This is a cut and paste from my other journal since I don’t have a lot of time to type out stuff specifically for here. Lots to say, not a whole lot of time to say it, especially without interruption.
We did our newborn photos today, and I can’t wait to see them. They looked fabulous on the screen of her camera, the ones that I saw.
FrostedBaby, at least so far, seems like a really easy-going baby. He doesn’t cry very much (in part due to the fact that we try to get to him to feed before he starts crying, trying to read the early hungry signs rather than waiting until he’s upset), and when he does he gets over it pretty quickly. I realize we’re coming up on those difficult weeks where lots of babies start crying for no reason and can’t be consoled, so maybe next time I update I’ll be singing a different tune. In any case, we’ve been lucky so far – a friend of mine’s baby cried from day one and hasn’t stopped.
I’m not actually saying this part because I’m going to jinx it, but he follows the same patterns he did in utero – awake in the late afternoon and evening, some activity in the late morning, and quiet most of the night. Our pattern (so far, and I’m expecting him to change the rules any day and I’ll just enjoy it while it lasts) tends to be that he takes his long sleep from 6am or so to about 10 or 11, he eats and is awake a bit, then sleeps in the early afternoon (I usually take a nap then too) until 4:30 or so when he’ll go into a pattern of eat, sleep, and being a little bit awake through to about 7:30 or so, then he’ll cluster feed for a few hours (I’m not sure if this is the strict definition of what cluster feeding is, but compared to the rest of the time, it feels like it), where he’ll eat, then take a really short nap, then eat again, then nap, etc. and he gets more and more sleepy after each feeding, and then he’ll crash around 11 or so. Then we go to bed and he doesn’t wake up until 2 or so (or I wake him up, now that he will wake up and eat – usually I’m awake and waiting for him, which means I get less sleep, so if I wake him up I end up getting more), we’ll get up for about an hour (he eats, I take off his sleeper to wake him up, he eats again, I change his diaper, he eats from the other side, I put his sleeper back on, he eats again, we go back to bed), and repeat that at 5 or 6, then he goes down for the long sleep and sleeps so long I start wondering if he’s okay.
The part I find the most difficult is the cluster feeding because I’m getting tired and his naps are so short they don’t really allow me to do too much before he wants back on. It’s not as bad as I found it the first few evenings like that because we’re better at latching on properly. Before it felt like a constant struggle to get a good latch and then he’d only stay on for a few minutes. It feels like it would be so much better if he would just stay on for longer and not the constant on-off. I also find that although I’m less sensitive, some days I’m still more sore than others.
I was worried about his short feeds at first (his longest at one stretch is maybe 15-20 minutes, most are about 10 and it’s like clockwork, as soon as it’s been 10 mins he pops off) but I think he’s just really efficient. And I have a majorly hyperactive letdown in one boob, so it comes out so fast on that one that he sometimes chokes. I pumped this afternoon to relieve the pressure since he was sleeping and my boobs were killing me and I got an ounce out in just a few minutes (and that side was squirting like crazy, not just drops coming out, it was literally spraying), so now I think it’s just that his tummy is so small and my boobs and/or his sucking are quite efficient so he just gets full.
(and yes, I know pumping will keep the supply too high — I only do it when I’m desperate to relieve the pressure and I only pump until they feel a bit less painful. And I’ve only done it once or twice. We’re freezing it so that later on I can go out without worrying about him not being able to eat, or if I end up being longer than expected, he can get fed without me).
I kind of feel bad that I have such an overabundance of milk so far, while others can’t seem to produce any. I wish I could donate it somewhere or something, though that would just encourage the supply and I really look forward to being less engorged and leaky. I’m washing my bras every day because I’m leaking through at least once, particularly on the hyper side, which will soak through when I’m anticipating a feeding 😛
Going out anywhere is dangerous if there are babies crying. Good times!
I’ve been feeling a lot better physically, but I think that’s encouraging me to overdo it since my bleeding got heavier again so I have to try to take it more easy, especially in regards to the stairs. I still get tired quickly, but it’s not nearly as bad. I think my stitches are healing, since they’re itchy occasionally. I’m feeling a lot less squeamish about them and I feel like the swelling has gone down and I’m feeling a bit more normal down there, which is really nice. I look forward to feeling 100% again.
Still using the nipple shield. I saw the public health nurse on Monday and she was a lot less “you’re ruining his life!” about that than I expected, which was good since if she was I wouldn’t go back. I understand that it’s not ideal, but it’s gotten us this far and I could not have continued with the way I was feeling before. Even with it there are times when I want to scream, and it makes things a lot better. Anyway, he’d gained another 3 ounces from when he was measured at our GP’s on Friday, so he has/had just a few ounces to reach his birth weight. Whatever their “they should gain between this and this per day” numbers were, he was gaining more than that, and he’s making tons of diapers, so obviously things are okay. She just wants to work on getting rid of the shield, which I’m okay with since it would be a lot more convenient not to have to use it, but I’m also hesitant because it does help with the sensitivity which is still an issue sometimes (like tonight!). He is definitely used to the shield and makes faces and pushes off when I try without it, but I’ll keep up with it. In any case, this nurse said that in some cases people can’t wean them off but that’s not the end of the world as long as it’s not interfering with your supply (and mine is obviously quite good), so no major pressure there, which makes me feel better. I’m supposed to go back next week Tuesday for a follow-up with her.
So far I’m doing okay with the hormonal stuff, much better than I expected. I’ve had some weepy moments, where I’m not sad or upset or anything, I just need to cry. I can deal with that – it’s the major depression and feeling that we’ve ruined our lives type of stuff I was really afraid of. I think the main thing I find difficult from time to time is thinking that if anything ever happened to him, I’m not sure I could go on. And that makes me feel completely vulnerable and scared when I can’t get it out of my head. I was reading a book and in it a baby fell off the change table and hit her head and I could totally imagine how bad I would feel, especially if I thought he was seriously hurt. I now know what people mean when they say they feel differently about news about children being hurt and that sort of thing after they have kids. Wow, it’s so different. I could understand it before, but I didn’t really fully understand (and probably you can’t unless you have one, it’s just one of those things).
I can already see changes in him. His face is less squishy and newborn, and he’s starting to look more like a baby. He’s so adorable. I’m sure all babies do it (and in fact I’ve seen it), but he makes all these great facial expressions. He often makes a big grin right after he’s finished eating. His neck is still floppy, but we can already feel that it’s getting stronger, which I’m glad about since they feel a lot less fragile once they can do that. He loves being snuggled up on my shoulder and I swear he moves his head so I’ll kiss it. I know he probably isn’t that smart yet, but he was waving his head around and then when I kissed him, he held it still and looked at me. Since yesterday he’s been more alert without needing to eat (before it was if he was awake, he was looking for food and if he wasn’t, he was asleep) and is content to hang out and wave his arms and legs around. He sometimes fusses just because he wants to be held, which is nice because then Rob can do that and it’s not me all the time. Going to have to get my sling out so I can hold him but still have hands free, assuming he likes that. I love holding him and snuggling him, but it means there’s very little else I can do.
Speaking of things I can do – now that I’m better at the feeding and all, I can read during (rather than before, needing both hands and not being able to do anything at the same time), and now that my Kobo has been returned to me that’s even easier. Although naturally I’m reading a book that isn’t available in eBook yet, so I’m working on that now. It’s just a small paperback though so it’s easier to hold in one hand, unlike the hardcover I just finished.
I don’t miss being pregnant at all, which surprises me. It’s like I did it, it was great, but now I’m moving onto other things. Maybe if he gets really fussy over the next few weeks I’ll change my mind, but right now I’m happy to be sleeping on my back (I’m making up for lost time too :P), being able to bend over, pick things up off the floor, see my feet, not have feet constantly in my ribs, being able to eat chicken and garlic again (they taste NOTHING like they did when I was pregnant, it’s so strange), only having to pee when I actually have to pee, being able to sleep longer than an hour, etc etc etc. I’m happy to have my body back.
Speaking of which, I’m down ~20 pounds from my highest weight and am within 10 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight. My pre-preg jeans almost fit (they fit, they’re just a bit snug like I’m carrying around a few extra pounds, but not like my hips have expanded or undergone a major life change). I can’t get over how skinny I look, and I don’t think I actually do… it’s just that my boobs are the most stick outy part of me again 😛