Lila’s First Christmas – Six Week Growth Spurt

The past week has been lovely, wonderful and exhausting all at the same time. We hosted Luke’s family for Christmas and it was soooo nice having them here. His parents and sister flew in from Indiana and his brother already lives here. This Christmas was made even more special because it was the first time Luke’s parents and sister met Lila.

Despite all the craziness of having a newborn, it was important to me to get the house decorated for Christmas. Luke and his brother even went out into the national forest and cut down our Christmas tree (don’t worry, this is allowed in Tahoe).

As part of my pregnancy nesting, I had purchased stockings, ornaments and a tree skirt made out of old coffee bags months in advance. Add in some special ornaments and a new nativity set my mom got us and our house felt so cozy.

To top off the holiday feeling, we were treated to six FEET of snow the week leading up to Christmas. We took several walks out in the neighborhood, threw some snowballs, went sledding and the boys went skiing.

We went to Christmas Eve mass and brought Lila for the first time. It was the children’s mass, which meant kids all dressed up in their holiday best, a cute play and lots of carols. I couldn’t help tear up a little during Silent Night. I looked down at Lila asleep in my arms while singing “sleep in heavenly peace” and felt such happiness. The same happiness I’m sure Mary felt while holding baby Jesus. At the end of mass, the priest called up all the babies who were having their first Christmas, so Lila made her big debut in front of everyone. :)

The next morning we opened presents and just as we were finishing our Christmas day lunch of prime rib, baked apples, brussel sprouts and mint cheesecake, Lila starting fussing. She didn’t stop being upset and suddenly wanted to nurse around the clock. That day, I nursed her in total nine hours! She finally passed out at 3am, only to sleep four hours before she was up crying and rooting again.

After going through her three week growth spurt, I recognized the signs immediately – her six week growth spurt had started with a vengeance. For three days straight our sweet girl was replaced with an inconsolable, hungry little bear. Luckily Luke was home from work and we had eager grandparents here to help rock, soothe, change, burp and comfort her while I focused on keeping my energy and nutrition up to meet her feeding demands.

It’s easy to get really frustrated during these periods and question your abilities as a mother. Am I producing enough milk for her? Why am I not able to soothe her? Is there something wrong with her? But of course, she was just doing what she was supposed to do, build up my milk supply and continue to grow into a healthy little girl.

Just like clockwork, after three days, she calmed down and our sweet girl returned. Yesterday she hardly cried at all, gave us some of her first smiles and slept eight hours through the night without a peep. And I can tell she did her job – my supply has increased a lot.

So while this Christmas was very special in a lot of ways, it was also quite stressful for this first time mom. I am glad we pulled through this last growth spurt and that we had the love and support of Luke’s family. Here’s hoping Lila can keep up this whole sleeping-through-the-night thing and show us more of those gummy smiles.