Julia has been our surprise baby. From the moment we discovered we were unexpectedly expecting. To finding out she was going to be our first girl. To making her debut in the car, before we could make it to te Birthing Center. I thought things would end there, but no, she continues to surprise us and remind me to alter my expectations.
Julia may very well be my most difficult baby yet. I'm still not quite sure. Jack was a somewhat fusy baby, and definitely worse at night, but back then it was just him and I and things like that were easily taken care of. Now, it's so much different. Our sweet baby girl is often hard to please... and quite vocal about it. She knows her mama hates to hear her cry. Actually, she just plain knows her mama. Which is unfortunate when Jon is willing to lend a hand and she wants nothing to do with him. We've definitely been having some problems with gas recently. You know it by the way she squeals, draws up her legs, and squeezes her tight, tiny belly. Poor thing. And this can go on for hours. And the only thing I can do is hold her, standing, swaying, whispering "I love yous". Because the moment I try to sit down she's back at it again. And sometimes even my best efforts are to no avail. Really, it's enough to bring this tired mama to tears. I just have to keep reminding myself this is only one small moment in time, and one that hopefully my daughter won't remember.
Julia's also all over the map as far as eating. I really try to get my babies on a good routine early on, but during weeks 2 and 3 (typical growth spurt time) she was hungry all day. Just when I thought I'd be good to go for another hour or two she was rooting for milk. I completely lost track of time and feedings. Or she'd be gassy and just want to suck, but instead she would chug and then take in all this air and that would only make her more upset... I think we're slowly easing ourselves out of that phase and apparently she's getting enough to eat because girlfriend weighed almost 9 lbs. at her doctor's appointment this week. Yes, at 4 weeks old Julia now weighs the same as her oldest brother when he was born. She's our little sweetie petitie!
She's finally wearing regular 0-3 month clothes and we're using up the last of the newborn diapers. She's also big enough to wear her cloth diapers now but that's a transition we're taking slow. Two in diapers is one thing, two in cloth diapers is just a bit more of another thing. But considering how often chica can poop in one hour, I'm ready to start saving some money with cloth!
As for nighttime sleep, we're getting better. We did have one 6-hour stretch, and a couple of 5-hour stints, but for the most part she's only going about 3-4 hours between feedings. And it's really not that bad. She starts grunting, I reach over andpull her into bed, she nurses for about 20 minutes, we do a quick diaper change, and then I slip her right back into her bassinet. I barely have to open my eyes. In fact, if I skip the diaper change and do that side-lying breastfeeding move, I barely have to wake up. And as for my baby-daddy, well he doesn't even know there's a party going down on the other half of the bed.
But that's the middle-of-the-night, getting there is another story. Early-evenings Julia is at her fussiest. If Jon's home this is when they have their daddy-daughter bonding time. By the time we're ready for bed and I've fed her one last time she's usually in a deep sleep. So I gently lay her down in the bassinet and ... one minute later she's up crying. It's all part of her routine. She cries, mommy holds her until she falls asleep, then puts her back in the bassinet, she starts crying again and the cycle repeats itself. Usually I end up falling asleep with her in my arms while half-sitting up and then quietly putting her in her own bed when I wake up again an hour or two later. Not ideal, especially for my back and neck, but still much better than losing sleep before our heads have even hit the pillow.
And really, for the most part, I don't mind a good excuse to hold her. At one month old, I sometimes still can't believe she's here. But hearing her sweet little sighs and smelling that delicious new baby scent makes it all very real. She's ours and we love every bit of her - that spiky hair, those pursed lips, those long, long fingers, and all her little surprises. Apparently things were just too dull around here before she arrived!