Cordelia (old posts, page 2)

Cordelia at Five Months

Cordelia is five -- actually five and a half -- months old, but she's growing out of nine-month sized clothes, and fitting nicely into twelve month clothes. She is freaky huge. Fortunately she is freaky strong, too; she can sit up for minutes at a time. And she's working on crawling, but she hasn't gotten much past the lying on her tummy, kicking and getting really pissed off stage yet. She shuffles her way around the living room quite effectively, though, usually ending up near the (moving) glider rocker ottoman, ready to have a leg broken or a head bonked. I have said it before, and I'll say it again: it's astonishing how quickly and how far a supposedly non-mobile baby can move.

All the reference books, and the doctor, would like to know if she is cooing. I don't know about your babies, but my babies don't "coo". Mostly she makes this noise which I haven't been able to come up with a word for, because nothing else on god's earth makes it; it's most like a groan, with some kvetch thrown in. Like, Heeeeeaaaaagh. And that's when she's happy. No-one could ever call it cooing.

(Does anyone's baby coo? My friend Ellen's baby Maxine makes these awesome hellmouth, troll noises: GRREEEAAAAUUuuuuch.)

We started her on cereal (even though they are saying now that you should wait until six months) because she was so desperate to be part of this eating thing that everyone else is doing. She's done rice, barley and oatmeal baby cereals so far, and she doesn't hate them. Once she passes six months I am going to start her on vegetables, and then she will see what the excitement is really about. Carrots! Parsnips! Oh my! (Oh, unless those are the ones with nitrates; I will have to look that up.)

I was kind of sad to start her on food; I thought, "this is the last time I will have a baby who exclusively breastfeeds". I expect I will have thoughts like that a lot. It was a brief moment, though; really I am very much looking forward to having two little girls, rather than a little girl and a baby. Babies are nice but little girls are better.

We're tiptoeing around the bedtime thing, thinking about it. Right now Cordelia's sleep, especially in the daytime, is pretty disordered, and I know she's old enough now (and definitely big enough!) to have a proper two-nap schedule, rather than the three or four mini-naps she's taking now. I also think she's old enough (and again, big enough) to go through the night without nursing; the trick now is to teach her that.

Last night we put her in the crib (already asleep) in the evening, and we had the evening mostly to ourselves. She woke up a couple of times, and both times we soothed her back to sleep and then put her back in the crib. I expect at some point we will put her in the crib and let her cry herself to sleep (because we are SO MEAN! And because it worked so well with Delphine), but I want to get her used to the idea that the crib is safe, and for sleeping, first. (Until now she has mostly slept in the high chair or on my lap or in bed with us.)

Generally she continues to be a charming and sweet baby. She's not so ready with the smiles for strangers any more, but she still blesses Blake and I with the huge, gummy, ear-to-ear grin that I hope she never grows out of.

About the Name

I wrote a bit about Cordelia's name.

Okay, I'm trying to figure out the cheesy Cordelia song. It might not be Chris De Burgh, because I couldn't find anything on the 'net. It goes "Cordelia! Let's (something) away the night together, let's (something) 'til the stars fall down from the sky". It's really cheesy, y'all, but I can't find it anywhere on the Internet. Isn't this what the Internet is for?

What's Up With The Baby?

Cordelia's almost four months old. It seems like longer, somehow; it seems like she has been with us for a long, long time. But it also seems like she's developing faster than Delphine did, because we have been down this route before. You know how the first time you go on a journey it seems to take a really long time, because you're not sure where you're going or when you will get there, but after that first time the trip seems much shorter? That's what's happening here. I'm enjoying this slightly boring and annoying helpless-baby stage because I know from experience that it does end some day, so it's easy to brush off the annoying parts and appreciate the sweet, squishy, fun parts. Everyone should have two children: a practice one and a fun one.

She has an astonishing smile; her cheeks puff out and her eyes crinkle and she shows all her gums and it's like you are sharing the most wonderful joke ever. It makes you feel like you are the most splendid person she has ever met; if she keeps this smile all her life she will break hearts and win votes left and right.

She still hasn't rolled over the other way more than a couple of times; she ends up on her belly and stays there until she gets mad and someone responds to her protests by rolling her back over.

I tried to put her to bed at bedtime yesterday, but it didn't work; she didn't sleep. I think she's still too young to have developed the two-naps-and-an-overnight-sleep pattern yet. She does sleep from eleven until seven, with us, though. Sometimes she wakes up in the middle for a nurse, but most often not these days.

She's learned how to grab things and stick them in her mouth -- she loves to chew stuff. I think she might be cutting a tooth. I remember it seemed like forever before Delphine learned to grab things, and now I'm shocked at how soon Cordelia can do it. Right now she is mowing down on a rubber elephant chew toy and making satisfied grunty sighing noises.

Some Exciting Things

Cordelia turned three months old on Tuesday, and on Thursday she rolled over from back to front for the first time. She worked really hard at it, starting with her legs and twisting her torso. She had trouble figuring out what to do with the bottom arm for a while, but she finally got it, and now she turns over as soon as you put her down on her back on a flat surface.

The problem is that then she can't get back onto her back, and she inevitably spits up and then gets really pissed at having to lie with her face in a puddle of regurgutated milk, so she protests until you flip her back over. At which point she rolls over and starts the whole process again.

Generally she continues to be a really smiley baby. She only cries when she has some particular need, and even then she's quite polite about it.

The exception to this is evenings, when she yells vigorously for no apparent reason. We alternately rock her, nurse her, change her and set her down until she finally gets tired of it and falls asleep. I think once we institute a proper bedtime early in the evening this problem will be solved (because she will be sleeping). I don't know when that will be, though. Weissbluth says you can start putting your baby to sleep on a schedule at four months, but I'm not sure when I can expect her to get through the night without nursing.

I put up some pictures and a couple of videos of Cordelia. Enjoy!

She's Fine

We went to the cardiologist for Cordelia's follow-up visit, and as suspected she's fine. The doctor couldn't find any abnormality in the EKG or the ultrasound. Like Dave said, it was just a startup problem -- "Device driver not initialized" or some such.

We do have to hold off on stimulant decongestants for the next six months or so, though, just in case. Obligingly enough, Cordelia came down with a cold last night. Fortunately we can still give her nasal decongestant spray, bar none my favourite cold remedy, so we did that and soon enough she was sleeping soundly.

She's so advanced.

This one is precocious, I can tell already. How can I tell? I was nursing her this afternoon, and she bit me. She bit me! She is only five weeks old! She doesn't even have any teeth! Delphine didn't bite me until she was at least five months old.

One Month

Cordelia is one month old tomorrow, and so far she's turning out pretty well.

The last three or four times anyone has listened to her heart, they didn't hear an arrythmia at all. In fact, our GP couldn't hear it the week after we saw the cardiologist, so apparently it cleared up seconds after we left her office. We still have to go see her again for a follow-up visit, so we aren't officially out of the woods quite yet.

Cordelia is another very sweet baby, like Delphine. She hardly cries at all, she just grunts and makes little kvetching noises. In the last couple of days she's had angry spells in the evening, where she cries with great vigour for a few minutes at a time. She can usually be distracted easily enough, though, and the fury ends as soon as it begins. Crying is supposed to peak at around six weeks, so hopefully this evening foolishness won't go on for too long.

She's eleven pounds now; she has been gaining an ounce a day for the last three weeks or so. She is plump and sturdy -- I wonder where she gets that...

It is hard having a tiny baby again. She likes to be held all the time, so I am back to doing everything with one hand. And it's very frustrating dealing with Delphine; when I nurse Cordelia she bugs me to read to her or play with her, or she climbs up in my lap. I can't wait until Cordelia is a little older and can sit up, or even walk. I know I shouldn't wish my child's life away, but honestly, if she were any other kind of mammal she would still be in utero at this stage.

First Week

Delphine vs. Cordelia: A comparative analysis

Well, more of a list, really.
  • Cordelia isn't hairy like Delphine was -- she has hair on her head, the barest suggestion of eyebrows, and maybe a little tiny bit of black fuzz on her ears. The hair is the same as Delphine's, though, straight and black.
  • Cordelia's nose and chin are narrower than Delphine's, but she has the same eyes (Blake's).
  • Cordelia says "Nah"; Delphine said "La".
  • Cordelia has narrow, elegant fingernails; Delphine has short, square nails like Blake and I. We think Cordelia's come from her Baba.

Baby Mysteries

Breast milk: goes in white, comes out yellow. Where does the yellow come from?

The Story So Far

The day after we came home from the hospital was Cordelia's third day of life, and the day the midwife came to see us. While she was examining Cordelia she heard an arrhythmia. I know a lot about a lot of medical conditions, but I didn't know anything about arrhythmias; I didn't know whether it was nothing to worry about, or something huge, so I kind of averaged it out and freaked out averagely.

We immediately went to a pediatric cardiologist down the street (I love this neighbourhood). She did some tests and said it was a premature ventricular contraction originating in a lower chamber of the heart. The premature contractions only occurred occasionally, and never two together, which means it's probably nothing to worry about. She sent us home with a 24-hour monitor and instructions to call back in six weeks -- it was at that point that I pretty much stopped freaking out altogether. She gave me a list of medications that I shouldn't give Cordelia, mostly cold medicines, but other than that we can treat her normally, and the arrhythmia will probably go away on its own.

Today (day eight) we took Cordelia to our family doctor for a retroactive referral to the cardiologist. The doctor listened to Cordelia's heart and didn't hear anything abnormal, so it may have corrected itself already.

Apart from that excitement, everything has been very normal so far. We had a little problem learning how to nurse (mostly I had forgotten a few techniques from last time) but now that's pretty much figured out, and Cordelia is churning out the appropriate number of pees and poos every day. She mostly slept and ate for the first week, but now she spends a few minutes at a time awake and alert.

She sleeps for four hour stretches at night. She sleeps in our bed, mostly because I am too sore to get up in the middle of the night. I'm not sure if we will keep her in our bed once I am better; it worked really well with Delphine, but I was also really happy when she moved into her own bed. We will probably keep Cordy in with us at least until she is old enough to not need to nurse at night.

I'm not doing so well. I had a setback in my recovery yesterday when my incision started bleeding. It's not supposed to do that. I called the midwife and she said I am doing too much, I should take it easy. I have been reduced to pretty much invalid status; all I do is sit and nurse the baby. Blake tends to me and does housework. It's weird and annoying, but I have been reading a lot. I think I might have gotten better today, if it hadn't been for the trip down to the doctor. Hopefully tomorrow I can sit all day and I will improve more.


Cordelia Margaret Winton Brown was born on Tuesday, September 27th at 4:28 pm. She weighed 9 pounds, 11 ounces. Here is the completed birth story, and pictures.

I am sorry it has taken me so long to update -- having two children reduces your spare time to absolutely none -- even less than you thought you had before.