Another week under her belt (though she’s actually not wearing belts yet), Maeve is now six weeks old. She was born July 30th 2013, and I’ve been doing weekly dad-blog posts to share her with family on the West Coast, and the world at large.
Again, no earth-shattering developments this week, but plenty of photos and a few updates to post. Maeve has been mainly breast-feeding, pooping, peeing.
In non-Maeve news, Carrie celebrated her birthday, this week! Maeve slept through the baked-from-scratch carrot-spice birthday cake.
> Elimination Communication: Most mornings I take Maeve to the toilet and she poops and pees. It’s pretty satisfying for me. I think we’re gradually going to “catch” more elimination… but it seems like we’ve got some of the basics on this down.
> First Bottle: My wife Carrie is still breast-feeding pretty much on demand for Maeve, which is around the clock, every 2-4 hours I’d estimate. This week we tried a bottle for the first time. When we have this down pat, it can give Carrie more flexibility – and it gives me a chance to connect with my daughter in another way. My wife has been pumping now and then. We thawed a frozen bottle of breast milk, then warmed it up a bit. I tried feeding some to Maeve in the early evening after a work day last week.
This new feeding routine wasn’t entirely successful. Maeve did a full “latch” – getting her lips around the nipple of the bottle, generating surprisingly strong suction. But she only stuck with it for about two minutes, then was crying. She often gets “fussy” (I try not to use too many judgmental words like that in describing her behavior, but it kinda fits in this case) in the late afternoon to early evening… so we’re thinking that it might not have been wise to introduce the new vessel during that time.
The next morning I gave her the bottle again. In two different sittings, she downed all the milk, and seemed fairly content with it. Carrie asked me how it felt to give Maeve a bottle, and I was kind of teary-eyed speechless. It’s great… and carried all sorts of fears of rejection, and of not doing it right. Nursing is one way that Carrie and Maeve really connect – one way that Maeve is still very physically dependent on (even attached to) Carrie. So it feels really great to get a small glimpse into how that feels. It certainly appears deeply satisfying to Maeve, so it feels good to me to be the provider of that satisfaction. It is in a somewhat second-hand way (it’s still Carrie’s milk) but it’s the closest that we males are going to get.
> Inconsolable: Two days this week, Maeve got very inconsolable. She hardly napped at all, then cried for what seemed interminable – though it was probably more like 20-30 minutes. I’ve been carrying her face down, with my hand on her diaper, my forearm on her front and my belly against her back. My friend Mizue mentioned that this was a good carry for gassy babies, and a carry that her husband liked. It works pretty well to calm Maeve – and she’ll often fall asleep if I walk her around like this… but then it’s pretty difficult to transition a sleeping held baby to a sleeping baby on the bed. She’d fall asleep, then lie for a moment, and wake up inconsolable.
> More Focus: I mentioned before that around 4 weeks, I would notice Maeve tracking things visually now and then. This week it seems like that’s gradually turned into real visual focus. When I am right in front of her, she does look into my eyes… still not always, but seeming more often than not.
> More Grip: Maeve still keeps her hands with thumbs clasped most of the time. Lint actually gathers in her hands. Just this week, though, it seems like she’s better at gripping, including my chest hair and the fabric or the collar of my shirts, and even her own shirt.
> First Car Trip: We got a Zipcar today and drove to Trader Joe’s in Edgewater. It’s the first time that Maeve has been in a car, and we were sort of thinking that we did need to know how the contraption worked in case there was some sort of emergency when we really needed it. We got her hand-me-down car seat out of its storage location in the basement, fiddled with it and got it working. To my dismay (I am very anti-car, pro-bike, walk and transit) she enjoyed herself, promptly fell asleep, and slept through the afternoon driving and shopping. I am starting to look at when it will be good to take her on a bicycle for the first time (bicycling is generally safer than driving) though it’s fairly easy to get around here walking and taking transit all the time.
> Goodbye to Work Away from Home: I finished up at the Bronx River Alliance, and will, for now, be a stay at home dad. (I am doing a little at-home work for BxRA, though.) I am looking to be able to spend a lot more time with Maeve, and hopefully also to do more of my artwork, to cook, to write, to do a little Jersey City bike advocacy, and to spend time with my wife!