Week 121 – bananagrams, 5-hour stretches of sleep, first tummy time

Toddler playing with magnetic tiles

Another magnetic tile creation

Motherhood week 121: 

  • Jan 7:  Realized that my right breast produces more milk than my left breast.  Noticed this because I saw in the baby tracker how the newborn would spend a lot more time (30 minutes) on the left side and drinking steadily whereas on the right side, the newborn only has been latching for 10 or 15 minutes at a time.  Also saw how the milk would gush out when she latches on and even sometimes splash out onto the sides.  (Also noticed the extra sprays when I was pumping that one time too…)  I was thinking maybe the left side has less milk production perhaps because I had mastitis on it last time??  Will have to check my old records to confirm.  But this means that I’ll know the newborn will latch longer on the left side than right side since the flow is slower.
  • Bb has been using me as a pacifier for the past 12 hours today.  She nursed for about 5 hours today.  On average, it’s only been about 3.5 hours per day.  It could also be a growth spurt.
  • We notice this bb’s head is rounder than the firstborn.  She cries louder too and is so ferocious when it’s time for a feed.  It’s like she opens her mouth huge to let out a giant cry/scream.
  • This one doesn’t have eczema/skin irritation like the first one did.  It was quite unsightly on the top of her forehead too and we used breastmilk to calm it down.
  • This one has the loudest farts and sharts lol..  it’s good because it helps us know immediately to change her since her diaper is dirty.
  • We ran out of newborn diapers already and I couldn’t find any on fb marketplace to buy in time so we got some from Shoppers and tried the green no-name brand too.  It seems to work fine.
  • She passes out so well after a nursing session and is mostly immune to the sounds around her.  She does let out “elephant trump” sounds sometimes like her sister did and throw up her arms to release gas too.
  • She is a champ at releasing gas.  No need to burp her as she does it all herself — wiggles herself and contorts her body to let the gas out.  When she does burp, they’re also the very loud satisfactory ones.
  • Starting to see the beginning of her eyelashes come out.  She didn’t have any at all prior to today.
  • She’s started to “tul pei” (molt/shed skin) and little flakes of skin are on her hands and forehead areas.
  • Still been co-sleeping/contact sleeping with her on the rocking chair at night.  It works out well since she grunts and doesn’t sleep well by herself in the swaddle yet and not for long.  I can get up easily from the chair to nurse her.  I was able to get onto the bed the other day (yay), but ended up passing out and not hearing anything for 4 hours 😅.  This is why it’s better for me not to sleep so soundly because otherwise I can’t get up to feed her.
  • DH has been playing and caring for the 2 yo exclusively.  I’ll read a book or two to her, but otherwise the newborn is stuck to me like glue — which I don’t mind at all.  I like that my job is just to feed and comfort.  It’s so easy.  DH and grandma do all the diaper changes. (We had a second bath for the newborn yesterday.)
  • It’s a mix of reading, playing with the magnetic tiles, blocks, (puzzles have been retired as of last week — conquered and completed), piano, hugging the dinosaur.  DH introduced bananagram tiles to the 2 yo which she has been playing with.  She knows and recognizes the letter “W” and now “A”, “M”, and “I” too.
  • So glad we have these manipulatives already at home for her to play with.
  • The newborn has started to push me away with one of her hands when nursing.  She’s surprisingly strong too..
  • She’s also started to yank with the nipple still in her mouth which is uncomfortable at times and painful at most.  I didn’t think she’d be pulling this move so soon..literally.
  • We got a slew of new books again.. starting with ones she got for Christmas, a new one we got from the hospital, and one recently as a gift from a relative in Australia.  The 2 yo has been asking for that one to be read to her over and over again.  It’s called “Oh Dear”.  She likes to flip open the tabs to the animals and asks me back the question of “mei lei ga?” (what is it?) when I’m asking her what animal is on the page.
  • She has so many board books that feature animals but they’re all depicted differently by each illustrator.  It sometimes means that bb doesn’t recognize the same horse is a horse in another book because it’s drawn differently.  The Dr. Suess’s ABC book in particular has this “issue”.  A bee there really doesn’t look like the other bees in her other books.
  • Surprisingly, she can sit through the entire Dr. Suess’s ABC book despite how long it is.  Lots of rhyming and interesting words to keep her attention span going.
  • If I have the newborn in the armchair with me and the 2 yo has requested a book be read to her, I’ll ask her to open it on the chair beside me so I can still see the pages and read to her.
  • The 2yo has been consistently drinking and finishing off the milk that I collect in the haakaa.  She sees it on my table and asks DH to put it in a bottle for her.  She finishes it off soo quickly.  So neat that the toddler can benefit from the nutrients of the breastmilk too 🙌🏼.
  • We’ve been bringing it up to the 2yo that she needs to try using the potty again and not use diapers anymore.  But she outright says no and doesn’t want to.  So where do we go from there?
  • Same thing with the bottles.  We say we would like her to stop drinking from the bottles, but she doesn’t want to…
  • So nice that in the past 3 or 4 days, the toddler was napping in the afternoon for 2 hours so we were able to watch and finish season 2 of Alice in Borderland.  I could nurse the newborn while watching the show and she would be fine and pass out. 🙌🏼
  • Toddler can only nap in the afternoon though if she wakes up early, say at 7 or 8am.  Then she’s usually tired enough by 3 or 4pm to get in the nap.
  • DH has been taking her to the playground amidst the mild weather to expend some of her energy and reduce cabin fever.  She’s so happy on the swings and to play outside.
  • The newborn has the same mannerisms as the firstborn.  It all comes back to me when I see it.  The newborn curl is so cute.  The grunts and both hands next to her face and little pouts are all the same. It’s almost like taking care of the same baby again, but this one is much easier to burp, eat, and sleep.  So many poopy diaper changes too — more so than the firstborn.
  • DH comments that this one has “half-moon eye” smiles.
  • Been weighing the pros and cons of giving birth in autumn versus winter.  It’s so bone-dry indoors during the winter and cold at night… but it was soo annoyingly hot and sweaty during the autumn season too.  I remember how sweaty and disgusting I felt even with my top off when pumping in the bedroom sometimes.  Now I deal with dry hands and itchy scalp and pockets of coldness in the house.
  • Jan 8: DH took the 2yo to the library to play and also had their first live storybook reading!
  • So glad that all I need to do these days is take care of this newborn by cuddling, sitting with her, nursing her (not hard but just hard on my neck because my posture isn’t the best sometimes).  I get to stay home and eat and feed.  Not much more to ask for these days.  Love the fact that we don’t need to be disturbed or pressured to go out yet.
  • Her mannerisms are so familiar to the firstborn it’s like I’m taking care of the first one all over again. Surreal at times.  Same pout, hands moving, moro reflex.
  • DH and I both notice she has a lighter brown eye colour.  Her pupils appear especially black because of it.
  • She was cluster feeding again today to the point I felt like I had nothing more to give.  Love that I’m no longer engorged and actually feel soft.  No more rocket boobs lol.
  • So unfortunate that she’s in footed oneies all day and I can’t see her cute toes and feet.  She’s shorter than the newborn clothes so far so the pictures make her look longer than she actually is.  Need to take the one-month photo with her feet out so that it shows her true size.
  • So grateful she is still such a sleepy baby so far and easy to feed and care for (so far — don’t want to jinx it).  The firstborn was not easy like this at all.
  • Jan 10:  The newborn can sleep 5 hours at a time!!!?!  This is so unlike the firstborn but such a welcomed behaviour.  The OB did say we should feed her every 2 to 3 hours even through the night but the past two nights, she was fussy from 6 to 8pm and cluster fed and then slept from 8pm to 2 or 3am!!  Amazing.  I just let her sleep.
  • Jan 11:  Unlike the first time with pumping where I started to have the D-MER sensation (feelings of doom and despair upon pumping) develop, the past week whenever the newborn latches and is sucking milk for the first couple of minutes, I have this intense feeling of eurphoria and a huge burst of oxytocin come in.  It’s so bizarre and consistent.  It was really strong a few days ago and the sensation has started to taper off.  What a 360 difference between pumping and nursing experiences!
  • Speaking of latching, the newborn always takes a few tries before she latches on.  Most times, she latches right away but then she makes a face (like I’m feeling her something disgusting) and pulls back. -_- But then afterwards, I coax her again and she successfully latches on and stays latched on.
  • The “latch-on” pain (read about this on IG — sooo many helpful and relatable resources on IG that are helping my motherhood journey) has subsided the latter part of this week.  Yay! Glad to know I’m not the only one to experience latch-on pain either and that it’s normal.  What isn’t normal is if pain continues throughout the nursing session and/or if there’s pain after the session — neither of which is happening to me so far.
  • Really grateful and lucky that the nursing is going really well so far.  She hasn’t had formula or a bottle in many days because she latches so well and I can provide for her.  Practice makes progress and we’ve definitely been practising every day, 2 to 3 hours at a time.  I can almost even say the breastfeeding so far is “easy”?  (Knock on wood I don’t jinx anything.)
  • I haven’t felt the painful engorgement from last week anymore.  It’s comfortable now.  I love that the babe can drain me so well and I don’t have to worry about clogs.  Last time with pumping, clogs were a continual nuisance and pumping them out weren’t always a tried and true solution.  The newborn’s latch is effective that I only need to lightly press or massage around my breasts to make the milk flow.
  • The newborn had her first tummy time experience!!  We weren’t adamant on her starting this exercise sooner than this since she was so sleepy and mostly asleep each day.  She finally had some bursts of longer wake times so we lay down some thin blankets on the 2 yo’s playmat and let her go at it.  Like with the first child, I timed the length of tummy time on my Baby Tracker app.
  • To our shock and surprise, the newborn was able to hold her head up immediately and really high for 3 minutes!!  We put the black and white high contrast book in front of her (she wasn’t really looking at it though).  We couldn’t believe how strong her neck is.
  • Grandma has been saying that the newborn arches her back and neck often and considers this early.  This babe is physically stronger faster than her older sister at this age.
  • The 2 yo this week has been flitting around the idea of peeing in the potty again.  We had her without diapers for an hour or so and she did pee in the potty knowingly, but she wouldn’t continue the practice.  She sat on the potty for a long while and didn’t want to get off..  She neither wanted the diapers on or be naked and then hop on it once she had a feeling she had to go.  Not sure how we will make her do it eventually..
  • Similarly, we’re trying to wean her off of the bottle too.
  • She accidentally knocked over the cup of breastmilk that she was drinking from on her playmat.  I wasn’t angry or upset (I would have been last time because my pumped milk was so precious).  I simply commented on that she had spilled the bm all over the mat and she looked at me and was trying to read whether I was mad or not — if I was yelling at her, she might have started to cry.  She didn’t get that feeling from me though and so it was just another passing incident for her to repeat and talk about.
  • She’s been enjoying the “I found it” bilingual book recently.  It has so many characters and items in it to point out.
  • Last week, I accidentally called her “lo fu jai” (tiger) instead of  “lo su jai” (rat) during bathtime.  DH and I found it hilarious that she pointed it out and say “mama gone chor jor” (mama said it wrong).
  • Similarly, when I told her that I didn’t know how to read some of the Chinese characters in her fable books, she remembered and next time I said it would be better if grandma read them to her, she commented “mama mm sik dok” (mama doesn’t know how to read). 🙄😂 She said it with a smirk and smile too because she knows it’s something funny and to make fun of (to me).
  • She is so squishy and meaty compared to the small newborn.
  • I was on the playmat with her and she brought over a book and finally sat in my lap for the first time in months (now that my pregnant belly is no more).  I still remember how she fit so nicely on my lap a mere few months ago.  Now, she doesn’t anymore!  She’s so plump and meaty, and it was just a few a months ago!  Time flies.
  • Speaking of time, can’t believe that the newborn is already 3 weeks old and will be a month old next week. 🤯 That first week of in-and-out visits to the hospital really made time vanish even more.
  • Had a dream that felt so real: that we were called to bring the newborn back to the hospital ASAP because of her jaundice levels.  In the dream, it was 3am and we had to leave immediately to go to Sick Kids hospital.  So glad it was not real and just a dream…
  • Been obsessed with the Too Good To Go app this week.  We’ve been on a roll with reserving and picking up surplus food for five days in a row now.. The 2 yo has gotten the chance to try new foods this week because of it: chocolate donuts, macarons, Chinese (taro) buns, potato salad, Persian Danish pastries.
  • We noticed she was screaming particularly loudly after eating a macaron.. high sugar.
  • At night, the routine these days is when the newborn starts crying at the 2 to 3 hour mark, DH hears it and jumps out of bed right away (he’s so sensitive and used to hearing baby cries) and then takes her to change.  I’ll head to the bathroom to empty my bladder and wait for them.  Once the newborn is changed, I feed her and DH goes back to sleep.  The newborn then contact sleeps with me in the rocking chair until the next wakeup.  So glad we have this partnership where he changes the diapers and I focus on feeding.

About stenoodie

I'm a stenographer, foodie, avid traveller, and new mom who loves to share her experiences with the world.
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