Our little Reagan Marie is officially one-month-old. I simply cannot believe how seamlessly she has entered our world and our hearts. I feel like she has been a part of our family forever and yet it seems like we just brought her home from the hospital. General confusion and fuzziness seem to be a way of life these days, probably due to the lack of shut eye and the fact that a good nights sleep no longer exists. I am currently living on iced coffee, LOVE, and lots of help from my hubby. We are just so completely in LOVE with this little girl. Here is a snapshot of our sweet one-month-old baby girl.
PEDIATRICIAN CHECK-UP & GROWTH: Baby Reagan went in earlier this month for her 1-month pediatrician checkup and i’m excited to report that she is doing fantastic. Baby girl looks completely perfect and wonderful. She is still a tiny little thing weighing in at only 8lbs. 2oz. but considering she was 6lbs. 3oz. when we left the hospital, we were simply thrilled with her weight gain. She is a strong eater and is hitting the oz.-a-day goal like a champ. She was 19″ at birth and 20″ at her 1-month appointment. She is a petite little thing, but given that i’m a whopping 5’2″ we weren’t expecting a future WNBA star by any means. She lost her cord stump at 2.5 weeks and is looking like she might have an outtie for a belly button. Her little stump began smelling super rank towards the end and was a bit oozy, so our pediatrician used some silver nitrate on it at her 2-week checkup. By her 1-month appt. she had a normal looking little bellybutton that is cuter than ever. I love giving her belly kisses and she just goes bananas. I can tell she is ready to start smiling and giggling any day now. She is growing and changing by the second and my heart is having a hard time handling it.
EYE COLOR, HAIR, & THE SWEETEST BABY ROLLS: I love her newly acquired baby rolls and those sweet cheeks are getting rounder by the day…just like her momma. She currently has DARK blue-gray eyes and is a fair skinned little angel, again like her momma, and is growing the funniest little patches of strawberry blonde hair. We joked when she was born that she looked just like me, its the round face that does it, but I think she will get darker thicker hair as she grows from a newborn. My natural color is strawberry blonde and I was carrot orange as a little kid. Her hair is so fine and quite a bit darker than mine. But when she is in the sunlight the “red” really comes out. Jeffrey and I are both guessing a lighter auburn color will be the final result and she will most likely get darker as she gets older.
SLEEP: We are working on getting her to sleep a little longer between feedings. Since birth she has been waking consistently every 2-3 hours to eat. At three and a half weeks she had a few nights where she slept 4 hours in a row and we were down to one night feeding. This was glorious but she quickly went back to her 2-3 hour eating schedule a few days later. Most days she is such a consistent sleeper and a great napper. She sleeps hard at night and is a light sleeper during the day. She doesn’t “cat nap” which is great but really likes to be held while snoozing. When we were in the hospital during the early days we got the best piece of advice ever from a night nurse. We only swaddle her at night, from 8pm to 8am. This has been fantastic for day/night confusion and as soon as daddy swaddles her up tight, she is out. Our goal for month two is to try and get her to sleep in 4 hour stretches at night. She currently goes around 3-3.5 hours at night which means we are getting closer. My personal “sleep” goal is to stop sleep stalking her and maybe catch some shut eye myself. She is always making little grunting sounds, whimpers, and a hilarious horse neghing sound that I just can’t get enough of. I could stare at her and watch her all flipping day. I’m officially an obsessed mommy.
SCHEDULE: We have tried to get her on a schedule as best we can. She still runs the show but we have noticed some patterns in her day and we tweak and make adjustments as best we can. Jeffrey does the early morning feeding around 5:30am to 6am and then she goes back to sleep for a short period. She usually wakes up and starts her day around 7:30am to 8am. Jeff brings her into our bedroom and we do morning snuggles in bed. She is ALWAYS super awake and alert in the morning and we play and read and cuddle until she falls asleep or its time to eat again. She eats around 9am and then usually drifts off to sleep for a nap until 11am. I recently started doing PureBarre, the most amazing workout for a postpartum mommy body, and head out for class around 11:30am. She stays with daddy while i’m working out. I try and feed her, change her, and put her down for another nap before I leave for class. She sometimes stays in her crib and dad watches her with the baby monitor OR she hangs out with him in his office and helps him “work.” Our afternoons are really up in the air these days. I love it if we can get out of the house at least once of twice even if its just for a quick walk around the block or a trip to the grocery store. I keep our afternoons open for any activities, appointments, or necessary down time either of us might require. She has one more super awake period in the late afternoon/early evening and we play and do lots of tummy time. She gets a bath around 7pm every night with daddy. We feed her around 7:30pm and then she gets burped and swaddled by 8pm. She sleeps in her MamaRoo or bouncer for 2-3 hours while we make dinner, relax, or catch up on work. She eats again around 10pm to 10:30pm and then we go to bed. Sometimes I go to bed and she stays with daddy but we would really like to start transitioning her to her crib. Our month two goal is to work on some “sleep training.” This will be beneficial now but also later when she enters the early toddler years. Everything I keep reading stresses establishing “good habits” as BEST you can and as EARLY as you can. Obviously I know my newborn isn’t going to understand what we are doing, but the routines we establish now will hopefully make things easier for all of us in the future.
FEEDINGS: And then there is breastfeeding. I think this might be the toughest topic to talk about for me because there are so many expectations and “Rights vs Wrongs” when it comes to nursing your wee baby. I fully respect the rights of any mother to make whatever decision is best for HER and her BABY! As moms we need to support and lift each other up, not criticize and judge.
Let me start by saying Breastfeeding is REALLY HARD, at least it was for me. Reagan and I started off doing great and she had a fantastic latch. My milk came in about a week or so after giving birth and we met with a lactation consultant prior to leaving the hospital. I wanted to ensure that we got off on the right foot when it came to breastfeeding. Baby girl was in fact such a STRONG eater that my poor “tatas” got absolutely torn to shreds. Reagan was unintentionally ingesting some blood from my breastmilk which caused her to vomit up blood on occasion. We were struggling and I was hurting…BAD. We met with another lactation consultant who advised me to just keep nursing. My girls would heal up in a few days and I could pump in the mean time to keep my supply up. I cried on the daily because I was in so much pain. And my girls DID NOT HEAL up. Continuing to nurse made it so much worse. Our pediatrician informed us that Reagan had an incredibly strong tongue thrust for a newborn which is why I was struggling so much with healing. I was still dead set on breastfeeding as much as possible OR at the very least ensuring she was getting my breastmilk. Our pediatrician is so amazing. She actually purchased her wedding gown from me a few years back and we really trust her completely. She advised us to start by nursing for 10 minutes on each breast, if I was feeling up to it, followed by 2oz. of formula to help get her weight up. As soon as we introduced the formula she was a completely different baby. Extremely happy, content, and a good sleeper again. This new plan allowed me to heal up and I was able to continue pumping. She was getting a mix of breastmilk and formula which brought her weight up and she had exceeded her birth weight by her two week appointment. Breastfeeding continued to hurt and gradually over a few weeks I was down to 2-3 nursing sessions a day and pumping the rest of the time. We were able to get off the formula completely and she was getting only my milk. I introduced a nipple shield which completely changed the breastfeeding game. I actually started enjoying it and it no longer hurt to feed my sweet girl. I was already in such a good rhythm with pumping that I continued to feed her in the mornings and pump the rest of the day. I was pumping every 2-3 hours right along with her feeding schedule. I think we never really got off on the right foot with breastfeeding and as a result it just wasn’t clicking for us. She was thriving off of my pumped milk, had no nipple/bottle confusion, and was taking a pacifier like a champ. Whatever we were doing seemed to be working…FOR US. We had to adapt and go with the flow. I had to adjust my views on exclusively breastfeeding and be open to other means of feeding her. I actually don’t mind pumping now and my supply is up enough that I am now pumping around 4-6 times a day only. At our 1-month appointment our pediatrician advised us to reintroduce a little formula because it will help her sleep longer between feedings. I know some individuals are completely against this and thats OK. We had to dig down deep, ignore the ridicule and endless commentary, and make the right decision for US and our girl. She now gets 2oz. of breastmilk mixed with 1oz. of Gentlease Enfamil Formula every 2-3 hours. She goes a little longer at night, at least every 3 hours since introducing formula and is now getting the sleep she needs. Sometimes she even goes 4 hours and those nights are glorious.
Breastfeeding vs. Pumping, Pumping vs. Formula, Nipple Shield vs. No Nipple Shield…”F” it all. My best advise for a new mom is to do what feels right for YOU. We got so much “advice” in the early days and were honestly trying to do what everyone recommended, that it actually set us back with the feeding situation. I kept having “mommy instincts” those first few weeks and I wish I had listened more to my gut and less to everyone else. But there are so many adjustments and lessons taking place in the early days that you sorta have to just “experience it” and figure it all out as you go. I recall well intentioned moms advising me and telling me what it would be like, but it is SO DIFFERENT from what they described. Its not even something you can really explain, you have to experience it for yourself…same goes for labor and delivery. I thought I knew what I was in for…I was very very wrong.
MILESTONES, PLAY, & DEVELOPMENT: Oh sweet baby girl, you’ve changed and hit so many milestones already. My mind is officially blown at what your already able to do compared to when you first arrived.
Reagan is an incredibly sweet baby. Her little personality is slowly beginning to develop and I am just obsessed. She has been extremely alert since the moment she was born. When awake, her eyes are always huge and open, taking in her tiny world. She loves making eye contact with whomever is in front of her. She especially likes staring at her Daddy for long periods of time. I think its that his beard is very dark and she is drawn to the contrast. Well that and the fact that its her Daddy of course!!! She has become a pro at lifting and turning her tiny head. We have been doing as much tummy time as her schedule allows. Most of the time I prop her up on the Boppy for support but sometimes if she is wide awake we’ll lay on the floor together and stare at the sights around us. I love playing Disney songs for her on Pandora and we play and talk and make faces at one another. She has learned to respond to our voices and perks up when we talk to her. I love placing objects in front of her and we are working with her to track the objects with her eyes. We do baby massage and play peek-a-boo for brain stimulation. And sometimes the best thing for her is to just lay there, very calm, and she gradually moves her eyes around whatever room she is in absorbing all the sights and sounds. We have made sure to have the animals around Reagan constantly since Day One. We wanted everyone to get used to each other from the start and now we don’t think twice about the dogs or cats being around her. They are very gentle with her and are actually quite protective of our newest family member. I’m continually researching and finding new ways to play and interact with Miss Reagan. We are looking forward to her becoming more interactive and learning about her world right before our eyes.
LOVES & HATES: There are so many things that I can think of that she totally loves and very few that I would say she “hates.” She is such a good baby in that she just “takes” whatever we dish out. As parents in the early stages of having a newborn we had to make a conscious decision to stay as positive as possible. Survival mode at its finest friends. Because of this, I can’t think of a single thing that I would interpret as her “disliking or hating.” We tend to focus on only the good because we need the positivity and upbeat attitude to get through the day, but more importantly to survive the night feedings. Some of her current favorites are…tummy time, bath time with Daddy, staring out the windows, checking out bright lights, being held and cuddled, receiving kisses from our girl dogs, and bouncing and playing with Daddy!
Happy One Month Baby Girl!!!!!
We love you so much that our hearts might burst with JOY!!!!
– Mommy & Daddy