It was just like yesterday when I found out I was pregnant. In a blink of an eye, here I am, being a mommy now and Annakate turns 3 weeks old today! Unbelievable!
There is so much to learn being a new mom. Handling a newborn is no joke and the sleepless nights are definitely unavoidable. Whether a new mom decides to breastfeed or bottle feed with formula, the little one is bound to wake up once or twice throughout the night to be fed. Having said that, I chose to breastfeed because of the endless benefits reaped by my newborn and myself. Breastfed babies have stronger immune systems, better digestive systems, less illnesses, and grow up healthier than formula-fed babies. I obviously want Annakate to be healthy and strong.
A lot of people wonder why new parents have sleepless nights. A newborn’s stomach is just a tiny size of a small cherry. Therefore, the baby will be giving hunger signs every 2-3 hours as milk is easily digested (especially breast milk). I have learnt from my daughter’s cue of hunger signs when she opens her mouth in a big ‘O’ shape and shaking her face away to look for mama’s boobies. And of course, crying is a late sign of hunger.
I am also learning how to teach Annakate the difference between day and night. I try not to let her sleep more than 2 hours during the day so that she will fall into a deeper sleep at nights. As she is growing ‘older’ each day, I realize her naps are getting shorter. Not too sure why. For the past several nights, I would change her into pajamas by 730pm and dim all the lights around the house. Then I would be nursing her one last round before the real bedtime kicks in at 8pm. She will usually sleep 3 to 4 hours before waking up for another nursing session. And of course, the nursing session will last between 20-40 minutes, and soon after, she would fall asleep again for another 2.5 – 4 hours. An early tuck-in with her do save me from complete exhaustion. I just got to be very patient now with such schedules. Sooner or later when Annakate turns 8 – 10 weeks old, she will learn to sleep longer stretches.
Changing her diapers is always an adventure as Mike and I will always wonder ‘Is it just a wet diaper?’ or ‘Is it a big poopy diaper?’. This is simply because Annakate will cry a bloody murder each time we strip her butt naked. I wish there’s something to calm her down during diaper change. I tried singing, talking, comforting, distracting her with pacifier, but nothing seems to calm her down. Hopefully she will grow out of it. She just doesn’t like being naked. Period.
A newborn baby is strong for someone so tiny, but she still needs our protection to stay safe and healthy. I have to always remind myself that her neck and head are always supported. And boy, Annakate is so squirmy wormy! It is no wonder why I felt all those brutality during pregnancy.
With that, I have had 2 well-baby visits with my pediatrician so far. One on her week 1, and the most recent was her week 2 check up. Dr Washington checked her from head to toe and she declared Annakate a one feisty, healthy baby! Praise God for that. Dr Washington also did a bloodwork test for Annakate on her week 1’s visit to ensure her bilirubin count continue to stay low. And yes, Annakate’s risk of getting jaundice is super low. Thank God for this!
As mentioned in my previous entry, Annakate’s birth weight was 8lbs 2 oz (3.685kg) and her discharge weight was 7lbs 12oz (3.515kg). Her first well-baby visit’s weight was at 7lbs 12.5 oz (3.53kg). Guess what? Her most recent well-baby visit’s weight recorded a stunning 8lbs 10.5 oz. (3.926kg) Whoa!! Annakate gained almost a pound in 1 week! You go, girl. Keep drinking, keep, keep drinking! And I can’t wait to see how much she would weigh at her next well-baby visit in November.
I can go on and on and on and on, and I know this is a whole new journey for me. Oh, I can’t wait to get 100% normal again so that I can fully take care of her by myself. I am blessed to have Mike with me for the first 2 weeks and his mom stayed with us this week to help out. I will be on my own from Week 4 onwards. God, please heal me faster so that it will not hurt to take care of my precious daughter!
Ah, so much more to learn, too much information to gather, and feeling overwhelmed with everything so new. I know God will give me the strength to be a great mommy to Annakate. She is all worth my sweat and tears.
Motherhood rocks! ^_^