Saturday, May 16, 2015

Happy One Month, Baby Lydia!

Lydia Ruth is already one month old!!

When I titled Sophia's post "Happy One Month", I was being more optimistic than I usually felt. Many hours of crying, along with nursing and postpartum woes, made for some rough first (six?) months for her dad and me. 

This time, I really mean it!

We've had a lovely first month! The hardest part (now I realize this shouldn't have been a surprise) has been Sophia adapting to share my attention with another baby. I guess I didn't expect it to be so hard for her because it's not like she was an only child before. She's fine with me giving attention to her brothers, but ever since she saw this baby nurse on Day 1, she senses competition for HER mama! When I'm holding Lydia or rocking her before a nap or nursing, Sophia is almost always whining or going NUTS for my attention. She'll take off her shoes and request help to get them back on. She'll ask for food or water to drink. She'll beg for a bath. She'll ask to get up on the bed by me but then immediately want back down. She'll bring me the biggest book she can find and insist that I hold it to read to her even though I can't while holding the baby. And on and on... And then she follows at my heels all day long whining and crying "mama", and screams like her heart is breaking when I step out of the room or she loses eyesight of me. (Kind of hard in a big two story house!) It didn't help any that she was getting her last 4 teeth before her last molars the week before and after Lydia's birth...

Just as when Sophia was born and I died to so many of my preconceived notions about my baby, I've had to die to the belief that my kids would never be jealous of a new baby because they would be so secure, and so aware of everyone's love for the baby, that they would be fine. I spend as much time as possible with her when Lydia is asleep, and it has gotten a little better (we've had several peaceful dinners in a row, even when I'm holding the baby), so we pray we're getting closer to a happy toddler!!

It is wonderful how the boys have wholeheartedly embraced a new little sister and have adjusted well to the change!

The whole crew the day after Lydia was born! We have FIVE kids, EEK!!!

Lydia has been a champion eater and sleeper since Day 1. Katrina (our midwife) remarked at her birth that it's been a long time since she's seen a newborn nurse so well! She just latches and EATS. So easy, so pleasant! Sounds silly to point that out, but you'd understand if you'd had a fussy, on-off-on-off eater like Sophia...

She cried a little during the night only the first 4 or 5 nights. (The hardest night was when she woke Sophia, so Jake and I were running back and forth, not sure who to comfort first!) Ever since then, she has slept soundly all night long except for nursing 2 times. Twice she's only woken once, and twice three times. She generally goes 5-6 hours and then back to every 3 hours during the night. She doesn't even cry! Somehow, even in a deep sleep, I hear her begin to wiggle. After a few minutes, I can sense when she's about to pipe up, and I get her up to feed her. Dad has lost very little sleep!

From her activity inside me around midnight before she was born, I am still impressed how quickly she figured out her days and nights, never confusing them!!

I'm also loving how she's not become a pacifier addict, at least not yet. We don't even need it at night, but usually use it during the day to get her to sleep. She's getting better about not waking and needing it back constantly (again, like Sophia was)!

Same with the swaddle blankets - we use them most of the time, but it's not always necessary, as she's a more relaxed baby.

My only wish for her schedule is the modification of her early bird ways. (Just another way she reminds me of my sister Heather!) She'll have several days in a row of staying up after a 6 or 6:30am feeding, or waking at 7am even if she's not hungry. Draping a thick blanket over her little crib has helped. I'm just not ready to get up at that time if we went to bed at 11 or 12, and feeding her throughout the night!! Sophia also has woken more at night the past month.

They say a baby who sleeps well, eats well, and grows well. I've certainly gotten to witness that this time with Lydia. She was only a hair shy of regaining  her birth weight at one week after birth, and a few days ago was 10 pounds 1/2 ounce (4.55 kilos). That means she gained almost 2 pounds (almost 1 kilo) in a month and she's in the 75 percentile for weight! She's already mainly in size 0-3 month clothes. (Sophia was still in newborn clothes at 3 months, something I really worried about, but she's always stayed firmly in the 25 percentile.)

The pediatrician was impressed with her length, too. He joked, "She's almost as tall as me"!

The past 4 or 5 days, we have noticed an increasingly fussy time in the evenings, where sometimes she only wants me to hold her, nurse more frequently (whereas before she was very happy with just 7 feeds/24 hours), or even cries WHILE we're holding her. Tonight it went from 5pm until almost 11pm, ugh. Since the evening is my only free time since every morning is busy (home school and weekend activities), and I usually still nap with the babies in the afternoon if they both go down at the same time, after which I start dinner, I have zero free time not holding/feeding/bathing/changing/entertaining babies. I'll read the dozens of CDA emails that pour in while I nurse, but it's hard to reply one-handed or with babies crying! It's a season that requires an extra dose of patience, unselfishness, and help from dad, for sure!!

More pictures from Lydia's first month:

The boys made Lydia a birthday cake. (A day late but hey, we were busy!) Grandma B is giving cuddles in the background.

Jake's boss and coworkers sent these flowers

First bath given by Nana (and Sophia, who lovesss her baths!)

Snooze time with Pops

Some sister time... (Lydia is wearing one of S's baby outfits)

One week! April 23

All the sibs! May 3

Lydia, the "little sister"

At church in a pretty dress, May 10

Back home after a successful appointment with the US Embassy to report Lydia's birth!
(The day before we spent obtaining her Bolivian birth certificate. Just took 3 1/2 hours....)

Tia Lydia (cook) and Lydia - her first visit to the Baby Home

This is where she hangs out when I'm in the bathroom

And a couple of "outtakes":

Big sister got messy while I was busy taking Lydia's 1 month pictures (blueberries!!)
(Notice the belt, courtesy of Michael)

Wearing the "1 Month" sticker (thanks to a silly brother)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Lydia Pictures

When Lydia was 9 days old, a friend from church who is also a professional photographer came and took pictures for us. Lydia did so well! I nursed her and she immediately went to sleep, slumbering soundly for 1 1/2 hours while we moved her around.

Here are my favorites!

(Another day I'll post pictures of Sophia and Lydia in the same pose as newborns.)

Today I took Lydia to my favorite pediatrician in town who has seen dozens of my Bolivian babies. Everything was fine and we feel very blessed! After seeing such slow weight gain with Sophia, my favorite part of the visit was learning that at 2 1/2 weeks, she's already gained over half a kilo (or about 1.3 pounds)! Her head circumference is also 3 cm bigger, putting her in the 90 percentile for her age. Yeah for a big, growing, content baby!!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Our New Baby!

Our fifth child is here!

Lydia Ruth Beaty

Lydia: "first European convert to Christianity" and several meanings including woman from Lydia, womanly, and great traveler

Ruth: "friend, companion" (what we hope she will be to our first daughter, Sophia)

Born Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 3:45am

Weight: 8 pounds, 1 ounces (3.66 kilos)

Length: 21 1/2 inches (54.5 cm)

With her proud brothers and (adjusting!) sister
L-R: Sophia (18 months), Michael (11 1/2), Joel (11 1/2), Samuel (10 1/2)

April 19 (3 days old)

 April 22 (6 days old)

"One...was a woman...named Lydia. She was a worshiper of God." 
Acts 16:14