Today was a special day. A day I've waited for for over 2 years. I told Annabella I loved her. And she said it back. I couldn't tell what she was saying, but Jason heard it and he was right. I said, "I love you" and she said "I uv oo". I still wasn't sure; so I said "I love Annabella, and I love Dadda", and she said "I uv Dadda".
The numbers are in, and Genevieve is officially huge. She weighed in today at 11 lbs 10 oz (97th percentile), and she was 22 inches long (85th percentile). She's averaging a gain of over 1 oz per day! Oh, and while we're on the subject of impressive numbers, I should mention that Genevieve slept for 7.5 hours straight last night. So we think everything is going really well with her, and the doctor agreed with us today at her 1 month checkup.
Annabella's 2 year checkup was Tuesday, and she's doing great as well. She's still a peanut, but she's staying on her growth curve and the doctor says she's fine. She's graduated to getting weighed with clothes and using the manual scale. So with that, she weighed just under 23 lbs. And she was 32 inches tall. The pediatrician seems to be especially skilled with kids her age, and he had her pretty well entertained through most of the appointment...at least until the shots, which she did not care for at all.
Jason and I are doing okay as well. We're both pretty exhausted. You'd think that with our little one sleeping for 7.5 hours straight we'd be doing better, but Annabella is still waking us up at night. I can't really blame her for having a hard time sleeping right now. With a new baby sister, a new class at daycare, and her 2-year molars pushing through, she's got plenty of reasons to not be able to stay asleep the whole night through. Jason wants to sleep train her again in a couple of months. I'm really hoping she'll just work through all this and start sleeping better on her own by then. I hate hearing my baby yelling at night and not going to her, and I think we've had mixed success with it before.
Baby's stirring. I'll try to post pictures soon, but I gotta run now!
Being a Mommy to 2 beautiful girls is wonderful and exhausting, all at once. I'm finding myself feeling surprisingly content, just happy to be experiencing all of this. And my confidence is much higher the second time around. I feel like I know what I'm doing, and I'm not afraid to be alone with Genevieve (unlike with Annabella, where I was terrified to be alone with her, not sure I'd be able to handle it.) It helps that Genevieve is a ridiculously easy baby. She's a great sleeper, eats well, is awake, happy, and smiley for long periods of time, and she's growing well. I thought at the time that Annabella was an easy baby because she was a happy baby. I still don't think Annabella was a hard baby exactly, but Genevieve is much easier.
Another difference the second time around is how much I let Genevieve cry. With Annabella I would jump to run towards her at the first little whimper. With Genevieve, I don't feel like her crying is an emergency. I think this is both good and bad. It means that I'm calmer and not as stressed out, which I think keeps Genevieve calm overall. But it also means that I'm not responding to her needs as quickly, and I don't like that. Plus, with Annabella, her cry would cause a painful physical reaction in my body, and that just doesn't really happen with Genevieve, at least not to the same extent. So my Mommy guilt is all flared up over that.
I still don't have my energy back though, and I'm easily tired. A trip to the park today with my Mom and both my girls left me so tired I had to nap. And while I was out with Jason on a short walk last night I got so tired I had to sit down for awhile just to get the strength up to walk home. But each day is getting better.
Unfortunately, I think the lack of energy has had a detrimental effect on my bonding with Genevieve. I remember wanting nothing more than to just hold Annabella while I was in the hospital, and with Genevieve, I was too weak and shaky. I loved her and wanted to want to hold her, but I was afraid I would drop her. Even when I did hold her, I wanted Jason or somebody else close by in case I got shaky. And now that I'm home, I have to spend so much time resting and taking care of Annabella that I just don't get as much snuggle time in as I'd like.
All of this is making me consider extending my maternity leave, to give me more time to recover and also to spend with just her, when I have more energy to really appreciate her. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I don't love her fiercely, because I do. But maybe a little more time would be good. I still have 3 weeks left of standard maternity leave though; so I still have lots of snuggle time ahead of me. Plus, even after those 3 weeks, I'm not planning to go back full time for a little while longer. So right now I'm just playing it by ear.
In other news, we went to the pediatric cardiologist this past Monday. Genevieve's heart murmur is caused by a ventricular septal defect, which the cardiologist assured us was really no big deal at all. The defect is basically a small hole (about 2mm wide) in the wall between the 2 ventricles, and will most likely close up as she grows older. The doc said that even if it doesn't close up on its own, the VSD shouldn't cause her any long term problems. He said that she could be a champion athlete even if the hole doesn't close up. He also said that VSDs are very common in babies, happening in about 1 out of every 200 births. So no big deal. And we most likely will not even need to take her back to the cardiologist. The doc said that if the pediatrician still hears the murmur after her 6 month check, then the pediatrician might decide to send us back, but we don't need a follow-up until at least then.
Annabella is still adjusting to her new baby sister, and also to her transition to the 2s room at daycare. I see signs of stress with her here and there (like crying before bedtime and laying down at odd times at daycare), but in general she's doing really well. Jason and I both strive to spend time with her and to really focus on her when we're with her, and I think that's helping. I expected it to be a lot worse than it is, honestly, but I still worry about her. I think having grandparents around to help has been good for her too. She seems to like the extra attention.
OK. It's late, and I'm rambling. I can't promise I'll post again soon as it's taken more energy than I expected just to get this up, and I don't think it's all that coherent. But I'll try :)