Wednesday, July 31, 2013
1st month as a mommy
Good lord, where does the time go. These last few weeks have blinked by faster than I can believe. Amazingly my body has adapted to the 2-3 hour sleep schedule and wakes itself up on its own. All our wonderful, super helpful family has left and I've somehow managed to eat, clean the house, shower, dress myself, run errands and sleep all by myself. The first few weeks required quite a learning curve. Here's a recap:
Week one - We got home from the hospital. Pax nursed like a champ... from only my right breast. Nurses and the lactation consultant all tried their hardest to help, but Pax wanted nothing to do with it. My milk came in and I literally cried my boobs hurt so incredibly bad. I made my husband go out that day and buy be a manual pump and I've been exclusively pumping my left side ever since. No, this is not ideal. The first few days/nights after nursing for 45 minutes and then sitting in the dark hand pumping while everyone (including the baby) was asleep brought me to frustrated tears. It's terribly time consuming. But, the pediatrician, nurses and LC all said to keep trying that left side and eventually he'd get on it. So, I kept trying. I don't know what I would have done without the help of my family the first few weeks. I swear to God. Absolute godsend. Angels. Beautiful beacons of hope. They held the baby, let me shower, fed me every meal, snack and kept all my water bottles full. They kept me company as I nursed. Even if I was too tired to talk they sat with me in the nursery and were just there for me. They cleaned the house, did a ton of home projects for us, ran errands for me, kept the fridge stocked with food and made every meal. At the end of week one we all went out to see 4th of July fireworks!
Week 2 - Once again, don't know what I would have done without my family. The start of week 2 was ... yes, I'll say it. Terrible. Paxton quit nursing. Just like that. He wouldn't nurse. Of course this happened on a weekend when I couldn't call the pediatrician and the wonderful, super helpful LC that had helped me so much was on vacation. He would not eat. He was screaming because he was hungry. I couldn't get him to nurse. The first week of nursing I was SUPER careful about what I ate. I was so worried something I would eat would make him sick or unwilling to nurse. I didn't eat dairy, spicy or acidic foods. I was so strict I felt like I couldn't eat anything. If my family wasn't here I'm pretty sure I would have eaten nothing. But, they fed me and took care of me. Best. Family. Ever. Anyway, back to the nursing strike. I was desperate to figure out what was going on, but nothing I was trying would work. My wonderful mom stayed up through the early hours of the morning holding and rocking my upset baby that was too hungry to sleep. Like I said before, she's an angel. Desperate for help I eventually asked a baby expert friend and she advised me to give a bottle of my milk. That he's too hungry to concentrate on nursing. She told me to offer the breast, if he refuses it's ok just give him an ounce of bottle breast milk, and keep trying the breast every ounce or so and just see if he'll take it. The first time putting that bottle in his mouth was scary for me because I was worried he'd never nurse again. The hospital went on and on about nipple confusion. But, on the other hand I was SO RELIEVED when he started gulping down the milk. He needed it so badly. He was just so hungry. He drank down (and kept down) 4 ounces. Each feeding I tried to get him to nurse, but had the bottle ready and did give the bottle for 4 feedings or so, but always offered my breast through the bottle feeding. And then just as suddenly as he quit nursing he started nursing again like there had never been a problem. Praise be. When he went to the pediatrician for his 2 week check up he was back to nursing like a champ and had surpassed his birth weight. When Pax was 2 weeks old he went to his first air show on Pensacola Beach!
Weeks 3 and 4 were easier. I got better at being a mom and got to know my son better. He is nursing like a champ... still only on one side, but I'll take it. Since I'm pumping one side I have a big stash of frozen breast milk stored up already. (My parents even bought me a deep freezer!) He's growing like crazy. Changing every day. I'm in total awe of this little human. I am soaking up every beautiful baby moment.
The love I feel is so beyond what I thought my heart was capable of. I always heard from moms that the love you have for children is absolute, unconditional and overwhelming. And I can attest to that! It's such a special, beautiful, new kind of love. It's a love that I always wanted to experience and the reason I fought so hard for a baby of my own. Getting to be this lil mans mom is the best thing ever!!
It's amazing how much he changes so quickly! He's gotten SO BIG and so much stronger. He's grasping things, smiling and staying awake so much longer now. The first toy he's really shown interest in is Sophie the Giraffe. I just can't get enough of his big, happy, goofy smiles! He is the light of my life!