Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ava is 1 month old!

Time is flying! Ava turned a month old on Monday the 12th. I have 4 more weeks of maternity leave. I'm thankful to have a flexible work schedule so that I can work from home 4 days a week since Ava will only be 8-weeks old when I'm back from leave and she'll need a lot of care at night still.

Here's a look at what Ava is up to:
  • Family Pictures: We took the pictures in this post when Ava was 2 1/2 weeks old. Our friend Shawn took her photos when she was 10 days old and then the maternity photos when I was 8-months pregnant. These photos were taken in our front yard only now, the trees have more leaves and buds. The yard is very colorful now. We are lucky to have a talented friend that is willing to take our pictures for home cooked meals at the house!
  • Lots of Growing! At her 1-month check-up on yesterday, she weighed in at 9 lb 14 oz. She was born at 8lb 2 oz, then lost 1 lb in the hospital. That means she's gained almost 3 lbs in the last 3 1/2 weeks. Ava has grown 1 1/2 inches since birth and she has the appetite to prove it! Her pediatrician told me that she gets another "A+" for being so healthy! That makes me happy that she's getting what she needs and is growing well.
  • Early entertainment and fascinations: Ava is very alert when she's awake and likes to look all around. She holds her head really well and we're starting to put her on her tummy for a few minutes so she can get used to that. And, she loves to look at the ceiling fans and even strains her head in order to watch them rotate! When she goes outside in the yard, she likes to look around at the trees. She loves her bouncy seat with the toys that hang. Ava looks at the toys and sometimes swats at them! Ava is kicking her feet and moving her arms all around. She is really active now!
  • Breastfeeding is easier for both of us: I'm thankful to have lots of support for breastfeeding and I went to my first Le Leche League meeting last week. I've being going to a weekly support group with lactation specialists at the hospital near my house. This week, I learned a better position for nursing since I have an abundance of milk and Ava was getting too much air when she was pulling herself away to catch her breath or sometimes choking. Now, I'm trying to nurse her from a reclined position and it's already proving to make it easier for her to nurse and I'm noticing she's less gassy. Breastfeeding mothers finally self-regulate their supply by 6-8 weeks so hopefully, I can go back to nursing her in a more comfortable position by that time. Breastfeeding takes lots of practice and with her eating 8-12 times per day, we're getting plenty of it!
  • Sleep: Ava has been sleeping well at night with the exception only a few nights. She usually sleeps for a 3-4 hour stretch and wakes up to eat and then goes back to sleep pretty easily. I take a nap in the morning and another in the afternoon to get my rest since I'm up a couple times a night with Ava so she can eat. Aaron is a deep sleeper and he can sleep through all of it! We have a co-sleeper next to our bed, which is perfect so I can look at her in the middle of the night to see if she's really awake. Newborns spend most of their sleep in REM state so they make lots of noises and even cry when they're not awake! We love having her closeby.
  • Calming and Soothing: Aaron is really good at calming Ava when she's fussy. He holds her like a football around the house and takes her outside a lot. She really likes to lay against our chests to hear our heart beats. And I got a pouch/sling that I've been using to hold her hands-free! It's great because she really likes it.
  • Tickle spots: Aaron was first to discover her tickle spots on the sides of her waist. I found some spots by her thighs and, of course, her feet are ticklish too!

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