It’s so hard to remember to write down all the things I think and feel about having a baby. Today Miss. Vada is two months old! Ugh, where’s my tiny baby? We don’t go to her 2 month checkup until the end of the month, so I’m not sure what she weighs, or how tall she is, but I’d guess: HUGE. Shes freaking huge. ): sob sob sob. I thought I might recap some of my feelings over the last couple months. I feel like I was given a lot of false information from the masses, or at least information that didn’t really apply to me and my baby (this may be long, feel free to skim).
1. BREASTFEEDING: This is super hard. At first it was just scary worrying about how much, how often, is her latch right? Has it been two hours, how long should she nurse for? Is she pooping and peeing enough? Lots of questions. And it hurts like hell. I’d compare it to wearing new shoes and rubbing the skin off the back of your heel, and having to walk around, only your heel is your nipple, and you have to rub it raw every 2 hours. Gah! It hurt pretty bad for the first 4 weeks. My midwives were of no help and said stuff like “if it hurts her latch is wrong” but that’s BS, it hurts because my boob is not use to being sucked on all day long. It got really hard at first, at about 3 weeks I broke down and felt like I kind of hated my baby, I just really did not want to nurse her again, but I did. Grit your teeth and bare it, give it your all, and if you cant, then quit. I use to have a lot of judgement of moms who didn’t nurse. To be honest I still hate the “I didn’t produce enough” or “my baby couldn’t latch” those are often just excuses, the fact is, NURSING IS SUCKY HARD AND WHO WOULDN’T WANT TO QUIT!? So yeah, if nursing sucks and its making you hate your life and hate your baby, aint no shame in stopping. If you can push past the shitty stuff and have faith that it will get better, good for you, its cheaper and healthier for your baby. Oh, and I found nipple creams totally useless? Do other people find them helpful?
Now nursing’s pretty ok. Its still hurts sometimes. At night if she’s lazy with her latch, and I’m asleep, Ill wake up with a sore nipple and it will hurt for a few days. Ive got the hang of it now though, I know how long to nurse, I’m more comfortable with knowing when shes hungry, when she wants to comfort nurse, I don’t worry about her being hungry anymore. I also nurse EVERYWHERE! You know why, because the options are either A. Stay home all day B. Listen to my baby cry, or C. Nurse whenever, wherever. I’m a busy person, I don’t have time to go home and sit in her nursery to nurse, and I sure as hell am not gonna nurse in a bathroom. I’m discreet, because I have small-ish boobs, and because I’m not that interested in making other people uncomfortable. I personally don’t care that much if other people see my boob, they’re pretty average. So far we have nursed in: Costco, the car, Cash N Carry, Home Depot, The restaurant, Jalapenos, My house, My grandmas house, the studio, Perch N Play, Fred Meyer, The Movie Theater, Woods Coffee, Old Navy, The Mall…you get the point. We are getting good at nursing in the Boba, otherwise I use a scarf or thin blanket to obscure the view without smother or over heating my baby. I used my nursing cover one time and hated it, aint nobody go time for that! I also pump a bottle a day that she has with her dad. No nipple confusion, no issues. I got good advice from a friend to only nurse on one side all night so your other boob is huge for pumping in the AM. Works great. As far as our long term nursing plans, I’m shooting for a year, and then we will see how we both feel about it. (:
SLEEPING: People ask me all the time if I’m exhausted. They assume that with a newborn I’m up all night, which is a pretty good assumption! I’m not though, not tired, and not up all night. I KNOW I’M LUCKY, I hear this all the time. Vada had one (yeah, one) bad night at 2 weeks old and was up allllll night long, it was awful! The first two weeks in general were a little bit touch and go, but once she hit 3 weeks sleeping has been golden. Full disclosure though: we co sleep. That mean shes literally sleeps in the bed with us. She sleeps right next to me, we spoon (no I am not worried about her safety at all, and I would not do it if I was). This was not my plan, and we have a Pack N Play next to our bed (that Hula sleeps in) and we have one of these in the bed sleepers, and she hates that too. She likes to snuggle with her mom. She has her own blanket, and sleeps with her face at my boob level so I can nurse her 2-3 times a night. We go to bed around 9:30 every night, I side nurse her for 15 minutes until she falls asleep. She sleeps anywhere from 3-6 hours before she gently kicks me awake and I pull out the boob, fall asleep, and nurse her for 10 minutes or so until she sleeps again. We do this at least once more, and then she wakes up on her own around 9:30-10:30 in the morning. No crying. There is ZERO night time crying. There is no rocking, no bouncing, no getting out of bed for at least 8 hours. WE ARE WELL RESTED! And this is why I co sleep. I would like her to move to her pack n play around 3-4 months, and then have her sleeping in her crib around 6 months hopefully. I am prepared for sleep regression or issues around teething though, so I’m not delusional that this will last forever.
MY BODY: There is lots of information about postpartum care, and how you may feel after having a baby. Despite having an 11 pound baby, I was very lucky and did not have enough tearing that I needed stitches. My body bled for about 3 weeks, more if I was physically active, but by week 4 I felt great! Ive had a few digestive issues, mostly related to dehydration caused by nursing (I think). My hip pain, tailbone pain, and carpal tunnel in my wrists is slowly getting better, but still not 100%. I have not had any extreme sadness, minimal crying, and I do not hate my husband. So you never know. I felt fine going back into work around 3 weeks, everyone is different. I’m looking forward to working out a little more, and hopefully dropping a few pounds, but I don’t have any crazy unrealistic goals. I do not hate my body, I’m ok with the little stomach pooch I have now, I’m a mom, I’m Vada’s mom, and I love myself for making her. I will NEVER do anything to make Vada feel less than perfect about her own body too! I also did NOT get bigger boobs from nursing, and my hair didn’t fall out. Everyone’s different. We also try to get dressed and put on makeup every single day! So important! It might sound silly, but it makes you feel so much better to not be a bum.
WORK: No one quite knew how the baby would affect the restaurant, and how much she would fit into my schedule. This past week we adjusted our hours, and things have suddenly taken a turn for the best. I’m feeling great about my schedule, and feeling more productive, and my mom seems happier. This is excellent, and I hope things continue to improve. Right now I take Vada to work with me on Thursdays from 10:30-2:00. She goes in the Boba carrier and will sleep there at least unitl 1:30 when we have a nice long nurse and diaper change. She is happy as a clam while I run the register, wash dishes, etc. Customers coo at her, and she just sleeps away. At 2:00 Mr. Gaunt comes down to the restaurant and takes her home for 2-3 hours until I get home. Ive been pumping a bottle every morning for him to give her, should she need it. The rest of the week I go in to work from 2-5 or 6, and Mr. Gaunt watches her. Sometimes they come down and have dinner, and I nurse her, otherwise she takes a bottle. We also do grocery shopping a few times a week. I put her in the Boba and we do bulk shopping, and she sleeps. Sometimes we nurse in the Boba too if she gets a little fussy. At home when I’m working doing things like taxes and marketing stuff, I nurse her and put her in her swing and she naps while I get things done. It’s all a bit dreamy. Not that she’s always perfect, shes NOT! She cries and fusses, and melts down sometimes too, but those times are few and far between. Shes happy around loud noises, lots of people, shes easy going for sure. I just feel so lucky right now that my baby is flexible, my job is flexible, my family is so loving of her, and that my husband does his absolute best to make me and Vada happy. We are lucky ducks.
Everything else has just been pretty excellent. I take Vada everywhere. We run errands, hang out with friends, go to mom groups, have coffee. We work at the restaurnt together, we clean together. I let people hold her, I let Mr. Gaunt take care of her without me. Its excellent.