The Reward Period

My copy of The Nursing Mother's Companion calls months two through six 'the reward period'. Now that Baby P is about ten weeks old I'm really starting to feel that way. At her checkup two weeks ago she weighed in at eleven-and-a-half pounds, or four pounds more than her birth weight. I checked my records and the other kids weighed about that much at the same age, but she's shorter than either of them were. She is getting nice and pudgy; her arms remind me of little sausages and we think her cheeks weigh about a pound each.

Nursing is still going well and I feel like my body is producing more than it did with either of the other two kids. She doesn't spit up often, but I've discovered that she has a sensitive gag reflex and occasionally empties her stomach all over me. The vomiting is kind of scary since it comes out her nose and everything, but it doesn't happen too often and just seems to be due to a combination of sensitive throat and forceful milk release. I'm still working on trying to get her into a daytime routine, and she seems to be working against my efforts as much as she can. We have had moderate success with the 'put her down sleepy' plan for naps and she is getting some sleep during the day, but we also still have quite a bit of fussy time. Thankfully she is making up for it by sleeping so well at night. During the last few weeks she has developed the ability to sleep for at least six hours at a time at night, and many nights for eight hours. It is wonderful; this is the first baby I've had that slept that long this early and I love it. The next step is making bedtime less of a struggle and moving it a bit earlier in the evening.

This also feels like a rewarding time because she is becoming more social. She has figured out that smiling gets a response and does it often. She loves to watch people and smile at them when they look her way. I love it when she smiles and coos at me while I'm changing her diaper. My body feels mostly back to normal from the birth and my brain seems to be doing all right so far. I have moments of frustration with the kids and some days I'm more tired than others, but it doesn't seem to be a chronic problem. I'm still feeling pretty social most of the time and I'm still able to shower every day, so that's how I know my mental health is OK. Many people have told me that they felt the transition from two to three kids was the hardest, but for me this has been easier than last time for a lot of reasons. I'm really grateful we decided to have another baby and glad that our sweet baby is here with us.


Jenny said…
Amen to the 3 being easier than two for many reasons!

I am so glad (and a little jealous) you are to the reward period of nursing and I hope the sleeping becomes rewarding soon.
Earth Sign Mama said…
No matter how the birth went, I think the transition from 2 to 3 is easier for a couple of reasons. 1) You already know how to do more than 1 kid.
2) The other children are older. We often add a baby to a 2 year old and that is a very difficult age anyway, and adding a baby to it is really challenging.
I felt that the change from 2 to 3 was much easier than from 1 to 2. It was mostly just more laundry.
I'm glad it's going well!
Desmama said…
Just being able to sleep continuously a little longer is . . . bliss. From her pictures on your kids' blog she's just darling. I love how happy she seems. I'm glad things are going well. I sincerely hope they continue to. Three kids is a lot of fun when you get the hang of it (not that I have by any means).
AmyJane said…
Yay for hitting that rewarding time. I love that book, BTW, and actually need to order myself a copy since I decided to finally return my mom's stolen copy so that she could take it to my sister. Anyway.
You just keep talking about three being an easier transition. I'm crossing my fingers that it plays out around here as well!

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