The third week with our little girl has been full of “firsts”: she travelled by car for the first time when we went to pick up my family from Auckland Airport, we got her in the stroller for the first time, we went out for dinner and coffees with her, we went to the farmers’ market on Sunday, and I left her alone with “Oma” or grandma several times.
I had been quite nervous about the car trip and mainly about being away from home for several hours, but she did very well. That is, she was sleeping most of the time on the way to Auckland, had a feed and nappy change in the car at a McDonald’s parking, and was fine while driving back with my family, until she got hungry about 15 minutes before we reached home. Of course, everyone would have to hear how hungry she was, as she screamed and screamed while I was desperately looking for a place to stop, which we didn’t find. As soon as we got home I fed her and she was all right, but that was a nice first impression she gave my family!
Although I pledged to myself to take it easy while my family is here, I have been fairly active this last week. I am feeling quite well, apart from the tiredness. Taking a nap every few days helps to keep my sanity, hah!
Seeing Maria changing and developing this week has been amazing. She is more time awake these days, and when she is she is carefully observing the world around her. She smiles from time to time, but also pulls the craziest faces.
She also seems to get more of a routine. At night she sleeps quite well (except for the past two nights, but more about that in week 4), and during the day she is fine as long as we are on the move with Maria in the stroller or the sling. Sleeping in her bassinet or stroller when it is not moving is a bit more challenging, but it does work from time to time. Whenever it doesn’t, we have to hold her or walk with her to lull her to sleep. We can only blame her mum for this behaviour…
A major milestone for me (and perhaps for Maria as well) this week was to go out without her. I left her alone with either Oma or Daddy to go shopping with my sister, pick up a rental car, go grocery shopping, or cook dinner. To be honest, it felt like a nice break, but I couldn’t help feeling like a bad mother as well. Maria herself seemed to be totally fine with it, so I guess I shouldn’t worry too much about it.
This week, the hardest times have been the evenings. During the day, Maria is sleeping (or feeding) most of the time, but in the evenings she usually starts to cry quite a bit, especially when we go to a nice restaurant for dinner! Apparently, it is common for babies to be fussy in the evenings, and there is not so much we can do about it. My midwife suggested to keep taking naps in the afternoon to make sure I have enough milk in the evening, but I don’t think Maria cries because she is hungry. My theory is that she has some cramps, but perhaps she just feels like crying. Who knows…
One last thing I noticed this past week (I could go on and on but I realise you may not be interested in every tiny detail) is that the feeding intervals are increasing from almost every two hours to about every three hours. This is nice, especially at night! I think her stomach is growing and she is getting more milk with every feed, which keeps her full for longer.
While having my family here is great, it is also more tiring. They don’t expect me to entertain them, but I do feel somewhat responsible for them and I want to entertain them. It is important to find a balance between the rest I need to take and the activities I want to do with them. Fortunately, I think I’ve been doing not bad this past week. Plus, the more Ahmed and I are getting used to life with a baby and the more I recover from giving birth, the easier it gets to go out with her and enjoy our time with Opa (grandfather) and Oma (grandmother). Besides, I am extremely happy to have them here and be able to ask them a thousand things. Now, fingers crossed the weather gods are on our side…
P.S. This week’s pictures are taken by Hester Roth.