Alina's first week at home
The first week at home with Alina went quite well. After we left the hospital on Tuesday we brought her back home. We have her changing table and a bassinet in our room for now. The other room is being used as a guest room and to store her baby stuff. Once she is a little bigger, we'll move her in there and into a bigger crib.

I took off from work to help out at home, but Tatyana is the one doing all heavy lifting. Pretty much everything begins with Alina's feedings. They told us to expect 8-12 feedings per 24 hour period, and that's seems to be the rule. About every 2 1/2 to 3 hours she will get fussy and we know it's time. Of course what goes in must come out, so if she's eaten recently and is still fussy then we know to check the diapers. So far that aspect hasn't been too bad, though I understand that once solid food is in the picture it's a whole new ballgame. We did splurge on a special diaper pail since the changing table is in our room. That and some special bags have really worked.

One of the things that we were a little concerned about is Alina's weight. All babies start losing weight after they are born and then start gaining it back. Weight and poop are the two big criteria in judging a baby's health so naturally we wanted those numbers to be ok. On our one week pediatrician's appointment we were relieved to find she had gained a couple ounces since the last weigh-in so things are ok on that front as well. What's an especially nice bonus is that our pediatrician is only a block and a half away, so getting there and back isn't a half-day affair of getting the baby ready and in the car, driving, finding a parking space and so on. Just a pleasant walk up the block and voila, we're there.

As expected Baika was pretty chill with the baby. She came to sniff around the bassinet when we first put her in, and occasionally I'll catch her sniffing the couch after we've put Alina on it for a moment, but in general she has been very relaxed as we have expected. We also made it a point to keep paying attention to her so she wouldn't feel neglected. On Saturday some friends joined us for a Russian dinner prepared by Tatyana's mother. Stuffed cabbage, beet salad, eggplant caviar, and deviled eggs with cod liver. All good stuff. We got in a full meal before it was time for Alina to be fed...again. I've been told that you shouldn't really start using a bottle for about 6 weeks as if you do it too soon, then the nursing can be afected, but if you do it too late then the baby might not accept the bottle going forward.

Click here for a slideshow of pictures of baby Alina.

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