Tuesday, March 04, 2008

She Sleeps, Izabella, Queen of Transylvania

And sleeps. And poops big yellow poos. And coos. And when she is trying to wake up she makes terrible faces and does the most advanced baby yoga stretches with all her might.

Grandma went home yesterday leaving us alone with our baby girl after more than three weeks. We did okay last night after we figured out that, yes, she does want more to eat (what a champ!) and, yes, it does work better to tag team on the feeding/burping-rocking/pumping circuit. Since I do the breast and pump by default, we need to pass the baton when it comes to the bottle of mama's breast milk, burping-rocking (and washing out the lactation pump elements) jobs. A full time job indeed.

Now she is sleeping for the first time in her co-sleeper/bassinet. Up until a few days ago, Iza was mostly naked. She slept skin-to-skin with me in an effort to help her learn to love her food source. This means that at night I sleep flat on my back with baby Iza's belly on mine. She sets her little cheek right on my heart beat. This way I can sense her rousing immediately and tend to her needs. When she is sleeping during the day she often sleeps right in our big bed with all the covers removed and only her swaddling. Now that Grandma is gone and Iza is growing stronger and a bit more active, I decided to try out our bassinet. So far it has been a great place to store her clothes and blankets. She is happily swaddled there, her freshly washed hair standing up in electric shock.

I know I intended to post about her birth, but I am not quite there yet. I do want to write about it as soon as possible to capture as much of the detail as possible. On the other hand, her birth story is being told and as I tell it it grows more refined as the noise is filtered out and only the most salient elements remain. I will write it. Soon.

A note on her name: We struggled up until she was born about what to name our little one. Szilvia was a close second. We chose Izabella because we loved it and it is a Hungarian name that works in both Hungarian and English. We were disappointed to discover that Isabel and Isabella are both in the top fifteen popular names right now. Yet once we read about Queen Izabella of Hungary who ruled in Transylvania, I think we were hooked. (Tata is from Transylvania.) Queen Izabella (1519-1559) was a Renaissance lady who spoke four languages. (See her image above. Read more about her at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isabella_Jagie%C5%82%C5%82o) Izabella seemed perfect for our little Transylvanian.

Of course, I have quickly learned to explain: "It is I-z-a-bella, that is the Hungarian spelling."

There are endless nicknames for Izabella. We often refer to her as "Iza," which is pronounced with a long e sound followed by a z sound plus a schwa. Thus, something like "ezuh." She is bella baby, belza, bizzy, izuka, and sugar plum fairy.

By now Iza has awoken, fed, fussed, latched on with a nipple shield for 20 minutes, fussed, burped, had a diaper change, and zonked out next to me here on the bed.

A friend commented in an email that she admired my energy to keep on blogging. All I can say is, it keeps me human. My nipples ache. I can't seem to get out of the house. But I can manage a quickie-blog now and then to keep in touch in the virtual world.

I will write the birth story. Next time.


István Albert said...

After our daughter was born last November I set out to understand just why do babies fuss and cry and what is it that we should be doing ... in hindsight a foolishly optimistic hope that there is any answer to that.

Typical baby handbooks offer no more than simple platitudes, but I was determined to find out just what does the 21st' century research tell us about the mysteries of very early childhood. So I started reading various pediatrics journals, and I soon found plenty articles on the topics of "infant" and "crying". Alas the contents of these heavily funded scientific works range from trivial to downright pathetic, most authors enumerating simple symptoms and the topic and conclusions of one paper are indistinguishable from the other. What really took home the cake is that one author proved a dozen previous papers incorrect on the account of using shoddy statistics.

But there is one thing that I learned from the charts and graphs, something that our own exprience substantiated as well. Up to week six or so most babies are getting increasingly more fussy every week. At around week six there is a plateau (as in as bad as it will get) after which things do noticeably improve. By week twelve it is a different life altoghether.

Of course when I laid out this well researched plan to Reka she said "You've gotta be kidding me! How are we going to survive another nine weeks?" I had no answer to that, but I guess we did survive. Of course after this Reka asked me every day just how many days until the good times roll in. To which I always wanted to deliver the answer in a slightly robotic voice: "Good times to arrive in T minus 29 days"

J.K.Kelley said...

thanks for your comments. . . but we are only at week 3 plus 4 days! I look forward to the day when she latches on and we are able to get rid of the pumping part of the routine. I hate that it takes away so much time from paying attention to her AND that it tethers me to the house. I could get a portable pump but I keep hoping we won't need one after all. . .By the way, how is week 12 so much different? I suppose by then you are past the "fourth trimester."

István Albert said...

By the way, how is week 12 so much different? I suppose by then you are past the "fourth trimester

From what I gathered this appeared to be an empirical observation, no explanation/interpretation was given.