Look! I’m here! My baby is sleeping IN HER BASSINET RIGHT NEXT TO ME.
I’m actually ridiculously sad about this. This is night two of her sleeping peacefully. Well, I mean she wakes up every three hours to eat, but that’s normal. But my point is this: it’s already starting to feel like she doesn’t need me. And I know, I should be happy about her newfound, 17 day old independence. And I am.
It took the right combination of things. They are as follows:
1. Bathtime. Charlie LOVES a tub bath. Those sponge baths we were doing before the cord fell off? Not so much. But she loves to wiggle herself down into the warm water and let it all hang out.
2. Meal time. Charlie LOVES a boob. I usually sing to her or read to her, just depending. I also have the lights turned down very low to signal that it’s sleep time.
3. Double swaddle. Oh man, you guys-the double swaddle is miraculous. It’s the only swaddle she can’t break out of. She gets SO upset when I’m wrapping her up, but as soon as I pick her up and start to rock her those eyes get heavy.
4. Here’s where people are going to gasp at my rule breaking: I have her wedged in the bassinet with rolled up blankets. I KNOW. But for goodness sakes, they even did this at the hospital. I have them WAY far down so they’re nowhere near her face, and I’m hoping I can eliminate them in a week or so when she’s used to sleeping on her own.
So anyway, that is our magic combination of sleepytime. Happy Sad.
I wanted to talk about a few things that I think those of you who are getting close to having your own bundles should know. Prepare for frankness.
I’m not sure I can adequately describe how unpleasant bum issues have been since labor.
I knew to request stool softeners in the hospital, and I did. But I was in post easy-labor glow stage and I guess I didn’t stay on top of how many I should be taking per day. When I got home to look at my own bottle I discovered I’d probably been taking about 1/6 of how much I should have been taking. Still, I wasn’t too worried yet. I had had an easy labor, like I said. Very little tearing.
But that wasn’t the problem.
The problem was that the narcotic pain killers plus the epidural had completely slowed my digestive system, and I didn’t have a bowel movement for four days. I gave birth on Tuesday, and pooped for the first time on Saturday. While my MIL was visiting.
At that point I was still EPing because we hadn’t fixed the latch yet, so I had excused myself to our bedroom to pump anyway, but nature called so I bucked up my bravery and went to the bathroom. And stayed there for at least 30 minutes.
The poo was, quite literally, stuck.
I pushed harder and about ten times longer to have that bowel movement than I did to have my DAUGHTER. And since I’d been home I’d been taking the stool softeners.
They were not enough. THEY WERE NOT ENOUGH. It hurt, very very much. Very much. Honestly, there are not enough very’s in the world.
So since then I’ve been dealing with healing hemmies. Things are finally starting to get better, but over two weeks later and I’m still chowing down on prunes and stool softeners. I’m sort of afraid to stop.
So please, for the love of your bum, take the pills. Eat the prunes. Chug the water and eat your veggies. You’ll thank me later.
I think as far as the boobs go things could be worse, but I’ll be honest-it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
I love breastfeeding my daughter. SO MUCH MORE than I love pumping. I couldn’t handle pumping 8-12 times a day, and if we hadn’t gotten her latch fixed we’d probably be doing formula by now and just going to the poorhouse over it. In less than a week I probably talked to Chief about quitting the pumping ten-fifteen times. He was on board with whatever I wanted, but ultimately I decided every day that I wouldn’t decide anything until we talked to the LC.
I saw the LC the Monday after Charlie was born, and with a nipple shield she got her to latch immediately. Then she switched her to the other breast and I got her to latch on my own. All in thirty minutes. And at the end, she’d gained 1.5 ounces in breast milk. I honestly only went to the LC so that I could say I had tried everything before I gave up.
I am extremely happy it worked out, but it was nice to have Chief helping me with feedings at night. And the LC said we could start giving her a bottle occasionally after a week of EBF. And pretty soon we need to so that she’ll be okay with them when she goes to daycare, but for some reason I’m having a hard time pulling the trigger on it. For one thing, I’ll still need to pump whatever feeding she’s getting a bottle on. And for another thing…..I just don’t want to.
Don’t get me wrong, at least once a day I think “Man, I wish someone else could feed this baby” but ultimately, it’s the one thing that only I can do for her, and I selfishly don’t want to give it up.
Here’s some real truth though: my left nipple hates breast feeding. It hated pumping too. There’s nothing wrong with it that I can see. It’s not cracked or bleeding. I ice it. I use moist heat on it. I apply lanolin between feedings. It waxes and wanes with pain. Sometimes there’s hardly any. And it always stops after let down occurs-it’s only in the initial latch that it hurts. But man does it hurt-that first thirty seconds or so. Right side never hurts. Not even a little. Right side is my friend.
I love/hate the shield. We have to start weaning her off of it in a week or so and I think that will be hard. I’m grateful to it for helping us breastfeed. I hate having to constantly sanitize them. I have four of them so that I only have to do it a few times a day. I keep two bowls next to the bed-one full of clean shields and one for depositing dirty ones in. It’s a sophisticated system.
I have lost 28 pounds since Charlie was born and have about 12 to go. I gained a full 15 pounds more than I wanted to, but I honestly don’t care. Breastfeeding is an amazing diet plan. I’m excited to get back to working out again. I’m excited to get back to loving on my husband again too. My bladder has completely gone back to normal I’m happy to say. My mother had me afraid that it never would, because hers didn’t, but I got lucky I guess.
I’ve only had one night where I got so frustrated with being a mom that I started to cry, and that night was Wednesday. Charlie wouldn’t sleep, ate continually, and cried incessantly. After the third time I had fed her in an hour, two diaper changes and three hours of fussy crying, I finally woke Chief sobbing and asked him to please take this baby off my hands for a little while. I told him to break into my fridge stash of liquid gold if he needed to-I didn’t care. I keep two ounces in the fridge for if we go somewhere that I don’t want to publicly breastfeed, but at 3:00 am all bets were off.
Just that one night, though I know it’s far from the last.
I already feel like I want to do this all over again as soon as possible, but also like I never want to do it again because we got so damn lucky this first time that it seems impossible we would ever again. I have 9.5 weeks of maternity leave left and am already dreading daycare. Dreading it. I only have 3.5 weeks left before I need to get back to the firm, but luckily I can take her with me and fully plan to. Not to mention I only need to go in 6-7 hours a week. I’ll get back to my full ten when I go back to work fo’realzies.
That’s all for now. I’ll think of more later I’m sure. This whole parenting thing is a whole new world.