i was supposed to give away my big stash of breast milk today to a woman from just outside kansas city. she took my last big stash too for her dangerously underweight eight-month-old. he weighed about the same as ramona did when she was three months old…& bear in mind that ramona was born two months premature. she’s gigantic for a premature baby, but still smaller than other babies her age. so this little guy was tiny! she said that the milk i gave her provided exclusive nourishment for more than a month & now he weighs the average amount for babies his age! amazing! she needed two huge coolers to haul away all the milk i gave her–probably more than 2000 ounces.
it made me think about that awful la leche league meeting i went to two weeks after we brought ramona home, looking for info on exclusive pumping. & how all the women there were like, “it’ll never work, no way will you be able to keep up with your baby’s needs, you need to either breastfeed directly or just give up & start giving her formula.”
well, things worked out better than that, didn’t they? i was even able to leave 75 ounces of milk in detroit after just a four-day visit, for some baby in michigan to enjoy.
ramona will be five months old next week. i do plan to follow the recommendation that babies not start on solid foods until six months of age. but i think i will go a step further & hold off on solids until she’s six months corrected, which will take us to mid-july. if she shows interest in solids before that, i might reconsider, but it doesn’t make sense to me to start premature babies on solids based on their real ages, just like it doesn’t make sense to expect them to meet other milestones based on their real ages. like i said, ramona is almost five months old & she’s still not really anywhere close to being able to roll over. even when i lay her on her side, she generally tips back over on to her belly. because, technically, she is a three-month-old baby & it’s a precocious three-month-old that can roll over. so it doesn’t make sense to me that her digestive system would be ready to handle solid food two months sooner just because she came out of the womb two months sooner. i’ve heard some other preemie parents say that their pediatricians recommend starting solids “on schedule” regardless of the level of prematurity, but i’ve done a lot of research & haven’t found anything recommending that.
blah blah blah, whatever. what else is going on? the woman who was going to pick up milk this morning had to postpone due to a sick toddler. so i have a little extra free time. jared is dressing ramona in her “day” clothes, which include knit pants & a ridiculous sweater with elbow patches. they are in horribly clashing shades of pale pink. ramona is singing us the song of her people: squeaky shrieks accompanied by smiles & kicks. she consistently sleeps through the night now. we just got really lucky with her. a few people have said, “she’s an easy baby because you guys are such good parents & she’s attached to both of you & knows that you’re there when she needs you.” it would be nice to think so, wouldn’t it? but plenty of other people are also responsive to their babies & their babies seems to be much more difficult than ramona. even jared ascribes to the “she’s good because we’re good” theory. but i really think it’s all luck.
however, when i say that she “sleeps through the night,” i mean that jared starts working on getting her to sleep at around 9:30pm & she’s usually out by 11:30pm. & then she sleeps until between 7am & 11am (averaging 9am most mornings, but definitely with some deviation). jared has been floating the idea of getting up at 6am so he can get a run in before ramona wakes up (since he takes her in the mornings & evenings), but…i know i would have a hard time getting up at 6am if i was still grappling with a wide awake baby at 10:45pm most nights. i have a hard time getting up at 8am & i’m usually reading in another room while he’s trying to get her to fall asleep.
ramona is a good sleeper & a good napper, but our schedule needs some tinkering, i think. ramona usually naps from 11am until 1pm or so, & again from 4pm to like 6pm, give or take half an hour here & there. & recently, she has added an evening snooze that starts at around 8:30pm. it usually doesn’t last more than half an hour, & jared says that he doesn’t mind it & he doesn’t think an evening nap affects her ability to sleep at night…but it might be postponing baby bedtime, you know? i stay out of it because putting ramona to bed is his territory, but obviously her sleep schedule affects us all.
& all the people reading this who have toddlers who still wake up three times a night are like, “she sleeps through the night & naps like five hours a day? fuck you.”
bonus ramona photo for those of you who slogged through this, the world’s most boring blog post:
yes, she is sucking her thumb.