Turned six weeks old!
This week, there were a few days where we just took it easy at home. It’s easier sometimes that way to keep her happy with feeding and naps on my lap. We did get out every day for at least a walk, and met with my NCT mum friends one day, and another friend another day.
I’m learning now what makes her happy and what her habits are. Some days we still had major crying, but it’s been punctuated by happy bouts of contented smiles, giggles and playing with her mobile.
At times I think her windiness and fussiness is getting a little better; I’ve cut out dairy which may or may not be helping, but she is able to burp more easily on her own and I think her digestion system is getting more mature. When she is fussy, we’ve done a combination of swaddles and pacifiers to help settler her in the evenings. I’ve felt very guilty about using the dummy, but when she is upset, but clearly not hungry, it does help to settle her. If she truly wants to eat, she’ll spit out the dummy until she gets the boob. I feel guilty because I know newborns need to feed not just for food, but also for comfort and bonding, and I don’t want to substitute that. But I think at this point, we have a really strong breastfeeding relationship and occasional dummy use shouldn’t impact that.
The big event of the week was the arrival of Andy’s dad and his wife (G-pops/Mark and Becky)!
It was really fun to see them and we spent the whole weekend touring all over London with Elodie. She was a trooper. We started off the first (rainy) night in our neighborhood with a walk and dinner, but the weather got progressively better throughout the weekend. We brought Elodie everywhere in her carrier – it’s so much easier than the buggy.
We went everywhere: over the three days we visited the City, Southbank, Tower Bridge, Borough Market, Broadway Market, Regents Canal, the Royal Parks, Westminster, Piccadilly Circus, Soho, Oxford Street.
We also interspersed this with some flat viewing in Dalston and Kentish Town and long walks around our neighborhood and some others. It was great to show the city to Mark and Becky, watch them get to know Elodie and have their help with holding and calming her as well!
I fed her everywhere: park benches, restaurants, pubs, even a random street bench in Kentish Town in a crisis moment. This has all made me more confident and skilled at breastfeeding in public. It’s not always easy or comfortable, and depending on the setting sometimes I’m self-conscious about it, but I also feel that it is the most natural, healthy thing I can do for my baby and her needs are more important to me than anything. I also think it’s important to “normalise breastfeeding” in the public realm. Too often, mothers are discouraged from breastfeeding and since we don’t see it happening regularly, we are continuing to promote the view that it is not normal or should be hidden out of sight. That needs to change.
We are more confident with Elodie now and know her needs and patterns better, which is making it easier to anticipate her needs rather than wait for a meltdown. She doesn’t like to sleep very much, and often gets so overtired.
As for me, all the walking and touring the city was so much fun but did tire me out. It’s frustrating to not have the endurance and strength I used to have. It will come back but right now, I don’t like feeling weak or less capable of keeping up.
The best parts of the week were seeing her big smiles, hearing her chatter away and having fun making noises and faces at each other. She is so cute and I can hardly stand it. Love truly continues to grow each day.