Thursday, August 29, 2013

First ( week) Impressions

Sally had her first appointment with Dr. L this morning! He's a rather important person in the life of our little ear-infection-prone family, so this one-week-old well-visit was a special milestone indeed.

Getting there was a bit of an adventure: Sean and I were up with Sally from 2-5 am while she got increasingly hungry and exhausted and decreasingly able to latch and nurse. She managed a fairly inadequate meal and we all collapsed, waking up a little later than we'd hoped when Walter started stirring at 7 am.  Sean got Walter set up with some peanut butter toast while the two of us scurried around trying to get both kids and all our kid-related accouterments ready to go as quickly as possible to get Sally to her 8:15 appointment on time.

I came out of the bathroom and the sight of Walter sitting in his booster seat (contentedly) eating his peanut butter toast all alone made me lose my mind with weeping.  So, that took up a little time, too, though I mostly held it together until later this morning so my crying wouldn't alarm Walter.  When we talked about it later, Sean made many very reasonable observations, including the fact that this was far from the first time Walter has eaten breakfast while we've been in and out of the room getting things ready, and having a sibling means more people who love Walter and whom Walter loves, not less. I am not entirely reasonable these days, but I appreciate that Sean's observations on this are correct, and well-informed by his experience with having siblings.  I'm just feeling a little extra protective of my first born, these days.  My baby.

We got both babies dressed and in the car, and even though Walter's breakfast was cut a little short and Sally's was put off until we could get her to the doctor's office, both settled in quite well in their carseats.  Walter was incredibly pleased to be sitting next to Baby Sally. He went to day care and we made it pretty much on time for our appointment.  I was desperate to nurse Sally and it felt like it took forever to get checked in, taken back to the exam room, and get Sally measured and weighed before we could try to nurse. It did not, in fact, take forever, and as usual the folks who work with Dr. L. were awesome about getting us settled in as quickly as possible.  Thankfully, Sally latched immediately, even though we were nursing without a boppy pillow in a strange position in a strange place and she was crazy hungry, which often makes it hard for her to latch right when she needs it most.  But this time it worked, and we were nursing quite well when Dr. L. came in and were done in time for him to look her over after we talked for a short while.

Sally's one week stats: weight, 6 lbs 15 oz (before eating breakfast, Sean notes); length, 19.5 inches; head circumference 13. 6 inches. Pretty much right on the median curve for all things--slightly lower than average for weight and height, right at 50% for noggin size.  We are quite skeptical of her height measurement ... it seems unlikely that she would grow an inch and half in a week, especially considering that she's not back up to her birth weight, yet.  I was disappointed, but not surprised, to hear her weight, but Dr. L. said that her weight is on its way up and that's all that matters.  Same thing for the bilirubin--it's on it's way down, and it's not going to start climbing again.  We're headed in the right direction on all counts.

It's funny ... I got very used to seeing Walter's extraordinary measurements as a measurement of (or maybe a helpful shorthand for) his overall extraordinary-ness. Sally's measurements aren't extraordinary, but clearly she is. Some first impressions of our bug:

**Sally is extraordinarily sweet and snuggly. She seems to love snuggling with us, and actively snuggles herself in to whoever's arms she's in.  She seems to enjoy being in my arms, especially.  I'm holding her right now, in fact ... she's in her favorite spot on my chest again.

**Sally makes a wonderful and very wide range of expressive noises and facial expressions.  A recent example: after a rough start, Sally latched and started to nurse well.  Right at the start, though, she unlatched and re-latched twice to look up at me and give an indignant, "EH!"  Commentary, just to let me know she was not pleased with recent goings-on.  She's not shy about stating her opinion.

**On a related note: though small, Sally is very very strong. When she's angry and I put her on my shoulder she climbs up my torso at an alarming speed and tries to make a break for it. She is rather persistent in pursuing what she wants, including nursing on my fingers instead of my breasts, or kicking to avoid getting a new diaper (she prefers to pee in freedom.)

**Sean says that Sally is so alive, and has been right from the start. The way she immediately started crying, before she was even fully out my womb, has been consistent with the way she seems to approach life: fully engaged.  We're seeing more and more of that as the jaundice wears off and Sally has more awake and alert time.  When she opens her eyes she seems really pleased by everything she sees. Unless it's 2 am and the first thing she sees is Mama trying to get her to nurse.

**On the subject of nursing, I am maybe being overdramatic.  It's going well, all things considered.  She's pretty new, still, and it makes sense that we wouldn't have all the bugs worked out.  And when it goes well, it goes spectacularly well.  I hopeful and grateful for being able to connect with Sally this way.  For as many mutually frustrating moments we've had nursing so far, there have been far more tender, loving moments.

**Sally is beautiful. She seems to look a lot like me as a baby, but she also looks quite a lot like Walter (which was very disorienting for me, at first ... in my post-surgical haze I was pretty convinced that I was nursing newborn Walter again.) She's got a nice amount of hair--same brown/blonde color as Walter, but not my hairline (which Walter did have.) She has the same stork bite birthmark on the back of her head/neck that Walter has.  Her eyes seem darker than Walter's, and I'm thinking they might end up being hazel/brown like Sean's.  I love her mouth best of all ... so expressive.

As Dr. L. says: "She's perfect."  That's his official medical opinion, and it seems right to me.


No comments: