Saturday, January 1, 2011

Lila's 1-month birthday

Our little girl had her one-month birthday the day after Thanksgiving (November 26th). We're not sure what she weighed at the one-month mark, but it was probably between 7.5-8 pounds, since she weighed 6 pounds, 14 ounces at her two-week doctor's visit and 8 pounds, 14 ounces at her six-week doctor's visit. Clearly she is a good nurser!

We weren't always sure that she would be, given that she was in the hospital those first nine days. Since the evening of her birth, we had been bringing pumped milk to the NICU in anticipation of her coming off of the sugar water. When her breathing was a little more under control, she started receiving small amounts of my milk through her feeding tube. Then, a few days later, she started on bottles with my milk. Finally, three days before she was released, I was allowed to nurse her for the first time. I was so nervous! She did not latch on as easily as John did, which made me even more nervous.

It took some extra effort, but Lila finally got used to me over the next couple of feedings at the hospital. The nurses knew we wanted to be there to nurse Lila for at least two of her daily feedings, so they wouldn't prepare a bottle of my pumped milk for her at those times. When we brought Lila home, it was great to get to nurse her for all of her feedings rather than only a couple -- it made me feel much closer to her, and I was glad to not have to pump so frequently! Before long, Lila was an expert nurser. But just so she wouldn't forget how to take a bottle, I had someone give her one nearly every day.

Lila's sleep schedule was very erratic that first month, since, like most newborns, she had her days and nights reversed. She slept like a champ during the day -- it was so hard to keep her awake! Everyone wanted to hold her, of course, and she'd fall asleep in one person's arms and stay asleep even as she was being passed on to the next person. At night, her sleep was very shallow, and she'd make so many noises (i.e. coughing, gurgling, wheezing) that we'd get nervous and wake up to make sure she was o.k. Of course we did the same thing with John, but we weren't expecting to do it with our second child! The breathing issues that kept Lila in the NICU turned us into first-time parents all over again. I'll definitely be keeping her in my room for a while longer so I can monitor her.

Lila's appearance changed a lot during her first month. Her face started filling out (the wrinkles on her forehead gradually disappeared), and her hair, eyelashes and eyebrows thickened and darkened. Overall, it seemed like Lila started losing her "newborn" look a lot faster than John (although, to be fair, she was still comfortably wearing the newborn size of clothing at this point)!

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