Sunday, May 17, 2009

Three weeks old

At our two week visit (which actually took place this Friday when Dio was almost 3 weeks old), we found that Dio had gained almost two pounds. He weighed in at 8 lbs 14.8 oz. This sparked some bittersweet feelings, similar to ones I had when Zari was a newborn. While I am thrilled that Dio is thriving and nursing well, I also have this deep sense of sadness and loss. Just as I am beginning to get to know my newborn, he is already changing and, in a sense, gone forever. So I find myself dealing with feelings of loss alongside the sense of love and discovery. He's already looking different to me, which his body filling in. He no longer has those skinny chicken legs. His cheeks and face have filled out. His arms and legs look plump now.

Dio is definitely more temperamental than Zari was. When he is awake, he has short periods of calm, quiet alertness, but more often than not he's fussing. Sometimes it's half-hearted crankiness. Other times it's full-out screaming and arching his back and acting like he's dying. I never experienced this with Zari. It's heartwrenching to see my baby so unhappy and to be unable to fix it some of the time.

He also has a very strong suck need. From the day he was born, he's always been chomping his fingers and fists. When nothing else will calm him down and his stomach is full to bursting, I'll offer my index finger. I actually have thought about trying a pacifier for those times when sucking on something is the only thing that will calm him down. I never thought I'd even consider one until Dio came! On the other hand, I am wary of introducing an object to which he might become overly attached (although you could make the same argument about my index finger).

Dio loves being in the sling, taking showers with me, and sleeping on our chests. We love to lie on the couch reading with Dio snoozing on our chest. He does not like change--waking up, falling asleep, getting dressed or undressed, or changing his diaper. I've been catching a lot of his pees and poops because he is so vocal about needing to go; any sudden fussiness I take as a cue to potty him, and usually he'll go right away.

16 days old
17 days old
20 days old
21 days old today!
Nursing self-portrait


  1. I never thought I'd use a pacifier, but at three weeks old, L needed something to suck, and we needed to be able to do other things with our fingers. So we tried a binkie, and it helped. At three months to the day, when she could find her thumb, I simply didn't give her the binkie; a few days later, I offered it experimentally, and she wasn't interested. She found one a few days ago and thought it was a great teething toy... and still loves her thumb. Just my experience, but hope it helps.

    Dio is beautiful!

  2. my V is two weeks today and i have the same bittersweet feelings you describe. I'm happy he is thriving and so sad this is the last I will see of him as 2 week old. i have sich a bond with him ina way i didn't have with my hospital birth. I'm so attached to his birth that I find it hard to even let the memory begin to fade.

    about the fussiness (not that you want my opinion, so please ignore if you don't) We found with our last child dairy and gluten were the issue. She started out always kinda fussy cranky and it got worse and worse til she cried A LOT. more than she didn't cry. it is so heartbreaking to hear them cry like that so young. maybe it could be a food issue? we also did chiropractor/CST to help make sure everything was happily aligned.

    anyhow I hope you're still enjoying your babymoon!

  3. p.s. we use pacifiers. b/c i cannot stand the thought of my child screaming and I can't let him suck too long b/c of my oversupply issues. he's burst!

  4. My first daughter was easy going. My second daughter was fussy, fussy, fussy. She was terribly refluxy and colicy. So we used a pacifier to help calm her, sometimes it helped, sometimes it didn't. I think you should figure out what works for you and go with it and not worry about what other people think. Being a mom is difficult enough without other people telling you what you should do. And what works for one child doesn't necessarily work for the next (ie having an unassisted birth with the first and finding that's not what you need with the second ;).

    My 2 cents on pacifier (if you want them), I waited until she was 3 weeks old and we had nursing down pat and then when she hit 6 months it got tossed. She didn't like that I tossed it then, but it only took about a week for her to adjust. I figure that's better than waiting until their 1st birthday or later when they're too stubborn to let it go.

    With my second daughter we also tried to cosleep to no avail. We found that she could not sleep laying down flat. (When she slept) she slept in a crib with the mattress raised 60 degrees up for the reflux. Believe me, I didn't think that's how she'd be sleeping for the first 9 months of her life. But it's what worked for her.

    Eventually the reflux stopped and she didn't scream for hours on end, but she continues (at 18 months) to be a very whiny child. After my first easy going child, I (and my husband) were shocked how different children could be. I had (wrongly) assumed that if your baby was breastfed and worn and loved unconditionally that she would never be colicky.

  5. Well, I used a pacifier very sparingly for two of my three kids, and at about 5 months old with both of them, they reached a phase where they just didn't need the pacifiers anymore. I always only gave it to them when they needed it, rather than sticking it in "just in case", and then when they were about 6 months old I realized that I never used the pacifiers anymore. I definitely wasn't as anti-pacifier as you were/are, but it did bother me to see toddlers CONSTANTLY sucking on those things.

  6. You may have heard of the book "Happiest Baby on the Block," but it helped IMMENSELY with my baby boy. I think it might be helpful to you! My boy was the same way.

  7. Rixa,

    I also want to echo the idea that your baby may have a problem with something in your diet. Perhaps not, but it might be worth taking a look at. A friend of mine related that her first child was terribly fussy (at her 2-week appt, she asked the mw, "Is it normal for a baby to only sleep 30 seconds at a time and then wake up wailing?"); and the ladies of her LLL group suggested a food allergy. They asked her, "What food do you eat every day and you think you can't live without?" For my friend, it was eggs -- they were easy to cook between the baby's fussy spells. Well, she gave them up, and within a couple of days, the baby became much better, and was completely better some time after that. And she's still allergic to eggs. The mom was raised on a "healthy organic" diet -- they raised most of their food, their dad was a beekeeper, they ate free-range meat, etc.; she had a home birth; I'm reasonably certain they don't vaccinate at all, or at least not on schedule (and wouldn't have given the newborn any vaxes by two weeks old) -- all that to say that there was nothing "wrong" that this mother did to give her child a food allergy. I put that in, because before hearing her story, it was very easy for me to say that there must have been *something* that happened to cause an allergy, and that it just didn't "happen"... but sometimes it does.


  8. Rixa, Dio is BEAUTIFUL!!! My daughter was a fussy miss, too and we eventually found that tomato products made her unhappy ... but she was still very fussy, even with that dietary change!

    As for pacifiers, I don't like them (lol), but Gwen did suck on our fingers during her fussy times when I couldn't possibly nurse her any longer! I used a pacifier occasionally (ie. in the car seat), but I waited the recommended 6 weeks before introducing it. Nipple confusion (or preference!) is NOT something I wanted to deal with!

  9. you've described Willem to a T!

    my first was very much the opposite and gave me confidence as a new mom.

    Willem left me flailing in the wind! I didn't know what had hit me.

    Day 3.. i gave him a pacifier. his need to suckle was pretty overwhelming. we only used the pacifier when he needed it, and we still give it to him only at night/nap times.. most days he throws it off the side of his bed and ends up sleeping without it.

    Co-sleeping was another shocker. he was a horrible co-sleeper. or rather, it was me that disturbed him.
    it was great in the beginning, but by 4 months it just wasn't working any more. And by 6-8 months he was in his own bed and has been there contentedly ever since! Although he still crawls into our bed around 6am to nurse and go back to sleep. So that's our special time together.

    He's still a very temperamental child. Strong willed, always ready for a fight. lol

    All I can really say is, this too..shall pass. =)

  10. He is so gorgeous Rixa. You and DH must be so proud of your babies.

    My Simon is now 6 mos old, and it amazes me how fast they do grow. I also feel sad that the TINY LITTLE newborn is just a memory now.

    As far as having a very fussy/needy/demanding baby. I know that all too well. It seems if he is not being held and carried, my Simon SCREAMS until he vomits. In order for me to shower, make a meal for DD, or do any household task at ALL, requires him to lay and scream. No bouncy seat, swing, or toy will suffice. So he is carried everywhere. And it is exhausting. People have told me that he has "trained me" or that we have fostered this expectation in him. But believe me, I have tried to let him CIO, and it was miserable. Over 2 hours until he had lost his voice, and vomited. He was sweating and it just seemed ridiculously torturous. My first DS Isaac was this way, and so I do know, that they do grow out of it. That is the only thing that keeps me going day-to-day. So my heart does go out to you. We also do use a pacifier. He wouldn't take it for the first 2 months, but finally did. And it does help. I simply can't nurse him 24/7. So the paci is as much for me as it is for him. Don't feel guilty for meeting your son's needs, in whatever way you find that works for you. I sympathize with you completely. Those who have never had a colicky baby simply cannot relate. Those of us who have, understand exactly what you are going through. These are the experiences that age us exponentially!

  11. Another comment w/ the warning "not that you asked for my opinion"...milk protein sensitivity is most common per my pediatrician. It made all the difference in the world when I gave up dairy. I did it for 2 months then reintroduced yogurt and cheese which have enzymes that make their milk protein more digestible. There is a direct correlation for my little guy between me sneaking in a bowl of ice cream or a milk-based latte and him screaming for hrs. Also, I did use the "Happiest Baby on the Block" principles w/ him for soothing...the 5 "S"'s: 1. sucking (nursing or pacifer),
    2. swaying/swinging, 3. swaddling (tightly), 4. shushing (right at his ear and equal to the volume he is crying), 5. sidelying/stomach lying. You can combine them for maximum effect. There are video of the author of HBOTB, Karp is his last name, implimenting those priciples. They work. Hope that helps! :)

  12. Ahhh, Rixa-- our stories are so similar!

    First baby, Greta, my easy peasy girl. Nursed lovely, slept in my arms, every 2 hours or so, end of story, really.

    Second baby, Mickey, our little son! He seemed pretty peaceful and stuff for about 4 days and then the whiney whiney whiney started. Hmmm. I would put him to the breast and put him to the breast and well, frankly, that was the only parenting arsenal we had! 3 years as parents and we never used gas srops, gripe water, pacifier, vibrating chairs, never had to, no "stance", per se....I sent Steve to the store for Mylicon. And a pacifier. It seemed to help. For like an hour.
    Wahhh wahhh WAHHHHHH and we were 2 bewildered parents! Steve bunted him up really tightly and took him outside. It seemed to help. For like an hour. He was frantic to nurse but would pull away and fart and cry and screech---I certainly had milk, for one thing I was still nursing Greta, and for another thing I was engorged and leaking/flooding. Hmmmm...

    I read about them getting too much foremilk and that giving them gas and green poo. So I pumped (yay. when you bring the baby to your breast every 15 minutes thats really what you wanna do!) the foremilk off and tried to get him to really empty a breast. Still pretty screechy.

    I reopened Dr Sears' book and cut out dairy. A big deal for me as a vegetarian at the time and a ravenously hungry new tandem nursing mama, cheese was a big staple! Now we were the unhappy exhausted couple who cant order pizzas. Sigh.

    We tried special tummy rubbing techniques and it did help. We had to change everything we "knew", and he was a really red faced cross little thing for about 10 weeks. It wasnt hell on earth but it was disheartening. It shook me up from many of the suppositions I had held to be truths and it was depressing? Disruptive? Just different.

    I dont know how much of this will help, but for us, Mickey was an absolute bundle of giggly happy wonderfulness by 3 months old. He loved his pacifier and the baby swing. I had to develop a whole new way of living with a baby and a toddler, and I had to tell Greta SHHHHHHH!!! all the time and it was tricky to balance that out with my desires to make the new baby brother thing be all wonderful. I also couldnt nurse him lying down because of my c section and him choking out and sputtering---it was like I was a first time mom and everything I knew was thrown out the window!

    What ended up working for him was for me to nurse him on one side, stopping to burp him and de-gas him via belly rubs and folding his legs up, and it was this big "session" (Nursing Greta was just a quick whip up the shirt anytime anywhere!)...then I would wrap him tightly in this stretchy fleecy blanket and put him in the baby swing on super high! I thought it would scramble his brains it was so fast but it worked!When he would start to fuss is when I would rush over with the pacifier and pop it in his mouth and hold it in (with the swing flying high!!!!) until he would fall asleep.
    Then I would have to run and play with Greta, coloring, make believe, anything she wanted--(she became quite bossy that summer...hmmm...)to keep her from waking him up.

    It was hard! DO watcha gotta do to survive! We're all grateful to hear your stories....and btw he is sooooooooooooo cute!!!!!!

  13. I also left out that I never heard of gluten back then so there may have been food allergy stuff that we were not knowlegable enough to persue.

    We found Gripe Water to be wonderful stuff. We gave alot of it to Mickey those first few months, and never regretted it. Now its sold everywhere but we had to get it from a health food store far away. It smelled slightly like black licorice and the smell got in his clothes and in our bed and everywhere! That smell still reminds me of those times.

  14. Dio sounds just like my little newborn... sometimes I think he likes my finger better than nursing! I'm definitely contemplating a pacifier... :-/

  15. My daughter who is now 3yo was like that. And, I have celiac disease, and was already gluten-free w/ her, so that wasn't the issue. But, the crazy-fussiness and all the gas continued... When I talked w/ an acquaintance who is a midwife, she asked me if her poo was green -- it was. She suggested I cut out all dairy. I did. Totally. IME, it was way more difficult to go totally dairy/casein-free than gluten-free. No milk in *any*thing, in any form, not even a trace, not even butter. It was hard, but her poop normalized in a couple of days, and she became amazingly less fussy. That was when she was 3 weeks old. She was/is still fairly high-maintenance, but she became a fairly contented baby after eliminating dairy.

  16. I was reluctant to give my daughter a pacifier, but sometimes she just wants to suck and she gets mad if milk comes out. We use is sparingly and I like that better than if she sucked her thumb because it can be taken away in the future.

  17. I don't really get it--if he is nursing well, what is wrong with at least trying a pacifier? It might help, right? I wouldn't assume that it is food allergies that is making him fussy. This is likely just an indication of his temperament.

  18. My 2 cents - my son has always been "high needs". I never thought I'd use a pacifier either, but when he was a couple of weeks old, I couldn't soothe him by breast alone anymore (I don't know why). He also always struggled with sleep, and literally would not sleep day or night. He almost never fell asleep nursing even as a newborn. I ended up giving him a pacifier as a result, but only when all other soothing techniques failed, or when I was trying to get him to sleep. Otherwise, he never got it, and never seemed addicted to it or anything. So I agree with other comments that just giving the paci doesn't necessarily mean it will become an addiction/ problem. Thumb sucking can be just as bad, and harder to get rid of. . .

    Also, some people have mentioned possible dietary issues. While I know some babies have them and it's great to experiment with technique, or even with what you eat if you want to, I would also like to say in my opinion sometimes drs jump very quickly to diet as solution to all problems in babies. Mine had eczema and immediately the doctor said, cut out all dairy (and maybe soy and citrus and nuts, etc etc etc). We were never convinced it was the dairy, though I did go off it for four months or so. When I reintroduced it there was no problem. What I'm trying to say I guess is to encourage you not to imagine that there's anything "wrong" with your little one, just because he's more "high need" than your first. You're doing great and he's doing great.

  19. May I suggest silent reflux? There's a lot of symptoms there :)
    I got really sad when my last child reached the age the middle one was when she was born. Actually, the whole time period when #3 was the age that #2 was when I was pregnant with #3, was bitter-sweet.
    Also, you might want to read "Raising Your Spirited Child" already :)
    (My verification word is resin. Still wondering about the cello resin, LOL)

  20. I adore the nursing self-portrait! Love those.

    I thought I'd add my two cents worth about the fussiness/pacifiers. I had oversupply with both my boys. The second time around, it was deeply important to me to be able to meet my baby's comfort sucking needs at the breast (my first didn't take a pacifier and was also unhappy at the breast/in arms a lot of the time and eventually would ONLY nurse lying down in our bed. Had a nursing strike at 5 months and then would only nurse when being walked around). I cut out dairy with him and that seemed to help his fussiness a little, but I really think the root of the problem was with too much milk and his sucking needs not being able to be met at the breast like he wanted them to be.

    Anyway, determined to have it be different with second son (first son did nurse til he was 2.5 and nursing was peaceful after about 11 months or so--plenty of comfort nursing then). Block feeding saved the day for us. Basically, you nurse the baby on the "empty" breast when he wants to suck for comfort. I kept my baby nursing on one side for 12 hours (you start with a block of 3 hours and then add to it if the shorter time doesn't make a difference. I had a "day breast" and a "night breast"). Then, your supply evens out and you can go back to a more "normal" nursing pattern. For some people it is not important to them that the baby meet all sucking needs at the breast and that's okay--feed at breast, comfort with paci--for me it was very important and so I worked hard to make it happen. And, it worked. If engorgement is a problem, you can do another strategy called "full drainage with block feeding", in which you fully "drain" both breasts via pump before you start the block feedings, so that the baby starts out the with an "empty" breast to comfort with.

    Best wishes,


  21. He is too cute!

    I used a paci with both my girls, but only for when I wasn't there (I went back to school and work for a little bit with both). Once I quit or graduated and was home all the time, they quickly lost interest.

  22. So familiar!!! Girl, first...calm, easy. Boy, second...fussy, strong suck need, etc. Same story!
    Also those love & loss feelings all at the same time w/ newborns! I feel ya!


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