Family: Lizzy at 2 weeks

Lizzy had a great week. She’s such a calm baby. She doesn’t fuss much and can be by herself for quite a long time before falling asleep or ask for milk. I feel so blessed to have another angel baby. 🙂

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Eating:  she has been eating really well. She eats 8-12 times a day, for 15-20 min each, usually one side. I think she’s became more efficient, therefore less time required for each feeding. She eats every 1.5-3 hrs, and if she goes longer than that, I feel engorged. I had to pump once to get some release. I plan to introduce bottle to her this week to see how she takes it. And when she turns one months old, maybe Tony can do one feeding in the evening.

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love the after-milk face… full of milk.

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Awake time: this week she’s been having 15-30 min of awake time, usually after she wakes up. We bring her downstairs so Sofia can play with her, or we can have dinner. She’s very quiet, doesn’t complain much when there’s no one by her side, she simply looks around with her curious eyes. I continue to look for her cue to be ready to sleep, and try to keep stimulation to 15 min maximum. So far it has been working well.

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Sleep: she’s been sleeping well for newborn standards, even better than Sofia did. She takes 45 min – 2 hrs naps during the day, and takes 1.5-3 hrs stretches at night. Usually the first 1 to 2 stretches at night are the longest, and the last one is usually 1.5-2 hrs. Usually I go to sleep after feeding her around 9:30sh, and she’d wake up between 12-1am, and again between 3:30-4:30am. After that, I go to her room and let Tony have 3 hrs of uninterrupted sleep. This way, I get to sleep 6 hrs with 2 wake ups but fairly good sleeps. She continues to fall asleep by herself most of the time. I put her down usually after 45 min of waking up, and she takes between 15-30 min to fall asleep. Sometimes she’d make some noise even few cries, but she’s good at settling down shortly afterwards. When she fails to settle down, I’d pick her up, hold her for 5 min, maybe feed her few minutes and put her down again. If she still have problem falling asleep, I’d put her in the swing, and stop it after she falls asleep. There’s nothing wrong napping in the swing, Sofia napped in it for almost 6 months exclusively and she turned alright, but if she can nap in the crib, we’d encourage that.

Check up: she had her two weeks check up. She weighted 7lb 10 oz (5 oz. more than Sofia did at this age), so she’s growing really well due to good eating and sleeping. When she was discharged in the hospital, she failed at the hearing test. Although we were assured that it was common because of some water retention, we were still worried. Fortunately she passed the test with flying colors yesterday! 🙂

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I spend between 3-4 hrs a day nursing her and I’m enjoying it so much. I think because I know this stage is too short. Before I know it, she won’t be nursing like a baby anymore.  When I weaned Sofia, I cried, it was so sad to stop that “special relationship”. In addition, newborns smell soooooo good! You can take pictures and videos to record this stage, but you can’t store the smell, the unique sweet milky smell. I think if I am not careful, I might want another baby when Lizzy becomes toddler just to have the chance to get the smell again. 🙂

 

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Family: Lizzy’s first week

Happy one week “birthday” my dear little Lizzy. It seems surreal that she’s in my arms while one week ago I was so immersed in pregnancy discomfort. It seems so irrelevant now that I have her here with us. I think the extra 8 days in my belly made her stronger and ready for the world.

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We came home on Wednesday 4/20, she looks so tiny in the carseat

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She settled well immediately to her bed

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Sofia brought her a doll and was so excited that her little sister was at home finally

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the bond formed right away

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I’m so proud of having these two sweet girls, specially Sofia who is not jealous at all but all about loving and wanting to take care of the little sister.

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So far she’s been an angel baby too. Eating and sleeping well, and doesn’t cry too much. The two days in the hospital she slept all the time and waking up only to eat, which gave me plenty of time to rest. Only the second night she didn’t seem to be able to settle, so I put the white noise and she fell asleep quickly.

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Awake time: I’ve kept her awake time within an hour. That includes eating, changing and time for her to fall asleep by her own. So basically the real awake time when her eyes are opened might be less than 10 min if any. I usually put her down to the crib 30-40 min after she wakes up. At this age, that’s all the awake time they need. Obviously, this doesn’t happen everyday all the time, there were days (1 or 2) that she didn’t want to go back to sleep or had difficulty falling asleep alone. I knew she was overtired and urgently needed to sleep… so the swing was the rescue.

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Sleeping: I’ve read over 7 books about baby sleep when Sofia was born, so I know how important it is for babies to learn how to fall into sleep alone. With Sofia it was a learning process, but with Lizzy it was much easier. Overall she’s sleeping well… between 13-16 hrs a day. She takes naps between 45-1.5 hrs, wakes up, eats for 20-30 min, and then go back to sleep without too much fuss. Because I put her down before one hour since she wakes up, she usually spends 10-15 min to fall into sleep by her own. This skill is so valuable and I’m so happy that she’s learning it early own. At night, she sleeps between 1.5-3 hrs. Between 4-5pm and 9pm it’s the usual fussy time, which means she has problem falling into sleep by herself. Sometimes she’d be awake for 2-3 hrs which ends up being overtired and even harder to fall into sleep. If that is the case, we put her in the swing, let her fall into sleep and then stay asleep for 10-15 min before turning the swing off.

Eating: nursing is going really well. She is a natural nurser. We didn’t need to practice the latch. She did it all alone. The second day at the hospital she wanted to nurse every 1-2 hrs, so that we did. That day helped the milk coming in, which was Wednesday, the third day. Once the milk came nursing is a charm. I don’t have any nipple problems and both breasts produce milk. She eats every 2-3 hrs, sometimes every hour when it’s the fussy time. As all newborns, she tend to fall asleep while eating, so we change her diaper in between breasts. Overall she is a fast eater, we spend 20-30 min in average each session. Because I nurse her at night too and she sleeps in her room, in order for me to sleep well, Tony sleeps in her room at night and brings her to me when she wakes up. This is because I’m super light sleeper and babies make noise when they sleep. Tony doesn’t mind too much so he sleeps in her room. I know it’s not comfortable for him to sleep in the lounge, but he doesn’t complain because he loves me so much. 😉

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I am starting to burp her after feeding and it’s going well. But sometimes when I observe her eating slowly, then I don’t do it.

We love seeing her face after eating… so satisfied and happy.

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she looks so fragile and so tiny.. all I want to do is to hug her and look at her and never get bored.

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we use a monitor to check on her too

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Every morning when Sofia wakes up and if I’m nursing Lizzy, she’d come and make me company, and touches baby parts.

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Look how funny she looks with the head in her eyes…

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Weight: in her first pediatrician check up she weighted 6 lb 5 oz. By Monday, 3 days later, she was almost 7 lbs. No doubt she’s eating well.

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Crying: she doesn’t cry too much. Only when she wakes up, and because it’s so distinctive that she’s crying to be picked up, we go to her within 5 min, and she stops immediately. She also cries when she’s overtired. One evening, she had trouble falling into sleep, and I really needed to sleep, so I asked Tony to hold her for at least an hour, and she cried 30 min of it. But overall, she rarely cries for more than 5 min because her needs are met quickly.

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During that time that she is meditating to fall into sleep, we catch up laughing and those smiles melt my heart.

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Tony is truly in love with his girl and so proud of her. It’s so touching to see him as the father of my child.. how patient he is with her and how he takes care of us. For instance, because he doesn’t sleep well in the couch, when he brings Lizzy to me at night to feed her, he’d crush in the bed within 1 min. But if I tell him I need water, or Lizzy needs to be changed, he jumps up right away. I love him so much before we were parents, and I love him even more as the father of my children.

Family: Lizzy birth story 4/18/2016

Lizzy arrived on April 18, 2016, 3:30pm. Our family of 4 is now complete! 🙂

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In my 40 weeks OB appointment, I was still 4 cm dilated, the same as a week earlier when the OB did the membrane sweep. The OB told us that it’s perfectly normal to go beyond due date, even 42 weeks. So we decided to wait another week and have scheduled for induction on 4/18 when I’d be 41W1D. I continued walking 4-5 miles a day but Lizzy didn’t want to come earlier. I’ve been having contractions for three nights in a row, every night we thought that was it, but then it didn’t progress. So on 4/18 5:30am, we packed everything and went to the hospital for induction.

Last pic of Lizzy inside me

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After the initial blood draw and antibiotic, I was hooked up with pitocin about 9:30am.

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They asked me if I wanted epidural, I said yes, and asked if it was possible to get it before they break the water since from experience I knew contractions would get very bad once water was broken. The doctor happily agreed.

10:30am I got the epidural. It was administrated by a resident doctor. I was hesitant at first but then he seemed experienced and confident enough, and the doctor was by him side all the time. The procedure was not too bad, although it took 30 min or so and afterwards I saw I bleed quite a bit.

12:30pm I was still 4-5 cm. Not much progress. And my contractions were fine but not close enough. So they increased pitocin from 2 to 6. At that time,

1:15pm: the OB broke my water. Tony was excited thinking that we’d meet the baby soon. I told him to be patient because usually it takes 1 hour per cm. If we were lucky, we’d meet her before dinner time. Then contractions got really painful. I was in so much pain that I had to squeeze Tony’s hand or feet when they come, and they were coming like every minute. I couldn’t believe how much pain I was in while I was on epidural. My left lower back was very sore too and it was not related to the contractions. The nurse called the anesthesist to check the epidural. He did some check and said he’d give me more medicine so the drug can reach my belly area, at that time I was getting it up to my legs.

2pm: I was still in a lot of pain, nothing got relieved by the additional epidural. A new nurse called Lisa came (who was not my nurse but someone to take care of me while my nurse went for lunch), she asked me if my last delivery was natural too. I said no, I’m with pitocin and she looked surprised. She touched my belly and said the baby was all on the left side, no wonder I was having so much soreness, so she suggested me to turn left. She also helped me to go through few contractions by pushing my back. She told me that I could get another epidural if I wanted. But she suggested to first check me how far away I’m from 10 before deciding to get another epidural.

2:30 pm: When she checked me, she was surprised that I was a lip away from fully dilated, only a lip on my left was left to be dilated. Obviously there was no point to get another epidural. Lisa called the doctor and they decided to turn off pitocin. Now it made sense that I was in so much pain because I basically I progressed from 4-5 to almost 10 in about an hour. The contractions were so strong that the epidural couldn’t them away completely.

Once they turn off the pitocin, the pain decreased to manageable level. We waited half hour until I was fully dilated and they asked me to tell them when I feel the urge to push.

3pm: A group of OB doctors came in and got prepared for the delivery. I barely felt the urge to push, I guess because the epidural was actually working. The main OB asked me to do a practice push and she was very happy about it.

3:15pm: Push started. The nurse hold one of my feet and Tony hold the other. I pushed 3 times and Tony told me he saw baby’s head already. Another few push, Lizza was out.

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I was aware this time when Lizzy actually came out from my belly unlike with Sofia. It felt that someone pulled something out of me. They rub her while she lied on my chest. Meanwhile the OB massaged my belly while discussing with other doctors like studying my “area”. 10-15 min later my placenta came out. I didn’t tear, only half stick was needed because Lizzy came out slowly and I guess the oil they pull also helped.

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Lizzy was 2.98kg, 19.5 inches. Just 30g more than Sofia.

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She is so tiny and fragile. Although she has been inside me for 9 months, she was a stranger to me too. But I felt the urge to protect her right away. Holding her in my arms and looking at her melt my heart.

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I could see Tony on her. I still can’t believe I have a daughter with the boy that I met at 4th grade 25 years ago. Love is so powerful. 🙂

Sofia: dealing with tantrum & fun moment

Since we came back from Shanghai, she has been defiant. If she doesn’t get something, she’d say NO with capital letters, pounding the table and making the face. When I respond her with no, she’d be even more angry and even wants to hit me. That was a warning flag for me.

I understand that she is jet lagged (sleeping from 12pm to 8pm, and awake the whole night when I was still in China), therefore not physically comfortable. In addition, she was quite spoiled in China since grandparents, relatives and friends all love her. So she needs an adjustment process I guess. Still, it concerns me when I see these unfriendly behaviors in her, as they were bared somehow and now she feels empowered to express them. My first reaction was to respond with force, with time-out, not responding to crying, and even yelling back (not my best moment!). But they were not working. Her behavior didn’t change and I was really upset. So, I did what I always do, change “strategy”. I did a couple of things:

  • Instead of responding with “violence and authority”, I talked to her friendly. I told her that the most important thing to do when expressing what she wants is to speak nicely. In return, I promise to speak to her nicely too, and when I don’t, she can remind me to do so. It is not an easy thing to do to keep calm with a fussy and demanding 3-yrs old, but I’m doing my best.
  • When she’s acting out, I’d lower myself to her height, talk to her calmly to speak nicely, explain to her why she can’t do something, or she can if it’s not a wrong or right thing (like picking us this shirt vs the other, although it might not match her pant, but whatever), and when she behaves, appraise her that she’s doing great!
  • Spend more time with her. I realize that many times that when she acts out, she’s actually demanding more time with me, not just me checking on the phone when I’m with her, but actually having a conversation with her or doing something together. It is a basic demand and although I am super busy dealing with jet lag, life, work and taking care of Tony and her, I still need to satisfy her basic need. So I’ve been just doing that. I talk to her for longer, asking about her day, thoughts, likes. Read with her or just be available for her more.

As result, she’s doing better. She seems happier, calmer, so does her exhausted mom.

Now a fun moment we had.

I don’t remember the context, but I told her that I sleep with Tony, and that when she grows up, she’ll find a man to sleep with. She thought about it for a minute or so and responded: “I sleep with Sofia S” who’s her best friend at school. I was laughing so hard at first but then realized how many logic reasoning went through her little mind when concluding on that.  So funny!!! 😆

Sofia: 3 years old

I haven’t done a recap of her development recently but so much has happened during this year. She turned from a babbling girl to a fully articulate person. She can express herself so well in 3 languages (spanish, english and shanghainese) that keeps amazing me.

Sleeping: pretty well. She take one nap between 1-3pm at school, and between 2-4pm at home. Most of the time, she sleeps for 1.5 hours, but sometimes she’d do 2-2.5 hrs. Her bedtime is still 8:30pm and usually she sleeps until around 7pm. Recently, she’d wake up around 6:30am and goes to the bathroom, then she’d sleep a bit more or hangs out with grandparents. There are still days that she’d wake up and cry in the middle of the night because she’s too warm, or she wants to pee, or she just couldn’t sleep. But those are rare occasions. Overall, she’s a good sleeper.

Eating: she is definitely eating more these days. She eats very well at school, normal amount and normal pace. At home, it’s a hit and miss. Sometimes she’d eat by herself, sometimes she wants to play so I feed her. But recently we’ve mandated that she has to be sitting around the table at meal time, she can’t run around the house while she’s eating. We also mandated no TV during meal time, so even if we’re watching something before dinner, she will turn it off before we start.  She is not a picky eater. She stills don’t like a lot of vegetables, but she has been a bit more adventurous on trying new things. She starts to eat regularly fish, tofu, green beans, broccoli, mung bean sprout. She still loves dumplings, chicken nuggets with ketchup and all kind of pasta. I don’t prepare her special food as often as before, she usually just eats whatever we are having. Of course, I’d make sure she’ll have at least one dish she’d like. If one day I know nothing she’d like or we’re having spicy food, I’d prepare something simple for her. She also loves fruit except pineapple. Because grandparents usually take her out to the playground after dinner, when she comes back, she wants to eat something, either fruit or yogurt. My goal for next year would be to expose her to more food varieties so she can develop a versatile palate.

Character: she’s a strong will girl, everyone can tell that. Since a month ago, she’s into the “terrible three”. Her default answer is “no!” and often times she’s not respectful to grandparents and Tony. If she wants something and I don’t give her, she’d start waning. Usually I don’t give it to her because of her bad behavior. If she’s really behaving bad, I’d ask her to go to the small room to reflect and come out when she’s done crying. Sometimes we have to do this 2-3 times in a day. It’s tiring, but I guess it’s part of their natural progression. I’m reading some books to learn how to parent at this age, hopefully I’d getting enlightened. When she’s her normal self, she’s a sweet girl. She loves her mama, and want to hug me, kiss me, or simply be with her all the time. That’s really sweet.

Likes:

  • she loves water. We started swimming lesson in September, and she loves it. It’s a 25 min class where one parents accompany the kid. Tara is also in the class, so it’s really nice that they get to have one activity together.
  • she’s a girly girl. She likes playing with baby doll, she’d hold one all day one at school. She likes “shopping”, “cooking”, legos, drawing. She also started to sing a lot, and she dances where there is music.
  • she loves going to playground. If she could, she would go to play everyday.
  • she is finally playing with other kids. For a long time, she only plays by herself, but now during birthday parties, I can see that she’s playing with other kids, as silly as just running in circles chasing each other.
  • she’s not that into reading, partly because of my fault. My goal this year is to read her 15-20 min everyday after dinner.
  • she likes to do things by herself, including changing, eating, even put her seatbelt. Usually I let her, but sometimes when in rush, I’d do it for her.

Dislikes:

  • she doesn’t like waiting when she asks for something. She would keep asking like a broken radio until she gets what she wants.

Can’t think too much of things she dislikes. Overall, she’s a pretty flexible girl and would just go with the flow of the adults life.

Stats:

  • She’s 92 cm height, 13 kg.
  • She wears 3T cloth and 7-8 for shoes.
  • She’s now in pre-schooler class, 16 kids with 3 teachers.

Another great year having this little person in our life. Seeing and accompanying her growing is the most fulfilling thing in the world! 🙂