Some thoughts…

I don’t really feel like I can write a cohesive post right now, so I thought I would just write some of the random things I have been feeling or experiencing.  It seems easier to accomplish right now.

I read another persons blog post about her birth, and it made me think more about my own experience.  I think that getting an epidural was my only real choice.  I probably could have lasted until the end without it, but I would have been too exhausted to enjoy the puching phase.  I remember that as being one of the most wonderfully fulfilling time periods in my entire life.  Watching Arlie slowly emerge and being able to really enjoy it and be present in the moment was something that I will never regret.  Yes, I wish I could have been stronger and maybe I could have, but if it meant losing that experience and not having the memories I have, I wouldn’t have really gained anything. 

Breastfeeding is wonderful and also like a jail sentence.  It’s fucking hard to balance life with the knowledge that a person is relying solely on me to keep her alive via sustenance.  I love how she stares at me while she eats and I feel like a powerful person being able to feed her  But I am not going to lie, when she has eaten 6 times in one night, I just want a break from it.  Last night M fed her a bottle of breastmilk for the first time (this was an experiment to see if she would take a bottle as I am headed back to work in a few weeks.  I cried when she took it.  Partly because watching M feed her made me incredibly happy, and partly because it means she is going to be away from me and that breaks my heart.

I honestly don’t know if I can go back to work.  I am trying to think of any solution I can to avoid going back and I think I have a solution that would put me back only at half time.  However, even though I know she will be with my mom and it will be ok, I just can’t handle the thought of dropping her off and being away from her for 8 hours.  Or even 2 hours.  I took a three hour nap on Saturday and that was honestly the longest I have been away from her since she was born. 

My MIL is killing me.  She lives 2 hours away and keeps trying to come over during the week.  She is a nice person and I appreciate her wanting to see Arlie and spend time with her, but I can’t handle how much she annoys me when she is here.  Arlie eats often, probably every 1.5 hours to 3 hours.  I can tell when she is crying/fussing because she needs food, and in these circumstances, my MIL will continue to hold Arlie, even though she clearly wants me.  I finally had to have a conversation with M to let him know he needs to step in and take Arlie so I can feed her and we can both be happy.  I also told M he needed to tell her that weekday visits are not going to happen.  I just can’t handle it.

I recently bought a book called The Wonder Weeks.  It has honestly changed my life.  It is a book that outlines the weeks in a baby’s development that are big.  Not growth spurts, but weeks where babies are learning new skills and how that affects their overall demeanor and personality.  Arlie was having a rough time last week and nothing I was doing seemed to help her.  Reading the first chapter of the book and realizing that she was in a wonder week helped me figure out ways to help her without losing my sanity.  Honestly, it helped me more than her.  I was glad to find something that could help me see logic when she was losing her shit.

Arlie is amazing.  She’s beautiful and funny and shes starting to smile and laugh.  She loves me.  She looks at me and I can see that she knows who I am and she WANTS me.  Its crazy fulfilling and it makes me love her even more.  She is so strong and serious and so determined.  I am lucky to have a girl who is already showing shes tough and strong.  It makes me even more excited for the next few months.  Shes perfect.  Just perfect.

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Truths

I’m just going to be really honest here…

I’m freaking exhausted.  I love this baby so stinking much, and I wouldn’t change this for anything.  But good lord, she never sleeps.  And when she does sleep, it certainly isn’t at night.  She prefers short cat naps during the day that are nice and all, but man what I wouldn’t give for a two or three hour stretch at night.  Some very occasional nights (three so far) she will trick us and actually sleep, but only if one of us is holding her the whole time.  She wants to be held all the time and is honestly so freaking cute that I acquiesce nearly all the time.  If only we could get her sleeping at night.

Breastfeeding is hard, you guys.  It took her 7-8 days to get a latch right and by that time my nipples were raw, cracked and bleeding.  Like to the point that Arlie actually spit up blood one day.  She was like a vampire on my boob…  Since then, it has gotten way better and she is gaining weight like crazy.  She was 7 lbs 6 oz at birth, lost a bit and dropped to 6 lbs 13 oz 2 days after, then at her check two days later she was back up to 7 lbs 3 oz.  At her 2 week visit, she was at 8 lbs 6 oz.  Yesterday was her last day in newborn diapers.  Shes also quickly growing out of her newborn clothing.  We are on our way to 0-3 and 3 month clothing, which is awesome because she has so many more clothes in that size.  I will start pumping pretty soon here to get a stash saved up for when I go back to work.  I don’t think this will be a problem, as I am pretty much constantly leaking.  I can seriously hold an insert on the opposite boob I am feeding on and get 2 ounces.  It ridiculous.  I always have to have breast pads in or I end up with a serious leakage situation.  ITs kind of awful and cool at the same time.

We started out using regular diapers and wipes with a plan to transition to cloth diapers around two months.  About 3 days after we came home from the hospital, she had developed a pretty nasty diaper rash.  We put her in cloth diapers for a couple of days, but the rash persisted, so I started using cloth washcloths instead of wipes, and the rash cleared up quickly.  So we are still using disposable diapers, but cloth wipes and we have about a months worth of diapers left, then I will transition her into her cloth  It is quickly becoming clear to me that we need about 10-20 more cloth diapers unless I want to do laundry every day, which I do not…

For the most part, postpartum has been a breeze.  No serious bleeding and I healed up quickly.  However, there are some things that have happened since birth that I am less than thrilled with.  I get horrible horrible night sweats.  I wake up at least once every night completely drenched and I end up having to change my clothes nearly every night.  They are incredibly uncomfortable and I have scratches all over my boobs because they make me so itchy.  I have pretty bad carpal tunnel now.  IT was evident during the pregnancy, and since giving birth, it is exponentially worse.  My wrist is swollen all the time and very uncomfortable.  I can’t bend it certain ways and it feels super stiff and useless most of the time.  By far, though, the worst thing that happened post birth is the pregnancy tumor that grew on my lip.  Apparently somewhere around 5% of women end up with a pregnancy tumor during or after pregnancy.  I fell into this super lucky category.  Basically I have a growth on my lip that looks like a huge blood blister.  Because it isn’t going away on its own, I now have to have it removed, which sucks.  Especially because its possible that it may grow back.  I am incredibly self conscious of it and I can’t wait to get rid of it.

Overall, I am doing ok.  Being a parent is awesome but it is also so freaking hard.  I think that if I weren’t so tired, I would be in much better shape, but the lack of sleep is wearing on me.  The lack of schedule is also wearing on me.  I feel like a bum because I get up so late and basically spend my days on the couch watching tv and napping if Arlie will let me.  Its pretty much the opposite of what my schedule was before.  I’m still waiting for the moment where I feel comfortable being a parent.

Arlie is amazing and beautiful and perfect.  Shes a sweet girl and is growing quickly.  I love the faces she makes and her sweet little lips.  I can sit and stare at her for hours at a time.  And even when I am running on an hour of sleep, I still look at her and smile.  We are incredibly lucky.