Posted by: Hannah | 10/25/2012

introducing… New Baby Girl

This week has tested my limits, my patience, and my resolve – but it’s also brought some great moments.

Arthur’s baby sister started with me on Monday. So far, so good. She’s a cheerful little thing, with a shock of bright-red hair. In shape she is spherical; she’s quite a bit shorter than Baby G but weighs the same. She’s super-affectionate, especially with G, which is adorable but also troubling, because she shows affection with her entire body – he’s been pile-drivered a few times, knocked over repeatedly, kissed and hugged to within an inch of his life. Fortunately he doesn’t seem to mind, and his little wee face lights up every morning when she arrives.

Naps have not been a problem, despite warnings from her mom that she was a) not on any kind of nap schedule to speak of; b) usually napped in the car while driving all over town; and c) napped in a bounce chair when at home, rather than a crib. Ever. I did try, in compliance with mom’s suggestion, to put her in a bounce chair for her first nap, but HOLY HELL THAT WAS DANGEROUS. She immediately started protesting and throwing her weight forward, so NO. I plopped her in a nap room crib, patted her back, and left – less than ten minutes of low-level fussing later she was sound asleep. No nap since has been a problem.

Bottles are another issue – she will not  take a bottle, or even a sippy cup with breastmilk. She’s eating all solids like a champ, and is great at self-feeding, but even seeing the bottle makes her cry and start frantically waving her arms in the sign for ‘all done’. She just woke up from a nap, she hasn’t nursed since 6AM, and after several attempts with the sippy cup she just chucked it at my head. OKAY THEN, MISSY. (If anyone has any suggestions on that front, by the way, please throw your advice my way. She had a grand total of 2oz yesterday from 5:45AM until 3PM, and then didn’t apparently frantically nurse all evening & night to make up for it. Her mom is concerned because she wants to keep breastfeeding for another 6  – 12 months – Baby Girl will be a year old in November – and I just don’t know if that’s in the cards. I’ll try anything to help her keep the relationship going, so please if you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them).

She’s not quite walking yet, although she’s cruising like a demon and can ‘walk’ holding my hand for short distances. My aching back hopes she will master the trick soon  – carrying her and Baby G simultaneously is a workout, ya’ll. They both weigh around 20 pounds so when I have one on each hip, they are heavy.

She calls me ‘momma’ and comes for frequent hugs, which is bloody adorable. Also adorable: just this week both Pixie and Luna have started ‘nursing’ their baby-dolls when I’m feeding G. So cute. Louis flat-out refuses to participate: “I A BOOOY!!” But it has made nursing time quieter and less stressful, for sure.

It is a little alarming how much more work it is, adding a second baby to the mix. The days fly by now – yesterday I almost missed picking the older kids up at the bus stop because suddenly, 2:30pm and I had no idea it had gotten so late. The dayhome area perpetually looks like a bomb went off; I just can’t keep ahead of the mess. This may have more to do with how incredibly sick and worn-out I am this week… I kind of hope so. It’s madness, otherwise.

None of the other kids are reacting the way I thought they would. Luna is actually better this week than I’ve ever seen her, and even tolerates New Baby Girl touching her, which is monumental because normally no one is allowed to even consider getting inside her personal space. Pixie thinks she’s delightful and aside from massive problems pronouncing NBG’s name, is rolling with it. Even Ron seems to like the change.

Louis, however, is a hot mess.

I was not anticipating this and I’m not sure how to proceed. All week he’s been playing too rough, arguing with me at every turn, whining at naptime, shredding his food all over the table (and floor) instead of eating it. He throws himself full-length on whatever he’s playing with if anyone else gets too close. At home apparently he’s stopped talking altogether, instead communicating with grunting, whining, and roaring – his parents are ignoring the behaviour as best they can, but it’s driving them crazy and I can totally see why.

I’m trying not to make too big a thing about it, because I know he’ll adjust – but in the meantime it’s so out of character for him that every time it happens I do a double-take. I don’t quite know what to do with rude, argumentative, screaming, spitting (yeah, that too) Louis.

So – anyone have any suggestions for a name for New Baby Girl?

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Responses

  1. Does she take a bottle or cup at home, or is it strictly breast? You could get mom and dad to help out by having dad give bottle or cup once a day. (There’s obviously no way this child will take cup or bottle from mom, who comes equipped with two of The Real Deal.)

    I’ve force-fed liquids into a child, but it’s an exhausting, traumatic ordeal for everyone involved, and one I avoid if at all possible. You could try high-liquid foods: watermelon, bread saturated with soup broth. I’ve made popsicles from diluted fruit juice for feverish kids — you can get a surprising amount of liquid in that way. I wonder if you could make milk-sicles??

    • Apparently she will take a bottle from dad and has done for months, so this refusal to take expressed milk either from a bottle OR a sippy cup took all by surprise. She drinks water no problem… someone on Twitter sent me this link http://www.strocel.com/working-and-breastfeeding-a-toddler/ and it sounds very familiar as far as the current situation goes.

      She’s drinking enough, and eating well, so I’m not actually super-concerned – and actually her mom is less jumpy about it than I would have expected. She even texted me this afternoon to tell me that she’s not worried about the milk as long as NBG is happy – and she certainly is! She was better today than my own baby, so there you go.

  2. Have you tried spoon feeding her her breast milk? Or giving her a big girl cup?

    I think the obvious name here is Ginny.

    • I thought Ginny as well, in keeping with the theme and all… after two full days what we’re finding is that Miss Thang is reverse-cycling her nursing – she won’t even nurse when her mom is here in the mornings, although she did have a good big feed last night at pick up time. She then snacked a lot during the evening, but didn’t up her night-time feedings at all.

      At this point we’re going to carry on as is for now, with me continuing to offer her breastmilk throughout the day. Her mom is content with night feedings for now, and we’ve both agreed that forcing her to take milk during the day when she’s obviously happy & thriving is not the goal.

  3. 1) Her name should be Anne, of course! Red hair!

    2) Poor Louis. “I a boooooy!” Hope it’s just the winds of change and he just needs to settle. Or maybe he’s getting a little sick? Hopefully things get back to normal soon.

    3) How do parents of twins do it?

    • I gather Louis’ mom asked him about the babies and he said “dere are TWO BABIES. Baby Girl takes mah cars ALL DA TIME.” So, we’ve pinpointed the issue – he likes the babies just fine as long as they are sitting quietly on the opposite side of the room. :p And parents of twins, I do not know. Parents of triplets or more? I actually get sick to my stomach thinking about what babyhood is like for them. GAAAAAA.

  4. Aw, you get double baby-snuggles. (I’m purposely ignoring all the bad stuff because I am just not equipped right now). Poor Louis – I was just talking to the sleep psychiatrist today about how crappy I am at handling transitions. Homeboy and I should tip back a few milks together.

    • I *do* get double baby-snuggles, which is lovely, and ignites exactly no feelings in my reproductive tract at all, meaning that I really am done having babies and it is SO FREEING AND WONDERFUL. Also, I just pictured you and Louis sitting at my table tossing back shot glasses of milk and laughed so hard I spilled my coffee.


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