This past month has been the most challenging for Lavinia and me. We had many ups and downs, but on the other hand she also achieved many happy milestones too.
The toughest month
A series of unfortunate events happened all together, so we haven’t had the most joyful time. It’s safe to say it’s been the most challenging month so far.
I was well aware that the first few weeks at home with a newborn would be hard. Right when things seem to settle as the fourth trimester ends, here comes the unexpected.
Rotavirus booster shot is a b.!
Albeit not common, the second round of vaccination hit Lavinia badly. The Rotavirus booster shot contains a weak live version of the virus that helps her build her defence against the actual stronger virus.
Sometimes it can also cause some side effects, and this time around it put her (and therefore myself) into a 14 days of misery and constant green diarrhoea. As this sort of gastroenteritis resolves by themselves, we only had to sit and wait.
This resulted into miserable days, with Lavinia being restless, often in pain and cranky, and not able to take proper naps.
I felt utterly depressed, frustrated, alone and exhausted all the time; I often ended up crying all my tears in a corner of the house.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going
I got scared of falling into a post-partum depression, and with the help of Franz and my sister (who came to visit for about a week) I took time to look after myself, snug some workouts and feel human again. It’s so easy to lose your own identity when babies are so little. I was going into a slippery slope where my identity was only to be Lavinia’s carer.
I also took Lavinia’s catnapping and sleep regression as an excuse to react and do something good for her too. Once she recovered from the gastroenteritis, I tried my own sleep training pattern – a mix of different techniques I picked among the many I checked online.
The first few days haven’t been easy as she was very reluctant. The first big win was when she naturally started sleeping from 10pm to 7am with one or none interruptions.
At the same time, I managed to put her on a 70 minutes nap in the morning and on another couple of shorter naps in the afternoon.
I haven’t figured out evenings yet. Rome wasn’t built in a day though.
All in all, things gradually improved once the poonamis stopped and I was able to sleep at least 4 or 5 hours in a row – that mostly helped in the patience department.
All the milestones!
Something huge clicked in Lavinia’s brain over the last thirty days or so.
All of a sudden, she started doing lots of new things. These are the most notable:
- Rolling on a side and going back to her initial position
- Loving tummy time a bit more: she can keep her neck nice and high for a longer span of time, and can sustain her torso with her arms
- Soothing herself by sucking her fist/thumbs: this is extremely helpful while sleep-training
- Grabbing lightweight objects, drop them, and/or bringing them to her mouth
- Holding her bottle with both hands. She can only have a few sips on her own (and constantly supervised), but that’s a huge step forward. I also wonder if that’s too early for this
- Performing the best giggles and raspberries
- Pulling Franz’s beard until he screams
I also noticed some behaviours related with teething. Actually we spotted a tiny white sharp thing popping out her lower left gum. She always touches that area, and often sounds upset or in distress. It may take a month or so to see an actual tooth, as far as I know.
She’s been babbling, vocalising and imitating us (also in her facial expressions) since a while, and this month she’s added new vocal patterns and sounds.
The last round of vaccinations is just done (the next one will be once she turns one), so we expect a bit of fussiness and/or fever.
Now that she’s started to be more interactive, curious and present, funny times are ahead!