7 weeks

We just can’t catch a break. Seriously.

So, a couple weeks ago, we got Zantac for little G’s reflux. Well, a few days after starting the Zantac, he started having really bad diarrhea poops. The pediatrician said it was very likely NOT related to the Zantac, but was just a stomach bug. Well, it hasn’t gone away, and in fact got worse with some green liquid poops (not watery, I’m talking straight up liquid). And I called on Wednesday because I was worried about him, so we went in on Thursday for a visit and… he’s not gaining any weight. He hadn’t gained anything from week 4 to now. To explain how bad this is, he should have gained about a pound in that time period. That’s 10% of his weight. Well, they freaked out, and had me basically force feeding him around the clock from Thursday to Saturday morning. When we had a recheck on Saturday, he’d actually LOST weight. Lost 1.5oz. Not much, I know, but scary. He weighed less than he did when he was 4 weeks old.

I didn’t really get any good answers. They haven’t said that the diarrhea is the cause. They don’t even pay attention to the Zantac. They had me pumping and bottle feeding to make sure I have the supply and he’s eating enough. It was awful. Kid hates bottles and pumping is a pain in the ass. But I’m pretty sure he’s eating enough, and I pumped way more than he ate, so it’s not that…

They also tested for blood in his poop, and it came back positive.

One pediatrician said that it means he has a Milk (and possibly Soy) Protein Intolerance, which is the protein present in dairy (but not in human milk). It’s a malabsorption problem. His intestines are so irritated by the milk protein (which he gets because I have dairy in my diet), which acts kind of like an allergen with his body attacking the protein, that he can’t get nutrition from my milk. It would explain the fussiness, gassiness, mucousy poops, blood in his poop and, most importantly, the weight loss. So I’m on a strict dairy-free diet. This pediatrician said not to bother avoiding soy, even though the proteins are very similar.

One different pediatrician kept coming back to me possibly having low supply. She said that if he was getting enough milk and still not gaining weight, we’d have a “real problem”. I guess she didn’t think the milk protein intolerance was real enough? And she kind of didn’t bother with the bloody poop or anything else, just the lack of weight gain. She still said for me to avoid milk and soy.

I wish we could just get consistent guidance, but we see someone different every visit. In the absence of that guidance, I’ve decided to stop the Zantac. We can deal with the reflux. So I stopped that on Saturday, and he’s been fine. We just keep him upright for 20 minutes after he eats and he sleeps at an incline, which we were doing anyway. And I’m avoiding dairy and soy. The two intolerances are so close to each other that it’s not worth the risk to my son’s health to eat soy just in case he doesn’t react to it. I’ll add it back in sometime down the line to test it, after he starts gaining weight again. And I’m still feeding him on a strict schedule. Not to say I will avoid feeding him if it “isn’t time” yet, but even if he’s not acting hungry, I offer every two hours and I wake him up every three hours at night. I’m exhausted, but I can deal with it if it means making my son healthy. We go for another recheck on Tuesday morning (when he will officially be 7 weeks old) and I’m terrified that he will have lost more weight.

So what am I not eating? Well, my dad was in town this weekend and he brought a dozen donuts for breakfast. I can’t have donuts. He got my favorite pizza for dinner, which I couldn’t eat because of the cheese and dough. He got wings for dinner the next day… those are made with butter. I can’t have chocolate or bread or pasta or most prepackaged foods. What can I have? Well, I just ate a plain hamburger with rice. I can have baked potatoes (no butter, cheese or sour cream though!) I eat eggs for breakfast, but have to cook them with olive oil instead of butter. I can’t have much, and it makes eating with a baby around even harder because all “convenience” foods have dairy and soy. But earlier I had some Oreos, which it turns out have no real ingredients other than sugar, so it’s not all bad.

I’ve been off dairy and soy for just over a week now (I started before he was diagnosed on the advice of a friend whose daughter had the exact same symptoms and diagnosis) so I’m hoping he starts improving very soon.

 

In other news, there’s a milk-drunk baby passed out on my couch like a little old man with a combover. I love that baby so much it’s insane. I don’t like him sometimes still, but the amount of love is unfathomable. What else is new?

* I applied for a job doing procurement/supply chain management for the state government last week. I didn’t think I had a chance, since I don’t have any supply chain experience, but I really want to do it (I’d love to start in government, work for 10 years til my loans went away, then go into the private sector as an expert and make the big bucks). All other applications I’ve ever put in have had the status “application received” or “under review”. I’ve never seen anything different in years of applying for government jobs. Well, this one says “most qualified”. I don’t know if that means much, since I haven’t been contacted for an interview, but I’m cautiously optimistic.

* He’s definitely giving social smiles lately. When my dad came to visit, as soon as he got out of the car, G looked at him and gave a huge smile. It melted my heart, and I’m so glad my dad got that.

* I might have freaked out at my in laws this weekend. It was in the middle of a 24 hour pump/bottle feed session, which is insanely difficult. I had to pump before I could feed him and then bottle feed him (which he hates) so I could record his intake. I can’t really care for him while I’m pumping, and everyone else was eating (hot wings, so they couldn’t exactly hold him either) and I put off feeding him to show hospitality and allow my husband to entertain… well, when I tried to tell everyone to leave at a certain time, and that time came and they were lingering over coffee on the couch and I hadn’t pumped yet and my baby was crying with hunger? Well, I flipped out and gave everyone five minutes to be out of my house. I’m pretty sure I offended everyone, but to be honest, I consider myself to be reasonable and them to be inexcusably rude. My baby was HUNGRY. And crying burns calories! I’m still angry with them. I wrote my mother in law an email explaining what was going on, and letting her know that I was trying to put hospitality and their feelings first, but that I would never put grown adult’s feelings before my son’s needs again. Ever again.

* He’s also starting to make little noises. Not babbling exactly, but he has learned how to coo and he makes this weird noise by breathing in and squealing a bit. I love it. It’s so funny. Every time he does, my husband and I both echo his noise, no matter where we are. I can be holding him in the living room and my husband is on his computer, and he makes the noise and my husband and I will both coo back.

* We’re still both being treated for thrush. I finally got a prescription for him (after his thrush was missed by three different pediatricians, even after I asked, and was only caught by the lactation consultant) and I hate it… it’s sticky and stains everything, but hopefully it works.

* I’m back to sleeping on the couch because I have an alarm set for every few hours to try to force feed him. Sucks.

* I gave my parents a picture frame with “I love grandma and grandpa” and a picture of G in it. They both loved it. I also got a metal ornament with a picture of my husband and G on it. He might have teared up a bit when he opened it.

5 – 6 weeks

My god I’m tired.

Monday night we decided to move little G into his own room. I’m tired of sleeping on the couch. I miss sleeping in a real bed next to my husband. We tried once before to cosleep (same room, not same bed) with the kiddo in the bedroom, but he’s so screamy that my husband couldn’t sleep. So it was back to the couch for me. Well, after two nights of babe sleeping in his own room… I’m f’ing exhausted. It’s nice because we have a very comfortable bed, and we got a video monitor as well as a separate sound monitor. It’s not nice because I have to get up multiple times a night, go to a different room, nurse, burp, hold babe upright for 20 minutes because of reflux, get him back down and hope he stays asleep long enough for me to catch a few minutes of sleep myself. And since I have the sound monitor in the room with us, I’m back to square one with trying to keep him quiet enough not to keep my husband awake all night. It’s not entirely working.

You see, he makes noise. In his sleep. He’ll squawk or gasp or fuss a bit. And I can hear it over the monitor, but it doesn’t mean I need to go in there. He usually settles himself just fine. Every once in a while, I have to settle him without nursing, but for the most part, he’ll sleep until the next time he’s hungry again. (Well, that used to be the case anyway… not Tuesday night, when I had to get up every hour to soothe him again, but whatever, it’s not like I need sleep ever.)

Update: I started writing this on Wednesday. It’s Friday and we’re back to cosleeping. Not in the same bed, but in the same room. The change is that he’s in the Rock & Play beside the bed in my bedroom, instead of me being on the couch in the living room. It worked out okay last night and the night before. I’m not hopeful, though. I never get hopeful because if I do, he teaches me a lesson about the fragility of hope.

Update 2: He’s been diagnosed with acid reflux. This was actually at his last appointment, and then I called the day after to get a prescription for baby Zantac. I can still hear him having reflux, but he doesn’t make the pain face and scream anymore. I mean, he screams, but it’s not because of acid. In the past few days, he’s started having really smelly, watery, mucousy poops (gross, I know, but if you have a baby you sort of get used to the idea of talking about poop) and I thought it was a side effect of the Zantac. I called the pediatrician and she said that while it’s a possibility, it’s a pretty remote one and it’s more likely that he just has a regular old stomach bug giving him diarrhea. So he’s five and a half weeks old and we’ve already dealt with mastitis, thrush, a cold, acid reflux and now a stomach bug. We don’t even go out! I have no idea how he keeps catching stuff!

The reflux is mostly handled with the Zantac, but it wears off an hour or two before his next dose. I can always tell when it’s worn off because he starts making the pain face. Like, in between doses, I can still hear him refluxing (is that a word? I mean, I can hear when stomach contents start coming up, even though he rarely spits up, it comes halfway up and then goes back down) but it doesn’t hurt him. About an hour or two before his next dose, I’ll hear him reflux, then he arches his back and makes the pain face. Sometimes he starts crying. It’s heartbreaking really, to know that he’s in pain.

What’s new?

* He smiled for the first time sometime in week 5. I don’t remember the exact day because all my days kind of run together. But he saw my husband’s face and just burst into the biggest smile! He likes to follow my husband’s face with his eyes. He doesn’t really look at me. I guess maybe because I’m kind of a fixture in his life, almost like furniture. I don’t mean that in a bad way. I’m just always here. So when he sees my husband’s face, it’s new and exciting. He hasn’t really had a real smile since then. I’m not entirely convinced that was a real one, to be honest. But the timing was perfect and the smile was so bright and lovely.

* We’ve figured out how to get him to nap in the swing without flopping over… swaddling! I swaddle just his arms, so his legs are still out and I can buckle him in. He’ll sleep for at least half an hour in the swing now, and if I put him in there while he’s sleepy but awake, it’ll lull him to sleep so I don’t have to nurse or rock him myself every time. It’s so much easier than having him on me all the time.

* We’ve also figured out how to give me a break so I can eat! The bouncy chair! The same one that I’ve been using when I shower… he likes it enough that he’ll sit in it while I eat!

* So many baby holders, I know I need to put him on his tummy more. He cries the whole time if I do, though, so I still trick him into tummy time by putting him on my chest and leaning way back so he’s supporting his own head. I also hold him upright a lot so he can support his own head that way, and I’ve started trying to drape him over pillows and other things so he doesn’t realize he’s on his tummy.

* He looked at a book while I read it to him! My husband got a picture of it. I don’t know if he was really paying attention to the book, but I had a good time talking to him about it and he seemed to look right at it. He seems to be watching things a lot more often lately. Looking at them instead of just zoning out. He follows movement by turning his head to keep looking at it.

* I ordered some 0-3 month clothes and they fit him! I’ve officially packed away all of his newborn onesies. So sad. It’s hard for me to look at photos of him from a month ago and remember how tiny he was. He’s still tiny, even though he feels huge in my arms. He already does things differently. Like, when he was brand new, when he would nurse, he’d sort of make what we called the “attack face” and open his mouth really wide while wrinkling his nose and raising his eyebrows. I’m so glad we got a video of it, because he doesn’t do it at all anymore!

* He screamed for four hours last night, and wouldn’t stay asleep for longer than 20 minutes. Until midnight or so hit, and then he did his usual sleep for 3.5 hours, then 2 hours, 2 hours, 2 hours, 1 hour routine. I got a bit of sleep, but just knowing that I probably have to have that fight again tonight is … scary almost. I’m having a good bit of anxiety about it. I don’t ever want another kid, and I want to remember how incredibly difficult this is so I’m never tempted to have another. I’m pretty sure he’s more difficult than the average baby. I mean, I know babies are hard, but I think this isn’t normal.

Hm.. what else do I want to remember? I guess the one thing I can think of now that might change soon is the way he cries. Right now, he’ll turn his little face up and poke out his little lips into the most perfect pout you’ve ever seen. Then he will cough, cough, cough, cough, a little higher in pitch every time, then finally he’ll let out a big “ewwwwwwaaaahhhh!” It’s so cliche, it’s comical. The perfect little baby “wah”, with the trembling lower lip that he pokes way out/up. I don’t like when he cries, but it’s adorable to watch his pout.

Anyway. I love my baby bear, my sweet little sugarlump, but he’s a real shit sometimes. I have to remind myself constantly that he’s not trying to give me a hard time… he’s having a hard time and crying (and angry high pitched SCREAMING) is the only way he can communicate it to me.

1 month

If you had asked me a few weeks ago whether or not I thought we’d make it to 1 month alive and healthy, I’d probably have told you no. This has been the hardest month of my life. I’ve dealt with my mother staying with us for a week (possibly the hardest part of the past month), mastitis, thrush, sleep deprivation to the extent that I wouldn’t have believed possible, and just lately, ridiculous high pitched screaming at all hours of the day and night. Oh, and bodily fluids. I’ve been cried on, sneezed on, barfed on, peed on and pooped on, all in just the last day.

But we made it. We had G’s 1 month checkup this morning. At his 2 week checkup, he was:

9lb 1oz (70%)
21.25 inches (85%)
36.4 cm head circ (70%)

Now, at 1 month:

10lb 9.5oz (70%)
22.75 inches (94%!)
38 cm head circ (72%)

How crazy is that? It’s no wonder he’s outgrown all his newborn clothes… he’s not terribly chunky, but he’s so tall! (I told my husband that I know percentiles don’t work this way, but I can’t help but want to aim for 100… those 70’s are taunting me with their average-ness. I think it’s the overachiever in me.)

He got his second Hep B shot today. Next visit is a month from now, and it’s the big vaccination visit. I’m a little nervous about that one, because it’s not uncommon for babies to have reactions after. I know I usually feel grouchy and a little flu-like after I get my flu shot, so I imagine he might react that way, too.

Last night I got about 5 hours of sleep (split into three shorter naps). I feel almost refreshed. Now we just have to make it to 2 months, alive and healthy. We’ll see.

4 weeks

How has it been 4 whole weeks since I met this little person who has changed my entire world forever? How has it already been 4 weeks? How has it only been 4 weeks?

The first time we left the house after getting home from the hospital was the Friday after he was born. We had to make a trip about 30 minutes into the city to go to the pediatrician’s office for the first time. It was so surreal. We pulled into the parking lot and there were people working on the landscaping around the building. Just… shoveling mulch and walking around and going on with their every day as if everything hadn’t just changed forever. It was so weird to see life going on as usual, when my entire world had … just… I mean… it hadn’t just changed. Everything was the same, but so different that it was insane to think that it hadn’t changed for some people. The whole world was different.

It’s been like that for 4 weeks now. How is that possible? My new normal. I sleep in 2-3 hour shifts for around 6 hours daily. I feed a person with juice from my nipples (and he’s THRIVING.) He’s my first thought all the time. I can’t believe 4 weeks and 1 day ago, I’d never smelled the top of his head (baby heads smell ah-mazing) or his sweet breath (baby breath smells amazing, too). I’d never seen his eyes or the way he sleep-smiles. I can’t believe it was so recently that I’d never kissed his feet or his fingers, and I can’t believe that it’s been so long since he was brand new.

He outgrew a couple of his outfits already. I tried to put his Halloween costume on him yesterday (it’s black skeleton footie pajamas!) and they wouldn’t even pull all the way up. He was several inches too long for them… how did he grow so much in just two weeks? The outfit we brought him home in, too. He’s too big for it. I had to pack away a few of his new outfits and get out some 0-3 month stuff.

I might have cried a little.

I want him to grow, but every day is bittersweet. I’m so tired most days that I’m worried I’ll forget all these things. I’m worried I’ll wake up tomorrow and he’ll be a little boy, then a teenager, then an adult, and I won’t have any idea where all the time went. Just like the last 4 weeks. How did it go so fast?

What has week 4 brought us? Other than an overly sentimental mama, that is.

* Thrush. Mastitis is gone, and thrush has taken its place. TMI my nipples are so itchy that I want to cut them off. There’s itching and burning pain, stabbing, piercing pain when he eats. It’s seriously miserable. I’m washing everything in vinegar and hot water every day and I have a prescription cream that I have to pick up today… insurance doesn’t cover it and it costs $100. OMG. What if I couldn’t afford it? I’d have to live with this itch? I’d die. And G’s pediatrician won’t treat him because there are no visible patches of thrush in his mouth. I KNOW he has it… he’s the little shit who transferred it from my left boob to my right one (so now both are miserable). If I get rid of it, and he still has it, he’ll just give it to me again. We see the pediatrician on Friday for his 1 month visit (aaahhhhh) so I’m hoping they will help me then.

* He’s discovered his tongue in the past week or so. He doesn’t poke it out as much as he will just play with it in his mouth. And he makes “chewing” movements, too, which is funny. He has no idea what chewing is.

* He’s progressed to holding his head up for a while during tummy time, but he’s also progressed to whining and crying within seconds of being set on his tummy. I’m trying to trick him into it by holding him on my chest and making him have tummy time that way. We need some head control already, floppy head babies are boring!

* I finished the entire How I Met Your Mother series in under 4 weeks while nursing and watching him sleep to make sure he doesn’t stop breathing (what, I can’t be the only new mom who does this). Everyone was right. That ending was f’ign stupid. Seriously. I’m pretending I never saw the last stupid episode.

* It’s worth it. Having this baby, the shittiness of pregnancy, the SPD, the heartburn and insomnia and mood swings. The contractions and the two hours of pushing. The pain of recovery. The sleep deprived breakdowns. My current inability to eat anything because I don’t want to disturb the baby sleeping in my lap… it’s finally worth it. When did that switch flip? I’m not sure. But I don’t just love this little guy, I like him too. And I need him. I’ve never… I didn’t know you could love something this much.

* Still, sometimes it sucks. Yesterday, I had to put him down and walk away for a while because he wouldn’t stop screaming no matter how much I tried to soothe him, and it was either that or lose my mind. (Note, I went and got a drink of water and when I came back a minute later, he stopped crying as soon as I picked him up. Apparently he was screaming for no reason whatsoever, except that he thinks screaming is awesome.)

3 weeks

So what did week 3 of life bring us? Mastitis. That’s what it brought. You have no idea. On Wednesday, I felt a little off while we were breastfeeding. I thought maybe Lil G had a bad latch or something, and I kept pulling him off and making him relatch, but there was pain anyway. We nursed through it, then he went to sleep for a good 4.5 hours. 4.5 HOURS guys! When he woke up, I put him on the other boob, and he nursed just fine and then went back to sleep for another 2-3 hours. When I woke up again… the pain. Oh my god THE PAIN. My left boob was rock hard and the amount of pain was just… indescribable. And this is from someone who just went through LABOR.

I ended up nursing through the pain, but I was shaking and crying the whole time. When my husband woke up for work, I asked him to bring me a thermometer. I kept checking my temperature, and over the course of an hour, it shot up two degrees before settling back down (half an hour after 600 mg of ibuprofen, which didn’t even touch the pain but helped with the crazy fever). I had chills and was sweating and shaking. The pain was just OMG THE PAIN. But everything on the internet said I had to nurse through it and get the hard spots out, so I did. Shaking, crying, sweating, shivering and cursing the day I decided to breastfeed. I decided to give up on breastfeeding that morning. I decided to cut my left boob off. It was that painful.

My husband went to work and luckily my little guy slept, because I was not in any condition to care for him. I just nursed him every time I could, and ratcheted up the heat close to 80 degrees and covered myself with every blanket I could find (I was so f’ing cold) and just shivered and cried for a few hours. By the time the pediatrician’s lactation consultant got back to me, I’d gotten the lumps out and my fever was down, but I was still horror-struck by the pain. I still am, almost a week later. I’m terrified it’ll happen again.

Anyway. I’m on antibiotics now and on a strict pumping/nursing regimen. I feel better, but I’m so worried it’ll happen again.

What else happened this week?

* The rest of little G’s belly button finally came off. He has the cutest little innie now.

* We got through one more week of life (and sleep deprivation).

* I bought a Fisher Price Rock n Play so maybe he can nap in it during the day so we can be upstairs or downstairs without having to lug the Pack and Play around. I’m not sure how I like it yet. He rests really well in it and doesn’t need the swaddle because he doesn’t really flail his arms around or startle, but the way it cradles his head, his chin rests a little too close to his chest. I don’t think I’ll trust it for long sleeps, just naps when I’m also awake. At least until he has more head control.

* G outgrew the newborn size diapers and he’s wearing size 1 now. A little bittersweet… he’s growing, which is good because it means he’s doing well and the faster he grows, the sooner he will be sleeping longer and hopefully be interacting with us a little (he’s kind of this nonresponsive lump right now) but sad because he’s only 3 weeks old and he’s already so different from when he was born.

* He used to have this sort of soft fat layer under all his skin. Like, when I would kiss his forehead, it was kind of squishy with fat. It’s not anymore. Just skin over bone now. I wonder how many other little things have changed that I haven’t noticed because I see him every day.

* We’ve started doing tummy time. He doesn’t hate it, but doesn’t really like it either. I hope he gets some head control soon so we can start having fun on the floor.

* G’s still stuffed up from his cold, but he seems to be getting better. I’m not worried about fever anymore, and I’m glad we dodged that this time. Hopefully we make it through the next few months with no more sickness for either of us.

 

2 weeks

Well, little G is officially two weeks (and one day) old. Here’s what’s going on lately:

* He has his first cold. How? I have no idea. It’s not like we’re out and about, letting germy people touch him. I can only guess we picked it up at the pediatrician’s office, because it’s the only place he’s gone. Either that, or my husband picked it up at work because they’re both sick. G has a stuffy nose and junky-sounding lungs. He’s not really coughing, but he is having trouble nursing and sleeping because the stuffy nose. Me? I’m fine, apparently the cold passed me by. Just exhausted because G has decided that he cannot sleep unless he’s upright and strapped to my chest. A few times a day, I use the Nosefrida snot sucker to suck the snot out of his tiny nose. It works really really well… but I seriously gag every time I use it. Like, I have to concentrate pretty hard on not barfing on the baby, every single time I use it. The other lifesaving thing I’ve got going right now is the Baby K’tan. I (somewhat optimistically) said I’d review it in depth after the baby was here, but I severely overestimated the amount of free time (and well rested brain cells) I’d have available. So a short review – I like it because it keeps him safely strapped to me so I can do things like type or eat, since he cannot abide being put down right now (poor sick baby) and it’s easy to use since I don’t have to actually wrap or tie anything. I dislike it because the fabric is really thick and it’s quite hot. We both end up a little sweaty. And the fabric has enough stretch that after wearing it for a while, he’s a little loose in there, and since there are no ties, I can’t just tighten it. I really really wish I could have a Solly Baby Wrap. I’ve heard good things, they seem quite lightweight and they’re seriously pretty, but I can’t justify the expense since I already have a wrap-style carrier. Maybe I’ll ask for one for Christmas. :)

* Before the cold hit, he actually slept for 4.5 hours in a row one night. He’s back down to around 2-3 hours asleep and then waking up congested and whining (or screaming) but I’m hopeful for when the cold’s over.

* The only reason he’s sleeping at all is because a very dear friend basically saved all of our lives by dropping off some things for us to use. The first is a Boppy pillow. I don’t use it for nursing. Instead, we have it inside his pack and play, covered with a stretchy Aden + Anais swaddle blanket (seriously LOVE these, they’re so super versatile) to make a sort of baby lounging donut/hammock thing. We swaddle him in a Summer Infant SwaddleMe velcro swaddle thing, pretty tightly, and then lay him on his back on top of the Boppy donut. First of all, yes, I know the recommendation to lay him flat on his back in a bassinet/crib with nothing else in there with him, or else he’ll probably die of SIDS or suffocation. I know the recommendation, and I swore up and down that I would follow it religiously. That was until day 5 of absolutely NO sleep, when I had a breakdown and started just sobbing and sobbing because, hello, I hadn’t slept in almost a week, during which I pushed a human from my nethers and honestly needed some recovery time. Now, he sleeps well on top of the Boppy for a few hours at a time, and wakes only when he’s hungry or has a dirty diaper. (Note for the future, since this is the sort of thing I’ll probably forget: The friend who dropped off the Boppy and swaddles has two daughters. What this means is that every night, my sweet son goes to sleep in a bright pink swaddle with polka dots on it. I accidentally think of him as “her” sometimes late at night because of all the pink.)

* Yesterday morning, little G was strapped to my chest with the K’tan and I needed to poop. So I decided to leave him on my chest and just go. While I was pooping, he decided it sounded like a good idea so he started pooping too. We had a simultaneous pooping party. (I’ve since decided not to do this anymore, and put him in the bouncy chair in the bathroom and run the shower for the steam while I do my thing.)

* I’ve been taking his temperature every time I change his diaper since a fever in a small baby can be devastating. Did you know that when you stick something in a baby’s butthole, it has a laxative effect? I found that out yesterday when we went through THREE diapers in the course of a single 10 minute long diaper change.

* 90% of my awake time is spent dealing with or thinking about poop. Motherhood. It’s so beautiful.

 

And in other news… I love this little human so much that it’s overwhelming sometimes. I would give my life for his. I’d give your life for his, too. I’d sacrifice everything for him. But I still don’t like him a lot of the time. And it’s very weird for me to think of his as “mine”. My baby. My child. So weird. My husband and I were sitting in the living room last night talking about how it still seems surreal that he belongs to us. Like, I’m still half waiting for his parents to show up and give me $20 for watching him and then send me on my way back to my real life. I think this is also a side effect of the sleep deprivation. Nothing seems quite “real” ever.

I’m also still waiting for it to be “worth it”. So many people will have a baby and then immediately talk about how pregnancy and labor were soooo hard, but this little face makes it all worth it. I think that’s bullshit. It’s not worth it yet. Maybe when he’s more than a brain stem attached to a body. When he has a personality trait that isn’t either “asleep” or “screaming”. Maybe when he first purposely smiles at me. I don’t know. But I do know that it’s not worth it yet, and I definitely don’t want to do it ever again. I love him, but life is so much harder than it ever was without him and it’s just honestly not worth it yet. Hopefully soon. Hopefully he’ll get over his cold, and I’ll be able to sleep in my own bed (I’m still on the couch because of how erratic his sleeping is, and I don’t want to keep my husband up all night since he has to work) and hopefully it’ll all be worth it sometime soon.

1 week postpartum

This is so much more difficult than I ever imagined it would be.

My mom is here helping with the cooking, but having someone else in the house is very hard. She watches the baby when I shower, but I do almost all of the baby care still. I feel like I have to entertain her and she has let me know over and over how bored she is, so I have a hard time napping during the day. I’m the sole person on night shift, since my husband has gone back to work, and I spend all my time trying to make sure his crying doesn’t wake anyone, so I sleep almost not at all. I’m so tired that my body hurts. I have stomach upsets every day and I know I need to eat more to breastfeed successfully, but I just feel so sick all the time.

I had a breakdown on Friday night. I just cried and cried, I was so tired. He wouldn’t sleep on his back, but everyone says that if you sleep with him or let him sleep in any other position than flat on his back, he’ll basically just die. I was having weird micro-sleeps where I’d go into an incredibly deep sleep for a minute or so with the baby in my arms. This is a very bad situation, because it was on the couch or the recliner… now THAT really is dangerous. I was worried I’d kill my baby or ruin him in some way.

I have a very dear friend who helped me. She dropped off some swaddles and a boppy. Now, he sleeps in the pack and play on top of the boppy… and he sleeps. And he’s surviving just fine. He sleeps well during the day, but not very well at night. We try to be active in the daytime and very quiet at night, to flip his schedule. Right now I sleep in one hour intervals a few times a night. I think it’ll be better when my mom leaves. I’ll nap during the day then, too.

I’m still worried I’ll ruin him. I’m worried about diaper rash and flat spots on his head today.

So tired.

baby g

Introducing Little G, my sweet baby bear.

20141023_140646

 

Born by scheduled induction at 40+2 on October 21, 2014.

8lb 3oz
21.25 inches long
Thick dark hair
Daddy’s lips and mommy’s eyes

40 weeks – baby’s due date

Dear baby,

What the eff? We talked about this, remember? You are due to have arrived by today, and we discussed the importance of being punctual. I hope you’re not going to make a habit of showing up late. It’s a very inconsiderate trait. And I know, I know, it’s a little early to have put you on a schedule already, but baby, we’ve got lives to get to. I can’t just sit around waiting for you when we had an agreed-upon date of arrival. And don’t go telling me that babies come when they’re ready, and that due dates are imprecise. We both know how long you’ve been in there and I say it’s been long enough.

Just so you know, daddy and I are planning to evict you shortly. Now, you can show up on your own, or we can help you along if you’re feeling reluctant. Either way… I can’t wait to meet you.

Love,
Mommy

After a few scary symptoms last week (sudden swelling in my ankles and feet, flashing lights in my vision, headache) I decided to move my Thursday appointment up to Tuesday. So I saw a doctor on October 14, and the doctor decided that my symptoms weren’t severe enough to be truly worrisome, but since everything seemed to be “favorable” she wanted to get him out sooner rather than waiting so she scheduled an induction for October 21. I was really hoping that he would come on his own, but so far it seems like he’s still quite comfortable and not planning on showing up any time soon. So unless something drastic happens in the next two days, labor will be induced Tuesday morning. One way or another, there will probably be a baby by Wednesday at the latest.

Let’s be honest about the feelings/emotions going on right now:

I’m scared about pitocin, scared of the pain and worried about the general unpredictable nature of what’s about to happen. I really don’t want to be cut, even though I understand a c-section is totally routine and I’d be fine if it happened… I’m not worried about “failing” at labor/childbirth. I’m just extremely averse to being cut.

I’m also anxious, but not in a scared way. Nervous, excited, stressed… they all sort of feed into this anxiety. And I think a lot of that comes from just generally not knowing what’s going to happen. What does a labor pain even feel like? Will I be crazed with pain? What is pushing like? I’ve never done this before, and I have no idea what it will be like.

I’m also really ready. I’m ready to meet my baby. I want to know this little person who has been growing inside my body. I feel like I know things about him already. He likes to have his hands up by his face a lot (I wonder if he’ll hate being swaddled, or if he’ll need to be swaddled to calm his little fists of fury down). He doesn’t kick as much as he just stretches. I feel like he’s kind of relaxed and laid back, a lot like my husband in temperament. Is that weird? That I feel like I know him? I hope I like him.

I’m also excited. I spent a lot of time on Saturday visiting a friend who has two daughters, one of them just six months old. And we talked and talked about labor and childbirth and the first few postpartum days, and she helped to calm me and really help me feel more excited and less fearful. I feel like this is something I can do, being a mom. So I’m excited to have him out and in my arms finally.

And lastly, I’m tired. I’m tired of the hormonal mood swings (I wanted to divorce my husband for the millionth time since getting pregnant for something that was relatively simple to remedy with five minutes or so of talking) and I’m tired of the constant peeing (seriously, I sit and pee, then I lean to one side and pee some more, lean to the other side and pee some more, wait two seconds and pee some more, finally finish and stand up, then sit back down and pee some more… finish and get back into bed, and then get up 20 seconds later to pee even more… it sounds funny, but it’s honestly miserable) the pelvic pain that makes me feel half-crippled, the itchy tummy, and the latest is the mid-to-upper back pain that Tylenol can’t even touch. I want to be honest about these things. I think (hope) this kid will be worth it, but so much of what I’m going through was never told to me beforehand. People joke about stretch marks or nausea, but my biggest physical problems have been the incredible amount of pain in my hips and pubic bone and now my back. I’m tired.

Hopefully the next time I update this, it will be with a baby announcement.

Birthing process update: 2 cm dilated, not sure how effaced or what station as the doctor didn’t say on Tuesday. I really dislike that doctor. She scheduled the induction without really consulting me about it. The biggest reason I’m going along with it is because my two favorite doctors are on call that day, so I know I’m going to be in good hands. If she’d scheduled me for a day when she was on call, I’d cancel. I don’t like or trust that doctor.

Anyway, induction scheduled for Tuesday, October 21. They’ll likely start me on pitocin and then break my water after a bit. I’m nervous, but ready.

Of course, he could still come on his own. 2 cm dilated is pretty good for a first time mom at this point and kind of shows that my body knows something should be happening. Had weird nesting urge and a huge burst of energy (I’m as surprised as you are) on Thursday and Friday where I cleaned and organized the baby’s room vacuumed upstairs and down and cleaned all three bathrooms and the kitchen. And I’ve been having BH contractions pretty regularly all night and most of the day. Still not anywhere on the pain scale (so I know they’re not “productive”) but at least my body’s doing something. Some cramping today, but nothing time-able. I’m still hoping he takes the lecture I gave him on punctuality to heart and decides to show up on his due date.

Nursery: We got our maternity photos back, so we’re going to print a few wedding and maternity photos to hang in the room. The frames are up, just empty right now. I cleared my sewing desk so it’s more organized looking in there, and I hung the felt name banner I made for him. He won’t be sleeping in there for a while, but it’s looking more like a nursery and less like a jumble.

Sleep: It’s been a little better this week. Sleeping on my side has gotten more comfortable (previously, my hips/pelvis would burn with pain when I slept on my side, even if I used a pillow between my knees, but this week it’s a lot nicer for whatever reason) I still don’t get much, what with the constant peeing, though.

What I miss: Not much this week. I still miss having my body to myself, but it’s not as bad. I’m mostly just excited and looking forward to meeting this little guy, too excited/nervous to miss much.

Best moment this week: Just sitting with a friend and having a really good, long, honest talk. She didn’t look at me like a ticking time bomb like most people. She didn’t treat me like a vessel/incubator. She was just my friend and we had a great visit and she was so calm and confident that it made me feel that way too. I’m so lucky to have such good friends.

Worst moment this week: The day that I spent thinking I should leave my husband because he didn’t understand that my back makes me want to cry with pain when I do dishes (it’s the weird leaning over motion, I think, because our sink is too low for me to stand comfortably upright). I forget that he can’t feel what I’m feeling and it’s hard for him to really really understand what this is like. Even easy pregnancy is kind of miserable.

Looking forward to: Still meeting my little boy.

Cravings: Anything sweet. Chocolate. And a cold cut sandwich, something with deli ham and pepperoni. Or a Publix sub. The Ultimate. That’s exactly what I want. A Publix Boar’s Head Ultimate. Too bad there isn’t a Publix nearby.

Symptoms: Lots of BH contractions, some cramping. Awful mood swings. Weird nesting/cleaning urge.

39 weeks

Dear Baby,

Get out.

Love,
Mommy

Birthing process update: Doctor says I’m 1 cm dilated, 50% effaced and -1 station. In other words… nothing is going on. The receptionist had me schedule the next two weeks worth of appointments, because she said the best way to get a baby to show up is to make plans that require him not showing up.

Last day of work was Friday, and I had some pretty intense “nesting” feelings going on (I almost panicked at work because my kitchen floor is too dirty and I needed to go home and clean it… went and bought some pine sol and haven’t bothered cleaning it yet because I’m tired) and a bit of an upset tummy on Saturday. Other than that, nothing. I know he still has a week left (and possibly two, since first time moms usually go 41 weeks) but really. He’s almost certainly healthy and fully cooked, and I’d rather he be out.

Nursery: It’s actually slightly less organized than it was before, because I got upset about not having curtains on the kitchen window, so I started measuring and cutting but haven’t sewn them yet. So there’s fabric all over the place. I guess I’ll have to take care of that this week.

Sleep: Sleep is still bad. Woke up a few times last night with a racing heart, not sure why. Starting to have mid-to-upper back pain and I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been sleeping on the couch or what. Maybe it’s from the awful office chairs at work. Also having trouble breathing, because of the stuffy nose all the time. And lately it feels like my throat won’t stay open either! So I have a hard time falling and staying asleep.

What I miss: Sleeping. I know I won’t sleep in long stretches when baby gets here, but at least when I do sleep, I’ll be able to sleep comfortably.

Best moment this week: There have been a few. :) The first is just that I’m officially on maternity leave! My last day of work was Friday and it was so nice to leave knowing that I won’t have to go back until early next year. Now I just need a baby so I’m not wasting my leave time with no baby around!

The second was when hubs startled the baby. He likes to kiss my tummy, and blow raspberries on it. So last time he was blowing raspberries, I told him where the baby’s face probably was, and he blew a raspberry and startled baby so much he jumped! It made me laugh and laugh. So then he did it once more, and this time baby startled and then punched him right in the mouth! I was laughing so hard, I cried.

And finally, today we went to the Build-a-Bear store and bought baby’s first teddy bear. We wanted it to be something special, that we got him together. So we picked one out and did all the silly things (like picking out a little heart and giving it kisses and making wishes and all) and then had it stuffed. It’s so sweet.

Worst moment this week: Probably the most recent bad symptoms I’m dealing with – racing heartbeat, trouble breathing while trying to sleep, and earlier tonight I had some flashing lights in my vision and some pretty sudden swelling in my feet and ankles. Nothing awful, but enough that I’m probably going to call the doctor in the morning just in case.

Looking forward to: Meeting my little boy.

Cravings: Orange juice, kind of. It’s not a strong craving, but I really really want some. Also, chocolate milk and raisin bran (have I mentioned this one before?) I could eat it every morning (and do, most mornings).

Symptoms: BH contractions are still sporadic. Slightly scary high blood pressure symptoms. And the SPD pelvic pain and constant peeing, as usual. Also, add just being dead tired to that… I think a combo of not being able to sleep and being heavier than usual and just being ready to be done. I’m tired. :) Baby, it’s time to get out.

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