Monday, June 17, 2013

Four Months

Allie turned four months old last week!

For comparison, here's some pics of month one:

Month two:

And month three:

Obviously I haven't done the greatest job positioning her so that you can see her growth, but you can see how her hair has grown and she's kind of chunking up and looking like a bigger baby now.

After my last post I feel like a lot changed in the last couple weeks.  My once somewhat predictable baby has become a lot less predictable.

For one, she's had some fussier days.  Ever since she started rolling over, she needs more time on the floor to explore this and more stimulation in general.  It's getting harder for me to get things done because gone are the days when I could leave her in a swing or Rock N Play for a little while without a huge amount of interaction if I'm doing dishes, cooking, or something else.  I constantly have to be singing to her, making faces, or interacting in some way to keep her entertained, and not just from across the room, she wants me up close and personal and has been known to melt down if I go from the kitchen into the pantry and she can't see me for two seconds.  It's cool that she wants the interaction, but frankly, it's also kind of exhausting to be "on" all day long.  Let's just say I may have eaten a lot more nachos and and frozen burritos for dinners lately, because I can't really cook when she needs me right near her at all times.  One day she had a pretty long meltdown and nothing could console her.  I was checking baby books and Google for symptoms of teething and ear infections, convinced she was in pain with no way to tell me, but eventually it passed when she finally fell asleep.  It must have just been a fussy day.  Thankfully most of the time this passes.

"Angry cry"

The good news is that on the flip side of the fussies, we are getting some deliriously happy moments like I have never seen before from Allie.  She has this huge smile and is even doling out a bunch of laughter lately, which is awesome.  It's pretty fun!  Here's some video of her laughing.  Pay no attention to her silly mom trying to figure out if I actually recorded it or not at the end ;)

Allie can now roll over AND push herself up on her tummy, which is cool.  She used to get her arm pinned under her when she rolled, but now she has figured out how to rock back and forth and free it.  She spends tons of time on the floor practicing her moves and I feel like she is dying to crawl once she gets pushed up.  She grunts and coos and gets all frustrated, but the minute you swoop in to save her she seems annoyed and if you put her on her back, she just immediately tries to flip to her tummy and do it all again.

I was lucky that for the longest time I could easily make plans for lunch or to do something in the middle of the day and pretty much know that Allie would sleep peacefully through it.  I no longer think this is the case.  She had a pretty good cry in the middle of a visit with Greg's sister and family while we were out to lunch one day.  We also experimented with a dinner out one night and that didn't go well either.  I think maybe the noise is a factor.  Before she seemed to be lulled to sleep by a noisy restaurant, now it seems to bother her and makes for quick over stimulation.  If we take her out now, we're leaning towards places we can pay upfront and make a quick exit if necessary.

Like I said, just after writing my last post a bunch of stuff changed.  One thing has unfortunately been my breastfeeding.  I had kind of a scare one day when it seemed like my milk supply was taking a plunge.  I had been noticing that it was taking longer to let down for Allie, which was annoying her at feedings, and then at the end of the day when I went to feed her before bedtime, I had like no milk for her.  I even pumped in case it was an issue with Allie not being able to get the milk, but couldn't get anything pumping either, so I ended up defrosting frozen milk and giving her a bottle.  I was really upset!  The next day I scheduled an appointment with my lactation consultant and also polled my mommy friends to see if they had dealt with anything like that.  I followed suggestions that I up my food and water intake and that did seem to help.  In meeting with the LC, she also suggested massaging my breasts before and during feeding to encourage let down.  I also find that if I smell Allie's baby smell and concentrate on envisioning feeding her it helps.  Breastfeeding can be so mental!  All of these things seemed to help (like I need an excuse to EAT MORE!) but it's made me worry a lot and I am being really conscious to eat and drink a lot lately.  I also am trying to go more like 2 1/2 to 3 hours between feedings instead of 2 so that my supply builds up more between feedings, and I am pumping when Allie finishes a feeding and sometimes a little before til let down starts so that I'm ready to go when she latches and doesn't get frustrated.  This is tough though, and I think the stress isn't helping my supply and feeding issues.  I hope that it will be okay as long as I really stay on top of everything.

I also discussed breast feeding/pumping when I go back to work with the LC.  My plan is to pump three times a day at work (soon after I get in, lunchtime, and an afternoon session).  I also already added a pumping session at night before I go to bed to try and keep my supply up (so far I don't get a whole lot during that one since my supply is much more abundant in the morning).  Daycare doesn't require a set amount of milk, but they want me to start with four bottles with about 4 oz each a day and see how that goes.  While I usually have no problem feeding her about that much from the breast (I know because the LC has weighed her before and after feedings, so I know she usually eats about 3 1/2 oz) when I'm home with her, I'm a little worried about getting that much milk pumping.  Hopefully it'll be enough.  I do have a freezer supply.  I am actually open to formula if it seems to be necessary, but I'll still try to exclusively breastfeed and bottle feed breast milk if I can.  I also ordered more bottles for daycare and bought some extra pump parts so that I can put some in rotation now that they are getting used/washed more.

We went by daycare recently to meet the teachers in Allie's room and introduce her.  It went well.  We went over things like feedings, nap time, what to bring, etc...  I have some projects like a photo collage and binder I need to put together for her before she starts and I need to bring them a list of immunizations from her pediatrician.  I'm getting used to the idea that this is happening.  Sigh...

I waited on writing this post because Allie had her four month check up today.

New stats:
length- 23 3/4 inches, 25-50th percentile
weight- 12 lbs 12 oz., 25-50th percentile
head- 41/5 cms, 50-75th percentile

Still rocking the big head ;)

This appointment was kind of rough.  Greg was away, so I took her by myself, and made the decision to leave her car seat in the car and carry her in, since last week the lactation consultant had remarked that she was surprised I was still carrying her in the car seat.  I thought, "Hey, I should just carry her in this time!"  This was a mistake because she immediately became kind of fussy in the waiting room and I was supposed to fill out some paperwork, which was next to impossible while holding a fidgety, fussy baby.  And it took them over a half hour to call us back to the room.  Then it took a while in the room for the doctor to come in.  By the time the doctor saw her she was already very fussy, crying, and hysterical, even before shots.  After she got her shots I fed her in the office to calm her down and then she fell asleep on the way home and for a couple hours after.  The shots were actually probably the least painful part of the visit.  The long wait was worse.

At every doctor's visit, I come armed with a list of questions.  At this visit I asked about starting solids (will wait til close to six months), cereal (will also wait til about six months and use only oatmeal), sleeping on tummy (is ok now that Allie can roll over and prop herself up), crying it out (we don't need to until after six months and only if she is up a lot and not sleeping, which isn't really an issue), and using the jumperoo (doctor wants me to wait til Allie can sit up better and we're supposed to start working on that).

Allie met a lot of new people in the past couple weeks.  Greg's sister, her husband, and kids came to meet Allie, our friends from Indiana came out, and my friend Michelle also visited.  I also brought Allie by the office for the first time in a while and she met a handful of people there too.

Michelle assisting Allie with tummy time.

Allie seems to be in a "mommy" phase, and seems to want me above others a lot.  I'm kind of okay with this because I love that she loves me, but I know it's because I am the one that is here with her 24/7 and she might be closer with Greg if he was here more.

Greg missed his first Father's Day with us, but we celebrated before hand and had some great days off together before he left.

Allie and Greg visiting a local children's museum for the first time.

Greg gave me a couple good breaks while he was home this time and I got to go to a yoga class and even sleep a little extra, which was great.  We're still figuring out how to balance things while he's home, but I thought this past week was a pretty successful mix of taking turns and spending time together.

That about sums up four months with our baby!  Love this girl...


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