I just dropped my parents off at the airport — that makes their total stay about 7 weeks. Seems long but to me, it feels cut short as I find myself suddenly feeling alone without them. Their visit has been a blessing but also bad as I started developing a routine that was dependent on their presence. For example, my father wakes up really early. For me, when I happen to have that 5am feeding and then want to do a quick pump afterwards, it’s been convenient to give Natalie to my father (who loved having that time with her in the morning) to get her to fall back asleep as I went and pumped and had my breakfast. Or, in the afternoon, when I just really needed a break or to take a shower to be able to hand her to my mother. I know I know — I’ll have to deal with being alone with her but it was really really nice to have them around. Routine aside, it was AWESOME to have home-cooked Chinese meals and to have my mother constantly chasing after me with with red date tea or Chinese soup to make sure I kept hydrated. I’m really terrible at making sure I take care of my body when I’m stressed and she tried to stay on top of that for me.
My brother was also here for about a week — he’s her only uncle since Matt is an only child and he’s my only sibling. He had a fun time with her and also loved holding her and playing with her. He’ll have even more fun when she gets older and becomes more social, as opposed to the current newborn dumbfounded stare-down.
Natalie is growing great. At her one month check up, she weighed 8lb 12oz so she’s gaining weight beautifully. There goes any concern that I’m not making enough milk for her! Her growth has been obvious as she’s become heavier and heavier to hold (that 1 lb can make a difference!). Her face is also filling out and she makes the funniest expressions. She still has yet to smile voluntarily — only cute smiles in her sleep which become more and more adorable. She still has a crazy schedule with needing to eat every 2-4 hours although, if we are lucky, she lets that amount of time get longer and longer in the nighttime. I just started reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and hope to learn a lot from it. We are determined to have her sleeping through the night as soon as possible!
With the family around, we’ve actually been pretty good about getting out of the house so that they can experience more local restaurants. That’s really forced us to become more and more comfortable with taking Natalie out to restaurants, whether it be for tea at a local neighborhood joint or a really fancy dining experience. We even took her to our dear friends’ wedding ceremony already! What we’ve learned so far in preparing for meals out:
- If possible, try to feed her RIGHT before going out. This is tricky as it somewhat means anticipating when she’ll be hungry, which is hard for places that you’ll need to make a reservation. This is helpful as she’ll USUALLY zonk out.
- On the way there, drive with the windows slightly open. The farther the drive is, the better so that there is more car vibration and wind she has to hear to help zonk her out.
- Try to make a reservation if possible — just to make sure to ask about being seated somewhere where there’s room for an infant (and to discreetly nurse). If lucky, they’ll put us in a corner table or a booth such that no one is behind me if I do need to whip out my Hooter Hider.
- My Hooter Hider is soo useful for when I do need to nurse her in a restaurant. I’ve become really comfortable now using it. Matt even jokes that he thinks I get a kick out of “getting away with breastfeeding in public”
- Have pacifiers to tide her over.
- Of course, make sure diaper bag is well stocked for those diaper changes.
Of course, I know it’s going to be a whole other ballpark when she becomes more like a social toddler (as Jigna has reminded me) so we should take advantage of going out while she’s a newborn!