Where have the last two weeks gone? It’s been a huge blur of sitting on the couch and feeding and trying to sleep (I feel like I’m constantly getting into and out of bed, but how is that possible when I’m constantly sitting on the couch?). It’s been awesome and amazing and frustrating and painful but totally worth it.
BFing continues to be a work in progress. I no sooner feel that I have a handle on things than we revert back to acting like we have no idea what we’re doing. My nipples got sore again a few days ago, even with the shield, and it was excruciating again and not at all enjoyable. Someone asked if I was using that Lansinoh nipple stuff, and I had been but then I stopped when my nipples started feeling better, so I’m back to using it starting yesterday evening and they already feel like they’re less painful. So note to all future BFing moms — use your nipple protector stuff. I’m not even sure what to call it. It’s not cream, it’s more like really thick vaseline. In any case, use it religiously.
I’ve started pumping a bit to have some bottled breastmilk on hand so that I can get a break if I’m particularly sore, and so my husband can feed him and I can sleep without worrying he needs me. Then when I do BF him, I’m a bit more appreciative of the experience because of the break and not feeling like he’s a ball and chain on me, which I admit sometimes it feels like he is, particularly during the cluster feeding in the evenings. That has slowed down a bit, I think it was his first growth spurt, but he’s still eating frequently in the evenings. Plus I think the next growth spurt is at 3 weeks? I seem to recall there’s a rule of 3s involved, I just can’t remember the specifics. Perhaps I should look that up so I can be ready for it 😉
He’s been noisier at night, making me think about putting him in his own room much sooner than I had anticipated. He’s not really awake, I think it might be the REM sleep phase, but he waves his arms and legs around and makes lots of noise and I keep waking up thinking he’s going to cry but then he goes back to sleep (or into a deeper sleep when he’s not moving around) and then I go back to sleep and then wake up again to the same thing. Now that I know he’ll cry when he’s awake and ready to eat (after getting up only to find him alseep by the time I get there, or to him being too sleepy to eat after all), I’m better able to tune out the noise or at least not have to check on him, but it means I’m getting a lot of interrupted sleep so I’m feeling more tired. I’m a bit afraid to put him in his own room, but at the same time I’m so tired that I’m starting to wonder if I could possibly sleep through him actually needing me, which is quite disconcerting for a usually very light sleeper like me. Sometimes if he goes longer than I’m expecting him to sleep, I’ll wake up from a really deep sleep (do normal people sleep like that all the time? I feel like I’m dead) and wonder if something happened to him because it’s been a while and I didn’t wake up. Very strange for me.
Highlights and lowlights of the past two weeks:
Lowlights are definitely getting frustrated with the BFing and forgetting that he’s not being difficult on purpose, so telling him to open his mouth or saying, “if you’re hungry, why did you come off?” when he pops himself off and then wants back on a minute later (except keeps getting his hands in the way so he can’t). Hormone dump crying, where I’m not sad but can’t stop crying and feeling like a failure because I’m not always enjoying the feedings and I’m unimpressed with the way I handle some situations. Probably related a bit to hormones, but the one thing I was totally unprepared for is the fear I have now, that something will happen to him. I’ve heard that expression that when you have children, your heart forever walks around outside your body and I thought I understood it, but I had no idea. Intellectually I could understand it, but emotionally I couldn’t appreciate the depth of what that actually means. It’s both completely amazing and completely terrifying at the same time.
Highlights are when he falls asleep snuggled against me, when he’s so deeply asleep that he is totally floppy and it just feels that he has such deep trust for us to take care of him, the faces he makes, the fact that he’s more alert and although he’s not interactive sometimes you can hit on something that really interests him (like when he was fussing and I started moving his arms around), the fact that my husband has been amazing for this whole thing and I have no idea what I would do without him and it just confirms our whole relationship to me (probably won’t last forever, but I figure it’s a good sign that we started off on the right foot :P). He does his share of stuff, he’s constantly getting stuff for me that I need, he’s taken over the meal decisions because I can’t make any, he’s really good at calming the baby down, and calming me down, and I just cannot stress how important having a supportive partner is in all this when I’m nuts from hormones and lack of sleep and the constant demands of the baby. (And even when he’s sleeping, I feel like I’m just waiting for him to wake up and need me again, it’s not really like it’s much of a break).
In some ways it’s been a lot easier than I expected. It feels sort of a natural transition, like it was meant to be. I guess because we had some idea of what we were in for from taking care of our friends’ kids, and because we’ve waited so long for it. Our lifestyle is naturally fairly quiet, so it’s not like we went from clubbing every night to being home doing nothing all the time, so that helps. In some ways it’s been more difficult, the BFing in particular, though not completely unexpected that there would be some bumps along the way.
He’s waking up and it’s time to eat, and then I need to tidy up some stuff since my family is coming over to celebrate my sister’s birthday.