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.





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