderful thing she’s doing? Smiling. Not just smiling when she is having a ball kicking her feet around when she is on her back. But, those glorious reciprocal smiles when I’m holding her close to my face, smiling and talking, and I see her staring intently at my mouth. A few seconds later, her face lights up with her own smile, mimicking mine. I cried the first time she did it. Like a big, ‘ol baby. She started that just before she turned 6 weeks old and has been gracing us with beautiful smiles here and there since then!
Personality? We’re definitely starting to see her personality coming through! She LOVES kicking her feet. She recognizes music that we play for her (we have a wake-up song and a bedtime song). She’s incredibly impatient and doesn’t give mom or dad much time to attend to her needs (she gets that from me, I’m afraid). She does the “double sneeze,” just like her dad. She does huge, dramatic stretches when she wakes up. She goes from smiling and laughing in her sleep to a sad, poked-out bottom lip within seconds. She makes tons of noise while sleeping. She is not a fan of tummy time.
Cloth Diapers? No idea – she’s still too small to fit into them! We’re just now moving into size 1 diapers and out of newborn, so I’m hoping we get to break into the cloth diapers soon.
Sleeping? This is what everyone asks us – does she sleep? Well, she sleeps a lot, just not as much at night She’s doing better now and she has slept up to 4 hours at night, but usually it is 3 to 3 1/2 hours at a time. On a bad night, she’ll be up at 1-2 hour intervals…or worse!
Breastfeeding? (there’s a lot of rough truth in this section, including a curse word. You have been warned)
I was determined to breastfeed. I had all of the accessories, had done the research, had an extremely supportive partner…I knew it would be hard, but my body was designed to do it, right?
In the hospital, a lactation consultant came by while Seraphina was nursing. She said my positioning was fantastic and Seraphina was latched on wonderfully. She said we were naturals. I was so proud of both of us.
During our second night in the hospital after she was born, she was inconsolable. I knew she wanted to eat, and I tried so hard to feed her. She would latch on, suck, and then wail. It was heartbreaking. A nurse came in and asked if we wanted a pacifier. I guess they didn’t want to hear her cry anymore.
At home, she continued to cry – so much and so often. Did we just have a very unhappy baby?
At our first pediatrician’s appointment, we learned that Seraphina had lost over 11% of her body weight in just 3 days (for reference, babies are expected to lose some weight after birth, but no more than 7-10% in the first week). She wasn’t just unhappy – she was starving. Our amazing, awesome pediatrician explained that we had to supplement at this point, for Seraphina’s sake. She discussed her own difficulties breastfeeding and offered fantastic advice – nurse often, pump often, supplements to try. She told me that every little bit I could give her was important and that maybe I just needed more time for my milk to come in.
And, it did come in…kind of. Except it wasn’t even close to enough to actually feed her. Despite all of my efforts (and still nursing), I was never able to pump more than 1/2 ounce TOTAL (both breasts). My body just couldn’t produce enough. Based on the evidence (that my mother couldn’t breastfeed and that I didn’t have any breast changes at all during pregnancy/postpartum), it is suspected to be a glandular tissue issue, which can be hereditary. It basically means that the tissue that produces milk never fully developed during puberty.
So much for the “it works as long as you try hard enough” propaganda.
To this day, I still pump, even though I get less than 1/2 ounce now. It’s difficult to try so hard for so little.
It’s not a topic I like to talk about, mostly for fear of judgement. I couldn’t stand to hear someone say that it was just because I didn’t try hard enough (a typical response, albeit an unfair one), because that is just not true. I’m scared to feed Seraphina in public. I wonder if the cashier is judging me when I’m buying formula. It makes me feel like less of a mother.
And, you know what? That’s bullshit. I did my best and I’m feeding, nurturing, and loving my baby. And, maybe one day, I’ll feel like that’s enough. I don’t yet.
Whew – sorry, things got heavy for a moment.
So, how about we end with some pictures?
Mom, the camera is so boring.
Working on her stink eye.
Somebody loves bathtime!
I can’t wait to see what the next month brings!