Today my baby girl is one week old! It’s been a wild week, full of emotions–by and large an overwhelming feeling of joy, extreme gratitude, and relief.
She’s eating like a champ. This kid has a latch like a snapping turtle and I admire her tenacity and proficiency at suckling. I coach her “Open wide…wider…there you go!” And cheer her on “What a big girl–look at you sucking, swallowing, and breathing like a boss–Mama is SO PROUD of you!” We make a great team. I’ve been pumping too, and Mr. MLACS really appreciates the opportunity to feed her too–especially when she gets fussy when I’m indisposed and he needs to comfort and soothe her.
I have to give MAJOR props to Mr. MLACS…
BEST. DADDY. EVER.
He is very hands-on and takes great care and pride in diapering, feeding, bathing, clothing, and meeting any and all other needs of his child. He is “team captain” in this household and he has been doing all the support work–cooking, laundry, grocery shopping, taking care of the pets, helping me breastfeed and pump, making sure I get some rest and keep up with postpartum self-care…he tells me I’m doing a great job and he holds me and reassures me when I cry (fyi, you do a lot of crying postpartum). Plus he’s taking great care of himself, following a low-sodium diet, tracking his vitals (he just got the fitbit “surge”) and trying to get 10,000 steps per day, and using his cpap machine. He is a ROCKSTAR! I’m so proud of him, and grateful to have him.
Our pets have been very well behaved–both puppy and kitty are curious but respectful. They stay near me & the baby but not *on top of me* like they usually would be. They are great big bothers and I’m proud of them, too.
Breastfeeding is going well. We got our “golden hour” post-birth during which she was wide-eyed, alert, and ready to latch. I think this made a big difference and I understand why it’s so important. Baby girl was quite content in the hospital and suckled and slept and was happy to be swaddled and held while she looked around. After we got home things got kind of hairy–she started “cluster feeding” to encourage my milk to come in. My left nipple cracked and both nipples were sore and everybody said “use coconut oil” so I did but it didn’t penetrate the skin or soften it much, if at all. So f*ck coconut oil. Wanna know what *works*? Lanolin. I wish I’d used it in the first place. I’ve continued to feed on-demand (and that’s ALL the time) and pump when I can, but sometimes I grind my teeth when she latches because it hurts. As of Friday she had lost almost 10% of her bodyweight and I was concerned, but we went in Monday for a weight check and she had gained 2oz back and my milk started coming in, so we were told to come back in a week. Monday was rough because I became engorged and I felt flu-like symptoms–I used hot packs and a heating pad to relieve the pain/tension in my upper body. I’ve seen a lactation consultant (yesterday) and she said we’re doing great–she watched me feed and weighed baby girl before & after, and she gained almost 2oz, which is on-target! I was relieved to know she is getting what she needs from me. Breastfeeding is hard but I love it–I love cuddling her and staring at her. And I’m relieved my boobs are performing, since I have PCOS and I’ve had breast augmentation, I wasn’t sure I could do it. I’ve been taking Fenugreek capsules and eating “lactation cookies”.
My Mom said that the only time she ever had a flat stomach was while breastfeeding. At one week postpartum, my tummy has diminished from a giant mountain to a mediocre hill…and *ironically* I’m not happy about it. A week ago I had enough belly to create a sort of ‘shelf’ to support my baby while she nursed. I miss my shelf. I miss having her inside me. I wish I was a marsupial–like a kangaroo–with a pouch so that my baby could exist both inside and outside of me. I’ve never cared less about how I look.
But I did get “dolled up” for our newborn photoshoot yesterday. It went well except that our photog does not have much experience taking pics of infants and she was trying to pose her perfectly and my kid was getting really REALLY upset and I was getting upset so finally I snapped at her to auit fussing about and take the damn picture. I hope we got some good ones but if not, at least I tried.
And speaking of pics, I want to share with my good blogger friends but *privately* and I’m not sure the best way to do that. I’m very protective of my girl. If you are someone I know (we’ve exchanged several comments at least) please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
I can’t believe she’s a week old already! I’m begging her not to grow up too fast. At the same time I’m watching “Say Yes to the Dress” on TLC and silently praying that I get to dance at her wedding. I want every moment to last a lifetime, while simultaneously wishing for a lifetime of precious moments with her. I love her more than words…
I do intend to share my birth story but it’s going to take me a minute to compose in proper detail. It was a hard labor but a beautiful birth. I was very happy that we had our doula with us–I was skeptical about how she would integrate into our labor/birth, but she really helped, so if you’re considering hiring a doula I’d say *do it*.