Wednesday, May 20, 2009

1 month

On her father's 30th birthday, Miya was one month old. She has already outgrown a few of her newborn outfits and is gradually plumping up.

She is a baby who definitely likes to be held. She is pretty indiscriminate about who is holding her - which means that when we have company, it is easy to pass her around. But she is getting a bit pickier about where and how she falls asleep. Luckily the wrap is generally something which will settle her - as the above photo illustratrates.

Last weekend we had about 12 people in the house. For a little while she was ok being held and passed around, but then she started to get tired and fussy. I fed her and put her in the wrap and soon she was fast asleep - and slept for much of the afternoon, indifferent to the bustle around her.

When she is most alert - usually around mid-morning - I can often put her in the bouncy chair. Facing the front window, she happily stares at the light, waves her arms and kicks her legs. This is a perfect time for me to get a cup of coffee or a bite to eat. But after about 15 minutes, she'll usually start to let me know that she is ready to be picked up.

I'm hoping that the times of her being able to amuse herself while sitting or lying on her own will increase. The other thing I need to work on is getting her to sleep by herself. She likes to sleep beside me and generally wakes up when I leave. For now, I enjoy the cuddle time and am putting of any drastic changes.

Friday, May 08, 2009

3 weeks - growing

The public health nurse came by on Thursday and assured me that Miya is doing very well. She praised Miya's alertness, noted the way she looks at the person talking to her, said her coordination is developing well... all good things. She also put Miya on her scale and rang her up at around 7 lbs 11 oz. This means she is well past her birth weight and gaining as she should.

Miya's also developing a bit of a predictable routine and thankfully seems to have figured out the difference between night and day.

Some books say that babies will be alert for about 20 minutes after a feed, and then take a nap until their next feed. Not this one - when she's awake she usually stays alert for a couple of hours. Generally she has her long alert stretch in the morning - sometimes starting as early as 5 a.m. (sigh) but lately usually from 9 a.m. to a little after 12 p.m. During these alert times she is quite happy to lie where she can see a window or sit in her bouncy seat. She makes lots of little noises, but doesn't fuss till she gets hungry - which gives me a couple of hours to get something to eat and do a few things around the house.

She usually naps all afternoon - waking about every 3 hours to feed, then fall back asleep. In the evening she wakes up again for an hour or two, but is generally a bit fussier than in the morning - especially as she gears up for her once-a-day poop fest which seems to require quite a bit of effort and concentration. But when that is finally done (phee-ew), she is pretty much tuckered out and after an evening snack is ready to go down for the night - or at least for a few hours until her little belly wakes her for her next feeed.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

2 1/2 weeks - baby style

Here's a photo of Miya sleeping on her dad's chest. V often dresses her in this outfit - what he calls her clown suit. Most of the clothes we have for Miya were hand-me-downs or gifts. Generally they are either yellow or pink. It is amazingly hard to find baby clothes in colours other than pink, yellow and blue - and hard to find girl clothes in blue. Why such gender stereotyping I ask? Not that I think dressing my daughter in pink is brainwashing her - but I just wonder why the options are so limited. Hopefully as she gets older we will be able to expand her wardrobe a bit.

So far Miya is still wearing the smallest of the clothes we have - although we are noticing that she is filling them out a little more, at least in length. She also seems blessed with rather large feet, which sometimes get caught in the pant legs.

During the first week the midwives were concerned that she wasn't gaining weight as she should. They made extra home visits to check on her, but each weigh in she was hanging steady at just over 7 pounds. Finally last Friday we had the good news that she had started gaining weight.

A public health nurse is coming by tomorrow - and hopefully she will have more good news for us. And seriously, just look at those cheeks - obviously she is plumping up.

Monday, May 04, 2009

big changes come in a small packages

Well the belly burst and we now have a daughter. Little Miya Grace Nagaraj was born in the early morning of April 19 - at home, in the bathtub, with midwife 10 minutes out. V did a fantastic job of getting us through the delivery.

For the first few days we were all a little shell-shocked. I was still on a bit of high from the excitement of delivering our own baby - and probably from some crazy hormones designed to make mothers forget the pain.

Then somewhere during the first week I moved from elation to anxiety as the midwives told us Miya wasn't gaining weight (or pooping) like she should. Sleep deprivation took it's toll, as did the stress of worrying about this tiny little being.

Luckily little Miya is now pooping like a champ - strange that we should celebrate such things - and putting on weight. My mum came out for a week and it was great to have another set of hands to help out and arms to hold baby.

And now life is shaping in a new way. V is back at work and my mum is back in SK. Miya and I are hanging out, just the two of us at home. For a being so small, she demands a surprising amount of attention - but it's a drawn out, slow kind of attention. My life has radically changed. And yet, as I lie here beside my sleeping daughter, it also seems to be standing still. Still and quiet... just watching her breathe.

For those interested in updates on the life and times of baby Miya, I have set up another blog - For those not so interested in baby talk, I'll keep this blog for other topics - although I can't guarantee there won't be some crossover.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

birth story

I woke up at 2 a.m. on Sat, Apr 18 with some cramping. The morning before had been the same from about 2-4 a.m., so I didn't know if this was anything too significant, although a little voice said this might be it. Tried to fall back asleep, but it was probably my spinning head more than my cramps which kept me awake. Nesting instinct had really kicked in this week and I'd been tearing apart the office/nursery, cleaning and painting all week, but I lay there thinking of all the things that needed to be done if baby really was coming now.

I managed to wait until around 7 - when the cramps were pretty regularly about 7-10 mins apart - to wake my sleeping husband with the warning that this might be it and a long list of to-do requests. Poor guy bustled all morning - moving furniture, cleaning, sorting, etc. I called my midwife to give her a heads up that I might be early labour, but she cautioned me that this could slow down or stop.

In the afternoon things were slowing down so we went for a fairly long walk, stopping to take breaks if a contraction got too strong. I thought the walk might kick things into gear, but again when we got home the contractions slowed down. I called my midwife around 5 and she said that at this point I probably should focus more on resting and getting a good night's sleep than on bringing on labour.

But by 8 p.m. the contractions were coming more regularly and were no longer something I could just ignore or talk though. The midwife came by to check on me around 9 and told me that while I was fully effaced, I still was not dilated at all. Again she cautioned that I could labour might be a long way away and the best thing I should do is try to rest. She recommended I take a couple of tylenol and gravol and try to sleep. She also warned that women tend to exaggerate their pain in the early hours of the morning - basically saying I should be really sure I am in active labour before getting her to come all the way here in the middle of the night.

So I took the tylenol and gravol and managed to doze between contractions till 11:00. But I woke then with pretty bad nausea and pain. Got to the bathroom in time to throw up. That's when things really took off.

V was brilliant in helping me cope with contractions. I soon lost the ability to communicate with more than a word or two. He phoned the midwife a couple of times to let her know that things were progressing, but we didn't say 'yes, come now' since I didn't want to bring her here prematurely.

I think it was around midnight or 12:30 that my water broke - at which point I moved to the bathroom and grunted at V to draw a bath. Perhaps half an hour after being in the water I transitioned to pushing and roared Miya into this world at 1:30 a.m., April 19. The midwife showed up 10 mins later.

I sat in the tub holding her till the midwife came - such an incredible physical and emotional sense of relief. Seeing that she was ok, breathing, alert... We even forgot to confirm that she was indeed a she, so busy were we just marveling over this tiny living being.

It was quite shocking to deliver her ourselves. V was incredible throughout. It was all really intense and totally consuming - although I do remember thinking - probably around the most intense time of transition - that if the midwife showed up and told me I was only 4 cm dilated, then I was going to the hospital for drugs.

So now we are trying to catch up on some sleep and get to know our little girl. I'm sore, as can be expected. V is still being fantastic - taking care of me and often wearing Miya in a sling around the house so I can get some sleep. We're still guessing at what her skin and eye colour will end up being, but marveling at how beautiful she is for a newborn.