Monday, September 30, 2013

Sick and Tired, Literally

It's been 16 months since I was last sick.

Let's compare then and now, shall we?

A blown ear drum thanks to several miserable hours on a plane while sick.*
SO much mucus!
Miserable lingering death.

*Seriously, the length and extreme discomfort of this particular malady may have made it worse than the 17 med-free hours I spent trying to birth my baby.

Long, uninterrupted hours spent watching horror movies, playing Resident Evil and reading horror...I guess I liked other people suffering or maybe just the fact that zombies at least looked worse than I did.

NO sleep. The little guy is experiencing a growth spurt, fighting off this virus, and going through crazy bursts of motor skillz development. Read: the baby has decided food trumps sleep. I now spend much of my night nursing and longing for the time when he only woke once a night.

Adorable baby who is learning to keep his head supported, rolling on his side, making cute noises. Totally trumps blowing away zombies!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Growth Spurt of Epic Proportions

Have I mentioned that my baby is big? Like really big?

He wasn't born that way. He was a bit over average in the weight department and around the 75th percentile in length when he was born. Quite a bit larger than I had expected, given my diminutive stature, but my husband is around 5'10". Also, we both have male ancestors - my grandfather and his great-grandfather - that are famous in our respective family circles for their height. So, above average baby. Go us.

But then...

Our baby kept growing. And growing. Much faster than other babies his age.

Now, at 3 months old, he is nearing the 60th percentile in weight and the 97th in length! He's grown 2 inches in a month!!

He has been going through a growth spurt (yeah, all that growing he's done up until now was the slow and steady kind). Rather than waking once a night, he's been waking every 3 hours to eat. It's adorable and totally exhausting. Adorable because he doesn't want to be awake, but he's hungry. He makes these plaintive hungry noises from his bassinet*, and when R brings him to me he hungrily nurses, but never opens his eyes. As soon as he's eaten his fill (which can take 30 minutes or more!), he's completely out. Repeat every 3 hours - thus the exhaustion thing.

*He totally doesn't fit in that bassinet anymore. There is discussion about putting him in a pack and play in our room until we are ready to transition him to a crib. And here I thought he'd be sleeping in that bassinet until he was at least 4 months old. *le sigh*

Between last Saturday and the Saturday before he gained nearly a full pound and the growth spurt is still going!

On the plus side, his ravenous hunger and accompanying growth has allowed me to fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans. So. There's that. Also, I'm developing some pretty serious arm muscles.

Soon. (source)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Why you may or may not ever see my baby

I've really been struggling with the idea of how much of my child I will share with you, Oh Mighty Internet.

I really want to tell you his name, because it is awesome and the very best name ever. It is. Seriously. R and I had settled on it years before he was born, and (this is the best part) we kept it a secret. No one knew until he was born*, and we are continually getting praise for it. But I also don't want to share it because I am paranoid that soon everyone will be using it, destroying the special, unique snowflakiness of it. Also, internet stalkers. Trolls. Humanity and its need to piss on everything. The last thing I want is to read a bunch of comments that say things like "that name is crap," or "I came up with a horribly mean twist on that name you never thought of."

Also, let's not forget that I write an anonymous blog. So sharing my son's name would be the weirdest type of hypocritical.

So...I won't be sharing his name.

*Note: Keeping the name of your fetus a secret is the very best way to completely piss off your mother and mother-in-law. Fact.

I really want to show you pictures! He is adorable! Seriously. Cutest baby ever! (Of course, your baby is also the cutest baby ever; I know how this works.) But there are creepy people out there that steal pictures and pass them off as their own children. Did you read about the woman who found a picture of her son on a cancer blog...some creepy teenager pretended to be a mom, made up a kid with cancer, and then stole pictures from this woman's blog and tried to pass off her son as a child dying of terminal cancer just because. That's right. There was no other reason. There are other similar stories. People are just...weird. That's the nice way of putting it.

Also, someday soon we will be able to do a photo search on Google. Technically there already is one, but it's pretty limited. Someday though, my son's friends will be able to scan a picture of him and then search the internet for other pictures. And that option won't be limited to his friends and the purpose behind it may not always be as petty as finding naked bath pictures to tease him with.

So, I likely won't be posting photos of him. Though my resolve waivers here because he's adorable and you'd be a happier person if you got to see his big, toothless grin.

I want to share humorous anecdotes, like the time(s) he peed in his own ear, but I also want to protect his privacy. In the same way I avoid posting too much about my husband, I feel the need to respect that my son is an individual and not just an extension of myself. BUT I love reading about other people's children.

Basically, I'm still wrestling with it.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Let Me Ramble About Breastfeeding

I expected breastfeeding to be hard. I was prepared for a low supply. And I was committed to exclusively breastfeeding if at all possible.

We lucked out. Our hospital is Registered as Baby Friendly, this is an accreditation earned by hospitals that comply with factors that increase breastfeeding success: initial skin-to-skin contact between mom and baby, babies and moms room together (they only have a NICU nursery), all nurses have some lactation training, there are on-call lactation consultants, etc. I'm sure these measures went a long way to helping me and my Little Guy form a successful breastfeeding relationship...that and his insatiable hunger. 

As I have disclosed, I had a c-section. But they still brought him to me almost immediately, up to my face while I was still being stitched up. I got to nuzzle against him, marvel at his big, open eyes. He, in turn, tried to suck on my face.

They brought him to me while I was in the recovery room before he was bathed. The nurse laid him on my belly and he performed a perfect, and speedy, breast crawl. I watched his little head bob up and down as he centered himself before latching tightly to me. It was amazing.

Later, in our room, R brought him to me between diaper change after diaper change to suck greedily. We experienced his angry cry the very first night when, after 4 straight hours of nursing every 20 minutes, I tried to prevent him from going to the breast, trying instead to jiggle him to sleep. Like I said, first angry cry.

During the first several weeks, he cluster fed in stretches as long as 7 hours. He was only a week old when I ventured to a breastfeeding support group with the ends of my nipples completely raw. His latch was pretty good, though some minor adjustments in my hold helped us both. By day 11, I could nurse without pain (mostly, and most of the time, let's not get all uppity).

One of the things the lactation consultant there suggested was to allow him to lay on me and latch himself. He excels at this. He actually prefers to do it himself, and will often lunge for a nipple while giving an impatient grunt.

In truth, my road to breastfeeding has been a relatively easy one. Rather than low supply, I have been "gifted" with over supply and a torrential let down. Initially, he would often choke, sputter, pull off (or worse, bite down and rear back as his need to breath competed with his desire to suckle). Most memorable is the guilt-inducing memory of milk actually erupting from his nose. Again, the breastfeeding support group helped me, and I was shown ways to modify my hold to avoid drowning him.

I leak a lot, so breast pads are my constant, and hated, companion. If he gets distracted and pops off, milk sprays across the room. If I haven't fed him recently enough, I'll start dripping when I get out of the shower - and I'm not talking about water. I caught half an ounce in a bottle one time after I got out of the shower. Being partially engorged is my baseline.*

*Speaking of engorgement: the sight of my swollen breasts when my milk came in was one of the scariest things I have ever experienced! Also, I can attest to the effectiveness of cabbage leaves in reducing the OMG-levels of swelling. 

Part of the reason for my abundance is his feeding pattern: every hour, except for the long stretches of sleep he has at night (already as long as 7 1/2 hours!!) or the occasional 2 hour nap during the day.

However, as the bags and bottles of milk stack up in the freezer, ready to accompany him to school (or allow mommy to have the occasional alcoholic beverage), I'm grateful that my body is so efficient. He's at the Childcare Center today. In one pumping session, I got over 10 ounces.

The only thing I really hate about breastfeeding is that there are times I can't just hold my baby. My closeness makes him hungry. Whereas his daddy can cuddle him during those times, if I try to just hold him he works himself into a tiny fury. The flip side, of course, is that mommy has the ability to make everything better; it's like keeping magic in your bra. Well, different magic than what you had in there before.

P.S. I thought of one other thing I hate about breastfeeding: people actually referring to me as a cow. The most egregious breech of etiquette came from a lady at the Farmer's Market who, upon asking how much weight he'd gained since birth, smiled and said, "You are such a good cow!" I still delight in fantasies that involve slapping her.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Return to Work

Yes, the title is correct. I have returned to work. Part-time. 

It wasn't as hard as I was worried it would be, since I had only been away from him two times...and that was only in the days leading up to my return to work because, jeeze, it might be a good idea to have a test run!! 

He can go to an AWESOME, AMAZING, Childcare Center run by the local college three days a week. I say can go because I am hoping he only goes twice a week, most of the time. Then dad watches him Tuesdays and Thursday mornings and I get him Thursday afternoons and most Fridays. 

So far so good, except, well, let's just keep this between ourselves, okay? It turns out that I have a hard time paying attention to work because I just don't care as much. Work has been downgraded from WORK to work in it's level of importance in my life. Maybe that will change as time goes on. Who knows?

Then there is the big distraction: pumping. When I'm around, my baby eats every hour. Read that again. Every hour. Sometimes he'll go an hour and a half. He sleeps great at night, so I'm not complaining too loudly, but trying to replicate that same eating schedule with pumping is insane.

That said, it's Tuesday and I hear the Little Guy starting to cry for boob.
I'll discuss the leaky highs and chaffed lows of breastfeeding in my next post.