Starting Week 6

Maggie turned five weeks old on Friday. Already she’s closing in on ten pounds and starting to lose her silky fine newborn hair. (I can’t talk about that without getting sniffly. One step close to adulthood for my baby.) It’s been a wild ride for us.

What has life been like with Maggie? Well, she has started to develop a nice little personality. Friends, her pediatrician and yoga instructor have commented on how mellow and relaxed she is. Yes, you did read that correctly–since I was cleared for exercise, Maggie and I have started Mom and Baby Yoga class. It’s less intense than most yoga classes and half of the participants are encouraged to eat and sleep through the class if that’s what makes them happy. We can participate in about 1/3-1/2 of the exercises before Maggie decides that it’s time to eat again.

Speaking of which, she eats a lot. Her standard feeding is 20 minutes on each side, if she can get a good rhythm. She likes to growl at her food, often grunting and cooing as she downs her meal. There has been a lot of volcanic fog of late, so she has been congested from the dust and ash. It makes her snorty and gives us some trouble feeding, which makes her gassy as she swallows air when she eats. She does have a serious temper, which reveals itself when I remove her from the breast so I can burp her if I hear her swallowing air. She makes what I call the “face of rage,” and her little mouth crumples into the saddest little frown you’ve ever seen before launching into an indignant hoot before I can get her re-latched.

The Face of Rage also shows itself in the car. Maggie is such a good baby, but the one fly in the ointment is that she hates her car seat, and there is no comfort whatsoever for that. It’s not like I can take her out to comfort her; I even tried the pacifier, which I swore I wouldn’t use, to calm her in her seat but she decided the pacifier was a bullshit nipple and wouldn’t have it. It’s just as well as the thought of being a slave to a grimy rubber nipple until…oh, I was four when I gave mine up…did not appeal. Anyway, she hates, hates, hates her car seat, but she’s getting better about it and only cries if the car is stopped. Then she shrieks. Sometimes she’ll wear herself out and fall asleep, which makes me feel terrible, but there’s really no other option. We have to go somewhere, she has to sit in a car seat. Life is terribly unfair and it’s time she started getting used to that in small doses. πŸ˜‰ Typically she pays me back with thunderous reports from her behind, copious poo-splosions that cover upwards of 50% of the inside of her diaper and announce themselves with stuttering, trumpeting farts that routinely horrify her father.

One area where we got totally lucky was her nighttime schedule. She’s recently begun sleeping for three hour stretches, bringing the nightly feeds to 11ish, 2ish, and 5ish before she’s up for good around 7am. Then she tanks up for an hour or better in the morning and spends much of the afternoon snacking away. We greet the day nursing lying down and I talk to her about the day’s events.

Much of the day is spent at home, working on tummy time or eating, but Maggie spends much of her time on the exercise ball. We don’t have space for a proper rocking chair so we sit on an exercise ball and very gently bounce to soothe her post-meal. And bounce. And bounce. And bounce. We figure if every bounce were one step, we’d have walked halfway to Los Angeles by now. But if she doesn’t fall completely asleep eating and she’s due for a nap, the bounce gets her the rest of the way there. Our thigh muscles are starting to look fabulous.

Her muscles are also fabulous, strong legs and arms and a nice strong neck. She is not overly fond of tummy time but tolerates it well enough. She has nice round cheeks that provide an excellent cushion while she sleeps on our chests. Maggie also has darling little bracelets on her wrists and ankles; small little pudgy circles from where she has rounded out. I love to raspberry them, and her round little belly.

So that’s life with Maggie. Not much to it, but it’s everything to us.