*sniff!* Our baby girl turned one month old yesterday! I can hardly handle it. Caleb and I sometimes (okay, like every other night) enjoy being sentimental and look back through Abby’s baby pictures. It feels weird saying her “baby pictures” because I don’t even know how she is not a baby anymore! She’s not quite two, but I feel like her maturity level makes her seem so stinkin’ old!! Anyhow… looking back, Abby really looks nothing like Evie, but we’ll see if they have more similarities as time passes along.
It’s crazy how fast even a week changes little tots so much! Evelyn was a screamer the first couple weeks of life. However, right around the end of week 2, she suddenly stopped all the screaming and only has a couple, more normal sized, fits each day (and night). She got that same annoying milk engorgement thing in her nipples that Abby had when she was a baby, but thankfully it was never quite as bad for her. With Abby, there was redness, intense swelling and obvious discomfort (in spite of the doctors telling us that it never bothered babies…. oh really). However, Evelyn had some swelling but never seemed too bothered by it. It went away when she was somewhere around 2 1/2 weeks old. I’m glad I knew what it was this time around, since it officially freaked us out last time! (not to mention the mini period that comes with it where they have a small amount of blow flow….. apparently the mom’s hormones can sometimes affect the babies, girls or boys even! So weird…)
Evie surprised me by actually starting to smile already. She has to really work at it, but it’s so adorable. haha I saw some features from Caleb’s side in Abby (mostly her eyes really), but the bottom part of her face totally looks like my chubby cheeks as a little kid. Evelyn, on the other hand, is a current clone of Caleb as a baby! It’s ridiculous how much they look alike!! Seriously! It’s definitely his dad’s side of the family too. She has that “Miller” look to her. I guess we’ll get to see what Caleb would have looked like as a girl now. 😉
Sooo, let’s see… Evie currently hates tummy time (at least for the most part), is starting to enjoy playing on her back a little more often, is beginning to enjoy watching big sis with her crazy antics, and is becoming slightly more predictable with her napping. She is doing better over all with sleeping at night. Some nights she goes right to bed super peacefully after her last feeding. Other nights she has a little fitty time first. Either way, she normally does a 3 1/2 – 5 hour stretch to start the night off, followed by a 3 – 4 hour stretch, followed by a 2 – 3 hour stretch. You never really know what you’re going to get and she doesn’t always go right back to sleep after night feedings, but we’re having slow improvements.
I had a rough time with this tot over the past month, as far as nursing was concerned. The first two weeks were just zero fun with me bleeding – a lot – during and after feedings, to the point that she was spitting up my blood. It was lovely. I then felt like I had one day where there was mild improvement. I started feeling a little hopeful that I was callousing up and things were going to get better. That hope was quickly crushed when the following week was worse and worse each day. I was incredibly red and sore and it burned when she ate and afterwards for 20-30 minutes. I wasn’t bleeding on the right side, although the left was still bleeding and had a large deep wound on the nipple – ya, ouch! The doctor told me I had a yeast infection and I should use anti-fungal cream on myself (he never actually looked at me, just said this based on my description of what was going on). We tried that with no success. I wanted to breastfeed for a year, like I did with my older daughter, but I was starting to think I would have to switch to formula because it was just so painful. My husband was begging me to switch because he hated me crying during each feeding. I really wanted to stick it out, but only if I knew things would eventually ease up a little!
My aunt recommended I call the La Leche League in my area, which is essentially a breastfeeding support group. They had really helped me with my first daughter, so I decided to give it a try. The lady I called was really nice but couldn’t actually meet with me due to insurance or something, so it was only so helpful. She told me to try some other thing for yeast infection and mentioned a lactation consultant place, Cygnus Lactation Services, I could go to if I wanted to get looked at/more help. The next day I decided to give that place a try. SO grateful that I did. It was absolutely amazing! The lady who met with me was incredibly helpful and definitely gave me renewed hope for the rest of my breastfeeding journey. She gave Evelyn and myself an examination and to my relief said I did not have a yeast infection and Evelyn wasn’t tongue-tied ( a nightmare for breastfeeding moms… haha). However, she did say Evelyn had a very short tongue and was compensating for that by basically ripping me apart. She showed me a new way to very firmly hold her and it instantly provided some help. I have since been training Evelyn how to nurse this way and it has slowly been improving each day. I have been using a nipple shield on my left side, due to the deep sore. It’s just a mite too “biting” (haha) not to use it right now. This makes it a little tricky since she has to nurse differently on the side with the shield than she does on the right side and that irritates her. She actually really prefers the shield right now. She’s getting better though and I’m getting better at setting up the hold and the pain (thank goodness!!) is also getting better. I’m using some polysporin on the wound and hopefully that will really start healing up here soon so I can lose the shield. Nursing is always an exciting journey. 🙂
To sum up, we love this baby girl and are so glad we’ve had a month to spend getting to know her. I’m really looking forward to seeing her personality develop. Also expecting some sweet moments as the interaction between her and Abby increases. Oh, and I wouldn’t say I’m counting down to the “sleeping through the night” phase, but I’m also certainly not dreading it.