Monday, September 12, 2016

The Heart to Heart Baby (and 7 Week Updates)

It's definitely been a challenge to blog lately. This is due to the fact that there are SO MANY THINGS going on that I don't know where to begin, and SO LITTLE ACTUAL TIME to sit down and compose something, due to what I term my Heart to Heart Baby.

Just what is a Heart to Heart Baby (H2HB), you might ask?

Well, it's a term I made up for our sweet Eloise Jane (who is now 7.5 weeks old). Some might call her a "Velcro" baby, others, a "High Needs" baby... I like the H2HB term better as it has a much more loving connotation. Basically it means that I have a baby who lately is pretty much ONLY content when in Mama's arms and Mama's arms only. And more specifically, chest to chest with Mama- or heart to heart.

It is sweet and cuddly and flattering and OH SO HARD.

One of the hard parts is that Eloise screams every.single.time we are in the car- full out hysterical crying to the point of gasping for air. It's awful to say the least, especially now that Iyla is in full time school requiring daily commutes. I equate this vehement hatred of the car to her being all alone back there, far from her Mama. I've tried adding toys, changing the car seat inserts, playing music, talking to her, and even going so far as to purchase a $30 "shushing" machine (true story). Nothing helps until I take that poor red faced, sweaty and miserable baby out of the seat and put her back into my arms.

The other really hard part is that lately Eloise will not tolerate any one else holding her for more than 10-15 minutes unless she cries herself to sleep while in their arms. This means if I want or need to run an errand without her, I have to accept the fact that she'll be crying almost the entire time I'm gone, and if I choose to take her with me she'll be miserable as well (see paragraph above on the car).

Eloise does have calm & alert periods every day when she is happy to have others hold her. This occurs directly after nursing and lasts for around 15-30 minutes. The minute she starts getting tired all bets are off however, and it is usually only in Mama's arms that she can calm and finally go to sleep.

Evidence of happy times snuggling with others:

I do have to say THANK GOD for baby wearing. My Kinderpack soft carrier has been a life saver, and Eloise pretty much lives in it from sun up to sun down with breaks to nurse and play. This at least allows me to have two hands free to do things once she falls asleep in there. The scope of what I can do is definitely limited, however, and it's a challenge to complete any chores that involve having to bend down or over,. Any time I drop something on the floor I either have to attempt to pick it up with my foot or just sigh and kick it off to the side (sorry BC!).

 This is what a typical night out to eat looks like. Inevitably Eloise will wake up and fuss the SECOND my food comes, leaving us having to pack my meal to go. Dang Baby Radar!

Happy, content girl heart to heart with Mama in her carrier

The other new-to-me challenge with this little lady is her amazing talent for almost daily diaper blowouts. Iyla NEVER had a blowout, and I realize now what a rare unicorn she was in that department (Iyla was also using her baby potty daily at this age, and any time I put Eloise on that thing she screams bloody murder!). Eloise has impeccable timing with these blowouts- her favorite times to let loose tend to happen in the car (and all over the car seat and herself) and any time I'm holding her (all over the baby wrap, me, her, etc.... preferably while out at a restaurant). I've yet to find a diaper that can consistently contain this, and have already sized up several times in the hopes that a bigger diaper will help (it doesn't).

One thing I AM super grateful for is that my H2HB will sleep out of my arms in her Rock n Play at night (which is located in our room right next to me). I do just as often bring her into bed to sleep beside me, as this kid still gets up every 1-3 hours on average throughout the night (with an occasional rare 4-5 hour initial stretch). Bringing her into bed is more for me than for her, as it alleviates my physically having to keep getting up throughout the night!

 An example of a pretty rough (though not altogether atypical) night with Eloise- and this just shows the nursing sessions that occurred AFTER midnight!

We do take some super cozy naps together in the heart to heart position, which are much needed after our long nights. I am eating up those moments as I know they won't last forever.

At 7 weeks old, Eloise:

*Is incredibly STRONG! So, SO strong. Her muscle tone is amazing. Apparently right after she was born the hospital nurses laid her on her tummy and she immediately lifted up her head to look around. They remarked to BC that they'd never seen a baby do that! I wouldn't be surprised if we had a little athlete on our hands.

*She has discovered her hands and stares at them all of the time, often cross eyed. She also is already trying to swat at the toys on her Baby Bjorn bouncer seat, which amazes me.

*In the past week she has started to smile more and it's absolutely heart melting! She has so much expression and animation in her little face- her eyebrows raise and then as she smiles she crinkles up her nose and sticks out her tongue. So cute!

 First baby smiles caught on film at 6.5 weeks

*She has started cooing and it's the sweetest sound.

*She's starting to make much better eye contact and track people when they move about the room within her field of vision.

Smirking at Mama after a record breaking night of NO SLEEP

As they say, the days are long but the years are short, and as with everything in the baby world that's hard: "This too shall pass." As difficult as it can be here in the trenches, I do have a better perspective this 2nd time around, knowing that whatever challenges I face today won't last and will often give way to amazing growth and development. 

It's incredible to me how different Eloise is from Iyla, and I am so appreciating her snugly, affectionate, curious & alert nature, which is beginning to shine a window into a strong, charismatic, opinionated little lady. I am ever so grateful to be on this journey again and have the privilege of watching this precious little person unfold.

Now if she would just sleep a little bit more.....  ; )

1 comment:

  1. Seems like you have a helpful mindset to bring you peace during the difficulties. High needs babes can definitely wear a mama down. I found having supportive friends around helped keep me "out of the weeds" psychologically. Wish I could be near for some in person help.