Baby Aria: Her First Ten Days

Yesterday, little Aria celebrated her 10 day birthday!  I was meaning to write a one week recap, but needless to say, I haven’t found the time until now.  That being said, I do aim to write weekly recaps focused on the lovely, so don’t be surprised if a two-week old recap pops up in a few days!

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I do want to say one thing about the direction of this blog.  As most of you know, this blog started as one focused on fitness (running) and food (vegan, gluten-free to deal with digestive issues and inflammation).  However, in my quest to have a baby, exercise took a backseat, and I gave up the vegan, gluten-free lifestyle because, one, it didn’t really have a huge effect on my joint issues, and two, for the sake of conceiving and nourishing my baby in utero, I didn’t want to overly limit my food options.  Over the past 10 months, I have blogged much less about food, and really focused posts on my pregnancy journey week by week.  Now that Aria is here and my point of view about food and exercise has drastically changed, there is no doubt in my mind that the blog will be baby and mommy focused.  All I want to do is write about her, and document her growth, development and life day by day (or at least week by week!).  However, I still want to write about health, food and fitness as it pertains to my lifestyle as a new mom.  I already have posts planned about my food intake postpartum and how I plan to squeeze exercise in.  In other words, this blog will be different from its original focus a few years ago back when I started it– I’m not sure how exactly it will all pan out, but in the end it will reflect what’s important in my life currently.  For those of you who have stuck around and plan on doing so in the future– thank you so much!!!

Anyway, the last 10 days have been the most hectic, whirlwind and truly the best 10 days of my life.  I intended to take notes day by day, but given the fact I rarely had a free hand, that plan fell by the wayside.  So, rather, I think a list of sorts is the best way for me to recap the highlights of Aria’s first 10 days!

Weight and height:  Aria was born on March 3, 2014 a whopping six pounds, 4 ounces and 18.5 inches long.  To say she was and is a peanut is an understatement.  When she left the hospital, she weighed 5 pounds, 15 ounces, which is normal (newborns are kind of waterlogged when they are born and lose weight right away).  At her first pediatrician appointment, she weighed 5 pounds, 10.5 ounces, which was still in the normal range for weight loss, but definitely had me worried since her job was to gain weight, not lose it!  I am happy to say that as of today, she weighed in at 6 pounds, 2 ounces! That brings me to my next topic– her food intake.

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Eating:  I decided a long time ago to exclusively breastfeed for at least four to five months (only stopping because I have to return to work in September), as long as it would work out for me.  The first few days in the hospital were rough– truthfully, both she and I had no idea what we were doing!  When I asked for advice from nurses, they offered conflicting information about the best way to go about breastfeeding, and the lactation consultant at the hospital was great, but a 10 minute visit really didn’t give me enough time to practice what she was telling me.  I went home very worried that Aria wouldn’t get enough milk, and that I just was not doing something right.

I actually called a lactation consultant the first full day I was home at the hospital to come and give me help.  It was the best decision I made.  For you Rhode Islanders, I called Happy Moms, Healthy Babies, who sent over a lactation consultant the same day!  She spent three hours with me, weighed Aria before and after a feeding, watched my technique, helped me with various holds, and even showed me how to manually and electrically pump.  Bottom line is she gave me the confidence that I in fact was doing things right, but that it would take time for both of us to adjust and adapt.  When I went to my pediatrician just a few days after our first visit, she had gained 3 ounces (in 3 days), which is an excellent weight gain.  As of this 10 day update, breastfeeding is going well– she is eating like a champ every 1.5 to 3 hours and I can tell she is gaining weight.  For all of you out there who plan to breastfeed, just know that like they all say, it does get better and much easier over time!  Now, I feel totally comfortable with it, and Aria has a much better idea of what to do now! Oh, and not to be tmi, but my boobs killed the first few days, but are now almost fully healed and breastfeeding, which was extremely painful to begin with, is quite comfortable!

Sleeping:  We are still experimenting with her sleep habits, in that we are trying all sorts of places for her to sleep, and figuring out what works best for her.  The first two nights I fed her and slept on my glider in the nursery.  She slept on my chest and for brief bouts in her crib and rock n’ play, but she was only totally comfortable on my husband’s or my chest.  I decided then to move our sleep operation downstairs in the living room, where I had more access to things like a kitchen and tv, plus more area to walk around in without disturbing my husband.  I was able to watch a little tv during middle of the night feedings which made a huge difference for me in terms of dealing with sleep deprivation.  I brought the rock n’ play down there too and experimented with different places for her to sleep.  As of now, here’s what’s working for us for nighttime sleeping– she does a 2-3 hour nap with daddy, usually on his chest from about 11 to 2 at night.  I sleep next to them on the couch during that time.  Then he goes upstairs to sleep for the night (he has to work still!) and I take over downstairs.  Aria usually will do a 2 to 3 hour nap from 4 to 7ish in the rock n’ play, and I discovered it goes best if she is swaddled for that nap.  During the day, she naps on and off on me in my Baby K’tan wrap (which she loves!), in other visitor’s arms, in her Boppy lounger, or in her bouncy seat.  She also has one great crib nap upstairs every morning from about 8:30 to 10, during which I can shower and eat breakfast.  If there’s one thing I learned about newborn sleep so far is that it is unpredictable; that being said, I think I am picking up on some sleep patterns of hers.  I also want to note that one night (her ninth day) she was insatiable and it was hard to get her to sleep at all; I later found out it is not uncommon for newborns to go through a growth spurt around their 10th day which could explain her hungry night!

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Clothing:  Aria is in newborn size, but probably could fit premie sizes too!  She is the epitome of a peanut!  Thank goodness I anticipated I would not birth a large child and actually bought newborn sizes!  She swims in 0-3 month clothing!  Needless to say, I enjoy dressing her up and do an “outfit of the day” text to her uncles, aunts and grandparents!

Here are some of her fashion statements thus far!

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Social:  Aria has had lots of great visitors the first ten days of her life and she is so comfortable in the arms of others!  She is also very alert– from the first seconds of her life, her eyes were wide open and she continues to shock people with how she doesn’t have a “sleepy newborn” look.  One thing we discovered she loves just the other day is her Fisher Price Kick N’ Play Piano mat.  While she can’t interact with the overhead toys yet, she seems to be quite  content looking up at them!  Aria isn’t fussy (knock on wood) and does wonderful in noisy situations or when lots of people are talking– she can sleep through noise easily!

Likes:  Chest naps on daddy, being worn by mommy in the Baby K’tan, hanging out on her play mat, riding in the car and stroller (she loves motion), music (Pandora lullaby station)

Baby K’tan Chest Nap:

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Aria and her playmat!

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Some pics of her walks outside through the Brown University campus and her recent trip to Homegoods!

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Dislikes:  cold air, wearing a hat (they slip into her eyes because her head is too tiny!); clothes that are too big for her (all her Velcro swaddles are too huge for her, even the newborn-sized ones and they ride over her face!); sponge baths most likely due to the cold

In just 10 short days, Aria has grown and changed so much!  I am trying to savor every second of this experience, fully aware that every stage is fleeting.  Like I said, look for posts on how I am doing food and fitness wise, and also another update on my little bean!  I also might do a post on baby gear that I have found to be invaluable so far!    Oh and a nursery post too!

Thanks friends for reading and keeping up with our shenanigans!

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