Sunday, May 24, 2009

Four weeks old

Dio is settling into more of a schedule. He wakes up for the day around 9 am and is awake, except for catnaps, until around lunchtime. Then he takes a long 2-3 hour nap. Zari takes a nap after lunch, which means on most days I can have a bit of time to myself while they're both sleeping. The rest of the afternoon and evening he alternates napping and being awake until about 9-10 pm.

Nights are tiring for me. His first sleep is nice and long and deep, usually 3 or 3 1/2 hours. But then he's up every 1-2 hours the rest of the night and his sleep is quite restless. He grunts and squeaks and wiggles during the last half of the night so even when he's not nursing, he keeps me awake a lot. I've started running a fan--for me as much as for Dio--and it helps a little bit to mask those noises. I hope he'll start sleeping more deeply and for longer periods at night. Zari always conked out right away after night nursing and within the first few weeks had settled into a 3-hour waking pattern at night.

He's already looking so huge to me. Some friends of ours had their baby a week ago (at home, with the same midwife) and Dio looks like a monster baby compared to her, even though he was a bit smaller at birth than she was.

Dio is still cranky at times. Nothing terrible, just very different from Zari, who rarely cried and was calm and content when she was awake. We have to do lots of rocking and bouncing and patting and holding him just so. He also has a very short fuse. He can go from completely content to screaming bloody murder in about 2 seconds flat.

I have--gasp--started using a pacifier. Or soother, as Canadians call them. Anyway I never thought I would, but then again I never had a baby with such a strong suck need until Dio came along. Much of the time he isn't interested in it, but it does come in handy at times when I need to get certain things done and need both hands free: showering or getting lunch/dinner ready (because often at this point he's been in the sling for a while and wants out). It also comes in most handy in the evenings when he has a really fussy period, which I call the witching hour. After I've nursed him to bursting and pottied him and tried bouncing/rocking/patting/whatever and he's still upset, I'll hold him in my arms with the pacifier in. His body relaxes, and he looks around calmly. Sometimes he'll even fall asleep for a nap. I thought he might take it at night, but he's never interested in it then. Which is fine with me--I am wary of his becoming too dependent on the pacifier.

Ever since my mom left 2 weeks ago, Zari has been a bit fussier and needier. Which is to be expected. We've been working on having her tell us what she wants, rather than throw a tantrum. But on the other hand, she's really sweet and helpful with Dio. Most of the time. Sometimes I have to tell her, "no, please don't kick him." Or "no jumping on Dio!" She likes to "help" me nurse by laying her hand on my breast. She also gives me--well, my breasts, specifically--"nursing kisses."

When I do have free time, I've been busy working on a few projects. I am getting my book proposal ready to send to publishers (it will be a revised version of my dissertation). One of my dissertation committee members looked through the proposal and gave it a thumbs-up, so now it just needs a final read-through before I send it off. I also need to start researching presses to send it to. I have a few that were recommended to me for starters. Next, I have been invited to write an article about perceptions of home birth in America for Expert Review of Obstetrics & Gynecology. I've started working on an outline for the article. Once I've decided what topics to cover, I need to delegate various research & writing tasks to the other co-authors and work on my own contribution. And it's supposed to be done by July 1st! Yikes! And last, I am hoping to present at the International Breech Conference that's taking place in Ottawa, Ontario this fall. A friend and I are working on an abstract and research questions. We'll likely be interviewing/surveying women about their experiences of breech pregnancy and birth. So much to do and not enough time! Between these projects and my lack of sleep, my blogging has slowed down.

Now for the fun part--pictures from this week!

Both Zari and Dio like to adopt the "cello player" pose.
Dio is on the right.


  1. Beautiful pictures!! Glad to hear things are well. Looking forward to hearing more about your upcoming projects!

  2. I also used a fan when my son was that age because he was so noisy at night, I think he became dependent on the fan because he still sleeps better with one. I also had him sleep in his car seat for a few weeks because he spit up when laying down at night, and didn't sleep as well.
    The thing that worked the best for his fussiness was taking him outside. When I couldn't take him out, sometimes I blew on his forehead to simulate the breeze outside. It USUALLY worked ;).

  3. God bless you. Some babies are high needs! I am told they grow into easy children. I hope that is the case. They look so sweet in the pictures.

  4. My second was my high-needs baby, too. Surprisingly, my oldest, Josh, (the autistic) one was a very easy baby, but not so with my second, Matt.

    I've started using a fan with Rachel, not because she needs it to fall asleep, but because she needs it to STAY asleep. Her brothers tromp up and down the hallway all day, and she is a very light sleeper. That fan has saved us because it is keeping her asleep longer.

    Zari looks like an angel in that picture with Dio. Have started doing the growth comparison pictures yet like you did with Zari? Those were amazing. I'd never realized how quickly babies grow.

  5. I can't believe there's a whole conference on breech! Wish I'd known about such a thing when I was pregnant with my son...maybe I wouldn't have felt so alone! Feel free to contact me with your breech questions, penincheek at hotmail dot com.

  6. Dio is such a cutie! As a Canadian, I'm just loving the maple leaf diapers :)

    Your book and article projects sound very interesting. Good luck with those!

    I was wondering if in the course of your studies you have found any good books that thoroughly survey and analyze the research on all the usual procedures and interventions commonly used in hospital births? I've read books that briefly comment generally on what the research says, but are there any books you can recommend that are more in-depth regarding the research? If there isn't a good book out there, there should be!


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