Saturday, July 7, 2018

Two Months of Claire

We are just shy of three months with Claire and what joy she has brought to our lives.  I've thought often of writing, but the days are quite busy, even if just with nursing, cooing, rocking, and then frantically trying to clean, cook, organize, and do laundry while C sleeps.  She is gaining weight like a champ, an excellent eater, the sweetest smile-giver and coo-er, and such a little love.  She has huge blue eyes and these incredible long lashes and a tiny, kissable nose.  I could just stare at her for hours (and often do).

This maternity leave has been so different from that with B.  B was born in the dead of winter and while we went outside most days to walk, we had a lot of cozy hours and endured a lot of dark afternoons and evenings.  B also was a pretty scheduled sleeper (her own doing) from the start - waking every 3 hours - and a good sleeper as she great.  Claire instead has been born into what I assume will be the hottest summer on record in Denver. We've had many days over 90 degrees and while my instinct is to be outside all the time in summer, we've been inside more than I'd expect because it is SO hot and sunny.  Claire has also been a terrible sleeper (sorry, Claire, still love you to pieces but it is true) and an incredibly noisy baby with irregular breathing, which I found disconcerting and finally after several calls to her pediatrician, an ER visit, and a trip to the ENT (which included a scope down her nose) was diagnosed as laryngomalacia, which is essentially floppy and underdeveloped tissues in the larynx. Most children outgrow laryngomalacia, but her irregular breathing is downright terrifying (and helps explain her trouble sleeping).  One second she'll sound like an adult male who is snoring (no exaggeration) and the next she will pause her breathing for 5-10 seconds and then breathe quietly for awhile.  I've included a video below which will give you an idea of what I'm describing (sound on, obviously).

The combination of Claire's breathing issues and what I think was some postpartum anxiety coupled with lack of sleep and not being allowed to exercise yet meant things were pretty rough here for a few weeks.  I was not myself and beside myself with worry for Claire.  I only know what I'm experiencing myself, but I wonder if you are a Mom after a loss or losses if you just worry more, fret more, think about the worst possible outcomes more? Because let me tell you, I think about then All.  The.  Time.  Only now as Claire seems to already be improving in terms of breathing am I relaxing a bit, sleeping more at night, exercising, and generally feeling more like myself.  I often feel like I can't say anything negative about my experience as a Mom because I am so over-the-moon happy to be one, but there it is.

The upshot is that Claire is a sweet, easy baby, but she has trouble breathing and life here has been a bit rough but is improving.  We went away for the first time for the 4th and had a lot of fun, I'm slowly navigating how to give B the attention she needs and wants while still caring for Claire, and R and I are figuring out how to make time for our relationship in the midst of the craziness at home.

A few more things:
  • I return to work on August 13th. I am ready to return to work in some capacity, but we'll see how the transition works.  Since I work from home 2-3 days a week, I have some flexibility with how I use daycare if I'm not busy, but I still feel immensely guilty for being excited to work again. I think that is a topic for another (longer) post.
  • Because of Claire's breathing troubles and my resulting lack of sleep, we hired a night nurse that a friend used and loved.  It was, without a doubt, the best money I've spent recently. She immediately set me at ease, Claire takes a bottle from her (which she really won't do for anyone else), and she arrives at 10 PM and leaves at 6 AM.  Thankfully, I have a great milk supply again so I don't even wake up to pump, I just go to bed.  And in the morning, I feel like a new person -- one who is ready to be an enthusiastic and patient wife and mom.  It's awesome.  
  • My body. Man. I know I just had a baby, and perhaps I'm feeling worse this time around because it is summer and I've been in a swimsuit a lot, but somehow I feel like I am GAINING weight while breastfeeding.  WTF.  Is that possible (I don't own a scale)?  Obviously this doesn't really matter, but it doesn't feel great to still have my clothes feeling tight and being so ill-fitting.
  • This is another topic that deserves a separate post, but B has been a wonderful big sister. She isn't that interested in Claire, but she is sweet to her and mostly understanding of the fact that Claire sometimes requires attention which means B is not getting any.  We have certainly had some very rough moments with her and in general are facing some behavior "challenges."  I always know we are having some parenting challenges when I'm downloading parenting books left and right :) 



  1. I lost almost all my pregnancy weight within the first two weeks, then I gained back about 10. The “breastfeeding will help you lose weight” is a myth. I finally lost the weight once I was done, and then re-gained, but that’s another story

  2. So glad to see an update! I’m glad Claire is doing well overall, but the breathing issue sounds insanely stressful. Sorry for both of you! I’m glad you got some relief through the night nurse.

    I’ve lost a bit of pregnancy weight but kinda stalled. Actually I blame it on Mr Turtle because I almost lost 5 lbs and then he had a birthday and a graduation and we went on holiday all in the same month, so clearly it’s his fault I lost momentum. Going to try to be as active as I can the rest of the summer, though. Breastfeeding made me extremely hungry, at least for the first couple of months, so yeah I’m not sure it always helps.

    Glad the sisters are doing well. AJ adores her baby sister too. She is still a mostly agreeable child but she does more mischief on purpose now for sure and lately she sometimes yells at me....sigh. It’s a temporary thing though....had not shown my childhood propensity for holding long grudges...I hope we avoid that!

  3. Wow that breathing issue sounds so scary and stressful. I don't blame you for having a rough few weeks. The night nurse sounds like an excellent solution, I'm so glad that worked out for your family! Claire sure is a little cutie!

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