Archive for November, 2008

Hop on the scale

November 25, 2008

Two doctors appointments yesterday, one for me and one for the small one, and they both went well.  Especially in the weight department.

Let’s start with the small one.  After weighing in a 7 lbs at birth, he was up to 8 lbs. 5 oz. 11 days later.  Now that’s it’s been four weeks, the little fellow is up to 11 lbs – that averages out to gaining a pound a week.  I am going to have one behemoth of a child.  Not to mention that he’s already 22.5″ long.  Have I mentioned that I’m only 5’2″, and that by the end of year one, my mother tells me I only weighed 17 lbs?  Crazy!

(Otherwise everything went fine – nothing of substance to report)

In the afternoon, I was off to the OB to step on the scale for the first time since I was pregnant (149 lbs), and oh yeah, maybe check on how I’m healing from major abdominal surgery (can we see my warped priorities?).  And the verdict?  123!  That’s a mere 3 lbs above my starting point, and only 6 lbs above my “fighting weight” when I’m in happy yogi mode and all kinds of buff and bendy.  Between the baby, the excess fluids and four weeks of breastfeeding, I’ve lost 26 pounds.  And I still have these massive breastfeeding boobs!  Needless to say, this news made my day.  Now I can continue indulging in my nightly chocolate chip cookie and glass of milk milk treat.  Yippee!

Of course, the old saying about muscle weighing more than fat totally applies here, because I don’t look like I only have three pounds to go.  I’m definitely “softer” around the edges, and I still haven’t tried on any normal pants so while I know I have it pretty easy in terms of poundage, I have no sense of what size I am (mostly because maternity pants are super comfortable and basically like sweat pants in that you just pull them on).  The size issue, of course, is more important, as while I could get down to 115, if my hips have unalterably shifted outward, that’s a lot of work for my tailor in the coming months.

And by the way, I’m healing wonderfully.


Witching Hour(s)

November 20, 2008

Overall, the small one is a pretty easy baby.  With one major exception – the hours between 8 AM and 11 AM.

For some reason, the child simply cannot settle back down after that first normal people AM feeding (vs the 4 or 5 AM feeding when he usually goes back down like a dream – usually).  I don’t know if you would therefore describe the boy as a morning person (doesn’t want to go back to bed) or totally not a morning person (grumpy as all get up), but either way, his very much not a morning person mom, who has been up with him at 1 or 2 AM and sometime again between 3 and 5 AM would very much appreciate being able to go back to bed after the 7 – 9 AM feeding.  But no.

It would be one thing if he was just awake, but he’s fussy.  As in must be held fussy.  As in must be held and walked incessantly fussy.  As in maybe puts up with being in his sling for 15 minutes but only if I’m walking around the whole time fussy, and then just wants to nurse some more once I’ve released him from his cotton bondage fussy.  Granted, as long as I keep moving, he is 100% content, but 2 minutes after standing still (or one minute if I’m so bold as to try sitting down), he works himself back into a tizzy.

All this lasts until 11 or so when I nurse him yet again and he falls asleep in my lap while I troll the internet.  Yes, he’s suckling right now as I type (one handed no less).  And then I finally get to eat breakfast.

Body Image, a preface

November 19, 2008

The last time I stepped on a scale, it was at my 39 week OB appointment and I was holding steady at 149, meaning I had gained 29 pounds over the course of my pregnancy.  It’s now been three weeks since the small one decided to vacate the premise, and I am holding out until Monday’s 4 week follow-up OB appointment to see where I stand in the world of weight. Heck, I haven’t even attempted to pull on a pair of pre-pregnancy pants (or shoes, as I really may cry if they don’t fit).  I am completely in the dark as to how this pregnancy ravaged my body.

At this point, I’m more curious than anxious.  I think I look pretty good.  Sure, my thighs are a bit plusher and my stomach has a distinct paunch (one that makes my belly button look cavernous), but I don’t have that cellulite of the stomach wrinkly skin thing going on with my midsection, and despite my rear being a bit wider, it doesn’t look any worse for the wear.

I wanted to write this down because I bet I’ll be eating my words when I hear the actual number and have a better sense of what I’ll be trying to lose later.  Right now my post pregnancy diet is pretty much nonexistent.  After all, I can rationalize away chocolate chip cookies because breast feeding burns so many calories, and it’s not like I’m eating regular meals with the exception of dinner these days, as I snack at the whim of the small one’s nap schedule (which means a huge lunch is a ham sandwich at this point).

But the biggest reason I’m putting this off?  Due to my c-section, I can’t go back to yoga until 10-12 weeks post-op.  Sure, I can start exercising at 6 weeks (and I can already do basic stuff like walk to dog now, much to my husband’s elation), but the doc said I should avoid ab-intensive exercises until everything in my midsection is completely healed.  So my one maternity leave fantasy about going to bikram yoga every day after my husband came home and could be handed the small one has been completely abandoned, and with it my drive to get my old body back.  At least until February 1.

Of course, we’ll see how my tune changes on Monday…

Co-sleep was no-sleep

November 18, 2008

For the duration of week two, I slept in the spare double bed that was the guest bed in what is now the nursery, a mere five feet away from the small one’s crib.  The idea was that being in the same room as the little guy would make middle of the night changing and feeding easier than heading down the hallway from the master bedroom.  It was the plan before the small one even arrived, and it seemed like it would work after having spent week one with the small one in a bassinet next to our bed.

What I failed to realize is that the phrase “slept like a baby” is total bullshit.  Unless of course you mean babbled in your sleep, awoke every ten minutes the full forty minutes before really waking up, and had a breathing pattern that went everywhere from basically silent to pig-like grunt.

Sleeping in the same room as an infant was like having a college roommate who snored when drunk… and was currently rushing a fraternity.  Needless to say, I awoke to almost every sound, would think to myself “wait, didn’t I just feed him?” realize it wasn’t time yet and that he was still in the long process of waking up, drift back to sleep, and repeat all over again five to ten minutes later.  This cut down my 2 hour window of sleep to 1:15 of actual sleep (assuming the small one actually went down with ease) and 45 minutes of broken, tortured sleep the likes of which I usually get when I know I have to wake up for a super early morning flight and am convinced that my alarm won’t go off and I’ll miss my plane.  It was not a restful situation.

One night, my husband offered to spend the night in the nursery with me, as we hadn’t shared a bed in over a week and we missed each other (corny, I know).  By the 1 AM feeding, he asked me how I possibly got any rest at all sharing a room with the baby and suggested we head back to our room for the next shift.  With the baby monitor on so we were sure we wouldn’t sleep through a feeding, I managed to get in a solid two hours of perfectly uninterrupted sleep.

I have slept in the master bedroom ever since.  Sorry Dr. Sears, no co-sleeping for me… momma needs her rest.

The Tyranny of Vaginal Birth

November 17, 2008

Not my words, I swear, but I loved the phrase.  You see, I’ve just discovered Momversations (and I’ve added them as a link for your viewing convenience), which brings together some of the more renowned mommy bloggers (some of my favorites like Heather from Dooce or Rebecca from Girl’s Gone Child and of Babble fame) to talk about mom issues.  They recently did a video bit on vaginal birth vs. c-section, not in terms of what’s prefered but more talking about the guilt so many women feel about having a c-section.  As I finally got around to writing up my own birth story (now posted as a page on this here blog), I thought it was a very apropos topic to share with the group.  Enjoy, and be sure to check out other videos on the website – these ladies rock.

Not even dad’s chest could help

November 14, 2008

Yup, it was that level of inconsolable.  The magic chest failed for the first time, as my husband and I spent the hours between 4:30 AM and 6 AM trying to get the small one to go back down. We walked to hallway, we checked and rechecked his diaper, we rocked, we swaddled and reswaddled him, we pleaded, I nursed (and nursed again, and nursed again), my husband sang any song he could think of, we tried bringing him to bed with us, we burped him up to ten times, and I finally think the small one just gave up out of pity, despite the fact that nothing we did gave him any comfort.  For the first time we were completely defeated.

And then, at 6:30 he awoke with a poop so massive, so explosive, I could feel it’s velocity while holding him.  The small one promptly fell into a coma-like sleep at having finally passed his most massive bowel movement ever, and I was forever grateful for his having done so (both for the sleep and for the knowledge that there really was something wrong that we couldn’t fix, and not that we had become completely inept in a mere three weeks of parenthood).

As you can imagine, I am dead to the world today… like just attended a bachelorette party level tired, but with no eye liner remnants on my pillow case.

Yesterday was a good day

November 13, 2008

Here’s what constitutes a good day from my perspective:

  • I get a nap
  • I manage to eat both breakfast and lunch
  • I get to shower before 4 PM
  • No uncontrollable weeping

And here’s how I judge if the small one’s had a good day:

  • Feeds 15 minutes on boob No. 1 and 10 minutes on boob No. 2
  • Poop that’s super yellow (green means he’s not getting enough hind milk)
  • Good, loud burps after each feeding, and ideally also mid feeding when switching from one boob to the next
  • No major spit up or peeing on oneself as to cause an outfit change
  • Awake time involves his being wide-eyed and alert, but not wailing, and lasts about a half hour to 45 minutes after a feeding
  • He goes down easily after being awake
  • He goes 3 hours (give or take a half hour on either side) from the start of one feeding to the next

And I consider it a bonus if we get a good half hour of happily staring at each other time, where he’s not fussy and I’m not too tired to appreciate it.

Yesterday was a good day.  So far today is looking like more of the same.  Yippee!

Today’s Deep Thought

November 13, 2008

Despite the fact that you are completely aware of how to handle the situation, because, let’s face it, you’ve been changing the diapers of a little boy for three weeks now and many a time the ‘fountain effect’ has occurred the moment the little fellow’s little fellow is exposed to cold air, when a stream of pee comes right at your face you will still react by covering your face and not his penis.

And then you will need to shower.


November 12, 2008

This is going to sound bizarre, but I often find myself jealous of my husband’s relationship with the small one.  (I know, you often hear about new dads being jealous of the mother’s relationship, as it’s all about the boob.)  You see, his relationship is one of pure joy, and not weighed down with need like my relationship with our son.  He can place the little guy on his chest for a nap and they both sleep pleasantly, whereas I place the small one anywhere near my chest and the endless quest for nipple begins.  His big hands and strong arms can swing the little guy around to his delight while I need to hold him with both arms.

A lot of it is personality… I am the nervous one whereas my husband takes on fatherhood with pure joy.  He boldly attempted the first bath after having only watched the child get bathed once, while I frantically flipped through books to double check water temperature.

A lot of it is our roles… I am with the small one 24 hours a day, in the most literal sense of with.  I am never more than a few rooms away, we share a bedroom, and ten times a day we sit down to nurse.  And I do enjoy this unique relationship, but it is one as much couched in love as it is obligation… my husband doesn’t have to cuddle, he wants to.  Whereas I am the only one who can feed him, the one who’s there to change his diaper in the middle of the night, the only caregiver in the house during the day.  And while I know I love my son, I can’t say I awake to his crying at 3AM with a sense of joy or excitement.

It reminds me of how I felt at the hospital… we’d give him back to the nursery at night and they’d bring him to me when it was time to feed.  And each time the nurses wheeled him in the room and placed him in my arms, it felt like Christmas morning.  I would even wake up a bit before the next feeding because I would miss him.  Even at 3 in the morning.

And while I know that the remaining nine weeks of my maternity leave will fly by and I will soon mourn the loss of the time I currently spend with the small one, right now I’m tired.  And grateful that my husband can sweep in with full energy and mesmerize our son.  Even if I do wish I had his baby mojo.

About last night…

November 11, 2008

Now seriously child, we need to talk.  That wasn’t you.  I know you (or I thought I knew you), and you don’t wake up six times in one night and not settle back down after any of them.  No, you’re a three meals a night, only fuss during one of them kinda Joe.

I feel like I don’t even know you anymore.

And this is what the week three growth spurt is like.  You’ve finally begun to hit your parenting stride, you can predict within a half hour when the small one will rise and about how long it will take to feed him, you actually look fairly well rested for someone with an infant at home, and then all of a sudden the kid comes home with an eyebrow ring, only listens to punk metal and decides he needs to eat every hour and a half.  What the hell?

Someone please tell me this growth spurt doesn’t last the entirety of week three.