Louisette is now six weeks old, which is about when I’m supposed to be fully recovered from giving birth. I was pretty much recovered by three weeks, but improvement has been slower since then. I’m now exercising four or five times a week, and have just started eating a little less chocolate (I hadn’t lost any weight for several weeks, and I have a good ten kilos to lose – particularly from my belly, which is big enough that I can’t wear normal clothes yet – and it prompts speculative looks wherever I go). I can do pretty much anything I used to be able to do, but I do take longer to recover afterwards. My breasts are still mildly painful.
As always, the crucial issues this week are breastfeeding and sleeping.
From Monday last week we had incontrovertible proof that Louisette needed more formula than she was getting, so we increased it at once. She’s meant to gain around 150 grams a week. Last week she gained 20 grams – but this week she gained over 200. In the last few days, she’s started to not always finish her bottles. That, and the slow increase of what I get from the breast pump, bodes well. Last week I said I was getting an additional 10ml of pumped breast milk a day. That was somewhat optimistic. It looks very much like I’ll need to take a whole lot of formula to China in a month’s time. I am still feeding Louisette 7-8 times a day, and using the pump a further 5-6 times a day. Generally, the largest amount of time I am free during the day is one and a quarter hours (although I move the pump times around a bit when I have stuff to do). It’s insane. It also means that “sleep when your baby sleeps” doesn’t work nearly as well as I’d like.
On the up side, she’s pretty good at sleeping at night. She usually sleeps 4-5 hours in a block. Without that, I’d be a wreck. People keep asking me if I’m okay, and I get the feeling that when I say I’m great they think I’m being nice. Regular readers will know I’m far more honest than nice. When I say I’m happy, you can believe it. It’s true that I’m low enough on sleep that I’m uncoordinated and sometimes light-headed.
I also have a life apart from Louisette: I’ve been able to do some sewing, and I’m editing a chapter of my steampunk novel each day. One of the things I truly enjoy about motherhood is the complete obsessive focus – but I still get antsy if I don’t do some writing every day (and blogging doesn’t quite count). Every day I do something outside of the house, and take Louisette with me. I enjoy being more mobile than I was when I was pregnant, and I think Louisette benefits too.
Louisette’s facial expressions continue to fascinate me. Here’s several photos from a single day – plus a couple of smiles and a pout for good measure.