Bassinets, Bums, Breasts, and Other Things


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.

But also-sad.

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.

The Bum

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.

The Boobs

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.

Other Things

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.


24 thoughts on “Bassinets, Bums, Breasts, and Other Things

  1. This is Week 5 for us. Emerson refuses to sleep in her bassinet AT ALL (even when she used to) without being on top of the nursing pillow (that’s donut shaped). The past few days have turned into something else – She won’t fall asleep unless we’re holding her or she’s laying on one of our chests. While I love being close to her, I also enjoy my sleep. The pediatrician told us that weeks 5-6 are fussy ones, and so far, he’s been right. All of this is to say, enjoy things while you can because they may not stay that way. I’m so glad to hear that things are going well for you! ❤ I'm sorry to hear about some of the difficulties – esp. regarding poop, etc.

  2. I am so glad you got her to latch! The pain does subside. Just keep going!

    Do your pump flanges fit correctly? Pumping is never the same as baby but I found it was more comfortable when I got smaller flange. (I’m Itty bitty but size can make it hurt in either direction)

  3. Have you seen the super swaddle? It’s a double swaddle but you do something a little different with the inside blanket. Good vids on YouTube. There is No breaking out of it! My guys loves a good swaddle 🙂 And he’s a tub bath fan too. Hated the expensive little baby tub. Screamed the whole time! But loves the real tub 🙂

  4. Yikes!! Sorry you’re having such bum issues, I really hope it gets better soon! Sounds like you’re managing fairly well though. At least you’re figuring out things that work for her and you. Congrats on the weight loss as well!

  5. Happy 17th bday to Charlie!!! I wish I’d have known you were suffering in the bum department, I have some gut issues that lead to chronic constipation if I don’t monitor like a hawk. I find stool softeners and magnesium citrate (it’s a natural muscle relaxer) work well with each other. Natural calm is the best brand.

      • I really wanted probiotics to work for me. I even made my own sauerkraut, kefir, super strong yogurt and sprouted breads – for me it lead to more gastro discomfort and gas. Other people swear by it though, so maybe it could be the ticket for you?

      • Ugh-what you just described sounds awful in multiple ways. I don’t know why it’s still so slow. I haven’t taken pain killers since day four, and I’ve been religious about the softeners. I’ve even been bad and not taking my prenatals because I know the iron can make things worse :-/

      • Iron is the devil! I once went two weeks without a bowel movement because I had an infusion of iron. It was the most awful two weeks of my life. People would be talking to me about something else, something entirely non poop related like gardening, but I was so obsessed I’d respond like, “what? No, I haven’t had a bowel movement yet!” It became a big joke with my gfs because I was so distracted.

        Progesterone throws me off a lot so that’s how I learned about the magnesium citrate for the really bad times!

  6. Sorry you were having some issues, but I loved reading that you are all doing so well now. Your advice is right on!

  7. Sorry to hear about the issues you have going… particularly the bum one, oh man that sounds so painful! I have had some horrid times with that sort of thing and I don’t wish that on my worst enemy. It is interesting that a couple of people have said the pain is worse than birth, because I have literally thought during those times ‘OMG birth is worse than this??? I am totally having drugs’ hahaha. Prune it up my dear, I hope everything calms down for you. Do you guys have All Bran over there? All Bran, prunes and banana for breakfast would be a good start to your day fibre wise 🙂

  8. Thank you for so openly sharing your experiences as a new mommy — the good, the bad, and the poopy! It’s nice to hear what lies ahead from someone in the thick of it. It’s a nice dose of reality but still so full of all the joy. Can’t wait to hear (and see!) more of you and Charlie!

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