Our sweet little Whitlee was a month old on Christmas day! I can’t believe it all flew by so fast! She is adjusting well at home and we’re thrilled to have her there. The first couple of nights were a little rough while we found our groove but we’re definitely getting there now. She is so much fun to play with and everyone comments about how alert she always is. She makes the funniest faces and I love talking to her when she’s awake.
The last time we went to the pediatrician she was up to 5lbs 7oz and was 18 1/2″ long. They didn’t tell me what percentile that was but I don’t think they put preemies on that type of chart until later. The goal is for her to grow and she’s doing that nicely now. At our first appt, which was only 2 days post nicu, she hadn’t gained any weight at all and they were concerned. They had me rearrange our feeding schedule (more about that later) and said our goal was 20 grams per day of gain. At our next appt 6 days later she should have been 4lbs 14oz to have gained appropriately but she had exceeded that at 5lbs 7oz. So I was a proud momma that we’re doing good in that aspect.
Whitlee left the NICU eating 40-50 ml (about 1.5 ounces) every 3 hours. She was taking two feedings by breastfeeding and the rest were bottle feedings. They told us we could continue to breastfeed every other feeding but that the other times needed to be breastmilk with an added fortifier. Breastmilk is typically anywhere from 19-20 calories and they have us adding Similac Neosure to make it 24 calories. The first couple of days we continued her normal schedule. She was breastfeeding well, but I have an over supply so she wasn’t emptying me and I was still pumping after each feeding. For her bottle feedings we were using the Avent Natural bottles and she just would not finish a bottle. I was so upset thinking she wasn’t getting enough to eat. When we went to the pediatrician we talked about it and they wanted me to feed her every 2 hours. We also visited the NICU to take them some thank you goodies and they gave me some of the bottles and nipples that she was used to. I also stopped breastfeeding so that I could measure everything she was eating and be sure that she was eating enough. We fed her every 2 hours for a few days and now she’s on a routine of eating 2.5-3 ounces every 3-4 hours. We’ve swapped over to the Parent’s Choice bottles from Walmart and using the Gerber latex nipples. We’ve determined she doesn’t like silicone nipples at all to eat from, but oddly enough doesn’t mind a silicone pacifier. (Idk.. makes no sense to me?) I’m sad about not actually breastfeeding but I’m still pumping so she’s still getting breastmilk exclusively with every other bottle being fortified with extra calories. The good thing is she’s growing, so that’s what I focus on!
The first couple of nights home were a little rough. The NICU kept telling us it’d be a breeze “because she’d be on a schedule”. Pffttt… that did not happen. The first couple nights she would only sleep if I was holding her. So that’s what I did. I slept sitting up with her on my chest. The third night got a little better and the night after that was even better. She sleeps anywhere from 2-3 hours at a time now. She normally eats, then stays awake for about an hour and is adorable, then goes back to sleep for couple of hours. I’ve gotten a few glorious stretches of her sleeping for 3 or 4 hours and I was able to sleep too. Right now she mostly sleeps in the Rock & Play, sometimes I let her nap on me and sometimes if I’m able to keep an eye on her I let her nap on her belly on the couch. I don’t let her sleep like that if I plan to sleep at the same time because she has gotten strong enough to lift her head and I get worried she’ll smother herself.
Whitlee can lift her head up and look around when she’s doing tummy time. I havent really pushed tummy time a lot get because she’s still so little but in the past couple of weeks she has gotten much bigger and much stronger. She’ll lay on my chest and pick her head up and look at me. If I put her on her belly to sleep, she can pick her head up and swap sides depending on what she feels like looking at.
She also looks at us a lot. She’s so alert sometimes and will just stare at something or someone forever.
She smiles sometimes too. And she does this little thing where she breathes kind of fast and then smiles really big… it sounds and looks like she’s laughing but it’s probably just gas. 🙂
Whitlee had her first Christmas and it was pretty low key. Some of the family was sick, so we’ve actually postponed some of our get-togethers until everyone is well. I really wanted to get her first Santa Clause picture, but was concerned about the germs of the mall. Thankfully, Whitlee’s great grandpa plays a pretty good Santa and he came to visit on Christmas Day! So sweet!!
Baths (unless she gets cold, which I try to prevent)
Her rattle elephant she got for Christmas
Eating, of course
Being talked to, especially by mommy and daddy
Waiting on a bottle
Being put in or taken out of the car seat (she’s fine once she’s in or out)
Thankfully she’s not really a fussy baby. She basically cries when she’s hungry or when she needs a diaper change. She does grunt a lot but I’ve read it’s pretty common and she’ll outgrow it. We’re trying some gas relief drops to see if that’s what’s causing the grunting.
Being a mom for this first month has been both challenging and extremely rewarding. I am sleep deprived occasionally and rarely wear more than a t-shirt and yoga pants but when that little girl falls asleep snuggled next to me or smiles (even if it’s gas), it is SO worth it. We love her more than the world and can’t wait to see more and more of her personality to develop. Our hearts are so full! ❤