My Proud Mother moment of the day: dug two green boogers the size of garden peas out of Ronin’s nose and now she breathes MUCH better. Yes: I used Tiradroppu, and no: it actually wasn’t the first time I used it (although the other time seems downright gratuitous after today’s prize).
Ronin is now 20 days old and has gained over a pound since birth. This sounds perhaps unspectacular but after she lost nearly 10% of her birth-weight after two days, thus setting off the Intervention Alarm all KLANG KLANG KLANG and raining upon us a shitstorm of knowing clucks and suggestions that I use nipple shields, complicated pumping machines, and even formula, fer fuck’s sake, I’m pretty happy and relieved—if mildly alarmed (like, if this keeps up, I won’t even be able to lift her in six months). About 100 different nurses stopped by to extol advice, which consisted mostly of using “the football hold” to the uncomfortable and unwieldy piling up of hundreds of plasticized pillows. Then the lactation consultant was called in (for the second time) to give me the Pitch of Doom about losing too much weight and lethargic babies and how I was probably not producing enough colostrom or that my milk may not come in on time and did I have a history of hormonal dysfunction? It was she who brought in the formula; Joshua picked it up to read the ingredients, which of course were primarily corn-based sweeteners, and announced that we were disinclined at best to feed our baby corn syrup. The lactation consultant decided to weigh Ronin before and after a feeding and guess what? She ate exactly the high end of the sliding scale of average and suddenly I was declared normal and left alone. JEEZUS. Needless to say, we were anxious to get the hell out of the hospital before someone else came up with something wrong with us, not to mention she pooped another 10% of her birth-weight in meconium the moment the lactation consultant left the room and we were wary of being weighed again.
I personally think the weight loss at birth can be attributed to the following: it is normal for breastfed babies to lose weight after birth until the milk comes in. The books AND the internet say so.
By day three my boobs were like sacks of marbles and by day four, my milk had arrived and checked in for good. Recommendations that we carefully track all feedings and diaper changes lasted about four hours or until it was abundantly clear that I was exceeding the eight minimum feedings and we had easily fifty poopy diapers per day to show for our efforts. The hospital strongly encouraged a pediatric appointment at day five to get her weighed so we dutifully arrived and waited around for seemingly forever to be seen (very irritating), meanwhile wondering what the hell we were doing there anyway. The verdict was that she had gained back all but one ounce of her birth-weight (they expect this to happen by week two so we were well ahead of schedule). We thumbed our noses at the nay-sayers and took our totally fine and normal and hormonally functional selves home.
Since then she has continued to gain weight and grow. She looks different each day. Her hair has lightened from a dark brown to light reddish brown. She has grown a serious double chin and now sports fat creases on her thighs. Her eyes are no longer swollen and she opens them wide to look around at imaginary things that seem to fly through the air somewhere off to the left of us. She can hold her head up more consistently and is getting less floppy day by day. Basically, she is a perfect brilliantly smart genius little baby.
She is fun to watch. She makes cute squeaking noises when she sleeps, throws her arms up over her head like some kind of super hero power baby, and when she starts to wake up, she stretches and runs through an elaborate series of cute faces. She still gets the hiccups, which makes her sound chipmunky; unfortunately, it seems to irritate her a little and she cranks until they go away. Even when she’s pitching a fit she is pretty funny, particularly when the pinky finger is employed in an attempt to distract and calm her down. The pinky gets stuck in her mouth during a hollering moment, whereupon she is compelled to immediately begin sucking even though she is visibly fighting the urge. Thus we end up with a furiously sucking baby, brows all furrowed and making a hilarious muffled “ermermerm” noise as she still tries to cry with her mouth firmly clamped around the finger. Try to pull the finger out and she sucks even harder. Soon she passes out from her efforts and the finger may be extracted, numb and purple.
On the downside, she has left the clockwork sleep/eat/”quiet alert” cycle of yesterweek behind for a more random, oft difficult-to-attain sleep/cluster feeding/screaming and/or fussy alert pattern and not necessarily in that order either. We have read that this is a phase and that it’s only supposed to last about 18 years.