4 Weeks Old Today

I know it sounds clichéd but I seriously can’t believe it’s been 4 weeks since we welcomed our little boy into this world. On one hand it seems like just yesterday, on the other it seems like years since I was poking his feet to get them to retract from my ribcage or relishing in those early morning hiccups.

Everyday he brings us such joy, along with a truck load of worry and paranoia about his health of which we have no actual concerns… Does this ever end?

He’s starting to change quickly now. He’s becoming much more alert which means entertaining him has notched up a level. We had naïvely thought we wouldn’t need all the detritus you so often find in houses where children are present. It has now become apparent to us that we do, this detritus is a necessary evil, one that saves your sanity. Speaking to a fellow new parent who shared this philosophy and is a couple of weeks down the track to us has now owned up to his living quarters resembling the back page of an Argos catalogue. We are constantly sharing opinions and ‘tricks of the trade’ and for this we are eternally grateful, they appear to have some of the same ‘issues’ as us and it’s nice to know we’re not alone and what to expect a couple of weeks down the track.

Personality
Chilled! What more can I say?
I’m not saying he never cries for when he does he can stop wild animals in their tracks but generally he’s just the most chilled out soul, I think he’s got this from me!

Sleep
We have rented a bednest, as have our fellow new parents mentioned above, they appear to be having more success than we are. I’m hoping this is due to the age of the baby. However since introducing a blanket and sliding him across whilst asleep he has successfully slept in it 3 nights running but it would be nice to be able to settle him IN the bednest.

He still uses me as a pacifier to aid him into sleep and this has, in part, contributed to my very painful nipple ‘issue’. We have seriously considered the virtues of a dummy. We don’t like dummies. Never have. We’re fast becoming swayed. However I will not introduce one until he’s atleast 6 weeks and hope, by then, he may have changed his bedtime needs or atleast found his thumb.

He seems to be sleeping from 10/11 until 2 then have a quick feed and sleep through until 5/6 then sleeps again allowing me time to either snooze with him or have breakfast at a reasonable hour.

He sleeps so soundly we still find ourselves nudging him to check he’s ok, seriously… Will this paranoia ever end? He’s still happier sleeping on his side which causes issues whilst settling him at night. We now allow him to fall asleep on his side and when we transfer him to the nest we roll him onto his back and pray! He’s usually twisted sideways again by the time he’s awake.

Feeding
This has been a struggle in recent times as you may have read in my post My Breastfeeding Journey. However, I’m pleased to say over the last two days things appear to be improving. I called our Maternity Support Worker for some advice and she popped over to see us. I may have a plethora of negative comments about the community postnatal support in our area but I have to say this woman is magic! She told me that this is a new position, she works in conjunction with the HVs and I have to say how invaluable I’ve found her. She is quite simply the best!

She agrees his latch is good and that my issues have more than likely been caused by poor latching and suckling at night, as previously thought (my bad for being a lazy trollop). She tweaked my hold and told me to pull him in more firmly (violently in my opinion, I’ve obviously been too soft in my feeding approach) as she thinks he may have been hanging off my nipple. She then reassured me the pain would ebb. He shows no signs of thrush, I don’t have mastitis (never thought this) it’s just one of those things that will pass in time. She has rung me every day since and I can say that the pain is indeed ebbing… Thank god! Thank you Kerry!! I’m still piling on the Lansinoh and am still a little sore in the evenings after his mammoth feeds and eternal pacifying but it’s nowhere near as painful as it has been. I feel I’m turning a corner, either that or my nipples are now turning into the ‘Range Rover Wheel Nuts’ as a Twitter friend kindly warned me about.

I have to say I’m rather proud of myself, I could so easily have given up and it is the one thing I really didn’t want to have to compromise on. I know things could still change as I don’t know what lies in the future and short of mastitis and Noah chewing a breast off I feel I have got through one critical barrier and hope I’m on the home straight.

Size
Due to Noah being quite sicky this week the maternity support worker told me to get him weighed again. I went to a different session closer to home this time, although the slot is an hour earlier I thought it would be easier… Cue a repeat of last week’s weigh in events as detailed in Week Three blog. This time I drove. Our first adventure in the car with just the two of us!
He has put on a further 5oz in 6 days. He now weighs 8Ib 1oz. So pleased these sicky episodes aren’t affecting him in any way. May start a food diary and see if what I’m eating is affecting him.

He continues to get remarks on how long he is, I may well measure him later today and see how much he has actually grown as it’s hard to tell when you see them on a daily basis. In fact a friend came round last night with her 11 week old daughter and side by side their bodies are the same length! Height is definitely something he hasn’t inherited from me (Hobbits).

He’s still nowhere near growing out of his newborn clothes, thank god I bought more!

Nappies
We trialed the real nappies this week for a day. They’re lovely on his skin and he doesn’t fight quite so hard when changing him. It must be like being wrapped up in a fleece blanket. However, they’re still too big for him, bless his heart. I put them on and lie him down and his body is nearly at a 45 degree angle so we’re sticking with the Naty’s for a while longer, annoying but necessary I think.

Milestones
Noah is doing fabulously.
All the tummy time I’ve been giving him (fashioning expensive TT cushions from elbow cushions, fleece blankets and a menagerie of cuddly toys) is paying off, he is holding himself away from me so upright and strong now whilst he looks around it really is quite amazing.
He’s starting to show signs of rolling over and I don’t think it’ll be long until he does. He’s whipping his legs round so violently that I’m beginning to think he’s going to be an amazing breakdancer. He can quite happily spin 90 degrees when left on his back.
His alert time is increasing everyday which is fabulous until he kicks off.
He’s mimicking some of my more ridiculous facial features and has increased his vocal repertoire considerably although we’re yet to hear a definite goo or gaa.

Washing
Never EVER would I have guessed at how much laundry such a little human being can create. You can’t half go through some clothes Noah, that you must get from your Dad!!

Lessons Learned
Despite the best of intentions I’ve realised, and refuse to beat myself up about it, that you can’t always parent how you would have ideally liked. I’ve decided to view parenthood like I did my birth plan; it’s nice to have an ideal plan that would be adhered to, by the letter, in an ideal world. However, in reality it’s most likely going to end up as scrap paper and you can’t dwell on why it’s totally changed from your original view else you will drive yourself into despair. Life doesn’t have set rules so why do we think we can enforce them at one of the most stressful times of our lives. Winging it and being baby led isn’t such a bad way to learn until some sort routine can be established and I’m not too proud to admit it (that’ll make my brother and sister-in-law giggle 😜) as long as we’re all happy and healthy I don’t see a problem with it.

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Happy 4 week birthday my beautiful, beautiful boy.

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