Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Two Months

A few weeks after my parents left, we had settled into a routine and I felt as if I were hitting my stride. One day I managed to complete three loads of laundry. When I say complete, I mean all clothes were folded and put away. I felt such a sense of accomplishment. Yeah, I think you're going to be ready to go back to work... No sooner than the thought bubble popped over my head, the calendar turned to September, and my leave reached the half-way point. A wave of sadness hit.  In an ideal world, I could work part time and stay home with her part time, but it's not an option, unless we want to relocate to an area with a lower cost of living. It wasn't until Husband discussed starting an earlier bedtime routine that the impact of returning to work really hit. Including my commute time, I spend 10 hours of the day out of the house, so 50 hours per week. If Jate is sleeping 10 hours at night by the time I go back to work (fingers crossed) it leaves approximately 100 hours of non-bed time per week. Working full time turns me into a part time mother. Depressing.

Yet, I feel so guilty complaining. So many women are required to go back at this point. A mere eight weeks, which is not the same thing as two months. I'm trying to savor every day I have left, even if these days feel as if they're blending in to one another. I saw a woman with a four month old and I marveled at the difference in development. I know I'm so fortunate to have some more time so I'll be able to witness this transformation in the next two months. However, I was caught off guard when I looked at her one month picture. She's already changed so much in such amount of time and I didn't really notice even as it was happening right under my nose. Maybe I won't feel as if I'm completely missing out of experiencing her growth and development.

Jate, it's not ladylike to expose your undies...
Oh, never mind. That's my girl.

Nicknames: CupKate, Button, Baby Kate (lame) We're keeping 'Little Bunny' as it is fitting since the picture of her as a hatching blastocyst looks like a rabbit. However, my mother also uses the nickname 'bunny' for the cats.

Stats: Weight 11 lbs 9.6 oz
          Length: 23.25 inches

Eating: Still exclusively breastfed. The key to my milk supply? The nurse at our breastfeeding and baby basics class instructed husbands to bring their wives a beer and a pint of ice cream every night. I enjoy my nightly beer, and sometimes if it's been a rough day with Jate, it becomes a two beer night. I stretch the pint of ice cream to make it last a week, but I've eaten an obscene amount of oatmeal cookies. Like whatever you think is an obscene amount... double that. As she's been sleeping longer, I've been getting up to pump to help maintain this supply and contribute to my frozen stash. I remembered reading a post from Emily of Eat, Love, Procreate  discussing the peek-a-boo bra that allows for hands free pumping. I shared her cynicism for the contraption and filed it away among the 'things that I will never do'. Now it's time to add it to the list of 'things I said I'd never do, but I now embrace...' Not only do I gain some valuable time to look up useless shit on the Internet while pumping at 3 AM, I find that I seem to be able to express more. If you are looking for a hands free bra, make sure it has the hook and latch closure, as it works much better than the ones with a zipper. Oh, and I got the red one with white polka-dots, because... why not?

My other awesome breastfeeding tool is a hand pump. I went out to a dinner meeting with my colleagues and it conflicted with one of my pumping sessions. I was contemplating bringing the pump, but then had to worry about where to plug it in, tying up the bathroom while others are curious about the noise...etc.. I ended up expressing into the sink, just for comfort and to avoid leaking while wearing nice clothes for the first time since Jate's birth, and I wanted to cry as I watched the milk circle the drain. Now I just keep the hand pump in her diaper bag, which has an insulated pocket so I can chill any milk I express. It's convenient, quiet and works remarkably well! It's also useful if there is a power failure. We lost power briefly for an afternoon, which induced a panic over my supply of frozen milk. Some things we learned: It's not a problem during the winter as outdoor temps are below freezing and you can stick it in the snow (for those who have frozen temps and snow...). If the chest freezer is full, it will maintain that temperature for 48 hours if left unopened (24 hours for a half full freezer). Identify your friends who also have a chest freezer and hope they're on a different grid and still have power.

Sleeping: At her one month visit, her paediatrician suggested not letting her sleep more that two and a half hours during the day in order to get her to sleep more during the night. It seemed wrong at first; why would you wake a sleeping baby? However, it worked like a charm. The first time she slept six hours straight, Husband and I both had a dream about getting up to feed her. It wasn't until I looked at the Mama.baby app we were using that I realised she had slept through our imagined feedings. She's been fairly consistent, giving us about 6-7 hours each night, although her PB (personal best)  was eight hours and sometimes she'll only do 3-5 hours at a go. I learned from my baby care class that an infant sleeping uninterrupted stretch of 5 hours is considered 'sleeping through the night'. Yet, I would argue that baby isn't truly sleeping through the night until Mummy is sleeping through the night. There have been a few mornings where after her 7 hour stretch of uninterrupted sleep, she starts waking up every hour. I'm not quite sure what that is all about, but on the third time waking, I'll bring her back to bed with me and she fell asleep on my chest, which is such a wonderful sensation in itself, but it also allows me to get some shut-eye.

Likes: She seems to like spending time on her playmat. I also discovered that I can set up the mat in the hall and watch her while I do the laundry and clean the bathroom. Added bonus: the music isn't too annoying!

Dislikes: She really does not like burping. Although I'm sure she appreciates the sense of relief after releasing some trapped air, she hates the process of burping. If I sit her up, she'll actually push off against her legs into a position that is practically standing. If I put her head over my shoulder, she'll really wail in my ear. Sometimes, the only option is to bounce her on the balance ball. She really likes it, and it will occasionally help sneak a burp out.

Looking forward to: Nothing and Everything. Despite the fact her feeding process is quite involved, and her bed time routine is high maintenance, I'm starting to appreciate that this age represents an easier phase of parenting. She hasn't yet figured out how to put things in her mouth. She's not getting into everything. In fact, I can briefly leave her unattended at her changing table to grab something from the other side of the room, even though you're not supposed to leave them alone for a second, but other mothers assure me that everyone has done it. We can actually take her with us when we go out to dinner and she'll sleep peacefully, which allows us to feel as if we still have an aspect of our old lives, and we're not the couple with the obnoxious child that ruins everyone else's dining experience. She's not crying because some boy broke her heart, or the bitchy girls at school said mean things to her. Yet, I'm so amazed at what she's accomplished in just two months, I can't wait to see what else she can do. Learn to crawl, take her first steps. Be the well behaved child in the restaurant. Realise that they boy wasn't good enough for her and the bitchy girls are just insecure.

Milestones: She started smiling! I was a bit miffed as she would smile at Husband more often than me, but my friend Amy (who has a boy two weeks younger than Jate) shared that her son wouldn't smile at her once during the entire day she spent with him, but would smile within five minutes of her partner's arrival. She's been making 'coo' and 'ahh' sounds and we've been trying to parrot her noises to engage in conversation with her, in the same way that I'll meow back at the cats. (random fact, adult cats do not meow at other cats, just humans). Although we don't do enough tummy time as we should, when her pediatrician put her on her front, she pushed off her arms and held her head high in what resembled a cobra yoga pose, and the doctor recognised as a 4-month milestone.

First Earthquake -She continued to nurse and wasn't phased by the 4.2 rumble
First Wedding Reception -so proud that it was for a same-sex couple!
First Hockey Match -Sorry Jate, there will be a lot of these to follow..
First Swim Team party -yup, these too...

Diapers: I started re-introducing the cloth diapers one per day around 5 weeks. It was also suggested to use Aqua.phor instead of traditional diaper ointment, which works really well. We are now officially cloth diapering part time! I still use the disposables at night and if we are going out, as I don't always know where we'll finding a changing station, but I know at some point I'll be changing her in the boot of my car. As of last week, we had to move up to the 'regular' sized cloth diapers as I was practically holding the newborn sized ones together with scotch tape. The size chart suggests the newborn size will cover 6-12 pounds and the range for regular is 10-25 pounds. Unfortunately Jate inherited my large hips and thighs. I am so sorry, my dear. (The pediatrician also noted that she has swimmer's shoulders. Again, my apologies) We've been using the 'twist' technique to reduce the bulk with the larger cloth diaper. She is still in size 1 for the disposables.

Clothes: Officially in 3 month clothes. Her newborn onesies look so tiny, I can't believe she once fit
in them!

Illnesses: Thankfully no health issues. She did have a small cut on her thumb when Mummy nicked her with the nail clippers (hang head in hands...)

Two months and still giving attitude!


  1. What a sweetie! So glad you are enjoying these fresh new days of parenting. I know you will enjoy all the Jate time when you are back at work too....it is a little poignant to know that you can't be there all the time, though.

  2. What a cute chubby girl! Isn't the alertness and interaction lovely?! I swear by my hands free pumping bra as well, but you know I advocate even more? Pumping in the car. I have the cigarette lighter adapter and I utilize any car ride over 20 minutes to my advantage. I also have a milk collection system called Freemies which you can slip into any typical bra. They're not as efficient as the standard system but they've fantastic when I want to pump on the sly. This may be most useful when you're commenting to work. You've really hid your stride mummy, congratulations!

  3. Pumping bra = best invention ever.

    Also, cutting baby's finger while cutting baby's nails is a rite of passage. I remember feeling so awful when I did it though.

    She's so cute!! Glad you have the extra time to spend with her. And for the record, CupKate is a fantastic nickname.

  4. Ha ha I love her nicknames! I love your updates on her and I actually learn some good baby stuff :) I'm glad you have some extra time to spend with her. She's so cute!

  5. Wow, two months already! A lot of this sounds so familiar...Q was initially smiling and laughing a lot more at M than he was at me, but now the tables are turned as I'm getting slobbery baby kisses and M has yet to receive one. And yes, everyone has turned around and left their baby on the change table when they're at the immobile lump stage. You don't have much longer left for that though! She's absolutely adorable, and I actually think her legs look really long and lean. Maybe that's just in comparison to Q's thunder thighs, though.

  6. I feel the same way. The smiles and giggles and coos are so great and I don't want this stage to ever end yet I'm so excited for more interacting and more milestones. I've started to let A nap on his tummy to get him more used to tummy time (and to avoid an unsightly flat head, which he's developed. I don't want him in a helmet!!) and it seems to have worked, although Jate is meeting milestones right and left so why mess with what's working? And I leave A unattended on the changing table, the bed, the oversized ottoman. Life will change as soon as he starts rolling. Ugh, maternity leave is ending so soon. As I told you earlier, luckily I have a lot more flexibility and a long transition to daycare.

  7. 2 months has flown by it seems! Taking notes here for sure on what to expect. She is precious :)

  8. Happy 2 months Jate!

    Every stage has things that are easier and harder than others. I think it's great you are appreciating this stage. I think 6 months was my favourite.