I can’t believe it’s been a month already! This has been a hard month for me. Reese has been a challenging infant thus far. She sleeps all the time, but only if she’s on me and when she isn’t sleeping she’s been incredibly fussy, purple crying.
She nurses only when she absolutely must and the rest of the time wants nothing to do with it. She won’t nurse to be soothed or for comfort only to eat and even then she stops just as soon as she can, rarely draining my breast or taking a full feed. The first two weeks I was waking her up to nurse every 2-3 hours but since then I’ve been letting her feed on demand, well kinda, I still offer her my breast often, she only sometimes will take it. When she is nursing more often than not she chokes while feeding and pulls off, sputtering and coughing, only to then start screaming in annoyance. If I can coax her back to the breast, she’ll nurse a bit more and then stop. She detaches often to fuss while feeding, which results in a lot of milk being sprayed everywhere. On the rare occasion that she does do something close to a full feed, she vomits everything right up. So needless to say this aspect has been pretty stressful. I was frankly amazed that she had gained the weight that she has.
She sleeps a lot and I know that sounds like a good thing, except that she’ll really only sleep when she’s on me or right next to me. I spent the second half of this month working on getting her to sleep anywhere else, with little success. It would take me around 2 hours to put her to sleep in the bassinet at night. Every time I put her down she’d wake up screaming and after a few times of that she’d start purple crying and wouldn’t be soothed by anything until she finally became so tired that she’d more or less pass out. At first I stuck with it because at least after the initial battle to get her to sleep she’d stay asleep for a good 4 hours but that was short lived and she then started waking up every 45 minutes to an hour, which quickly became unbearable since she wouldn’t nurse back to sleep, so I resigned myself to having her sleep on me in the evenings until I went to bed at which point she slept in the bed next to me. She wears a breathing monitor to give me peace of mind, but it’s definitely not ideal as I just don’t sleep as well when she’s next to be, especially since she has to be touching me which means I can’t roll over or change positions at all.
And then there’s the crying. It’s such a grating cry. She spends almost all her time asleep unless she’s nursing and really dislikes being awake. She is almost always extremely angry whenever she’s awake and again won’t be soothed by nursing, so it’s been a real challenge. If she isn’t crying, she’s looking at us with the grumpiest of looks. She mainly just wants me to hold her against my chest so she can sleep. I’ve worn her a couple times, but since my core muscles are basically atrophied it’s really hard on my back at the moment. Sometimes she just wakes up screaming even when she’s on me or right next to me, leaving me at a loss. It’s been pretty challenging.
Reese was born with a clogged tear duct which isn’t supposed to bother her, but if I don’t stay on top of wiping all the gunk away her eye basically becomes glued shut and her little eyelashes pull whenever she tried to open her eyes. We’ve also had thrush. I just can’t seem to avoid it with my kids. I used gentian violet for a week, which got rid of the white patches on her tongue, but then it became apparent that her gums and the roof of her mouth were bleeding, poor thing. Turns out thrush can do that when it gets really bad. So now she’s been prescribed 14 days of liquid fluconazole and I have to use a nystatin nipple balm. Fingers crossed that this get’s rid of it.
We’ve had such an outpouring of support from our new community up here in Maine, with people bringing us meals and taking Asher and Bennett on playdates. And my parent’s have been really helpful, but also a bit overwhelmed since my brother and sister-in-law had their 3rd child the day before Reese was born and they’ve basically been helping watch 4 kids and take care of 2 postpartum women and infants. Raf’s aunt also came to stay for a week, which was such a God send. And Raf works from home now and even though he wasn’t able to take time off that does mean that he can pop in a help if I really need him to and it does allow for more flexibility in his schedule. But even with all that, it somehow feels like we’ve had less support or help this time around than we did with the other two. I think it has something to do with the fact that with the other two we had family visiting and staying with us which resulted in 24/7, round the clock help. So it’s been really hard on me emotionally. I’m also hormonal and probably have some baby blues but I’ve been crying a lot and I’ve pretty much just felt invisible most of the time. Like no one really sees me. Which is all new territory for me. After Asher and Bennett were born I was so blissfully happy I felt like I was floating. So that’s been a real bummer. Raf has been doing his best to be as supportive as possible but it’s just been really hard on me. I wasn’t entirely sure I would write about this here and perhaps this topic needs a dedicated post of it’s own, but I do feel it’s important to talk about these things and to shed light on the topics of baby blues and postpartum depression if only to destigmatize them. So please let me know if you want me to write more in depth about this topic.
On a lighter note, she really loves bath time. It’s really the only place I’ve seen her look remotely content or happy. Asher and Bennett absolutely adore her. They are constantly asking to hold her, kiss her and hug her. It’s really so sweet. Every time she cries they both run to her and try to calm her OR they immediately tell me that she’s crying, even if I’m clearly right next to her. It’s pretty sweet. Bennett has really blossomed into her role as a big sister. She gives Reese the gentlest of kisses albeit while squashing her with the rest of her body, but still. Bennett isn’t so thrilled to have to share me, but at least she doesn’t seem to harbour any jealousy or resentment towards Reese. Since Asher is older this time around he really understands what it means to be a big brother. He keeps exclaiming how cute she is and asking for reassurance that we’re keeping her. He really seems a bit worried that we may just send her back or something. He’s really quite taken with her. Both Asher and Bennett have been great mommy’s little helpers. I’m just in awe of how gracefully they’re handling this transition, even if they have been acting up a bit more as they vie for attention.
We really can’t decide who Reese looks like. Everyone says she looks like Asher, but Raf and I just don’t recognise her when we look at her little face. I think she has Raf’s mom’s nose, my mouth and Raf’s eyes. But to me, she just looks so different than Asher and Bennett. I think her nose is really throwing us off since Asher and Bennett have the same nose and Reese’s is so clearly different. I do believe we will actually have a brown eyed child this time as her eyes are a dark muddy grey. She’ll be our brown eyed girl 🙂 I’m definitely looking forward to settling into our new normal as a family of five!!