3 Weeks Old
Our sweet little lady is three weeks old! So hard to believe how quickly time flies, but then I look at Collen and think, "Where did 2 years go?!" He was 3 weeks old once...yesterday, right? And now, he's saying full sentences and kissing his little sister on the head before heading off to bed.
At 3 weeks old, Charlotte is just precious. She is still petite, but she has definitely been gaining weight. Her one month check-up is next week, and I can't wait to see just how much she has gained. She is a really good eater. Nursing has been 10 times easier this time around. I did not breastfeed Ayden, which I regret every single day. With Collen, I nursed him for 7 months before my supply just couldn't keep up. He was never a great nurser. It would take me 45 minutes to feed him, and then in an hour I'd be feeding him again. This, plus his restlessness and being unable to sleep well at night, made for a lot of exhaustion for me. In fact, he didn't sleep through the night until just this summer....which I guess really wasn't such a bad thing since a newborn was on the way anyway. Getting up to feed Charlotte hasn't been as much of a struggle because I've been used to getting up with Collen. When I do get up to feed her at night, she eats...(which takes her about 15-20 minutes - woo!!)...then goes right back to sleep. She is nursing every 3 hours. Sometimes, she will stretch to 4 hours, and one night she even slept a 6 hour stretch. I'm hoping she is going to be a good sleeper. If she continues like she has been, it looks like she will be.
So many people say Charlotte looks a lot like Ayden. We are seeing it more and more every day. However, she has traces of Collen as well. And others would say, "She just looks like Charlotte." Our children tend to have strong traits, though, that resemble each other's. All three of them have the same mouth - Charlotte has a sweet little birthmark on her lip; that is the only distinction. Her eyes are more like Ayden's in shape. For now they are blue, but we will see if they stay that way. We are hoping hers turn brown so at least one of our kids has Jeremy's eyes. Her hair is dark and thick like Collen's. Ayden had thin, light brown hair. Her nose - just like Ayden's - and they got that nose from me....no doubt about that...it's identical to mine in my baby pictures. Collen doesn't have that nose. Charlotte makes faces that take me back 3 years - right back to Ayden. It's uncanny at times...and takes me aback. There are pictures I've taken of her that immediately cause me to flashback to Ayden making the exact same face or looking a certain way. It's amazing. A friend of mine said to me, "You know how people say - 'That baby has been marked' - Ayden marked that baby." It certainly seems like it.
I'm beginning to figure her out little by little. She rarely fusses, but when she does, it's one of 3 things - hungry, gassy, or sleepy. And judging by the time of day...or proximity to eating...I usually know what she wants. Later in the evening, she gets really antsy. She will nurse frequently, but then she will get really fussy. She wants to nurse to fall asleep, but she gets frustrated because she just wants the comfort of sucking...not the milk that comes as the result. She tends to cluster feed in the morning - to compensate for lazy eating overnight - and then again just before bed time, which for her seems to be 7:30 - that's when the red eyes and "I want to sleep!" fussing begins. It doesn't take much - swaddle, nurse (or paci) and being rocked to sleep. She is the first of our babies that I have had to give to someone else to get her to sleep. I can do it, but she is restless with me. I think it's because she smells me and thinks she should be eating. Usually, I have to give her to my mom or to Jeremy for her to calm down enough to fall asleep.
The last 3 weeks have been wonderful. This week was my first at home with both kids by myself. It has gotten progressively easier as the week has gone by. I haven't ventured out by myself with both of them, yet. Not brave enough. I'm planning to try soon though....start small by taking a quick trip somewhere. We'll see. Nap time has been perfect so far. I've been able to get both kids to sleep at the same time, so I join in with them. That has been heavenly. I hope I can keep that as a routine - that would really help the babysitter once I go back to work!
I have 5 weeks left in my maternity leave. I was going to go back the week of Halloween, but I really want Charlotte to be at least 8 weeks before I go back. I wish I could stay out longer, but financially, we just can't afford it. I struggle with that a lot, and I'm trying not to let fear seep into my mind. I am determined to trust God and believe that she is going to be just fine. He is in control, and I know that. I can do everything humanly possible to protect her, but ultimately, it isn't up to me. All I can do is pray that He will protect her and let us keep her.
I promise to be better about updating. It has been a little busy around here. :) Once I go back to work, I don't even want to think about how little time I will have. For now, I'm going to enjoy the time I have with my 2 babies.