Beach Baby

This weekend we made the two-hour drive to Encinitas with Jack. It was our first major excursion and it went well, although it left Lynch and I feeling exhausted and a little overwhelmed. I think it may have been a little premature. As I move back in to the flow of regular life I find my self constantly questioning how soon is too soon? I don’t want to overwhelm Jack or myself. I feel the need to get out of the house, and then as soon as I am out I am concerned that the environment is too chaotic and I am scarring my little Home Slice for life.

There seems to be some very distinct schools of thought on postpartum normalcy. I know a lot of women who do not leave the house for 6 weeks after the baby is born. They only allow family to see the baby. They nest in, nursing, healing, bonding, massaging and eating placenta. I really see the benefit to that (joking about eating placenta aside.) Then there are those women who are all ” oh I just got back from spinning, now I am off to my rad high paying job. Here hold my latte while I adjust my super skinny jeans.” I fit in to neither of these categories.

I am in the middle, veering closer to woman number one. I think the problem lies in the fact that I want to be woman number two.  Or perhaps I am confused because society is telling me I should be woman number two and all the child rearing books and my hippy friends are telling me I should be woman number one? Clearly its confusing even this post is confusing.

I guess I just have to feel it out and pay attention to Jacks cues and my own instincts, which are currently telling me to stop over analyzing and take a nap.

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1 Month

My little home slice is 1 month old today! And what a day we have had. I left him with his Daddy for the first time. I pumped a bottle and went out for an hour while Jonathan fed him. I was scared that he would not take it, and I was scared that he would like it better than the boob, due to our struggles.  He did it, he drank the whole thing, and then we nursed after I got home.

I got my nails done while I was gone. It was so strange to be without him. I felt like I could not breathe the whole time. I told the entire nail salon that it was my first time away from my 1 month old and showed them all pictures. Even the sweet little Korean ladies who barely spoke any English. They were all really impressed that he weighed almost 10 lbs at birth.Yeah I turned in to that person.

I was so happy to see him when I got home. I feel so blessed to have this little guy. Sometimes I have to sit very still and breathe it all in, how fortunate I feel, how beautiful he is. This has been the most incredible month of my life.

Nursing

Nursing…….is not easy, no not at all. At first we had issues with our latch, before my milk had even come in. One of the reasons we choose UCLA was because we had been told that they were fully staffed with an army of lactation consultants to help us navigate. We were not able to see one until our last day, due to a lactation consultants conference they were all attending. There was only one woman to service all the Mamas in need. She was so busy she did not even watch me nurse. She looked at the huge hickeys all over my aureole and suggested that we get him a cranial sacrum message because he was traumatized from his birth ( 49 hrs and then a c-section.) Ummmm thanks?

When he was about  four old we took him to a  lactation consultant. She was so nice that I almost started crying when she said hello. She straighten our latch out and noticed that his frenulum was really tight and suggested that it should be clipped to assist his latch. We went to a pediatric surgeon and she did the procedure in office the next week. Problem solved.

I began to notice that even though my milk had been in for a few days I was still really engorged and feeling feverish. Jack began to choke at feedings, and have some tummy pain, hiccups and general fussiness. I thought maybe he had acid reflux, but he did not seem to be in as much pain as babies with reflux are in. I called the lactation consultant and she predicted that I had begun to over produce milk.

“That is better than having too little milk,” seems to be the standard response. And while that is true it is still a difficult thing. Nursing seems less like the nourishing and bonding experience that I had hoped for and more like a battle. My fire hose boobs rush the milk in his mouth with so much force that he chokes and gags. I have to take him off to burp him constantly, which makes him angry (yup my little home slice has a temper.) It makes him gassy, fussy and exhibit milder versions of most of the symptoms of babies with colic or acid reflux ( to Mothers dealing with those, hats off to you.)

There is not a whole lot to be done. I lay back to nurse to let gravity hinder the flow (which makes nursing in public entertaining and slightly gymnastic.) I nurse off one breast for multiple feedings in a row. I pump a tiny bit if it is really bad, but not so much that I produce more milk. It seems we just have to wait it out, until he is bigger or until my body settles down and produces the right amount of milk to meet his needs.

I know there are a lot far worse issues when dealing with infants, but I will be so happy when this smooths out. I look forward to a time when we can nurse calmly and sweetly  and I stop drowning my poor babe

Baby Bliss

I can’t believe that my little Home slice is 3.5 weeks old. He still seems so new to me, and our life so foreign to us. He is the most beautiful little guy. It is strange to see all 11 lbs of him, so rosy and healthy and realize he is the little being that poked around inside me for 9 months, whose heart beat use to worry me constantly. Now he is my little son whose cries or coos dictate the swell or stress of my heart.