Wednesday, October 29, 2014

You're Doing Great

Lochlan was six weeks old last Friday. This means many things, but the most all-consuming thing of the sixth week of life has been his six-week growth spurt which we are in the midst of. I lovingly refer to this as the “growth spurt from hell” as it seems to be the most difficult one of all thus far. In happier news, once this growth spurt has passed we move on to happier times.
 
First, though, we must get through this growth spurt. It's the one where I decided that my milk supply is vanishing, that my baby actually hates me...but not as much as baby hates anyone (Adam) who attempts to hold him without a breast for him to latch onto. 
 
Lochlan is divinely unpleasant, fussy, and does not believe at all in the idea of sleep...at least at night (he's been asleep all morning). He switches sides constantly and is pretty vocal about his annoyance when there is not enough milk or when there is too much milk. He flails his little limbs in displeasure, and pummels me with his fists while tsking at me like an angry squirrel.

I know that this is a growth spurt and I know we will pass through it and while we wait to pass through this spurt, here are things I know and will try my best to remember...
  • I know that you are getting enough.
  • I know that the contents of my milk adjust across time to meet your needs, and that your fussiness is not because you’re starving but because your body and mine are communicating and modifying my supply to meet your needs.
  • I know that the way that I make this easier for both you and for me is to listen, to go through the motions, to switch you from side to side, to talk to you, to soothe you in all the ways I can, and to soldier on through trusting both your body and mine to do what needs to be done.
  • I know from the poopy and wet diapers that you are putting out that not only are you getting enough, you’re practically drowning in milk. I know that the frequency of your nursing is making sure that you get the highest fat milk from my body.
  • I know that how you are acting is not an indicator of my supply, nor is it a judgment of my ability to provide for you. It is how breastfeeding works. It is an indication that things are perfect and as nature designed. You nurse frequently to keep me there with you. You nurse frequently to keep my breasts empty so that my body will produce more milk rather than releasing a protein that decreases lactation. You nurse frequently so that the milk you drink is all high fat, not foremilk. You nurse frequently so that your belly will fill more slowly from a less full breast, so that you will digest more slowly and use every iota of what my milk provides for you, rather than gulping it down only to poop it out as quickly as you can eat.
Knowing all of this doesn't make it any easier. Lochlan and I are deeply loved by people that care a tremendous deal about us. No one likes to hear him whimper while he nurses (most of all me). His displeasure is obvious. No one likes to see me exhausted with bags under my eyes. No one likes offering to hold Loch to give me a break only to have him cry moments later because he needs to nurse again. Out of love they ask if maybe my milk supply is low. I refer them to the stack of diapers that disappears so quickly across the day that your growth spurt means we are running through a significant amount of diapers per day. He's eating so much, pooping and peeing so much. He's getting enough. My supply is fine.

You’re doing great, beautiful mama and boy.

You’re doing great.




(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

I like the word funfetti because it takes confetti and it repurposes it for fun!



Thursday, October 23, 2014

Lessons Learned

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the things I've learned during Lochlan’s first 6 weeks of life. Here's a sampling... 
  • Yes. My baby really is the cutest baby ever. Cutest baby in the whole world, in fact.
  • Even though I'm a horrible singer, Lochlan loves to hear my voice.
  • For the most natural thing in the world, breastfeeding does not always come naturally. I've read books and reached out to a lactation consultant and didn't put too much pressure on myself.
  • Let Adam do as much of the childcare as possible, even if I secretly think he's doing it “wrong.” He probably isn't...he's just doing it differently than me and he worst thing I can do is make him feel obsolete or useless.
  • For the most natural thing in the world, breastfeeding does not always come naturally. Read books, surround yourself with good and helpful examples, and reach out to a lactation consultant.
  • I desperately, desperately, DESPERATELY want to feel, look, and act like my ‘old self.’ Don’t forget to remind myself that I JUST HAD A BABY. Don’t put too much pressure on myself.
  • Don’t compare my behind-the-scenes mom footage to someone else’s highlight reel.
  • Even when Lochlan is happily sleeping, I'm still going to wake up in a panic and make sure he's still breathing. This may last for months and months I think.
  • My house is going to be a disaster. It’s okay. There’s plenty of time to clean up later.
  • I don’t have to change his diaper just because it has a drop of pee in it. It's taken me six weeks to realize this! Oh, and there's SO. MUCH. POOP.
The best part...I still have a whole lot of exciting learning to do!

Mamas milk makes me dopey!

Baby in a pot...why not!


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

My salad for lunch is missing one key ingredient which would make it perfect. Donuts.



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

See Saw

I've read that parenting can feel a lot like riding on a roller coaster. I certainly see why. However, when you're on a roller coaster, you have absolutely no control over your situation. I happen to think it's a bit more like riding on a seesaw. You go up and down, up and down. For a while, it's fun. You get the hang of it. You learn to control parts of your ascent and descent...relying on the other kid (in our case, baby Loch.) to participate. To help out and keep the ride going.

On the ups, it's all smiles and giggles.

The downs are made bearable because you've learned together how to go up again.

Sometimes when you're up...that other kid jumps off without warning. You crash to the ground. You're rattled. Your butt hurts. You cry because whatever just happened happened so fast. But you walk it off. The next day at recess, you forget all of that. You ride the seesaw again with that same kid.

That's where we are today.

Girl Cat Design via Etsy


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Finding A New Normal

I started typing this post last Wednesday...it’s now Sunday and I'm finally finishing it up. It’s kind of comical how long it actually took. Hopefully I will find the time to blog more frequently, but right now, my life is consumed with all things baby and I am trying to soak up every last minute of this adventure.

I love this 8 pound, 5 ounce nugget (his weight at his our visit last week with the lactation consultant) more than I ever dreamed I would. It’s shiny (total Firefly reference for my Captain Tightpants readers). Holy crap, my tiny human is so, so amazing and he smells so good. Life with a newborn is also the single most difficult thing I have ever done. Taking care of someone who is 100% dependent on you for every single aspect of their well-being is overwhelming. There are so many things to figure out...why is my baby crying, how do I feed my baby, is this a normal diaper, where should my baby sleep? Every single thing you encounter is something you have never done before.

We’re five weeks and two days into our “new” family dynamic now. One of the major things that you have to do is find a “new normal” with this new family member. The family dynamic changes...must change...with the addition of a new person. The family is a compilation of all the people in it, so things change when a new member joins, no matter how small.

While there are some difficult parts of having an infant, there are just as many wonderful things. Here is just sampling to take us out on a positive note...

  • Lochlan calms immediately when he lays his head on my chest and hears my heart beat. 
  • The smell of his head 
  • When I kiss his feet, his tiny toes curl around my upper lip. 
  • Dark blue baby eyes. 
  • Triangle toe nails. 
  • The sound of breast feeding. (You may think it’s weird, but I think it is amazing.) 
  • The look on Adam's face when he looks at Lochlan...amazing. 
I will try to come back again soon to tell you more about my adventures. you know, in that 4% of my time that I'm not staring at my baby. He’s got me wrapped around his teeny, tiny finger. and I couldn't be happier.





Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The First Day

I'm in a constant state of bliss these days...soaking up every moment with Lochlan...so I please ask that you forgive my absence...but I'll be back soon!

While you wait...here are a few pictures of Lochlan's first day...

Last bump pic at 39 weeks 1 day. This was taken an hour before my c-section


These were taken a couple of hours after Lochlan was born. This is the first time that I held him and it would be only one of the two times I held him that day. I'll tell the story of why we were separated for the first 36 hours soon...still trying to process.

Adam was able to spend the day with Lochlan in the NICU and would text me pictures while I was downstairs in the PACU (post anesthesia care unit).



This was the second time that Adam was able to bring Lochlan down to the PACU (with a NICU nurse in tow). I was able to attempt breast feeding and Adam burped him. I was sobbing while taking this picture...being apart from him when I was expecting to be with him 24/7 was incredibly difficult.


This was my goodnight picture from Adam.

To be continued...



Friday, September 19, 2014

He's Here!

Lochlan James
September 12th, 2014
9:26 am
6 pounds 7 ounces 
18 3/4 inches long

It's been a whirlwind of week and we are head over heels in love with this little man of ours. 

I'll be back shortly to share his birth story and pictures (of which we have many...all posted to Instagram). As you can imagine we have been a little busy and oh so sleepy but I'll be back  very soon!

Much love to all,
Janet, Adam and Lochlan
xoxo



Thursday, September 11, 2014

This Time Tomorrow

Well this is it. Today marks the last day of my pregnancy. One chapter is ending and a whole new chapter is about to begin. It has been a pretty eventful nine months, but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

As I write this, by this time tomorrow I will have a baby in my arms.

Knowing the exact date your baby is going to be born is quite a surreal experience. But knowing the date and counting down, working through a crazy to do list until your house is shiny and everything is ready just seems so odd. Knowing that in approximately 18 hours I’ll be holding my sweet baby boy in my arms...is at times a little incomprehensible.

I'm scared, nervous, anxious, excited, happy and a million other things in between. I can not believe that tomorrow I will finally get to hold and snuggle my son who I have been so excited to meet from the moment I saw a positive on that pregnancy test way back in January.

Until then...I'm going to....




Thursday, September 4, 2014

In The Home Stretch

 Wow.

I mean, really, wow. As of tomorrow, I have one week until this baby is born.

7 days

8 nights

168 hours

I've spent the last 38 weeks watching in amazement, as my body changes and adapts, to grow another human. I've been horribly sick, more tired than I ever though possible, and discovered what it really means to have a aching body. Yes, this pregnancy has been a bit rough on me, even that is a understatement. I am waving my white flag quite often these days, collapsing into a heap of emotionally and physically exhausted Janet at the end of every day but I'm also the happiest I've ever been.

I have this renewed bond and intense love for my family. I find myself daydreaming even more about adventures we will take together, projects we can take on...our little family. I am excited to see Adam with a little boy, to witness their growing together, that unique father-son dynamic. I am curious to see if he will look like Adam, or take more after me. I am anxious to see how our everyday life shifts and changes, as we adjust to life with a new baby. I’m interested to see how/if it will change the dynamic of our relationship...will it strengthen and reinforce the deep bond that we have?

My body yearns for the snuggly, grunting, warm, heavenly-smelling body of a squishy newborn to be nestled into me. I made this. We made this. How incredible.

I have been experiencing a lot of early labor signs, making my comfort level questionable at best. Constantly being on high alert is exhausting and is starting to drain me. I had an OB appointment yesterday and knowing I have only a week left, if that, I have made a conscious decision to give in to the process. If I am going to go into real, proper labor before my scheduled c-section date of September 12th, so be it. If I don’t and these contractions, cramping and nausea keep up for the last, I've lost count of days...that is also out of my hands. I refuse to let this last week break me, because I know one day, probably sooner than I think, I will miss parts of this.

We are ready when you are, little man, and we can not wait to meet you.

37 Week belly
The contractions continue
Crib is ready for baby


38 week belly



Saturday, August 23, 2014

Thirty Six

36 weeks ~ some days it’s hard to believe I’m this far into the journey and so close to meeting my child. What do you mean I’m going to be a parent?! I mean, I knew we were having a baby, but it’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that we are bringing a human into the world. A human that is half of me and half of Adam. A human that we will be solely responsible for. A human we are expected to teach right from wrong, prepare for the world and love unconditionally. I know we can do the last part because we already do. I’m going to have a son. Wow! 

And then, on the other hand, I feel so ready. We have the ‘stuff’. We've (I mean Adam) have read books. We are ready to meet our little one. Parenthood...bring it!

It’s strange not knowing which pregnancy post will be my last, so I wanted to talk a little about the symptoms I've experienced throughout pregnancy. This interests me because I always thought everyone felt the same things. Well, they don’t...every woman's experience really is unique to her alone.

I have experienced some of the common symptoms, including headaches, 1st trimester exhaustion, food aversions and even a fun craving or two and even the odd not fun craving. Then there were some symptoms that I never knew came with pregnancy, but evidently they can be common. Some of my weirdest symptoms have been...

  • Nose bleeds - They were never severe, but I’m not the kind of person who gets these so they freaked me out at first. Apparently they are incredibly normal with the increased blood volume you get during pregnancy. Also...super stuffy nose for the last nine months. 
  • Furry belly - No, my tummy doesn't look like an ape, but once I became pregnant I noticed the fine, light hairs I had on my belly turned a little darker and more noticeable.
  • Sensitive tongue - Though it hasn't stopped me from eating whatever I want, I've noticed eating tomatoes, garlic, citrus and a few other strong flavors that my tongue gets irritated. I hope this goes away after I deliver. 
  • Dreams - I expected my dreams to be a bit weird and vivid in the first trimester but now that I'm in my third...they are off the chain. I wake up often just shaking my head at the weirdness of them!

Where are we now?

  • 36 weeks and 2 days pregnant
  • As far as we know...still 2 cm dilated and 90% effaced. My OB didn't check last week, thankfully.
  • Blood pressure...low and hoping it stays that way.
  • Contractions...All. The. Time.
  • Feeling a lot of pressure in my pelvis and sometimes Baby JaAdam feels he's trying to escape. It makes walking very uncomfortable. 
  • Total pounds gained...23. Although none in the last month so I'm now on the Ensure diet...blech!
  • Hours spent of Etsy...too too many!


What weird or unexpected symptoms have you experienced?


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